Last Thanksgiving, my boyfriend and I were tasked with transporting three Milk Bar pies and a mound of their famous truffles from Los Angeles, California to Tucson, Arizona. During regular, non-holiday times — when it's an advertised seven hours — this task might seem easy enough. But, when leaving Los Angeles the seven days leading up to a holiday, prepare to tack on an extra three hours as you'll sit in your car bumper to bumper well past Palm Springs.
This is all to say, showing up to dinner with the pies not spoiled by the desert heat we'd be sitting in for 10 hours would be a challenge in and of itself.
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Up until this point, I'd used my YETI Roadie 24 Hard Cooler for more casual outings. Planning a trip to the beach with friends? I'll handle cold snacks and drinks! Want to have a picnic at the park? My YETI cooler is up for the task! But it is undoubtedly an investment piece and I felt like I'd yet to get my money's worth.
But then, I embarked on my Milk Bar-filled trip across state lines. Beach days and park picnics — both times when you eat upon arrival — are not in the same ballpark as a 10-hour road trip through shadeless, 95-degree stretches of desert. But this was our single Thanksgiving assignment and we had the cooler, so we froze two ice packs, placed both on the bottom, and stacked our pies into the 13-inch-high interior (it's big enough. to hold pounds of ice) of the hard cooler.
Halfway through the drive, I opened the cooler to check on the status of Thursday's desserts. Opening the tightly sealed lid in the desert heat, held secure with quick latches, I felt a cold wave come from the top of the cooler. It was clear the company's beloved ice retention carried over to their popular cooler. The ice packs were still partially frozen and the pies were cold to the touch. At the next stop, we grabbed sodas to add.
The perishables made it to Tucson not just in one piece but still cold. Suddenly, the cost of the YETI cooler was making more sense to me.
What Makes the YETI Cooler So Good?
The Roadie 24 Hard Cooler is top-rated for good reason — YETI pulled out all the stops when crafting the perfect cooler. It's tall enough to fit upright bottles of wine, champagne, and two-liter bottles, and thin enough to comfortably fit behind the driver's or passenger's seat in a car. In terms of storage, it can hold up to 18 cans of beer, allowing room for ice, or 24 pounds of ice alone. It's also made with RockSolid™ Strength, which makes it virtually indestructible, and provides insulation for both cold and hot items for up to 3-5 days (or even longer) depending on the contents and how often it's accessed.
If you need something chilled for extended periods and plan to pack more than a few loose cans and a Ziploc-ed sandwich, there simply isn't a better option. Even with ice packs inside, it holds significantly more than other competitors. There's also a rope handle makes it easy to transport — you won't need to pause to readjust your grip every few feet — and the tightly sealed lid ensures that your cold items stay cold and that any melted ice remains inside the cooler and not on the backseat of your car. It is also important to note that it weighs 12.8 pounds while empty, so it can quickly become very heavy once full if you plan on moving it around frequently.
For something even larger and more durable, you can opt for the YETI Tundra 45, which is made of rotomolded polyethylene, and offers freezer-quality gaskets that ensure items stay cold longer, and a leak-proof drain plug. This cooler, which could double as an ice chest, is also bearproof, making it the better option for the more serious and frequent camper or fisher.
And in addition to the durability and high quality, YETI also maintains a clean look across their line of coolers. The glossy coat on my Roadie cooler was a nice contrast to the cheaper-looking designs lining stores — which often looked more like a tackle box than something you'd want to pull out at a picnic. The YETI Roadie is available in fives colors on the YETI website and 10 colors on Amazon.
Any YETI product is an investment, but if you're someone who travels, camps, or just wants to hold a lot of perishables, it's worth it. The investment checklist, in my mind, has two boxes: 1. Being a legitimately good product, and 2. Longevity. With the Roadie checking both, reconsidering your cooler situation might be on your next paycheck's horizon.