I have been looking for a cooler that is worth a darn and that can hold up to the Arizona heat for more than 2-3 days without a refill on ice or dry ice. My old Igloo 65 just could not cut the mustard on some of my long camping vacations (7-10 day) and hunting (7-17day) trips. I will admit I have been very hesitant on purchasing one of these high end Yeti coolers because I figured I could buy a metric S-ton of ice for the price of one. I was also uncertain of the coolers performance due to the lack of reviews from users in hot climates and no review of how well it kept dry ice.
I started to pay attention to how many times I had to go to town for ice on my last Archery Deer hunt during August 2012 here in Arizona. I made 2 trips to town for ice and dry ice over 11 days with a buddy bringing me ice once also. I decided to add up the monetary cost of each trip for ice. Here is how the math plays out. I would drive about 70 miles round trip for ice at 14MPG equals 5 gallons of gas at $3.50 per gallon is $17.5 per trip. Now add in the two 20lbs bags of ice and the 12-15lbs of dry ice you are at a minimum of $17 for a total of $34.50 per trip approximately. Granted this is still not a whole bunch of money but it will add up over time and after two trips you are at $69. If I had to throw in a third trip now Iím at $103! Now try to figure in how much time I take away from being in the field and you canít put a price on that!
So here it was the beginning of June 2013 and I had another 10 day camping vacation planed and my buddy has an archery Elk tag for September. I always plan on being gone for about 17 days for these September archery Elk hunts. Plus Iíll have an archery Deer hunt or two to work into the mix for the year. I said screw it, Iíll take some of the money I squirrel away every check that is just for hunting and hunting equipment and buy a Yeti to try out.
The last week of June I loaded up the truck with the camping equipment and the family and head off to Colorado with the new Yeti filled with all of my frozen foods (I always pre-cook as many meals as possible for any trip) and dry-ice. Well unfortunately the area the wife picked out for the annual family camping vacation was not the coolest place in Colorado plus with the west under an extreme heat advisory that week, it did not help things one bit. Where we were camped there were several days that were 100 plus degrees, enough to make any garden verity cooler crap out. Well after 6 days the dry-ice was almost gone with a few good chunks remaining. Every thing remaining inside was still frozen solid and I know I could have went another full day at minimum if not two or three without getting more dry ice.
Needless to say I am very happy with the performance of the Yeti as a freezer and so was the wife. Heck the wife was so impressed she gave the go ahead and suggestion to buy a second Yeti! I am looking forward to using the Yeti this August during the Deer hunt and in September for the Elk hunt. I hope this review helps anyone that is on the fence over putting out the money for one of these coolers.
Thank you so much for the write up!!!!!! I have heard they are nice but never REALLY had some one look at the compare and say if they are worth the small fortune you have to spend on them.... I will start saving for mine!!!!!!
A small conventional deep freeze and a portable generator woorks well too for the same money plus the generator has other uses.
Last time my group went to Canada, they took a full size deep freeze and a generator in a pull trailer. At a motel, plugged the deep freeze in and on the road, the generator kept things cool inside. Bullwinkles take a lot of capacity.
'It's not about me, it's about we'..........
Thats no biggie, you need fuel for your vehicle too. My Yamaha 2800 Inverter runs almsot 18 hours continuous on 3 gallons at 100% load. If you can drive 18 hours without fueling up, you must have some fantastic engine..... Or a semi with twin 200 gallon tanks.....
'It's not about me, it's about we'..........
This might sound weird, but I got the smallest Yeti cooler for exactly the opposite purpose... I have a permanent blind on some high ground on a sheep farm, and in winter over weekends I sneak in there Sat and Sun morning an hour before sunrise to see if any coyotes come through looking for a meal of some sheep.
A factor that some don't consider is that any water that is exposed will freeze and that makes it hard to have a drink. So i use the little Yeti to keep bottled water frost free. It worked perfect all last winter. The combination of the insulation of the cooler and having the pilot burning in the cabin heater is just enough that the water never freezes. Usually I would bring some fresh bottles with me, and exchange them for a couple that have been in the cooler.
I have a small camping style propane stove and canteen and I can use that to make hot tea, then use that to make some hot oats etc.
In the summer it does opposite duty of keeping my bottled water cooler, although I do not use any ice in the box. Of course the water is never really cool, but a heck of a lot better than putting a case of water in the trunk of my car....