DIY Cooler (Part 4) Analysis

Flex Seal:

  • Pros
    • White. Smooth(-ish) surface. Looks like it would be easy to clean
    • Food safe, so in theory you could drink the meltwater as long as it wasn’t fouled by whatever else you had in there
    • Cheaper, though maybe not so much if you had to add more layers for durability
    • Easily repaired
    • Easier to ensure is water-tight
    • Good thermal performance. Thermally equivalent to Line-X
  • Cons
    • Stinks when drying. Long application time (each surface has to be horizontal until set up or it will run
    • Two coats are substantially less durable than Line-X or a MIE cooler


  • Pros:
    • Extremely durable. Looks nigh-indestructable
    • Good thermal performance. Thermally equivalent to Flex-Seal
    • Application is quick (by others), nearly instant dry time
    • FDA approved for “incidental food contact” and potable water
  • Cons:
    • More expensive than Flex-seal
    • Granulated surface may be harder to clean
    • Need extra attention to ensure surfaces will spray water-tight (tape on joints?)
    • Thickness of spray may be inconsistent and need trimming for final fit
    • Overspray may be a problem on finished product. Recommend delaying finishing of box to allow for sanding if necessary
    • Base color is black. Think they can probably do white or other colors, but not sure of cost difference


On almost all counts, Line-X is at least equivalent to Flex-Seal, and Line-X is clearly superior in terms of durability. Most of the cons for Line-X are either acceptable or are easily compensated for. The only situation where Line-X doesn’t beat Flex-Seal is cost. For this experiment, Line-X was maybe about twice as expensive as Flex-Seal. I’m not sure what that cost differential would be when scaled up to a full size box, it may be roughly equivalent. On the whole, though, I suspect that when going through the effort to hand-craft a wooden ice chest, it’s probably worth the extra cost for a fully-assed end product.

This entry was posted in Anachronism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *