YETI offers a range of reliable camping coolers. For instance, its Tundra series has got some great options that fulfill all the requirements of a camping cooler.
However, there is not a single Tundra model to pick. Mostly, you get to choose from Tundra 45, 50, or 60. For people who don’t have any prior experience buying portable coolers, all of them look the same. To save you from that confusion, we have put up this three-way YETI tundra 45 vs. 50 vs. 65 reviews.
We will compare these three YETI coolers feature by feature so that you can easily make your pick in line with your camping food and drink requirements.
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YETI Tundra 45 vs. 50 vs. 65: A Snapshot
YETI has made its name for producing top-quality camping stuff in a very short time. This Texas-based company started in 2006-07 with a limited number of cooling and drinking accessories. Today, it has various product lines offering quality accessories to different segments of camping consumers. What we like about YETI is it has stuck to its niche and become a leading cooling and drinking accessory brand.
If we particularly talk about portable coolers, YETI offers three different ranges: Hoppers, Roadies, and Tundra. Here, we will keep our focus on its Tundra coolers. You can find out about the other two cooler lines in some of our other reviews.
Before the detailed face-to-face comparison, let’s quickly skim through the specifications and pros & cons of these YETI Tundra portable coolers.
YETI Tundra 45 Pros & Cons
- Boasts good ice retention capability
- Least expensive
- Perfect for small camping groups
- Its footprint could have been smaller
YETI Tundra 50 Pros & Cons
- Boasts good space efficiency— thanks to its square-shaped construction
- Strikes a perfect balance between price and volume
- Suitable for camping teams with 4-5 people
- Not suitable for large groups
YETI Tundra 65 Pros & Cons
- Offers great value for money
- Boasts enough space for both food and drinks
- Doesn’t have a strapping footprint even with a large volume
- A bit bulky
Face to Face Comparison
The above section has given you a quick comparative overview of the three Tundra portable coolers we are discussing here. For an in-depth comparison, let’s compare YETI Tundra 45, 50, and 60 feature by feature.
Capacity is a tricky feature to evaluate while buying a portable camping cooler. On the one hand, you can want to get cooler where you can tuck in as many drink and food items as you want. On the other hand, you also want a cooler that is compact and boasts a smaller footprint.
YETI Tundra 45 is the smallest among the three with its capacity. It can store 28 standard-size cans with a 2:1 ice-to-can ratio. The pure ice storing capacity of YETI Tundra is around 34 pounds.
YETI Tundra 50 is a mid-size portable cooler that you can use to carry 35 cans with double the volume of the ice. Its pure ice storing capacity is approximately 43 pounds. Its horizontal footprint is smaller than Tundra 45 despite having a better capacity due to its cubical frame
YETI Tundra 65 is the biggest cooler among the three and hence boasts a higher capacity. You can easily put 42 cans in this Tundra cooler with a 2:1 ice-to-can ratio. Its pure ice storing capacity is also good. You can carry 52 pounds of ice with you to keep your drinks chilled and preserve your frozen food.
Verdict: YETI Tundra 65 is the winner of this round of the 3-way contest. If you camp with a large group and capacity is your main concern while buying a portable cooler, then Tundra 65 becomes an automatic choice for you
Just like any camping gear, a portable cooler has to be hardwearing and sturdy. Otherwise, it will get cracked and chipped within a single trip to the wild. YETI has taken extra care of the durability factor in making the Tundra cooler series. No matter how rough the terrain is and unforgiving the weather, a Tundra cooler can withstand the most adverse conditions without incurring damages.
YETI has standardized the construction features throughout its Tundra product line. Therefore, the three coolers, we are reviewing here boast the same strength and durability.
Let’s look at the construction features that make Tundra 45, 50, and 60 more durable than many portable coolers available on the market.
Rotomolded Construction: The rotational molding of the polymer used in the Tundra frames makes it virtually indestructible to all sorts of impacts and outdoor conditions. The rotomolded process essentially entails one-piece construction without any joints while ensuring consistent wall thickness.
Strong Lid Latches and Hinge System: The rough outdoor use of the cooler often takes a toll on its latches and hinge system. Many times a cooler with intact insulation and body becomes useless just because its lid latches or hinges go loose.
YETI has ruled out these issues in its Tundra coolers by using patented T-REX Lid latches and a Neverfail hinge system. You can bid farewell to the broken hinges and busted latches by bringing any of the Tundra coolers.
Verdict: All three YETI Tundra 45, 50, and 65 win this round because they offer the same durability to users.
