The 5 Best Yeti Coolers, According To Reviewers

Known for their unrivaled durability and striking ability to keep things cold, YETI coolers rank among the best coolers on the market. While admittedly not cheap, they're worth the investment if you're someone who uses coolers a lot and wants the very best. There are a number of features that the best YETI coolers have in common — I've broken them down below by cooler type.

Hard-Shell Coolers

  • Roto-Molded Construction: This is the hallmark feature that all hard-shell YETI coolers have. The technology allows the cooler to be made from one thick wall of plastic, preventing warm air from seeping in through the cracks.
  • FatWall Design: This patented YETI technology describes the extra thick walls used to create an additional barrier from the air outside.
  • Permafrost Insulation: This is a thick layer of foam that provides extra insulation to protect your cold food and drinks. It's made with high-quality, pressure-injected polyurethane.

Soft-Shell Coolers

  • ColdCell Insulation: This is a special closed-cell foam that's placed on the interior of the soft-shell coolers, creating a frosty climate inside.
  • DryHide Shell: This is the exterior part of the the soft-shell coolers that's made from tough, waterproof material. It is puncture-resistant and fully mildew-proof.

Now that you're more familiar with the technology, you're ready to browse thorough some of the best YETI coolers available. I've included models below in multiple sizes and styles, along with a lower-cost off-brand alternative for folks who aren't quite ready to make the splurge.

(And pro tip: Most YETI coolers perform best if you pre-chill them first.)

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The Best Small Cooler

Capacity: 14 cans (or 20 quarts)

What's great about it: Made with the brand's signature roto-molded construction, this small YETI cooler is a miniature version of the company's bigger beasts. Perfect for things like road trips or beach days, it's equipped with thick FatWalls and ice-cold PermaFrost Insulation to lock in the chill. The lid boasts fully sealed latches made from heavy-duty rubber, and the cooler comes in eight colors. (Just note there's a price discrepancy among some of the color options.)

One reviewer wrote: "Used it for a river tubing trip in which it would be in direct sunlight for 4+ hours. Drinks remained ICEcold. There was still frozen ice in it the following day. The 20 quart is the perfect size for me, balancing bulkiness with capacity. We fit a 15-pack of 12oz cans, with 6 more 12oz cans on top of that, AND a large ice pack and a 5lb bag of ice dumped over it all."


The Best Medium-Sized Cooler

Capacity: 45 cans (or 65 quarts)

What's great about it: This ultra-strong YETI ice chest is a great mid-sized option that showcases all of the same great technology as the Roadie 20 but in a bigger size. Similarly to the smaller option, it's made with roto-molded construction plus the signature FatWalls and a firm, easy-to-seal lid. On top of that, it comes in five colors.

One reviewer wrote: "I was on the fence whether to go genuine Yeti, or get a 'equivalent' knockoff. I'm so glad I went whole hog and ponied up the cash. I pre-chilled it [...] The beverages stayed refrigerator cold for 5 DAYS!!!! And there was still frozen ice in there. I couldn't believe it. Highly recommend. It is a workout to move it when full, but dang, 5 days of cold drinks on basically 2 bags of ice. Unbelievable."


The Best Large Cooler

Capacity: 67 cans (or 105 quarts)

What's great about it: If you're looking for a large, full-sized YETI hard cooler to take on rafting trips, multi-day camping excursions, or simply set up outside for a barbecue, this Tundra 105 is an investment worth making. Like the previous two picks, the practically indestructible construction is top-grade, and it has all of the standard YETI features — durable FatWalls, Permafrost Insulation, and a sleek, roto-molded design. It's available in white, tan, or an army green.

One reviewer wrote: "Before the 10 day trip to Lake Shasta we decided to use the Yeti for meat. [...] It was between 93 and 105 degrees and 70-80 at night. Never the less, the Yeti kept the meat completely frozen for 6 days. [...] We added some ice at day 6, but even though the house boat had two propane powered refrigerator/freezers, we never felt we needed to move the meat to the refrigerators. On day 8 we added a little ice, and by day 10 we still had 3 pounds of very very cold bacon to take back home."


The Best Soft Cooler

Capacity: 12 cans (or 12 quarts)

What's great about it: For folks who want a simple, portable pick they can sling over their shoulder, this miniature Hopper Flip soft cooler is a great option. It's lightweight and easy to carry, yet it still keeps your food and beverages ice cold. The technology relies on YETI's ultra-frigid ColdCell Insulation paired with its waterproof DryHide Shell (which is also fully puncture-resistant). The mini-cooler comes in a handful of colors, too.

One reviewer wrote: "I put a relatively thin layer of ice over six beers and played in a golf tournament a few weeks ago on a 95 degree day. This cooler sat in the back in direct sunlight for about 75% of our time on the course. Got to the last tee and went for my last beer. There was still ice in the cooler and the beer was freezing cold. Not much else to say."


The Best Backpack Cooler

Capacity: 20 cans (quarts not specified)

What's great about it: Whether you're hiking, picnicking, or simply want more mobility at a sports game, this YETI cooler bag is the perfect blend of cooler and backpack. Like the soft-shell cooler above, it's equipped with ColdCell Insulation and a waterproof DryHide Shell. The straps are comfy and flexible, offering durability without it feeling too rigid. Moreover, the zippers are ultra-durable (although reviewers noted that they can be tricky to open and close). It's available in your choice of fog gray, coral, or charcoal.

One reviewer wrote: "This must be the best cooler i have ever seen and owned. Keeps my water and beers ice cold for up to 2 days and zero leaks! Keep in mind that it will perform better if you don't leave your cooler at a place with direct sun light."


Bonus: The Best YETI Alternative

Capacity: 45 quarts

What's great about it: If you're interested in a YETI but you're not ready to fork over the cash, this RTIC is one of the best YETI cooler alternatives out there. It boasts many similar features but shaves more than $100 off the price tag. Like YETI hard-coolers, it has roto-molded construction and heavy-duty rubber latches that are similarly designed. It gives YETI a run for its money, according to fans, in terms of both durability and cooling time. It has molded tie-down slots and it's offered in four colors. It's also available in a 20-quart option for $70 less than a Yeti cooler of the same size.

One reviewer wrote: "Living in Texas. Ice does not last long in a regular ice chest. I have a Yeti. And love it...but hate the price. Way to go Rtic! I spent 4 days in Louisiana with the cooler sitting outside in the sun. Temps were in the high 90's. The ice lasted for three days, and the contents stayed cold for two more days."