TEST - Dometic Patrol 20 cooler: Long-lasting cold!

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Inside, I discovered fruit, pâté, olive oil, parsley and even a bottle of rosé: they weren’t joking! Everything was perfectly chilled: Three 500 ml ice packs were enough to keep the contents of the cooler just a few degrees above freezing. For the first stage in our real-life test, the results were more than convincing!

A second test at sea, lasting over 24 hours, produced the same (excellent) results: despite frequent opening and closing and even being put in the cockpit - sometimes in full summer sunshine - the Patrol 20 kept the cold in (still with 3 ice packs) with astonishing efficiency.

This Dometic product is clearly in the top-of-the-range segment of passive isothermal coolers, i.e. non-electric. The cooler is designed to keep things cold aboard the smallest multihulls not equipped with a refrigerator, but also to do the job when you're doing trips to and from shore in the dinghy. If you need to keep drinks cool, you can fill the cooler with ice - its 19-liter (0.67 cu ft) capacity corresponds to 15 cans. Given the cooler’s exterior dimensions, we might have expected more (70 liters/2.47 cubic feet in theory), but the walls are all over 5 cm (2”) thick! So, efficiency clearly takes precedence over volume... As a direct consequence of this quality, the Patrol 20 already weighs over 10 kg (22 lbs) empty. The idea is to carry it with the dinghy rather than on foot, all the more so as the top corner on the hinge side lacks a little in terms of roundness for picking it up easily... On the other hand, the large, foam-covered, locking handle is very practical.

Note that this is the smallest model: the Patrol comes in a 35 (36 l/1.27 cu ft) and even 55 (54 l/1.91 cu ft) sizes.

I really like the sturdy one-piece PE construction, which can withstand the worst abuse. One-hand-operated rubber hinges ensure easy opening and closing of the lid, which is fitted with a double-lip watertight seal. The three full-length hinges are very sturdy, and the large drain makes cleaning and emptying the cooler easy. The manufacturer also offers a range of practical accessories, including a cup holder, bottle opener and fishing rod holder.

Exterior dimensions: 20.7” x 14.9” x 14” (52.6 x 37.8 x 35.6 cm)
Interior dimensions: 13.4” x 9.1” x 10.2” (34 x 23 x 26 cm)
Weight: 25.8 lbs (11.7 kg)
Material: Rotomolded PE
Capacity: 0.67 cu ft (19 l)
Colors: Ocean, Slate, Olive, Glow, Orchid, Lagune
Recommended retail price: € 219.00 

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