About this project
Our Kickstarter campaign is over, but you can still get an IceMule. Head over to www.icemulecooler.com for more info and to place an order.
"Save your next camping trip from warm beer." - CROWDLIFTED
Whatever your adventure, you’ll need something cold to drink when you get there. But the hard coolers you’ve used are too heavy and bulky to take with you. And the soft coolers you've tried are too leaky or just not as tough as you are (we know you're tough...we checked around).
We think it's time for something better. Don't you?
THE ICEMULE COOLER
The IceMule Cooler is the world’s most portable high-performance soft cooler. It combines the portability of a backpack with the performance of a hard cooler. It keeps ice intact for up to 24 hours. It rolls up for storage in its own stuff sack. It even floats!
Unlike other soft coolers, the IceMule is not sewn together and it has no zippers - sewn seams and zippers leak. Instead, the IceMule’s design is based on the traditional dry bag concept and utilizes welded seams so the cooler can carry ice without leaking.
But what makes these high-performance coolers is the double-layered shell that houses insulating foam between the layers - in essence creating an incredibly well insulated dry bag. Plus, the IceMule's watertight roll-top closure and side release buckle make it easily accessible and the padded back-strap makes it highly portable.
We made the IceMule because we wanted to enjoy the outdoors without constraint. We wanted to go wherever we wanted and have a cold drink when we got there - whether it was on top of a mountain or deep into a bay on a paddleboard. Regular coolers just can’t do that. But the IceMule can. We made the IceMule for a simple reason – we believe that wherever you go, your cooler should go!
And now, with your help, we’re expanding the IceMule family of coolers so that no matter what your adventure, there will be an IceMule designed for you!
“These coolers are phenomenal! Very rugged and sturdy, great for any outdoor activity and/or lounging!” – Ricky O’Connell, Atlanta, GA
“Love this product and highly recommend.” – Debra Ruh, Richmond, VA
“It has been a long time since I have tried anything that worked as well and had such wonderful functionality as the IceMule Pro Catch cooler. This insulated cooler fits perfectly on the bow (which is "dead space") of the kayak and clips tightly in place to provide the perfect place to store your catch. I have tried the Pro Catch out in temps well over 90 degrees with fish that were caught in the early morning and not taken out until late in the evening and they were still cold to the touch. The other great thing about the Pro Catch is the ease of storage and cleaning. This is the last kayak cooler I will ever need. Thank you IceMule for making what the kayak fishing world needed.” – Mark Patterson, President, North Carolina Kayak Fishing Association
“I almost cannot remember a time when I did not carry the IceMule Cooler...It is so easy to carry and it folds down when empty, which is doubly important when the car is stuffed full even at the end of a trip to the beach. …If you need a soft-sided cooler that is very portable, easy to use, and just the right size for an afternoon out what someone needs, then the IceMule is definitely the way to go.” - online review at 4alloutdoors.org
There was just one. With your help, there will be NINE. For three years, we've been making and marketing a single product - the 20L IceMule Cooler, which we now call the Classic. Now, we're expanding the line to 3 distinct products, each in three sizes. This is why we're raising money on Kickstarter - to fund our first production run. We've already invested in all the tooling and dyes. What remains is paying for fabric, parts and actual production. And we'd like to thank you in advance for your support.
Building the IceMule Family
How did the IceMule go from concept to an actual, physical product? It started with just that - a concept drawing, plus a long list of specs that our founder then handed to our designer, who translated these rough ideas into something our manufacturer could prototype. (Since we don't have a radio-frequency welding machine sitting in the office, we don't make any prototypes outside of the factory). Once we had the prototypes, we tested them, tested them again, and then tested them over and over again. We made needed corrections - and then we tested them again! This is the process we've used for years with the original IceMule and have now used again to make major improvements in fabrication and durability to the original IceMule Classic design. It's also the same process we've used to create the new line of IceMule Pro Coolers and IceMule Pro Catch Coolers. Take a stroll with us through the design-to-live-product memory trail....
Building the IceMule Cooler
Building the IceMule Pro Cooler
Building the IceMule Pro Catch Cooler
The IceMule family is dying to meet you! So here they are:
The IceMule Classic Cooler
This is the highly versatile cooler that started it all. Until now, our classic blue IceMule cooler has only been offered in a 20L (18 can) size - but now we are adding two smaller sizes, a 10L (six-pack size) and a 15L (twelve-pack size). Plus, we've improved the materials and construction in nearly every way. With fabric that is 2x thicker and reinforced seams, this is an everyday cooler designed to be as tough and high-performance as technical outdoor gear that can cost much more.
The IceMule Pro Cooler
These are serious coolers designed for extreme adventure. Or even just for when you have a lot of stuff to keep cold and don't want to lug a huge, hard, bulky cooler around! With a 1000 denier exterior tarpaulin fabric, seams rated to 65 pounds, and a padded, ventilated backpack strap system, this is absolutely the world's most portable HIGH-CAPACITY, high-performance cooler. And it comes in three sizes: Large (20L), Xtra Large (30L) and Xtra Xtra Large (at 40L...this thing is a MONSTER).
