Author Topic: 2021 Limited Edition US Cooltainer Set - First Impressions  (Read 6359 times)

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Online squall_line

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2021 Limited Edition US Cooltainer Set - First Impressions
« on: November 13, 2021, 01:32 PM »
This post will detail my first impressions of the Festool Cooltainer SYS3 M 437 CP Limited Edition, Festool part number 577172.  I will update it with more pictures later, as I'm running short on time and way too long on words.

This is a limited edition set available in Fall, 2021 in the United States market (I don't know if it's available in Canada or not).

I'm not a professional reviewer, blogger, vlogger, or social media personality.  I paid full retail for this set, I have no affiliation with any retailers, I'm just a fan of Festool, so these are just my honest first impressions and I doubt I'll do any sort of "deep dive", though I may come back and update this after my first use or two.  I don't have an "unboxing" video to link to, there's nothing to like or subscribe, and no bells to ring.  Let's get started.

The Cooltainer - 4/5 T-Locs
First things first, this cooler is based on the new Systainer3 M 437, so the dimensions are 437mm tall.  This cooler is ever so slightly taller than the T-Loc generation Tanos Cooltainer, which was in a SYS-V, and definitely taller than the limited edition T-Loc generation Festool Cooltainer, which was in a Sys-IV.  As with all Systainers, it mates and matches and mounts and latches, so it can travel with you in your stack if you need, or stick it in your Bott rails.  An M-187 or M-237 might be a better "lunchbox" size, though.



Packed from the factory, there are cardboard inserts to hold the tumbler and T-Loc shaped bottle opener (more on those later).  Ignore the 90mm polishing pad, that was just part of my order from the retailer and I didn't want to go back and re-take the picture.  The older generation Cooltainer foam was an interference fit between the lid and base, the new generation uses a dadoed fit which should seal better.  Air exchange is your enemy when trying to maintain temperature between two systems.



Once everything is removed, you have rigid styrofoam lining the lid and the base of the Systainer.  There are grooves in the base piece that theoretically could hold dividers to keep a drink from spilling or tumbling over or food mingling together, or hold ice packs away from food...  No dividers are included, there is no information about dividers, but those grooves are in there nonetheless.



A bit disappointing at first, I noticed that the styrofoam in the lid and the base is just free-floating; there are no adhesive strips to keep it in place.  The only thing keeping the lid foam from falling out is the hinge, and the only thing keeping the base foam from pulling out is the lid overlap.  while disappointing at first, this also means that the dadoed coupling between the lid and base will always be able to mate up, as they are free to float while mating.  Since the foam can't fall out on its own, I'm okay with it.

 

There is an opening in the lid foam that is too big for the bottle opener.  Figuring that this was a "System" thing, I grabbed a Micro systainer (or Sys3 XXS) and sure enough it was the same size.  The Micro-Sys will only stay in the lid if you insert it top-first, but chances are pretty good that it will drop out of that press-fit once you close the lid and move the Cooltainer.  Once again, I have no idea why this is there because there is no literature or media that calls this feature out, and there aren't any accessories available for the Cooltainer at this time.



 

I did a "dollar bill test" to see how well the styrofoam lid sealed up.  This is from back in my college years when my roommate worked in a cigar shop; we would test whether or not a humidor sealed properly by laying a dollar bill between the lid and base and seeing if you could pull it out.  Sure, this is the same test for a refrigerator or chest freezer, but I wanted to shoehorn in a cigar reference, so there.

Well, the Cooltainer passed this test handily, but mostly because the lid latches tightly to the base with the T-Loc.  There's no good way to test the fit of the two styrofoam pieces because of the lid, so I placed the dollar bill between the two halves and closed the lid.  Upon opening the lid, the dollar bill was wedged in the top groove, indicating a good press-fit between the top and bottom.  Not too shabby!



The Bottle Opener - 3/5 T-Locs
Neat!  It's shaped like the Sys3 T-Loc!  It's Festool blue and green!  It has magnets (more on that later)!  But... that's about it... 

The body of the bottle opener is a hard rubber or soft plastic and it has good hand feel.  Not having any bottles I needed to open today, I haven't tried it, but I assume it will open a bottle just fine.  I imagine my Wera bottle opener will be easier to use, but everyone has their preferred method.

   

The magnets are honestly the most disappointing part of this, even though they should be the most exciting.  There are two problems with them, in my opinion:
First, they're on the face of the bottle opener.  To stick them to a ferrous-metal surface, you cover up the logo and have just the green T-Loc shape showing.  Sure, it matches the look of the front of your Systainers, but many companies use Systainers, so the branding is completely hidden.  This design must have been finalized while the marketing guys were in the bathroom, on vacation, or distracted by logo placement on something else entirely.



Second, well, they're not all that strong.  Sure, I didn't expect super-fancy hard-drive-magnet holding power out of these, but once that opener is on a metal surface like a cabinet or refrigerator, it takes almost no effort at all to bounce it off of there.  Forget slapping this on the inside wall of your van, you may never find it after the first pothole, speed bump, or curb (kerb, to you EU folks) you encounter.  It's best to just toss this in a toolbox or drawer somewhere until you need it.


