Yeti coolers: worth the $ or hype?

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Tim Eubanks
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Yeti coolers: worth the $ or hype?

Post by Tim Eubanks » Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:00 pm

After buying too much ice the last few days on a road trip to keep food cold Cyndy decided we needed a Yeti.
Thoughts?

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Re: Yeti coolers: worth the $ or hype?

Post by Mike S » Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:18 pm

Its only my opinion but HYPE...I own one the construction is great but the idea of saving on ice, it just aint so.
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Re: Yeti coolers: worth the $ or hype?

Post by robkanraft » Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:42 pm

In My opinion, save your money. They look awesome, but are way too expensive for performance delivered. My similar sized Coleman Extreme did better than another boat’s Yeti on our last desert trip, we still had ice on the last day. I think it’s more about cooler management, than who makes the cooler. Keep it covered or out of the sun and keep people out of it. Or,consider two smaller coolers, one for drinks that folks get in and out of, duct tape the other shut for frozen foods and such. I also eliminate the extra air space under the lid using a cheap foam camping pad, pushed down into the cooler against the products. It’s not that Yetti are bad coolers, it’s just they aren’t super wow factor better for what you will lay out in cash. Even empty, they get pretty heavy in the larger sizes, I recently read a post on another site where a guy had a large loaded Yetti weigh in a 350 lbs.
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Tim Eubanks
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Re: Yeti coolers: worth the $ or hype?

Post by Tim Eubanks » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:13 pm

Thanks. Just read a comparison between Yeti, Coleman Xtreme, and Engel. The Coleman did just as well if not better than both at a fraction of the price. I could buy 5 Colemans for one Yeti.

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Re: Yeti coolers: worth the $ or hype?

Post by Canoe_Codger » Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:32 pm

I'll second the idea of adding a layer of foam as an inner lid. 1/2" blue sleeping pad foam works great. Thicker minicell foam works better. I looked at the smaller Yetis recently and good gracious they were expensive! One difference is that you will have to work out a strap or latch for the Coleman lid if you want to use it on the river and meet code.

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Re: Yeti coolers: worth the $ or hype?

Post by gannon311 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:18 pm

Worth the money! I love mine. Used it at swr class this weekend. Filled it up on Friday morn and it was in the hot car all weekend and I'm still drinking cold drinks out of it this evnin!!
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Re: Yeti coolers: worth the $ or hype?

Post by Cowper » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:23 pm

I wanted to comment but the others have already said it well with not that many words, and you've already found the tech test I was going to look for.

When you get to the "top end" of anything, more $$$ get involved for relatively smaller gains. Only you and your budget (or your lust for other toys) can decide the $ value or relative pleasure that comes from owning "the best" in any given category. There are few right or wrong answers when choosing toys or tools!
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Re: Yeti coolers: worth the $ or hype?

Post by okieboater » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:32 pm

There is no doubt in my mind that if a person keeps their cooler top covered with a thick towel or what ever and wets it down, especially on western rivers - ice will last longer. Putting one of those silver / red tarps dealies on top is even better.

There is no doubt in my mind that gluing an inch or more of good quality closed cell foam on the top of the cooler, cutting a section of one half inch foam to fit over the top inside the cooler to keep the cold where it needs to be
and putting a section of that one half in foam or that bubble stuff in the bottom will make ice last even longer.

Having done all the above and keeping the cooler top closed as much as you can by intelligently getting food out and more important loading the cooler so you do not spend a long time getting out the food stuff needed for the meal you are cooking. (this depends a great deal on how you pack at home or in the grocery store lot in Salmon ID or Craig CO)

And if you pre cool the cooler with a bag or two of sacrificial ice before you put your food into it - you do not waste cool down power. Freezing everything except veggies will also help.

And if you can get quality block ice that is solid not the pressed blocks you get at safeway stores. Many outfitters like the one in Vernal UT or Grand Junction CO area will sell you block ice they make and it is awesome

Or if you have access to a walk in cooler and freeze in ice in the bottom of the cooler (IE Walter Felton's contacts)

Or if you can put all frozen food in a cooler and the proper amount of dry ice. Hint: Do not sleep in the same room with a bunch of dry ice coolers - the vapors can make you sick. Duct tape and setting up the coolers by day is a big help also.

If you do all that maybe a Igloo or coleman will work pretty good. I know that is what I started out with.

But, I discovered that if I wanted to toss out ice after say 9 days or drink Ice Cold non river cooled beer at the take out__ I needed to buy better coolers with solid inches (inches non inch) of quality insulation, lids with gaskets that seal air tight, solid hinges that do not break and latches that work ---- I needed a big Yeti for the big rafts and a 60 qt Englel to keep stuff cool in the travel vehicles.

