When it comes to obtaining one of the best coolers in the entire world, a Yeti Tundra cooler is definitely at the top of the list. There are plenty of contenders in the market, but when it comes to the cooling power, as well as durability and convenience, just like a reliable RV generator, Yeti takes the gold for making fishing, hunting, tailgating, and more much easier.

However, now that you know you’re going with Yeti, you might be troubled by the various capacities and differences between the Yeti 35 vs 45, and yeti 45 vs 50 models. So let us break down the differences for you.

Image Product Details
sample-table__image Most portable YETI
  • Three inches of insulation
  • Highly durable
  • Heavy-duty latches
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sample-table__image Ideal model for any occasionYETI
  • PermaFrost Insulation
  • Extra-thick walls
  • Vorte drain system
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sample-table__image Medium-sized capacityYETI
  • Versatile
  • T-rex Lid Latches
  • Tie-down slots
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Benefits of a Yeti Tundra Cooler

There is a reason why more and more outdoor enthusiasts are switching over from commercial coolers like Volt’s electric cooler to the tough and rugged Yeti cooler. Years before Yeti came into the spotlight, there were few coolers on the market that could hold ice for longer than 2-3 days—which is a buzzkill when you want a prolonged outdoor experience.

Since the founding, YETI has produced coolers with super long ice retention and dozens of high-tech features. Though many buyers cringe at the high price tag of a YETI cooler, the cost of the investment is well-worth the amount of food you keep from spoiling, amongst other uses.​

Here are the benefits of buying a Yeti Tundra cooler:​

Ice Retention​

YETI coolers provide some of the best ice retention in the market. Most Yeti coolers will keep food and drink cool for 5-7 days, like when you cool down your tent with a fan; others last up to 10 days. Such tremendous ice retention capabilities mean that you can stay outdoors longer, or store food for SHTF scenarios longer.


Rotomolded construction, top-notch insulation, strong materials, non-slip feet, excellent vortex drainage system, and many years of usage guaranteed. Even grizzly bears have a hard time breaking one of these bad boys open. Considering how leak-proof, waterproof, and bear-proof a Yeti cooler is, it is definitely a low-risk investment that pays for itself overtime.

Brand Reputation

Yeti coolers have gained a lot of public recognition since the brand formed up. There are millions of satisfied customers from all around the world.

One of the reasons people continue to support the brand is because the coolers comes with a 5-year warranty, promoting confidence in the brand and peace of mind if something unthinkable does happen to your cooler.

The Truth About Capacities

Before getting into the comparison of different capacities, let’s demystify the truth about just how much space you are actually getting. Yeti has been known to use descriptions for their products that do not paint a clear picture about how much quart capacity the coolers truly are and instead give how many cans of beer a cooler can hold alongside dimensions.

So a lot of people ask, “Can a Yeti 35 really hold 35 quarts or no?”

The truth is that the numbers in the name have little to do with what the Yeti model you are looking at actually holds. The reality is that the dimensions and capacities of the 3 favorite models look like this:


Capacity (Quarts/Liters)

Dimensions (Inches)

Yeti Tundra 35

28.8 quarts/27.3 Liters

21” L x 16” W x 15.5” H

37.6 quarts/35.6 Liters

25.5” L x 16” W x 15.375” H

47.2 quarts/44.7 Liters

24” L x 17.375” W x 18” H

As you can see, the numbers 35, 45, and 50 are not representative of the capacities. Nor does it match up with the number of cans of beer a cooler can hold. For example, the Tundra 50 is thought to hold up to 35 cans of beer.

Moral of the story: Don’t get wrapped up in the model numbers. That’s not the only difference!

