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Yeti 45 vs 50 – How They Stack Up and Which Is Best?

Yeti is a well-known outdoor brand that has been rising steadily in popularity over the past several years. If you’ve never heard of them, you’d be one of the very few! Their coolers are known for being among the best, and many outdoor enthusiasts swear by them and other Yeti products.

The most famous line of coolers that Yeti produces is the Tundra line, which is a series of hard coolers specifically made for the rough and tumble conditions of the great outdoors. There are multiple different coolers in this line, and among them are the Yeti Tundra 45 and the Yeti Tundra 50.

You might be thinking, these coolers sound very similar. And they are! But sometimes, that’s what makes it even harder to choose between them. Which one is truly right for you, and why? To help you decide, here’s a comparison of the specifications, features, similarities, differences, pros, and cons. Find out which one is truly the best: The Yeti Tundra 45 or the Yeti Tundra 50!

RankCoolerOur Rating
#1

The Yeti Tundra 45
YETI Tundra 45 Cooler, White

4.4 /5
#2

The Yeti Tundra 50
YETI Tundra 50 Cooler, Pink

4.4 /5

The Yeti Brand

Since both of these coolers come from the cooler brand Yeti, it makes sense that you’d want to know a little bit more about this brand first. Here’s what you may want to know about this brand.

Yeti Coolers began operations back in 2006, so they have more than a decade of experience in the market under their belt. They are a family company, founded by two brothers who had always had a love for the great outdoors. They wanted to make coolers that truly withstood all the harsh realities of nature expeditions, and that was their motivation behind this brand.

Most Yeti coolers have little to no bells and whistles, designed instead of functionality and simplicity. They are trusted for their heavy-duty levels of durability, allowing them to withstand extreme weather, uneven or rough terrain, and everything else that comes with an outdoor adventure.

Yeti’s products are mostly on the higher end of the price spectrum, but their quality and functionality – as well as their long warranties – make them a favorite among many who consider them a worthy investment. They may not be flashy, but they are designed with true rugged outdoor situations in mind.

Of course, their different products have different specifications, and some certainly measure up to the brand’s huge standards better than others do. So, between the Yeti Tundra 45 and Yeti Tundra 50, which one measures up well?

Specification Comparison

Before we jump right into the comparison, let’s look at the overall technical specifications of each cooler:

The Yeti Tundra 45

  • Capacity: 45 Quarts
  • Holds: 28 beer cans with a 1:2 ratio to ice
  • Outer dimensions: 16 ⅛” x 15 ⅜” x 25 ¾”
  • Inner dimensions: 9 ⅜” x 10 ⅝” x 18 ⅜”
  • Weight when empty: 23 lbs

The Yeti Tundra 50

  • Capacity: 50 Quarts
  • Holds: 35 beer cans with a 1:2 ratio to ice
  • Outer dimensions: 17 ⅝” x 17 ¾” x 24 ¼”
  • Inner dimensions: 10 ⅜” x 12 ½” x 16 ⅝”
  • Weight when empty: 26 lbs

Similarities

There are countless similarities between the Tundra 45 and Tundra 50, which is a given fact given that they are from the same line of Yeti hard coolers. Here is a list of the features that these two products have in common.

1. Construction

Yeti hard coolers – including the Tundra 45 and 50 – are made from rotomolded material. Rotomolding refers to the processing of material so that it forms in one coherent piece that does not need to be fitted together with anything else. It comes out in the full shape of the part of the product made from that material.

This construction allows the products to have no seams or cracks where hot air can enter and cold air can escape, this further improving a cooler’s insulation. It also makes the coolers more durable – if not almost armored – due to the fact that they are difficult to break or damage.

2. Drain

When a cooler’s contents start to melt, the ice turns into water that turns into a little bit of a flood. For relatively hefty coolers like the Tundra 45 and 50, turning them over to empty them out can be a difficult task due to how heavy the water can make them. This makes cleaning up once all the ice has melted especially difficult – even more so if you’re still away from home when this happens!

Drain systems can help aid the process of removing excess water. Simply opening the drain plug allows all the water inside to rush out. Both the Tundra 45 and 50 boast this feature, so you can easily empty them if necessary.

3. Insulation

Both of these products have high-quality insulation thanks to the use of unique Permafrost technology. This technology involves commercial-grade polyurethane foam, injected with pressure, being set up within the lid and walls of the coolers.

