Igloo Trailmate Marine Review Tested by GearLab

Igloo seemed poised to take on brands like Yeti at an affordable price. This is a cool-looking product that will stand out next to most other brands and models. The combination of the huge wheels, eye-popping aluminum framing, and progressive paint job makes this a really attractive ice chest. You have a few colors to choose from and we think that all of them look great. But where the Trailmate shines is in its mobility and features.

The Trailmate Journey features an included dry food basket, storage compartment, fishing rod slots, and a massive interior space. GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. These two round discs are the most redeeming feature of the whole cooler.

The competition for the Trailmate consists of rotomolded coolers with superior ice retention. They also come from superior brands and cost significantly more. However, if you would love a cooler with the kind of features that you get on the Trailmate, then it is definitely worth buying.

We like both products and feel that it boils down to the individual. If you are simply after an ice chest with the longest ice life and most impressive build quality (and have a very large budget), then stick to Yeti. But if you need something more mobile and plan on doing a lot of entertaining, the Trailmate should be on your list. A few factors are holding these coolers back igloo soft cooler from significantly longer ice life. They include a lack of rotomolded insulation, a lack of thick rubber gasket, and lack of a more advanced latch system that creates a tighter seal. And for some added space to serve food or drinks that are stored in the cooler, the Igloo Trialmate Cooler comes with a modular butler tray that can be laid directly on top of the aluminum handle.

igloo trailmate

To help with body toughness and ice life, Igloo has installed a thick layer of Ultratherm insulation in addition to its patented Cool Riser Technology. While we sort of wish that they would have gone with Rotomolded construction, this process would have likely greatly increased the size, weight, and cost of the cooler. With no latches to mess with, the Trailmate is fairly easy to open when you want some of its contents. It does require a good push down to close it all the way, but that requires less effort than many other coolers, rather a conscious thought to remember to do so before all the ice melts. The telescoping trolley handle is easy to slide in and out when you need it. It also doubles as a front handle for those few occasions you may actually need to pick your cooler up.

You will receive a shipping confirmation e-mail once your order has shipped. The e-mail will provide your tracking number and link to the shipping carriers tracking page. Overall, it tackled the trail, even fully loaded with ice and beer, in remarkable fashion. Igloo Coolers have always been known for their attractive price points. While they typically won’t have the level of performance of higher ends brands like Yeti, RTIC, Orca, etc., they have always struck a happy balance between cost and usability. In the case of the Trailmate Marine, it comes with special UV inhibitors built into the wall.

As you probably would expect, the tests using more ice did better.

And while all models will come with the features listed above, there are a couple of additional features you will find on certain models and not on the others. With the Igloo Glide telescopic handle system and oversized smooth-ride wheels, the Trailmate is not only practical but ergonomic and easy to transport. You’ll get long-lasting, extended ice retention with the Trailmate, thanks to the THERMECOOL™ (it’s eco-friendly!) insulated lid/body and Cool Riser Technology®.

We tested pulling and pushing the cooler when filled to capacity with ice and the over sized wheels and handle rolled without issue. Igloo also includes a tray/cutting board which lays on top of the extended handled. When the tray not in use, this can be placed on the inside of the cooler lid. Journey 70 Cooler – Gray/Black – With Trailmate, nothing gets in fun’s way.

This added space makes the Igloo the only wheeled cooler we tested that we never hit our heels on – a pretty big deal. And while we greatly appreciate this fact, we feel that the Trailmate still can’t quite live up to the smooth ride we got from coolers with air-filled tires. We should also add that the telescoping handle doesn’t have a smooth action — it definitely doesn’t feel high quality or built to last a decade. The big things missing from making this cooler excel in ice retention are not being rotomolded and not utilizing a large rubber gasket. This allows a bit more cold air to escape than we would have hoped. That being said, the inclusion of thick walls, Cool Riser Technology, and Ultratherm insulation do help make up for some of this.