Jun 17, 2023

I'm Officially Obsessed With Otterbox's 4

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The last can insulator you'll ever need.

I've long had a love-hate relationship with can coolers. Or rather, let me rephrase; I've long loved them; my tiny New York apartment hates them.

My favor for them comes from my deep, passionate desire to always have my cold beverages as cold as they possibly can be, ideally hovering right around 33º Fahrenheit every time they hit my lips. My apartment, meanwhile, doesn't care for them, because they take up valuable cabinet space otherwise needed for glassware, plates, coffee mugs and other kitchen essentials. I've taken to keeping my supply of assorted can insulators stowed away in the back of my closet, where I have to rummage around past clothes and bags to find them. (Which, in practice, means I rarely use them, and just suck my beverages down quick as I can.)

Or at least, I had been doing so ... until the Otterbox Elevation Can Cooler fell into my life.

See, the Elevation manages the remarkable trick of replacing four separate can coolers: one for 16-ounce beer cans, one for conventional 12-ounce cans of soda, beer or seltzer water; one for tall, thin 12-ounce cans; and one for 12-oz. longneck bottles.

How, you might ask? The secret is simple: a removable plastic adaptor that sits flush at the bottom of the cooler. If you're planning on drinking from a 12-oz. bottle or can (slim or regular), leave the adaptor in facing wide-side up; if you scored some delicious Alchemist Heady Topper (or any 16-oz. canned beverage, but really, you should be drinking Heady Topper), remove the adaptor entirely. It's like a Swiss Army Knife, but for booze.

And while a Swiss Army Knife, although handy, is ultimately a mediocre substitute for a survival knife or a real saw or a magnifying glass, the Elevation — in my testing, at least — is every bit as good as regular size-specific can coolers. Granted, there's a bit of open space between the walls and the can with narrow 12-oz. beverages — your High Noons, your White Claws, your Michelobs Ultra — but it's insubstantial enough that it doesn't affect the drink's temperature.

At left, 12-oz. slim can; at right, 12-oz. regular can

Do note, for the record, that the design doesn't work with every type of glass bottle. Stouter ones, such as those from Sierra Nevada or Modelo, are too girthy to fit inside. That said, plenty of taller 12-oz. bottles fit just fine, so just eyeball your beverage of choice's conveyance before you buy the Elevation; odds are good most of what you drink will fit in there just fine.

At left, 16-oz. can; at right, 12-oz. bottle

Also, if you're the sort to bust out your can coolers for friends and family, it's worth noting that the Elevation's cold-protecting design effectively conceals the label and color of the can, making it easy to mix up people's beverages if you're not careful. Granted, this is also true of many types of can cooler — which is why the Elevation, like other can insulators, comes in several different colorways. I plan on grabbing a few extra ones for times like that ... at least, once I move to a bigger place.