Blue Coolers 60 Quart Ice Vault Review: Is it the Best Wheeled Cooler?

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by  Cooler Bill Barton | Last Updated: 

Do Blue Coolers really compare to the big names in the cooler industry? With a track record like YETI and RTIC, it’s hard to believe that a value-forward cooler brand can perform just as well.

In this Blue Coolers 60 Quart Ice Vault cooler review, I’m diving into the details so you can find out whether this cooler is right for you.

It's blue, da-boo-de-da-boo-da
78 Image Source: Blue Coolers
VALUE
9
score
CAPACITY
7
score
INSULATION
7
score
DURABILITY
7
score
EASE OF USE
9
score
PORTABILITY
9
score
FEATURES
9
score
True Liquid Capacity:   60 quarts
Hours Below 40º F:   39 hours
Pros:
  • Details like the latches, wheels, and pressure release valve make this cooler exceptionally convenient
  • I love that there’s a pressure release valve so you can choose to keep your cooler airtight with ice in it, or you can use dry ice and leave a vent
  • The hinges sturdy and easy to open with one hand—I prefer them over the standard rubber t-handles most other cooler brands have
Cons:
  • It’s quite heavy for a 60 quart cooler (though part of that is the plastic wheels and stainless handle)

Have you ever tried to lug a huge cooler around the beach?

I don’t know about you, but I like my back. I don’t need a bunch of scoliosis because I decided to enjoy a weekend in the sun with some frosty brews.

Rotomolded coolers can be heavy, which is why I went looking for something a little easier to move around. That’s when I found the Blue Coolers 60 Quart Ice Vault cooler with wheels. 

I picked it up, wheeled it around, and tested its ice retention in a controlled condition. This review explains everything I found.

Blue Coolers 60 Quart Ice Vault Overview

The Blue 60 Quart Ice Vault is the most popular Blue cooler. But anyone who’s ever tried to lift a 45+ quart cooler when it’s loaded with ice and drinks knows it’s not easy on the ol’ spine. 

So Blue decided to add wheels to their popular 60 Quart, making it much more portable. So that’s when I picked one up.

Blue also carries a 30 quart cooler, a 60 quart without wheels, a 100 quart, and a 110 quart with wheels. 

In my opinion, 60-70 quarts is an ideal size for a hard cooler if you’re planning on bringing it along for a weekend of camping. You can easily hold food and supplies for a family of four for a three-day weekend with a 60 quart cooler. And you’d have plenty of room to stock up on ice for the duration of the weekend. 

Blue Coolers 60 Qt Ice Vault

Blue strikes a great balance between the top end coolers like YETI, but still stays affordable. I love the addition of the wheels, and the pressure release valve makes this the best choice I've seen for using dry ice. That means you can take this out for 10 days or even longer.

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Things to Consider Before Buying the Blue 60 Quart Ice Vault Cooler

You can choose whether you’d like to add wheels for about $50. I think the wheels are absolutely worth it. If you’re in between the wheeled version or saving a few extra bucks and getting the standard version, just imagine yourself leaning over a 110 pound cooler trying to lift it.

I’m still a young man at 31, but that just doesn’t sound like fun. 

So get the wheels. 

You can also choose between a cobalt blue, white, and a grey version. I picked the blue because I thought it’d look better in photos and video (what? It’s true…), but the best cooler color is white. White is the most reflective so it technically stays the coolest the longest. You’ll get the opposite effect with the dark grey. 

Blue offers free shipping and a five-year warranty, so you’re reasonably protected when picking up a Blue for yourself. 

Blue Coolers

Blue Coolers has a few unique design elements, and their performance is up there with the best. Given their price (and their unique features), I think you're getting excellent value for your money with any of Blue's coolers.

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Why You Should Trust Me

My name is Cooler Bill. I test coolers.

You’ll notice through this review that I’m giving some pretty low numbers for the ice retention and insulation tests. I use the same testing procedure on all the coolers I test: seven pounds of ice in a dark, temperature controlled room. 

