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Yeti Tundra Haul

Published July 2019
More on the Best Coolers
This review focuses on the wheeled version of our favorite cooler, the Yeti Tundra 45. You can read our in-depth review of coolers, including detailed product comparisons here.

How we tested

Whether it’s for camping, tailgating, a barbecue, or a day at the beach, a good cooler is an essential summer accessory. We love our favorite large cooler, the Yeti Tundra 45, priced at about $300, for its outstanding durability and cold retention (we also tested and recommend the Yeti Tundra 65, priced at about $350, which is larger). Our main complaint? The Tundra 45 weighs 25 pounds when empty, which makes it difficult for one person to lift or carry it when full.

Yeti seems to have come up with a solution: the Yeti Tundra Haul, priced at about $400. The Tundra Haul promises the same durability and insulation as Yeti’s other coolers but with better portability, thanks to wheels and a long hauling handle. 

We wanted to see how the Yeti Tundra Haul’s performance stacked up against the Yeti Tundra 45 and 65 and whether it was indeed easier to move around, so we subjected it to the same tests we put the large coolers through: tracking how long it could keep ice from melting and keep sodas cold, filling the cooler with food and pulling it across a variety of terrains, repeatedly lifting the cooler into and out of the trunk of a car, pushing it out of the back of an SUV, and operating all handles, latches, and hinges at least 100 times.

Comparing the Yeti Tundra Haul to the Yeti Tundra 45

We were pleased to find that the Yeti Tundra Haul has many of the same features we loved in the other Tundra models: sturdy rubber latches, a heavy lid, and incredible cold retention (it retained ice for about a week and kept sodas below 50 degrees for 5 days). Since the Tundra Haul’s performance was so similar, we spared this cooler from the saw and didn't cut it in half like we did with the other Tundra models to look at the insulation. However, a representative from Yeti confirmed that the Tundra Haul has the same type and amount of insulation.

Yeti Tundra Haul Portability

In our previous testing of large coolers, one of the issues we discovered with wheeled coolers is that the wheel wells often cut into the cooler’s storage space. However, we were pleased to find that the Yeti Tundra Haul is designed so that the wheel wells barely cut into its interior, which is almost perfectly rectangular with no oddly shaped corners. It accommodated a weekend’s worth of groceries for four with room to spare.

To test portability, we carried the fully loaded cooler up and down stairs, lifted it into and out of the trunk of a car, and wheeled it across concrete, gravel, dirt, and grass. The wheels and long handle made it much easier to move than the wheel-less Tundra 45, and it easily glided over whatever terrain we pulled it across. 

However, the Tundra Haul is heavier than any of the Yeti coolers we’ve tested. At 37 pounds when empty, it is 12 pounds heavier than the Yeti Tundra 45 and 7 pounds heavier than the Yeti Tundra 65. Given its weight, we found it easiest to pull the fully loaded cooler with two people; however, it was still manageable with just one person. Its heft when full also meant that we struggled to lift it into and out of the trunk of a car or carry it up or down stairs with just one person. Ultimately we thought that the Yeti Tundra Haul was much easier to move around than the original Yeti, but it was a bit harder to lift. 

Yeti Tundra Haul Durability

Additional parts such as wheels and a long handle mean more items that can break off or sustain damage during an accidental fall. To assess durability, we pushed the full cooler out of the back of an SUV onto concrete five times. The rubber latches stayed in place, preventing anything from spilling out, and the cooler sustained only a few minor scrapes. The wheels and handle still operated perfectly. We were pleased to see that the Tundra Haul has the same rugged durability we love in the other Yeti coolers. 

Which Yeti Tundra Model Should You Buy?

If you’re in need of a great cooler and will likely be traveling with it often, whether it be for camping or the beach, the Yeti Tundra Haul, priced at about $400, is an excellent option. It offers plenty of space and the same cold retention as the Yeti Tundra 45 and 65, with the added benefit of wheels. However, it is also heavier than those models, making it less ideal if you’re going to be lifting the cooler often. It also costs about $100 more than the Yeti Tundra 45 and about $50 more than the Yeti Tundra 65, but the extra investment may be worth it if portability is important. A more affordable option is the Coleman 50 QT Xtreme Wheeled Cooler. Priced at about $50, it does a fairly good job of keeping food and drinks cool and has wheels, but it isn’t as durable as the Yeti Tundra Haul.



Methodology

We tested the Yeti Tundra Haul—a wheeled version of our favorite large cooler—which costs about $400 and has a capacity around 70 quarts. To evaluate cold retention, we loaded the cooler with 32 pounds of ice and recorded the daily ice loss until no ice remained. We filled the cooler with ice packs and soda cans, seeing how long the cooler could keep the drinks below 50 degrees (a cool, drinkable temperature). We then stocked the cooler with a weekend’s worth of groceries for four and carried it up and down stairs, lifted it into and out of the trunk of a car, and wheeled it across concrete, gravel, dirt, and grass. We evaluated how simple the cooler was to drain, latch, and load. We also pushed the full cooler out of the trunk of an SUV onto concrete five times. 

RATING CRITERIA

Cold Retention: We awarded points if the cooler could retain ice and keep drinks cold for multiple days. 

Portability: We docked points if the cooler was too heavy to carry, lift, and pull across various surfaces. 

Ease of Use: We awarded points if the cooler had an effective drain, wheel wells that didn’t cut down too much on its storage space, and a sturdy lid. 

Durability: We awarded points if the cooler could withstand hard use without damage.


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The Results

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