We know exactly what you’re thinking, who would name a brand Bird Dog coolers? Well, these guys did and while it might sound unusual, it is surprisingly catchy. Indeed, bird dogs are known for thriving outdoors in nature and just like them, Bird Dog coolers aspires to conquer the outdoors.
Bird Dog coolers are relatively young in the industry. Thus, it was till 2017 that Bird Dog introduced their advanced Outbound cooler collection. So, why does it get a full on review?
Well, in a few words, Bird Dog Outbound coolers have accumulated an impressive amount of positive feedback and that was the wave they needed to get nominated for the best affordable cooler lineup. Thus, in order to understand their current status, we had to put the brand under the scope and dive deeper into the brand’s variety, build quality/design, ice retention/insulation ability, and features.
So, without further ado, here’s all you need to know about Bird Dog Coolers.
Bird Dog Coolers Compared
Available Sizes & Dimensions
Variety is the spice of life and for coolers, it is a critical factor that defines how popular a collection will be. So, in attempt to cater for as wide a range as possible, Bird Dog coolers went for 3 diverse sizes:
Accordingly, the Outbound 20 can handle up to 19 liters of liquid and that’s plenty for a short run. Speaking of which, the cooler at hand is definitely not developed to perform large tasks but it’s still great for picnics, beach days and kayak adventures.
The cooler in question is labeled the workhorse of the group and that’s a title well deserved. Indeed, this medium sized cooler is capable of loading around 42 liters of liquid which is the equivalent to a lot of fish.
In fact, this cooler doesn’t need to be limited to a certain category because it’ll make a solid partner for an angler, a hunter or even a construction site manager.
The 75Qt option is reserved for those who are more dedicated to their passion and especially those who aren’t reluctant to invest in a reliable cooler. Hence, the model at hand can handle quite a cargo, making it great for avid anglers, small game hunters and collective sport events.
To be exact, the Outbound 75Qt can handle up to 70 liters easily which is plenty of room for any adventure.
Design & Build Quality
One of the first elements to look for in a cooler has got to be the integrity of the structure / build. Thus, it was paramount to highlight quality in this Bird Dog coolers review.
For starters, it should be noted that all Outbound coolers are developed through a rotational molding build process. If you aren’t aware of the technology then here’s a brief recap: rotational molding entails bending the tender polyethylene compose in its early stages to shape a tidy mold.
Therefore, with a unified / weakness free mold, Bird Dog Outbound coolers are guaranteed to endure all kinds of inconveniences without a doubt. However, it isn’t only the rotational molded shell that makes these coolers trendy, it is the brand’s dedication to the smaller details.
Indeed, a scrutinizing look at a Bird Dog Outbound cooler will lead you to understand just how much effort was invested into the making of these ice chests. Thus, anything from the hinges, to the latches and down to the feet are installed with a precision that is rarely found in this price range.
Further, Bird Dog coolers are also known for their simple yet clever design. In fact, these coolers might look like any other cooler out there but they are packed with little nifty features and traits that make them extremely practical. So, make sure to check out the features segment on this article for more info.
Ice Retention & Insulation Ability
It would be a lie to claim that insulation and ice retention aren’t the prime decision makers of any cooler purchase. Indeed, while quality is important, performance is essential for the buy.
So, without further ado, we have tested Bird Dog coolers in objective precision and non-controlled environments to figure how long can they retain ice for & it was no surprise that the 45Qt Outbound managed to push beyond the 4 days boundary and established a whole 120 hours lap before ice completely melted.
Hence, we definitely expected more from the Bird Dog Outbound lineup since it isn’t exactly a budget choice and since cheaper coolers can perform similarly. However, what we realized through our test is that the brands charge that much because of the resilience / performance combo which makes sense to be fair.
Indeed, Bird Dog Outbound coolers are built to perfection with a solid polyethylene shell that repels UV waves, a thick wall injected with high density foam and an air tight freezer grade gasket that prevents air from going through once the lid is locked.
In conclusion, while you definitely can find a cheaper alternative that can perform slightly better, it is almost impossible to find a cooler as tough and reliable as a Bird Dog Outbound, especially in this price range.
