Andy, Will It Work? Yeti Cooler - Tucson News Now

Andy, Will It Work? Yeti Cooler

So we scrounged up a standard cooler with the same capacity as the Yeti Tundra tailgate cooler. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) So we scrounged up a standard cooler with the same capacity as the Yeti Tundra tailgate cooler. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) - ANDY, WILL IT WORK? Yeti Cooler = WISE BUY! (for true tailgaters, campers and outdoors enthusiasts)

You'll notice the 'WISE BUY' above is in a different shade of green this time.

That's because you'll spend a lot of green on a Yeti cooler.

The one we tested, the Yeti Tundra tailgate cooler, is one of the "cheaper" smaller models. It runs $349.99.

That's not a typo.

But if you're an avid tailgater, hunter, traveler -- perhaps the captain of your Memphis in May barbecue team? -- you should own a Yeti.

They're sturdy. Tough. "Grizzly-proof," Yeti claims.

We don't care about that.

We care about its claim of "maximum ice retention" -- does it keep ice, well, icy and for how long?

We tested the Tundra model with Chef Gary Williams of DeJAVU restaurant at his Downtown location, 51 S. Main St.

A New Orleans native (sixth-generation, Lower Ninth Ward), avid Saints fan and Southern University at New Orleans alumnus, the Cajun/Creole chef knows his way around a tailgate party.

So we scrounged up a standard cooler with the same capacity as the Yeti Tundra tailgate cooler. We noticed right away that the Yeti's walls and lid are more than twice as thick as those of the standard cooler. The Yeti boasts two inches or more of polyurethane insulation, depending on the model.

We stocked both coolers with a 12-pack of bottled water, a plastic freezer bag with four popsicles (not expecting them to stay frozen, just curious), a bag of shrimp (same brand, same count) and 20 pounds of ice.

We stored the coolers in the stuffy, 75-80 degree storage room of Williams' restaurant, keeping them closed and checking on them every 24 hours.

At 48 hours, the standard cooler's ice had melted, yet the water was still chilly. The Yeti still maintained ice. Both coolers' popsicles had melted (again, we didn't expect them to remain frozen. Just curious to see if they would stay frozen longer in the Yeti).

At 72 hours, the standard cooler's water had reached room temperature. The shrimp: spoiled.

But at 72 hours, the Yeti still retained maximum ice with minimum melt. The water that was in the cooler was still ice cold.

And the shrimp was still fresh -- 72 hours later.

Williams even made shrimp and grits with it.

"I'm going out on my first opportunity to get one," he said. "It's worth the bucks!"

The Yeti's insulation should keep hot things hot longer, too. The link embedded in the line above about the insulation offers more suggestions and explanations of the cooler's effectiveness.

Copyright 2014 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

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