YETI Tundra Review
What to know about camping coolers.
If you’re in the market for a new cooler you may be overwhelmed by the options. What brand is best? What size do I need? That cooler is HOW MUCH!? Today we’re going to review our YETI Tundra 45 cooler and take a look at what you need to know about camping coolers and what might work best for you.
For the last 3 years our primary cooler has been a YETI Tundra 45. The Tundra lineup comes in many different sizes denoted by the number in the name which, it should be pointed out, doesn’t actually correspond to the size. Our cooler is not 45 quarts, it’s actually about 37 quarts. The Tundra 45 weighs in at 23 lbs empty and according to YETI’s website can hold 28 cans of beer. If beer isn’t a unit of measurement you’re familiar with don’t worry, I’ll include some photos below of what it can hold. There are handles on either side made of a durable rope with rubber hand holds. The cooler is ultra insulated with up to 3” thick walls in some places and made via a process called rotomolding which refers to how the plastic parts were made. The result is a much stronger product than, say, injection molding.
In our experience this cooler lives up to just about every claim the company makes. It is strong; we use it as a step stool, chair, or table often with no signs of wear. It’s very efficient. We usually pack it with some frozen water bottles and empty our ice maker into it before leaving and can keep things cold on that alone for a few days. The size is…fine. When it’s just the two of us it holds everything we need but for a family trip it definitely struggles to hold groceries for four. Although we’d love the additional space, we couldn’t imagine lugging around anything bigger. This cooler is heavy. It comes with a small basket for dry goods which we never use and no thermometer. The last thing to consider is the price, as uncomfortably large as the weight, coming in at $299.99 retail.
Ice lasts a long time. Efficient.
Holds up to wear and tear. Durable.
The cost is very high. Poor value.
It weighs a lot. Inconvenient.
No temperature gauge. Simple.
The fact is that the same processes that make coolers like this efficient and durable also make them heavy. This cooler does what it says and we do like it. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20 and if we were buying again we’d be looking at the dozens of other brands that are available with the same quality and features but for less money. RTIC, Igloo, and Engle are just a few brands that sell very similar coolers (some so similar they’ve been sued by YETI) at a smaller price point.