ORCA Cooler Review [Updated – 2020]

ORCA Heavy Duty Rotomolded Cooler

4.6

Ice Retention

4.7/5

Durability

4.6/5

Portability

4.6/5

Features

4.5/5

Value

4.5/5

Pros

  • Durable roto-molded construction.
  • Longer ice retention capacity (2-8 days).
  • Wide variety of colors.
  • IGBC certified bear resistant cooler.
  • Made in USA.
  • Lifetime warranty.

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • No wheeled cooler.

ORCA, the Outdoor Recreation Company of America, started its journey in 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. They manufacture hard roto-molded cooler, soft-sided cooler, tumbler, and customizable cooler according to the customer’s demand.

ORCA coolers are made for campers, fishers, hunters, and anybody who wants to keep things cold during their outdoor trips. With a straightforward design, durable construction, superior ice retention capacity, and lifetime warranty, they become one of the largest competitors in the premium cooler industry.

In this ORCA cooler review, we will explain what’s good and bad about these coolers. This ultimate guide will help you to better understand the functions and quality of these coolers.

Cooler Line Up

ORCA offers a complete range of hard-sided rotomolded coolers to choose from. They also have some soft-sided cooler, backpack cooler, and tumbler. Besides, they offer customizable coolers to fulfill customer’s demands.

orca cooler lineup

The hard-sided coolers are available in 20 Quart, 26 Quart, 40 Quart, 58 Quart, and 140 Quart internal volume. So, it is a nice size selection of small, medium, and large coolers.

Ice Life of ORCA Coolers

Ice retention time is the key feature to look when investing in a premium roto-molded cooler like ORCA. Cheap cooler brands like Igloo or Coleman is known to have less insulation capacity than the roto-molded cooler. ORCA coolers, on the other hand, are designed to have greater ice holding capacity.

According to ORCA, these coolers can hold ice for up to 10 days while using the optimal settings. If you are experienced in using a portable cooler, you may know that the actual ice life varies from what companies usually advertise. However, to find out the real ice retention time, it’s better to check them manually. Before going to that, let’s have a look at some of the various features of ORCA coolers:

ORCA coolers are made using roto-molded polyethylene construction. This is the most effective construction process for a cooler. The single-piece shell minimizes any leak path and ensures better insulation. The thickness of the walls is around 2 to 2.5 inches which are average for premium coolers. What we liked most about these coolers is the thickness is similar in all sides. Having 3-inch thick walls in all sides and only 1 inch think on the lid ultimately reduces the usefulness of thick walls. ORCA did a great job of making thick walls on their cooler. And, this leads to the ORCA coolers keeping ice cold for a longer time than other coolers on the market.

Along with thick walls, the thick gasket is also necessary for improving the ice retention time of a cooler. ORCA uses a heavy-duty rubber gasket between the lid and the walls. The gasket ensures a very nice seal and prevents outside air from getting inside the cooler. Cooler having a thin gasket creates leak path and this ultimately reduces the ice life.

rubber gasket

Like most premium coolers, ORCA utilizes T-style latches on the lid which creates an extremely tight seal and prevents any airflow inside the cooler. T-latches are the industry standard and most of the premium rotomolded cooler comes with this kind of latches. One difference we noticed on the latches is that the “T” portion looks like a whale’s tail which is actually ORCA’s trademark symbol. However, you don’t need to worry about this change because it will not impact on the efficiency of the latches.

orca t-style latches

The combination of durable roto-molded construction, oversized rubber gasket, and T-style latches result in better insulation no matter which model you choose.

In addition to all these, some other accessories might increase the ice life of ORCA coolers. You can use ORCA IceBlox and dry goods basket while packing. This will improve the overall performance of these coolers.

The ice life of ORCA coolers is great for a premium cooler. You can expect to have ice retention of anywhere between 2 days to 8 days. The insulation depends on which model you choose.

Related Reviews: Lifetime Cooler Review

Design & Construction

As we mentioned earlier, ORCA coolers are made of rotomolded plastic construction. There are two reasons why a rotomolded plastic exterior is good for cooler. First of all, it is not as precious as other coolers. So, you don’t have to treat this cooler so delicately. Even if the cooler is placed in the rear of the truck or dragged to the boat, the stronger sides and corners can resist cracking.

orca cooler design

The insulation is also better in a rotomolded cooler. Inside the plastic, an integrated insulation layer keeps beverages and food cold for several days. Also, the lid gasket helps prevent any hot air from leaking and maintains a consistent temperature even when you open and close the lid.

One of the good things about ORCA cooler is that all the model comes with several colors. The overall design of the ORCA cooler is very simple. There are few external features other than the mesh cargo net (we like it) and the T-latch (shaped into the shape of the Orca trademark).

The casing itself is very flat, with only subtle outlines on the front, back, and sides. Therefore, when you hear us say that the visual appeal of ORCA coolers is one of its strongest selling points, you may be surprised!

Although the body itself is very simple, you have to option to choose from a variety of colors. You can choose up to 7 different design categories, depending on the size of the ORCA cooler you choose: classic, camo, collegiate, hero, licensed, lifestyle, and team.

