Cordova Cooler Review

Cordova is one of the few brands out there that can truly claim that they control quality and manufacturing given the fact that they are based in Nampa, Idaho. Indeed, one of the biggest concerns we have upon looking for an ice chest is quality control and that is especially difficult with brands that are based abroad.

To give you a bit of a pretext for Cordova, the brand was fortified once sold to Scott Campbell, one of the toughest anglers out there and the former Baja 500 champion & Steve West, a prominent figure in the big game hunting scene & the host of the outdoor Channel’s adventure TV Series.

Cordova coolers are made in the USAHence, Cordova is an all-American brand which means that it has to abide by the rules and regulations of the control system & that is often conjoined with good customer service and quick responsiveness.

Nonetheless, being an American based brand does not exonerate Cordova from an in-depth inspection. Therefore, today, we are going to dissect Cordova for you in order to give you an idea about its variety, quality and features & hopefully you’ll have your mind all made up before we reach our conclusion.

Cordova Coolers Compared

CoolersCapacity
(Quarts)
Dimensions
(L x W x H)
Weight
(Lbs)



Cordova 35 Cooler
28 quarts – 28 cansExternal
26.25″ x 14.25″ x 16.00″
Internal
18.00″ x 8.75″ x 10.00″
19



Cordova 50 Cooler
48 quarts – 42 cansExternal
28.25″ x 18.00″ x 16.75″
Internal
20.00″ x 12.00″ x 11.25″
26



Cordova 100 Cooler
88 quarts – 85 cansExternal
38.00″ x 17.75″ x 18.75″
Internal
30.50″ x 12.00″ x 13.50″
34.50



Cordova 125 Cooler
128 quarts – 120 cansExternal
46″ x 19.63″ x 19.75″
Internal
37.88″ x 14″ x 14.75″
45

Available Sizes & Dimensions

Variety is the spice of life and that also applies to coolers because there is an optimal cooler for every situation and the last thing you want is to pay too much for something you don’t need or pay too little for a cooler that isn’t enough. Thus, it is important that you make up your mind about your exact needs before you dive into this segment.

That being said, here are all the Cordova Coolers you should know about:

Hard-Sided

Cordova takes great pride of its hard-sided cooler lineup because it features a variety of 4 different sizes designed to cater for everyone out there.

Cordova argues that their hard coolers are uniquely designed, and that’s quite true. The things that’s special about these coolers is the fact that they are rich in practical little features, and that’s a very good thing for us.

Now 4 different sizes might not sound like much but they are plenty for most people out there.

1. Cordova 35 Small Cooler

Cordova 35 Small Cooler

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First, on the smaller end of the line, the brand highlights the Cordova 35, which is a tiny yet extremely practical cooler.

Indeed, the cooler at hand is compact in size but it is capable of handling up to 28 cans, which is plenty for small game anglers, picnic lovers and the regular Joe who loves to drink with a pal in the forest.

2. Cordova 50 Medium Cooler

Cordova 50 Medium Cooler

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Second in line is the Cordova 50, which is almost double the size of the previous model, making it a better fit for intermediate anglers, hunters and campers.

This cooler is thus large enough to stock 42 cans, which is the equivalent of a lot of fish.

3. Cordova 100 Large Cooler

Cordova 100 Large Cooler

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Moreover, the Cordova 100 is the next upgrade for those of you who are passionate about what they do in their free time.

The cooler at hand can handle up to 85 cans and can take you for a week of scavenging before it reaches maximum potential.

4. Cordova 125 XLarge Cooler

Cordova 125 XLarge Cooler

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Lastly, Cordova presents the 125 Xlarge, which is a beast of a cooler designed for people who hunt / fish for a living.

In fact, the cooler at hand can harbor around 120 cans which is plenty for team sport events, BBQ parties and outdoors ceremonies.

Soft-Sided

Cordova Soft-Sided Coolers ReviewOn the soft side, Cordova pushes its variety aspect a little further but not too far because it only offers 2 options. Now, while this might sound like a disadvantage, soft-sided coolers have a limited audience and it is often people who are always on the go and need a portable little ice chest to keep their meals fresh for their lunch break.

Accordingly, Cordova starts with the rather medium sized 16 cans ice pocket in hopes to appeal to daily commuters, 5 to 9 workers and beach lovers.

Indeed, this little cooler is fully capable of maintaining your beverages and snacks, fresh for an entire day and that makes it highly valuable.

Nonetheless, if the small 16 canner isn’t enough for you then perhaps you’d find the backpack style 36 cans soft-sided Cordova more fitting.

Accordingly, the second soft-cooler on the line is rather large and that excludes individual users. Hence, the 36 cans Cordova is a better fit for group picnics, hikes, quick campers and one hell of a night in the field.