Ice retention is among the three most important features that make any portable cooler a camping cooler. The capability of a cooler to retain ice over time depends on how well its inner compartment is insulated— the better the insulation, the better the ice retention.
Like durability, YETI has also standardized the ice retention capability of its Tundra coolers. All three of them can retain the ice for up to three days in optimal operating conditions. It is a decent retention capability compared to many other portable coolers that offer ice life, usually in the range of 18-24 hours.
How YETI Tundra coolers manage to offers such long ice life? Let’s find out.
Permafrost Insulation: YETI uses one of the most effective insulation materials on the block, i.e., pressure-injected commercial-grade polyurethane foam, also known as Permafrost. The walls and lids of Tundra 45, 50, and 65 feature Permafrost insulation through and through.
Interlock Lid System: Many times, the invisible gap between the lid and the box shortens the ice life. YETI has taken care of this issue by installing interlock lid systems in its Tundra coolers. These lids create a form-fitting barrier against the outdoor heat, which can otherwise slip inside the cooler through tiny lid gaps.
Colddock Gasket: This is another component added to Tundra coolers to fully seal the lid. YETI uses Colddock freezer-grade gasket to line the entire border of the lid for locking in the cold and blocking out the heat.
Verdict: Again, there is no single winner among the three YETI coolers. Whether you buy Tundra 45, 50, or 65, you will get the same ice life if you use them in the same outdoor conditions.
No one wants to drag heavy coolers on their camping trips. However, it is virtually impossible to find a top-quality camping cooler that is also featherweight. The durability and insulation requirements are the major reasons why manufacturers can’t keep portable coolers lightweight. YETI coolers are no different. All three Tundra coolers we are discussing here weigh over 20 pounds.
Since a cooler’s weight is in direct proportion to its capacity, Tundra 45 is the lightest among the three with its 23-pound body. Then, Tundra 50 is 26 pounds heavy. The largest among the three, Tundra 65, weighs 29 pounds. If you notice, all of them have a 3-pound difference among them.
The comparison of weight and capacity suggests that you can add seven more cans to a Tundra cooler with every 3-pound increment in its weight.
Verdict: YETI Tundra 45 wins this round because it is lighter than the other two. If you are not looking for a large volume, then Tundra 45 should be your pick. However, if you have the room to carry extra weight, you can get a cooler with better volume lying just 3 pounds above Tundra 45
A top-quality portable cooler slated for camping use never comes cheap. The same is the case with YETI Tundra coolers. Even the cheapest option among them will cost you over $300.
For the three Tundra coolers, we are reviewing here, the price increases with size and capacity.
Tundra 45 is cheaper than Tundra 50, and Tundra 50 is cheaper than Tundra 65.
Verdict: This round is also won by YETI Tundra 45. If you want to make a perfect balance of good quality and reasonable price, Tundra 45 should be your pick among the three.
The insulation and capacity of the cooler determine its size. Since all three Tundra coolers use the same insulation, their sizes are determined through their capacity.
YETI Tundra 45, with the lowest capacity among the three, is also smaller than Tundra 50 and 60. If we particularly talk about the horizontal footprint, Tundra 50 is more space-efficient than Tundra 45 and 65.
Verdict: We think it is a tie between YETI Tundra 45 and 50
Since all three under-reviewed coolers belong to the same product line from the same manufacturer, their standout features are also the same. Let’s quickly glance over some of their common standout features.
- Permafrost Insulation with Fallwall Design: All three Tundra coolers boast a 2-inch thick Fallwall design that is filled with pressure-injected commercial-grade Permafrost insulation.
- Vortex Drain System: Allows quick and leakproof draining after use.
- Bear-Foot Nonslip Grip: Patented grip feet that boast great traction and prevent slips and slides of the cooler on almost all surfaces.
- T-Rex Lid Latches: Propriety latch design that ensures lid latches remain intact even after extended use.
We hope that the above comparative discussion helps you identify the most suitable portable camping coolers for your use.
You can pick any of these three Tundra coolers for different reasons.
Use YETI Tundra 45 if:
- You need a space-efficient, cost-effective, top-quality portable cooler.
You travel with a small group of campers or don’t want to bring a large amount of food and drinks.
Use YETI Tundra 50 if:
- You don’t want to spend too much on a camping cooler.
- You need a space-efficient cooler with good capacity.
Use YETI Tundra 65 if:
- You need the best value for money.
- You travel with a large group and need to carry a big stash of food and drinks.
- You don’t have issues in carrying and accommodating a large cooler.
Last update on 2022-02-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API