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How Long Do YETI Coolers Hold Ice?

When it comes to keeping your drinks and perishables ice-cold during your outdoor adventures, YETI coolers have earned a reputation for top-notch performance. But the burning question on everyone's mind is, "How long do YETI coolers hold ice?" While YETI doesn't provide specific time frames for ice retention due to various factors at play, we'll delve into the key features and factors that influence ice retention in YETI coolers.

Understanding YETI Coolers

YETI coolers are renowned for their exceptional insulation, durability, and design. They feature a combination of features that contribute to their impressive ice retention capabilities. Let's break down some of the essential information provided by YETI regarding their cooler lineup.

The Hopper® Cooler 

YETI Hopper Flip 12
The Hopper® Cooler series that consists of 7 coolers boasts a welded DryHide™ double-TPU Shell, thick ColdCell™ Insulation, and a MagShield Access top. These features provide serious cold-holding power. However, YETI acknowledges that specific claims about how long a cooler will hold ice can be misleading due to the many variables that affect ice retention.

For those seeking to maximize ice retention, YETI offers an ice retention guide. Additionally, it's important to note that using dry ice in a Hopper® Cooler is not recommended.

The Roadie® Cooler

YETI Roadie 48 Cooler

The Roadie® Cooler line consists of 3 size options. Similar to the Hopper® Cooler, the Roadie® Cooler's ice retention is influenced by various variables such as ice quality, ice quantity, type of ice (crushed, block, cube), and the outside environment. YETI emphasizes that claims specifying a definite time (e.g., 5, 10, or 14 days) are often based on testing conditions rather than real-life situations.

However, if you can minimize the negative variables affecting ice retention, YETI® Coolers excel. YETI touts their Permafrost Insulation, a pressure-injected polyurethane, as a feature that holds in the cold. YETI provides a comprehensive list of tips and tricks to maximize ice retention. Dry ice can be safely used in a Roadie® Cooler due to a gasket that allows carbon dioxide to escape. YETI offers instructions on how to use dry ice in their dry ice compatible coolers. 

YETI Tundra® Cooler


YETI Tundra 35 in red


YETI Hard Coolers, including the Tundra® Cooler that comes in 12 size options, are designed with industry-leading ice retention in mind. They feature up to two inches or more of insulation in the walls and lids, a freezer-quality sealing gasket, and one-piece construction. These factors contribute to their exceptional ice retention capabilities.

YETI's Tips to Keep Ice Longer in a YETI Cooler

We're listing YETI's top tips for how to maximize ice retention in their coolers:

1. Start with a Chilled Cooler

Preload your cooler with a sacrificial bag of ice a few hours before use or store it in a cool place to reduce ice wastage on cooling the cooler itself.

2. Use Twice the Ice as Your Contents

Maintain a ⅔ ice, ⅓ contents ratio to maximize ice retention. The more ice you use, the longer it will last.

3. Ice Temperatures Vary Significantly

Colder ice (below freezing) lasts longer than warmer ice (around 32°F).

4. Block Ice vs. Cube Ice

Combining smaller, cubed ice with block ice can efficiently chill your cooler and contents while ensuring long-term ice retention.

5. Air Is the Enemy

Minimize empty spaces in your cooler, as air accelerates ice melt. Fill any gaps with extra ice, towels, or crumpled newspaper.

6. Don't Drain the Water

Leaving cold water in your cooler helps insulate the remaining ice. However, keep exposed food and meat out of the water.

7. Sunlight Is a Heat Source

Keep your cooler in the shade whenever possible, as direct sunlight can significantly reduce ice retention.

8. Limit Cooler Access

Reducing the frequency of opening your cooler conserves cold air and prolongs ice life. Use a "cooler map" to locate items without opening it.

9. Dry Ice Is Best (Hard Coolers and Ice Buckets Only)

YETI Hard Coolers and YETI TANK® Ice Buckets are dry ice compatible and can keep your items cold and frozen longer than regular ice.

10. YETI Ice Supplement

Extend your regular ice with YETI ICE, which is designed to maintain lower temperatures and prevent regular ice from melting quickly.

YETI Tundra Ice Test Video

This video highlights an ice-filled Tundra Cooler with some melt, but still retaining ice at 72 hours.

A Chart Comparing Key Features

To aid in your decision-making process, here's a chart comparing key features of YETI Coolers:

Cooler Model

Insulation Thickness

Sealing Gasket

Dry Ice Compatibility

Recommended Ice Types

Hopper® Cooler

Thick ColdCell™ Insulation

MagShield Access top


Crushed, Block, Cube

Roadie® Cooler

Permafrost Insulation (pressure-injected polyurethane)

Freezer-quality sealing gasket


Crushed, Block, Cube, Dry

 Tundra® Cooler

Up to 3 inches of polyurethane foam insulation

Freezer-quality sealing gasket


Crushed, Block, Cube, Dry

Keep in mind that your ice retention experience may vary depending on several factors, so following the recommended tips for ice retention is essential to get the most out of your YETI cooler.

In conclusion, YETI Coolers are designed to provide industry-leading ice retention, but the actual duration depends on various factors. By understanding these factors and following the provided tips, you can make the most of your YETI cooler and enjoy ice-cold refreshments during your adventures.