Wilderness Systems Accessories Review. Wilderness Systems are offering an entire new line of kayak accessories some of which can be used outside of kayaking making them more useful. Here is my review on the Catch Cooler and Lithium Battery.
So over the past couple months while dodging hurricane Irma, Jodi and I demoed two of Wilderness Systems Accessories, the Catch Cooler and Lithium Battery Pack.
First we will start with the Catch Cooler. Out of the box it looks great with its color scheme of light grey, black, and orange. It is extremely well made with heavy duty TPU rip-stop 420 Denier nylon interior able to withstand sharp fish fins. Two separate compartments allow for keeping the fish slime off of drinks or food. The elevated rigid bottom will do a good job of allowing drainage in the tankwell. With its high amount of insulation it did a fantastic job of keeping a ten pound bag of ice for nine hours in central Florida heat. It still had plenty of ice left at the end of the day. Now if that same bag of ice is dumped out of its plastic bag and left loose it will be gone in four to five hours of the same conditions. The top of the Catch Cooler has mesh storage compartments and more pockets inside for ice pack storage. With the supplied shoulder straps it can easily be transported to the launch backpack style. List price is 169.99.
I did have two major concerns with the Catch Cooler. Number one was the ridged plate in the bottom would not allow it to sit flat in our Wilderness Tarpons (120 and 160) tankwells. The advertising says it fits most Wilderness Systems sit-on-top kayaks. Now you could set it on the bow area but it would sit to high for my use and I don’t want that kind of weight on the bow. As the Tarpons are only 28 inches wide the Catch Cooler went all the way to the outside gunnel on one side with the other side against the opposite tankwell wall. This situation causes an uneven load not a good thing in a 28” wide boat. I am guessing that most of the kayaks they are referring to are the newer models as in the Threshers, Tarpon 130X, Rides, Radars, and ATAK’s.
The second issue is the overall length and capacity. Two upper slot redfish with a 10 lb bag of ice will fill the main compartment. At 29” long, 16” wide, and 7” deep offshore anglers will not be able to fit the larger pelagic’s in the bag. A full day on the flats of catching a limit of several species would also over tax its limits. In my humble opinion its current configuration is to limited as to where and how it can be used. Because of this it would be a no go for me. Narrow it up and lengthen it to 42-48” and I would be all over it. As a cooler in the right kayaks it is a great piece and on an average day with average fish it would do just fine.
The Lithium Battery I found to be very useful under a variety of conditions. It’s multiple outputs options and compact design (4.5” x 2.75” x 1.75”) have worked extremely well. At 14 oz with its sealed hard casing surrounding six high capacity cells portability is not an issue. The 15 Ah are kept track of via blue LED lights on the side that let you know how much charge is left. It has two USB outputs and one 12v output. All of the ports have rubber plugs to help keep water out. To help insure a long life the unit has protection circuitry that prevents over current, short circuit, over charge, and over discharge. As an example for over current draw, hooking up a depth finder that does not stay within the given 12v @ 1.0 Amp will cause it to shut down. This prevents a dangerous overheating condition for your safety. My depth finder was to much draw to hook up to it. Wilderness Systems has advised me that they are working a slightly larger model that will handle most depth finders for 6-8 hrs.
If you cant tell I really like this battery. I used it repeatedly to charge my cell phone a Samsung Galaxy S5 being able to charge it four times before needing to charge the battery back. It would also charge my IPad Air II once and have enough left to charge my phone once. Charging them both at the same time is to much draw. The Lithium Charger was a life saver while we had no power for nine days after Irma. It kept from having to use the generator to recharge the phones. I have also charged my GoPro Hero 3 Black with it while on the water. Have yet to use it during camping but already know it will get it done for us. Also a great extra power supply in a vehicle with limited plugs for devices. So if you are in need of a compact water resistant backup power supply at a list price of 124.99 you wont go wrong here.
ThermoNet: New Technology from Buff USA Next Post:
Ambush Hunting Camo Kayak Cover/Hunting Blind From Yak Gear