Yeti coolers - are they really worth it?

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
Staff member
PREMO Member
Tell the truth!

My Coleman said it would keep ice for 4 days - this is a lie. Maybe two days if it's filled completely with ice.

If a Yeti cooler would make us happier, we'd spend the money. But I don't want to pay that fortune for something that's no better than what we have.
 

Bonehead

Well-Known Member
There are knock offs available. like yeti drinkware. RTIC comes to mind. Their stuff is all made in the same factory in China. I have an RTIC lunchbox it does the job.
 

Bird Dog

Bird Dog
PREMO Member
Tell the truth!

My Coleman said it would keep ice for 4 days - this is a lie. Maybe two days if it's filled completely with ice.

If a Yeti cooler would make us happier, we'd spend the money. But I don't want to pay that fortune for something that's no better than what we have.
They are as great as they are made out be. As you know they are very expensive and ice is cheap.
 
I use the stryrofoam coolers from Omaha Steaks and put a reflective lined shopping bag (like for ice cream) in it. Frozen stuff stays frozen for 2 days with no ice.
 

General Lee

Well-Known Member
Yeti is Good and so is RTIC for half the cost. I don't believe RTIC is available in stores. Have to order on their website
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
Staff member
PREMO Member
They are as great as they are made out be. As you know they are very expensive and ice is cheap.
Thank you for that reminder. That's the same way we rationalized not buying an ice maker - it is expensive and ice is cheap.

Sorry, Yeti. No $200 for you.
 

black dog

Free America
I would say it depends on how long you two plan on traveling by camping / rving.
My brother swears by yeti and I have a large Cabela's Polar Cap? Cooler, mine was about a 100 less than the same size as a yeti.
I use it on the sailboat and with a few cases of beer and soda once cooled down will easily last for 3-4-5 days depending on how many folks are in and out of the cooler.
Getting ice is a pain in the ass for the most part on land or the water, if it doubles my time in not buying ice it's a win for me.
A good closed cell foam filled cooler is worth every penny. IMHO
 

MR47930

Member
Thank you for that reminder. That's the same way we rationalized not buying an ice maker - it is expensive and ice is cheap.

Sorry, Yeti. No $200 for you.
$200?!?! HA! What were you going to buy, a lunchbox?

All kidding aside, a regular size cooler is like $350. The big ones are closer to $700.
I have a yeti 30oz tumbler that I use for coffee and when i fill it up at 0445 it will still burn you at 0730. Brother in law has the cooler bag and it kept ice for 4 days in the hot sun.
 

black dog

Free America

PeoplesElbow

Active Member
I doubt it, The Walmart coolers don't have insulated sides in them, and i would bet its not the quality of insulation you get with a high end cooler..
An ice chest is like a firearm, you get what you pay for.
The lifetime definitely is, they actually have an excellent reputation and provide customer service.

I hear the Ozark Trail is pretty darn good too.

There are videos online of people cutting these and yetis in half with a big bandsaw to show what is inside them.

I had a cheap Coleman that was simple double walled plastic with no foam in between. I thought about drilling some small holes and filling the voids with the low expansion spray foam but I just bought the Lifetime cooler (first link) instead.
 

black dog

Free America
The lifetime definitely is, they actually have an excellent reputation and provide customer service.

I hear the Ozark Trail is pretty darn good too.

There are videos online of people cutting these and yetis in half with a big bandsaw to show what is inside them.

I had a cheap Coleman that was simple double walled plastic with no foam in between. I thought about drilling some small holes and filling the voids with the low expansion spray foam but I just bought the Lifetime cooler (first link) instead.
The specs will tell everything, I have used foam on a few sailboats galley ice boxs in my time and I would suggest using two part closed cell foam. It's been a few years since I've done it and maybe there is a better washer foam to use.
The last thing you want is foam that will adsorb or hold water.
 

Chris0nllyn

Active Member
Unless you're camping in the wilderness for multiple days, they aren't worth it. You can buy the knockoff, ultra-insulated, ones and they'll do just fine.
 

PeoplesElbow

Active Member
Did a bit of research thinking that the Yetis might use some new sort of foam inside them that has a higher R-Value, but they don't.

Their secret is that they use really thick foam, it is hard to beat extruded polystyrene (think the house insulation sheets that Lowe's sells), this stuff is used in contact with ground so it does not absorb water. The thing that was new with the Yeti coolers was how the plastic is formed, they use a process called rotomolding that allows some really good and heavy plastic molding. Yeti insulates the lid also, most cheap coolers don't have an insulated lid, just double walled plastic, they also put a good seal between the lid and body and some latches that hold the lid tight. Where they differentiate themselves is you can beat the absolute #### out of the cooler, they are bear resistant if you put a padlock on them. Personally if a bear is in my camp I don't mind if it eats my food nearly as much as if it trys to eat me.

A cheap stryrofoam shipping cooler that has 2 inch thick walls and lid will keep ice just as well as the yeti, just won't be all that durable.

One neat thing I saw was someone that took a cheap cooler and was able to get three of these styrofoam coolers to fit into their plastic cooler perfectly. They used one for frozen stuff, another for non frozen food such as meat, cheese, potato salad etc, and the third for drinks. They took a container and filled it with ice and put in the bottom of each styrofoam cooler so when the ice melted it didnt get their stuff wet, then they filled the voids left in their cheap plastic cooler with ice. The ice just in the cheap plastic cooler melted in a day or two but the ice in the styrofoam coolers lasted a week.

Anyway if you are looking for a better cooler than the $20 igloo or coleman you can try the Coleman Xtreme series those have insulated lids, or you can bump it up a bit and get the Igloo BMX series that use a different molding process to achieve a cooler similar to the Yeti style coolers.

Here is a nice Coleman for about $50 https://www.walmart.com/ip/Coleman-52-Quart-Extreme-Cooler-Blue/21721549

Here is a nice Igloo for about $80 https://www.target.com/p/igloo-bmx-52-quart-cooler-white/-/A-53157099
 
One neat thing I saw was someone that took a cheap cooler and was able to get three of these styrofoam coolers to fit into their plastic cooler perfectly. They used one for frozen stuff, another for non frozen food such as meat, cheese, potato salad etc, and the third for drinks. They took a container and filled it with ice and put in the bottom of each styrofoam cooler so when the ice melted it didnt get their stuff wet, then they filled the voids left in their cheap plastic cooler with ice. The ice just in the cheap plastic cooler melted in a day or two but the ice in the styrofoam coolers lasted a week.
THAT ^ is an outstanding idea! :jet:
 
Colman 12v cooler for the Win ... you are in an RV that always had electricity
Problem with those is that they use little thermal heat pumps, and can only cool to..... I want to say 30* below ambient, maybe 40*. Little foggy on that. So if it's 90* out, the "cooler" will only be 50-60*.
 

black dog

Free America
Problem with those is that they use little thermal heat pumps, and can only cool to..... I want to say 30* below ambient, maybe 40*. Little foggy on that. So if it's 90* out, the "cooler" will only be 50-60*.
We used to have a small 12 v heat pump coolers to us in the car while traveling and sometimes I used it for work in the hot part of summer. It did a good job as long as the sodas, beer were well chilled before being put in the cooler. Like you said, it would take days for it to cool a 6 pack of warm Pepsi's down.
 
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