The IceMule Pro Catch Cooler
Ever since we've been making IceMules people have been using them as catch coolers for kayak and paddleboard fishing. And many of them asked us to make them an IceMule specifically for fishing - so we listened. Introducing the IceMule Pro Catch Cooler - everything you would expect from IceMule, now in a catch cooler. Tough exterior and interior fabric so you can use it with or without a liner. IceMule patented insulated dry-bag technology - and clips, straps and bungees all over so you can tie it down wherever you like. We think it's the simplest and most effective catch cooler ever - And it comes in three sizes: Small (22 inches), Medium (32 inches) and Large (42 inches).
Pre-order your very own IceMule Cooler, IceMule Pro Cooler or IceMule Pro Catch Cooler, or pledge for one of our other great rewards. For Kickstarter supporters, shipping in the U.S. is free!
We’ll ship in Spring 2014, so that by the time it gets warm (in the Northern Hemisphere, at least) you'll be ready!
Here's our schedule to get IceMules and our other cool rewards out to you good folks:
November 2013: Place fabric, parts and production order based on Kickstarter results (which, fingers-crossed, will be huge!! )
December 2013 / January 2014: Production run is complete; container is loaded and ready to ship.
February 2014: Container arrives at our Fulfillment partner's warehouse in Jacksonville, FL. We unload, inventory, inspect, tag and prep our newborn IceMules for their new homes. These little guys are so cute at this stage...
March 2014: We send your rewards out! For non-IceMule rewards, those will be in the Jacksonville warehouse, stocked and ready to go by late December, so those will go out at the same time as the IceMule Cooler rewards.
Round 2: Delivery in April - May, 2014: In the event that we blow it out and need to split into two production runs (anything in excess of 2,000 units altogether or sell outs of any specific cooler ) then we will follow the same schedule as above but one month out. In that event, we will update this page and communicate with all donors that will have to wait an extra 30-60 days for their rewards.
Thinking of getting an IceMule as a Holiday Gift?
We've got you covered. Even though the IceMules won't be delivered in time for the holidays, your friend (husband, wife, etc) will know that you're thinking ahead to the Spring, because we'll give you a Coming Soon Certificate. It'll state that due to your impeccable good taste, foresight, and amazing good looks you were able to secure a first run IceMule for them! They'll be so much more happy with that than they are with the socks from Uncle Fred (trust us).
We're offering free shipping in the U.S. For international backers in we've created specific rewards that include shipping charges based on the cheapest estimates we could find! You'll be responsible for applicable tariffs and customs fees, as well as shipping.
We're just like you - we love being outdoors and we think it's better when we have something cold to drink and fresh food when we get where we're going. Our founder is a businessman who became, well, obsessed with this idea. So he put together a small but highly talented team of designers, manufacturers, and guides to help him create the best soft coolers on the market. We made the IceMule because we wanted it, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
First, thank you for your support! Whether or not you make a pledge, you've gotten this far and that means a lot to us.
Also, there is a big team of folks here in St. Augustine, FL who have worked tirelessly to help us get this campaign out so we think they deserve a big shout-out. They include: Scott Smith, Randy Taylor, Meg O'Connell, Aerin Finn, The Ice Plant Restaurant, First Coast SUP, Anastasia Watersports, and many others. Thank you!
Risks and challenges
This IceMule is a difficult product to make perfectly, which is how we always want to make them. Radio-frequency welding can be challenging with a simple design and the IceMule is complex. However, we've been making the 20L IceMule Cooler for 3 years, so many of the technical challenges involved in creating a two-walled insulated dry bag were solved long before launching this Kickstarter project.
That said, moving from one product to nine, including two new types, required over a year of design, development and prototyping. To mitigate this challenge, we made 90 prototypes and stress-tested them all to find, and correct, any areas of concern.
Finding the right manufacturing partner is one of the, if not, the most critical decisions a company like ours can make. The wrong manufacturer can create quality problems, excess cost and delivery delays. After a long search, we found a company that is best in class. IceMule Coolers are manufactured by one of the largest and best Radio Frequency welding OEM manufacturers in the world. Our manufacturer, an ISO Compliant Certified company, makes product for Disney, Target, Lowes and many other large companies. These companies inspect the factory annually for accordance with their human rights, quality and vendor policy. This is important because the IceMule Company cannot afford to perform these types of inspections, but we wanted to make sure that our manufacturing partner would pass muster. So the punchline is that we have one of the best, safest, highest-quality manufacturers in the world making IceMules. They have been enthusiastic about this product from the start and we are thrilled to have them as a partner.
Delivering product on time and in perfect condition is critical and we know that this is a concern for many Kickstarter backers. To mitigate any potential issues, we've established realistic manufacturing and shipping timeframes with our manufacturer and included some time margin in case any unforeseen issues arise. Once we receive product in our warehouse, we still need to get it to our backers though. The good news is that we have been working with the same fulfillment partner in Jacksonville, FL for over three years. They are both one of the largest fulfillment companies in the Southeast and one of the few that has a passion for working with small companies such as ours.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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