Test 1: 7 lbs of Ice, 24 Hours
As in my previous Yeti vs. OtterBox cooler test, I first set each cooler outside for 24 hours to adjust to the outdoor temperature. Then I added ice to each cooler, closed each tightly, and set each cooler outside for 24 hours on sun-facing side of my house in the North Carolina heat.
In the first test, I added 7 lbs. of ice to each cooler. For the first 24-hour testing period, the outside temperature ranged from a high of 84 to a low of 68 at night with an average humidity of 70% and wind speed of 7 m.p.h.
But the more I looked at this test, the more I realized this was the wrong approach.
The IceMule is a beast of a cooler, holding 30 liters and weighing 7.5 lbs empty. The Orca, on the other hand, is less than half that size. My first test put the big coolers, with more air volume and more surface area, at a disadvantage. (Even so: When controlling for volume, the IceMule had the best insulation power, and the Orca was the most efficient pound-for-pound.) So I ran a different test.
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