A few years back, I was walking through the Cabela's in East Hartford, Connecticut. As I was strolling through the store I noticed the cooler display area. At the time I just so happened to be looking for a 35-45 quart marine cooler for my boat. I have had Igloo in the past so I was pretty set on them at the time. By chance I noticed the Yeti Coolers on display, and checked them out. The first point I noticed was the price, how could you not. The Yeti's were 3-4 times pricier than the Coleman's and Igloo coolers. I could see the fit and finish, I know I am out of my mind "fit and finish" on a cooler, was top notch. I also could see Yeti Had much more insulation than the others. At the end of the day I ended up buying an Igloo Marine based on price and my needs. Fast forward 2 years and I need a new cooler.
In the 7 years I have owned my 16 foot aluminum skiff I have gone through 3 coolers. One was a Coleman and the other two were Igloo. I have noticed the premium cooler market has exploded since I was last looking at coolers in Cabela's a few years back. I will be honest, I figured it was stupid to pay $200+ for a cooler. However, people love these new coolers, and many more companies are selling them. Engel is making a run on the market as well as Igloo and Canyon. The marketing folks at yeti got my attention through adds and product placement on every outdoor show. I also talked to a good friend who owns one, and he thought it was worth the money. Which again I will say $200+ dollars for a cooler is crazy, but curiosity got the best of me and I purchased one. The cooler I picked up was the Yeti Tundra 45 white. I got the cooler at my local West Marine since I had a few coupons. The cooler retailed for $329, but with the coupons I paid half that. Long story short, I am Very happy with the cooler, but is a Yeti right for you? I will explain my reasoning for my purchase so maybe it will help you. I considered 3 different areas before going ahead: My Needs, Performance, and Price.
I don't really have stellar cooler needs like some guides going out for 4-5 days. Realistically I need a cooler to keep ice for 12-24 hours, and in the past my Igloos turned the trick. Keeping a few Porgies cold to icing down adult beverages were the required duties. Most of the time I would use my cooler for a 6 hour fishing trip to an over night run at the campground. I also thought a cooler capable of keeping ice for so long would be awesome on a trip or during a power outage.
So, what do I think of the Yet? I believe the Tundra 45 is the perfect all around cooler for me. Yeah the initial coast is stupid, but If the cooler lasts for 100's of trips then I will be eating my words in 10 years. I have used the cooler to keep my catch of Blues, Porgies, Fluke, Sea Bass, and Clams cold. It has been working out fantastic and I am very happy. I took It on a camping trip and i had ice for the whole 2 day trip. My Brother used it at work for a week. He liked it so much he went out and got a Roadie 20. My wife and I took the roadie on a 4 day trip and that little cooler kept a 7 pound bag of ice for the whole trip. These are great coolers. Yes the price is crazy. I believe that is due to Yeti's ultra aggressive marketing program. I hope Yeti can find a way to bring the price down with out shipping the whole operation over seas. I recommend a Yeti cooler to just about every one if you can swing the price. The Roadie 20 is a great cooler for a big lunch box for those jobs way out of town or for cold drinks after a hike. The tundra 45 is just a great all around cooler which you will find a use for. I am very pleased to have added the Yeti's to our adventures.