I have both Techni Ice and Waeco Cool-Ice iceboxes (cooler, esky, ice chest or chilli bin). I conducted a test to compare which icebox held ice the longest and, much to my surprise, found that they performed equally well. I was sure that there was going to be a clear winner!
The Techni Ice iceboxes receive rave reviews by many happy customers on the internet. I have used my 40 litre Techni Ice icebox on several camping trips. I used to have two Techni Ice iceboxes, but I gave the 60 litre icebox away because it was too large for my needs. It was too heavy for a single person to lift when full and took up too much space in the back of my car.
I recently purchased a Waeco Cool-Ice icebox WCI-42 (which curiously is 41 litres) as a second icebox based on Waeco’s reputation producing in-car and mobile fridges.
Having two iceboxes of different brands, I was interested to know whether the Waeco Cool-Ice or Techni Ice icebox performed best.
Techni Ice vs Waeco Cool-Ice test
I conducted a test to see which kept ice the longest — the Techni Ice or the Waeco Cool-Ice. My test methodology was:
- two bags of party ice in each icebox
- opened twice a day to inspect
- drained of water and photographed once a day around 4pm
- swap positions each day to eliminate any minor environmental differences.
This test was not designed to test the absolute length of time either icebox could hold ice. Let’s face it. Anyone can get ice to last 15 days or longer if they are in Tasmania in the middle of winter! There are also many variables as to how long you get ice to last — pre-cooling the icebox, using block ice vs party ice, using a damp towel over the ice, relative volume of ice to food, how many times you open the icebox, and the list goes on.
A more informative test is of the relative ice keeping capabilities in a given set of environmental conditions. In this case, two bags of party ice in Brisbane in August with winter average temperatures in the range 9.5 – 25.8 °C.
In theory, the Techni Ice should have a slight advantage over the Waeco Cool-Ice. The Techni Ice is deeper relative to its volume than the Waeco Cool-Ice giving better thermal efficiency. The Waeco Cool-Ice is also 41 litres, the Techni Ice is 40 litres. I used the same amount of ice in each icebox so the Techni Ice had a slight advantage over the Waeco Cool-Ice in the ice to volume ratio in the test. The Waeco Cool-Ice, on the other hand is a lighter colour, meaning that it does not absorb as much heat. There are white and yellow versions of the Techni Ice iceboxes available, but the one I own is blue.
Techni Ice vs Waeco Cool-Ice test result
As you can see, both the Techni Ice and Waeco Cool-Ice iceboxes kept ice for a similar amount of time, so the decision really comes down to a review of price and design. In my opinion, the key differentiating points for review are the following.
|Techni Ice Classic (40 litres)||Waeco Cool-Ice WCI-42 (41 litres)|
|Deeper, giving better thermal efficiency||Wider, allowing easier access to food|
|Skids moulded on the bottom — I often drag my icebox around the camp site||Moulded feet may not be so easy to drag around camp site|
|Rugged moulded handles, but can be difficult to pack around in the car||Handles fold flat on side of icebox making it easier to pack around in the car, but handles are possibly more prone to damage|
|Tap-thread-size drain plug||Captive drain plug to stop you losing it around the camp site|
|Rope holds lid open preventing damage to hinges||Lid is reliant on hinges to keep it open|
|Quad latches, but I never use the bungee hooks||Bungee latches work well|
|Lid intrudes into the storage area when closed, making it difficult to judge how full you can pack the icebox||Lid is level with the top sides, so it is easier to judge how full you can pack the icebox|
|Dual airlock seal||Labyrinth seal design|
|I have stood on mine (I am 80 kg) and used it as a seat||I have used it as a seat — perhaps one day I will stand on it too|
|Lifetime guarantee||5 year warranty|
|$99.00 from Techni Ice + $15.00 delivery to Queensland ($299.00 recommended retail) – try eBay too||$127.95 from Down Under Camping ($179.00 recommended retail)|
In the end, the iceboxes delivered similar performance. Both the Techni Ice and Waeco Cool-Ice are great iceboxes, so the decision really is up to price and design features — the choice is yours!
What is your favourite icebox? Tell me in the comments box below.