One cooler, two ways: Yeti Tundra 45

We tested this heavy-duty cooler while camping and roadtripping

  • Aug 01, 2019
  • 1,052 words
  • 5 minutes
The Yeti Tundra 45. (Photo: Jenny Chew/Can Geo Travel)
Expand Image

I tested the Yeti Tundra 45 on a family camping trip near Perth, Ont. After 43 hours of sticky and humid 35 to 40 C heat, the ice had melted a bit, but the cooler was still very cold and kept all of our food and drinks chilled. It was placed in the shade for most of that time, but that’s still impressive.

Since I’m not a hunter or a fisherman, I don’t really need some of the features that this model has, such as non-slip feet, tie-down grooves, certified bear-proofing, etc.). For my sporadic camping and family picnic adventures, a basic cooler will do, however, since this cooler retails for more than $399, I was expecting a few more bells and whistles, like large-sized cup holders, a removable and reversible lid, wheels (the Yeti Tundra 45 weighs about 10 kilograms empty!), maybe a bottle opener, and more colour options (this white cooler was, in fact, very easily scuffed up by grass, dirt, shoes, and even its own handles).  

—Mike Marshall

View this post on Instagram

@yeti can be used as a table too! #yeti

A post shared by Ziggyzoobabootwo (@ziggyzoobabootwo) on


I tested the Yeti Tundra 45 during my two-week road trip from Ontario to Newfoundland, and it out-performed every other cooler I have used. I had to place the Yeti cooler in the back of my car, as this model was too big for the trunk of my Chevy Cobalt. Thinking back, I definitely could have gotten away with using a smaller model, since the cooler was spacious enough to carry everything we needed with plenty of room to spare.

Before jumping into all the pros I’ll briefly talk about the cons. My biggest complaint about this cooler is that both my friend and I struggled to undo the plug to drain the cooler. Whether this is the way the cooler was manufactured, or that we were tightening the plug too much after draining, it was annoying. My other, more minor complaint, is that the cooler is easy to scuff up. By the end of the trip, the top of the cooler had a couple scratches from having a light duffle bag on top. Lastly, and this is just a personal preference, the cooler did not have wheels, which is something that’s convenient to have. However, one of the other Yeti models does come with wheels (Yeti Tundra haul).

Now onto the Yeti Tundra’s features that I really enjoyed. First and foremost, the two inches of PermaFrost™ Insulation in the cooler kept our ice frozen for four whole days while driving and being left in a hot car with temperatures reaching up to 30 C. Another huge benefit is that the cooler is manufactured using rotational molding, which significantly increases its durability. This means the cooler isn’t only animal proof, but can also function as a make shift seat if needed. I also really liked the Yeti’s sleek design with handles built into the frame, as well as the rope handles, which are great for carrying the cooler with a friend. Lastly, one of my favourite features was something simple – it has an interior tray, perfect for preventing dry goods, such as sandwiches, from getting soggy later in the trip, when the ice inevitably starts to melt.

—Jenny Chew

Yeti Tundra 45

Outside dimensions: 41.3 cm × 39.1 cm × 65.4 cm
Inside dimensions: 23.8 cm × 27 cm × 46.7 cm
Empty weight: 10.4 kg
Price: $399

The Yeti cooler in front of the shoreline at Gros Morne National Park, N.L. (Photo: Jenny Chew/Can Geo Travel)
Expand Image

Are you passionate about Canadian geography?

You can support Canadian Geographic in 3 ways:

Related Content

Montréal is taking great strides to reinforce its image as the “most bike-friendly” city in North America


Clean commute

Canada's largest cities are paving the way for more eco-conscious commuting choices

  • 3352 words
  • 14 minutes


The ice walkers: Canada’s polar bears

An excerpt from Gloria Dickie’s book, Eight Bears: Mythic Past and Imperiled Future, which explores the planet’s eight remaining species of bears and the dangers they face

  • 2770 words
  • 12 minutes


Rafting the Firth River with Nahanni River Adventures

Brian and Dee Keating share their incredible rafting journey in the remote Arctic tundra on a once-in-a-lifetime Canadian Geographic Adventure

  • 4617 words
  • 19 minutes

People & Culture

With old traditions and new tech, young Inuit chart their changing landscape

For generations, hunting, and the deep connection to the land it creates, has been a mainstay of Inuit culture. As the coastline changes rapidly—reshaping the marine landscape and jeopardizing the hunt—Inuit youth are charting ways to preserve the hunt, and their identity. 

  • 5346 words
  • 22 minutes