If you haven’t heard of Outdoor Recreation Company of America (ORCA), this is a company you should check out. ORCA manufactures all of its products in the US, using only American-made components. The products for outdoor enthusiasts include a variety of coolers, drinkware, and apparel. Not only does ORCA believe in keeping their labor and production in the US, they also give back to a variety of charitable projects like Wounded Warrior programs, breast cancer programs, national conservation organizations, and local community groups.
I received a ORCA 26 Quart Cooler to try out. The first thing I noticed about the cooler was that it is hefty! It appears to be made to high standards and looks like it could take a fair amount of abuse and still hold up. However, I decided not to test my fancy new cooler by abusing it. When I first lifted the cooler I was surprised by its weight. Empty, it weighs 25 pounds! That was surprising to me, but after looking it over and doing a little research, I concluded that the weight had 2 reasons. First, it is well-made and intended for use in the outdoors, so it can’t be flimsy. Second, this cooler is well-insulated to keep things cool for a long time. The insulation means thick walls (almost 6 inches) that also add to the weight. Despite the weight, the long flex-grip handles, make this cooler easier to lift. I wish all coolers had handles like the ORCA. It made the cooler less awkward to lift and carry then those coolers with short little handles.
Another positive about this cooler is that the lid seals nicely. With a gasket under the lid and the rubber whale tales that lock it into place, this seals up tightly and securely. The secure seal and the insulation definitely help keep things cool for a long time. The website claims it will keep things cold for up to 10 days. While I didn’t have things in the cooler for that long, I did put a small chunk of ice and several drinks in the cooler for a few days. After 24 hours, the ice had a few little drips around it, but it was still basically solid! After 3 days, my drinks were still really cold even though most of the ice was melted. I was impressed.
With the ice melted, the spout easily unscrewed letting the water flow out quickly. The majority of the water emptied without having to tip the ice chest or flip it upside down to get it out. There was a small amount left next to the drain which was easy to dry out.
Overall, I appreciate the good construction of this cooler. I feel like it will last a long time. While I won’t be using this cooler if I have to carry it a long ways or move it around a lot – due to its weight – I will use it for activities when it can be put in one location and stay put for awhile. I will also use it when I need to keep things cool for a long time. I decided that this is the perfect cooler for if we happen to lose power during one of our crazy storms. Last year we were without power for 3 days and I lost everything in my fridge and freezer. Next time, I’ll be prepared with my ORCA Cooler! I would also recommend this cooler for use during relay races, camping, picnicking, and – of course – tailgating.
Product and Price: ORCA White 26 Quart Cooler, $219.99
Specs: 26 quarts, 5.4 gallons (holds up to 24 cans)
Outside Measurements – Length: 23 5/8″ Width: 17 3/4″ Height: 14 5/8
Inside Measurements – Length: 16 5/16″ Width: 11 1/8″ Height: 8 15/16″
Weight: 25 lbs
More About ORCA:
The idea of being able to offer hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts premium outdoor products made in the United States using American-made components at a competitive price prompted the creation of the Outdoor Recreation Company of America.
Cliff Walker, a veteran of the building and trade industry, and hardcore hunter decided to use his business acumen, passion for the outdoors and sense of pride in America to create a company that could produce what he couldn’t seem to find – at any price – high-end outdoor products made in the USA that performed as advertised. While it might seem hokey to some, he also wanted to find a way to put Americans back to work, and having ORCA products made in the USA was a way to do just that. The company’s first product was a cooler designed to withstand the rigors of rugged outdoor use by professional and novice alike and to perform far beyond the expectations of even the most critical outdoor enthusiast. ORCA coolers, made in America’s heartland, are the successful result. ORCA, however, isn’t just about selling product. The company recognizes its corporate responsibility and the need to give back to those who have helped make it successful. In that vein, the sale of ORCA products helps give back to conservation groups, wounded warrior programs, breast cancer research and many other great causes.
Thank you to ORCA for providing us with a cooler. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.