Ozark Trail Cooler Review

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Ever since the stainless steel tumbler cup ice life test between YETI and. Ozark Trail on YouTube, the internet has been buzzing about Ozark Trail products. As they cost far less than premium brands, many outdoor enthusiasts are wondering if they really live up to their reputation.

I’ve got a review of the 26-quart Ozark Trail High-Performance line of coolers for you today, and I think you’ll agree that these coolers are a fantastic value for the money. Let’s take a look.

Ozark Trail 26-Quart High Performance Thermocooler, Gray

All About Ozark Trail

What began as a house-brand for Wal-Mart has become a household name thanks to viral internet videos, word of mouth and social media sharing. Ozark Trail enjoys an outstanding reputation for high quality products at bargain prices, and their chest coolers are no exception.

Built to the highest standards using cutting-edge technology, Ozark Trail coolers are fast becoming some of the most popular options for campers, hikers and RV enthusiasts alike. Regarding their smallest High-Performance cooler, many want to know if it’s worth the purchase price. Its value depends on several factors, most notably who will benefit most from owning one. Here’s what I found:

Who Is This Cooler Designed For?

People who love boating and RVing will love this cooler. It's purpose-built for short trips out on the boat or away from your RV.

Feature Overview

Weighing in at just 16 pounds empty, this compact 26-quart capacity cooler is perfect for a boat or RV trip where space and weight are your most important considerations. It’s got great mobility thanks to the comfort-grip carry handle, and it stays securely closed with tough T-handle latches.

You can even pop a padlock onto the front if you want thanks to the industrial-grade steel latch plate. Better still, the latch plate has a built in bottle opener, so there’s one less thing to remember or carry with you on your outing.

Let’s talk about the carry handle for a second since it’s my favorite feature. The handle is a low profile design that folds down along one side. Storing a cooler with a handle can be awkward if it’s too bulky, but the handle on the 26-quart Ozark Trail High Performance Cooler folds down without bulking out the side-to-side dimensions. If you’ve got limited storage space on the boat or in your RV, you’re going to love this cooler.

I will say there are a few minor issues with this cooler though. First of all, the listed can capacity doesn’t include how many cans it can hold with ice. It’s more like twenty-four cans as opposed to the listed thirty-six cans. Furthermore, it may be small enough to dump and rinse one-handed, but it doesn’t have a built-in drain plug.

The 26-Quart model is also a bit small for storing game meat, but it’s perfect for most fish if you don’t have a livewell or a bucket handy on your boat. Ozark Trail even engraved a fish ruler on the lid so you can check your catch to see if you can keep it. This cooler can also hold ice for up to four days, keeping up to 36 cans cold all day long. All in all, it’s a great little cooler for the price point.

What’s In The Box?

Since this product ships complete, you get the cooler and all accessories preinstalled. There isn’t a wire basket or internal trays, but that’s not unexpected for a compact cooler. As I stated before, this is primarily intended for cold beverages on RV, camping or boating trips.


Storage Volume


Exterior Dimensions


Interior Dimensions


Empty Weight

16 lbs.

Can Capacity

36 cans

Tested Ice Life (Hours)


Construction Material



Rated bear resistant, UV resistant, and shock/shatter and impact resistant.


  • Roto-molded, seamless one piece construction
  • UV Resistant exterior
  • Secure T-handle latches
  • Comfort-grip stainless steel carrying handle.
  • Industrial-grade stainless steel lock plate with integrated bottle opener
  • Gasketed and insulated lid
  • Certified Bear Resistant by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee
  • Fish ruler on the lid


  • Compact size
  • Large internal beverage capacity
  • 4.5 days of ice life (108 hours)
  • Bear and UV resistant
  • Built-in beverage holders
  • Comfort grip carrying handle


  • Internal volume is a bit small for storing game meat
  • No built -n drain
  • Can capacity listed does not include volume of cans with ice


Is this cooler too big to be used as a lunch box?

It might be a bit heavy for daily use, but if you don’t mind lugging it around it’s not so big that you couldn’t use it as a lunch box every day.

Does this cooler have an insulated lid?

Yes, the lid is insulated and has a gasket that keeps water from spilling out.

How many cans can I store in this cooler with ice?

It lists a 36 can capacity, but with ice it’s more like 24 cans.

Is this cooler dry ice compatible?

Yes, Ozark Trail lists this cooler as dry ice compatible on their website.


For the price, you won’t find a better compact cooler that’s built to last like this one. The built-in accessories and hardware are top-notch, and the ice life is very impressive considering the internal volume.

Check out the write-up on the Ozark Trail website for more details. I highly recommend this cooler to any camper, fishing enthusiast or RV owner for any adventure where you need to keep things cold.

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