Gear Review

Equipment Review: Engel USA celebrates 50 years

Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Jun 28, 2017

Keeping cool off the grid


For the past 50 years, people who’ve needed to keep things cold – whether they’re on the water, on the road, or even off road – have turned to Engel, the pioneer in portable refrigeration and cooling. Ask someone who owns an Engel fridge/freezer and they’ll tell you it’s probably the best product they ever bought. Our new high performance coolers have literally redefined the category. Looking ahead, Engel continues to build on this heritage of quality and performance.

When there’s no power at all, you need to rely on a cooler to keep things cold. And thanks to Engel, the lowly cooler has changed from a commodity product to a high-performance piece of outdoor gear.

For years, coolers were just that, a commodity. They were mass-produced with seemingly little attention paid to quality. They didn’t hold ice particularly well, if at all. Poorly designed components, like latches and hinges, failed quickly. When a cooler broke, maybe you fixed it, but more likely, you just threw it aside and shelled out another $50 for a new one. (I bet you’ve got a couple of busted coolers in your garage right now.)

Paul Kabalin, the president of Engel USA, decided to take a closer look at the common cooler. After giving it some serious thought, Kabalin decided to take the initiative and build a better cooler. Kabalin began working on his new high-performance cooler with the best industrial designers he could find. His first breakthrough decision was to make the coolers using the rotational-molding, or roto-molding, which would result in a stronger, more durable product. By increasing the thickness of the sides, top and bottom of the cooler, and using injected polyurethane insulation, he could increase the ice-keeping capabilities of his coolers by days and even weeks. The roto-molding process allowed for the use of computer-aided design tools. This gave Kabalin the ability to perfect – and patent – his design work before committing to expensive molds.

When he received 3D prototypes of his coolers, Kabalin knew he had a winning concept. The first Engel high-performance coolers were exhibited to the public in 2007, and the rest is history. “Boaters, fishermen and hunters immediately recognized the advantages of our new coolers,” said Kabalin.

“They all knew that the improved latches, molded-in full-length hinge, sloping floor and lowered drain hole, and increased insulation would help them on the water or in the field.”

When power isn’t an option, Engel offers a full line of high performance coolers available in seven different sizes and two colors, from the handy 25, all the way up to the cavernous 320.

Engel’s pioneering design work has led to a revolution in the industry. Nothing else out there can match the quality that goes into every Engel cooler or fridge/freezer. Now, outfitters can easily keep food chilled on a three-week river-rafting trip. Hunters can get game to the processor without worrying about spoilage. Families can have more menu options when they’re in camp.

To learn more about how Engel High Performance Coolers and Fridge Freezers can make your outdoor adventures, well, “cooler”, visit our website at, or call (888) 272-9838.

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