On top of that, a thick Fatwall design provides two inches of room for this foam to fill, allowing ice life to be maintained to a higher degree.

4. Handles

Both the Tundra 45 and Tundra 50 make use of DoubleHaul handles. These handles sit on each side of the cooler and are constructed from a highly durable polyester rope of a military-grade. They are also fitted with LipGrip handles that make the heavy loads easier to carry, reducing hand fatigue.

These handles are capable of withstanding very heavy loads. Of course, their position – one on each side – indicates that it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to carry the coolers on your own. It seems like a two-person job. But due to the fact that coolers this big will likely be very heavy when full, anyway, you probably won’t want to carry them solo even if the hardware allowed for that!

5. Gasket

In order to maintain the cold air within each cooler, a freezer-quality Coldlock gasket is used in both coolers. These gaskets are placed all along the corner edges of the coolers, allowing it to be sealed.

This is important because the lids of coolers often have gaps, providing space for hot air to sneak inside. This gasket prevents this from happening, so unless you leave the cooler open, the gasket will keep the contents safely sealed inside.

6. Dry Goods Basket

Both coolers come with a free dry goods basket that fits into the cooler. It is designed to rest above any ice or drinks in order to keep its contents dry and away from the cold beneath.

7. Latches

The Tundra 45 and Tundra 50 both use T-Rex Lid Latches, which are patented designs and made from rubber. They are designed to be very heavy-duty, thus preventing most of the risk associated with rough handling or repeated usage. Replacements are available to purchase in the rare occurrence of damage.

8. Lid

Many cooler lids have too many easy gaps for airflow exchange. That is not the case with the lid of the Tundra 45 and Tundra 50. Both coolers have an Interlock lid system that allows a barrier to form between the cooler and the outside world. This barrier easily fits against the walls of the coolers, preventing hot air from finding its way within.

9. Feet

Coolers, especially heavy ones, can slip and slide across uneven or wet ground. To prevent this, both of these coolers make use of Bearfoot non-slip feet, keeping them sturdy and stopping unwanted slipping so they stay right where you want them to.

10. Hinges

Another common inlet for airflow is in the hinges of a cooler. Hinges also face a relatively high risk of damage due to the repeated opening and closing of the products. Both the Tundra 45 and 50 have a Neverfail system for their hinges, which interlock and are secured with hinge pins to make them more durable and reliable.

11. Tie-Down Slots

In order to attach the coolers to trailers, boats, trucks, and other vehicles, the Tundra 45 and Tundra 50 have Anchorpoint tie-down slots that let you mount them with ease. A durable but simple molded material makes them resilient but very simple to use.

12. Appearance

For the most part, these coolers look extremely similar. If you get them in the same color, you’d probably only be able to tell them apart by comparing their sizes. They have a simple, no-bells, no-whistled appearance.

The Tundra 45 may have different color scheme options from the Tundra 50, though, because the latter is not in stock as often and seems to use some older colors.

13. Accessories

Both the Tundra 45 and Tundra 50 are compatible with the same accessories. These accessories can further enhance the use of either cooler, potentially making up for any small flaws or lacking features you may find. Replacement parts are also available for any parts that may break or become damaged during usage.

Available accessories include:

  • Tundra Seat Cushion
  • SeaDeck
  • Tundra Dividers
  • Tie-Down Kit
  • Beverage Holder
  • Rod Holster
  • Yeti Ice
  • Locking Bracket
  • Corner Chock Set
  • Tundra Baskets
  • Tundra Sliding Feet
  • Stickers and Decals
  • Replacement parts for broken hardware

Differences

Of course, despite their many similarities and despite being in the same line of products, the Tundra 45 and Tundra 50 still have a few differences from each other. Here are the ones that will affect your decision.

1. Size and Weight

The sizes and weights of the Yeti Tundra 45 and Yeti Tundra 50 aren’t too different, but as their names suggest, there are some distinctions between them.

The Yeti Tundra 45 has a 45-quart capacity and can hold approximately 28 cans of beer when the cooler is packed with a 2:1 ice to can ratio. It has a 23-pound weight when empty.

