YETI Coolers need no introduction. In fact, its safe to say that YETI has deservedly become one of the most recognizable brands in the outdoor industry.
That being said, we’ll be the first to admit that when they first started gaining popularity, the idea of a several hundred dollar cooler seemed a bit over the top. No cooler is worth several hundred dollars, right? Wrong.
This past winter we upgraded our guide coolers at Andros South with the YETI Tundra 65 and we can in full honesty say they not only met, but exceeded, our expectations. We’re not ashamed to say that we’ve hopped on the bandwagon. In fact, if you haven’t already, we think you should too, and today we’re going to tell you why.
South Andros is where coolers go to die. The salty environment corrodes metal components at a rapid rate while the intensity of the sun breaks down the polymers of many plastics and rubber. Add to that the tendency for coolers to be slid around boat launches surrounded by sharp coral and conch shells, the likelihood of a grown man sitting or standing on top of them for hours on end, as well as the expectation to keep things cold in the hot sun and you’ve got a nearly impossible environment to withstand. Keyword; nearly.
As might be expected, we found the Tundra 65 to be as rugged as its reputation. One lift of the cooler and its clear that its rotomolded construction is far superior to the standard ‘marine grade’ coolers of old. However, aside from the durability of the cooler itself, all of the components attached were clearly designed to endure a high level abuse as well.
There are no metal latches to rust out or plastic handles to break (both things we’ve had to replace on other coolers time and time again). Rather, rubber lid latches keep the top of the cooler closed, and heavy duty handles are rigged to the side of the cooler with military-grade polyester rope to keep from breaking over time.
They’re easily the toughest cooler we’ve ever got our paws on, which for our line of work is a really, really good thing.
Cold beer is better than warm beer.. Especially in the Bahamas. Those who have joined us in previous years at Andros South might remember just how cold that first kalik of the day was and just how not cold the last of the day was.. Not anymore.
How long does ice last in the Tundra 65? We’re not entirely sure (there are plenty of ‘ice challenges’ on the internet), but what we do know is that it keeps ice in the cooler over an entire day on the flats which isn’t something we’ve been able to say about some of our other coolers in the past. In fact, we’ve seen a noticeable reduction in ice costs over the course of the season, which we can attribute directly to the Tundra 65.
Although the extreme durability and superior ice retention are by far the most reputable qualities of the Tundra series, one of our favorite features of the Tundra 65 was just how stable it was to stand on, and of course fish from. The top of the cooler doesn’t flinch when standing on top of it and rubber feet on the bottom of the cooler keep it from sliding around on the bow while scanning for fish.
We also added the SeaDek slip resistant mat (an adhesive closed-cell foam mat made specifically for the Tundra series, but sold separately) to each of our coolers which made for one heck of casting platform, giving a stable surface at the front of the boat with a far better vantage.
We’re convinced that the YETI Tundra series are amongst the best fishing coolers that money can buy. Do we think that a cooler is capable of being worth several hundred dollars? We do now. If you’re looking for the best, we can’t recommend them enough.
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