The K2 Coolers Summit series of ice chests has surprised me during my research. Why you might ask? Because of two different things. One because the entire series is designed and built with almost identical features to other top cooler lines like Yeti, Grizzly, and Pelican but it’s just over half the price of Yeti and offers similar discounts to the other two major brands. Secondly because the series is offered in 8 different sizes which I will detail in this review. That means I found out there is a K2 cooler in your exact size and color option with all the top design features that you can own for about half what you’d pay for a Yeti today.
[toc]Don’t worry, I’m going to detail everything about the entire K2 Summit Cooler line in this review. By the time we’re done you will know what makes them different from blow molded coolers and how they hold up to anything because of this design difference. I’m also including descriptions and user ideas for every available K2 Summit part and accessory you can find for your new cooler. These appear in bold print with links to check them out and are scattered throughout the individual cooler sections.
I’m going to explain every detail of each size ice cooler including the exterior and interior sizes, how much they will hold, and even how much they weigh. I will also explain some security options to lock your contents and anchor your investment in place. By the end you’ll also have information on the special addition Ducks Unlimited, Just for Bucks, and Just for Does versions and even the special Collage sports Tailgater additions.
This K2 Cooler Summit series review is going to be packed with every possible K2 Summit detail. The best part might be the side by side table with every cooler listed with all details in one place and links to check the lowest internet price on every cooler including the special addition models.
K2 Summit Built-in Features
You might be thinking that at half the price of a Yeti cooler there must be a lot of difference like cheaper features in the K2 series? At least that was what I thought before I began researching them in great detail. I was surprised to learn that they all use very similar construction methods and key features which I will describe here.
Roto Molded Construction
I think one of the main things that makes K2 better than most is the use of Roto Molded construction on all their coolers. Roto molded is a little hard to explain without pictures. First let me explain that most regular coolers are made with blow molded technology. See the example of blow molded plastic in the picture I found. When it comes to Roto molded design two things are very different. First the method used to create these K2 coolers ends up with a full 1/8” thick one-piece wall construction on both the inner and outer wall of the cooler.
This means that there is about ¼” of total solid plastic in the wall and lid design. But K2 didn’t stop there, then they added up to 3” of SNOWblown™ high density foam between the two layers of solid plastic. This does two things. First it forms an almost indestructible solid wall and second it adds up to R-21 insulating value to every area of every cooler. I live in Iowa with subzero Iowa winters and that’s as much insulation as we build in house walls. (My day job)
So you end up with a cooler built like a tank, imagine this is the same materials they make hockey rink walls and white water kayak shells out of. Combine that with all the SNOWblown™ insulation and you have an ice chest capable of staying frozen for days. This is a good place to mention that because the K2 Summit series is built so tuff, you will be able to use Dry Ice for extended ice life without the worry of damaging the cooler walls. Imagine being out on a fishing trip for a few days and being able to ice your catch for days without worrying about ice melt. If you’re a fisherman you might like the optional deep or shallow aluminum tray option available for the 50 and 70-quart models for holding your catch. They are designed to sit right on the ice for food or bait and you can even stack multiple trays in the cooler.
Yeti talks about their FATWALL™ design with up to 3” of Permafrost foam which is a comparable match to the 3” of K2 high density SNOWblown™ polyurethane foam.
What good is extra cooling if heat seeps in through the lid area? IceVault™ is a flexible rubber gasket system that seats into a channel to seal all around the lid to cooler contact area. Think of your refrigerator or the gasket on an outside door if you live in a cold climate like I do. That gasket keeps the cold where it’s supposed to be with no leaks.
Comparable to the Yeti COLDLOCK™ Gasket System
Endura Hinge System
There’s nothing better than one solid hinge all the way across a lid to make sure it stays lined up and in place. That’s what you get with the Endura hinge system on every K2 Summit series cooler. This hinge system is molded right into both the cooler body and lid and both parts are connected with a continuous metal rod to hold everything together.
Comparable to the Yeti NEVERFAIL™ Hinge system
Positrac™ rubber latches mount different than I’m use to but they make sense. They are mounted to the cooler base to make it easier to unlatch them from above and open the lid. With the positive grip rubber material, it’s easier to grab and latch them back into place on the lid.
