The Orion 45 is an impressive cooler that’s highly durable. It also retains cold extremely efficiently without accumulating an excessive amount of water at the same time.
As far as coolers go, the Orion 45 ranks with the very best that we’ve examined, especially for people who enjoy taking their cooler along for hikes.
About the Product
The Orion 45 Cooler clocks in at 27 x 17.5 x 18.5 inches, meaning that it isn’t the largest cooler on the market. However, the Orion is also very far from the smallest cooler -- its size is formidable, and you won’t be wanting more space unless you are a very aggressive hunter or fisher. Overall, the Orion 45 should be considered a luxury cooler with luxury features.
What We Like Best
There are a lot of reasons why we think the Orion 45 is an excellent cooler. However, in our minds, there are a few attributes which stand out to us, including:
The sturdiness of the Orion 45 is difficult to overstate. While the exterior is easy to scratch, much like most other coolers, the internal compartment is nearly impregnable.
The plastic tray within the cooler is also extremely impressive. When you want to remove the tray, you can easily do so by popping it out of its slot. This means that you won’t need to repack the entire cooler when you want to top off the ice or change up the cooling solution in the bottom shelf.
Similarly, the rope handles on the Orion 45 mean that you’ll never have to worry about the handles snapping off when you’re carrying a heavy load. On the off chance that your Orion’s hiking rope handles fray, you can replace them very easily, meaning that the unit will not be a total loss.
The drain plugs on the Orion 45 are also exceptionally effective. Unlike other coolers, the Orion 45 has multiple plugs, meaning that if there is a lot of water accumulated you can drain it all at once rather than waiting for the water to flow out through a single small drain.
At the same time, the drain plugs on the Orion are insulated so that you won’t lose all of the cold stored within the cooler when you need to top off the ice or get rid of excess water.
For long trips where water accumulation might be an issue, the drain plugs are one of the cooler’s core features.
However, the cooler also has a handful of non-core features which are worth mentioning. The cooler is equipped
with several bottle openers which are installed along the trim.
This means that if you and your friends want to pack the cooler with beers before a long trip, you won’t need to remember to bring a bottle opener, nor will you need to share the same bottle opener when it’s time to crack open a few brews.
Finally, the YakAttack mounting system on the exterior of the cooler makes for a great way to carry excess gear.
What We Don't Like
While we think the Orion 45 is an excellent cooler overall, there are a couple of things which we would change about it if we had the chance. In particular, we think that the ice retention of the Orion 45 is subpar when compared to similarly priced models.
The price of the Orion 45 is also something which we have a hard time with. While we think that the Orion 45 is a worthwhile purchase for your cooling needs and that it’s worth the price, it’s still a lot to ask for.
Thus, you should recognize that when you purchase the Orion 45 cooler, you’re purchasing a top-of-the-line cooler that is priced accordingly. You’ll be buying high quality, but paying for it when you may not necessarily need the quality that the cooler provides.
The Orion 45 was named one of our picks for the best coolers made in the USA
That wraps up our roundup of the Orion 45. We think that the Orion 45 is an excellent cooler choice, especially if you plan on making use of its rope handles and its sturdy build quality.
Be sure to check out our interview with the head of Orion Coolers to see why we have so much faith in the Orion brand if you’re still not sure whether the Orion 45 is the right cooler for your needs.