Yeti is a reigning champion of outdoor gear and accessories. Their double-walled tumblers have a cult following, but that’s not the only thing they make. Yeti coolers are one of the biggest names out there, and chances are, you know someone who has a yeti cooler that makes you seriously jealous.
The brand is based in Austin, Texas, and is just as obsessed with the outdoors as you are. Two brothers started the company in 2006 after a fruitless search for a cooler that could stand up to their kind of outdoor adventures. Coolers at the time were weak and broke after just a few drops.
The coolers are an investment, sure, but they’re intended to be an investment for life. These aren’t your typical Sunday picnic coolers. They’re meant to take a beating year after year and come back for more. Let’s take a look at what makes them so good in our Yeti cooler review.
Best Yeti Coolers for Most People
The Hopper is Yeti’s soft-sided line, and the Hopper Flip 8 is the perfect personal cooler for taking your drinks on the road. It has enough space for eight cans, or it can be an ice chest that holds up to ten pounds of ice. It measures 11.5 x 8 x 10.5 inches, so it’s comfortable to carry with you even when you’re loaded down with other gear. The dry hide shell and hydro lock zipper make the contents waterproof, and closed cell rubber foam is far superior insulation to most other soft-sided coolers.
What Customers Liked:
- Easy to carry
- Good lunchbox/personal cooler size
Common Customer Complaints:
- Expensive for the size
- Awkward for holding bottles
The Tundra Haul is a little bigger and features those hard sides Yeti is known for. It has never-flat wheels and a reinforced handle so you can roll it along safely whether over your driveway or rough terrain. It holds up to 45 cans, and as an ice chest it carries up to 55 pounds of ice. It has extra thick walls, and pressure injected polyurethane foam insulation, which is far superior to the average chest. The cord lock gasket circles the lid, and welded aluminum handles ensure strength and complete cold retention.
What Customers Like:
- Never-flat wheels are reliable
- Welded aluminum handle just will not break
- The redesign makes it easier to store taller items like bottles
- Little heavy even when empty
- Getting a true seal can be tricky
Everything Else: The Entire Yeti Product Line
Yeti has a fantastic product line of a different cooler that go from daily lunch or day hikes to weekend trips or longer and everything in between. They are an investment, but once you have one, you shouldn’t be spending cash every year to replace it.
Soft Sided Coolers
Yeti branched into soft-sided coolers not too long after perfecting their hard sided ones. The soft-sided coolers have convenient shoulder straps to make them easier to carry whether it’s eight cans of beer or 24. As personal coolers, these are great for day-long hikes or trips where you’ll be out in the elements, but you still need a free hand to carry other gear.
They have closed cell rubber insulation, far superior insulation to your average lunch box, and both outside materials and the zipper are waterproof. These coolers are perfect for the beach, fishing, or hiking when you’re pretty sure you’ll encounter some wet weather.
Hard Sided Coolers
Yeti really shines with hard-sided coolers. They come in a variety of sizes, but all of them have Yeti’s unique injection molded insulation. It keeps things cold a lot longer than standard coolers, but make sure you follow a few procedures before starting.
Handles are welded aluminum, which can withstand a huge amount of stress and abuse without snapping off. This feature is one of the reasons the brothers got into making coolers in the first place. They reinforced the hinges as well so they won’t snap even with repeated hard openings.
Tundra coolers are Yeti’s flagship cooler. They come in the widest variety of sizes and colors, and one even has wheels. They use a sealed cold gasket around the lip of the cooler to keep cold in more efficiently and have handles in just the right place to be out of the way, yet comfortable to carry.
It looks the most like a standard cooler and is probably the one you think of when you’re imagining a classic Yeti. The curved edges make a great contrast to angular dimensions made famous by some other cooler companies, and the soft vintage colors, including white, are a good design choice.
The Tank is a bucket style cooler that uses the same pressure injected insulation which keeps cold in for longer. The rounded sides are suitable for holding ice and drinks in an environment where the lid will likely be open a lot. It’s basically indestructible and comes in three different sizes.
The Silo is an improved drink station designed with a durable spigot for quick drink distribution. It has T-rex lid latches and a fat wall design to keep your drinks both cold and secure. Pressure injected, commercial grade polyurethane provides excellent insulation, enough to keep your drink cold for days. Make sure you’ve got a good seal, and your guests, employees, or friends will thank you.
Yeti also makes an ultra-compact cooler for impromptu gatherings. It features the same double walled design with pressure injected insulation, but it has a convenient carry handle and tie-down slots for better anchoring. It’s suitable for boats, truck beds, or anywhere else you may need to tie it for traveling.
Yeti makes a range of accessories to go with your cooler. For example, their excellent Tundra cooler becomes a comfortable extra seat with add-on seat cushions. There are also accessories for tie-down security, bear-proof locks, plus baskets and dividers for better organization.
The Tank has drink holders for the side of the cooler, non-slip feet attachments, and other small accessories to help customize your cooler. The Hopper can have a bottle opener or a sidekick gear case that’s a waterproof place to store essentials like your wallet. You can even customize your coolers with a variety of patches and stickers.
Yeti Coupons & Promo Codes for 2020
Yeti doesn’t do a lot of sales, but they will often participate in Black Friday sales. Right now, their Yeti Days of Christmas Sale is happening, and you might be able to catch some great deals if you act fast.