I aim to only compare like-sized coolers. For instance, seven pounds of ice keeps the contents of a 20 quart cooler cold for a lot longer than it does for a 60 quart cooler. 

So when I say that the Blue 60 Quart cooler kept its contents below 40 degrees for 39 hours, it will keep your food cold for a lot longer if you use more ice. 

I just use this test to objectively compare between relatively equal sized coolers, not to see how long I can actually keep things cold in my cooler for. Your mileage will always vary on that subject as temperatures fluctuate and people open and close their coolers all the time. 

With this test, we can at least get an objective look at which cooler is giving the best insulation. 

Blue Coolers 60 Quart Ice Vault Review

Value

Blue Coolers crush it in terms of value, at least when compared to other rotomolded coolers. 

But it’s also worth looking at non-rotomolded coolers as well. 

Blue is in the same category as YETI, RTIC, ORCA, and a ton of other four letter capitalized animal-name cooler brands. 

Something like the blow-molded Igloo Latitude 90 Qt Roller Cooler is about half the price of the Blue Ice Vault 60 quart wheeled cooler. 

While I haven’t specifically tested the Igloo 90 qt roller cooler, it’s built similarly to the Igloo BMX 25, which I have tested (and cut in half). If they’re anything alike, it’s less durable overall with thinner plastic, and it doesn’t have as much insulation, though it’s still in the same ball-park.

So compared to other rotomolded coolers, which are typically more durable and offer the best insulation, the Blue 60 qt offers great value for money. But if money is one of your biggest concerns, you might want to look at a different construction like the blow-molded Igloo. 

Blue Coolers 60 Qt Ice Vault

Blue strikes a great balance between the top end coolers like YETI, but still stays affordable. I love the addition of the wheels, and the pressure release valve makes this the best choice I've seen for using dry ice. That means you can take this out for 10 days or even longer.

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Capacity

Like the name suggests, the Blue 60 Quart Ice Vault has 60 liquid quarts of capacity.

In real world terms, you can store between 50 and 55 cans in the cooler with a 2:1 ice to can ratio. That’s enough to throw a pretty raging party if you’re so inclined.

How many cans does the Blue Coolers 60 Qt hold?

The Blue Coolers 60 Qt can hold between 50 and 55 cans while still packing it with plenty of ice.

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I use my coolers for weekend camping trips, so those are the terms I tend to think of capacity in. The Blue 60 is a great size for a family of four on a three-day weekend. 

Dad can bring his beers, Mom can store an upright bottle of white wine, plus there’s still a lot of room leftover for carrying burgers, hot dogs, a gallon of milk, and pretty much all the perishables you’d use through a few nights camping under the stars. And you’d have enough room to fill the cooler with a decent amount of ice so it stays cold through the entire trip. 

Insulation

For my insulation test, I didn’t load the Blue 60 Quart cooler up to capacity—instead, I loaded it with seven pounds of ice and measured the temperature every hour in a temp-controlled room. 

You can see my results in the graph below. 

On their site, Blue claims that their 60 quart cooler can keep ice frozen for 10 days, so you might be wondering why I had ice for a little less than two days. The Blue cooler can hold 50-60 pounds of ice in it, and with that much ice, you’ll get a longer period of freezing temperatures. 

But I only tested with seven pounds. Again, I’m not trying to see how long the Blue can hold its ice for in total—I’m just trying to see how it compares to other 60 quart coolers. I’ll continuously update this post and my graphs as I get more data from other large 60 quart coolers. 

How many pounds of ice should I use in the Blue 60?

I recommend buying a 12-15 pound bag of ice for your Blue Coolers 60 Quart Ice Vault.

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I recommend using at least 12-15 pounds ice in your Blue cooler, especially if you have a three day weekend planned. You can use more than that if you’d like, but I think with 15 pounds of ice, you’d extend the period where your contents are below 40 degrees fahrenheit beyond 72 hours (three full days). 