Comparable to Yeti T-Rex™ lid latches
SUREgrip™ Rubber Feet
All K2 coolers come equipped with SUREgrip™ rubber feet that will not mark up the surface and will not slide around. If you want your K2 cooler to slide around easier just add a set of the SMOOTHglide™ covers that screw into the rubber feet and your cooler will slide wherever you want it to go.
Comparable to the Yeti BEARFOOT non-slip Feet
Torrent™ Drain Plug
The K2 Torrent™ drain plug is designed to open with just a partial turn. So you’ll never have to remove the plug and risk losing it. A silicone gasket provides a waterproof seal with the Torrent™ drain plug available for all Summit series coolers.
Comparable to the Yeti VORTEX Drain system
EASYhaul™ Rope Handles
Leave it to K2 to put both EASYhaul™ rope handles and REALgrip™ built-in handles on every size cooler except the Summit 20 series which has the built-in padded nylon shoulder strap.
Comparable to the Yeti DOUBLEHAUL and LIPGRIP™ Handles
HOLDtight™ Anchor Points
Every K2 Summit series cooler offers the HOLDtight™ anchor point system on both sides which will let you attach a hold down strap system, cable lock system, or extended shank padlock with anchor chain option. I personally like the padlock option because it both locks the cooler shut and offers a way to lock the cooler into your truck bed or boat with the use of a separate chain. The HOLDtight™ feature is not available on the Summit 20 series coolers.
Comparable to the Yeti ANCHORPOINT™ Tie-Down Slots
Because of its compact size the Summit 20 series coolers come equipped with a heavy duty nylon shoulder strap with thick padded shoulder rest.
You might be asking why I mentioned Comparable to Yeti in all those details? The answer is simple, if you can get all the same features in a K2 Summit Series Cooler for about half the price and you’re not missing anything except the expensive name, isn’t that a better deal?
It’s time to talk about the details of all the individual sizes of Summit series ice chests. Here I will give you size, weight, and capacity details as well as features that may only appear in certain size coolers and special promotional sponsor limited addition models.
K2 Coolers Summit 20
I think the Summit 20 series coolers are the perfect size for kayaking, out on the golf cart or even paddle boarding. With its 14 -12 ounce can capacity and 16.9” by 12.625” by 15.3” over all height you will find more than enough space for a solo outing. The inside capacity is 12.9” by 9.25” by 12.125” usable height. Cooler empty weight is 14 lbs. These are rated as 20 Quart capacity coolers but what does that really mean?
The Summit 20 series is available in three different colors, Glacier White, Duck Boat Green, and Steel Gray. At an average cost of between $150-$170 this model is priced about $135 less than the Yeti Tundra 20 and features FREE shipping with this link.Click the Buy from Amazon link to see all the pricing options now. [easyazon_cta align=”none” identifier=”B00O5HM2JQ” key=”wide-orange” locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”reviewsright-20″]
K2 Coolers Summit 30
The K2 Summit 30 cooler series is where we see most of the special limited addition and color options. Are you looking for a little more
capacity without buying a much bigger cooler? The Summit 30 series is designed to carry about 20 – 12 ounce cans at once. It measures 20.25” by 18.25” by 16.38” tall on the outside and gives you an interior space of 13.375” by 13.125” by 12.5” tall or 11.125” to the interior fill line height. Cooler weight is 19 lbs. empty. As I mentioned above, these are listed as 30 quart coolers, but I think my detail will be easier to translate into usable space.
Are you looking for ways to separate content in your cooler? Check out the Starboard Divider / Cutting Board designed for each size cooler. This divider / cutting board slides into built-in slots in the cooler for separation and also works as a handy cutting board made of sturdy Starboard material. Starboard is a plastic plywood made for boat construction. They are sized exactly for each cooler so be sure and get the right one.
