The Yeti Tundra 65 Review – Is This The Cooler You Need?

(Last Updated On: November 22, 2018)

Yeti coolers were started in 2006 because the founders were sick of owning coolers that would always break on them. They wanted to make something that would withstand all of the wear and tear of an outdoor enthusiast. Or as they say, “The cooler we’d use every day if it existed.”

Yeti has made quite the name for itself with everyday people. Not only will you enjoy a Yeti cooler while hunting and fishing, you will also see them at BBQ’s and weekend getaways. Yeti essential lead the way for high-end coolers that you will keep for a lifetime.

Where You Could Use the Yeti Tundra 65:

  1. Outdoor Activities

This is what this cooler was made for. It was built with the idea of having something that will last with extreme wear and tear. You can use it for hunting, fishing, or any other outdoor sport.

  1. Camping

Long weekend camping trips need something that will keep food and drink cold for the whole trip. Yeti coolers are made to do just that. They have been proven to keep ice for almost a week.

  1. Everyday Activities

Tailgaters, picnickers, and anyone else that needs a cooler for something can also benefit from this cooler. It’s a cooler that will most likely last you a whole entire lifetime. You’ll be able to use it year after year and game after game.

Key Features

Rotomolded Construction

Rotomolding is what makes this cooler so strong. It gives it that one part of body construction and prevents the plastic from having gaps inside that can crack and break. Almost the whole cooler is one part with hardly anything attached on later making it nearly impossible for things to break off.

The body of this cooler is so strong that the manufacturer even tells you to use it as a platform to stand on while fishing in your boat. Even use it as an extra seat for friends and family at your picnic. The lid won’t cave in and it will still be standing tall.

Permafrost Insulation

Polyurethane foam is pressure injected into the walls of the Yeti cooler. The side walls and bottom have 2 inches of insulation and the lid has 3 inches of insulation. It’s great that they add extra insulation to the lid since that is where most of the heat comes from while the sun is beating down on the cooler.

Along with the construction of the Yeti Tundra, its ability to keep things cold for long amounts of time is remarkable. There have been many tests done on ice retention with this cooler and it holds up along with other top coolers going 5 days or more. You can find one very specific study HERE.

Bear Resistant

This cooler is certified bear-resistant with little holes on each side of the lid and body made for padlocks. You can keep bears from opening up your cooler and getting inside. Even if a bear does come roll around your cooler, it would most likely still be in good enough shape to continue using.

If you love camping and don’t want to have to keep your cooler inside your car the whole trip, the Yeti Tundra is great. You never have to worry about bears getting into your food and destroying your camping trip.

Interlocked Lid with Gasket

Yeti Tundras have an interlocked lid meaning the lid overlaps slightly holding cold air in and keeping warm air out. The interlocked lid also has a freezer-quality gasket that further ensures the prevention of air movement. This is also meant to prevent water from getting in and out of the cooler.

However, there have been reports of water leaking out through the lid when it is sloshing around inside. This could be from the gasket wearing down over time.  Luckily, there is a 5-year warranty. If this starts happening within that time, simply exchange it.

Double Handled

There are 2 sets of handles on the Yeti Tundra. One pair is integrated into the body of the cooler. This cooler is just wide enough that you can carry it solo still, so the integrated handles are best for that. You also never have to worry about them breaking off since they are built in.

The other pair of handles is two rope handles that hang from the sides. These are made of a durable military grade polyester and have a rubber grip around them to grab. The rubber grip is simply a tube of rubber around the rope and isn’t the most comfortable. Other similar coolers make much more pleasant grips, but these are simple and get the job done.

Integrated Hinge

You will never have to worry about the hinge busting off of this cooler. The system is built into the body of the cooler rather than simply attached later. Two pins are slid into the system that is irremovable to attach the lid to the body.

Another nice thing about the hinge being built in is that it doesn’t stick out of the cooler. The hinge is completely in line with the body leaving the cooler at a sleek square shape. You can fit it into tighter spaces because of this.

Drain Plug

The inset drain plug is pretty durable and only requires the unscrewing of a cap. There are no parts protruding out from the side of the cooler that can break off or bend potential causing the cooler to leak. It only takes a couple of twists for the cap to come off.

Sadly, the drain plug and hanging handle are at about the same height as each other causing your handle to get soaked if you don’t hold it out of the way. The drain plug also has a tendency to spue everywhere while releasing water. Whatever you have under or close to cooler is most likely going to get wet while draining.

T-Rex Latches

Yeti Tundras feature T-Rex latches, which are T shaped latches made of stretchy rubber and simply clip the lid on top the body. The stretchy bubber is so much more durable than plastic clips. You don’t have to worry about hitting them on something and them busting or pulling too hard on them to shut the cooler since they are stretchy.

If somehow you do end up breaking the latches, as highly unlikely as that is, there is no way to replace them yourself. You would have to send it in if you still are under the 5-year warranty. Some other similar coolers have replaceable rubber latches that clip around both the lid and body.