With seven pounds of ice, my Blue cooler kept its contents below 40 degrees for 39 hours. That’s the temperature at which it’s no longer safe to store meat for long periods of time, so that’s a pretty critical cut-off. And four hours later (at 43 hours into the test), the internal temperature rose about 50 degrees, which is where beers are no longer frosty. 

This tracks well with other brands I’ve tested like YETI, RTIC, Igloo, and ORCA. I can’t specifically compare with other 60 quart coolers yet because the Blue 60 quart cooler is still the largest cooler I own, but as I try more 60 quart coolers, I’ll update and give a more thorough comparison. 

Blue Coolers 60 Qt Ice Vault

Blue strikes a great balance between the top end coolers like YETI, but still stays affordable. I love the addition of the wheels, and the pressure release valve makes this the best choice I've seen for using dry ice. That means you can take this out for 10 days or even longer.

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Durability

As a rotomolded cooler, the Blue 60 Quart Ice Vault is very sturdy. Because rotomolded coolers don’t have any seams, there are basically no places where they can break.

The weak points on any rotomolded cooler are the handles, drain plugs, and latches. 

I haven’t had any issues with the Blue 60, and I even dropped it when I was moving it and the latches stayed shut. 

The Blue 60 is a sturdy beast—I wouldn’t say it’s more durable than RTIC or YETI (in my experience, ORCA is the toughest of them all), but it’s plenty durable for any sort of adventure you have planned for it. 

And the wheels performed well on sand and dirt, which was my biggest concern. 

Portability

The only thing that could make this cooler more portable is a motor and a set of wheels for the front—drive that thing like a go-kart. 

While the Blue Coolers 60 Quart weighs 36.5lbs empty, having the pull bar and wheels on the back make it much easier to move around. 

And the wheels have a six-inch diameter, which is quite sizeable and allows the cooler to pass over decent sized rocks if you’re walking on a bumpy path.

If you compare the wheeled version of the 60 quart to the non-wheeled version (31lbs), I think the five extra pounds of weight are well worth the addition of the wheels. 

The stainless steel bar is also secure and sturdy, so it doesn’t feel like it’s going to fall off when you’re wheeling your cooler around, which is nice. I can’t say that’s true with all wheeled coolers. 

Features

Blue has loaded their cooler with all kinds of awesome features, and I think this is an area where Blue really stands out. 

Of course, you have the option to add wheels, which I think is a no-brainer. 

The Blue 60 Quart also features a drain spigot, a pressure release valve (so you can keep it air tight and still use dry ice—just release the valve every six hours or so until the dry ice is gone), plastic latch handles, stainless padlock plates on both sides that double as bottle openers, a rubber gasket, and molded tie down slots. Whew—that’s a mouthful. 

Blue Coolers is one of the only brands I’ve seen that have the pressure release valve, which I think is a really important addition in rotomolded coolers like this. Why? Because in most coolers with a rubber gasket, you can’t use dry ice. Dry ice sublimates (meaning it turns from solid to gas), and if you have an airtight cooler, the expanding gas can damage your cooler (or cause it to blow off the top). 

With the pressure release valve, you get the best of both worlds: you get an air-tight cooler, which is ideal for extending your ice retention and insulation, plus you can use dry ice, which can help you get into the 8-10 day range with frozen temperatures. 

Just make sure you open the pressure release valve every six hours or so to prevent damaging your new Blue if you’re using dry ice in your cooler. 

Blue Coolers

Blue Coolers has a few unique design elements, and their performance is up there with the best. Given their price (and their unique features), I think you're getting excellent value for your money with any of Blue's coolers.

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Blue Coolers 60 Quart Accessories

Blue also offers a decent array of accessories you can add on, including a dry goods basket, a divider that also doubles as a cutting board, a marine-grade topper, and spare parts. 

When I picked up my YETI Tundra 45, I was pretty stoked that it came with a dry goods basket as that makes packing for a trip so much easier. So I was a little disappointed that the Blue 60 didn’t include any of the extra accessories, but they still make it very affordable to add one when you’re buying. 

Still, YETI is 150% the price of the comparable Blue cooler, so I guess the basket addition isn’t that important.

