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Escape Pod Cooler - unscientific test
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Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Escape Pod Cooler - unscientific test on 06/18/2013 17:44:25 MDT Print View

Got my Simple Outdoor Store escape pod cooler yesterday. So I put two 500ml bottles of water in the fridge last night, and one in the freezer. Put the pod in the fridge.

This morning I put the three bottles in the cooler, closed it up, and put it in the back of my car, not in direct sunlight, at 6:30 a.m. Went to work. Left it in the car, and the car windows completely closed, all day. Temps outside got around 80 degrees.

Left work around 6 p.m. Checked the water in the cooler. The frozen bottle was still about a quarter frozen (a bobbing frozen 'baton' in the middle of the ice cold water), the two unfrozen water bottles were still very cool. I don't know that I'd say cold, but I didn't measure exact temps. Were I to be drinking them after a long day on the trail they would have been exceptionally refreshing! The outside of the cooler was dry - it did not 'sweat.'

I'm pretty impressed!

Chad "Stick" Poindexter
(Stick) - F

Locale: Wet & Humid Southeast....
Re: Escape Pod Cooler - unscientific test on 06/18/2013 18:12:53 MDT Print View

Doug, thanks for sharing your results. These look pretty interesting, but I don't have one yet. I have some of the the Outsaks that they make though and they have all been quality items. As well, Dave has been a great guy to deal with.

David Brandenberg
(daveinflag) - F

Locale: High Desert
Escape Pod Test. THANKS. on 06/20/2013 06:51:25 MDT Print View


Thanks for sharing. Trust that the escape Pod has been field tested. We started in February in Death Valley. It wasn't death valley hot, but it was 80+ degrees outside.
The Escape Pod also works as a wonderful insulator in winter.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Re: Escape Pod Cooler - unscientific test on 06/20/2013 16:42:50 MDT Print View

"(a bobbing frozen 'baton' in the middle of the ice cold water)"

Doug where did that water come from, did the bottles leak or something? That frozen water bottle was the only ice in there, right?

My Pods came today, and they're quite promising. Nice design, and well made. I started thinking about how I could use some ice with it, without making a leaky mess. maybe use something like those hotel ice bucket liners? Then it hit me--a gallon size ZipLoc freezer bag fits perfectly inside, with room for 4 beers and some ice. The bag is tall enough such that it can then be zipped. I think this might work well.

Now, to find some fool that'll carry it for me.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Escape Pod Cooler - unscientific test on 06/20/2013 16:49:30 MDT Print View

"Doug where did that water come from, did the bottles leak or something? That frozen water bottle was the only ice in there, right?"

Yeah, sorry, I guess I didn't explain that very well. The frozen water bottle had partially melted, but not completely. So the frozen water bottle was now a bottle with ice-cold water in it, with a core of ice bobbing about in the middle. No water was 'loose' in the pod.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Escape Pod Cooler - unscientific test on 06/20/2013 16:56:57 MDT Print View

Now I get it, Doug. That was my bad, not yours.

Another ice idea: Dave just e-mailed me to let me know about freezing water in those small Gatorade bottles. He mentioned that he could keep 5 beers chilled for quite awhile with just one of those bottles.

(Disclaimer--no Re: was harmed during the writing this e-mail)

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Escape Pod Cooler on 06/20/2013 17:39:30 MDT Print View

Where can we learn more about this Escape Pod Cooler. I looked at the Simple Outdoor Store website but didn't see anything... Any help?

Sounds like a promising solution to carrying in cold beer on a leisurely trip...

Edited by NickB on 06/20/2013 18:52:49 MDT.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Escape Pod Cooler on 06/20/2013 18:51:18 MDT Print View

Doug, sounds like it works good enough. If you wanted to make it a bit more scientific...just pack the same bottles (one frozen, one chilled) inside the bag and have another frozen/chilled combo outside of the bag (maybe in a ziploc to maintain proximity) and see how differently they warm up.

Either way, thanks for the early feedback!

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
@ Nico on 06/20/2013 19:02:18 MDT Print View

Nico -

Send an email to Dave at, tell him you're in great need of a cooler thingie, and he'll take care of you. They cost $25 for one, and $45 for two.

For just info, go here:

and wander around!

Edited by grampa on 06/20/2013 19:03:39 MDT.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Escape Pod Cooler - unscientific test on 06/20/2013 20:12:59 MDT Print View

Looks like an interesting option to be aware of. It is, of course, reflecting IR off the outside and has some R-value through the bubble-pack. I've used that material in a few projects and I snag that reflectix material whenever I find it for free.

A few tricks:

Freeze your water bottle tilted at 45 degrees, with about 10% air inside. Leave the cap ajar. Then the expansion from water to ice won't deform your plastic water bottle as much.

Once you've got your ice-filled bottles frozen and have frozen your food / smoked salmon / sperm sample, put everything in the cooler and put the whole cooler in the freeze. If you have a regular fridge/freeze combo, that's as much as you can do (setting the thermostat lower will freeze your lettuce). But if you have a stand-alone freezer (all Alaskans are required, by law, to have three freezer per household), dial one of them to the coldest setting.

For rather impressive, improved performance, wrap the cooler in a fleece pullover, a trash bag, and then another fleece or pile jacket. I often transport several pounds of frozen salmon 2,000 miles over 8-10 hours, with NO other insulation and it is still soft-frozen at the other end.

Advanced trick: If you want to keep some like ice cream frozen, fill those plastic bottles with 80% water and 20% salt by weight. They will freeze/thaw about 10-15F, and all the brine will have to melt before any of the ice cream melts. You can have frozen (albeit slightly soft) ice cream 6-7 hours from home, based on Doug field test of the cooler. A thermocouple or wireless thermometer lets you track the temperature in the cooler and decide when you HAVE TO have an ice cream break on your road trip.

David Brandenberg
(daveinflag) - F

Locale: High Desert
Escape Pod suggestions on 06/21/2013 10:41:25 MDT Print View

Escape Pod suggestions

These are 3 items that I have used to keep my Escape Pod cold ALL DAY!!

The small gatorade bottle works best. It allows for the largest hunk of ice and you can drink it once you thaw it. Those little bottles freeze well.

The frog comes along on kid trips and the blue block is available everywhere. We had a field tester use a frozen dinner as an cold source.

That's a happy frog. You can tell by the smile. Are those jazz hands?

Edited by daveinflag on 06/21/2013 10:43:51 MDT.

Brian Johns

Locale: NorCal
Order Placed on 06/21/2013 12:59:34 MDT Print View

Thanks! David was super easy to deal with and same day shipping can't be beat. Looking forward to getting a lot of miles out of mine while fishing up at clear lake next weekend.

David Brandenberg
(daveinflag) - F

Locale: High Desert
Escape Pod timelapse on 07/02/2013 08:43:10 MDT Print View

We did a timelapse field test. Escape was placed in full sun for 9 hours, with 2 other coolers and temperature probes. 1 probe in each cooler, 1 measuring air temp.

This is a short preview of the full test. The full test video will go from test setup, 9 hours of full exposure, all the way to cracking open the bottles inside.

Full version is uploading today. Its long, we have a cruddy connection, so it may not be ready until tomorrow.