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Any conversation about the top tier of premium-quality coolers must inevitably turn to the rotomolded plastic behemoths we now accept as the cold-keeping gold standard. (And, of course, Yeti, which played the pivotal role in establishing this norm.) But what if there was a higher peak that portable ice chests could rise to? A brand new Norwegian company called Oyster is making a case that they've already reached it with its first cooler, the Tempo.
The first thing you'll notice about the 23L Oyster Tempo is that it isn't made of plastic, it's made of metal—lightweight aluminum to be exact. While big rotomolded plastic coolers rely on super-thick walls filled with foam to keep in the cold, the Tempo uses double-wall vacuum insulation employed by many of our favorite insulated water bottles for its thermal seal. Oyster calls its version DLTA, and the big benefit here is that the walls can be thinner, which means the cooler can be both smaller and lighter—the Tempo is smaller than most carry-on suitcases and weighs just over 12 lbs—without a reduction of its interior capacity. Oyster says the Tempo doesn't need ice either (but it does come with two ice packs) which means even more room for cold drinks and fresh food.
The main reason why there are tons of vacuum-insulated water bottles and nearly no vacuum-insulated coolers is that it's difficult and expensive to get that tech to play nice with a rectangular cooler shape. Yeti actually does have a vacuum-insulated chest called the V Series, that's even more premium—and pricey to the tune of $800—than its flagship Tundra, but it's more of a statement piece than an everyday workhorse.
With its more portable size and an included shoulder strap Oyster's Tempo is definitely meant to move. It's also built to last with parts that are easy to replace and repair, or recycle should they come to the end of their lifespan, you don't even need tools to dismantle it into its various components. We should also mention that in addition to all this, the Tempo looks pretty darn sleek too (and a bit like a cold plunge tank, which are all the rage right now).