YETI Tundra 45 Cooler

Last updated date: September 29, 2020

DWYM Score
9.2

YETI Tundra 45 Cooler

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Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in the category.

We looked at the top Coolers and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Cooler you should buy.

Overall Take

Chances are when you picture a cooler, this model is the image that comes to mind. It has a classic look with front locks and side handles. The cooler is quality made and so indestructible that it's actually listed as bear resistant. In our analysis of 82 expert reviews, the YETI YETI Tundra 45 Cooler placed 2nd when we looked at the top 15 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note September 29, 2020:
Checkout The Best Cooler for a detailed review of all the top coolers.

Expert Summarized Score
8.3
4 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.5
4,903 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Yeti's cooler was the top performer in our tests, with better insulation and ice retention than any competitor we've reviewed. The sturdy design made of rotomolded plastic makes it a good pick for durability, too.
- CNET
It provides great ice retention capacity for more than 5 days. YETI is offering 5-years warranty which is also great for a cooler.
- Best Coolers Info
it comes with a 5 year warranty and it is clearly a top tier performer.
- Pro Tool Reviews
The Tundra 45 keeps the cold on lockdown, is built to take abuse, and has two sets of useful handles.
- Insider
What experts didn't like
Yeti's Tundra coolers are surprisingly light on features, and they're smaller than the names suggest, with the "45" model we tested holding just 38 quarts. The roped handles and bulky build also make it a little unwieldy to carry.
- CNET
Sturdy construction makes this cooler heavy. Therefore, the Tundra 45 is expensive than similarly sized coolers on market.
- Best Coolers Info
the $349 price tag is steep for a cooler.
- Pro Tool Reviews
The Tundra 45 looks like it holds a lot more than it actually does but due to the three-inch-thick insulated walls, the capacity is smaller than similarly sized coolers.
- Insider

From The Manufacturer

The YETI Tundra 45 combines versatility with durability with a capacity of up to 26 cans with a recommended 2:1 ice-to-contents ratio

Overall Product Rankings

YETI Tundra 45 Cooler
2. YETI Tundra 45 Cooler
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 4
Lifewit Insulated & Leakproof Collapsible Cooler Bag
3. Lifewit Insulated & Leakproof Collapsible Cooler Bag
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 5
CleverMade Soft Sided Collapsible Cooler Bag
4. CleverMade Soft Sided Collapsible Cooler Bag
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 4
Coleman Performance Cooler, 48-Quart
5. Coleman Performance Cooler, 48-Quart
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 5
AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler
6. AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 6
Igloo MaxCold 70 Quart Cooler
7. Igloo MaxCold 70 Quart Cooler
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 2
AO Coolers Soft Canvas High-Density Insulation
8. AO Coolers Soft Canvas High-Density Insulation
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 4
YETI Tundra 65 Cooler
9. YETI Tundra 65 Cooler
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 6
Polar Bear Coolers
10. Polar Bear Coolers
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 7
AO Coolers Water-Resistant Vinyl Soft Cooler
11. AO Coolers Water-Resistant Vinyl Soft Cooler
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 5
Coleman Xtreme Marine Cooler
12. Coleman Xtreme Marine Cooler
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 4
Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler
13. Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 13
Outdoor Recreational Company of America Cooler
14. Outdoor Recreational Company of America Cooler
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 4
Igloo 3-Piece Camping Combo
15. Igloo 3-Piece Camping Combo
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 4

An Overview On Coolers

Yeti has revolutionized the way consumers keep beverages cool, with a line of insulated tumblers that seem to be in every home. But Yeti isn’t the only company building insulated products. In fact, almost every tumbler manufacturer out there has created a competing product at this point.

Now, that technology has moved to coolers. Using insulation within their walls, many of today’s coolers can keep ice, drinks and food cool even when you’re outdoors in 100-degree-plus heat. Although you’ll pay more than you would for a traditional type of cooler, you’ll get the convenience that comes with tossing drinks, food and ice into your cooler in the morning and having those items remain cool late that afternoon. In fact, some coolers can even chill items for several days.

One thing you’ll have to know before you choose a cooler is just how much capacity you’ll need. Do you plan to pack up covered dishes for family picnics, or will you simply use it to cart around beverages and maybe some sandwiches when you head to the beach? If you invest in a much larger cooler than you need, you may find it is more difficult to carry than if you’d chosen something smaller.

If you’ve ever tried to empty a larger cooler at the end of the day, you know how tough it can be. For that reason, many newer coolers come with bilge drains, allowing you to release the water from the bottom of the cooler. You may have to tip the cooler a little to get the last of the water out, but you won’t have the extreme tilt that you have with a cooler that doesn’t have a drain.

One bonus you may not think about initially is the fact that some newer coolers allow you to use them as a seat. This can come in handy whether you’re on a boat or enjoying a day at the park. If you plan to use that feature, look for a cooler sturdy enough to handle it.

DWYM Fun Fact

The technology behind how Yeti coolers are made explains their impressive insulation. It starts with the way the liquid polymer is built into the walls, which provides a thick, durable build. Inside the walls is two inches of insulation, with up to three additional inches of insulation in the lid.

Yeti coolers also eliminate seams, as well as attaching the lid directly to the body, thereby providing as strong a seal as possible to keep outside air from seeping in. The result is a level of cooling that holds up, no matter how hot it is outside. Other brands now have their own methods of combining insulation and seam reduction for improved effectiveness.

The Cooler Buying Guide

  • Coolers come in varying sizes, even among specific brands and models. Determine up front what you’re likely to carry in your cooler and how much room that will take. Some coolers offers 54 quarts of usable space inside, which totals more than 85 cans if you’re only using it to keep drinks cold. You’ll get between 65 and 70 quarts of space with some other models.
  • One thing to decide when you’re going for a larger-capacity cooler, though, is portability. As convenient as the space is, coolers will get much heavier when they’re loaded down. If you want a cooler that’s easier to carry around, consider one like the Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Cooler. It still provides space for up to 30 cans but keeps things lightweight with a canvas design.
  • When it comes down to it, though, you’re looking for a cooler that can keep everything you put in it chilly, even on the hottest days. For that, it’s hard to beat the YETI Tundra 65 Cooler, which was proven to keep food at a safe temperature for five days.
  • One bonus you may not think about is whether you can sit on your cooler or not.  The YETI Tundra 45 Cooler, for instance, is built to withstand the weight of someone seated on it.
  • Once you’re finished using it, your cooler will need to be emptied and cleaned. Some coolers make that easier by including a bilge drain toward the bottom, similar to the drain found in the bottom of some boats. Some coolers have a channeled drain, which directs the water in the right direction, reducing the need to tilt. You’ll also get a drain with the YETI Tundra 45 Cooler. Others have a channeled bilge type, so you’ll need to tilt the cooler more for those final drops.