Yeti cooler review: Is it really worth $350?

Don't waste your money
Posted: 4:18 PM, Nov 29, 2016
Updated: 2016-11-29 16:18:50-05

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 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.


“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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