Oyster Tempo is Literally the Most Chill Outdoor Cooler Ever Designed

06.30.23 | By
Oyster Tempo is Literally the Most Chill Outdoor Cooler Ever Designed

If names like Yeti, Tundra, and RTIC strike a chord, you’ve likely gone through the sticker shock associated with deliberating between very large rectangular blocks of insulated plastic. Ice coolers fall under the product category of “you wouldn’t believe how much these things cost,” at least when considering options amongst a top performing tier of coolers attached to price tags of hundreds of dollars. Oyster, a new Norwegian brand will still set you back $500, but it introduces a uniquely smaller and more efficient design aiming to suck out the air from its larger and bulkier competition.

Cutout view of Oyster Tempo Cooler illustrating capacity and insulated interior build compared to traditional cooler.

Typically thermal energy is circulated within a cooler very slowly, affecting the overall temperature within. The Tempo thermal circulation is 380x faster than a comparable hard cooler, the equivalent of 190 watts/meter Kelvin versus 0.5 watts/meter Kelvin.

Top exploded view of Tempo Cooler of handle and strap options.

The Tempo is the most engineered ice cooler, inside and out, with an intelligently designed accessories system allowing easy and fast switches from a metal carrying handle to the included shoulder strap with only a couple turns of a dial. This assembly/disassembly construction also makes cleaning the cooler simpler and more thorough.

Even the best hard cooler requires pouring large amounts of ice to retain a cold drink temperature for hours, making for a laborious haul, ironically heating the carrier while attempting to keep the contents cool. The Tempo proposes something a bit wild: subtracting ice out of the equation. That is, if you start off by throwing in cold drinks or food to begin with. The Tempo’s patented double-wall vacuum insulation technology is so efficient in preventing heat transfer from occurring – keeping cold temps within from escaping and warmer ambient air from intruding. The cooler can keep cold foods or drinks chill for hours without ice… or for much longer aided by two included ice packs.

Open lid interior overhead shot of Tempo cooler with two ice pack inserts.

Two ice packs designed to fit perfectly into the Tempo are included, helping keep food and drinks cold(er) for longer periods. The precise fit of the two accessory packs into the aluminum lined interior illustrates the level of detail the Oyster team put into developing the Tempo over the span of six years. \\\ Photo: Gregory Han

The sleek extruded aluminum cooler essentially works just like those popular double-walled metal flasks you might already carry around everywhere to keep your coffee hot or water cold throughout the day, creating an insulated and vacuumed sealed interior large enough to fit 36 cans of beverages within. The only caveat of the design is if you dent it, it’s going to wear the signs of your mishaps forever (but that’s what strategically placed stickers are for).

Oyster Tempo Performance Cooler covered in stickers with red shoulder strap with top lid open with green backdrop.

The cooler’s rectangular shape is in itself an innovation; previous attempts to manufacture anything beyond a cylindrical vacuum-insulated shape would fail to retain their shape over an extended span of time. Oyster stands by their design so confidently, not only will they replace any broken parts, they claim their replacement policy even extends out to damage if your cooler is “mauled by a bear.”

Close up of front locking lid handle.

The lid locks into a vacuum seal by securing two long handle hinges on both sides. Leave one in place and the lid levers open in a clamshell configuration. \\\ Photo: Gregory Han

Close up of Tempo cooler dial handle.

Photo: Gregory Han

Detail of twist turn dial change our handle and strap system of Tempo cooler.

A strap or handle can be switched out quickly and easily thanks to the Tempo’s twist dial securing system. \\\ Photo: Gregory Han

Red shoulder carrying strap attached to Tempo Cooler.

A red nylon shoulder strap attaches easily to the Tempo for longer, heavier hauls after loading the 12.3-lbs (empty) cooler for outdoor destinations. \\\ Photo: Gregory Han

Outward appearances may give off the impression the Tempo is designed only for modest loads. But because of the thin-walled design, the Tempo offers three times the capacity compared to other rotomolded coolers of similar size.

Red nylon strap with black branded label with "OYSTER PERFORMANCE COOLERS" and logo stitched onto it.

Photo: Gregory Han

As the owner of an enormous and unwieldy rotomolded cooler, the Tempo’s manageable size is revelatory, and to be frank, suitable for more than 80% of our typical hiking, camping, or picnicking adventures. Pair that with the Tempo’s extraordinary ability to keep contents cold without bagfuls of ice, the quick-switch handle or strap carrying system, superior portability, and its subjectively standout industrial good looks, and the Tempo is arguably the coolest cooler on the market.

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Gregory Han is a Senior Editor at Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at