Yeti Tundra 65 Review - the cooler for outdoor enthusiasts
Isn’t a cooler just an insulated box to keep drinks cold and perishable items fresh? Why should we have to choose from so many brands? Which brand is most reliable? What’s so special about the quality of Yeti coolers compared to other more affordable versions?
At first glance, many coolers might look similar; however, not all coolers are built equally! Tundra models are well known for their durability, and the Yeti Tundra 65 is one of the best-selling models from this manufacturer. But is it worth the investment?
This Yeti Tundra 65 review will help you decide whether you should add this cooler to your outdoor gear. I will take you through its pros, cons, specifications, performance ratings, and customer feedback.
How are the best coolers built?
The best coolers are those that can keep the heat out. Since heat is transmitted via convection and conduction, I believe it’s best to briefly explain these two processes here.
Convection is the air currents that flow over the ice. Even though convection is unavoidable, the better your cooler is securely closed, the less warm air can get inside it. In other words, as long as you keep the lid of the cooler closed, warm air melts the ice inside your cooler at a slower rate, which will help your refreshments stay colder longer.
Ice chests with an interlocked lid and sturdy gasket like the Yeti Tundra 65 cooler will always ensure that your drinks and beverages are kept in good condition.
Conduction refers to the heat that flows directly through the walls of your cooler. Therefore, the best icebox walls are made out of insulating materials that do not conduct heat, like Styrofoam. These insulated walls can keep heat out of the cooler quite effectively, thanks to small air pockets inside them.
The walls of the Yeti 65 top rated cooler are built using Polyurethane foam to ensure its efficient thermal performance and insulation. Read on, as I will explore how useful this material is in a later section.
Yeti - the best cooler brand for extreme durability
Yeti coolers are very likely to be the first brand that most avid shoppers will think of, no matter if you are a first time buyer or considering purchasing a new cooler to replace an older one. It’s one of the best cooler brands in the world, known for its quality and reliability.
Yeti came to the market in 2006 with the desire to build products for serious outdoor enthusiasts. Given this, these ice chests are not for the masses, and they haven’t disappointed their most demanding customers. Who can say no to rugged, indestructible coolers that have been built to thrive in the harshest outdoor environments?
But are the Yeti 65-quart coolers made for you? Let’s find out by taking a look at the pros and cons.
Yeti Tundra 65 quarts - pros and cons
Yeti Tundra 65 is one of the best-performing ice chests from Yeti. Even the best products on the market have their pros and cons. So does this Yeti cooler!
- • Rotomolded construction
- • Extra thick walls
- • Excellent ice retention
- • Heavy-duty rubber latches
- • Interlocking lid system
- • Freezer-quality gasket
- • Double haul tight-grip handles
- • Sticky rubber feet
- • 5-year warranty
- • Expensive
- • Heavy
- • Limited capacity
Yeti Tundra 65 Review - specifications and key features
Dimension, weight, and capacity
The outside dimension is 17 1/4’’ x 16’’ x 30 5/8’’ while its inside measurement is 10 5/8’’ x 11 1/8’’ x 23 1/8’’. This 65-quart cooler gives you a lot of room, enough to fit 42 cans of beer. When it’s empty, the Yeti Tundra 65 weighs 29 lbs, which is quite heavy. However, if you compare it with other coolers of the same quality, it’s not a challenge to carry it with you.
Yeti Tundra 65 Via: Amazon
For example, the RITC 65-quart cooler is a competitor of the Yeti Tundra 65, and it weighs 36.5 lbs empty. Similarly, the Orca Classic 58-quart cooler is another decent model, but it weighs in at 36 lbs when empty. The wheeled RovR RollR 60 cooler is advertised as one of the most portable models, but this portability comes at a price. This model weighs 40.5 lbs, so pushing or pulling it to your beach party or camping site can be a burden.
The 65-quart Yeti coolers are available in a wide variety of colors so that everyone will find something they like. They come in white, brown, orange, black, charcoal, seafoam, and ice blue. I love them all, but if I get to choose only one, I will go with the Yeti 65 in seafoam blue. My favorite colors are blue and green, so this hybrid of pale blue/green gives me a calming and relaxing feel, just like when I’m at the beach.
Durability and insulation
The Yeti Tundra 65 is a rotomolded cooler. As the name suggests, these coolers are constructed with rotationally molded plastic to create wall thickness, giving them the inherent strength for any abuse in the wild. Because the rotomolding process creates a seamless, continuous thick wall, your Yeti ice chest has extra insulation and tighter seals.
