In the last several years, the cooler market has become as saturated as the craft beer scene. Yeti made the old reliable Coleman cooler an afterthought. Companies are getting super creative with designs, and all want a piece of the pie when it comes to coolers. Sportsman’s Guide, a favorite online outdoor retailer, has created its own brand, Guide Gear, and they are getting their piece of the cooler pie.
Guide Gear Welded Cooler Bags
The Guide Gear® Welded Cooler Bag is built to last and perform just like the leading brand name cooler bags, but at a fraction of the price. Fully welded interior and foam insulation keep ice, cans, and food chilled.
First Impressions of the Sportsman’s Guide Cooler Bag
I currently own two Yeti soft-sided coolers, so I was eager to see how this Guide Gear Welded Cooler Bag would perform coming in at a fraction of the cost of a Yeti Hopper. At first glance, I was quite impressed. I expected the cooler to feel “cheaper”. The cooler has two handles for carrying by hand and also, a shoulder strap for the heavy loads. Both work very well. I appreciate two subtle accessories found on the Guide Gear Welded Cooler Bag. There is a small pocket located on the front face of the cooler, just big enough for car keys or cell phone. The second accessory is a bottle opener, something not found on my Yeti.
A Closer Look at the Welded Cooler Bag 24
The zipper on the Guide Gear cooler was a big question mark for me. It was small and looked like one on a jacket. However, the zipper performed flawlessly. The construction of the cooler is solid. I can’t say I like the way the two handles are integrated into each face of the bag, but it’s certainly not a deal breaker and will likely hold up just fine with regular use.
Guide Gear Welded Cooler Bag Performance
Sportsman’s Guide claims that this bag will hold ice for 3 days. My experience showed otherwise. I put several bottles in, filled it with ice, and put it in my car with me all day. Outside temps were only in the seventies, and the AC was running for a good amount of the day. It only retained ice for somewhere between 14-16 hours. I tried the same test several days later. It was in the eighties that day, and I got about 12 hours of ice retention. With this being said, this is a $60 cooler, so keep that in mind. For the sake of comparison, I ran the same test with a $300 Yeti soft cooler, of the same size, and was only able to get it to hold ice for a day and a half. Nothing to brag about when considering the price tag. Another positive note, the Guide Gear cooler did not leak. With a significant amount of water in the cooler, I flipped it over in the sink for 10 minutes, and not a single drop came out. That was impressive.
Guide Gear Welded Cooler Bag Review Summary
To recap, the Guide Gear Welded Cooler Bag, around $60 without discounts, held ice for roughly half a day. The Yeti cooler, for $300, held ice for approximately a day and a half. My conclusion is that the Guide Gear Welded Cooler Bag is a bargain. The performance is good enough for a day full day at the beach, or in the field, and only a fraction of the price of the Yeti. You really can’t go wrong here. The construction, performance, and price point get a thumbs up from me.
Matt Poissant was born and raised hunting the Green Mountain State of Vermont, now residing in Virginia. Although he has hunted for whitetail since he was ten, he has only archery hunted for 10 years. He has traveled to 8 different states and one Canadian province to chase whitetails because he really enjoys the challenge of DIY hunting in new places.
Thanks to Matt Poissant for writing this unpaid gear review. This product was provided by Sportsman’s Guide at no cost for an honest evaluation. Hunting Gear Deals is funded by affiliate commissions. We may receive a small commission when you buy from our partners using the links provided. There is no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting us by using our links when making your purchases.