On the other hand, the Yeti Tundra 50 has a 50-quart capacity and can hold approximately 35 cans of beer when the cooler is packed with a 2:1 ice to can ratio. It has a 26-pound weight when empty.

2. Availability

The Yeti Tundra 45 is very easily available, both on the official Yeti site and on third-party websites. You will likely not have any difficulty purchasing this product, finding replacement materials for it, or receiving warranty support for it.

On the contrary, the Yeti Tundra 50 is less easily available. In fact, the official Yeti website itself does not display it and has not done so for a while. Purchases, therefore, have to be made through third-party sites, which seem to carry older stock of the Tundra 50. Whether the cooler is going out of stock for good or not will remain to be seen.

3. Ice Life

The main question anyone purchasing a cooler has is this: what’s the ice life like? This refers to the cooler’s ability to retain the coldness of the ice within, and how long it can do so for. It’s likely the most important feature of a cooler.

Ice life in coolers is fairly straightforward: the larger a cooler is, the more likely it is to hold ice for longer. This is for one very simple reason. The bigger a cooler is, the more ice you can put in it, and therefore, the longer the ice will keep itself cold.

This means that the Tundra 50 automatically has a longer ice life by default, being able to hold ice well for around a week. Meanwhile, the Tundra 45 can hold ice for around 6 or 7 days in total, which is still impressive, but slightly less so than the Tundra 50’s capacity. Still, both coolers can likely be used for longer expeditions, with the Tundra 50 being a better option for trips that last a week or slightly longer.

Do note that all coolers need to be pre-cooled in order to reach their maximum ice retention abilities. Yeti has some guidelines for keeping their products nice and cool that you can follow.

4. Price

One of the most interesting differences between the Yeti Tundra 45 and 50 is in their price tag. Naturally, one would assume that the Tundra 50 is marginally more expensive than the 45 – but it’s not a small margin. In fact, the Tundra 50’s price has gone up significantly in the past year on third party websites, now nearly doubling the cost of the Tundra 45.

This is likely due to the availability issues of the Tundra 50. The remaining stock may be limited, making it more desirable as a high-price purchase to avid fans of the brand. Whether that cost is worth it or not is completely up to you.

Pros and Cons

Let’s now pit the two coolers against each other once and for all and list their upsides and downsides so you can easily compare them:

The Yeti Tundra 45

Pros

  • Dual handles for easy duo carrying
  • Rotomolded construction
  • Thick, high-quality insulation
  • Sealed gasket
  • Durable hardware
  • Comes with a dry goods basket

Cons

  • Has slightly less space and ice life than the Tundra 50
  • May be too heavy for some
  • Must be carried by at least two people

The Yeti Tundra 50

Pros

  • Has slightly more space and longer ice life than the Tundra 45
  • Dual handles for easy duo carrying
  • Rotomolded construction
  • Thick, high-quality insulation
  • Sealed gasket
  • Durable hardware
  • Comes with a dry goods basket

Cons

  • Not easily available
  • Higher price point than other Yeti coolers
  • May be too heavy for some
  • Must be carried by at least two people

Conclusion

So, what should you buy? The Yeti Tundra 45 or the Yeti Tundra 50? I’d recommend the Tundra 45, which might seem like a surprising decision. But the Tundra 50’s lack of availability, skyrocketing price point, and very close similarity to the Tundra 45 make it, in my opinion, not the best option.

Yes, the Tundra 45 is smaller and has a shorter ice life due to this fact. But it is reasonably priced for a Yeti cooler, easily available, and has such a close capacity, weight, and size that you won’t miss the extra 5 quarts of the Tundra 50 too much when you purchase it.

Of course, we have to keep in mind that these coolers are incredibly similar in many, many ways. They’re from the exact same line of the exact same brand, they look almost the same and their capacity difference is almost negligible. As such, the decision making factor boils down to preference and personal needs.

Need a cooler of any medium-large size that boasts long ice retention and good features without breaking the bank? The Yeti Tundra 45 may be your best bet, as it has all the features that the 50 has but at a more manageable price point.

Like the idea of a more “limited” cooler and really need those few extra quarts or day of ice retention, and have the budget to spare? Then you may want to go for the Yeti Tundra 50, which provides just that little bit extra for those who find the Tundra 45 falls short.

Essentially, these two coolers are incredibly similar. It’s up to you to decide which one really fits the purposes you need it for!

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