Otterbox, a company best known for its rugged cases for iPhones and other smartphones, announced this week that it is joining the premium cooler fray with its introduction of its new line of Venture coolers. The Venture is only the latest entry into the increasingly crowded injection-molded high-end cooler space, which is mostly filled with poorly disguised (or not disguised at all) knock-offs of existing products from premium cooler pioneer and 800-pound gorilla, YETI. Otterbox's offering attempts to stand out from the crowd through unique new design elements and features that focus on accessories and auxiliary uses or, as Otterbox puts it, "extend[ing] use beyond the confines of the cooler."
Like other premium coolers, the Otterbox Venture is injection-molded and lined with several inches of beefy insulation (though Otterbox doesn't specify exactly how much). Along for the ride are all the expected features, like bear-proof locking, a slanted bottom and drain plug, tough, burly handles, high-quality rubber gasket sealing and heavy-duty latches.
Otterbox claims 14 days of ice retention for its 45 liter model and while most consumers know to generally disregard specific claims of ice retention (due to the vast array of factors that contribute to vary results), the figure serves as a benchmark that suggests the Venture likely offers ice-keeping that's on par with other, similarly priced coolers.
As mentioned, the Venture puts specific focus on accessories and via it's integrated handles and slots on the front of the cooler, is ready to accept add-ons like a side-mounting cutting board/workstation table, bottle openers, cup holders, dry storage compartments, dry box mount and more—though only some of these features are entirely new or not found on competing coolers.
Though Otterbox's success to-date has been defined almost exclusively by its production of injection-molded smartphone and tablet cases, the brand actually began as a manufacturer of dry boxes for the outdoors and Otterbox is touting the Venture as a return to form. "I started OtterBox in 1998 as an outdoor brand, and we’re refocusing our efforts here in a big way," founder Curt Richardson noted.
Otterbox will be offering its new coolers in three colors: Hudson (white and blue), Ridgeline (tan and green) and Back Trail (Realtree Xtra camo).The Venture 25, at $249.99, comes with a bottle opener accessory that snaps to the front of the cooler. The Venture 45 and 65, $349.99 and $399.99, respectively, include that same bottle opener as well as a dry storage tray.