"Coolest" cooler chills, blends and plays music
By C.C. Weiss
December 10, 2013
A good cooler keeps your drinks chilled during a picnic, backyard BBQ or camping trip. The Coolest not only does that, but it also mixes up frosty margaritas and plays music for your party. With the docking grill, it even cooks your food. Its designer hopes to get the feature-packed cooler to picnics and tailgates next year.
The Coolest builds on the platform of what appears to be a solid, well-equipped, 60-qt (56.7-L) cooler. It has a pull handle and reinforced wheels for easy transport and a set of tie down points to let you secure other gear on top, saving yourself a trip or two.
There are other coolers that have similar wheeled designs – not to mention one with a motor – but their feature lists usually end at things like cup holders and drain spout. The Coolest has a much longer, more interesting list, starting with its 18-volt, ice-crushing blender. That blender runs on a rechargeable battery that has enough power for around 60 batches of drink-of-choice.
The cooler also has a built-in LED light that helps you dig for a cold one in the dark. And when you find it, you won't have to search around for a bottle opener – there's one right on the side.
Beyond cooling, uncapping and blending drinks, the Coolest packs a removable Bluetooth speaker that delivers eight hours of music from up to 50 ft (15 m) from the source. An available dual-burner grill docks into the top of the Coolest for transport, then pops off and fires out 20,000 BTU for burgers, dogs and whatever else is on the menu.
Our first instinct is that the Coolest packs a little too much for its own good... with the high price to match. The estimated retail price of US$310 is not cheap, and you could probably get better performance and/or price by purchasing the components separately. But the all-in-one design should make transport to and/from the park or campground a little easier, especially when you consider all the other gear you might be carrying.
December might seem like a weird time for an Oregon-based inventor to launch a Kickstarter campaign for a cooler, but Ryan Grepper hopes to finish development over the next few months and start shipping in August. Pledges of $185 secure one of the first Coolests, and a $395 pledge gets you a package with the dual-burner grill.