From metal to plastic and now a range of soft-sided options, the old ice chest has come a long way. One of the best of the new generation is the Ice Storm Soft Cooler from Fishpond.
Fishpond built its reputation on well-constructed outdoor products with innovative and forward color combinations. The company put that approach to good use with the Ice Storm. It’s rock solid and eye catching, made from sand and orange nylon accented with Fishpond’s signature Jacquard webbing.
The Ice Storm should stand up to years of use and abuse given its very rugged construction. Fishpond used heavy duty nylon for the exterior, a thick waterproof/leakproof liner and industrial zippers. The wide webbing used for handles wraps the exterior and is tacked at key points for extra strength. And the bottom is a molded plastic to protect against punctures from below.
The cooler also boasts a range of handy features. Two exterior pockets hold extra gear. The one on the lid is a semi-clear plastic and mesh for easy visibility of contents. Depending on how much you’re packing, there are multiple carry options: padded top handle, two side handles and/or an optional shoulder strap.
The Ice Storm comes in one size: 2400 cubic inches. And I found that more than enough for a long weekend in the mountains for a family of four. A gallon of milk (and other beverages), meat for the grill, lunch fixings, vegetables, you name it and the Ice Storm just kept taking it. With its flexible sides and top, the Ice Storm seems to expand to hold much more than a similarly sized rigid plastic cooler.
Once packed, the Ice Storm was easy to haul. Again, the fabric construction makes a big difference. It’s lighter weight than an all-plastic or metal cooler. An additional advantage is that the Ice Storm folds up almost flat making for easy storage between trips.
Great product, exactly what I expected from Fishpond. It’s rugged and good looking, frankly maybe the best looking cooler I’ve ever seen thanks to the company’s simultaneously muted and vibrant color combination. It’s also more than just a pretty face, capable of handling more than its 2400 cubic inch capacity and packing down to a fraction of the size of its rigid brethren.
Although not cheap at $89 MSRP, I think the Ice Storm is definitely worth the money and should last for years. Highly recommended.