Igloo Island Breeze Cooler, 48 quarts review: Breeze on by this cheap, ineffective Igloo cooler

Igloo pegs the cooler's capacity at 48 quarts, and that number checked out when I filled the thing with water. To be exact, the measured capacity came in at 47.6 quarts, so Igloo isn't shortchanging you on size the way some other brands do.

All of which brings us right to performance, and I'll tell you right off the bat, it ain't pretty. With 3 pounds of ice inside, the Island Breeze didn't even last a day before returning to room temperature. That left it in a virtual tie for last place with the Rubbermaid Ice Chest, another cheap cooler that just isn't worth it.

The Igloo Island Breeze Cooler (green) was one of the worst-performing coolers we tested. Its average temperature during this test was about one degree warmer than the disposable Lifoam cooler (white) that cost $4.

Ry Crist/CNET

Igloo's average temperature over the course of that ice retention test actually came back about a degree warmer than what we got from a throwaway Lifoam cooler that cost $4.

Ry Crist/CNET

The picture gets even worse when you compare the Igloo's performance with that of the disposable Styrofoam cooler I tested alongside it. 

Though it wasn't able to pull the temperature down by as much as the Igloo or the Rubbermaid, that $4 Lifoam cooler held pat at its minimum temperature for longer than either of them, and it lasted an extra couple of hours before returning to room temperature, too.

In the end, that meant that the Lifoam actually returned a lower average temperature over the course of the test than the Igloo did, which was a pretty stunning result. Translation: Your beers will get warmer in the Island Breeze faster than they will in a crappy, $4 throwaway cooler.

You'll be quite a bit happier with your cooler if you spend a few bucks more on the Igloo MaxCold, which costs $45. True, that's $30 you could otherwise spend on beer, but it'll do a much better job of keeping the beer you've already got cold -- much better than any cheap cooler I tested, and better than some of the super fancy rotomolded coolers that cost hundreds of dollars, too.