The Tumbler - 2/5 T-Locs
If I'm being honest, this is actually one of the main reasons I bought this set.  I already had a TLoc generation Tanos Cooltainer, so I needed to justify this new purchase with something other than it being another cooler.  I've been using a stainless steel to-go tumbler from Starbucks that's coming up on 6 years old.  It used to be painted with black and white paint, now it's about half stainless and half painted.  It's dented, the screw-in lid is snarfed from hitting asphalt, but it keeps my coffee hot and it has character.

The Festool tumbler is 20 ounces (US Fluid Ounces, presumably, though I didn't check this), BPA free (uh oh), hand-wash only (uh oh x2), and listed "do not microwave".



I'm not gonna lie, it's one of the most disappointing parts of the entire set for me.

The Festool marketing says it's made of "Wellington stainless steel" with a "rubberized cork-looking base".  In reality, the tumbler has a stainless sleeve over the top of a plastic insert, and the base is made of a cork-appearance resin, but it doesn't feel the least bit rubberized.  It also has a lid design that is one of my least-favorite: the press-fit with a slide-lock.  Slide-lock lids are a bear to keep clean and usually quite leaky in rough handling. And, based on the number of times I've dropped my current tumbler, a press-fit lid is just asking for a loss-of-coffee incident.



 

I tried to find a non-destructive way to verify the sleeve was actually steel, since it feels so plasticky.  Some stainless steels are magnetic, others are not, but the weak magnets on the bottle opener probably wouldn't have proven anything about the veracity of the claim that this tumbler has a metal sleeve.  I'm going with "do not microwave" as indication that this does, in fact, contain metal.



The base does not feel rubberized at all, and slides easily over any hard surface.

 

Final Verdict 3.5/5 T-Locs
Overall, this is a fun "bit of kit" as our friends from the UK might say, but there were a number of missed opportunities and missteps along the way.  I like the Cooltainer itself and think it will out-perform the previous generation, but I don't consider the add-ins to be anything other than collector's items.  And maybe that's the intent.  Maybe these add-ons were never designed for actual use, but meant to sit on shelves and in their original plastic waiting for someone to list them on eBay 15 years from now.

I look forward to using the Cooltainer itself for Thanksgiving leftovers, and any other time I need a more rugged cooler than the Omaha Steaks styrofoams that we have laying around (people keep those, right?).  Thanks for reading!

« Last Edit: November 13, 2021, 02:40 PM by squall_line »

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Offline ForumMFG

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Re: 2021 Limited Edition US Cooltainer Set - First Impressions
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2021, 09:40 PM »
i wish they offered it in a smaller size, i don't need a lunch box for work every day that I can fit a turkey in. nut it's pretty cool. 

Offline Jason Hagen

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Re: 2021 Limited Edition US Cooltainer Set - First Impressions
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2021, 10:02 PM »
How big is it? Will it hold a 6 pack? Can you double stack 2 6 packs of pop on top each other?

Online squall_line

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Re: 2021 Limited Edition US Cooltainer Set - First Impressions
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2021, 11:52 PM »
How big is it? Will it hold a 6 pack? Can you double stack 2 6 packs of pop on top each other?

Sedge showed in one of the preview videos that it will hold a full size growler.  I only have 7.5 oz cans around right now (and even those are too much soda for me), but I just checked and you can put 7.5 oz cans 5 wide, 3 deep, and 3 layers tall.  I would imagine two layers of 12 oz 6-packs would fit just fine with room for ice, but not 2 layers of tallboys.

Offline Jason Hagen

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Re: 2021 Limited Edition US Cooltainer Set - First Impressions
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2021, 01:19 AM »
Ok good to know! Just curious as the posts I’ve seen, no one actually puts anything inside!

Online squall_line

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Re: 2021 Limited Edition US Cooltainer Set - First Impressions
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2021, 09:31 AM »
Ok good to know! Just curious as the posts I’ve seen, no one actually puts anything inside!

That's fair.  Anyone looking to flip their cooltainer or preserve it on a museum shelf will leave it empty, of course.  One of the reasons I mentioned that this was a "first impression" and that I'm not a professional blogger/reviewer was to help set expectations.  There are plenty of things I'm sure I left out, not limited to just that part.  I figured I'd toss some stuff up on here since many places weren't even going to ship until tomorrow and I hadn't seen anything on the FOG yet.  I may or may not update it later with more data or photos; it's not really my intent to at this point, though.

I enjoy my writing style (obviously, I'm the one writing it), but that doesn't mean others will enjoy it enough to make any sort of side gig out of writing.

