When camping or overlanding for a few days, you can opt for the luxury of a 12V fridge-freezer. However, not everyone would prefer that due to the power and portability factors. That is where coolers play a major role, especially coolers like the Yeti Tundra 35 vs 45 vs 50.

It is an excellent choice if you are looking for a size and weight that is still easily portable, yet you are set for days with cold drinks and food. Once you decided on a mid-sized quality cooler like YETI, it may be confusing to choose between the similar sizes.

In this post, we will try to help you by going through the characteristic features of these great models of YETI Tundra coolers - YETI 35 vs. YETI 45 vs. YETI 50 - will be explained in detail.

Review and Comparison: Choose YETI 35 or 45 or 50?

YETI Tundra 35, the YETI Tundra 45 and YETI Tundra 50 are three of the well-known coolers manufactured by YETI. Tundra coolers have a sturdy build which can withstand rough handling.

They are being used in countless different situations and outdoor activities: overlanding trips, camping, fishing, hunting, your local barbeque.

But let's have a closer look at the details.

Features common to all three coolers:

  • Fatwall design and Permafrost insulation for extra long ice retention
  • Rotomolded construction for durability
  • Patented T-Rex Lid Latches also designed for durability
  • ColdLock freezer-quality gasket between the lid and the box
  • Easy drain system
  • Two types of grips: rope and firm handles

YETI Tundra Cooler - Reviews

1. Review of YETI Tundra 35

The YETI Tundra 35 is the smallest of the 3. The outside dimension of the cooler is 16 ⅛ x 15 ¾ x 21 ⅜ inches. And the inside dimension of the YETI Tundra 35 is 9 ⅜ x 10 ⅝ x 13 ⅞ inches. And, the empty weight of the cooler is about 20 lbs. or 9.07 kg.

That means it is ideal for carrying by one person unlike the rest of the two. Plus, among the YETI 35 vs 45 vs 50 cooler, the Tundra 35 will fit on your vehicle easily as well.

This is available in various colors like chartreuse, coral, desert tan, navy, river green, seafoam, white, etc. As you know it comes with all the trademark features of YETI like FatWall design, rotomolded construction, PermaFrost Insulation, T-Rex Lid latches, and more.

The YETI Tundra 35 cooler comes with a capacity for up to 21 cans of beer (2:1 ice-to-can ratio) and 26 lbs. of ice capacity (ice only). And, it is a bit cubed shaped almost like the Tundra 50. So, you will able to store the cans or bottles upright inside the YETI Tundra 35.

PROS:

  • Sturdy construction
  • Portable for a single person
  • Bear-resistant

CONS:

  • No carry handle at the top
  • High price

2. Review of YETI Tundra 45

The Tundra YETI 45 is the medium-sized cooler among the 3 of them. The Yeti Tundra 45 cooler also comes with all of the trademark features of YETI.

For instance, it is also made using the rotomolded construction process. It has the patented T-Rex lid latches that are made from heavy-duty rubber.

But, in terms of the thickness of the wall and lid between the YETI 35 vs 45, Tundra 45 is 1 inch thicker.

Yes, the Tundra 45 comes with 3 inches of PermaFrost Insulation for longer ice retention capability. It is also a bit bigger than the Tundra 35, yet a bit smaller compared to the Tundra 50.

On the outside, this YETI cooler has a dimension of 16 ⅛ x 15 ⅜ x 25 ¾ inches. That means it has a rectangular shape. So, you can’t store the bottles in an upright position.

On the inside, the net dimension of the YETI Tundra 45 is 9 ⅜ x 10 ⅝ x 18 ⅜ inches. Also, the empty weight of the YETI Tundra 45 is about 23 lbs. or 10.43 kg. So, it is fairly portable. And it can accommodate 28 cans of beer (2:1 ice-to-can ratio) and 34 lbs. of ice (ice only).

PROS:

  • Bear-resistant cooler
  • Comes with a rugged build quality
  • Versatile size in terms of capacity and portability

CONS:

  • Expensive

3. Review of YETI Tundra 50

Among YETI 35 vs 45 vs 50, this one has the highest capacity on our list. So, if you are looking for a YETI cooler for your whole family, then you should check this one out.

Also, to be noted that it can accommodate more ice compared to the other 2 options, so it also has the highest ice retention capability of them all.

The net dimension (outside) of this YETI cooler is 17 ⅝ × 17 ¾ × 24 ¼ inches. And, the inside dimension is 10 ⅜ × 12 ½ × 16 ⅝ inches. As a result, it has a capacity of accommodating 35 cans of beer (2:1 ice-to-can ratio) and 43 lbs. of ice (only).

