YETI Tundra 35 Cooler: Best Entry-Level Cooler for All
YETI coolers are famous for their toughness and great performance. Nevertheless, YETI coolers are not known for being affordable. This is the reason why, according to many anglers, YETI coolers have become status symbols among many circles.
YETI Tundra coolers are separated into various size dimensions: 35-quart, 45-quart, 65-quart, and 75-quart. Depending on your needs, you can choose the cooler size that works best for you, whether you are planning a short trip or a long excursion. Expectedly, they get progressively more expensive as the size increases.
The YETI 35-quart cooler is the least expensive in the line-up. They have all of the features that make a YETI cooler, well… a YETI cooler. In these YETI Tundra 35 cooler reviews, we’ll tell you all about it. In addition, we also have a section to speak briefly on other versions, just in case you have different needs.
The 35-quart YETI cooler can carry about 35 quarts. It may not sound like a lot, but if you only use the cooler for house parties, the occasional picnic, and short one- or two-day trips, it will suffice.
There are no complaints about the Tundra 35’s insulation. Its insulating technology allows the cooler to keep its internal temperature freezing-cold for several days. You can keep the cooler cold with water ice packs, but the Tundra cooler is also compatible with dry ice. While it’s a little bit more complicated to use, it provides three times more cooling power than water ice.
This may be worth keeping in mind if you’re going to use the cooler for multi-day trips and need the ice to last longer than normal. Not all coolers are rated to handle dry ice, so this is definitely a plus in favor of the Tundra 35.
Tundra 35 keeping ice for a long time Via: Amazon
The designers at YETI have figured out several tricks to make the cooler’s insulating performance as great as possible. The first is the inches-thick PU insulating foam within the walls of the cooler. Second is the ColdLock gasket that runs around the cooler’s lid. They all work together to slow down the heat transfer process, keeping warm air out of the cooler.
Once the ice has finally melted down into puddles at the bottom of the cooler, the Tundra 35 has a drain system to empty out the cooler. Its design allows you to control the draining speed.
Durability is a given for YETI coolers. It’s what they are known for.
YETI coolers 35 Via: Amazon
The cooler’s body is made from rotomolded polyethylene (PE) for maximum durability. Every part is designed to be as strong and damage-resistant as possible. That includes the rustproof metal hinges (made from aluminum) and the latches cast from high-quality rubber. Even the lid of the cooler is made strong enough that you can sit and use it as a bench without any problems.
The cooler is strong enough to be able to survive a direct grizzly bear attack. This claim is according to the Grizzly Bear Committee, so there must be some truth to it.
If it can survive a bear attack, it can definitely survive anything you can possibly throw at it. You can handle the cooler in a rough manner by throwing it, tossing it, or kicking it around and the cooler will be unfazed. However, it’s not wise to do it just because you can… the cooler would be unfazed, yes, but there’s no guarantee that the contents inside will be okay after being tossed around like that!
You can carry the YETI 35-quart cooler by using several handles built into the cooler. There’s the Double Haul handles that are ideal for two people to carry it at once. Then, there are the LipGrip handles, molded right into the cooler. Although they are a little bit more low-profile and rather difficult to find, they make solo-carrying easier by allowing you to position both of your arms comfortably for hauling.
The only flaw that we noted in terms of design in these YETI Tundra 35 cooler reviews is that the actual storage space inside is quite small compared to the overall size of the cooler itself. This is because the walls of the cooler are very thick. It’s not just the thick shock-absorbent plastic walls but you also have to factor in the 3-inch thick insulation foam inside.
Since the extra thickness does provide the cooler with extra durability and insulation capability, it is a fine trade-off in our opinion. And, you can always upgrade to a larger model if the YETI Tundra 35 is a bit small for your use.
The cooler sits on silicone pads. They are very grippy and can anchor the cooler solidly in place even when it is on wet surfaces.
- Enough capacity for short trips and house parties
- Excellent insulation ability
- Durable rotomolded body
- Bear-resistant parts
- Compatible with dry ice
- Doesn’t have many exciting features compared to other coolers on the market
- The internal storage space is quite cramped in relation to the cooler’s outside size
- Still quite costly
The rotomolded body is one of the best selling points of Tundra-series coolers.
Rotomolded is short for “Rotational Molding.” It is a special manufacturing process that produces more superior-quality plastic items than traditional methods. Rotomolded products tend to be stronger, more durable, and last longer. This is because the process can minimize deformities and tiny imperfections in the plastic, making the final product more uniform in shape. Because of their superior durability, YETI coolers have quickly become popular as the go-to best coolers for camping.
Other than rugged coolers, rotomolding is also used to manufacture products where strength and durability are keys such as whitewater kayaks.
The YETI 35 is available in many different colors, including the YETI Tundra 35 river green.
YETI Tundra 35 river green Via: Amazon
There is also a pretty seafoam color that really pops without being too gaudy.
The seafoam YETI 35 cooler Via: Amazon
PermaFrost™ Insulation & ColdLock Gasket
PermaFrost™ insulation technology is how the Tundra 35 can achieve the excellent ice-keeping performance it offers. Polyurethane (PU) insulating foam is injected directly into hollow pockets between the walls of the cooler. After some time, the foam expands and fills out the spaces to form a solid insulating barrier between the cooler’s inside and the outside.
PU is one of the best insulating materials currently available. It has great heat transfer-resisting property and thus can drastically slow down the heating process. The only thing about the PU foam is that it is quite dense and heavy. The foam adds some weight to the already heavy cooler. Considering the fact that it gives the cooler insulation, it’s an acceptable sacrifice.
