How Long Do Yeti Coolers Hold Ice: What You Need To Know

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Yeti coolers are some of the best for keeping food and drinks cold while on the go. So, how long do Yeti coolers hold ice? Let’s delve into various factors that affect ice retention and different types of ice, and compare Yeti coolers to other popular brands.

Factors Affecting Ice Retention in Yeti Coolers

Several factors directly impact how long a Yeti cooler will hold ice. One crucial element is the surrounding temperature; the cooler the environment, the longer the ice lasts.

Additionally, exposure to sunlight can make a significant difference, so keeping your cooler in a shaded area is advisable. How often the cooler is opened, the amount of ice used, and the temperature of the items inside also influence ice retention.

Lastly, how well the Yeti cooler is pre-chilled can affect the longevity of the ice. Pre-cooling the cooler with ice packs, ice, or frozen items allows the ice to last longer.

Different Types of Ice to Use

Choosing the most suitable type of ice to use in your Yeti cooler is crucial for maximizing ice retention. There are several options to consider, each with its pros and cons. 

The most widely used option is cubed ice. It’s the most accessible and can be bought in most grocery stores.

The smaller size allows for more efficient cooling, easily surrounding your items. However, it tends to melt quicker than other options, and rearranging your items in the cooler might cause the ice to shift and cause it to melt faster.

Next, consider using block ice. It’s denser and melts at a slower rate compared to cubed ice. As a result, it’s great for longer trips where you need to keep things cold for a more extended period. The main drawback with block ice is that it can take up more space in the cooler, leaving less room for your items.

Another option is using reusable ice packs as a supplement or alternative to traditional ice. Ice packs are efficient, don’t leave a watery mess, and are easy to use. On the downside, they can take up a lot of space in your cooler and might not be as effective during extended trips.

You can also opt for crushed ice to fill the small gaps in your cooler for more efficient cooling performance. However, remember that crushed ice melts fast, so combining it with other options, such as block ice or ice packs, is best.

Remember, the ice forms you choose can affect your Yeti cooler’s ice retention, significantly affecting how long your perishables stay cold.

Preparation for Optimal Ice Retention

Proper preparation is vital to ensure optimal ice retention in your Yeti cooler. Pre-chill your cooler in a cool environment, such as a shaded area, or even inside a refrigerator if it fits. This will help the cooler stay cold longer once it’s in use.

Next, use large, slow-melting ice varieties, such as block ice or Yeti’s ice packs, to further improve ice retention.

Pack your cooler tightly and in layers, placing the coldest items at the bottom, and avoid opening it too frequently to maintain its internal temperature.

How Long Do Yeti Coolers Hold Ic

How Long Do Yeti Coolers Hold Ice: Sizes and Ice Retention Times

Yeti offers a wide range of coolers with varying ice retention times depending on their size and design.

Here’s a quick overview of the ice retention capabilities of some popular Yeti cooler sizes:

Yeti Roadie 24

The Yeti Roadie 24, a compact cooler perfect for road trips, can retain ice for up to 4 days when properly prepared. Its small size makes it ideal for personal use or to keep your drinks chilled on short outings.

Yeti Tundra 45

The Yeti Tundra 45 boasts an impressive ice retention time, often lasting 6-7 days in ideal conditions. However, it’s essential to pre-chill the cooler, use sufficient ice, and limit the frequency of opening the cooler to ensure the longest possible ice retention.

Yeti Hopper Flip 12

The Yeti Hopper Flip 12 is a compact and portable option that can retain ice for roughly 2-3 days. Its compact size and versatility make it perfect for short trips, picnics, or small gatherings. Ensure proper pre-chilling and packing to maximize ice retention.

Yeti Hopper BackFlip 24

The Yeti Hopper BackFlip 24 is designed for comfortable carrying and has an impressive ice retention capability. This soft-sided cooler backpack can hold ice for 2 to 3 days, depending on factors like exposure to sunlight, external temperature, and usage frequency. Proper preparation helps extend the ice life even more.

Comparison with Other Cooler Brands

When comparing Yeti coolers to other brands, it’s essential to consider ice retention times, durability, and overall value.

Brands like RTIC, Pelican, and Grizzly are often considered alternatives to Yeti. RTIC and Grizzly coolers may have similar ice retention times, but their durability might vary.

Pelican coolers, on the other hand, are known for their robust construction and longer ice retention but can be more expensive.

Ultimately, while Yeti coolers may hold ice longer than some competitors, always consider the specific model, size, and additional features when choosing the suitable cooler.


RTIC coolers are another popular brand that holds ice for long periods. While each model varies, most RTIC coolers can retain ice for 5-10 days under ideal conditions. This is comparable to Yeti coolers, making them a strong competitor on the market.


Pelican coolers are a direct competitor to Yeti, focusing on durability and ruggedness. They offer impressive ice retention times, often on par with Yeti products. However, Pelican coolers may be bulkier and heavier, affecting your choice depending on your specific needs.


Grizzly coolers are another competitor in the high-end cooler market. They also promise impressive ice retention times, with some models keeping ice for up to 10 days. However, as with any cooler, performance will vary depending on factors like ice type, external temperature, and cooler usage.

Tips for Maximizing Ice Retention in a Yeti Cooler

To maximize ice retention in your Yeti cooler, follow these tips: 

  • Pre-chill the cooler by adding a sacrificial bag of ice or frozen water bottles the night before
  • Use a 2:1 ice-to-content ratio, meaning twice the amount of ice as the items you’re placing in the cooler
  • Opt for larger, slow-melting ice blocks vs. smaller cubes.
  • Minimize air space inside the cooler by filling it up as much as possible. 
  • Lastly, keep the cooler in a shady spot and limit the number of times you open and close it, as this will also help prolong ice retention.


Yeti coolers are known for their impressive ice retention capabilities, which can be further enhanced by considering factors like size, ice type, and preparation techniques.

Although competitors like RTIC, Pelican, and Grizzly also offer high-performance coolers, Yeti coolers stand out for their durability, convenience, and long-lasting ice retention.

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