I saw the UPS mail delivery email confirmation on my computer. It read “left at door.” I felt like a kid chasing after Santa as I opened my door to see the Brute Bison 150 Qt. Cooler. It was massive. It was majestic. And it was mine! How could a guy get so excited about the purchase of normal, day-to-day type of item?
The Bison 150 Qt. Cooler is massive and it weighs about 100 lbs. empty. This may sound like a hinderance but I look it as a benefit because of the sound and solid construction. I saw an advertisement on the company page where they put the Bison 150 under a front truck tire and it kept its shape. I thought that they must’ve filled it with concrete, when I saw it the first time. I had to see this cooler in action. I stood atop its frame and jumped up as high as I could. Surprisingly, I landed without crack or dent to the cooler. I repeated this exercise a half-dozen times with the same result.
We are moving aboard our boat in a couple of weeks and we are headed towards the Caribbean. We have a refrigerator/ freezer on our boat but it isn’t too big. We knew we needed a large and robust cooler to take care of our groceries. We will also be catching lobster, crab and fish daily and we needed something big enough to store our catches. I think the Bison 150 will store a few things!
I originally wanted to do research to confirm that the best product was the overly expensive and elusive Yeti 150. We live in Austin, Texas (where Yeti is based) and in Texas- the size of your Yeti get’s you bragin’ rights. It turns out that the Yeti isn’t even made in America and the construction is much poorer than the Bison. It is made somewhere in the Philippines, assembled by tiny men with small hands. The contrast in the construction is actually well-documented on the Internet. Why would construction matter? #1 To protect your investment, stupid. #2 So’s it won’t break and be used as a bathtub in your momma’s house. #3 Because ‘Merica’, that’s why.
Speaking of ‘Merica, Bison’s are all made right here in the great state of Texas! I spoke to several people at Bison and they were all friendly and knowledgeable about their products. Bison has dealers throughout the US but I couldn’t find any at any sporting goods stores around Austin. I called a couple of dealers and they didn’t have the 150 in stock. I was about to be discouraged but I hung in there and ordered it from the factory, that is outside of Dallas. On the downside, it cost me $98 to have it shipped to my house but I could see that the shipping price was reasonable because of its sheer size. I could fit my wife and kids inside of the thing! I had to pay tax because I was a Texas resident, although non-residents will likely avoid this expense. It should be noted that from order to receiving the cooler was less than a 24 hour turnaround time!
On the upside, the people at Bison care about Military and first-responders. They gave 15% off, through a manually generated system that they keep in-house. If you are military, law enforcement or fire, you email them a copy of your ID and they send you your code. I appreciated this step because anyone says anything to get a discount. I was happy to send a picture of my military ID for $97 off! They sent me an Internet link that I could publish where anyone would get $15 off Brute Bison Coolers of their purchase of coolers and accessories.
Bison makes a variety of coolers that will suit anyones needs and the overall cost of them is only 60% of that of Yeti. I think that the construction will suit us, in our cruising lifestyle. The coolers are said to keep ice for 5 days and I believe it, based on the construction I observed. I like the dual drain plugs on opposite sides of the cooler so I don’t have to tip it for it to drain. I love the divider, which splits it in half. I love the metal tray that covers 1/3 of the cooler and keeps stuff dry. It looks like it would hold several days food.
Here is my cost breakdown:
Bison 150 Qt. Cooler- $549, Metal Dry Goods Tray $79, Cooler Divider $18, Shipping $98