Comparison of Yeti 35 vs 45 and Yeti 45 vs 50

With an overall understanding of the Yeti brand and how incredible the coolers are, it is now time to compare the Yeti Tundra 35, 45, and 50 to see which cooler is the best for you. Granted, they are all amazing—but if you’re looking for the cooler that will serve you best, you’re going to want to check out the comparisons below:

Common Features

All Yeti Tundra coolers come with the prized rotomolded polyethylene frame construction that makes the coolers nearly indestructible; pressure injected PermaFrost or FatWall insulation, and excellent ice retention. You can also expect all sizes to have non-slip, non-skid rubber feet; a vortex drainage system, and a never fail hinge system. Yeti coolers are also certified bear-resistant, just like underquilt for an outdoors hammock.


Going off of the chart above and measurements provided by the official YETI website, here are how the coolers compare size-wise:

Yeti Tundra 35

Yeti Tundra 45

Yeti Tundra 50

Though the Yeti Tundra 35 and 45 are the biggest sellers, they are not the biggest in terms of size (there are ones even bigger than the Tundra 50). The Yeti 35 cooler has a capacity for 20 cans of beer and 30 lbs of ice, while the 45 cooler has a slightly bigger capacity allowing for 26 cans of beer and 35 lbs of ice. The Tundra 50 cooler is the biggest, holding 32 cans of beer or 40 lbs of ice.

Also, in terms of sizing, it should be noted that the 35 and 50 are both cubed-shaped, while the 45 is rectangular. This can affect your packing and handling. The Yeti 35 and 50 are also higher walled, meaning you can pack more goods in your affordable backpacking tent upright instead of laying them down.

For instance, do you want to lay the bottle of wine down in a cooler, or keep it upright? Plan on packing up large fish or other game for a trip home? Consider what you will be putting inside the cooler when thinking about which size suits you best.

For middle ground, you might want to go with the Tundra 45. This cooler is actually longer and lower than the other two and provides a balance of size vs. capacity to keep a family of 4 comfortable for about 3 days.


One thing you should always consider is the weight of an empty cooler. If you are planning on carrying the cooler by yourself, a larger model can become rather cumbersome. For example, the initial weight of the Yeti Tundra 35 is 20 lbs; the Yeti Tundra 45 is 23 lbs; and the Yeti Tundra 50 is 26 lbs.

While you may be thinking the difference of 3 pounds can’t be that much, remember that the Yeti Tundra 50 can also hold 5 more pounds of ice compared to the Tundra 45. That can be an extra 8 pounds (or 66 lbs in total), which may be too much for some people to handle alone.

The Yeti Tundra 35 is going to be the easiest to transport for a single person. Depending on the individual, even the Yeti 45 might be tolerable. However, the Yeti Tundra 50 could be overkill if you have other belongings like world’s best outdoor folding bag chair to bring to the campsite or onto your canoe.

Ice Retention

Though your know you are guaranteed superior ice retention regardless of the size of the cooler, there are some differences to consider. First, the Yeti Tundra 35 has an ice capacity of 20 pounds, while the Yeti Tundra 45 holds about 34 pounds of ice.

The Tundra 50 has the greatest amount—47 pounds of ice. Obviously, the more ice you can pack into the cooler, the longer the cooler is going to remain cold.

In other words, the Yeti Tundra 35 is great for shorter, 1-2 day trips where you want to keep some beer and snacks cool or pack fish that you caught for that night’s campfire. A Yeti Tundra 45 is, as mentioned before, great for a family camping trip when you bring your best cold weather tent and assemble your camping cot. The Yeti Tundra 50 is the best utility for extended trips lasting up to a week or so.


All Yeti coolers are a worthwhile investment when you consider the lengthy ice retention, durable construction, simple yet effective design, size and weight. The differences between the Yeti 35 vs 45 and Yeti 45 vs 50 models are slight; whichever cooler you decide upon is ultimately up to you and your preferences.

Therefore, you should take the time to thoughtfully compare each design available then make your decision. Hopefully, this comparison will help you make your choice—and know that whichever you select, you are getting an amazing cooler.

If you are looking for a cooler that is similar to the Yeti but cheaper, than check these posts out: Coolers similar to Yeti but cheaper and RTIC Cooler Review and RTIC vs Yeti.

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