So, you can see that it has the highest ice capacity among all the 3 options. But it also weighs about 26 lbs. or 11.79 kg, which is higher than the others as well. So, for a single person, it will be tough to carry it around with the goods inside.

Similar to the other YETI coolers, this YETI Tundra 50 cooler is also integrated with all the awesome YETI features. For example, it features PermaFrost Insulation (3-inch thick wall), rotomolded construction, T-Rex Lid latches, Non-slip feet, and more. 

PROS:

  • Bigger in size
  • Robust build quality
  • Best ice retention capability

CONS:

  • Not portable enough for one person
  • Pricey 

Comparison

Typically, most brands name their coolers in relevance to the features or the capacity. However, YETI has not followed the trend in this case.

If you have read the reviews above, then you must have noticed that the numbers 50, 45, and 35 don't have anything to do with the capacity, or size, or features.

So, you should not judge the coolers by their naming procedure. For instance, the YETI Tundra 35 cooler has a capacity of about 27.3 liters. Next, the YETI Tundra 45 comes with a capacity of about 35 liters.

Finally, the Tundra 50 has a capacity of about 44.7 liters. You can see there's no relation between the numbers next to the names of the YETI coolers and their capacity.

The main differences between these 3 coolers are the size, weight, and capacity. We have already talked about the size, capacity, and the weights of the coolers in their individual reviews.

For your consideration, we have created the tables below so that you can compare them with just a quick look.

Also, there is another key difference between these 3 coolers that you might not have thought about. We are talking about ice retention capability.

You might think that all 3 of these can retain ice for the same length. However, that is not the case at all.

Here’s the thing — generally, the more the ice you can store on your cooler, and the longer it can retain the ice to its original form. As a result, the Tundra 50 will have the highest ice retention capability as it has the largest ice capacity.

On the opposite, the cool YETI Tundra 35 comes with a smaller size and capacity. So, it will not be able to retain ice for a long time like the Tundra 45 or 50.

In that sense, if you need a cooler for a short journey like 1 to 2 days, then the Tundra 35 would be ideal. And, if you need a larger space yet portability, and a longer ice retention capability, then the Tundra 45 would be your best bet.

As usual, if you need the cooler with the highest ice capacity and best ice retention capability for even up to a week or so, you should go with the Tundra 50. To be noted, the ice retention capability depends on many external factors as well.

Given its smaller size, the YETI 35 lighter, however, as you can see, it is the taller of the two when you compare it to YETI 45. And as you will also see it in the following comparison table, the Yeti 45 only comes with 3 pounds of extra weight when empty. The YETI 50 on the other hand adds another 3 pounds to the 45's weight, but the benefits in capacity increase is much larger than expected. The Tundra 50 can hold 35 12oz cans with a 2:1 ice-to-can ratio:

YETI 35 vs YETI 45

Attribute

YETI 35

YETI 45

Dimensions Outside

16 1/8” × 15 3/4” × 20 3/8”

16 1/8” × 15 3/8” × 25 3/4”

Dimensions Inside

9 3/8” × 10 5/8” × 13 7/8”

 9 3/8” × 10 5/8” × 18 3/8”

Empty Weight

20 lbs

23 lbs

Capacity

Using a 2:1 ice-to-can ratio by volume

YETI 45 vs YETI 50

Attribute

YETI 45

YETI 50

Dimensions Outside

16 1/8” × 15 3/8” × 25 3/4”

17 5/8” × 17 3/4” × 24 1/4”

Dimensions Inside

 9 3/8” × 10 5/8” × 18 3/8”

10 3/8” × 12 1/2” × 16 5/8”

Empty Weight

23 lbs

26 lbs

Capacity

Using a 2:1 ice-to-can ratio by volume

yeti tundra 50 capacity

What Previous Buyers Said

Users have expressed their satisfaction with respect to all three models - the YETI 35, 45 and 50 - for their outstanding quality. The thick walls, removable basket, heavy-duty latches and carry handles were the favourite specs mentioned by previous buyers. The only downside some users have pointed out is their weight.

But you cannot expect to manufacture a great product without compromising on something, especially if you consider that these coolers were made using roto-molded technology. Also, it is noted that they are not so heavy for one an individual to carry it, provided it is not packed to its full capacity. We always advise buyers to lift potentially heavy items with care and great attention to keeping good posture.

