Recommendations for cheaper "stratacooler" benchtop coolers?

D. KIM dkim at NMSU.Edu
Sat Jun 12 09:50:40 EST 1999

Well, at the local Wal-Mart (a giant department store chain, for you
non-North Americans), one can purchase a small chest freezer for less than
a single Stratacooler.  How about that?  (of course, it takes more bench



p.s.  OK, you could try purchasing one of those double-wall "frosty mugs"
that I see in stores.  These can be stored at -20 C and a small round tube
rack may be devised to fit inside.  They might maintain correct
temperatures for a reasonable time.

How about a Thermos wide-mouth bottle with a chunk of "Blue Ice" on the

One of the big problems is finding a molded plastic tube rack.  I haven't
been able to overcome this obstacle.  Does anyone out there have a source?

Our lab manager read the safety/ingredients list on a Stratacooler, and
noticed that it contains polystyrene!  We figure the cooler gets around
the problem of uneven expansion of the coolant gel by incorporating
polystyrene beads, which will compress to relieve pressure caused by
expansion.  This may be an important hint for a DIY cooler.


(Now, any thoughts on making an air thermocycler out of a hair dryer and
coffee can?)

Chris H Lindley <chris at> wrote:
: Hi all,

: What benchtop coolers can people recommend?

: I mean ones similar to Stratagene's Stratacooler range. For what
: they are these seem a little expensive!

: For my own personal use, I made one from a freezer pack and
: a polysterene "eppendorf"  box. This works pretty well,
: although I'd hate to keep enzymes in it longer than
: 15 mins outside of the freezer:-)

: However for communal use in the lab, I'd like a good
: source of some 20/30 tube racks, capable of keeping at at least
: -20degC for 1 hour outside of the freezer!

: Any reccomedations?

: Cheers
: Chris

: -- 
: ¦  Chris H. Lindley                                  Yorkshire, UK  ¦
: ¦  chris at     Ferg on #os/2 and #os2uk, EFnet  ¦
: ¦  WarpUK:UK OS/2 Users group           ¦
: ¦  Molecular Biology & OS/2       ¦

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