As briefly mentioned above, Yeti engineers use pressure to put polyurethane foam into the walls of this 65-quart cooler to give it permafrost insulation; they call this the Fatwall design. The bottom and side walls have 2’’ of insulation. Even better, its lid has 3’’ of insulation, making this cooler a well-rounded model since the lid is where the warm air beats down the most. The better your lid and gasket are made, the better insulated your cooler is.
Yeti Tundra 65’s Fatwall design and well-made lid Via: Amazon
Polyurethane foam is the predominant material that many high-end fridges and cooler manufacturers use because of its insulation efficiency and rigidity of the foam. More importantly, it has a closed-cell structure, ensuring effectiveness in a confined space while still achieving the required insulating prowess. This versatile insulation material is also lightweight, giving your cooler the ideal weight to carry along when you explore the wild.
I’ve run an insulation test on a few well-known rotomolded coolers on the market, including the Yeti 65 ice blue. Unsurprisingly, the Tundra lasted the longest. It can hold foods below 40º F for six days and beverages below 50º F for seven days, making it stand out from other models on the market.
Ease of use
Interlocked lid with gasket
The Yeti Tundra 65 cooler is installed with an interlocked lid, meaning two latches securely hold the lid for quick interlock, easy storage, and transportation. These interlock coolers also have freezer-quality gaskets to prevent the convection of warm air and water leakage.
The latches are made of stretchy rubber; therefore, they are thick and flexible, allowing you to turn your cooler into an extra chair to sit or stand on while fishing.
Yeti Tundra’s lid is sturdy enough to stand on
The hinge system is perfectly built into the body of the cooler instead of attaching to it, so you do not have to worry that the hinges might break off. In addition, the hinge is in line with the body, giving this Yeti a sleek, modern, and simplistic look. But it’s not just about the appearance; this well-designed shape can fit into the tight space of your boat or vehicle with ease.
Dual handle sets
Like many other models, these Yeti 65-quart coolers have two sets of handles, making it easy for one or two people to carry them.
The first set of handles is installed into the cooler’s body so that one person can carry it with ease. The Tundra 65 has a long shape with a low profile design, so if you carry it on your own, it does not bash against your legs like other competing models.
The other set of handles is designed for co-carrying as they are movable handles that hang from the sides. These friction-like, rigid rope handles are made of military-grade polyester with a rubber grip, making them a quick-grab option for two persons carrying.
Easy to open and close
While collecting customers’ feedback, I’ve come across a few complaints saying that this Yeti’s lid is so sturdy that it’s sometimes difficult to open and close. I believe these comments come from first-time users of new Yeti Tundra coolers.
If your hands are busy, the Tundra 65 can easily be opened and closed with only one hand. So if you also come across these negative feedback, do not let them influence you fully, since opening and closing a brand new Yeti cooler with only one hand takes a few times of practice. They are built that good!
Vortex drain system
The drain plug is a simple innovation, but it works well. It is rugged and leak proof as there are not any parts that come out from the side of this Tundra cooler that can cause leaks as with a few other models. Besides, it is designed for easy and quick draining. All you need to do is unscrew the cap with a couple of twists, and then you can drain it in just two minutes.
One minor con of this drain plug is its tendency to rush out when you release the water. Given this, I would recommend you to wear shorts or to stay out of the way so that you will not get soaked when draining it.
BearFoot non-slip feet
If you’ve used old coolers before, chances are they will slide around when you left them unattended. When you set them on slick surfaces like boat decks or truck beds, they can slide out automatically, and the contents may spill out.
Yeti 65-quart coolers are equipped with BearFoot non-slip feet, allowing them to stay in place no matter how slippery the surface is. Once you put your Yeti Tundra 65 down, you can rest assured that it will remain where it is, regardless of the movement around it.
My partner and I went on a fishing trip last weekend, and we were happy with this feature of our Yeti Tundra 65. Our boat was wet and slippery, but the cooler stayed where it was when we first stepped onto our boat in the early afternoon until we left at dusk.
Yeti Tundra 65 vs. 45
Yeti Tundra coolers come in a few different sizes. The two most popular are the Tundra 65 and the Tundra 45. Do they only differ in dimensions and weight? In this Yeti Tundra 65 Review, I will compare these two models side by side, so you can better decide the right model for you. Let’s take a look at the comparison chart below!
|Yeti Tundra 65||Yeti Tundra 45|
10 5/8’’ x 11 1/8’’ x 23 1/8’’
9 3/8” × 10 5/8” × 18 3/8”
|Capacity||Can hold 42 cans of beer||Can hold 28 cans of beer|
|Interlocked lid system||Yes||Yes|
|Vortex drain system||Yes||Yes|
|Double haul handles||Yes||Yes|
The Tundra 65 and 45 are similar in terms of functions and features; they are only different in size and weight. The former has a larger capacity, so it is suitable for large group gatherings, family parties, or people who want to go on long trips. Dedicated campers that need room to keep their food and drink would find this cooler the perfect fit for their needs.