Cordova Soft Sided Cooler

Cordova Soft Sided Cooler

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Cordova Coolers Soft Sided Backpack Cooler
Cordova Coolers Soft Sided Backpack Cooler

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Design & Build Quality

One of the most common questions we receive on our website are people wondering about the resilience of certain coolers. Hence, it has become our ritual to highlight every brand’s build quality, materials and endurance & Cordova is our subject today.

Cordova has managed to amass a great following in a short period of time and it seems that a lot of buyers are very impressed with the build quality of these coolers. Upon closer inspection, it becomes obvious as to why Cordova coolers are so rigid and the secret here is rotational molding.

Well, it isn’t really a secret since a lot of brands out there already adopt the roto-molded approach but that doesn’t deprive Cordova from its bragging rights.

Roto-molding is a build technique that entails a dual action axis whose purpose is to create a mold for the cooler from one unified Polyethylene piece. Thus, once the mold is finished, it is almost impossible to crack because it is so dense and has virtually no weak spots.

Beyond roto molding, Cordova’s hard coolers benefit from one of the toughest build materials out there. Now, we will not sit here and pretend to know all about polyethylene compositions but it seems that Cordova is a pioneer in the field and that is something you can observe buy simply feeling / knocking on the walls.

Nonetheless, the big bucket isn’t everything Cordova excels at because even the finest features on these coolers reflect how much dedication was invested into it.

Indeed, from the aluminum cut handles to the robust lid design, it is evident that Cordova didn’t try to cut any corners here. However, that is one of the main reasons why Cordova is considered to be a premium cooler brand.

P.S : Cordova Coolers come in a wide variety of colors including : Orange, White, Aqua, Sand, Gray.

Cordova Coolers Review - Color Options

CORDOVA 50 Medium Cooler (Orange)
CORDOVA 50 Medium Cooler (Orange)

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CORDOVA 50 Medium Cooler (White)
CORDOVA 50 Medium Cooler (White)

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CORDOVA 50 Medium Cooler (Aqua)
CORDOVA 50 Medium Cooler (Aqua)

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CORDOVA 50 Medium Cooler (Sand)
CORDOVA 50 Medium Cooler (Sand)

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CORDOVA 50 Medium Cooler (Gray)
CORDOVA 50 Medium Cooler (Gray)

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Ice Retention & Insulation Ability

If you’ve established the fact that you are willing to invest in quality then price will aways come second. So, before we have decide if it’s worth the buck, let us take a moment to look deeper into Cordova’s Insulation and ice retention ability.

When we talk of insulation, we are directly limiting our circle of attention to two main contributors. Accordingly, the build and insulation of the cooler are the prime influencers of ice retention and that is something Cordova mastered during the years.

Indeed, Cordova coolers are undeniably premium built and that brings about the rotational molding approach. Hence, while rotational molding is highly resilient, it is also a great means of insulation. Accordingly, the unified mold of these coolers is perfectly sealed and that enables it to maintain internal temperatures for long durations while the outer crust repels as much UV rays as possible.

Moreover, rotational molding is great but it wouldn’t be able to handle serious heat without proper insulation. Speaking of which, the insulation of a cooler is highly dependent on the type and thickness of foam inside the walls.

With Cordova coolers, we weren’t surprised to learn that they inject their coolers with an eco-friendly foam given the overall cost. However, what you might not know is that this type of foam has received the highest insulation ratings in the industry and once pressured injected into the thick Cooler’s walls, it enables these coolers to maintain ice for many days in mid-summer temperatures.

Cordova Ice Chests – Features 

Features are undeniably a big deal for most potential buyers but it is especially the case for those of you who will be spending a lot of time with these coolers. Hence, for the anglers, hunters and camping lovers, Cordova made sure to improve its coolers with a list of practical features & they go as follows:

Anodized aluminum handles w/ built in bottle opener

Anodized aluminum handles w/ built in bottle openerIf you’re wondering why Cordova coolers cost significantly more than most coolers out there, perhaps their anodized aluminum handles have the answer you need. Indeed, Cordova coolers arguably have the toughest handles on the market because these handles are both light & extremely durable.

In fact, we are willing to go as far as saying that these might be the only cooler handles on the market that’ll never need replacing.

Also, you might like to know that these handles have integrated bottle openers which is very clever.

Gorilla Grip ™ Anti-Skid rubber feet

Gorilla Grip ™ Anti-Skid rubber feetLike most premium brands out there, Cordova knows the necessity of anti-skid feet for these coolers especially for those of you who will be taking a permanent boat cooler.

Accordingly, all Cordova coolers come equipped with Gorilla grip feet, which are considered to be the most resilient on the market in terms of
longevity.

