Are Yeti coolers worth the $$?

Fusilli Jerry

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Yea or Nay? I'm thinking about getting one for a fishing trip next month. Or possibly a competitor like Pelican or Orca. Do they really retain ice better than a cheap-o Coleman?
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jrohan07

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I buy a cooler that serves my purpose.
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clayps

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Yea or Nay? I'm thinking about getting one for a fishing trip next month. Or possibly a competitor like Pelican or Orca. Do they really retain ice better than a cheap-o Coleman?
I think any high performance cooler is sufficient. I own a few yeti products. The main ones being the soft sided hopper 20, and a tundra 50. Both of these products in these sizes are now discontinued. I’m very pleased with the performance of the Tundra, however preparation is key. Just tossing warm food and drinks in it and filling the remaining 20% space with ice will not yield great results. My prep goes as follows: two yeti ice packs in bottom of cooler (2 4lb ones fit perfect). Ice block either home made out of juice carton, or from store if available. Cold/Frozen food organized in an effective manner and then fill the rest with cube ice until it’s full. I wager about 40%- 50% of the cooler is ice by the time it’s full. I have a small themometer hanging on the dry goods bin and the cooler stays between 5-10 celcius for 4-5 days no problem. Most of the time there is still a sizeable amount of the ice block remaining when we get home. The 50 is sufficient enough for all our food needs for 4-5 days, however if it’s used for drinks that cuts down on space a lot.
Friends who come camping with us are often buying ice daily, either due to a crappy cooler, or over filling it with food/drinks, or a combination of both.

As for the Hopper, aside from its build quality, I’m not all that impressed with its ice retention. It keeps drinks cold for a few days with similar preparation as above but with a higher drink-ice ratio. It does the job for our needs but I think my expectations were a little high. Its used as our drink cooler on local camping trips.

The Tundras really are built like tanks but the downside of the Tundra is it’s weight. When it’s full it’s almost a 2 person job getting into the back of the Jeep if you want to avoid a potential back injury.

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InvertedLogic

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Those roto-molded coolers with industrial insulation will absolutely hold ice longer than a cheap-o Coleman. However, I don't think the Yeti is worth the price premium. I have had an RTIC 45 for about 5 years now and use it on a bunch of weekend adventures. I'm pretty lazy about cooler prep, I usually just put refrigerated food in there and chuck a 10lb bag of ice in there on my way out of town. 10lb of ice regularly lasts 3 days (with a bunch of water at the bottom) without much effort. If you plan ahead, pre-chill the cooler, and use 1lb of dry ice, I have heard of going as long at 20 days with ice.
 

Strommen95

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How long is your fishing trip? For a standard day of inshore fishing(say 8-12 hours) you don't need anything special. If you're going offshore for a full day or longer I'd put up the money for a Yeti.

The downside to Yeti coolers is that they're really heavy which I assume is partly why they're the best. Yes, they definitely retain ice much better than the cheaper coolers. After a few days the ice will melt just slightly regardless how hot it is outside(obviously leave the lid closed as much as possible). The fact they're so heavy though makes them not so great as a personal cooler to lug around. Almost everybody I know uses them on their charter boats where they're strapped and stay in one place for years on end. They're an excellent cooler for fish/fillets.
 

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Yeti is a waste of money. Back in the day it wasn't, but competitors have either match them or surpassed them. I love ENGEL, doesn't break the bank and matches or outperforms Yeti. I have their deep blue cooler, I bought it because I wanted a bear proof cooler. I leave food in it for a loooong time and stays cool.

 

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I was going to buy an RTIC last year, but I won a Yeti at a golf outing. I will say this, its all about the prep for the cooler to hold ice for a long time. The day before a trip I will bring it in, prime it with ice, and let it sit. The next day I will dump the remaining ice, add some fresh ice, my items, and fill with ice. It will usually last 5/6 days before I have to refill with more ice. Had I not won the Yeti I would have gone with the cheaper RTIC as I have friends that have them and they work just as well.
 

clayps

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I was going to buy an RTIC last year, but I won a Yeti at a golf outing. I will say this, its all about the prep for the cooler to hold ice for a long time. The day before a trip I will bring it in, prime it with ice, and let it sit. The next day I will dump the remaining ice, add some fresh ice, my items, and fill with ice. It will usually last 5/6 days before I have to refill with more ice. Had I not won the Yeti I would have gone with the cheaper RTIC as I have friends that have them and they work just as well.
Kind of on the same page. I have benefits through work that allow me to spend some funds on "wellness" products. Camping gear qualifies :). Had I paid out of pocket, I likely would have went with a cheaper option.
 

oceanblue2019

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Yea or Nay? I'm thinking about getting one for a fishing trip next month. Or possibly a competitor like Pelican or Orca. Do they really retain ice better than a cheap-o Coleman?
A good cooler is worth the money. But many good choices like Pelican, Engle, Orca, etc.

Just make sure to prep it right and remember about 50% food to 50% ice, to get a week out of it. I like to use ice packs on bottom, and as dividers, and fill open space with cube ice.
 

ForeOSU

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Surprisingly, the Walmart Ozark Trail brand works almost as well as Yeti. I hate Walmart with a passion, but I like money more so I've gone with their stuff on a couple occasions and they have, surprisingly, lasted and held up.

If its a 1-off fishing trip and you're not using the cooler 10+ times a year, go cheap. Like others have said, competition has caught up to Yeti and the differences aren't worth the price, IMO.
 

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I own a few Yeti coolers too. I've only bought them on sales. They are great, but have to be used in the proper way. I try to precool the Yeti. Put some cheap ice packs in it the day before. At the end of the day, I think all the performance coolers are pretty close, especially if you are opening and closing the lid a lot. But Yetis are very durable. I've never had a problem with one and I treat them pretty rough.

I have the large Hopper Yeti. If it's fully loaded with drinks and ice, the weight and the shape of it make it very difficult to carry. If you are at the beach, you can put it in the sand and pull it. Unless you need this specific shape, I would not get this one.
 
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