Professional Tool Reviews for Pros

Kong Coolers 70-Quart Cooler Review: Made in the USA

Kong Coolers 70-Quart Cooler Review
PTR Review
  • Overall Rating 9.7

We've used premium coolers from Yeti, Grizzly, Orion, and others, and Kong deserves to be on your list if you're on the hunt for a great one. Considering my primary role for a cooler is for long days/nights of fishing on Tampa Bay, Kong's design is my favorite so far. Even if all the accessories aren't what you need, the long ice retention and quality build keep Kong high on the list. The fact that it's a Made in the USA product is icing on the cake.

Overall Score 9.7 (out of 10)

Kong 70 Cooler Offers High Capacity With Long Ice Retention And Made In The USA Quality

Our search continues for the perfect cooler. Size, ice retention, quality, and add-on features all play a part. For this review, we brought in the Kong Coolers 70-quart cooler, giving me an excuse to leave everyone else in the office and go fishing for a while.


Pros

  • Durable rotomolded design
  • Excellent ice retention
  • Wall-hugger lid design
  • Dual drain ports with hose threading
  • Easy access latches
  • Excellent range of add-on accessories
  • Certified bear-resistant
  • Includes divider
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Foot grip isn’t quite as good as others
  • No basket for goods that need to stay dry

Kong Coolers 70-Quart Cooler Ice Retention

Ice Retention

How long ice lasts in a cooler is a big deal. While everyone loves a perfect number, the reality is that it depends on a lot of factors. Did you pre-chill? What’s the outside temperature? How often are you getting into it? What’s the ice-to-beverage ratio? Is it sitting in the sun or shade? There are a lot of variables.

In ideal conditions, you can get up to 10 days of ice retention with the Kong 70. Filling it halfway with ice and then tossing in a 3-man limit of mangrove snapper fresh from 90° saltwater? You’re good for a weekend fishing trip.

That said, the ice retention is among the best that I’ve used. Part of it is an excellent design and sealing. Part of it is the size. This is a true 70-quart cooler, so compared to 65-quart options that are similar in size, you have more room for ice and every little bit extends the retention some.

In terms of what you can reasonably hold, 70 quarts is enough for 45 cans plus 33 pounds of ice.

Kong Coolers 70-Quart Cooler Design

Rotomolding

Kong Coolers 70-Quart Cooler Review

Like many premium coolers, the Kong 70 comes to life from a rotomolding process. It eliminates most of the seams that end up being failure points in less-expensive coolers. Overall, it makes for a much tougher build.

Lid

Kong 70 Lid

For most premium coolers, as long as it has an insulated lid with a quality gasket, it’s good to go. The Kong 70 cooler takes things up a notch with a wall-hugger design. Even when the cooler is up against the wall, you can still raise the lid without it pushing the cooler forward.

I have a 16-foot flats boat and my cooler has to sit against the center console. After switching this cooler in for the Yeti I normally use, the wall-hugger design is legitimately easier when I’m tossing protesting fish into it.


Latches

Kong Coolers 70-Quart Cooler Latches

It seems like every cooler brand has to have its own take on latch systems. They all work, but Kong’s design is the easiest I’ve used. Sticking with a traditional cam latch, it’s simpler than others and it’s not so tight that you’re not banging your fingers every time you use them.

Handles

Kong 70 Handle

Kong has a dual-handle system that combines folding/pivoting and integrated handles. That concept is common and the integrated handles are a nice insurance policy if something happens to the other set.

Particularly for a cooler this size, the folding handles have some give to them that makes them feel flimsy. Empty or full, they haven’t shown the slightest evidence that they’re too weak, though.

Drain Plugs

Kong’s drainplugs are noteworthy for a couple of reasons. First, there are two of them, making it easy to drain twice as fast or avoid spinning the cooler to the drain side if you’re on a slope.

The other reason is that it’s threaded to accept a standard hose connection. Just like draining a water heater, if you don’t want to heft the weight to a more convenient draining location, just connect your garden hose and go with the flow.

Color Options

The Kong Coolers 70-quart cooler has eight different color options to choose from. I have a strong affinity for the Sea Glass Green you see in the photos.

  • Boulder Blue (dark gray base with blue lid)
  • Winter White
  • Tactical Tan
  • Rugged Red (dark gray base with red lid)
  • Gorilla Gray
  • Outback Orange (orange base/lid with blue accents on handles and latches)
  • Sea Glass Green
  • Midnight Gray

Additional Highlights

  • Made in the USA!
  • 26.4 x 12.1 x 13 inches inside dimensions
  • 34.5 x 18.4 x 17.9 inches outside dimensions
  • 38 pounds dry weight
  • Certified bear-resistant design

Kong Coolers 70-Quart Cooler Accessories

Included Bonuses

The only accessory that comes with the cooler is a divider that doubles as a shelf. There’s a slot in the middle to let you separate items you don’t want mixing together. If there’s an improvement I could make, it would be to add slots where you can divide it into thirds. Drinks on the smaller side, fish on the larger.

Must-Have Add-Ons

Depending on how you’re going to use your Kong 70, there’s a good chance you don’t need anything else. For the way I use it, there are some must-have add-ons.

  • Traction Pad: a foam pad that makes sitting on the cooler a little more comfortable and using it as a casting platform much more stable
  • Bottle Biter: not every beer has a twist cap
  • Cut’N Tray: nestles perfectly into the top of the cooler and transforms it into a fish cleaning station (or other things)
  • Kicker: Holds the handle up to act as a support for the Cut’N Tray or divider
  • Krush Guards: inserts that keep the lid from slamming onto your hand
Kong Traction Pad

Kong Coolers 7-Quart Cooler Price

No matter which color you choose the Kong 70 runs $379 direct from Kong’s website and it has a limited lifetime warranty. Compared to other premium brands in the 65 – 75-quart range, that pricing is dead on with the competition. At the moment, that’s the best place to buy it. Here’s what the accessories we recommend run:

  • Traction Pad: $105.55
  • Bottle Biter: $21.95
  • Cut’N Tray: $59.35
  • Kicker: $26.35
  • Krush Guards: $17.55
  • Additional Divider: $29.95
  • Kong 70 Bundle: $125.18 (Cut’N Tray, Bottle Biter, Kicker (1), and Krush Guards
  • Ultimate Kong Accessory Bundle: $92.20 (Bottle Biter, Krush Guards, and Kickers (2)

The Bottom Line

We’ve used premium coolers from Yeti, Grizzly, Orion, and others, and Kong deserves to be on your list if you’re on the hunt for a great one. Considering my primary role for a cooler is for long days/nights of fishing on Tampa Bay, Kong’s design is my favorite so far. Even if all the accessories aren’t what you need, the long ice retention and quality build keep Kong high on the list. The fact that it’s a Made in the USA product is icing on the cake.

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