Grizzly 40 Hard-Sided Cooler Review

Grizzly 40 Cooler Review Feature
PTR Review
  • Overall Rating 9.5

Grizzly's 40-quart cooler is a great size for a wide range of activities. Its smaller footprint fits well in the trunk of a car, back of an SUV, and smaller boats while still offering decent capacity. Most importantly, its construction and ice retention make it a solid choice among premium coolers, so even if you need a smaller or larger size, take a look at what Grizzly has to offer!

Overall Score 9.5 (out of 10)

Grizzly 40 Cooler is Just Right in Size and Construction

Who doesn’t love a premium cooler? Days of ice retention, near-bulletproof construction, and an array of sizes to choose from make them hot items. We’re turning our attention to the Grizzly 40 hard-sided cooler to see what sets it apart from other options.


  • Excellent ice retention
  • Easy to carry
  • Great balance of size and capacity
  • Eight color options to choose from
  • Rotomolded construction
  • Certified IGBC bear-resistant
  • Dry ice compatible
  • 2-inch drain


  • No significant drawbacks

Grizzly 40 Cooler Performance

We’ve tested a lot of coolers and I still have an embarrassing number of them at my house. But hear me out. Every size serves a different purpose. There’s a 65-quart to keep the crew hydrated for on-site testing and for larger fish, a 20-quart that’s great for road trips, a 45-quart we use to hold drinks at our annual PTR Christmas Party where we give away a ton of tools and gear to our reviewers, and many more. I counted eight different coolers at my house, including soft-sided ones.

Okay, so maybe I have a problem.

Ice Retention

Anyway, let’s talk about the Grizzly 40. Our major performance benchmark for premium coolers is ice retention. For a cooler this size, we load 20 pounds of ice and a 12-pack of beer. The test is simple: after work, I get into the cooler sitting on my back porch, grab a beer, and repeat once each day until there’s no ice left.

There are some variances based on the time of year and temperature, of course. For this test, we had temps in the low 90’s and swamp-like humidity.

Grizzly 40 Hard-Sided Cooler Ice Retention

It took 4 days until there was no ice left. On that final day, the water temperature still left the beer cold enough to enjoy. That’s right in line with what we expect from this cooler class, showing us that Grizzly got one of the most important parts of the design right.


The other side of premium cooler performance is how tough the construction is. Grizzly rotomolds their coolers, including the hinge, to help eliminate thinner wall sections and seams where some coolers fail. The insulation is an injected polyurethane foam.

Grizzly 40 Hard-Sided Cooler Profile

The hinge is made of stainless steel, and that’s a big deal for folks like me that are around saltwater frequently.

Grizzly 40 Cooler Design Notes

Size and Capacity

The reason I was initially attracted to the 40-quart size over others is its size. Even though you’re giving up a little bit of capacity compared to 45-quart models, it also takes up a little less room. Thanks to integrated recessed handles, it’s just 25.5 inches wide, 16 inches deep, and 15.4 inches tall.

Grizzly 40 Hard-Sided Cooler

My motive? I needed a cooler with reasonable capacity in a smaller footprint for my flats boat. And this size is perfect!


In terms of what you can hold, you’re looking at 66 cans with 10 pounds of ice. Or if you’re more like me, that’s 20 pounds of ice and a two person limit of fresh Florida mangrove snapper.

Get a Handle on the Situation

One of the things that can sour a relationship with you cooler is how much of a pain it is when you have to carry it by yourself. By integrating a set of handle recessed into the sides and having a set of nylon rope handles, it keeps your arms closer than some coolers and makes carrying it easier. There’s still the 24-pound dry weight (which is normal for this size) plus whatever you’re keeping cool to contend with, but ergonomically, it’s easier on you.


Slip or Non-Slip?

Most premium coolers come with non-slip feet standard. That’s great for doubling as a front casting platform on a boat, but not everyone wants them. Grizzly includes a set of sliding feet you can install and we love that it’s not something you have to purchase separately.

Foot covers

Quick Release

If you’re still using a cooler with a 3/4-inch drain, it’s time to upgrade. Grizzly uses a 2-inch drain and it’s soooo much better! Whether you’re cleaning your cooler or just trying to drop as much liquid weight as possible, it’s much faster and more convenient.

Grizzly 40 Hard-Sided Cooler

Adding to the fast draining, a full-length drain channels ensures emptying is more complete than many of the coolers we’ve used.

Certified Bear-Resistant Closure Security

We expect premium coolers to carry an IGBC bear-resistant certification and Grizzly does. It’s not as big of a deal for our East coast fishing trips and hot days on the jobsite, but it’s critical for our western backcountry outings.

A silicone gasket helps keep scents from escaping (along with increasing ice retention), BearClaw Latches hold the lid down securely, and there are two padlock points to make sure no unwanted guests get in.

Made in the USA

One of the most common questions we get is “where is ____ made?” In this case, you can feel good about supporting American quality and jobs. Grizzly makes their coolers in Decorah, Iowa right here in the good ole USA.

Additional Features

  • 2-inch tie-down slots
  • 22-inch embossed ruler on the lid
  • Dry goods tray included
  • Dry ice compatible
  • Eight color choices

Grizzly 40 Cooler Price

The regular price for the 40-quart cooler is $299.99. That’s right in line with other premium coolers in the 40 – 45-quart range. However, Grizzly is running a sale at the time we’re writing this and it’s $239.99 if you order direct from them.

The Bottom Line

Grizzly’s 40-quart cooler is a great size for a wide range of activities. Its smaller footprint fits well in the trunk of a car, back of an SUV, and smaller boats while still offering decent capacity. Most importantly, its construction and ice retention make it a solid choice among premium coolers, so even if you need a smaller or larger size, take a look at what Grizzly has to offer!

Grizzly 40 Cooler Specifications

  • SKU: Grizzly 400013
  • Capacity: 40 quarts
  • Weight: 24 lbs. empty
  • Construction: RotoTough rotationally-molded
  • Hinge: Molded-in with stainless steel pin
  • Latches: BearClaw latches
  • Tiedown Slots: Yes, 2 in.
  • Dimensions: 15.5 x 25.5 x 16 in.
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price: $299

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