YETI Tundra 45
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What do Other Reviewers Say?

With over 350 reviews averaging a 4.6-star rating on their site for the 60 quart, there are some important things to note from previous buyers. 

On the positive side, many reviewers noted that the Blue held up alongside much more expensive brands and did similarly well, but for much less.

Almost all the negative comments I read were from people disappointed that their ice didn’t last the full 10 days advertised by Blue. 

To be clear, you’d have to pull out all the stops to get your ice to last 10 days or longer—I got about two days of ice with my seven pound bag, and could’ve got cold temperatures for longer had I used more ice. It all depends on how much ice you use and the ambient temperature. 

Blue 60 Quart Ice Vault Cooler Alternatives

YETI Tundra 65

YETI Tundra 65
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The YETI Tundra 65 is the top of the line as far as 60-65 quart coolers are concerned. In the tests I’ve done previously with 20-25 quart coolers, YETI performed the best for insulation.

However, the YETI Tundra 65 won’t hold as many cans as the Blue 60 (YETI holds 45 cans, and Blue holds 50-55). With a YETI, your party will be slightly less raging. 

That said, YETI’s are extremely well built and very tough, and the brand does an excellent job building more lightweight coolers and making their designs as efficient as possible in terms of insulation and real-world use. 

YETI Tundra 65
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My Thoughts Overall On the Blue Coolers 60 Quart Ice Vault

What I Like

  • Blue has done a great job of loading this cooler with features to make it convenient to use. I like the plastic latches and the wheels are crucial.
  • The addition of a pressure release valve makes it possible to use dry ice even though the Blue is an air-tight cooler.
  • The hinges are easy to open and they lock down securely—I prefer this style of handle over the rubber t-handles than most other cooler brands feature.

What I Don’t Like

  • It’s quite heavy for a 60 quart cooler, and outweighs many competitors.

Who is the Blue Coolers 60 Quart for?

The Blue 60 Quart cooler is an excellent option if you’re looking to get a rotomolded cooler but you’re not sure you want to spend YETI levels of cash.

The Verdict

Blue Coolers surprised me with their 60 Quart Ice Vault. It’s a great road warrior and makes a perfect companion for camping trips and long car rides.

The insulation is comparable to the major brands like YETI and RTIC, and its price is closer to the low end for what you can expect from rotomolded coolers.

If you’re looking for a truly budget option, check out Igloo. You’ll sacrifice the cool features and you won’t get as much insulation, but you’ll save another 40-50%.

But if you’re planning on taking a trip this summer, and then next year, and the year after that, then investing in something sturdy like a rotomolded cooler is a fantastic idea.

Blue strikes a great balance between the top end coolers like YETI, but still stays affordable.

I love the latches because they’re easy to open with a single hand, and they stay firm even when dropped (and fully loaded with ice). The insulation isn’t out of this world: I’d say it’s in the same ballpark as YETI, RTIC, or ORCA.

But my favorite part is the pressure release valve. If I ever need to keep things cold for 5+ days, I can throw some dry ice into my Blue and not worry about blowing the lid off. Now that’s cool.

Blue Coolers 60 Qt Ice Vault

Blue strikes a great balance between the top end coolers like YETI, but still stays affordable. I love the addition of the wheels, and the pressure release valve makes this the best choice I’ve seen for using dry ice. That means you can take this out for 10 days or even longer.

Buy Now at Amazon Buy with Wheels at Blue Coolers
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

FAQs

Is the Blue Cooler any good?

Blue coolers are an excellent choice for rotomolded coolers. Their insulation isn’t better than other brands like YETI or RTIC (though it’s better than Igloo), but the features are where it’s at. I recommend the 60 quart cooler with wheels.

Are Blue Coolers bear proof?

If you add a pad lock onto your Blue cooler (they feature two stainless steel plates for that reason), then a bear shouldn’t be able to get inside your cooler. And because it’s rotomolded, a bear won’t be able to rip your cooler apart. So yes, Blue coolers are bear-proof.