Yeti cooler review: Is it really worth $350?

Is the Yeti cooler the only one to keep your drinks cold?

The hottest gifts this holiday season for men and women also happen to be some of the most expensive popular gifts in years.

Forget about the “it” gift costing you $75 or even $100. Now they are up to $350, $400 or even $500.

The most-desired gift for women? The Dyson Supersonic hair dryer, a $400 high-tech wonder from the Dyson vacuum cleaner company.

But guys don’t catch a break, because their hottest gift in 2016 is the Yeti camping cooler that will cost you from $250 (for the tiny beer cooler) to $500 for one that will hold steaks and your case of beer.

The Yeti cooler is another top-of-the-line wonder made by the company that made $40 drinking cups a big hit. And yes, some women would love one, too.

And the cooler is selling like hot cakes right now, despite its price tag. Even on Amazon, you won’t find big discounts.

For outdoorsmen like Dave Rogers, though, “They’re incredible. I like them because they’re big and rugged.” But are they worth the cost, or a case of don’t waste your money?

We test it out

We decided to compare the $350 Yeti Tundra with a $29 Coleman cooler that I bought for using at kids’ soccer games (and it works just fine for those little Gatorade bottles and orange slices, I might add).

I filled each halfway with ice, added two big Diet Cokes (the boss said no beer in our TV studio) and left them for a long weekend.

Three days later, we opened them.

  • The Coleman greeted us with two warm Coke bottles swimming in water that registered a balmy 71 degrees.
  • The Yeti still had ice floating in it, with our Cokes still at a drinkable 55 degrees.

The Yeti does live up to its pricey promise. If you want top quality and a cooler that will keep your man gear cold for days (and keep the bears out), this is the cooler for you.

On a budget? Look at some knock-offs, such as Wal-Mart’s Ozark Trail cooler, for almost half the price.

This past summer, we compared the $40 Yeti tumbler with the $9 Ozark Trail knockoff and found the cheaper model is almost as good. See our Yeti vs knockoff comparison here.

But to some outdoor guys, only a Yeti will do. No other brand makes such a statement.

As for my $29 Coleman, I’ll keep dragging it to those elementary school soccer games. At least I don’t have to worry about someone stealing it.

And that way you don’t waste your money.

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“Don’t Waste Your Money” is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. (“Scripps”). The information included in this article was obtained independently by Scripps reporters. While purchases from links inserted in this article may result in a commission for Scripps, no Scripps reporter benefited from that commission.

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