So, cooler ice lasting management depends a lot on the person managing the cooler but there is a point (don't know if it is worth it to every one) When it gets that last day or so and I wanted a high dollar cooler for cold beer or steak. Grand Canyon trips especially when you have ice on day 16 or 21 the big 160 or so qt Yetis come in real handy. Bottom line, whether the cost for the outfitter quality coolers is worth it is is a matter of personal opinion.
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Re: Yeti coolers: worth the $ or hype?

Post by fryingsquirrel » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:19 pm

Another little piece of advice besides packing a sleeping pad in or covering the cooler with another insulator such as a tarp or keeping it shaded is don't drain the water. The 33* water from melted ice is still a great thermal mass, and can still absorb a lot of BTUs before it hits room temp. Often I see people drain the water from their coolers at camp in the evenings, and while you may be shedding a pound or two, you are also throwing away a big heat absorber. If I recall correctly from my HVAC classes 1 BTU is the amount of thermal energy need to warm a pound of water one degree. I'm just going to pull a number out of my ear here and say what if a cooler absorbed 4 BTUs/hour on a 90* day, and you dumped one pound of water at 33*. That pound of 33* water would take roughly 40 BTUs to reach room temperature. In that cooler, that would take an additional 10 hours!
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Re: Yeti coolers: worth the $ or hype?

Post by gma06001- » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:21 pm

When I was working for USFWS in Vernal, we had some Yeti coolers and some normal coolers. The Yeti's did better on 7-9 day trips, but I'm not convinced you couldn't make those other coolers just as good with closed-cell foam suggestions above! Also, we made our own block ice (we called it super ice) in a freezer that was -86 degrees. You couldn't touch it without gloves, and it would freeze thawed meat just by sitting on top of it. Oh, and blow sodas up. That may have been the reason we still had ice after 5 days :D

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Some ice is colder than others

Post by Yarbrough » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:07 am

I concur with Mitch that some ice is colder than others. Home Ice Co. in Harrison has the really good stuff. Their block ice is soooo cold it burns the bare hand and can last for 6 days on the Buffalo in a cheap ice chest. Best of all with quarters block ice can be bought in the middle of the night. There is such a thing as ice engineering/management. Mere amateurs complain of warm beer on the third day and the experts brag of the ice cream headache. :yahoo:

I want a YETI so bad I can't see strait,,,,but dang, almost 400 bucks to replace what I got is hard to justify. I'm hoping the price will come down with time. Great discussion.
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Re: Yeti coolers: worth the $ or hype?

Post by Deuce » Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:17 am

Tim, I don't regret having bought mine, but my motivation was primarily durability. I can drag it up a gravel bar without ripping the handle out, sit, stand or jump on it, etc. etc. which comes in mighty handy on a raft. Great fishing platform, seat for two on the boat or at camp, or whatever you need. You can also put dry ice right on the plastic, which I don't do often, but when I need to I'm sure glad I can. There are other cool things I like about it too, but I won't ramble. On balance I'd say if criteria like these figure into your decision you'd be happy with a rotomolded cooler, but if your only concern is ice retention it probably wouldn't be worth the additional expense. In case you decide to proceed I will tell you the one thing I don't like about my Yeti, the rubber latches. I find them gimmicky and have already torn one (owned it two years). They took care of it though.
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Re: Yeti coolers: worth the $ or hype?

Post by Clif » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:32 am

was gonna do some quotes... but

getting it cold before is a must.

I went with the "can buy 5 colemans for the price".... kinda changed my mind when it came time to buy number 3

which points to that last durability post. My big store brand got knocked off the truck and hit the gravel... crack. Previous one cracked by itself... inside condensation freezing?

I think frequency of use is one of the big factors. Know some guys that use yetis every week and would have nothing else. If one uses it a few times a year, may not be worth it :confused:

there are mid range boxes out there also. more than store brand but not yeti$
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Re: Yeti coolers: worth the $ or hype?

Post by NickHobbs » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:57 am

Check out, High end cooler reviews on YouTube, that will answer a lot of questions. I have a deep freeze that I can put my cooler in, I freeze water in the bottom of it in 2" increments. I can go to Colorado for a week and bring ice back home. That is in a cheap 120 Q ice chest.

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Re: Yeti coolers: worth the $ or hype?

Post by panicman » Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:03 am

On draining the water I don't agree. I have read some experiments where your ice will last much longer if you do drain the water each day.

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