The Tundra Haul is one of Yeti’s latest contributions to a market that is craving a reliable wheeled cooler.
Truly, with a raging competition, it is still considerably difficult to land a cooler that checks all the boxes. However, it seems that Yeti has finally figured out a formula to satisfy those who seek a high mobility cooler for different terrains and a significant capacity.
The Yeti Tundra Haul definitely sounds great on paper. However, in order to attain an objective truth, we must put this cooler under the scope and discover where the popularity of this cooler stems from.
So, without further ado, let’s get started with our in-depth YETI Tundra Haul review!
Size & Dimensions
Prioritizing dimensions has been a bit of a ritual on our website because the last thing we want to do is drag along customers who might not even fit the profile of the cooler. Hence, let’s talk about the size and properties of the Yeti cooler with wheels.
The Yeti Tundra Haul is a unique model that comes in one specific size only. Yes, that is quite disappointing since this cooler has plenty of potential on multiple fronts. Nonetheless, Yeti decided to stick to 55Qt because it is such a versatile capacity point. While nobody needs wheels on a tiny cooler, a 55Qt cooler is a completely different story.
In this category, we are talking about pro anglers, small game hunters and dedicated campers, all of which can benefit greatly from a cooler like this. Hence, besides its ability to hold an impressive amount of fish, beers or camping provisions, the Yeti Tundra Haul is so easy to move around any terrain.
As far as dimensions are concerned, the fact that this cooler has wheels and a large handle does not challenge its compact profile. Accordingly, the Yeti Tundra Haul measures around 19.5 inches in height, 18.5 inches in width and 28.5 inches in length. That said, you can certainly load this cooler on standard vehicles as well as pick-up trucks pretty easily.
Finally, the Yeti Tundra Haul might not be the biggest cooler out there but it still weighs a significant 37 pounds while empty which is bound to get heavier once completely load. Not that it matters really.
Design & Build Quality
In terms of design, the Yeti Tundra Haul cooler is fully committed to the standard Tundra series guidelines with the exception of wheels. Truly, the cooler at hand maintains pretty much the exact same technical aspects and aesthetic notions of any Yeti Tundra cooler. However, the wheels do point out a few differences.
In that respect, the cooler at hand makes an interesting space sacrifice on the inside to make room for the wheels. Now, that might seem like an unnecessary cut because they could’ve made the wheels completely independent from the frame but that would have expanded the cooler’s footprint. So, they went for the lesser of two evils and we completely agree.
As far as quality goes, Yeti hasn’t exhibited any fluctuation since their very first step in the industry. In fact, this is one of the few brands out there that we can truly vouch for the quality of their future products because we know for a fact that it will be consistently high-end.
That being said, it still helps to know that the body of the Yeti Tundra Haul is Rotomolded, making it both well-insulated and robust.
Some critics were rather sceptical about a functional Rotomolded wheeled cooler. So, Yeti was quick to the response with the Yeti Tundra and Tundra Haul series, a cooler that takes rotational molding to another speed! – pun intended.
Beyond rotational molding, it is simply impressive how Yeti managed to keep a light profile on this cooler with such thick skin. Accordingly, this cooler features thick Polyethelene walls with an even thicker dense foam insulation, making it one hell of a tank.
Lastly, even the features on this product convey the same exact minimalism and stubborn resilience.
Yeti has always relied on simplicity to make a point and that helped the brand evolve much quicker than competitors who went for flashy / more complex designs.
With a steady pace, Yeti granted the Tundra Haul the blessings of its ancestors by the simple act of forwarding.
Ice Retention & Insulation Ability
Performance is always the million dollar question for coolers because as much as we can rave about quality, it really matters none without reliable results. Consequently, we were expecting to see an upgrade on the Tundra Haul since Yeti hasn’t been the best performer on the market and it seems likewe’re going to have to wait a little longer.
Now, we are by no means saying that Yeti coolers aren’t great ice retention tanks. In fact, they are constantly referenced as one of the top 5 best performers on the market. Nevertheless, at a maximum reach of 6 to 9 days, we were expecting this cooler to cost a little less at least.
