If you’re in the market for a portable cooler, the Yeti Roadie 20 from Yeti’s Tundra Series is an excellent bet.
We’re hoping that our Yeti Roadie 20 Review can give you all the info you need to decide for yourself whether or not it’s the right cooler for you.
Yeti has been offering quality and reliability for over a decade now, and their coolers are able to preserve food and drinks better than most coolers out on the market.
The Yeti Roadie 20 does all of that while saving you room too.
The ice retention on this bad boy is outrageous and, compared to the other roto-molded coolers we’ve seen out there, they don’t stand a chance when tested against it.
Let’s open it up and see what’s inside!
Features and Benefits
The Yeti Roadie 20 is made with extra thick walls that hold up to two inches of insulation. If you’re looking to maximize ice retention, you can also fill your Roadie 20 with dry ice. Not many coolers of this size on the market are able to hold dry ice, so this makes the Roadie 20 a bit unique. The roto-molded construction makes it totally UV resistant, so you can leave it in the sun without fear of UV rays penetrating the outer walls. When you’ve actually filled your Roadie 20 to capacity, you can expect it to retain ice for around 5 days outside.
The durability of the Yeti Roadie 20 is nearly unmatched with the self-stopping hinge system. Their patented BullDog Straps that are included are perfect for keeping the lid nice and secure. If you’re someone who is traveling a lot, having a reliable, leak-proof cooler is key. On the bottom, you have nice little BearFoot marking rubber feet to keep your cooler from slipping and sliding around while you’re transporting it. Overall, it’s incredibly long lasting and a solid investment if you want a cooler that can make it through the wild wilderness with you and back for years to come. It also doubles as a nice little seat when you’re out fishing on the lake!
Portability is probably one of the most prominent characteristics when it comes to the Roadie 20. It’s incredibly compact and can easily be stored and transported inside the trunk of a small car, in the passenger’s seat, or even on the back of a bike. You’re essentially purchasing an on-the-go-fridge. The handle on top makes it easy to take around from place to place and allows it to be carried by one person without hassle. Even at the small size, the Yeti Roadie 20 capacity is 16 standard beer cans or 20lbs of ice.
On the front corners of the Yeti Roadie 20, they decided to add two small holes that can be used to lock up your cooler. While the cooler doesn’t actually come with a lock, any standard master lock will be perfect. This can be helpful in fending off thieves or bears when out on the road.
The Roadie 20 doesn’t stop there though. They’ve also added tons of smaller features to make life a little bit easier. The heavy-duty T-Rex Lid latches are just as strong as the rest of the cooler and will keep your contents nice and secure. Pair that with the Anchorpoint tie-down slots, and you’ll also be able to secure the cooler to your boat, trailer, or truck without any hassle. Lastly, you have the Vortex drain system, which is totally leak-proof and made to provide a simple and efficient draining process when all is said and done.
Yeti Roadie 20 Accessories
Because the Yeti Roadie 20 is a small, insulated cooler, it might not be necessary to buy multiple bags of ice every time you go out on the road. Why not instead get something like the Yeti Ice, a solid little break-resistant ice pack that can help keep all of your food inside cool. Simply add one of these things to your Yeti coolers with the ice inside and your ice retention time will increase drastically. They come in a variety of sizes as well, though they all work perfectly for the Roadie 20!
Bear Proof Locks
The Yeti Roadie 20 is above the caliber for the IGBC’s bear-resistance standards when paired with the long shank Master locks. The coolers have been meticulously tested in bear simulations, as well as with real Grizzly Bears in the wild. While you can definitely purchase your own locks, these are made to fit nice and snug, making sure that bears leave your Yeti cooler with nothing but a bit of frustration because they couldn’t get into your snacks.
If you’re worried about your cooler slipping and sliding around while in the bed of your truck or on your boat, we highly recommend buying the Yeti Tie-Down Kit. It helps to keep your cooler nice and secure when you’re not using it. People typically don’t like tie downs because they leave a little obstacle when they aren’t being used, though what’s nice about these specific tie-downs is that they the low-profile deck plates are small enough to remain out of the way when left in place.