Although the Tundra Haul is our current favorite, the Tundra itself is their most varied model and the 45 is certainly one of the most popular. It revolutionizes coolers in a few different ways.
Pressure Injected Insulation
Most standard coolers have cheap insulation that works well enough but tends to break down under more extreme temperatures and use. Those coolers are intended for a backyard barbecue, not a week-long fishing trip or the wild tailgate you host.
For some, getting the cooler to remain cold is an issue, but there’s a secret. If you keep your Yeti stored in a room that’s warm (or even room temperature), the insulation absorbs that ambient temperature. When you pour your ice in, it begins to melt because the walls of the cooler haven’t been adequately prepared.
If you have a deep freezer, you could place your cooler in there. You could also fill it with water and some ice to begin to bring the temperature down before you need to use it. If the insulation starts out cold, you’ll have much better luck with your Yeti.
This method of creating the outer walls involves turning the mold as it’s begin poured. It produces a more stable, stronger plastic that’s also better for insulation. Your cooler won’t break or crack even when you’re dragging it out of your truck or if it’s in storage for a while.
The latches and hinges are weak spots for typical coolers, so Yeti reinforced them. The T-rex style lid closures are made from flexible rubber, which doesn’t crack nearly as quickly as their plastic cousins. The back hinges use something Yeti calls “Never fail hinges” are a simple pin system that connects the lid to the body of the cooler itself.
The threaded vortex drain makes it a lot easier to clear out the cooler to make room for new ice. Handles called “lip grips” keep handles out of the way by locating them underneath the lip of the cooler. Most Tundra coolers are bear proof, or can be made that way, and can withstand not only bears but inclement weather, falls, and other hazards.
Yeti makes Tundra in a wide variety of sizes from personal to “oh my god that’s enormous.” The wheeled version we mentioned above, The Haul, is a great, all around cooler that makes moving easy. Be sure to read the interior measurements and estimated volume because the numbers don’t directly correlate to volume. For example, the 45 holds just around 33 quarts instead of 45.
What Customers Are Saying:
There are a lot of real customers who have had great experiences using their Yeti cooler. Here are some of our favorite testimonials from Yeti customers.
“We went camping for 5 days over Memorial Day weekend. Jeeping to be exact at the hot ass and sandy Haspin Acres in Indiana. We took food, alcohol, and drinks to hold us over for 5 days. We also took a 52 quart Ozark Trail cooler from Wal-Mart (the tan one, Yeti knock-off looking thing), another cheaper cooler from Wal-Mart, We put all coolers in the freezer to pre-cool them before we filled them. Although we camped in a shady area, we had to repeatedly put ice in all coolers except for the Yeti.”
“If, like me, you appreciate quality and want a cooler that simply does the job better than anything else on the market and will not need to be replaced every couple of years because something breaks on it, this is well worth the investment.”
What Customers Like:
- Reinforced latches and hinges don’t break down easily
- Cold gasket sealing around the lid
- Roto molded exterior is durable
- Heavy to move around and only has one wheeled option
Coolers Like Yeti
Yeti isn’t the only game in town if you’re looking for a heavy-duty cooler.
Orca makes some excellent coolers very similar to the Yeti style. They come in a variety of colors and styles, including unusual colors such as pink and electric orange. They’re based in Nashville, Tennessee, and manufactures all their products right here in the United States.
One great thing about Orca is that the number in the name directly correlates with the capacity. The Orca 20 holds, you guessed it, 20 quarts, unlike Yeti whose coolers are about 15% smaller in capacity than the number in the name.
Both have large amounts of insulation and use roto-molded plastic for the exteriors of their hard sided coolers. Both have insulated soft-sided coolers. However, Yeti’s capacity options are much larger than Orca for both types.
Buy Yeti if you need more flexibility in capacity for both soft-sided and hard sided coolers. You’ll sacrifice a few design options, but you’ll be able to get a size closer to your perfect choice.
Buy Orca if you need more design options (looking for that perfect holiday present?) or you want to save a few bucks. Orca isn’t much cheaper, but it could save you about $20 on most sizes. If your budget has no wiggle room, Orca is your best bet.
Ozark Trail is an excellent budget option if you don’t have the budget for a Yeti or an Orca. It uses the same high-end features as some of the other coolers, but at half the price tag. The exterior is rotomolded plastic which is highly durable, and the insulation is commercial grade.
It comes in a variety of capacities and colors, but not quite as many options as the Yeti. However, the design is very similar with more vintage curved lines and colors. Ozark Trail is distributed by Walmart, so it’s easy to find and makes for a great budget gift if you’re still looking around holiday time.
It’s not going to last as long, and the cold times are just about half, but overall, it’s a great affordable option. Get the Ozark Trail if you’re focused on the money part of this equation.
Spring for the Yeti if you need something genuinely durable and with an outstanding cold storage life. Also, if a spout is a deal breaker, the Yeti is the only choice.
We give Yeti 4.5 out of 5 mostly because we can’t believe that such a massive cooler only has one wheeled option. If Yeti remade all their coolers with an option for adding wheels, we’d give them more than five stars.
Overall, if you’re looking for a quality cooler that can withstand a fair amount of abuse and won’t send you running back to the store for ice every six hours, this is a good investment. Just remember that the investment is for the long term and you’re probably saving money by not having to buy a new cooler every six months.