Features can truly make or break a deal and that is especially true for coolers. Thus, Bird Dog coolers tried its best on the Outbound series in order to equip them with the essentials. So, here’s a brief preview on Bird Dog Coolers features:
Handles are a critical features for large coolers specifically since it is the one feature you will depend on the most. Indeed, comfortable handles are irreplaceable for coolers that weigh 40 pounds when empty.
Thus, Bird Dog invested in strong nylon straps that are flexible and resilient enough to handle more weight than you can imagine. Also, the straps are blessed with a rubber handle to grant you a comfortable grip and prevent your fingers from crushing each other.
While insulation depends on thickness of walls, quality of foam and gaskets, we rarely think of the role latches play in that process. Hence, in order to reinforce the tight seal of the cooler’s lid, Bird Dog features snap-tight latches on their Outbound series.
These latches aren’t only easy to access and lock down, they are also robust and will last you a life time.
Further, this brand is one of the few that features independent latch ports in order to facilitate the process of replacing them in case of mishaps.
Lock Ports & Bottle Opener
Everyone who has a passion for the outdoors will understand how essential lock ports are for your cooler. Indeed, lock ports will keep your cargo safe at all times and that’s why these coolers come with 2 ports on the front angles of the lid.
Also, where other brands are fulfilled with a simple lock port, Bird Dog went the extra mile and fused them ports with bottle openers. Yes, not only will you get to secure your chest but you’ll also have two handy bottle openers on each end of your cooler.
In order to emphasize their love for the outdoors, Bird Dog equips all its Outbound coolers with no mark rubber feet.
These feet aren’t only there to prevent the coolers from scratching your floor but they’ll also prevent it from sliding around in your vehicle or boat. Hence, the rubber feet will prove high efficient in preventing accidents as well as maintaining the condition of the cooler.
Pressure Release Valve
Not every cooler gets a pressure release valve but when you see one, you should be able to guess that it has quite a grip.
In fact, Bird Dog coolers are very similar to actual freezers because once you shut the lid down, the gasket will suck in and air seal the cooler. Thus, in order to avoid pulling rigidly after long periods of no-access, you can release the pressure built inside the cooler to open it easily.
Who is it for?
As much as we’d like to support the underdog, we can’t really claim that Bird Dog has a cooler for everyone out there. Indeed, the brand at hand offers a decent selection at best and with 3 sizes, it is bound to sacrifice some of its target audience.
Nonetheless, it must be noted that the 20, 45 and 75Qt coolers are wide enough of a range to cater for most people out there.
Indeed, Outbound coolers are diverse enough to cater for any task from a casual picnic up to a week-long fishing trip.
Bird Dog Coolers Vs. Yeti: Which Is Better?
What’s a Bird dog Coolers Review without a proper head to head comparison with a returning champ. In fact, this review wouldn’t be complete without putting Bird Dog against a rival that is tough enough to break most brands in the industry. Hence, let’s see how Bird Dog Outbound holds up against the raging Yeti tundra lineup.
Diversity hasn’t been the strongest suit of Bird Dog so far and YETI Tundra is easily victorious in this category. Hence, while Bird Dog Outbound coolers offer a variety of 3 options, Yeti Tundra comes in 7 different models to fulfill most if not all of the audience’s needs.
In terms of quality & design, we had to give the edge to Yeti once again because it has been popularized based on its great design and impeccable build quality. Other than that, it must be noted that once price is added to that equation, Bird Dog coolers become clearly superior being the best bang for the buck !
One cannot speak of quality without bringing along ice retention and this one was tough to settle down. Indeed, the price difference is significant between the two brands and that should account for a far better ice retention life for Yeti. However, it sure as hell doesn’t seem like it since both brands can equally hold up to 5 / 6 days before they lose all ice.
In conclusion, Yeti Tundra are undeniably a great set of coolers that are easily superior to Bird Dog coolers. However, once the price gap is added to that equation it becomes truly difficult to make up your mind on which to go for. Hence, if you’re seeking an affordable option that can perform similar to a YETI Tundra then you will not regret investing in a Bird Dog Outbound cooler.
Bird Dog Coolers – Bottom Line
Bird Dog Outbound coolers is in its early stages of development yet it has put up quite a fight against one of the biggest manufacturers in the industry. Therefore, it would be safe to argue that Bird Dog Outbound is a legitimate option for hikers, anglers and hunters who are looking for a cheaper and equally reliable alternative to the conglomerates that often ask for too much and offer too little in return.