Outdoorsmen know that in the heat of the summer days, keeping your beverages, as well as your food, cold, can mean the difference between enjoying them and throwing them away because they went bad. The key to ensuring this is the case is getting a good, large cooler that will keep cold drinks cold, and will fit everything you need.
One of the best options on the market out there is the Yeti Tundra. Yeti is a brand that’s very well known, especially for their tumblers, and their products are really high quality – the Tundra being no exception. In our Yeti Tundra cooler review, we’ll be focusing on the Tundra 35, which strikes a great balance b
When you first take a look at it, you’ll find that Yeti did a great job at keeping the design simple, yet highly functional. It comes in a host of colors, such as the Desert Tan, Reef Blue or Seafoam, so you can choose whichever one looks best to you.
The Tundra cooler comes with Yeti’s T-Rex Lid Latches. Whereas most coolers use plastic latches that are easy to break and damage, the T-Rex latches are made of heavy-duty rubber, which means that they will withstand all the bumps and hits that come from daily use. The latch keepers are molded directly into the body, and Yeti also sells them as replacements. Even if you do manage to destroy them, you can get replacement ones. However, the Tundra comes with a Neverfail hinge system, with two hinge pins and interlocking design, so this should not happen.
On the outside, you will also find molded tie-down slots. These allow you to easily and safely attach the Tundra to your boat, truck bed or trailer, and not have to worry about it falling off. The interlock lid system creates a barrier to ensure heat stays inside, and there’s a Coldlock gasket which is freezer-quality. It circles the entire length of the lid, and blocks out any heat from entering, or cold from escaping.
Carrying the Tundra around is surprisingly easy. To begin with, the Lipgrip handles allow you to get an excellent grip on the cooler, but when you don’t need them, they’ll stay out of the way. On the sides, you’ll find Yeti’s Doublehaul handles. They’re made of military-grade polyester rope, so they’re as durable as they come, and they’re pretty comfortable for carrying the Tundra around.
From the entire Tundra lineup, the Tundra 35 is the smallest one, which makes it the most convenient option for a single-person carry. The outside dimensions are 20” x 16 1/8” x 15 ¼”, and the total empty weight is 20 lbs. It’s certainly not the lightest cooler out there, but it is certainly something a single person can carry.
The last thing we’d like to mention as far as the design and construction of the Tundra 35 goes, is that it has a completely Rotomolded construction. It gives it somewhat of armor, to the core itself, and makes the Tundra virtually indestructible. Whether you drop it, attach it to an ATV, or use it and abuse it, it’s going to withstand everything.
How good is it, though?
It’s really, really good. Yeti recommends a 2:1 ice-to-contents ration and the Tundra 35 can fit 20 cans inside. This should have you covered when it comes to beverages, and with how the Tundra is made, you can be sure that the ice will remain ice.
The PermaFrost Insulation layer is made of pressure-injected commercial-grade polyurethane and is three inches thick. The FatWall design has been made extra thick to further help with maintaining the temperature. Oh, and it’s also worth mentioning that it’s certified Bear-Resistant, which should give you a bit of peace of mind when you’re outdoors.
In terms o the performance itself, you can rest assured that whatever you put inside, if you want it to stay cool, it will stay cool. If you’re going to be using it over a few days, you will need to add a bit of ice every once in a while. However, with other coolers, this means that you’ll be left with a massive puddle of water at the bottom. The Yeti’s Vortex drain system lets you drain the cooler quickly and easy, so this isn’t an issue.
Is it worth the price premium over other coolers?
When you’re looking into buying a cooler, experienced users will tell you that there are usually two options. You either get a cheap variant that works okay-ish, or you get a Yeti. However, that second option comes with a significant price premium, something that not all users are prepared to pay. If you were to look around your local Walmart, chances are you’ll find much, much cheaper options.
But if you’re even remotely serious about your outdoor adventures, those cheaper variants usually have downsides that will become immediately obvious as soon as you take them on your first trip. They may not hold temperature good enough, they may leak, they seldom have a draining valve, and are usually heavy and uncomfortable to carry.
With the Yeti Tundra 35, there are none of those issues. It’s pricey, but it solves problems you didn’t know you had. First of all, it can fit in plenty of things inside, and it keeps them cold, meaning it does its primary job very well. Add to that all the additional features – the great latches, the carrying handles, the drain system, and you’ll slowly realize that it’s actually well worth it.
If you’re considering getting a cooler, the Yeti Tundra 35 should definitely be on your shortlist. It performs great, it comes from a very reputable brand, and will certainly last you a good while.