Tie-Down Slots

Built into the body of the cooler are slots wide enough to fit a thick strap so you can tie down your cooler. These slots are particularly nice because they are located under the lid. You will still have access to the inside of the cooler even while it’s strapped down.

You can strap you cooler to the roof of your vehicle if you don’t have room inside or strap it to your boat so it doesn’t bounce around while hitting some waves. You may especially want to tie it down to your boat if you are using it is a platform to stand on while fishing. Making it even more sturdy for you.

Capacity and Weight

Even though this is a Tundra 65, the actual capacity of this cooler is 51 quarts. That’s still a ton of room being able to fit 2 cases of canned drinks or a cleaned, quartered whitetail deer. However, it’s not the 65 quarts that you would expect.

This cooler is fairly heavy, weighing in at nearly 30 pounds. This is actually pretty light compared to other similar quality coolers. Although, there are lighter options or even similarly weighted options that have similar or more capacity.

Bonus Features

Organization features can be purchased for the inside of the Yeti Tundra 65. There are slots on the front and back wall that can hold a divider that splits the cooler in half. You can divide your food and drinks to separate sides, making it easier to locate stuff. There is also a rack that sits on the top for foods that you don’t want getting soggy from melting ice.

Rubber feet on all four corners of the cooler keep this cooler in place. They do a pretty remarkable job, even in a moving vehicle. They also don’t mark up your surfaces with black marks like you would expect.

Yeti Tundra 65Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

Very durable

Rope handles are uncomfortable

Extremely well insulated

Drain gets everything wet

Bear resistant

Capacity to weight ratio

Tie downs under lid

Lid may leak

5-year warranty

Expensive

Nothing sticks out (perfectly square)

Sticky rubber feet

Very organized

What I like

If you only had one cooler your whole entire life, theYeti Tundra 65 could very well be the one. It most likely will last your whole entire life and still have some life in it. The rotomolded body, T-rex latches, integrated hinge and handles are sure to last through the toughest outdoor adventures.

The ability of this cooler to keep ice is incomparable. People have used this cooler on long camping trips during the hottest time of the year and never have to fill it back up with ice. Then after the ice does melt, it takes a few additional days for the inside of the cooler to reach room temperature. Meaning you can get over a week out of this cooler before having to restock it with ice.

Your cooler being bear resistant should be very important for any outdoor enthusiast. Unless you plan to keep your cooler in your vehicle, which makes it pretty useless. It’s nice that all you have to do is add a couple of padlocks to the outside and don’t have to deal with any difficult contraption to open it.

The 5-year warranty is really nice, but I know of similar coolers with a lifetime warranty. Overall I still think it’s great to include a warranty. Also, 5 years is a really long time. If something is going to go wrong with your cooler, it will probably happen within 5 years.

Most coolers come with slot to fit straps through to tie your cooler down. The Yeti Tundra 65 is unique in that the slot is underneath the lid. This saves so much time! You don’t have to unstrap your cooler from whatever its strapped to everytime you want to get something out.

In most situations, you will not have to even tie down your cooler because of the sticky feet. They do a remarkable job at keeping your cooler in place on hard surfaces, even with quite a bit of motion. If your cooler does end up sliding around a little, the feet never leave dark marks as your shoes do.

It is much easier to squeeze this cooler into tiny places than other coolers with parts protruding out from the sides of the outside. All of the Yeti Tundras outside features are tucked away inside the design so nothing sticks out. Making it perfectly flat and square on the sides.

What I dislike

While the rope handles are very durable and do their job well, they could be a little more comfortable. They are fit with a rubber handle around the rope that is stiff, straight and slightly grooved. There is basically no form to fit your hand while carrying it, making you feel like you need to readjust quite often while carrying a heavy load.

Another issue with the handles is they are right at the height of the drain plug. If you don’t move it out of the way, it will get soaked. The drain plug is also kind of messy, literally spewing out everywhere once the plug is out. There’s no real direction of the water, getting everything underneath and around the cooler wet.

The capacity of the Yeti Tundra 65 is misleading. It actually only holds 51 quarts, which is way below competitor’s coolers. It’s also just as heavy, if not heavier than comparable coolers. You’re getting less capacity, but more weight.

The Yeti Tundra 65 is more expensive than similar brands of coolers. The Yeti runs around $350 on Amazon, while comparable coolers, such as the Grizzly 60, are $50 to $100 cheaper. I feel as though you are paying for the name brand more than anything.

Overall

If you already own the Yeti Tundra 65, I think you have a great cooler that will last you forever and do its job exceptionally. Although, if you are wanting to purchase a new cooler, you should research into other similar coolers further. There is so much out there now that do just as well with different features for the same price or maybe even cheaper. However, if you want something simple that purely does its job well, this cooler is the one for you.

Further read:

Grizzly Cooler vs Yeti Cooler – Best Cooler Brands Compared!

Why are Yeti Coolers so Expensive?

 

About the Author Sam Hardy

Sam Hardy is an outdoor enthusiast with a penchant for survival prepping. He writes about the great outdoors and his favorite equipment here.

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