The latter is designed for anyone who doesn’t plan to stay out for more than two days. If you’re having a weekend camping trip and only bringing a small amount of food and drinks, this cooler would be an ideal choice. Also, if you do not drive a big car, then the Tundra 45 might be a better option than the Tundra 65.
The Yeti Tundra 65 cooler earned the Amazon’s Choice badge for highly rated and well-priced products. This rating is based on customers’ favorable responses for high-quality products in terms of design and usability.
Most customers were impressed with this 65-quart Tundra for its excellent ice retention. Many users tried to use it in humid weather for five to seven days and they said that it kept their perishables cold during their journey. At the end of their trips, they still had ice left in the Tundra cooler.
Several customers compared the Yeti Tundra with the Igloo, and while the Igloo lost ice within 3 hours, this Yeti can keep ice after three days in the blistering heat. Unsurprisingly, many Yeti Tundra 65 users said that it is pricey compared to other models, but it’s worth the spend.
#1 - Yeti Tundra 35 - a lighter option with the same design and construction
You have been a fan of Yeti coolers, and you’re planning a trip with your friends in the next few weeks, but you have not decided on which version you should go with. The Yeti Tundra 65 seems to be a perfect fit except for its weight. You’ll probably be walking long distances and carrying a bulky ice chest doesn’t sound like a good idea.
If this sounds like you, then go for the smaller version in the Tundra family. The Yeti Tundra 35 comes with the same outstanding features that you will find in its 65-quart sibling but in a more compact shape and size. You will have a smaller capacity, but you can rest assured that the durability and usability are exactly the same.
Yeti Tundra 35 Via: Amazon
#2 - Yeti Tundra Haul - a portable cooler with wheels
Many outdoor adventurers choose a wheeled icebox for their mobility. Imagine carrying a heavy cooler through tough terrains and suffering from back pain afterwards. While rolling coolers are just as varied in size, shape, and appearance as their non-wheeled counterparts, choosing a reliable model can be a challenging task.
Yeti Tundra Haul Via: Amazon
Yeti Tundra product line has gained customers’ trust for years. The Tundra Haul is the only wheeled model of this Minnesota-based cooler manufacturer. With a capacity of 55 quarts (~13.8 gallons), it can keep 45 cans of beer cold for up to one week.
The Tundra Haul is packed with all of the technical aspects and innovative features of the Yeti Tundra series, except for the wheels. That said, Yeti engineers had to sacrifice particular space on the inside of the cooler to make room for the wheels. This design ensures that users can have both the portability and aesthetic in a minimalist-style rolling cooler.
You might be wondering if this cooler’s wheels are sturdy enough to go through the most challenging trails. The Yeti Tundra Haul has NeverFlat wheels. They are puncture-resistant wheels with solid, single-piece tire construction, allowing users to pull it along hard rocky surfaces with little effort. Better yet, its strong-arm handle is made from durable welded aluminum, giving you comfortable grips no matter where you pull it to.
#3 - Igloo 5-gallon heavy-duty beverage cooler - a versatile cooler to help you save on plastic bottles
If you’re keen on a compact and affordable roller cooler for family use, then this Igloo 5 gallon is just what you need. Made from BPA-free plastic, this 5.5 lbs Igloo ice box has strong wheels and collapsible handle, allowing you to pull it to your camping sites with ease.
Igloo 5 gallon beverage cooler Via: Amazon
If you’re keen on a compact and affordable rolling cooler for family use, then this Igloo 5-gallon is just what you need. Made from BPA-free plastic, this 5.5 lbs Igloo icebox has strong wheels and a collapsible handle, allowing you to pull it to your camping sites with ease.
Even though the Yeti Tundra 65 cooler is a bit expensive, it is worth the investment for its high performance. It is a durable, heavy-duty cooler made for outdoor enthusiasts. This well-made ice chest is virtually indestructible thanks to the innovative rotomolded construction. Its permafrost insulation lets users keep their perishables cold for up to one week.
I hope our Yeti Tundra 65 review has provided you with useful information to make a well-informed decision. If you’re interested in a lighter Yeti cooler, the Yeti Tundra 35 can be an ideal alternative as it is also well made with all of the required standards of the Yeti Tundra series, but in a more compact design.
However, if you are looking for a model with better mobility but similar capacity as the Tundra 65, the Yeti Tundra Haul is worth your consideration. The Yeti Tundra Haul review briefly summed up all of the most essential information about the only wheeled cooler option from Yeti.