When it comes to pricing you can expect to pay around $250 for a standard color option like Glacier White or Steel Gray or if you’d like a special addition you can choose from the Ducks Unlimited Edition, Just for Does Edition, or the Just for Bucks Edition as well as a series of College color Editions for about $270. This is still much less than the $335 price tag of a Yeti Tundra 35. This link will take you to all Summit 30 series coolers. [easyazon_cta align=”none” identifier=”B00O5HM61U” key=”wide-orange” locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”reviewsright-20″]
K2 Coolers Summit 50
It’s time to head out in the boat or camper and you’re going to need something a little bigger. Let’s take a look at the K2 Coolers Summit 50 series coolers. What really is the capacity of a 50-quart cooler? K2 says they will hold 40 – 12 ounce cans, so I guess that gives us some idea. The dimensions of the outside are 29.25” by 17” by 16.38” tall. When it comes to inside space look for 22.5” by 11.9” by 12.375” or 11” up to the fill line. Cooler weight is 26 lbs. empty.
Need an extra seat in the boat or at the camp site? Why not grab a padded white or camo seat cushion designed by K2 to match your new cooler? They’re all made of 3” durable foam with UV rated vinyl cover and marine grade hardware for easy attachment.
The K2 Cooler Summit 50 series has several custom color choices including Crimson & White, Red & White, Orange & White and Purple & White. You will also find a Ducks Unlimited Edition 50 Quart Summit Cooler as well as Glacier White, Duck Boat Green, and Steel Gray options.
You will find the three standard colors priced around $310 while you can expect to pay between $325 and $350 for the special edition models. This will compare to a Yeti Tundra 45-quart series at about $435. Here is a Summit 50 series link. [easyazon_cta align=”none” identifier=”B00O5HMDF4″ key=”wide-orange” locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”reviewsright-20″]
K2 Coolers Summit 60 Series
The K2 Summit 60 series coolers are made with a different design, more of a square shape than the other models. This might come in handy if the longer style does not fit in your cargo space. The Summit 60 will hold 44 – 12 ounces cans and the exterior dimensions are 23.4” by 21.5” by 19.25” tall. This makes the interior usable space 16.5” by 17.13” by 15.375” tall or 13.875” at the fill line. Cooler weight is 30 lbs. empty.
Did you know you can top any K2 cooler with a Hydro Turf Mat for best traction and comfort when standing on your cooler? These mats are made out of closed cell foam for no water logging and they mount with solid 3M adhesive backing. They are custom sized and available to fit every size K2 Summit series cooler.
Color choices for the regular Summit 60 series coolers are Glacier White, Duck Boat Green, and Steel Gray. Plan on spending just under $360 for this style K2 Summit 60 series cooler as compared to around $520 for a Yeti Tundra 65-quart model. Here is the 60 series link. [easyazon_cta align=”none” identifier=”B00ZINXTLQ” key=”wide-orange” locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”reviewsright-20″]
K2 Coolers Summit 60 Wheeled Series
K2 also offers a special wheeled version in a 60 quart cooler but with a more traditional size design. The wheeled Summit 60 cooler is designed with 2 inset heavy duty oversized wheels at one end with a swing up pull handle at the other end. The wheeled end includes a swing up handle also and I might add that the handle at the other end actually has two different grip areas for carry and pull options.
Just like the other 60 series cooler the wheeled pull behind is rated at 44 – 12 ounce cans but with an exterior size of 31.5” by 17.375” by 16.9” tall. It is designed with an interior size of 24.625” by 12.25” by 13.25” tall or 11.9” at the fill line. Cooler weight is 33 lbs. empty.
Price for the Summit 60 wheeled version will run you under $425 which I think is a great deal when compared to the Yeti Tundra 65-quart at $520 with no wheels for towing.Check out the 60 series wheeled cooler here. [easyazon_cta align=”none” identifier=”B00O5HMQ6K” key=”wide-orange” locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”reviewsright-20″]
K2 Coolers Summit 70
Now we are getting up to the large capacity models with the K2 Coolers Summit 70 series ice chest. I’ve been finding that as we get into these bigger coolers the sizes and capacity really don’t change much. When it comes to the K2 Summit 70-quart cooler the capacity is listed as holding 49 – 12 ounce cans which is not a big change from the 60-quart. As far as size the 70-quart is 33.875” by 17” by 18” tall on the outside. The inside is a roomy 27” by 12.25” by 14.125” tall or 12.875” tall at the fill line. Cooler weight is 32 lbs. empty.
