In this day and age, YETI is easily one of the biggest household names in the cooler industry.
For fishermen, hunters, campers, and lovers of the outdoors, there’s really no other cooler that can get the job done quite like the YETI.
If you’re a nature lover of any sort, there’s no doubt you’ve seen one of these big white boxes hanging around.
With our YETI Tundra 45 review, we’re hoping to give you the lowdown on what makes these coolers so incredibly popular.
It is all hype or is this cooler as unique and premium as so many people claim it to be?
Why Is The Price So High?
When it comes to YETI Hard-shell coolers, it’s important to understand that you are paying for a cooler that will give you the best performance out there. In terms of rotomolded coolers, these are easily some of the most expensive on the market, and while you could easily go with a different hard-shell cooler brand like RTIC or Coleman, you’ll never be able to get the same performance and durability as you get with a YETI.
From the unique, high-quality construction, to the permafrost insulation, to the interlock lid system, and beyond, you’ll be able to keep cold food in tact for more than a week. Pair that with all of the accessories that YETI has made for the Tundra coolers, and you have yourself one of the best around.
If you don't believe us, you can take a look at our beach cooler guide to see why the YETI is the best beach cooler on the market.
The YETI utilizes what they call fatwall insulation, essentially two inches of thick walls that give you better ice retention than any other cooler on the market. If you’ve heard about the YETI maintaining ice for 10+ days in nasty weather conditions, this is pretty much the basis of how they do it.
YETI also utilizes a unique quality that they call Permafrost Insulation. This Permafrost Insulation is polyurethane foam. Polyurethane can be found just about everywhere from surfboards to chairs to work boots, and is incredibly tough and water resistant. They inject it into the walls of the cooler and let it expand to fill the empty space inside. It does give the YETI a few extra pounds, though it’s a small price to pay for premium ice retention.
Lastly, you have the Cold Lock Gasket, a thick, commercial-grade freezer gasket that is built into the lid. This is made to form to the outer rim of the lid when you latch it shut, keeping cold air in and any outside elements out.
YETI Tundra 45 vs. YETI Tundra 50
The first difference that you’ll notice between these two coolers is that they are slightly different in size. The YETI Tundra 45 cooler has a 26 can, 35lb ice capacity, while the Tundra 50 has a 32 can, 40lb ice capacity. Having that extra bit of room can be an advantage depending on what it is you are looking for. Even with that extra room though, we were surprised to find out that the YETI Tundra 50 is actually only 3lbs heavier than the 45. Both are pretty heavy, so you’ll most likely find that transporting them is the same.
In terms of dimensions, the YETI Tundra 50 is about an inch taller and wide than the 45, and about 3 inches longer. Besides that, they are both very similar when it comes to accessories and utility. It all depends on whether you need a larger cooler for more room or not.
YETI Tundra 35 vs. YETI Tundra 45
The first difference that you’ll notice between these two coolers is that they are slightly different in size and shape. The YETI Tundra 45 has a 26 can, 35lb ice capacity, while the YETI Tundra 35 has a 20 can, 35lb ice capacity. If you’re going on a longer trip or have a bigger group, the YETI Tundra 45 might be the best option. However, if you’re going for portability, the Tundra 35 is a clear winner.
In terms of their dimensions, the YETI Tundra 35 is 21” x 16” x 15.5”. The YETI Tundra 45 dimensions are a bit similar, though it is about 5” longer. It’s also about 4lbs heavier at 22lbs. When it comes to the shape, the Tundra 35 has more of a cubicle shape vs. the rectangular Tundra 45. This makes it seem like the 35 has higher walls, which if you’re only packing taller items like wine bottles for examples, might make things a bit easier.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are the T-Rex Latches Different from other cooler latches?
Typically, trying to keep the lid down on a cooler, using cheap latches, can be kind of difficult, especially if the cooler is packed tightly. After a while, cheap plastic latches tend to surrender to the elements and wear down. YETI tried to take things a bit further and created their latches from a tough, flexible rubber to help them last. It’s nice knowing that even YETI says they won’t bust, a promise that other cooler companies never seem to make.
Is this cooler hard to carry?
While the YETI Tundra 45 is pretty heavy for a cooler of the size thanks to the insulation, they’ve made a couple ways to carry it that make it a far more practical transport than most hard-shell coolers. Instead of the cheap plastic handles that you get with most coolers, YETI gives you soft military-grade polyester rope and rubberized sliding handholds to help you carry it. They’re much more flexible and make transporting much more comfortable.
You also have the LipGrip handles that are molded onto the actual body of the cooler using the same rotomolded material. These are perfect if you ever need to carry the cooler by yourself, as they give you a better solo carrying position.
How do you drain the YETI Tundra 45?
When it comes to draining your Tundra cooler, it’s actually pretty simple. Obviously you can flip the whole thing upside down and get everything out, though they’ve also included what they call their Vortex Drain. It is essentially a threaded, leak-proof drain that let’s you untighten it to slowly let water out. One thing that is kind of annoying is that it isn’t attached to the cooler, so it’s very easy to lose. Fair warning for those who misplace things a lot.
What are some accessories I should get for my Tundra cooler?
Tundra Seat Cushion
Because these coolers are so tough and protective against the elements, they also double as a nice little seat. This is great for fishermen or outdoorsmen who don’t want to have to haul an extra seat along on their excursions. The only issue is that the Rotomolded construction isn’t very butt-friendly.
Luckily, YETI created these little 2-inch thick seat cushions for the line of Tundra coolers. It’s made of a durable UV Marine Vinyl and comes in either white, to match your cooler, or camo, to fit the rest of your outdoor gear. All you have to do is screw the studs onto the cooler lid and snap it into place. It’s a simple task for a comfortable and portable seat.
YETI has a made a few different dividers, one vertical and one horizontal, for their line of Tundra coolers. These can help you to better organize the contents within your Tundra. It’s helpful if you want to split your iced drinks and perishable foods for example, or your drinks from that big fish you just caught. There are small dividers present in every Tundra Cooler, which these dividers slide nicely into. When they’re not in the cooler, they make excellent little cutting boards!
If you’re a fisherman, you’ll love these little rod holsters! They are made from a durable polypropylene material and are attached to sturdy stainless steel brackets. These slide nicely into the Anchor Point portions of the Tundra coolers without messing up the lid configuration. They give you the ability to keep your lines cast, completely hands-free.
Does the YETI Tundra have a warranty?
The YETI Tundra 45 comes with the same warranty that all hard-shell YETI coolers come with, which is a five-year limited warranty period. If you find that there is some sort of manufacturer error or defect within the first five years of using your cooler, you can return it to YETI and get a new one for free. There are a few more conditions to this than we need to mention, but you can find out more about it here.
The YETI Tundra 45 is easily one of the best hard-shell coolers on the market, and for it’s incredible performance and unmatched durability, we can give it no less than an A+ rating.
While it may be a bit expensive for the majority of people, you must keep in mind that getting a cooler from the YETI Brand is a long-term investment. To us, that’s much better than having to buy a brand new cheap cooler every couple of years.
YETI Tundra 45
- Price - 9/109/10
- Insulation - 10/1010/10
- Mobility - 9/109/10
- Durability - 10/1010/10