What are "Roto-Molded" Coolers? Why are they Best?

Author: Mac Cassity

What is a roto-molded cooler? How is it different from other coolers? Why should I get a roto-molded cooler? These are questions we get asked regularly at Iceland Coolers.

Though we may be a little biased, science is in our favor here when it comes to the inarguable benefits of using one of our durable roto-molded coolers. Here’s why...

What Is Roto-molding?

Not to get too technical here, but roto-molding, short for rotational molding, is a type of method used for giving our coolers their flawless shape. This process involves heating polyethylene plastic in pellet or powdered form and then pouring the liquid plastic into a molding, where it is evenly rotated and cooled to form a seamless, durable shell. 

Once the plastic cooler shell has been made, it is injected with a polyurethane foam. On our coolers, this high-density foam is 2 inches thick, and surrounds the entire walls of the cooler, floor, and corners, including the lid. It’s safe to say that roto-molded coolers really keep your items insulated! No other way of constructing a cooler creates such an even layer of insulation. They’re practically indestructible, too. 

Roto-molded vs Injection-molded Coolers

Though roto-molded coolers involve injecting durable foam into the walls, injection-molded coolers are another ball-park, and a less impressive one, at that.

Injection-molded coolers use a melting process, like roto-molded coolers. But, instead of rotating the melted plastic to create a consistent shell, injection-molding applies high pressure to a stationary mold to distribute the plastic throughout the shape. This means that the corners of an injection-molded cooler are weaker and more prone to breaking and cracking.

Roto-molded vs Regular Coolers

As you may have guessed, regular coolers are made using the injection-molded method. Their outer shells are blow-molded using polypropylene plastic, which is far less durable than the polyurethane used in roto-molded coolers. Polyurethane withstands extreme temperatures, giving you more bang for your buck.

The plastic in a regular cooler is thin due to being stretched across the length of the mold, rather than being rotated evenly throughout the mold. Regular coolers also have lids that are made from a single piece of hollow plastic. All of this means that your items won’t stay insulated as long, which can be a huge deal-breaker if you’re hoping to go camping or on a hunting trip.

Though regular coolers are considerably cheaper than roto-molded coolers, they won’t feel cheaper when you have to constantly go through the hassle of replacing them. Roto-molded coolers are made to last, meaning costs are only higher upfront when you choose one of our tough and reliable roto-molded coolers. Also, high quality roto-molded coolers like ours offer replaceable parts for if you break or lose anything (but don't worry, our warranty covers everything except for abuse or neglect!)

Roto-molded vs Marine Coolers

See a discussion on the differences between marine and regular coolers here.

Though marine coolers are definitely a step up from cheap and flimsy regular coolers, they’re still far inferior to the mighty roto-molded cooler.

Marine coolers are more expensive than a cheapie cooler (we’re talking double the price). They definitely keep ice frozen for longer, reflect UV light better, and are slightly more durable. And, if you’re just looking to keep some beer cool with your friends, they’ll certainly do the trick. But they’ve got nothing on the toughness and ice-retention roto-molded coolers. Our 110 qt roto-molded coolers hold ice for 11 days in our tests!

If you’re ready to put your cooler to the test, try out one of our tough and durable roto-molded coolers. You won’t be disappointed, we guarantee it. 


1 comment


  • Ben

    The vid you have of the roto-molding process doesn’t match the description of the process. Vid shows plastic heated while inside the mold.


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