2017 National Hardware Show
The RovR team is at the 2017 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, showing off the coolest cooler in the world. This is the largest trade show in the United States. The event fills the Las Vegas Convention Center, and it is busy, diverse, and packed with exciting new products. The usual suspects are here, of course: Snap-on tools, with everything from hand tools to garage-choking chests; Craftsman, with lawnmowers and the gear to repair them; Honda, Husqvarna, Honeywell. Everywhere are systems to hang your bicycle, wheel your barrow, smoke your meat, heat your water, water your lawn, and the means to store all of those systems. Even some freeze-dried pet food. And no fewer than TEN cooler companies.
The Coolest Cooler
Among them is the Coolest Cooler™. The Coolest Cooler raised over $14,000,000 on Kickstarter on the strength of a couple of attractive novelties: it has a speaker, and a blender! It also has inexpensive hard plastic wheels, the kind you see busted open at the fronts of tricycles in driveways across America every day, and injection-molded construction. All it needed was a good kick-start to prove that there’s a market for it, though.
After the Coolest Cooler (and the real coolest cooler) there are eight rotomolded coolers that all do a great job of looking just like each other. Pelican, K2, Orion, Bison, and a few more that didn’t distinguish themselves enough to be remembered.
Many of these are fine coolers, with great features and enough to recommend them (we have to admit: “Pelican” is a great name for a cooler). They’ve built good reputations, and put in the work to get into a niche: some make coolers for sportsmen; others are coolers for families and the backyard; there are coolers for the millennials heading out to festivals, sporting events, concerts; coolers for adventurers.
But none of them is for everything, and they all look the same. They’re plodding, neutral-colored plastic toolboxes. And neutral-colored (and red) actual toolboxes pack hall after hall here. (K2 offers a red cooler, to be fair. And Orion offers some camo patterns, which is original. But we wonder how many Orion coolers are lost out in the American wilderness, and whether their contents are still cold.) They’re beige, white, and, like, wall-colored. And if they have wheels, those wheels are hanging on their ends like design afterthoughts: wheel-wells? What are wheel-wells? Invariably, they feature heavy, body-length seams from their hinges, as if no one ever thought of that except everyone. They have lines and creases and seams and moldings and cluttery artifacts of the molding process because streamlining, what’s streamlining? And that’s literally almost all of them, one after the other.
Outside the Box
Well, the point is that it got us to wondering, if you’ll forgive the inevitable cliche: doesn’t anyone think outside the box? Or, outside the cooler? What a cooler looks like is important. The products we use and choose, for better or worse, become a part of our identities. But there is, of course, a lot more to a cooler than what it looks like and a boring cooler can be great and a beautiful cooler can be lousy. RovR thinks outside the box inside the cooler, too. With the RollR’s uncompromising construction, innovative features, and intuitive design, we’re definitely not putting style ahead of substance. We believe in both.
We were damn proud (and in most cases a lot more comfortable) toting the RovR RollR cooler around the National Hardware Show. It was the coolest cooler there, no matter what’s in a name.