Yeti Tundra 45 cooler: The everything-cooler (2022)

Yeti Tundra 45 cooler: The everything-cooler (2022)

Want To Keep Everything Cool? Check Out The Yeti Tundra Cooler 

The Yeti Tundra cooler is the toughest, best-insulated, and highest-all-around performing cooler on the market. But it’s expensive so you’ll want to know why you’re happy to spend so much of your cash on it. In this review, we’ll go over all the best features and reasons why it gets such top marks. I’ll try and keep the technical explanations down to a minimum but in any case, it’s good to know why you’ll want a Yeti Tundra cooler. reword

Yeti Tundra

Overview Of Yeti Coolers change this header

Because of their awful cooler experiences in the outdoors growing up, brothers Ryan and Roy Seiders founded Yeti. The brothers found that the quality of the coolers available at the time drove them crazy — the handles broke, locks cracked off, lids caved in, and they couldn’t keep their stuff cool for more than a few hours. If you’ve ever been in the wilds with a dodgy cooler you’ll know what I’m talking about

So, they set out on a mission to create a quality cooler tough enough to last and keep their food and drinks cool in the great outdoors.  After much testing, they came up with a solid cooler design with better construction, insulation, and security features than those Coleman and Igloo coolers you see people taking to the beach. The first Yeti went into production and launched back in 2006. 

The legendary brand has a cult following, even appearing on TV series, in music lyrics, and in pop culture. From leak-proof soft coolers that keep ice chilled for days to the gigantic Tundra 250 that’s perfect for sea sport fishing (loads up to 155 beer or soda cans with ice). 

The Yeti Tundra Cooler

Yeti revolutionized coolers by creating solid, one-piece designs that are virtually indestructible and bear-proof (more about that later.) The durable coolers are rotomolded, the same method used to produce kayaks, and built to last.

This is a bit technical but: rotomolding means that the manufacturer pours powdered plastic into a hollow mold. The mold is spun before being put in an oven. As the plastic melts and coats the mold’s walls, the mold continues to rotate. The rotomolded plastic is cooled until it hardens into the correct shape in the mold. This gives the Yeti its extra-thick walls.

The coolers are injected with polyurethane after the rotomoulding process. After the injection process, the polyurethane hardens into a rigid insulating panel, adding to the Yeti’s strength.


The Yeti Tundra features set them apart from the usual coolers out there. Let’s take a look.


The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee certified the Yeti Tundra for use in grizzly bear country. There’s an excellent video on YouTube showing a frustrated Grizzly trying to break into a Yeti. The bear tries really hard and just can’t do it, and finally has to head off.  And the Yeti cooler? Well, it’s not exactly intact, but it’s not broken either (you can see some hectic bear-tooth marks all over the cooler.) A cooler that can survive a bear attack proves just how strong it is. 

For extra security, you can buy Yeti bear locks. Master Lock creates these locks to Yeti’s specifications The padlocks attach at the front corners, they’re also a little heavy, but they work well.

This outstanding cooler even has a textured cover that makes it comfortable to sit on and you’re not going to slip off it. It also doubles as a stepladder in an emergency.

Yeti latches are built of tough rubber and made to last. The latches are just right in terms of thickness and flexibility, providing both strength and peace of mind that they won’t break if someone in a hurry for a beer yanks on them. If your latches wear out or become sun damaged, you can replace them at a reasonable price.

Insulation Test

Yeti used to make promises about ice retention but not anymore because they had to admit that it all depends on how you prepare your Tundra, what you put in it, and your location (boiling desert sun or snowy mountains etc.) 

If you pre-cool your cooler and make sure everything you put in it is already cold or straight out of your ice chest, obviously things will stay at ambient temperature for much longer. Even if your stuff isn’t pre-chilled or frozen, most folks who tested Yeti models say that contents keep for just under a week at food safety USDA permitted temperatures.

Leak Test

The lid features a rubber gasket, similar to what you’d find on a freezer, and it interlocks with the cooler’s body to provide a form-fitting barrier and stops air or liquid from leaking out. The lid latches (called T-Rex ) made of tough rubber keep the seal tight, and the latches are simple enough for a child to unlatch – though they may have trouble latching it back.

There’s also a rubber gasket around the drain to keep it from leaking as well, and if you lose the drain plug, you can get a replacement from Yeti. All the gaskets seal in any tempting smells that could get a bear, or smaller raiders (like squirrels) interested and come looking.

The lid’s hinge system is built to last and keeps the lid open while loading or unloading items. Its non-slip feet are also a great addition. Although if you try to move your cooler with your foot, you may have some difficulties!


The cooler box includes two sets of handles: one set is hidden beneath the lid as indents, and the others are simple rope handles with adjustable, comfortable grips in the middle. 

This twin handle design makes it portable and easy for one or two people to carry the Yeti Tundra cooler without adding bulk to the overall design of the cooler like the Otter Box does. 

