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Yeti coolers are incredibly famous in the cooler market and likely to be the first brand you think of when considering a new cooler. Whilst some swear by them, others insist that they are overrated and expensive.

All the fame of Yeti coolers may have been well-earned a decade ago, but with the rise of e-commerce, plenty of new options and competitors have appeared in the market, and some are worthy opponents.

Some people find that Yeti coolers always top the list. Others find that competitor products are just as good, if not better.

So, what is the truth? Are yeti coolers worth it? Let’s unravel it and discuss its pros, cons, recommendations, and alternatives!

The Positive Sides of Yeti Coolers

Extreme Durability

Yeti coolers are fairly well-known for being extremely durable and hardy. This is because of their rotationally molded plastic construction, which results in sturdiness and strength that simply wouldn’t be found in different materials.

It’s extremely difficult to damage a hard-sided Yeti cooler, and the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee has stated that they are totally safe from grizzly bears. This means it can be brought along on all sorts of expeditions.

Brand

Yeti is arguably one of the top cooler brands in the world, and few would disagree. Although a brand name doesn’t count for everything, Yeti has built a positive reputation for a high-quality, durable, and reliable brand that produces great coolers. It’s a trusted brand, and that’s good for buyers!

Good Insulation

Yeti coolers are typically insulated with approximately 3 inches of good quality polyurethane foam. Many also have a freezing gasket that seals the lid of the cooler for tighter insulation. This means the coolers are fairly leakproof, and the very thick walls allow for up to a week of ice storage.

For those who want an even more insulated Yeti cooler, the key is learning how to maintain the coolness in advance. Prechilling a Yeti cooler with a single bag of ice 24 hours before usage can do wonders for ice retention time. (This also applies to most coolers!)

The Negative Sides of Yeti Coolers

Price

One of the main reasons people wonder if Yeti coolers are worth it is due to their high price. Most of their range is relatively expensive, with even the smallest options costing upwards of $200. Many coolers can be purchased for a quarter or even a tenth of that price!

There’s no way to deny that Yeti coolers are overpriced. But that’s because of its trusted brand name, and also for bragging rights. (It’s kind of like how Apple products sell like hotcakes, despite their extremely high prices and the many cheaper options in the market!)

Heavy Weight

The high quality and thick insulation of Yeti coolers make them fairly heavy, and this can be a real problem for those who don’t want to lug them around. Even without anything in them, they’re already quite heavy!

In fact, a full Yeti cooler is often so heavy that moving or carrying it is a two-person job. You could opt to DIY some wheels on them, but that costs even more time, effort, and cash.

Ice Retention Doesn’t WOW Me

We’ve talked about the good insulation of Yeti coolers – but there are many other brands and products on the market that actually have more impressive ice retention rates. So while Yeti coolers are fine in this respect, they’re nowhere near exceptional – and that makes their high price even more questionable.

In fact, there are some coolers that offer up to 10 days of ice retention, while a week is the basic good quality industry standard. The extra three days can be a big game-changer for many.

Some of The Best Yeti Coolers On The Market

1. YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler

Features

  • ColdCell Insulation, made from closed-cell foam
  • HydroLok Zipper which is 100% leakproof
  • DryHide Shell is totally puncture-resistant, abrasion-resistant, waterproof, and mildew-resistant
  • 6-can (with ice) capacity
  • 11 ½” (length) x 8″ (width) x 10 ½” (height)
  • 8 lbs when empty
  • Multiple color options

The YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler is one of the lower-priced coolers that Yeti sells. It is a soft cooler that is highly portable in comparison to most heavy Yeti coolers. It has a carrying shoulder strap and is surprisingly lightweight. However, this cooler may not have the signature Yeti durability due to its soft nature.

2. YETI Tundra 45 Cooler

Features

  • PermaFrost Insulation (maximum 3″), FatWall design, Bear-Resistant certified
  • Rotomolded Construction for added durability
  • Patented T-Rex Lid Latches made from heavy-duty rubber
  • With a polyester rope of military-grade
  • 26-can capacity with an ice to can ratio of 2:1
  • 25 ½” (length) x 16″ (width) x 15 ½” (height)
  • 22 lbs when empty
  • Multiple color options

The YETI Tundra 45 Cooler is the first and smallest in the famous Tundra range of the Yeti brand. True to its fame, it has all the features we mentioned in the positive and negative sides of Yeti coolers. This includes the impressive bear-resistant durability, thick insulation, high price, and heavyweight.

3. YETI Roadie 20 Cooler

Features

  • PermaFrost Insulation (maximum 2″), FatWall design, Bear-Resistant certified
  • Rotomolded Construction for added durability
  • Patented T-Rex Lid Latches made from heavy-duty rubber
  • 14-can capacity with an ice to can ratio of 2:1
  • 9″ (length) x 3 ¾” (width) x 14 ⅜” (height)
  • 15 lbs when empty
  • Multiple color options

The YETI Roadie 20 Cooler is a more balanced version of the Tundra. It is smaller and more lightweight (though still heavy) while maintaining good insulation, resistance against wild animals, and durable rotomolded construction. A large top handle makes it easy to carry.

4. YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler

Features

  • PermaFrost Insulation, FatWall design
  • Never-flat, single-piece tire wheels with puncture and impact resistance
  • Rotomolded Construction for added durability
  • Strong handle with ergonomic grips for simple, no-fuss towing
  • Patented T-Rex Lid Latches made from heavy-duty rubber
  • 28 ⅕” (length) x 18 ⅗” (width) x 19 ½” (height)
  • 32 lbs when empty
  • Multiple color options

The YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler is the first Yeti cooler that comes on wheels for easier portability. This does make it much heavier (by approximately 10 lbs), but the ability to tow the product along by its handle can make this acceptable. It has the usual good insulation, durable rotomolded construction, and high price.

Yeti Alternatives

Coleman Wheeled Cooler

Features

  • 5 days of ice retention
  • Low CO2 foam insulation
  • 50-quart capacity (approximately 84 cans)
  • With leak-resistant drain
  • With heavy-duty wheels and a locking telescoping handle
  • With cup holders, EZ-Clean Lid, and Have-A-Seat Lid (maximum 250 lbs supported)
  • 23″ (length) x 18″ (width) x 18″ (height)
  • 2 lbs when empty

The Coleman Wheeled Cooler is a low-priced rolling cooler with a telescoping handle for mobility. It is a very popular item, though it lacks overall quality with a light and simple plastic make that can make it flimsy. However, its low price, multiple features, and very lightweight construction on such a huge item can make it ideal for those on a budget.

Pelican Elite 20 Quart Cooler

Features

  • 3 days of ice retention
  • Polyurethane insulation (2″)
  • Leakproof, waterproof
  • Freezer-grade gasket (360 degrees)
  • 20-quart capacity (approximately 15 cans)
  • Rubber feet to prevent skidding
  • With locking latches (3″), lockable hasp (reinforced), carry handle (overmolded)
  • With cup holders (4, self-draining), bottle opener (stainless steel), tie-down slots (molded-in)
  • 18 ⅘” (length) x 12 ⅗” (width) x 17 7/10″ (height)
  • 9 lbs when empty
  • Multiple colors available

The Pelican Elite 20 Quart Cooler is a good-quality product that falls in the mid-range in terms of price and weight. It doesn’t have a long ice retention period, so it is likely best for short outings. But what it lacks in retention period it makes up for in thick insulation, leakproof capabilities, and nifty extra features.

Igloo Glide PRO Cooler

Features

  • 5 days of ice retention
  • Ultratherm insulation
  • Polyethylene construction
  • With sport rally wheels (plastic, oversized)
  • Highly durable metal hinges (zinc-plated)
  • Slide-and-Lock telescoping handle (horizontal)
  • 31″ (length) x 13.43″ (width) x 14.65″ (height)
  • 4 lbs when empty

The Igloo Glide PRO Cooler offers simple construction with durable hardware and moderate ice retention rates for average expeditions. It is around the same weight as a Yeti cooler, but with a much lower price and additional wheels and a unique horizontal handle to help lug the heft along.

RTIC 45 Quart Cooler

Features

  • 45-quart capacity
  • Rotomolded construction
  • Impact-resistant
  • 3″ insulated walls, beat resistant
  • With heavy-duty T-latches, tie-down slots (molded), side handles (molded), locking system, non-slip feet, no-fail hinges, and no-sweat exterior
  • With V-drain system and gasket (freezer grade)
  • Approximately 25 lbs when empty
  • Four colors available

The RTIC 45 Quart Cooler (and all its other sizes) is one of Yeti’s biggest competitors, as it has very similar features at a similar price. It has the durable rotomolded make of Yeti coolers, thick insulated walls, bear resistance, and heavyweight. However, it has a few more bells and whistles that can make it appealing.

5.

Seavilis Cooler

Features

  • Multiple size options: 35 quarts, 45 quarts, 60 quarts, and 75 quarts
  • Rotomolded construction
  • Commercial grade insulation
  • Freezer style gasket
  • UV protected
  • With heavy-duty handles (nylon rope), non-slip feet, tie-down slots (molded)
  • With built-in bottle openers (2), compass, no-leak drain plug, easy cam latching system, a button for pressure release
  • Multiple colors available

The Seavilis Cooler is another close competitor to the Yeti cooler line. It is mid-range in price and comes with decent features. It is durable thanks to rotomolded construction, like Yeti coolers, and it has a freezer type gasket that adds to the commercial insulation. The additional UV protection and a number of added bells and whistles can add value to the product overall.

Conclusion

So, are Yeti coolers worth it? Ultimately, that depends heavily on your personal needs and preferences. If you like the glamor of brand names and want to pay top dollar for what you know will be good quality, Yeti coolers are a great option.

But if you need very long ice retention, don’t have the budget for it, or won’t have a lot of help to lug a cooler around, Yeti coolers may not be your best bet.

Plenty of competitors with similar specifications can offer lower prices, better ice retention, and lighter weight, although their quality is not as guaranteed.

On the whole, Yeti coolers are excellent in quality, and the brand is one you know you can trust. We say they’re worth it for fans of the brand, for those who need great quality, or those who want heavy-duty coolers.

They’re not worth it for those who don’t need the confidence of the brand and are happy with less heavy-duty options. Like all other coolers, it has its share of pros and cons, and it’s up to you whether they are worth it or not!

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