  1. Classic: The “Classic” model cooler comes with classic solid colors, including white, black, green, orange, pink, blue, etc. This huge variety of colors surpasses most other cooler brands.
  2. Camouflage: You may have guessed that “Camouflage” is a cooler covered by camo. There are several different models to choose from, including A-Tac, Kryptek, Desolve, etc.
  3. Collegiate: These cooler from ORCA carry the logos of different college sports teams, you can choose from a variety of options, so you can get the ideal cooler that matches the sports team.
  4. Hero: These coolers recognizes EMS and emergency personnel in the United States, which is essential to ensure the safety and life of us and the entire country.
  5. Licensed: The official NRA (National Rifle Association) and NWTF (National Wild Turkey Federation) logos are printed on these coolers. These are also available in several different colors.
  6. Lifestyle: The American flag is printed on the top of the cover of this series, which is also available in various colors on the cooler shell.
  7. Team: These coolers have the color of your favorite team, but do not have to contain the official team logo. The color of the shell and the lid are different, so no matter where you go, you can proudly display the color of the team. You can also add your desired logo on the cooler.

What Makes the ORCA Coolers so Special?

ORCA offers some very cool features that make it a high performing cooler. As part of our ORCA cooler review, we are going to discuss some of the features that make these coolers different from its competitors:

Durable Construction

The ORCA coolers are constructed using the toughest rotomolded technology, which means that your cooler will be lighter than other coolers, but more durable, and there are no weak points that will crack or loose over time.

Versatile Design

Orca coolers are made for almost anyone like campers, hunters, fishermen, moms, and anyone else. Thanks to multiple colors, patterns, logos, and options for custom design, as well as various size options. There is no doubt that everyone can find their ideal cooler in ORCA’s store.

Customization

Since ORCA produces all products internally, you can order any color, pattern, color combination, or log to get the ideal personalized cooler that you can carry and use anywhere. ORCA offers more than 100 different color combinations, as well as full-color printing, water immersion, or laser engraving.

Lifetime Warranty

ORCA is one of the very few cooler manufacturers that provides a lifetime warranty for every part of the cooler. You will get a lifetime warranty on the cooler itself as well as rubber feet, rubber latches and rope handles.

Most of the companies provide 3-10 years of warranty for their cooler. If a lifetime warranty is provided, it usually only includes the main body of the cooler and does not include the most easily broken things such as rope handles or rubber latches. Luckily, ORCA is offering a lifetime warranty for all the parts of the cooler.

Manufactured in the USA

As we mentioned earlier, ORCA stands for the Outdoor Recreation Company of America. All ORCA coolers are manufactured in the United States. The company manufactures various parts of the cooler in the United States, unlike many other manufacturers who outsource their production overseas to reduce the production costs. It is very important for everyone who wants to ensure that they are buying the highest quality products made of the highest quality materials and that meet the international standards.

Features

No matter which ORCA cooler you choose to buy, you can find the following very cool features in your new cooler:

  • Non-Slip Rubber Feet: The non-slip rubber feet at the bottom mean that the cooler will stay in place in the trunk or rear of the truck and will not move.
  • Commercial-grade Gaskets: Commercial-grade rubber gaskets move around the inside of the lid to prevent cold air from entering and exhausting warm air.
  • Rubber Latches: The rubber latch ensures a tight seal to the cooler, so it does not emit cold air.
  • Extendable Grip Handle: The extendable flexible grip handle makes it easy for one or two people to carry the cooler. You can extend them if needed.
  • Cargo Net Attachment: ORCA adds a cool cargo net on the back of the cooler, so you can store excess stuff in it. You may store your phone and keys there during a day trip, or a corkscrew or some dry food.
  • Certified Bear-Proof Cooler: A cooler with a padlock protects against flaming, ensuring that your food and drinks are not injured by grizzlies. All ORCA coolers are IGBC certified bear-resistant. So, you don’t need to worry about grizzly bears while camping.
  • Drain Spout: Finally, the standard 1-inch spout can easily drain melted water from the cooler after use. It reduces the time of cleaning the cooler.

Accessories

ORCA offers some accessories to enhance the performance of a cooler. Wire baskets can store smaller items in the cooler, so they won’t get lost in all ice cubes. No slide top can provide a safer storage surface on the top when transporting the cooler. There are also various latches and locks, and different kinds of feet so that you can create and fix the cooler in your way.

orca cooler accessories

One thing we liked about the ORCA series is that you can customize the cooler if you want. Please contact the company with detailed information, but the minimum order quantity is 24 coolers, which is enough for most people.

Price

ORCA coolers are expensive. This is to be expected in the advanced cooler tier, but if you decide to use one of the premium coolers on your regular outing, ORCA will tilt towards the top.

Should you Buy ORCA Cooler?

In our opinion, this is all we can offer you; ORCA coolers can never go wrong with you. They come with all the functions and features of other competitors’ coolers, with great insulation capacity and better prices. Plus, the lifetime warranty is unbeatable. We recommend ORCA coolers with 100% confidence, in case they have any problems, the company will help you anytime.

Verdict

We give ORCA a perfect score of 4.6 out of 5. We will give it more, but we hope to see more capacity choices, not just color choices. ORCA is an excellent brand of coolers that can withstand our awkwardness when outdoors. Multiple colors allow you to choose something that suits your style.

If you are looking for a premium rotomolded cooler with crazy ice retention capacity on the market, then there is no doubt that the ORCA cooler is your best choice. Although companies like YETI may be more popular, many people will even argue that ORCA Cooler can do everything that YETI can do, and even more, and the price is usually cheaper.

Therefore, it is easy for us to tell you that recommending the ORCA cooler is effortless. This is an investment and you will be very happy once you have it.