When it comes to the wide range of coolers available on the market, the Yeti Tundra 56 Quart is definitely not one of the lower priced options. In order to justify the price premium, the founder brothers say that they were pretty fed up with broken handles, snapped latches and caved in lids of other cheap coolers that they used. They seem to be pretty proud of the durability of their coolers. So let’s see how they really hold up.
When it comes to insulation performance, the Yeti Tundra 65 Quart holds up pretty well. It has thick rotomoulded tough polyethylene plastic body with up to 2 inches of commercial grade pressure injected polyurethane foam insulation in the lid and the body. It also has a rubber gasket that runs across the lid to create a seal when it is closed. It provides pretty robust insulation. In actual use, you can leave the ice in it and still find frozen ice after 5 days, which is one of the best results we have seen. It can keep food below the 40° F mark for about 6-7 days, and hence if you are packing items that just need to be refrigerated, you can leave them in this cooler with some ice for up to a week. It is also certified for use with dry ice, if you need something to be frozen for several days. The cooler earns an impressive insulation score of 8
On their website, the founders are pretty proud of their coolers’ durability, and we have to say, they do walk the talk. The rotomoulded polyethylene sure does feel sturdy, and the build quality of the product makes it look like a thing that can take some punishment. The lid is attached to the body with a durable full-length hinge, and has a rubber gasket. The rope handles are made of strong polyester with hard plastic handles, which look unlikely to break. Also, the Bear Resistance claim is actually backed by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Agency, suggesting that those are not just empty words. It also comes with a 5-year limited warranty to take care of any defects. Overall, the durability is quite impressive, and we give it a durability score of 9.
The great insulation and high durability necessitate the generous use of materials, which takes a toll on the portability of the cooler. The thick plastic wall and dense polyurethane insulation in the constructions make it quite heavy. Even when empty, it weighs 29 lbs and will be a bit difficult to move by one person. When loaded, it will definitely take two people to move it. Also, the thick insulation makes it large when you consider the interior space available. It can hold up to 39 cans with adequate ice. This makes it quite difficult to take with you for hiking, but shouldn’t be a problem if you plan to take your vehicle, use it on your boat or just need to keep a few beers chilled for a barbecue party in your backyard. Since it is not really easy to carry around, we give it a mediocre portability score of 6.
Ease of Use
The cooler has a few quick perks to make it fairly easy to use. It has a handy drain plug to drain out the water when all the ice melts, but still draining it makes a mess and you cannot cleanly drain it without getting water on whatever you have kept the cooler. The rubber tension clips to secure the lid do a decent job of keeping the lid firmly closed in order to insulate well, but it is still not enough to keep water from oozing out. The hard plastic pieces to hold on to the rope handles are not particularly comfortable. And the overall bulk is a bit of an issue for whoever has to move it around. Hence, we are giving it a mediocre ease of use score of 6.
The cooler has some nice features, and plenty of optional accessories. There is a dry items tray which can be moved around, so you can keep some dry items which will not get soaked by the ice below. There are also slots to put in dividers, easing organisation. The cooler has anti-slip rubber feet to keep it in place. You can put padlocks on the cooler to keep away any light fingered people. The cooler is durable enough to be used as a seat, and you can buy the optional seat cushion accessory to make it not just a makeshift seat, but an actual regular use and reasonably comfortable seat. We are giving it a decent score for features of 7.
It is no doubt that the Yeti Tundra 65 Quart is an expensive cooler, but it does have enough going for it to justify the cost. If insulation and durability are the most important concerns for you, this is one of the best options. But overall, there are a few better coolers in the premium segment.
- Great insulation
- Very durable construction
- Some convenient features such as drain plug
- Heavy and bulky
- Uncomfortable handles