How Long Does A Yeti Cooler Hold Ice?

Are you tired of constantly having to refill your cooler with ice during outdoor adventures like camping, tailgating, or fishing?

Look no further than the Yeti Cooler – a true game-changer in the world of coolers. Known for their durability and rugged build, Yeti Coolers are most notably recognized for their ability to retain ice for an extended period.

But how long can they actually hold ice? It’s not as simple as it may seem.

The cooling performance of a Yeti Cooler is impacted by several factors such as cooler size, ambient temperature, ice quantity, and frequency of opening the lid. In this blog post, we will dive into the science behind Yeti Coolers and answer some of the most commonly asked questions about their cooling performance.

How do they compare to other coolers on the market? What factors affect their cooling abilities?

If you’re planning an extended outdoor adventure and want a reliable cooler that can truly hold its own when it comes to keeping things chilled, keep reading to discover everything you need to know about the impressive capabilities of the Yeti Cooler.

Size of the Cooler

Larger coolers have thicker insulation and can hold more ice, which means that the temperature inside the cooler will remain low for longer periods. That’s why Yeti coolers range in size from small personal coolers to large ones that can hold up to 350 cans.

For instance, a Yeti Tundra 35 can hold up to 20 cans and has an ice retention period of about 3-5 days. But if you need to keep your food and drinks cold for an extended period, a Yeti Tundra 350 can hold up to 350 cans and has an ice retention period of about 10-14 days.

That’s a significant difference. It’s important to choose a cooler size that suits your needs.

If you’re going on a day trip or a small camping trip, a smaller cooler will suffice. However, if you’re going on an extended trip or need to keep food and drinks cold for an extended period, it’s best to opt for a larger cooler.

But keep in mind that the size of your cooler is just one factor that affects ice retention. Other factors include the type of ice used, ambient temperature, and how frequently you open and close the cooler.

A larger cooler means more ice and longer-lasting coldness, but it’s crucial to select a size that fits your needs.

Type of Ice Used

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When it comes to keeping your Yeti cooler contents icy and fresh, choosing the right type of ice is key.

But with so many options available, how do you know which one to go for? Let’s break it down.

First up is cubed ice – the most common type of ice found at gas stations and convenience stores. While it’s convenient to pick up on the go, cubed ice has a small size and surface area, causing it to melt quickly.

It’s perfect for short trips or day excursions but isn’t the best option for long-term cooling needs. Enter block ice – a larger-sized ice block with a lower surface area to volume ratio.

This means that it melts more slowly than cubed ice and can keep your cooler contents cold for longer periods of time. You can either purchase block ice or make it yourself by filling large plastic containers with water and freezing them.

For extreme cooling needs, dry ice is an option that produces extremely cold temperatures. However, it requires special handling due to its potential for causing skin damage if touched without gloves.

To avoid any accidents, make sure to place dry ice on top of items in the cooler rather than directly touching them. Finally, reusable gel packs are a great option for those who want to avoid dealing with melting water in their cooler.

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These packs are filled with a gel substance that freezes and then keeps your cooler contents cold as it melts. They’re easy to find online or at camping and outdoor stores.

While cubed ice may be convenient, block ice or reusable gel packs may be better options for longer-term cooling needs.

Ambient Temperature

It needs chilly temperatures to stay fresh longer. If the temperature outside is below 70°F, you can expect your Yeti cooler to retain ice for up to 7-10 days.

But if the temperature is above 90°F, don’t be surprised if your ice only lasts for 1-3 days. Why is that?

Well, the insulating properties of your cooler become less effective in warmer temperatures, causing heat to seep in and melt your ice faster. It’s like trying to keep an ice cube cold in a hot car – it’s just not going to work.

But let’s not panic just yet. Here are some tips to help you prolong the life of your ice.

Firstly, pack as much ice as possible into your Yeti cooler. The more ice you have, the longer it will take for it to melt.

Secondly, pre-cool your cooler before adding ice. This will help create a colder environment inside and prolong its ice retention capabilities.

Frequency of Opening and Closing the Cooler

Your ice has melted, and your drinks are lukewarm.