Yeti 35

Yeti 45

Yeti 50

Click on the images to open the picture gallery on Amazon

Buying Guide - Yeti Tundra 35 vs. 45 vs. 50

Benefits of a Yeti Tundra Cooler

YETI coolers come with a wide range of advanced features and technologies. And, these properties of YETI products offer additional benefits that are very rare or not available at all on products of many other brands. Let’s talk about some of those in this section.

Design

YETI Tundra coolers come with excellent designs. It is simple and minimalistic yet throws out a powerful vibe. Plus, these are available in many attractive colors.

Size/Capacity/Weight

YETI coolers are available in various sizes, shapes, weight, and capacity. As a result, it is very easy to find the most suitable one based upon your preference and requirements.

For instance, if you need a portable one, you can go with the Tundra 35 cooler. And, if you want more space, then the other 2 options are available.

Construction & Build Quality

The YETI Tundra coolers are made using the rotomolding process. That means each cooler is one-piece.

As a result, they have uniform wall thickness and strong corners. Additionally, all the YETI coolers are bear-resistant certified, and virtually indestructible.

It uses freezer-style high-end sealing ColdLock gasket inside the lid to keep your goods cold for a long time. And, the vortex drainage system makes it easy to drain the residual water.  

The InterLock lid system keeps the heat away. And the T-Rex lid latches made from high-grade rubber compound keeps your cooler secure and easy to open or close. In short, we can say that the YETI coolers are durable and come with extreme construction that will translate into long-lasting service.

Ice Retention

Every YETI Tundra cooler comes with very high ice retention capability. In order to achieve this, YETI has incorporated a few advanced features into their coolers.

For instance, the FatWall design refers to the addition of extra-thick (up to 3 inches) insulated wall on all sides of the cooler on the inside.

In addition, YETI uses pressure-injected commercial-grade polyurethane foam in the lid and the walls to retain the ice for a longer period of time.

This technology refers to the PermaFrost Insulation feature. All in all, YETI coolers are reliable when it comes to ice retention for a long time.

How Do I Clean My YETI Cooler?

If you want the best service and long-lasting lifespan of your YETI cooler, you should clean it up on a regular basis. Here are a few tips to keep it clean and tidy.

Before using the cooler for the first time, you should wash your brand new cooler with water and soap

You can use the combination of water and soap for cleaning it regularly as well

If you need to clean tougher stains, you can use a mixture of 1 part of bleach and 6 part of water and use a scrubbing brush

Additionally, you can also wash your YETI cooler using a high-pressure sprayer.

Some Accessories You Should Buy For Your Tundra Cooler

YETI has a host of accessories that are compatible with their Tundra cooler lineup. Here some of the useful ones that you can get.

YETI Cooler Cushion

With the addition of the cooler cushion from YETI, you can convert your cooler to a comfortable seat. The seat cushion goes should be installed on top of the lid with the included studs and screws.

Tundra Cooler Lock

While you are overlanding or camping, you should secure your cooler the best way possible. And, for this, you can use the cooler locks from YETI.

This will not only protect your belongings inside the cooler but also certifies the cooler as bear-resistant.

Tundra Tie-Down Kit

You should always secure the cooler tightly to your vehicle whether it is a boat, trailer, truck, SUV, etc. Otherwise, it would wobble and even can topple over while you are driving.

For that reason, you can use these specially designed tie-down kits to secure your cooler.

SeaDek Grip Pad

If you are using your YETI cooler in your boat, you should get this SeaDek grip pad. It will provide maximum grip and protection to you and the cooler while you are using it as a standing platform.

Conclusion

The YETI 35, 45 and YETI 50 are great coolers you can choose from to take with you for your next camping expedition or overlanding trip. They are all within the easily portable size range.

However, relatively speaking, you should decide by considering your own habits when you are on a trip, whether that's camping or overlanding. Are you moving around a lot, or do you settle for a few days usually?

Choose the Yeti 35 if your are the former but chose the 45 if you are the latter. If exact sizes when you pack your vehicle matter, try to measure your trunks interior size to see if the YETI 50 would fit. That size includes a lot of additional value compared to YETI 45. The price difference is below the additional space that you gain.

Consider the ice chest's shapes. The YETI 35 and 50 are taller and narrower, whereas the YETI 45 is the flatter, wider type.

If you can't decide based on your camping habits, you can consider your vehicle setup. Is your vehicle's trunk easily accessible from a heavy item's perspective? Will you be able to lift it in and out comfortably. This depends also on your strength as well as your vehicle set up. These should also be factors to decide which size to purchase.