Planning an outdoor barbecue with some top quality meats and cold cans of beer? There are many things that you need in order to have a successful outdoor barbecue and a reliable cooler should be near the top of everyone’s list. If a premium heavy-duty cooler is what you’re after, you should definitely check out the Yeti 105.
There is no shortage of coolers that you can buy in the market, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more popular line of coolers than Yeti. This company is known for their extremely tough and heavy-duty coolers designed to keep your items cold for days on end.
Below, we have provided a detailed review that will hopefully help with your purchasing decision.
Reviewing the Yeti 105
For all intents and purposes, the Yeti Tundra 105 is not your typical mass-produced cooler that you can see on the market. Yeti resulted in the frustration by two brothers back in 2006, who were constantly let down by under-performing coolers.
So they created their own line of coolers that can withstand the rigors of intensive use in a rugged environment.
One of the more popular coolers in the stable of Yeti is the Yeti Tundra. The Tundra is available in a variety of sizes between 35 and 300 quarts and three different colors.
For this review, we’re going to focus on the Yeti 105 cooler.
The Tundra makes use of the proprietary PermaFrost insulation technology installed on the cooler’s extra thick walls. The Fatwall design allows the cooler to hold up to 2 inches of insulation. The full frame Cold-lock Gasket also works by sealing the cold air inside.
As you might expect, the combination of these features adds up to an amazing cooling ability and retention of the Tundra. Depending on the size and amount of ice used, it’s fair to expect the ice to last from four days to a week. This makes the Tundra a great option for week-long camping or road trips. This really beats most store-bought coolers that only come equipped with air insulators.
You can even use dry ice in the Yeti Tundra. This way, you can keep your items cooler for days without all the weight that comes with standard ice.
The Yeti uses rotomolded polyethylene construction – the very same process used for making whitewater kayaks. This type of construction minimizes seam failures, which are common in mass-produced coolers. It would be an understatement to say that the Tundra is durable.
The Tundra is also bear-proof and has been certified by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC). So, your cooler also doubles as a “bear resistant” container. Not bad at all.
From our experience, the Yeti 105 is a tank that can withstand a great deal of abuse and is still going strong.
With its multitude of insulation features and rugged construction, the Tundra is unsurprisingly quite heavy. When empty, the cooler weighs 36 pounds. This is pretty heavy for a single person to carry.
What’s baffling is that the Tundra doesn’t have an overhead handle or rollers — especially considering that it’s designed to hold up to 80 or more pounds of ice. It’s quite apparent that the cooler is designed to be carried by two persons when it’s full.
Fortunately, the polyester rope handles do an excellent job of keeping things stable while you’re carrying the cooler. From the looks of it, the handles are not going to fail anytime soon. The polyester material also makes it easier to grip the cooler.
Clearly, the Tundra is designed to be a high-performance ice chest. So, it can be quite dull to look at. However, we do like a simple approach when it comes to aesthetics. And we imagine that it’s not crucial for most outdoor enthusiasts.
There’s not much in terms of color options as well. The cooler is only available in three colors: white, desert tan, and high country (olive green).
When you’re looking at a premium cooler, it’s only fair to expect to pay premium dollars.
The Yeti Tundra 105 retails between $480 and $700, which can be very expensive for most people. So, it’s hard to recommend the Tundra for casual outdoor use. Even the smallest variant will cost you about $250.
However, if you’re aiming for long-term usage, this cooler is a worthy investment.
Just think of all the times that you’ve wasted money on sub-par coolers. So far, we believe that this cooler could last us a lifetime.
The Yeti 105 Against the Competition
Technology evolves, and camping gear companies are continually working to improve the performance of their products. Because of the fierce competition, you never know when another manufacturer has out-stripped the tried-and-true performance of a reliable brand. Yeti has built an excellent reputation, but that doesn’t mean that other hard-shell coolers can’t compete.
Before handing over any cash, take a look at Yeti’s closest competitors to see if you should settle on the 105 or take a chance on another brand.
1. Driftsun 110-Quart Ice Chest
While not as well-known for their coolers as Yeti, Driftsun has made a big splash in the outdoor gear market since its inception in 2014. Like the Yeti 105, this 104L unit boasts heavy-duty construction, 3 inches of commercial grade insulation, and a dry goods freezer basket.
It comes in a range of bright and subdued colors, which may tempt those who find Yeti’s white and taupe exteriors somewhat mundane. You can get a similarly sized Driftsun hard-shell cooler in gray, seafoam, and coral too. You’ll also pay a lot less for it.
Most buyers on both Amazon and the company’s website have given the Driftsun cooler 5.0 out of 5 stars, although it doesn’t have as many reviews. If you feel like taking a chance on a lesser-known model and want to save a significant portion of the price, the Driftsun might be the right choice.
Note, however, that Driftsun only offers a one-year warranty, while Yeti’s standard for their big coolers is five years.
2. Igloo Super Tough STX Cooler
Igloo is a big name in the cooler business. And while the STX is roomy, it doesn’t seem to measure up to the Yeti 105. This heavy-duty cooler is meant for business, whether you’re fishing or hunting. It features stainless steel latches for durability and UV inhibitors to protect the exterior from sun damage. The manufacturer claims it will keep ice for up to 7 days, even when it’s 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
But despite the claims, Amazon buyers were not happy with this product. With an average rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars, nearly 20 percent gave it a one-star rating. Customers at the Igloo website gave it an average of 5.0 out of 5 stars, but there are only a handful of reviews. Igloo offers a three-year warranty.
3. Coleman 100-Quart Xtreme Blue 6200A748 Cooler
Another big name in outdoor equipment, Coleman has a reputation for delivering top-notch camping gear. With its roomy interior, you can hold up to six cases of beer or soda. The manufacturer claims that its Xtreme 5 Technology will keep your ice frozen for up to five days at 90 degrees. They also say their insulation contains no ozone-depleting chemicals.
The price is certainly right, and you may wonder if this model even compares with the Yeti 105 for durability. While it certainly holds quite a bit, it may not be up to a life in the wilderness. Coleman says you can use it as an extra seat if you weigh less than 250 pounds, but they’re not forthcoming with warranty information.
Time to Replace Your Old Cooler?
The Yeti 105 offers top-notch insulation and durability that’s worthy of a premium ice chest. Yes, the price might scare away potential buyers, but this is really one of those cases where “you get what you pay for.”
Have you used the Yeti Tundra before? Do you think it’s worth the money? Feel free to let us know your thoughts below!