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Tuesday, July 04 2017 16:52

Review: The Step2 StoneFront Patio Collection Cooler & Storage (Made in USA)

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When you think of Step2, chances are you immediately think of play kitchens, outdoor play houses, swing sets and that type of stuff. What many don't realize is that they've also made home & garden products for many years (we have a Step2 mailbox), but that's never really been front and center. That might be on the cusp of changing, though, as Step2 has been working on some pretty innovative new products for the lifestyle space, one of which was recently sent to us for review - the StoneFront Patio Collection Cooler & Storage unit. Being so big into outdoor living, I was really excited to see this become a reality, as it was something hinted at when I last visited The Step2 Company's headquarters in Ohio back when I was working with them as a brand ambassador a couple years back. This is something that adds some real flair and function to any outdoor space.

Step2 StoneFront Patio Collection Cooler & Storage

The concept is simple: an insulated cooler on top, with stainless steel doors on the front that open up to reveal storage under the cooler. The execution is what's impressive as the unit has a high-end look. Using the latest in their plastic molding technology to replicate stacked brick with realistic results, the unit is relatively lightweight, but there actually is some heft and substance to it (it weighs about 30lbs overall).

Step2 StoneFront Patio Collection Cooler & Storage

The top of the cooler is split, so you can open one side to reach in for a drink while using the other side for meal prep. And yes, food preparation is fantastic with this, as the lid really makes a fine surface to extend the work area (it also comes with a cutting board that hangs on the side). Personally, we have a really nice Weber Grill, but putting in a complete outdoor kitchen (very trendy right now) is not something that's financially or logistically feasible right now. So, for under $300, this unit captures a little of that spirit in an affordable package. I've been storing my pizza stone, cast iron skillet, grill sprays and tools in this. 

Step2 StoneFront Patio Collection Cooler & Storage

And, when I'm not cooking this unit is just the right height for me to place a couple of my potted berries (strawberries and raspberries) to keep them off the ground and away from our hungry dogs (who like to snipe the fresh berries).

Step2 StoneFront Patio Collection Cooler & Storage

Photo Credit: The Step2 Company

The StoneFront Patio Collection Cooler & Storage unit is available now from Step2, and as the name seems to indicate, if this one does well, could other entries into the StoneFront Patio "Collection" be on the way? I certainly hope so!

Made in USA of US and imported parts.

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, a writer for the Netflix #StreamTeam, and serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. Current special projects include promotional campaigns for PJ Masks (eOne/Disney Junior) and Beat Bugs (Netflix). 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for Napalm Records' PRODUCT OF HATE.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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