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Small Appliances

The Coolest Cooler is back with a soft-sided model

This time, Coolest has made a soft-sided cooler called the Vibe.

The makers of the Coolest Cooler, the cooler on wheels with a built-in blender, have launched a new product that could help appease customers who are still heated with the former crowdfunding favorite. 

vibecooler

The Coolest Vibe is a soft-sided cooler that's smaller than the company's Coolest Cooler.

Coolest

The Coolest Vibe is a soft-sided, waterproof cooler that's smaller and more simple than its predecessor. It's also a lot cheaper: The Vibe starts at $180, whereas the Coolest cost almost $500 when we reviewed it in 2015 (the price has since gone down to $249 or $400, depending on the model). 

Coolest, the company behind the coolers, first made waves when it launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for the Coolest Cooler in 2014. More than 62,600 people pledged nearly $13.3 million toward the creation of cooler that would include a blender, a Bluetooth speaker, a USB charger and other accessories designed to make the product the center of outdoor gatherings. People who pledged $185 or more were supposed to receive a Coolest Cooler as a reward.

But Coolest's problems became as notable as the cooler itself. There were delays in the production that the company attributed in part to underestimating how much it would cost to make the cooler. Early supporters who still hadn't received their units became upset in December 2015 when Coolest began selling its product on Amazon. At one point, the company asked backers for an additional $97 to help fulfill orders and sought contributions from investors. 

(Kickstarter says on its support page that there's a chance that a creator may be unable to finish a project, but "they must make every reasonable effort to find another way of bringing the project to a satisfying conclusion for their backers.") 

Four years after Coolest's Kickstarter debut, a third of the original backers still haven't received their cooler, said Coolest CEO and founder Ryan Grepper. But selling the Vibe, along with the original Cooler, a pared-down version that doesn't have a blender and a forthcoming model with a solar panel, enables Coolest to generate revenue and give the original backers their reward, Grepper said. 

"We do all this so we can get the rest of the backers taken care of," he said.

The Vibe is similar to a large insulated lunchbox. Some of its features include seven color choices, a magnetic strap that lets you attach accessories to the body of the Vibe and a universal mount so you can attach it to bike handlebars and other surfaces. The Vibe comes in two sizes: an 18-can capacity or 30-can capacity.

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