Offline morts10n

  • Posts: 331
Re: 2021 Limited Edition US Cooltainer Set - First Impressions
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2021, 09:43 AM »
Anybody interested in a new Sys V Tanos Cooltainer?
Id sell it to you since I prefer the Sys 4 size

Offline mino

  • Posts: 1190
Re: 2021 Limited Edition US Cooltainer Set - First Impressions
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2021, 10:18 AM »
There is an opening in the lid foam that is too big for the bottle opener.  Figuring that this was a "System" thing, I grabbed a Micro systainer (or Sys3 XXS) and sure enough it was the same size.  The Micro-Sys will only stay in the lid if you insert it top-first, but chances are pretty good that it will drop out of that press-fit once you close the lid and move the Cooltainer.  Once again, I have no idea why this is there because there is no literature or media that calls this feature out, and there aren't any accessories available for the Cooltainer at this time.
That is an opening for a temperature logger to be glued in there.

The foam inserts are widely used for distributing medical substances where contents must be destroyed when they were allowed to heat up etc.
Often the container is not allowed to be opened (outside a room freezer) during transport ... Making it XSS size for other uses is a nice touch IMO.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2021, 10:27 AM by mino »
When The Machine has no brains, use yours.

Offline Cheese

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Re: 2021 Limited Edition US Cooltainer Set - First Impressions
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2021, 12:36 PM »
Interesting review...thanks... [smile] ...the new labyrinth style seal will greatly help with keeping the cold in.

On that bottle opener, it appears that the Festool name is raised which would interfere with the function of the magnets...what were they thinking?  [dead horse]  [sad]


[off topic]
If you're a stogie guy, then this is right up your alley.  [cool]  I purchased one for my neighbor as they were just released.







https://www.jwhulmeco.com/collections/home/products/cigar-glass-1

Offline FestitaMakool

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Re: 2021 Limited Edition US Cooltainer Set - First Impressions
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2021, 12:54 PM »
Squall..

That’s THE most comprehensive review I’ve seen on a systainer with some bits’n Bob’s inside!
Great written too  [smile] One might not want to buy for the tumbler alone, or a reason for it..
Apart from the tumbler, the cooltainer looks all right, even the bottle opener.
(I got a Makita cooltainer, based on the old SYS - this is with a easy to clean modded plastic inside, and a rubber gasket. More in line with a good cooler.

Cheese.. I’m not surprised, though any of that brow stuff I’ve quit. Smoking that is.
But, it certainly look nerdy handy and cool  [big grin]
“The Stig” Yes, it is true, at least some part of it..
“If you have an old Land Rover and a fit wife, you’re most likely always busy”

Offline Cheese

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Re: 2021 Limited Edition US Cooltainer Set - First Impressions
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2021, 09:07 AM »
Cheese.. I’m not surprised, though any of that brow stuff I’ve quit. Smoking that is.
But, it certainly look nerdy handy and cool  [big grin]

Ya I don't smoke...never have but this glass & stogie thing looked good. My neighbor in the evening always has a cigar and a glass of rye straight up, another friend a cigar & a glass of Reposado neat.  [smile]

Online squall_line

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Re: 2021 Limited Edition US Cooltainer Set - First Impressions
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2021, 12:04 AM »
@Jason Hagen , I finally put some adult beverages in the coolers to take to my folks' house for our Christmas party.

Here's a 12-pack of Leinie's along with three bottles of Founders.



A 6 pack of Moose Drool cans to top it off.



This closes up just fine and I added a foam ice pack just to keep things from getting too warm during the car ride.  The 6-pack of cans BARELY fits cross-wise in the cooler, but you can't pack the top as wide as the bottom because the labyrinth lid impedes quite a bit on the space up there.

Here's the disappointing thing:  I can fit two 6-packs of Founders bottles side-by-side in my Tanos T-Loc Cooler but they're a hair too wide to fit in the new Sys3 Cooltainer.  Out of the cardboard they just barely fit, but the inside of the Tanos cooler is just enough bigger inside.  Part of that is that the bottles are wider, but they're about the same size as cans, which also are a very tight fit in the new Cooltainer.  Here are the Founders bottles in the T-Loc Cooler:


Offline Jason Hagen

  • Posts: 85
Re: 2021 Limited Edition US Cooltainer Set - First Impressions
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2021, 05:31 PM »
[mention]squall_line [/mention] it’s actually has more room than I thought it would. I don’t have the older one, so this would be the first one for me. But it looks like it would hold a decent amount of liquid to keep you hydrated through your day in the shop.

Offline twistsol

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Re: 2021 Limited Edition US Cooltainer Set - First Impressions
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2021, 08:32 PM »
In addition to keeping hot food hot on Thanksgiving and cold food cold during the four hour drive to Christmas, it served its primary purpose to irritate my brother in law who thinks I spend too much money on Festool stuff.  [big grin]

Online squall_line

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Re: 2021 Limited Edition US Cooltainer Set - First Impressions
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2022, 12:23 AM »
In addition to keeping hot food hot on Thanksgiving and cold food cold during the four hour drive to Christmas, it served its primary purpose to irritate my brother in law who thinks I spend too much money on Festool stuff.  [big grin]

My brother similarly rolled his eyes at me. The Tanos version may or may not have soothed him a bit.  As others have said, it's not that much more expensive than a similary-sized Yeti or other high-brand cooler, neither of which latch to other systainers.