Is a YETI cooler really worth it?

Posted by Julia Reinisch, Contributor | 06.20.2019

Cabin in the Woods


You hear YETI mentioned a lot as a go-to industry champ when it comes to keeping your food and drinks cold on an extended trip. But is it really that good? Adventure dad, Weston Joslyn, shares his experience using a YETI cooler during a weekend getaway at a friend's cabin with his family.




A buddy of mine had just completed his finishing touches on his new cabin, so he invited my wife, three kids, and I and a few friends to stay the weekend and have sort of a house-warming get together. At first, I was really excited about it, but then I realized that we would be spending a whole weekend in a cabin taking care of a 3-year-old and 1-year-old (the other was 10) with no electricity or running water.


On backpacking trips my wife and I would get creative with simple meals like oatmeal, and tortillas and peanut butter, but I knew that wasn't going to fly with the family. I was worried about how we would be able to take enough food for all of us, and keep it fresh the whole weekend. My friend said that it would be no problem because he was bringing up his YETI cooler with him.


Now I'd heard about YETI before, but to be honest, they always seemed a bit bulky and out of our price range. Raising kids isn't cheap, so I never thought a cooler like that would be necessary.


I was proved wrong pretty quickly.





We met up with one of the other couples who planned to carpool with us to the cabin. They were the ones with the YETI cooler, so when they pulled in our driveway, we began to add the food we packed for the weekend into the cooler. When you think about it, we had to bring A LOT of food—enough for 4 adults and 3 kids to be satisfied for two and a half days. We opted to bring hotdogs for our lunches and burgers for our dinners except for the first night. I watched as food item after food item was easily packed into the cooler. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it all fit, with plenty of room for beers and waters as well. 


YETI Cooler filled with Food


When we arrived at the cabin, we unloaded everything from our car and brought our things into the cabin. It wasn't a crazy long drive, but it was long enough where our kids were definitely getting hangry. We had decided to make the first night extra special and cooked some steak, corn, and potatoes for the group. We also broke into the beers to toast my friend on his new cabin. The kids enjoyed a treat of lemonade with their meal.


Sunset, Camping, Tent!


With their tummies all full, the kids were sleepy so we decided to go to bed early. Keeping food cold and fresh for one day isn't exactly an astonishing feat because most coolers can do that, but for the record, day one was indeed a success with the YETI cooler.





We couldn't have asked for better weather. The kids had a blast exploring the area around the cabin with their mom while the rest of us cooked up some pancakes, bacon, and eggs for breakfast.


Dad. Kids. Hiking.


It started to get really hot in the afternoon, so we all exchanged our t-shirts and shorts for swimsuits and spent the rest of the day enjoying the cool water in the lake nearby.


Usually, I would have absolutely no complaints about the sunny weather, but as dinner drew nearer, I was getting nervous about the state of our food. Again, we had no electricity or running water, so we were completely dependent on the YETI cooler to keep our food fresh while the hot sun was shining down on everything in its wake.


But, as dinner rolled around, and we pulled out our burgers for dinner, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the cooler was still full of ice. The beers were frosty and that had to have been one of the best burgers I've ever had—either that or I was just super hungry from keeping up with the kiddos all day.




That evening we started a fire, and of course, made ourselves some tasty s'mores. It was relaxing, being able to spend time in the outdoors with some of our closest friends. Pausing to reflect as I gazed into the campfire, I couldn't help but think how lucky I am to be able to share these moments with my family. 





We spent the morning taking a short walk on one of the trails that ran behind the cabin. It was time to go home, but we wanted to take in the views and fresh air one last time before piling into our car. As we packed everything up, it came time to load up the YETI. I'm used to coolers getting lighter by the end of a trip because you gradually drain out water from them when the ice melts.


YETI Cooler


But not this YETI. It was hefty! To my amazement, even with it sitting outside in the hot sun, it was still FULL of ice. If I wasn't a believer in the difference a well-engineered cooler makes, I am now. Our steaks stayed frozen and beer stayed frosty throughout our whole weekend stay—and this was a lifesaver on a vacation with kids and no electricity or running water.


YETI Cooler - Seafoam

YETI Tundra 65 Cooler in Seafoam Green




About YETI Coolers

In 2006, we founded YETI Coolers with a simple mission: build the cooler we’d use every day if it existed. One that was built for the serious outdoor enthusiast rather than for the mass-discount retailers. One that could take the abuse we knew we’d put it through out in the field and on the water. One that simply wouldn’t break. We decided early on that product innovation would come from necessity and firsthand experience – not from market research and data analysis. Today, YETI products perform when it matters most - whether that be an excursion into the remote Alaskan wilderness, chasing redfish on the Gulf coast, or just getting together with friends in the backyard.

Customer Service: (970) 488-3250 EXT 1 Monday - Friday 9am to 5pm MTN                  WE'RE HIRING!