A Closer Look At The Igloo Water Cooler Sport 5-Gallon Roller Water Jug

two glasses of water with mountain background

Summertime means ballgames, cookouts, camping trips and fun in the sun. However, it also means potentially hazardous weather conditions of high heat and humidity, which can lead to dehydration, overexertion and heat exhaustion. Left untreated, these medical conditions can be potentially life threatening. The best defense against these conditions for you and your family is to stay hydrated, and the best way to do that is carry your water with you, particularly if you know you're going to be participating in a strenuous activity, such as a soccer match. Nevertheless, carrying water around is not always convenient, as water coolers tend to be heavy and cumbersome.

The Igloo company may be better known for coolers designed to store food for camping and picnicking, such as their iconic Playmate personal cooler, but the company's origins are in the cooling and transportation of water and other beverages, not food. Igloo began life in 1947 as a metalworking shop and designed its first cooler to address the problem of transporting clean drinking water to worksites. It was so successful that they devoted themselves entirely to the development of food and water coolers suitable for both work and play.

More recently, Igloo has developed a water jug on wheels to address the problem of carrying a heavy water cooler over long distances. This review will attempt to answer the question of whether the Igloo Water Cooler Sport 5-Gallon Roller Water Jug is too cool for school or just all wet.

The Igloo Water Cooler : Sport 5-Gallon Roller Water Jug

On the surface, this Igloo water cooler looks very similar to other 5-gallon water coolers that you can buy from Igloo and other companies as well. It has a mostly round, barrel-like design. The lid at the top is hinged and closes with a latch. There are handles at the side for lifting and carrying, and a spigot toward the bottom from which individual beverage receptacles can be filled. It comes in one color, Majestic Blue, and can be customized with accessories such as a cup dispenser.

Specifications

There are several unique features that make this water cooler stand out. In the past, these types of coolers sat flush with the surface they were sitting on, so the jug had to be positioned near the edge with the spigot pointed over the side. The bottom of the Igloo Water Cooler Sport 5-Gallon Water Jug is elevated by the means of two supports so that the spigot is well away from the surface that the jug is resting on, which allows for ease of filling a cup. According to the manufacturer's website, the cooler is equipped with something called "Cool Riser Technology," which is said to elevate away from hot surfaces, thereby improving cooling performance, but it does not go into much more detail than that.

The most notable features of the Igloo Water Cooler Sport 5-Gallon Water Jug are the wheels and the telescopic handle that allow the cooler to be rolled when transporting it from one place to another, rather than having to carry it. The design is comparable to similar strategies employed by the makers of rolling suitcases and luggage. The top lid is hinged and closes with a latch rather than screwing onto the top of the cooler. It is fitted with a gasket to help guard against the contents leaking from the top.

Price

You can purchased directly from the manufacturer, if you want the Igloo Water Cooler Sport 5-Gallon Roller Water Jug. It is currently not available directly from Amazon.com, but third-party sellers are offering these coolers through Amazon's Marketplace. The Igloo Water Cooler Sport 5-Gallon Roller Water Jug is available from Wal-Mart. Academy Sports and Outdoors also offers it as well as Target, Ace Hardware, and Staples.

Comparisons

The Igloo Water Cooler Sport 5-Gallon Roller Water Jug appears to be the only water cooler of its kind with a telescoping handle and wheels. There are other wheeled water storage jugs available, but they are built primarily for the purpose of storing water, not for the purpose of dispensing individual drinks, as the Igloo Water Cooler Sport 5-Gallon Roller Water Jug is designed to do. Therefore, for purposes of comparison, we will measure the Igloo Water Cooler Sport 5-Gallon Water Jug against two drink-dispensing coolers and one wheeled water storage container.


The Coleman Beverage Cooler comes in multiple colors, including blue and orange. It comes with a screw-top lid rather than the flip top of the Igloo Water Cooler Sport 5-Gallon Roller Water Jug. This particular Coleman cooler comes with a specially designed pull-out spigot to prevent leaking from the dispenser, a common problem with these types of coolers.

Customers who bought it had mixed feelings about the spigot, however. People who were used to the traditional spigot that dispenses liquid with the push of a button were unprepared to have the beverage flow out as soon as the spigot was pulled; as a result, the liquid spilled on the floor and made a mess.

Some customers also had issues with the spigot leaking in spite of the pull-out design, while others reported that the lid of the cooler leaked. Because of this, the cooler could not be transported while filled and was therefore not very useful for camping trips.


