If you are in the market for a large capacity cooler to take on a big game hunting trip, the options available in the market can be pretty intimidating. What do you go with? For most people, it’s a quality vs cost struggle. Trending coolers by companies like Yeti, boast great results but at sky high prices. Are there any other high quality coolers that can get the job done just as well without draining your bank account? We are happy to report that there is such a cooler. In this review we are going to take a close look at one of the best coolers on the market, the Mission 124 QT Cooler by Igloo.
The Build of the Mission 124 QT Cooler
Let’s go over the build; inside and out.
The outside of the Mission 124 QT measures in at 35.4″ x 19.7″ x 20.7″ and weighs around 32 pounds. The inside dimensions are 30.6 x 15.5″ x 14.9″ which is definitely large enough to accomodate the needs of any big game hunter.
The build of the Mission 124 QT Cooler is very solid. The plastic used is nice and thick providing an armor like shell that should withstand years of use. The cooler features a dual drain release. This is handy for when you need to slowly drain water from melting ice or quickly drain water at the end of your use.
The handles of the Mission 124 QT are nice and strong compared to the competition and allow for safe transporting of the cooler when its loaded. The handle’s metal frame also doubles as a tie down point and can be used as a bottle opener! Cheers!
The lid is lockable and features a handy fish ruler. The oversized latches are made out of metal and do a fantastic job of closing and securing the lid. The latches sit in a recessed channel that provides an excellent tie down path when tying down in a front to back manner.
The latches also work in tandem with one of our favorite features of this cooler….the food grade silicone rubber lid gasket.
This high quality lid gasket makes a huge difference. Not only does it ensure that the cold is kept in the cooler, but it also keeps the rain out. This has been a huge problem with lesser coolers in the past but not anymore.
The inside compartment of the Mission 124 QT features a FDA approved food grade liner. This is essential for storing large amounts of raw meat. Since the inside liner is a food grade liner, you can also brine large amounts of meat without any fear of contamination. Behind the liner and inside the lid is Igloo’s Ultratherm insulation that can provide up to 8 days of ice retention.
The Capacity of the Mission 124 QT Cooler
The capacity of the Mission 124QT is the main reason we acquired it for our Utah elk hunting trip. The Mission 124 QT advertises a maximum “can storage” capacity of an impressive 198 cans of your favorite beverage, but we were more concerned about how much of a quartered elk it could store.
During our hunt, we did harvest a 700+ pound cow elk and we were very satisfied by how much of the elk we could get into the cooler. We fit all four quarters (bone in) in the cooler and had some room to spare. Since we had two total coolers, we didn’t push the issue with cramming all of the meat into one cooler, but it is safe to say that if you did bone out the quarters, you could definitely fit an entire elk along with the needed ice into the Mission 124 QT.
The Performance of the Mission 124 QT Cooler
The performance of this cooler was outstanding. We harvested our elk on a Thursday and had it in the cooler for over 3 days until we processed it. We broke the golden rule of periodically checking the state of the ice during those 3 days, but even with letting valuable cold out of the cooler, we didn’t notice any melted ice. It performed as you would expect a cooler of triple it’s price to perform. Our first time use of the Igloo Mission 124QT solidified it’s position in our hunting gear permanently.
Final Thoughts on the Mission 124 QT Cooler
If you need a cooler to transport large amounts of meat for periods of up to 8 days, this is the cooler for you. It’s middle of the road pricing is a bargain when it delivers top of the line performance. From the build to the performance, there isn’t anything to really complain about.
We will actually be acquiring another Mission 124 QT for next years hunt after seeing how the second cooler we used (Coleman brand) not only let rain into the cooler while the lid was shut but also paled in comparison when evaluating ice/temperature retention. So in this battle of Igloo vs Coleman, Igloo won by a knockout for sure.
For more information on the Mission 124 QT and other coolers offered by Igloo, visit their website at https://www.igloocoolers.com.