Why Do So Many People Freak Out About Yeti Coolers?

updated May 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Yeti)

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been hearing about Yeti coolers for years. My hardcore camper friends won’t head into the woods without one, and most of the reviewers on Amazon treat the cooler as if it can walk on water (of course, if the water had been in the cooler, it’d be ice!).

I had to get my hands on one to see if it was worth the hype — and the money. The brand’s most popular cooler is the Tundra 45 model (it also happens to be $350), so that’s what I tested out.

(Image credit: Lisa Freedman)

What’s So Great About Yeti’s Tundra 45?

The website touts the cooler’s durable construction and two inches of something called PermaFrost Insulation throughout the body of the cooler (the lid has three inches of the stuff). The lid also features a full-frame freezer-quality gasket, which helps keep cold air in and hot air out. This size, the 45, can hold 26 cans of beer with the recommended two-to-one ice-to-contents ratio and it comes with a cute little basket to hold things like sandwiches and dry goods at the top. It’s also apparently UV- and bear-resistant.

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We Tried It: A Review of Yeti’s Tundra 45

The other weekend was the 4th of July and my husband and I hosted 11 people for four days. We thought about getting a keg for the festivities, but ultimately decided to get a lot of local craft beers (plus some classic favorites) to try throughout the weekend. With a fridge full of hot dogs, hamburgers, fruit, and salads, we crammed as many cans and bottles in there as we possibly could. The rest went into our new Tundra 45, which we set up on the edge of the porch so that people could access it from the yard while we played yard games and had lazy outside sitting sessions.

(Image credit: Lisa Freedman)

How’d it go? To give you a quick recap: When we were cleaning up on Monday night, the leftover beers were still super cold and most of the ice in there was still ice (read: not melted).

We added more beers and extra ice all throughout the weekend and we never had an issue. At some points, I realized that my husband had refilled the cooler with so much stuff, the lid couldn’t close all the way and the cooler still did its job — even during the hottest parts of the day when the whole thing was sitting in direct sun. We have used cheaper coolers (like, $20 ones from a nearby big-box store) in a similar way and the ice always becomes a watery puddle in a day or two. The Yeti, however, kept its cool for four days!

So, yes! The Yeti cooler is basically a magical wizard of cool. But again, it is expensive. Is it worth $350? It depends on how much you like cold beer. And how long you need it to last.

Would you spend $350 on a cooler? Do you have a Yeti cooler? Discuss in the comments.