With that in perspective, Yeti Tundra Haul is one of the few coolers out there that you simply will not regret because in truth, most of us will only use this cooler for a week top. So, why don’t we take a moment to understand how can a plastic box maintain ice for more than a week.
Well, there is no secret formula here, Yeti, like many brands out there, adopt rotational molding technology in various degrees to push the performance of their products to peak. So, once the this wheeled cooler is granted that unified / flawless mold, it is time to do some insulation.
An empty mold is as good as a plastic bucket and without proper insulation its pretty much useless. However, once paired with the right foam injection, it becomes an unbeatable combo.
Accordingly, Yeti Tundra Haul cooler features an impressive 2 inches thick permafrost insulation wall and lid to guarantee that heat will have little to no effect on the internal temperature.
Finally, the cherry on top of the cake is a role best played by none other than the freezer grade gasket. In fact, this tiny feature contributes significantly to ice retention life, pushing it by at least 10%. So, next time you inspect a Yeti Tundra Haul, take a closer look at that small rubber contour because it accounts for an entire day of ice life.
One of the easiest ways to tell a high end cooler apart from a standard, cheapily-built option is by taking a closer look at its features. Therefore, the following segment will take into consideration Yeti Haul’s most prominent features, point out the advantages and perhaps even the shortcomings if there exists any.
Obviously, we can’t just begin to talk about features without highlighting the most prominent of them all. In that respect, the wheels on this cooler are straight out of simple but tough land.
In fact, we’d go as far as arguing that these are the best wheels on an ice cooler since they are light, robust and completely silent.
Accordingly, with this added feature, the Yeti Tundra Haul gains an incredible boost in mobility and because the wheels are slightly on the large side, they’ll be able to plow through flat and uneven surfaces easily.
T-REX™ LID LATCHES
On every Yeti Tundra review, latches are the primary focus of many inspectors because they are the one element that you will interact with regularly.
Also, latches will in fact influence the performance of the cooler significantly. Hence, Yeti doesn’t budge and commits to its standard rubber T-latches.
The latches in question are made of resilient rubber which is why they’ll squeeze the lid down firmly once they’re locked in place, creating an air-tight seal.
COLDLOCK™ Freezer Grade GASKET
As mentioned earlier, the gasket on this cooler plays a major role in ice retention.
Truly, Yeti has been consistent for the most part but the gasket received enough upgrades to become the freezer grade seal that it is today.
Now, we have seen wheeled coolers with standard rope handles and others with telescopic ones. However, Yeti decided to go with something that combines the benefits of both worlds and effectively reduce the shortcomings of pulling a large cooler.
That said, the handle on the Yeti Tundra Haul cooler is a high quality aluminium set with padded handles for comfort. The handle can be extended and tucked simply which isn’t the biggest advantage. However, unlike most wheeled coolers out there, you won’t have to worry about your ankles while dragging this beast along.
To avoid the most annoying flaw in wheeled coolers, Yeti simply extended the grips outwards to allow you to drag the cooler from one side without getting directly in its path.
Now, combining that little trick with the impressive quality of the handle gives us so little to complain about.
- A wide lid lip indentation for easier access
- Lock and tie down ports
- Anti-slip rubber feet
- Easy release valve
- For the sake of emphasis: It’s a Yeti cooler with wheels.
Who is it for?
While we’re pretty sure that you already know what you need this cooler for, allow us to at least confirm your trajectory.
Yes, the Yeti Tundra Haul is an excellent camping cooler, it is great for outdoors events and gatherings where vehicles can’t cut through to your destination.
Also, this cooler is large enough to cater for some serious hunting sessions, given that your target is small enough to fit.
That being said, as much as we’d love to confirm anglers as well, we have some doubts that this cooler won’t be so good on a boat.
Now, if you’re a small time fisherman who likes to fish at bay, then by all means go for it. However, on a boat, this cooler is simply unpredictable and wheels aren’t exactly the most necessary feature when you’re on a boat.
Yeti Tundra Haul Cooler Competitors
Pelican is one of Yeti’s biggest competitors in general. However, the Pelican ProGear Elite is a special threat to everything that Yeti Haul stands for. There is no doubt that Pelican is a beastly cooler and their wheeled version is absolutely no exception. In fact, this cooler is guaranteed to last for many years to come
When it comes to performance, The ProGear wheeled Pelican is just as phenomenal as its siblings. Pelican managed to establish a far reach on ice retention measures and this cooler is capable of covering an entire week of ice under any measure. In fact, the Pelican at hand will often surpass that time period if you facilitate it.