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No one wants to experience this disappointment, right? That’s why it’s crucial to limit how often you open and close your cooler to extend the life of your ice.

Each time you open the lid of your cooler, warm air rushes in, causing the ice to melt faster. So, if you’re continually accessing drinks or snacks, you’re also reducing the longevity of your ice.

There are some simple steps you can take to keep your ice lasting longer.

Firstly, make sure you have a plan that allows you to access what you need quickly and efficiently. You could consider organizing your cooler so that everything is easily accessible, or even having multiple coolers with specific items in each one.

By reducing the need to open and close the same cooler repeatedly, you’ll ensure that less warm air enters the container.

Secondly, avoid leaving your Yeti cooler open for long periods. If you’re using it as a temporary storage space before packing up camp or heading home, make sure to close it once you’ve accessed what you need.

The longer the lid stays open, the more warm air will enter, causing your ice to melt faster.

So, if you want your Yeti cooler to perform at its best and keep your food and drinks cold for as long as possible, limit how often you open and close it.

Proper Utilization and Maintenance

Your Yeti cooler is like a trusty companion, always ready to keep your drinks icy cold and your food fresh.

To ensure you get the most out of your cooler, it’s crucial to keep it clean and dry. After all, nobody likes a soggy or grubby friend.

To clean your cooler, use a mild soap and warm water to wipe down the surface. Just be careful not to damage any of the seals or latches – they’re essential for keeping the cold air inside where it belongs.

This is like warming up before a workout – it gets your cooler ready for action.

Fill your Yeti with ice and let it sit for several hours before emptying it out. This will ensure that your cooler is at its coldest before you add any food or drinks.

When using your cooler, try to limit how often you open it. Every time you open the lid, cold air escapes, and warm air rushes in, causing the ice to melt faster.

So be savvy – grab everything you need out of the cooler at once without letting too much warmth in. Lastly, make sure you’re using enough ice in your Yeti cooler.

The 2:1 ice-to-contents ratio is a helpful guideline to remember. For every pound of food or drinks you put in the cooler, add two pounds of ice.

By following these simple steps, you can expect your cooler to keep ice for several days (depending on external factors like temperature and humidity).

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Factors to Consider When Using a Yeti Cooler for Extended Periods

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It’s crucial to consider several factors to ensure that your ice stays frozen for an extended period.

Firstly, the type of ice you use is essential. Block ice is the way to go as it has less surface area, allowing it to melt slower and last longer compared to ice cubes or crushed ice.

The smaller the surface area, the less chance of it melting quickly. So, be sure to stock up on block ice before your trip.

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The temperature outside is another critical factor that can affect how long your ice lasts. The hotter it is outside, the faster your ice will melt.

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Therefore, keep your Yeti cooler in a shaded area and out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Additionally, an insulating blanket or cover can help keep the cooler cool and prevent the ice from melting too quickly.

The amount of air inside the cooler also plays a major role in keeping your ice frozen for an extended period. The more air inside the cooler, the faster the ice will melt.

So, pack your Yeti cooler as full as possible with ice, food, or drinks, leaving little room for air to enter.

Opening and closing your cooler frequently can also impact how long your ice lasts. Every time you open the cooler, cold air escapes, causing the ice to melt faster.

Therefore, limit how often you open and close the cooler and only do so when necessary. Think of it like opening the fridge door at home – every time you do so, warm air gets in and causes food to spoil quicker.

Lastly, ensure that your Yeti cooler is in good condition before using it for an extended period. Cracks or leaks can cause warm air to enter and cause your ice to melt faster.


To sum it up, the Yeti Cooler is a game-changer for those who love to explore the great outdoors while keeping their food and drinks chilled.

However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that several factors affect its cooling performance, such as cooler size, ambient temperature, ice quantity, and how often you open the lid. Choosing the right cooler size is key to ensuring optimal performance.

Larger coolers with thicker insulation can hold more ice and maintain low temperatures for longer periods. The type of ice you choose also matters – block ice or reusable gel packs are ideal for extended cooling needs.

Environmental conditions can have a significant impact on your ice retention time. If you’re heading out in hot weather, pack extra ice and keep your cooler in a shaded area.

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