Author Topic: Lifetime 9 day cooler and DIY Reflectix cooler cover  (Read 427 times)

Lilburner

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Lifetime 9 day cooler and DIY Reflectix cooler cover
« on: September 23, 2019, 07:03:22 PM »
On the quest for maximum cold storage life with minimal expenditure, I've taken a twofold approach.

First off, I studied and studied, and studied on coolers. Oddly, the SECOND longest ice retention cooler in a national test, and supported by various reviews, YouTube videos, etc. Was the lowly Lifetime cooler, specifically the 77 qt model priced at $147 with free shipping at WalMart. Oddly, I couldn't find it in any of several stores, but now when I go for the link, it's in my store.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Lifetime-77-Quart-High-Performance-Cooler/775870674



But wait! There's more! I want the world record ice retention here, because... why not?

A lot of people line their coolers with Reflectix, but I didn't like that idea - the water gets all in it (and I tend to forget to dry out coolers in a timely manner), it takes up space... I thought "Why not make a cover for it - a cooler blanket? This would have the added bonus of reflecting sunlight before it ever heated the cooler!

Home Depot doesn't carry Reflectix in store locally, but they have their own brand. If you're doing this exact cooler, this took two rolls of this and a little over a roll of tape. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-24-in-x-10-ft-Double-Reflective-Insulation-ADD04-610x3-048/307281313

Here's the tape https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-Reflective-Foil-Tape-TAPE-50MM-x-10M/307281314

Started by wrapping the cooler as tightly as I could (figured it would loosen up as I worked a bit, and it did), and cut off the excess. Taped the outside seam, slipped it off, taped the inside seam, put it back on and put the scrap piece on top.


Then just wrapped it up like a Christmas present


Second layer same as the first, except I put the seam on the back of the cooler opposite the first layer seam on the front of the cooler. When I laid the scrap piece on top, I taped it down to the first layer so the first and second layers would have a mechanical connection.


Then slipped it off. Pretty perfect fit. I'm done except I started to run out of tape, so I only tacked the two layers together on the bottom. I'll grab another roll and finish up to have it all smoothed out. Also had to tack in the little top piece from inside.


Whole thing took probably less than 30 minutes, and the better part of half of that was fighting the tape. When you take it off the roll, it immediately wants to curl back on you. As happens, I found the solution completely by accident. Forget the roll. Let it all fall off the roll, stick down one end, and peel away as you go. Of course as also happens, I learned this about three strips from the end.


So now I have $175 in it. Let's see how it holds up against the big money!









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Starlady

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Re: Lifetime 9 day cooler and DIY Reflectix cooler cover
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2019, 01:01:00 PM »
Nice job!  Someone usually has to make an ice run by Fri. aft. to Sat morning so it will be interesting to see if you need some.
"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." Albert Einstein

Lilburner

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Re: Lifetime 9 day cooler and DIY Reflectix cooler cover
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2019, 02:25:50 PM »
Sealed up the bottom edges. Not only does it look nicer, it's easier to take on and off. I had a roll of proper HVAC tape I finished up with - probably a lot cheaper per foot than the stuff hanging by the Reflectix.


I packed this about 7PM last night. this is from 2:20 PM in the back of the truck in direct sunlight. I also utilized a lot of frozen water bottles to help longevity. When I took the cover off, the cooler was cool to the touch.
A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures.
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Country Singer

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Re: Lifetime 9 day cooler and DIY Reflectix cooler cover
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2019, 04:16:24 PM »
This also works in reverse:

“Our country demands all our strength, all our energies. To resist the powerful combination now forming against us will require every man at his place.
If victorious, we will have everything to hope for in the future. If defeated, nothing will be left for us to live for.”

Lilburner

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Re: Lifetime 9 day cooler and DIY Reflectix cooler cover
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2019, 09:46:35 PM »
The final result.

Packed Wednesday evening about 7PM. This was taken Monday about 5PM. At no point was it ever climate controlled. Thursday it was in the open black bed of the truck. Friday and Saturday it was outdoors under a canopy, Sunday and Monday it was in a closed up trailer - pretty much a "hotbox".

Not nine days, but almost exactly 5, and would probably go another with at least a piece or two of ice. I have a feeling I put WAY more contents in there than was ever involved in "nine day" testing, so I'm happy all-in-all

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures.
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Re: Lifetime 9 day cooler and DIY Reflectix cooler cover
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2019, 09:29:33 AM »
Wow, awesome results!   I think I'll try to find the time to do this for my medium sized cooler - it would be such a time saver to be able to pack it up the day before travel and not worry about getting more ice.
"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." Albert Einstein