Quad-locking air tight gasket

Quad-locking air tight gasketOne of the most critical features on any roto molded cooler is the gasket because it plays a major role in ice retention.

For that reason, the Quad-locking gasket on Cordova coolers sits firmly on the lip of the cooler and prevents air from circulating outside / inside the cooler.

Also, once locked, the cooler is put into a negative pressure seal that is similar to those produced by freezer grade gaskets.

Top Loader T-Latches

Top Loader T-LatchesTo reinforce its claim for quality, Cordova sticks with the very efficient rubber T-Latches as their main locking mechanism.

The T-latches in question are pretty much impossible to damage because they are made of the strongest rubber compose. However, what’s unique about this locking system is that it is based on the body of the cooler instead of the lid.

Thereby, once you open the cooler, the latches won’t stand in the way and once locked, they will squeeze the lid tightly, enhancing the performance of the gasket.

Cyclone Delrin Drain PlugCyclone Delrin Drain Plug

Cordova coolers are featured with high quality standard Cyclone Delrin drain plug that will be sure not to break or leak.

Who is it for?

As mentioned earlier, Cordova coolers are highly versatile which means that they come in a variety of shapes, sizes and textures to suit the different needs on the market. Hence, whether you’re a full time or part time angler / hunter, a camper or someone who has to go through daily commutes and needs a pocket to keep his lunch frosty, Cordova got you covered.

Cordova Vs. Yeti: Which Is Better?

For the Cordova Cooler Review to come to an end, we must put it in a head to head competition with one of the leaders of the market. However, in order to balance out the competition, we will be comparing the Yeti Tundra series to Cordova’s modest collection. So, here are the results!

Cordova Vs YETI

In terms of variety, it was expected to see a conglomerate like Yeti towering over its competition. However, Cordova doesn’t lag behind by much because Yeti is only a couple sizes ahead.

As for quality, Yeti has been popularized as the highest quality cooler manufacturer out there and that is a bit of a misconception. Indeed, once compared to Cordova, it becomes evident that the latter has invested much more effort and resources into making its coolers top notch. Hence, while Yeti Tundra coolers are impressively robust and well built, Cordova coolers adopts far tougher build materials and eco-friendly foam insulation to create a superior cooler.

Speaking of superiority, we put the Cordova 50 to the test head to head with the Tundra 45 and Yeti was embarrassed to say the least. Indeed, Cordova 50 was very stubborn and pulled through 6.5 days before it lost all ice while the Yeti gave up right before day 6 (P.S: The tests were performed in harsh outdoor conditions).

Compare To: YETI Tundra 45 Cooler

YETI Tundra 45 Cooler, White
  • The YETI Tundra 45 combines versatility with durability with a capacity of up to 26 cans with a recommended 2:1 ice-to-contents ratio
  • Ice stays ice thanks to up to 3 inches of PermaFrost Insulation and an extra thick FatWall design is certified Bear-Resistant

Cordova Coolers – Bottom Line

As this Cordova Cooler Review comes to an end, we hope that you amassed enough information to help you make up your mind on which cooler you’re going to partner up with for your up coming adventure.

If you decided to go with a Cordova cooler then you might have to pay a little more than average but it is still less than what you’d pay for a Yeti and for a less impressive performance.

Come to look at it, Cordova truly presents a great return value on your investment and that’s worth going for it.

Amazon Recommends:
Bestseller No. 1
Cordova Coolers Small Cooler - 28 Quart/Can Capacity Portable Insulated Hard-Sided Cooler with Carrying Handles & 5-Days of Ice Retention - CCSA-28QT
  • SUPERIOR INSULATION AND LIGHTER WEIGHT: Eco Foam a Cordova Cooler exclusive, retains ice better (5 days) while also creating a lighter cooler
  • PATENTED LID LOCKING SYSTEM: Another Cordova Cooler exclusive feature ensure the cooler stays open and keeps your fingers and hands safe from a premature closure of the cooler
Bestseller No. 2
Cordova Coolers Large Cooler - 88 Quart/Can Capacity Portable Insulated Hard-Sided Cooler with Carrying Handles & 5-Days of Ice Retention - CCLS-86QT
  • SUPERIOR INSULATION AND LIGHTER WEIGHT: Eco Foam a Cordova Cooler exclusive, retains ice better (5 days) while also creating a lighter cooler
  • PATENTED LID LOCKING SYSTEM: Another Cordova Cooler exclusive feature ensure the cooler stays open and keeps your fingers and hands safe from a premature closure of the cooler
Bestseller No. 3
Cordova Coolers Soft Sided Portable Cooler
  • Easy to carry - Extremely comfortable with soft grip handles lunch box for the working man!
  • Weather proof exterior -1000 denier nylon shell resistant to mildew, punctures, and UV rays

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