How To Pack Your Yeti Roadie 20
There are definitely right and wrong ways to pack a cooler. Here are a couple tricks that you can use to keep your food safe, fresh, and most of all, cold.
- If you’re packing non-alcoholic drinks for a long weekend, freeze some of the drinks beforehand. You’ll likely not be drinking them all at once, so why not use a good majority of them as “ice” for your other contents before you drink them?
- Try and place all of your bottles and cans upright before pouring ice in. Not only will it end up saving you space, it’ll also be much easier to get them out without fishing around in freezing water to find them.
- If you’re packing perishable foods, try and pack them in-between the bottles and cans to keep them cooler for longer.
- Once you’ve placed your cans and bottles in, pour ice atop and around it to create a shelf atop them. On this shelf, you can store items that require a bit more care such as non-packaged fruits, sauces, etc.
- Always pack your cooler as tightly as you possibly can. The more ice and cold items inside, the longer it will stay cold.
- Lastly, pack anything like meats inside leak-proof bags. There’s nothing worse than opening your cooler to find that chicken juice has seeped into every nook and cranny.
Yeti Roadie 20 vs. Yeti Tundra 35
The most obvious difference between the two coolers is the size. The Yeti Tundra 35 is able to hold 21 standard cans of beer or 26lbs of ice. It is also a few inches larger around the outside and inside. Some of this might have to do with the fact that the ice walls are a bit thicker as well at 3 inches rather than 2.
There are also different handles on the Yeti Tundra 35. Instead of the one large handle on top of the cooler, you have Yeti’s Double Haul Handles, which are essentially rope handles made of military-grade polyester. It makes the cooler a bit harder to carry solo in our opinion, though if you’re with a party or another person, it’s much easier.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Yeti Roadie 20 Worth It?
We believe that the advantages of this cooler far outweigh the hefty price tag. It’s one of the best small coolers on the market and is perfect for trips with short durations. It’ll be something that you’ll likely have for life. If you think about the money you might spend on buying multiple coolers that get worn over a decade, it just makes sense to buy one that is tough at the start.
Does the Yeti Roadie 20 have a warranty?
All of the Yeti coolers come complete with Yeti’s 5-year limited warranty. It’s definitely not the longest warranty in the world, though we can’t complain much. As long as you’re not misusing the cooler, Yeti replaces it without charge.
Yeti Roadie 20 vs. RTIC
The RTIC is slightly larger than the Roadie and allows for 25lbs of ice storage rather than 20lbs. Even with that, both of them are pretty similar when it comes to ice retention with the Roadie 20 having a slight advantage.
All of the product features and benefits are closely similar when it comes to the build and design, though Yeti still seems to be the most popular around. We were surprised to find out that, up until just recently, RTIC had a 5-year warranty on their hard coolers before switching over to a 1-year warranty.
Yeti Roadie 20 vs. Hopper 20
The biggest difference between these two coolers is that the Roadie 20 is a hard cooler and the Hopper 20 is a soft cooler. Instead of the single-piece, roto-molded construction, the Hopper 20 boasts a dry hide shell that is puncture-resistant and waterproof. While it is still extremely strong, the ice retention on the Hopper 20 is a bit inferior to the Roadie 20 and can only retain ice for 2-3 days on average.
The Hopper 20 is not bear proof by any means, though does have a nice Hydrolok zipper that keeps your contents inside fairly safe. It also stops water from getting inside, a sweet feature if you find yourself out on the boat with it.
As for the use, we would recommend the Hopper 20 to people who are taking less rugged trips. The capacity isn’t as high, though the design makes it perfect for people who want something lightweight and easy to carry thanks to the built-in soft straps.
The Yeti Roadie 20 is the perfect cooler for someone who wants pro ice retention in a more portable size.
If you’re taking solo trips or just need something that is easier to travel with in general, we highly recommend the Roadie 20.
It’s an excellent choice whether you’re fishing, camping, boating, or just hanging out at the pool for the day.
Overall, we have to give this cooler an A+ for the design and features.
Yeti Roadie 20
- Price - 8.5/108.5/10
- Insulation - 10/1010/10
- Mobility - 10/1010/10
- Durability - 10/1010/10