Aside from the PermaFrost™ insulation, the cooler also has the ColdLock gasket wrapped around the lid to improve ice-keeping performance.
All of the parts in the Tundra-series coolers are made to be as durable as possible. After all, that’s how the cooler can withstand bear attacks.
A cooler has two weak points that are most vulnerable: the lid’s latches and the hinges. If the latches break, no matter how strong the lid or the cooler’s body is, the contents inside would tumble out as you would expect. If the hinges break, the lid would come right off.
The 35-quart YETI cooler has T-Rex latches to hold down the lid. The latches are built solidly into the cooler and are made from heavy rubber. Admittedly, they aren’t invincible, but they will only break from accurate and deliberate strikes right onto the handles themselves. You can also secure the latches with padlocks.
In our opinion, the best thing about the cooler’s latches is not their strength, but that they are replaceable. If they were to break for any reason, you can easily replace them with a new pair.
The NeverFail hinge system is composed of two hinge pins. The lid is attached to the cooler’s body via a rust-resistant aluminum rod. YETI is confident enough with its hinge system that they have proudly proclaimed that it shouldn’t ever fail, even in the most extreme conditions.
The parts in series coolers are durability and the hinge system is strong Via: Amazon
Certainly, this is hyperbole, but there is no arguing that the hinge is strong and can withstand a large amount of force and abuse.
Double Haul & LipGrip Handles
As mentioned in the overview, there are two ways you can haul the cooler around.
The first is with the Double Haul carrying handles. Their design is quite special when compared to all of the other rugged coolers. Rather than being solid pieces of high-strength plastic, the YETI Tundra 35’s handles are made from military-grade polyester rope.
It may sound as if it’s going to be flimsier than straight plastic handles, but braided polyester rope can bear a large amount of stress.
Each handle has a plastic sliding handgrip to make it easier to hold onto.
The Double Haul handles are useful when you have two people carrying the cooler. If you carry the cooler by yourself, the LipGrip handles would be more useful.
Instead of being a separate component like the Double Haul handles, the LipGrip is built directly into the cooler. They look like recesses on either side of the cooler. The design makes it easier for you to position your arms.
The Vortex Drain is how you’re going to vent out all of the thawed ice collected at the bottom of your cooler. It is threaded and isn’t just a friction fit like many other drain designs. The advantages to it are that you can control the drainage speed and the drain plug has a more secure fit.
One complaint we heard about the drain design is that it doesn’t come with a lanyard attached to it. It would be easier to keep track of it that way and not lose the plug.
The silicone feet of the cooler provide excellent surface grip, even on wet floors. It is the reason why the cooler is so popular among boaters and anglers. Customers have even attested that the cooler is so stable that it could function as a casting platform for fishing.
The feet also function very well on common surfaces such as tile, hardwood, and cement floors.
AnchorPoint Tie-Down Slots
AnchorPoint tie-down slots can help you secure the cooler to your truck bed or on your boat when you need to transport it long-distance. You just need some ropes and a few knots and the cooler would be solidly anchored in place.
The most common way a model will be disqualified in the eyes of the consumer is that it doesn’t have enough space. Fortunately, as we said before, if you like YETI Tundra coolers for their ruggedness and performance, you don’t have to turn to coolers from different brands. Tundra-series coolers come in many different variants, and a few different sizes.
#1- YETI Tundra 45
The YETI Tundra 45 is the mid-size cooler of the series. It’s a fine balance between performance, capacity, and price, so it’s attractive for both average consumers as well as professional outdoors enthusiasts.
YETI Tundra 45 cooler Via: Amazon
As expected, it can hold about 45 quarts worth of ice and supplies. If you fill it up with food and drinks, the Tundra 45 can keep enough stuff for two to three people for a day or two.
Other than the expanded capacity, the Tundra 45 is virtually identical to the Tundra 35 in terms of features. It has the thick PU insulation foam and the bear-resistant rotomolded outer casing and parts. The aesthetics are the same, too.
Which one to choose, the YETI Tundra 35 vs. 45?
The Tundra 35 is ideal for those who seldom use their coolers. For example, you’re only going to use it for the occasional house party or for a short camping trip once every couple of months. It’ll also be great for those who don’t need to carry a lot with them.
Meanwhile, the Tundra 45 is a starting size for professional realms. If you’re going hiking, boating, or fishing for a day or two and have to bring a lot of supplies with you, all of the Tundra 45 reviews agreed that this is the cooler of choice to bring along.
Obviously, the expanded size makes the Tundra 45 a bit more expensive than the Tundra 35. Consider all the differences carefully before you put one on order.
#2- YETI Tundra 75
The Tundra 75 is the largest cooler in the Tundra series. A word of warning: it is also the most expensive.
As you may have expected, it can carry 75 quarts. The space is enough to hold supplies for dozens of people for several days. As a result, it is going to be a wonderful cooler for long expeditions supporting many different people.
YETI Tundra 75 Via: Amazon
The only downside (other than the higher cost) is the heavier weight. Even when it’s empty, the cooler can barely be lifted by one person. Thus, when stocked up with ice packs and supplies, the cooler will have to be rotated occasionally between a two-person crew that can handle it.
Transporting it would have been much easier if the cooler had a pair of rolling wheels. Many large capacity, heavy coolers come with wheels. Unfortunately, this is not the case for the Tundra series.
With these best-rated coolers in mind, we hope you have found the perfect cooler to carry with you to events and trips. As we mentioned before, YETI is one of the best manufacturers for rugged coolers on the market. Whichever version you choose, we are sure that you are going to be happy with your purchase if you thoroughly understand the pros and cons.
If you want to see even more options, our site has many other reviews about best coolers for camping that you can use to discover more.
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