The K2 Summit 70 series is available in the three standard colors of Glacier White, Duck Boat Green, and Steel Gray and you will find them ranging in price from between $360 to $390 which is still quite a bit less than the $520 you’ll pay for a Yeti Tundra 65-quart. Get the best price on 70 series right here. [easyazon_cta align=”none” identifier=”B00O5HY3HK” key=”wide-orange” locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”reviewsright-20″]
K2 Coolers Summit 90
With the K2 Summit 90 series ice chest we will finally make a big jump in capacity. This cooler jumps all the way up to a 63 – 12 ounce can capacity and has exterior measurements of 36” by 18.5” by 19.25” tall. Its interior measurements are 29.13” by 14” by 15.38” tall with a usable height of 14” at the fill line. Cooler weight is 40 lbs. empty.
You will find that the Summit 90 series comes on the three standard colors of Glacier White, Duck Boat Green, and Steel Gray with an average price of just under $425. This is a great value when you compare it to the Yeti Tundra 105 series at about $710. Find out best price on a 90 series right here. [easyazon_cta align=”none” identifier=”B00ZINP2ZW” key=”wide-orange” locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”reviewsright-20″]
K2 Coolers Summit 120
Our last size in this comparison is the K2 Coolers Summit 120 ice chest. This beast is capable of hauling out about 7 -12 packs or a total of 86 – 12 ounce cans. On the outside it measures 41.625” by 19.25” by 19.5” tall and on the inside it measures 34.9” by 14.25” by 16.125” tall or 14.9” to the fill line. Cooler weight is 43 lbs. empty.
You’re looking for standard colors here which include Glacier White, Duck Boat Green, and Steel Gray. When it comes to price the best one around is just under $425 and when you compare that to the Yeti Tundra 105 at $710 dollars it’s easy to see why the K2 Summit series is such a good value. Check the Summit 120 and its accessories right here. [easyazon_cta align=”none” identifier=”B00O5HY5KU” key=”wide-orange” locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”reviewsright-20″]
K2 Summit Series Warranty
The entire line of K2 Summit series coolers is backed by a solid 7-year warranty. This means that if you have a problem during the first seven years they will send you a Return Authorization repair parts at no charge. In my opinion that is a solid warranty, its better than Yeti but not as good as the Lifetime Warranty Grizzly puts on their coolers.
K2 Summit Series Drawbacks
During all my research on the K2 summit cooler series I really only ran into one type of comment that caught my attention. A few people commented about the outer case looking rough when their new cooler arrived. I learned during my research that K2 coolers are built in Taiwan and I came up with my own assessment that for between 20-45 % savings over the USA made Yeti Tundra series, if you are OK with it not being Made in America then it is a great value for the price.
K2 Summit Cooler Repair and Accessory Parts
K2 offers a complete line of the most common repair parts as well as a series of accessory items like Cable Locks, Tie-down Straps, Dividers and Cutting Boards. They also offer Stainless Steel Bottle Openers, Hydro Turf Mats, Refreeze Ice, Camo Seat Cushions, Corner Chock Sets, and Aluminum Shallow and Deep Trays for different size coolers. Check out all the K2 Summit Series Accessories and Parts here.
I think you’ll find this to be the most complete review of the K2 coolers Summit series anywhere in one place. I tried to bring together details that were common to every Summit series model with a comparison to the top selling competitor.
I then wanted to give you individual details of each summit series model including special Limited Edition options. Here I also gave you a reference to the cost of each and the cost of the bestselling competitor so you could see the savings potential.
I concluded with details about the K2 warranty and a list of many of the available accessory items you could add to enhance your user experience.
During my research I read many buyer reviews of the product and found that most everybody loved their new K2 cooler and thought they got a great value. A few people commented about scratches or scuffs on the outside when the cooler arrived and like I mentioned in my drawbacks section, I think this might be a reality because these coolers are being built in Taiwan at a lower cost and selling price than Yeti. So you will need to decide if having a pristine looking outer shell show up is a must and if you’re willing to pay almost twice as much for it. Me myself, I know my coolers get used and even banged around, so I see the value trade-off here.
I hope you were able to find a K2 Summit series cooler that was just right for your needs. If you’d like information on how to get the most out of your high performance cooler be sure and read my Yeti vs Grizzly & K2 Cooler Review.