The Rubbermaid 5-gallon water cooler comes in three different colors: red, orange and blue. It does not roll, but is equipped with handles for carrying. Its insulation is described by the manufacturer as extra thick. The lid is a screw-top, and depending on the model, the cooler boasts extra spigots at the top for the purpose of pouring. The drink-dispensing spigot at the bottom boasts the traditional push-button operation, though it is recessed to prevent dripping.

Based on the online reviews, customers who bought this cooler are overwhelmingly satisfied with it. A few reviewers report leaking from the lid when the cooler was tipped, but other reviewers specifically mention that they have encountered no leaks at all, either from the lid or the drinking spigot.


Keep in mind that this is not a drink dispenser like the Igloo Water Cooler Sport 5-Gallon Roller Water Jug and the other coolers mentioned here. This is a water storage container that is meant to be taken on camping trips, etc. Like the Igloo Water Cooler Sport 5-Gallon Roller Water Jug, it is equipped with wheels.

It also comes with a handle so that it can be pulled along, but unlike the Igloo Water Cooler Sport 5-Gallon Roller Water Jug, the handle is not telescoping. Rather, it folds down on a hinge so that the container can be picked up for ease of pouring. The container is filled, and the contents poured out, via a 4-inch opening at the top of the container, which is closed with a gasketed cap.

At 8 gallons, the Hydroller offers more storage capacity than the Igloo Water Cooler Sport 5-Gallon Roller Water Jug, but it may be cumbersome to use for filling and refilling people's glasses. The Hydroller is 20.75 inches in height, and because the handle is not extendable, it may be difficult for some taller people to roll it along the ground.

Online reviews of this container tend to be rather lukewarm. Common complaints are that it is low quality and cheaply made, with the spigot cited as a frequent area of concern. A chemical smell was reported upon initial purchase, but this was said to dissipate after washing the unit per manufacturer's instructions and then air-drying it. Some customers found it adequate for watering flowers or storing water for emergencies. Reviews were mixed as to whether or not it was suitable for camping trips.

Pros and Cons of the Igloo Water Cooler Sport 5-Gallon Roller Water Jug

The Igloo Water Cooler Sport 5-Gallon Roller Water Jug combines the convenience of a drink dispenser with the utility of a wheeled water container. However, customers report frustration with several annoying issues.

Pros

  • With its rolling capability, it can be transported from one point to another with a minimum of effort.
  • Its telescoping handle means that taller individuals will be able to roll it around on the ground in comfort.
  • The elevated design makes it easy to fill cups and water bottles of all sizes.
  • Check Circle
    Customizable with a dispenser for paper cups.

Cons

  • There are multiple reports of the latch that secures the lid breaking.
  • The wheels reportedly function best on smooth surfaces such as concrete or asphalt
  • ban
    Rough or uneven surfaces, such as gravel or grass, rolling is reported to be difficult at best.

Conclusion

To a certain extent, you have to give credit to the folks at Igloo. They saw a specific problem and tried to formulate a product that would solve it. The result is an idea that is terrific in theory but probably needed at least a second draft before it went into production. Because of its rolling capability, a more securely leak-proof lid like a screw top would probably have been a better and more logical choice than the hinged flip top. A screw-top lid also would have eliminated the problem with the latch breaking off.

As it relates to conveniently dispensing drinks and keeping beverages cool for extended periods of time, there are very few, if any, problems with the Igloo Water Cooler Sport 5-Gallon Roller Water Jug reported in that regard; in fact, at least one customer reported that the Igloo Water Cooler Sport 5-Gallon Roller Water Jug kept contents cold longer than expected. Therefore, its function is comparable to its less complicated competitors that lack the rolling capability. Compared to the similarly rolling water container, the Igloo Water Cooler Sport 5-Gallon Roller Water Jug is more effective and less cumbersome at filling glasses but less suited for long-term water storage.

If the rolling capability is really important to you and you are willing to put up with some leakage, then the Igloo Water Cooler Sport 5-Gallon Roller Water Jug may just be your best option. If, on the other hand, you're less concerned about carrying the cooler and more concerned about keeping your vehicle's interior clean and dry, a cooler with a more traditional, non-wheeled design is probably a better choice.

If you do decide to purchase the Igloo Water Cooler Sport 5-Gallon Roller Water Jug, shop around for the best price. 

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