It’s a common summer letdown: You open your cooler on a hot day to pluck a cold drink out of the ice, only to see nothing but cans and bottles floating in water, not a cube in sight. No matter how much ice you stuff into some coolers, they just don’t get the job done. YETI changed the game and revolutionized the cooler world forever. The best YETI cooler keeps ice longer, so you can keep food and drink cold for days, and that’s vital for anyone who spends time outdoors.
- Best YETI Soft Cooler: YETI Hopper M30 Soft Cooler
- Best Medium-Sized YETI Hard Cooler: YETI Tundra 45 Hard Cooler
- Best YETI Backpack Cooler: YETI Hopper BackFlip 24 Backpack Cooler
- Best Large YETI Cooler: YETI Tundra 160 Hard Cooler
- Best Budget YETI Cooler: YETI Roadie 24 Hard Cooler
Why YETI Coolers Are so Good
Last year, I took a 12-day DIY fly fishing trip to Florida, where I spent almost every day on the boat from sunrise to sunset. Each morning, we stopped at the gas station and filled our YETI 45 cooler with ice, drinks, and food for the entire day. Each evening we watched the sunset over the bay as we enjoyed cold drinks and sandwiches right out of the YETI.
That’s because YETI Tundra coolers and YETI Roadie coolers are rotomolded, which is also the same process to make some of the toughest kayaks out there. The YETI Tundra hard cooler is even grizzly-resistant. The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) has approved Tundra hard coolers and YETI Roadie hard coolers for use on public lands occupied by grizzlies. The YETI hard cooler construction also contains over twice the insulation compared to other coolers and ice chests on the market. For outdoorsmen, the durability of YETI hard coolers cannot be understated. I also use my YETI Tundra as a casting platform on my boat and as a table/cooking station in my hunting camp, and it never lets me down. YETIs are the best coolers out there.
All YETI coolers are field-tested and field-proven to keep all of your essential drinks and food cold as long as possible, but some YETI coolers are better for certain pursuits than others.
How to Choose the Best YETI Cooler
First, think about how you’ll be using the cooler most times. Are you planning to bring it to the beach? Is it for camping adventures with the family? Does it need to fit on your boat? Is a durable hard-sided cooler or an easily transported soft cooler better for your purposes? These questions will help narrow down your options. You want the right size cooler so you can bring everything you need without it taking up too much room.
Remember that the more empty space in a cooler, the less efficient it will be, so don’t get one too large for your purposes. For situations like long extended hunting or camping trips, it might be worth getting a large cooler with plenty of storage. If you need to be mobile, a smaller YETI cooler or portable cooler will do.
Best YETI Soft Cooler: YETI Hopper M30 Soft Cooler
Quick access with a large opening for easy loading and unloading. YETI
If you need a day cooler to bring with you to the beach, lake, or sports field, this YETI soft cooler is the one to get. The redesigned YETI Hopper now has a wide opening to make packing a breeze. The strong magnets and quick release buckle keep the cooler closed and able to withstand being moved around without opening. Perfect to throw over your shoulder and go.
Best Medium-Sized YETI Hard Cooler: YETI Tundra 45 Hard Cooler
This is the YETI I first used on a long DIY fly fishing trip, and it blew me away. Even in hot Florida heat, the YETI Tundra 45 hard cooler kept all of our drinks, food, and snacks ice cold. The well-built and durable construction includes three inches of PermaFrost insulation to make sure your contents stay cold. This cooler will excel in even the hottest of conditions.
Best YETI Backpack Cooler: YETI Hopper BackFlip 24 Backpack Cooler
This is YETI’s first-ever backpack engineered ice chest, and it is an excellent design. The ability to toss the cooler on your back allows you to keep your hands free and have a comfortable walk or hike to your desired location. The YETI Hopper backpack retains its cold-holding ability and is completely leakproof. Bring the cooler on a long hike to the campsite or an extended trek to a remote fishing spot. Throw your drinks and food on ice and carry it in on your back.
Best Large YETI Cooler: YETI Tundra 160 Hard Cooler
Made for the diehard outdoor enthusiast who needs more room in the cooler than the average person. YETI
The YETI Tundra 160 is made for those looking for more storage space. It is perfect for holding elk, deer, and large fish. It is a popular choice for hunters and anglers who need large spaces to keep meat cold for an extended period of time. It can hold up to 141 pounds of ice, and weighs 54 pounds when empty.
Best Budget YETI Cooler: YETI Roadie 24 Hard Cooler
A one-handed hard cooler for quick trips and easy transportation. YETI
When it comes to YETI coolers, you pay for premium products. That means the budget pick is still going to cost you some money. The YETI Roadie 24 hard cooler has a small design to fit behind the driver or passenger seat and be carried easily. You get the durability of the hard cooler paired with the easy-to-transport capability of a small cooler. You won’t throw it over your shoulder, but it is still easy to carry with the strength to survive tough conditions. It only weighs 12.8 pounds while empty and has a comfortable handle to carry-in and carry-out.
Q: Is a YETI cooler really worth it?
YETI coolers are worth it for people looking to get the absolute maximum performance out of a cooler. If you are heading on adventures where you need to keep ice cold for as long as possible, then YETI is the way to go. YETI coolers are engineered to be put through tough conditions and still get the job done at the highest level. If you are a diehard outdoor enthusiast then I would highly recommend a cooler that is built specifically for people like us.
Q: How to choose a YETI cooler?
When choosing a YETI cooler, you should keep in mind the type of activities you do and what you need out of your cooler. If you’re looking for a beach cooler to carry around, then the YETIHopper M30 soft cooler is the way to go. If you need something to keep your big catch cold on the water, then a larger hard cooler is tailored for you. It comes down to understanding what you want to get out of your cooler and matching those needs with one of their products. No matter what type of outdoor activity you do—YETI has a cooler for you.
Q: How long does ice stay in a YETI cooler?
Due to many variables, it is hard to put an exact number on how long a YETI cooler will retain ice. Things like the volume of ice, type of ice, outside environment, and sunlight exposure all impact how long ice will last. Based on my personal experience, I’ve had ice last up to six days in my YETI Tundra 45 hard cooler. Again, ice retention is going to vary in every situation. There are ways to minimize outside variables to increase ice retention, and YETI has put together a list of tips and tricks to keep ice longer.
Find the best YETI cooler to keep your food and drinks colder
The debate about whether or not a YETI cooler is worth it comes down to a personal choice. I have been beyond satisfied with my YETI products, and they have aided many great days in the field. There are numerous options tailored for different pursuits and adventures. Think about your outdoor activities and how the best YETI coolers can add to having an even better experience. I can tell you that as I drank a cold beverage after a long day of fishing in the Florida heat, I was happy to be a YETI owner.