Draining the Cooler

Even though the cooler keeps ice solid for much longer than its competitors, it will melt. Emptying your sloshy Tundra is a breeze with a dual-purpose drain. Simply unscrew halfway to let melted ice to flow out of the drain plug hole, or totally remove the plug for faster drainage. But, if you choose the quick approach, make sure you don’t lose the plug, as there is no leash to secure it to the cooler. There’s a little lip in the drainage channel, but it doesn’t interfere with getting the water out. 

Is There A Cooler As Good As A Yeti?

There’s a short answer to that – no, there is no other cooler that can get close to measuring up. But, some people may argue that the Pelican Elite line is one of the closest Yeti alternative coolers on the market today. 

Is The Yeti Tundra Cooler Worth It?

It’s a bit of a subjective question. It’s worth the money if you’re concerned about the quality of your cooler. But, If you’re just spending a few days of summer on the beach or going camping once in a while, go with the less expensive alternative. You can buy a new cooler every year. 

Yeti Tundra Cooler Pros and Cons


  • Grizzly resistant
  • Leakproof with strong seals
  • Extra durable rope handles
  • Easy to carry
  • NeverFail™ hinges that won’t break
  • Excellent drain system
  • BearFoot™ non-skid bottom
  • Looks great
  • 5-year warranty


  • The drain plug is just loose, no leash to attach it to the box so it gets lost pretty easily. 
  • If the plug is not properly adjusted, it tends to leak.
  • Once locked in place, the bear locks don’t move, making it a bit challenging to fit the key in from the bottom without looking.
  • To get the trademark Yeti ice retention, you must use it correctly.
  • For the size, it’s quite heavy.
  • Very expensive

Three Most Popular Yeti Tundra Coolers

Yeti Tundra 35

  1. 3-inch permafrost insulation and fat wall design are portable enough for one person to transport. 
  2. Carrying capacity of up to 20 cans.
  3. Designed to withstand bear attacks
  4. Armored to the core and nearly indestructible 
  5.  T-Rex Lid Latches are made of heavy-duty rubber 
  6. The Tundra 35 is 21 inches long, 16 inches wide, and 15 1/4 inches tall, with an empty weight of 20 pounds. 

Yeti Tundra 45 Cooler

This is my main day-trip rafting cooler. It is a little small for multi-day trips but is at the top of my list for a go-to cooler.

Best Coolers for Whitewater Rafting Trips
  1. Blends versatility with durability. 
  2. The capacity of up to 26 cans, 
  3. 3 inches of PermaFrost Insulation, 
  4. Extra thick FatWall design, 
  5. Rotomolded construction
  6. The Tundra 45 is 25 3/4 inches long, 16 1/8 inches wide, and 15 3/8 inches tall, with an empty weight of 23 pounds.

Yeti Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler

  1. The world’s first Yeti cooler on wheels.
  2. NeverFlat Wheels — A single-piece, impact- and puncture-resistant tire construction.
  3. StrongArm Handle – The arm is made of welded aluminum and has comfortable grips. 
  4. For heel-friendly towing, the curved shape tracks left or right.
  5. Rotomolded
  6. Permafrost insulation
  7. Tundra Haul is 28 x 21 x 20 inches with an empty weight of 37 pounds 

Is Yeti Tundra 35 big enough? 

The Yeti Tundra 35 has a capacity of up to 21 beer cans and plenty of ice. This container has a capacity of 28 quarts and is designed to hold long-neck bottles. Regrettably, this 35-quart cooler only stores roughly 28 quarts of liquid.

The YETI Tundra 45 has up to 37.6 quarts of interior space capacity. Meaning up to 28 beer cans or 34 pounds of ice. (about a 6-pack worth of more space) 

Choose the YETI Tundra 45 solely on the basis of capacity. Your beer mates will thank you and you’ll get a whole lot more value for money.

Why Are Yeti Coolers So Expensive?

The Yeti Tundra is marketed as a high-end luxury item. The goal of this company is to provide a cool, appealing, high-quality, and premium product. 

The branding and marketing are incredibly strong. The coolers are simply referred to as Yeti, and everyone understands what they’re talking about.

Aside from the Yeti being the best on the market,  for many people, these have unquestionably become status symbols.


Many YETI owners are more concerned with what the YETI stands for: the highest standard and quality of outdoor equipment, rather than the technical specifications of their coolers. YETI is a brand that stands for taking the outdoors seriously, being prepared, and concentrating on the experience rather than the price of a cooler.

Just a quick note on the subject of bears – It doesn’t mean you won’t get a ticket just because you have bear locks! Having an IGBC-approved cooler with bear locks may not be enough depending on what public area you’re exploring. Irrespective of what kind of equipment you’re using, many parks require you to utilize the bear lockers they provide. Before you go, double-check the rules!

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