When it comes to the wheels part, this Pelican is arguably disadvantaged compared to the Yeti because of its low profile and weaker plastic handle. Hence, while Yeti Haul is made for the outdoors, the Pelican ProGear is better off limited to marine life and even platforms.
A second threat to the Yeti Tundra Haul is the Igloo Trailmate which is an arguably tough match deespite the fact that’s it’s not a rotomolded cooler.
Igloo has been quite impressive at innovating new ways and coolers to fit all the different profiles out there. Hence, when we found out that they have a wheeled option, we thought that it must be a contender.
In terms of size, the Igloo is significantly larger since it is capable of handling 70Qt which is 15 more than the Yeti. However, what really matters here is performance.
With a larger room for ice, you’d expect the Igloo to last longer than our designated champion but you’d be wrong. In fact, because the Igloo Trailmate cooler is not rotomolded, it will barely reach 4 days of ice retention before all ice melts which is a little short than the 7 to 10 days Yeti wheeled cooler promises.
In terms of quality, Yeti is definitely superior because of its minimalistic yet extremely robust build. On the other hand, Igloo is usually the flashy brand but with the Trailmate they went a little too far in order to attain originality. However, it’s not originality that we’re seeking in coolers, it is rather performance & quality.
As far as the wheels are concerned, we must say that the two brands came really close. Igloo has a unique handle that hides all the way through on the sides of the cooler, making for a much smaller footprint.
Also, the wheels on this cooler are significantly large, lifting this Igloo way above the hot floors. Nonetheless, a high cooler will account for more space.
There are definitely a lot of good things to say about this cooler but we’re not here to say good things; we are here to compare the two and point out the differences that can help you make up your mind.
That being said, the Vibe wheeled cooler is larger than the Yeti and at 70Qt, you’ll have a lot more space to store goods and bigger cargo. Thus, we were rather impressed to learn that this cooler can cover up to a week of ice life without any pre-chilling. Consequently, you can definitely rely on this cooler to pull through a week and some when it comes down to it.
Concerning quality, Vibe isn’t the brand to be questioned here because it has established a firm reputation on the market and it’s not planning on shaking that foundation.
Indeed, Vibe coolers are almost as robust as Yeti’s but the latter is definitely still superior. Now, the question you should be asking is whether that thin advantage is worth a $100-150 more.
Finally, the wheels on this Vibe Element cooler will definitely work but they are no match for Yeti Haul’s tank wheels. Needless to say, the wheels on the vibe will definitely help you move the cooler easily on flat surfaces but the handle and the lack of height are obvious disadvantages that the Yeti Haul covers perfectly.
MILEE must be the closest contender on this list because they are the one brand that produces pretty much copies of Yeti coolers. Indeed, you would hardly be able to tell a MILEE apart from a Yeti without the name tags and that similarity extends further into performance as well as quality.
Accordingly the cooler at hand is a standard 70Qt which is significantly larger than our YETI cooler with wheels and that is definitely an advantage given that you should expect pretty much the same ice retention life from both coolers. However, it is important to keep in mind that this cooler has more room for ice than the Yeti.
In terms of quality, it is really hard to tell which cooler is tougher as stated earlier because both coolers will do a fantastic job. In fact, both coolers will definitely last many years to come and resilience isn’t something you should be worried about here.
Last but not least, for a cooler that costs almost as much as the Yeti, which is pretty expensive, we were hoping to see at least similar wheels. However, it would be safe to assume that the Yeti cooler with wheels is winner once again.
Throughout our Yeti Tundra Haul review, we emphasized the advantages of these special wheels & handle and it is easy to argue that they are far superior to those we are seeing here.
YETI Tundra Haul Review — Conclusion
In conclusion, we can sit here and rave about all the goodness that the Yeti Haul has to offer but in truth, you are the one who will have to make the final call.
So, keep in mind that while Yeti costs more than pretty much all of its contenders, you are getting exactly what you’re paying for a bit more.