When I’m shopping I feel like I’m locked in an intense battle with producers. I feel like I have to determine which products are useful and which products are crap. Will this shake weight really help me lose weight in no time with minimal effort? Is this sleeping bag really warm at 20 degrees F? Will reading this book about x, y, or z really change my life overnight? Most of the time these claims are overstated, but every once and a while I find a brand that I can trust 100% of the time. Brands like Patagonia and Black Diamond produce gear I can trust my life with. I have learned through many good experiences that their claims are true. Recently I was able to add another brand to the upper echelon of gear brands. So let’s talk about why I think Yeti makes a great cooler.
We’ll start by acknowledging the elephant in the room. The price. Like most upper echelon brands, Yeti products come with a hefty price tag. The model we are reviewing comes in at $250.00 USD. This is a crazy amount of money for a 24 L cooler especially when you compare it to its Coleman counterpart who comes in at $24-$35 USD. (However, this price gap narrows as the size of the cooler goes up.) So what makes the Yeti more expensive? The main 3 things are construction, warranty, and R&D (research and design). The Yeti is made from a food grade UV-resistant polyethylene that is filled from wall to wall with polyurethane foam that is much denser than the styrofoam other coolers use. This means the Yeti is tougher and stays colder longer.
The Yeti also comes with a 5 year warranty against any defects and provides repair or replacement at no cost. They also sell small parts to repair your cooler like straps and drain plugs. This allows you to keep your cooler out of the landfill and working for a much longer time. The last thing that sets Yeti apart is the R&D they have performed in the cooler industry. You know you are doing something right as a company when everyone copies your design. Yeti released its first cooler in 2006 and they haven’t looked back. They produced a quality product with great ice retention and durability.
When I first got my Yeti as a wedding present from my wifes aunt (thanks Aunt Amy) I was a bit skeptical of the claims made on the packaging. It says it will hold ice for days and keep your items cold for a ridiculous amount of time. I was used to using cheap coolers and expected all the ice to be melted by the time we hit the California coast (about a 4 hour drive). To my astonishment we had almost no melt and the ice held up for 4 whole days. When we got home from our trip I was astonished with the performance but when I thought about how good the performance was I had to admit that the cooler construction was only half of the cause for success. I credit the Yeti cooler tips with the other half of our success.
The Yeti Cooler tips are a couple suggestions Yeti gives you to optimize your cooler experience and help your ice last for a long time.
First, pre-chill your cooler and items. You should put a little ice in your cooler and let it come down to temperature before placing your items inside. After the cooler is cold you dump out the ice before placing your cold items inside with new ice.
Second, when you are placing your items in the cooler you should use a 2-1 ice ratio. This means for every 1 unit of drink or food you should use 2 units of ice. This is the optimum amount of ice to use with this cooler and almost all other coolers on the market.
Third, keep the cooler full. If your ice starts to melt, put a towel in and fill up the empty air space. This will help your ice last for longer.
Fourth, when you are out on your adventure you are going to want to keep this cooler in the shade and even put a damp towel over the top of the cooler to keep it cooler. The towel will act as an evaporative cooler and keep the surface temperature of the cooler down. This will preserve your ice.
Fifth, you can use dry ice to keep items very cold for a long time. The Yeti is rated for dry ice and they have instructions on how to use dry ice on their website https://www.yeti.com/dry-ice-cooler.html
Overall, I recommend Yeti coolers to anyone who can afford them. They do an awesome job at keeping the cold in and the heat out. They also have unmatched durability and repairability. But remember if you can’t afford one, don’t let that stop you from adventuring! Use the above tips with any cooler you have for optimized results. Remember that you don’t need every one of the latest and greatest gadgets to have a great time outside. I know because I’ve done it!
Until next time,