It doesn’t happen very often that a product exponentially out performs expectations, but that’s exactly what the Yeti Tundra Cooler does for a living. Yeti was founded in 2006 by 2 brothers that were frustrated with the current line of mass produced, under performing coolers on the market. These guys are outdoorsman and they understand what that segment is craving in an ice chest based on their personal experience. One that will withstand the rigors of everyday use in a rugged environment without the common failures and shortcomings. A cooler that will keep ice and its contents cold for far longer than the ones found in the mass discount retailers. A cooler thats lid will not cave in under the load of a fisherman casting atop it. With these basic requirements, Yeti was born.
Yeti Tundra Cooler Design:
The Yeti Tundra Cooler is designed with the serious outdoor enthusiast in mind. Yeti uses a seamless roto-molded plastic for its outer shell similar to the material whitewater kayaks are constructed of. This type of construction eliminates seam failures which is common among cheaper coolers and will withstand endless amounts of abuse without issue. Yeti Tundra Coolers are even certified by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) to be “bear resistant containers” when used with their pad locks on the corners. Unlike the inferior coolers that only provide air as an insulator, the Yeti Tundra Cooler uses up to 3″ of pressure injected commercial grade polyurethane foam to insulate the walls and lid. Couple that with the full frame Cold-lock Gasket and you’ll have no trouble sealing the cold air inside from the ambient heat.
Other common failure points on mainstream coolers are the hinges and latches. I think we’ve all seen or experienced a cooler with a broken latch or hinge. To ensure that the Yeti Tundra Cooler keeps the cold in and heat out, they’ve eliminated hinge and latch failures completely. The hinges are integrated into the coolers mold rather than screwed on and utilize a full length rust-proof aluminum rod. In addition, the T-Rex Lid Latches are made from a heavy duty rubber that provide just the right amount of tension to ensure the lid is sealed. Rubber feet prevent the Yeti Tundra Cooler from sliding on the deck of your boat or bed of your truck. And if that’s not enough, Yeti integrated Anchorpoint Tie-Down Slots to secure your cooler in the roughest of conditions. At the end of the day, you can drain the Yeti Tundra Cooler through the leakproof Vortex Drain System. The drain plug only needs to be loosened rather than completely removed to work as the water will drain through the pair of holes located within the plug.
Pimp your Yeti:
With a wide assortment of accessories, Yeti has provided the ability to customize your cooler to suit your style or specific needs. From Yeti apparel to Grizzly Bear locks for your cooler, you’re sure to find what you’ll need to pimp your Yeti in the accessory department. I chose a few items that I thought were a necessity. The Yeti Cooler Dividers are available for most cooler sizes and can be purchased to divide the interior space vertically (short length) or horizontally (long length). I chose the shorter vertical divider for my Yeti Tundra Cooler 105. This allows me to separate food and drinks or alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages when the kids are present. The vertical divider also allows you to keep the wire basket in the cooler which is not possible with the longer horizontal divider. The wire basket is a great way to keep sandwiches or any type of food cool but not wet. The Yeti dividers also double as a cutting board for cleaning your fresh catch of the day or slicing cheese to go with a bottle of wine.
Yeti sells many types of bottle openers for various mounting options but I chose to install the retro style bottle opener directly to my Yeti Tundra Cooler. This cast stainless steel opener can be mounted anywhere on your cooler with the 4 stainless steel screws provided. As you can see in the video, mounting is simple and quick. Another item that Yeti has recently introduced is Yeti Ice. Yeti Ice is built to the same tough standards that the Yeti Tundra Cooler is known for. The Yeti website states that they provide durability and superior ice retention. To be honest, I didn’t find that the Yeti Ice stays frozen longer than the cheaper products I already had on hand from Blue Ice. The Yeti Ice features a much more durable construction and a shape that promotes quick freezing when placed in a freezer but it’s a toss up weather it’s worth it or not. I completely sold on their coolers and see myself purchasing a smaller cooler for road trips as well as the new Hopper for beach days.
My wife and I drove from Northern Michigan to the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee last month for a car enthusiast get together. We booked a room at a rustic lodge in the mountains and decided to bring the Yeti Tundra Cooler because there was no refrigerator available. We packed several local beers for the “beer swap”, snacks, meat, cheese, milk, orange juice, water, pop, etc. and loaded two 7 pound bags of ice (about $4) before we left on the 12 hour drive south. For the next 4 days, we were amazed that the ice remained and our food and drinks were as cold as they would have been in a refrigerator. Once we returned home, we dumped out perfectly good ice after 85 hours in the Yeti Tundra Cooler. Some of the water bottles were actually frozen together and had to be chipped out of the iceberg. This blew my mind because after 8-10 hours on our boat in the summer, we hardly have any ice remaining in our Igloo Marine Cooler. This prompted me to test the limits of what these amazing coolers are capable of in the video below.
Weather you need a cooler for a wilderness expedition, fishing or hunting trip, camping or just plain tailgating, the Yeti Tundra Cooler has just what you need. Available in a wide range of sizes from the portable Tundra 35 to the mammoth Tundra 350 capable of carrying a mind blowing 222 cans of beer and 329 pounds of ice, you’re sure to find the cooler that fits just right. Don’t let the price scare you away because you can’t compare that piece of shit cooler you’ve been using to the superior products that Yeti produces. If you were to total up the cost of all the coolers you’ve blown through over the years due to failures that render them useless to just plain disappointment, you’l quickly realize that you’ve already paid for a Yeti that would have lasted you a lifetime of cold beverages. The Yeti Tundra 105 retails for $479 but once you get your hands on a Yeti Tundra Cooler, you’ll see exactly what I mean. And like they say, “once you go Yeti, you don’t go back”.
Take a look at the various Yeti Films on their website for inspiration, tips and tricks or product specific information.
(Featured image courtesy of yeticoolers.com)
– Erik Meisner for LoadoutRoom.com