The YETI 65 is the largest cooler made by the premier manufacturer of high-end coolers. YETI coolers came from a maverick company that decided coolers needed upgrading for long hunting trips and went about improving cooler technology through roto-molding.
YETI has been much copied, but their coolers – especially the larger, hard coolers – rein supreme in performance. The YETI 65 holds 65 quarts, keeps food or drink cold for over five days, and is sturdy enough to endure any abuse that can be thrown at it. We compare YETI to the competition to see what other products rival YETI 65 performance.
What Is the YETI 65 Cooler?
The largest cooler from YETI, this size is only made in rigid foam construction, whereas some of the smaller quart capacities, like the 35, come in both hard and soft models. The YETI 65 is meant for long trip0s and is ideal for road trips, long camping trips, and large hunting parties. Also known as the Tundra 65, this cooler comes in a variety of colors with customization available and is certified bear-proof, so it is both attractive and durable. What sets the YETI 65 apart, however, is its ability to keep everything put inside, with a 2:1 ratio of food or drink to ice, cold for up to a week.
In comparing specifications for coolers, the three most important attributes are durability, ice-days, and usability. In the case of the YETI 65, its durability comes from the roto-molded hard plastic, which is pressure-injected polyurethane insulation.
This hard plastic makes for a cooler that can double as a bench, seat, stool, or table. These sides are built thick to put its insulation and refrigeration capacity at 5 to 6 days, which means there is ice, and the food is kept safely cold for almost a week, even with frequent opening and closing. Usability is great, with a lid that hinges easily, rope handles, and a place to lock it up with a cable lock.
How It Compares
We picked a few similar large-capacity coolers available on the market to see how they compare with the YETI 65. These coolers range in actual capacity from 51 quarts to 110 quarts, and range in ice-days (days keeping food at a safe temperature under 40 degrees) from two days to six days.
- Driftsun 110-Quart Ice Chest
- Pelican Elite 70 Quart Cooler
- ORCA ORCP075 Cooler
- The YETI Tundra 65 is just as adept at keeping your catches cold in the field as it is...
- Ice stays ice thanks to up to 3 inches of PermaFrost Insulation and an extra thick FatWall...
- The Rotomolded Construction makes the Tundra armored to the core and virtually...
A known brand, a great cooler, and a popular choice. Highly imitated for its insulation technology and tough exterior, the YETI 65 lives up to its reputation. The downside of the YETI is the lack of interior space, with only 51 quarts of actual space. This still holds 39 cans of beer with a 2:1 beer to ice ratio and this ice chest will keep contents cold for almost a week.
The YETI 65 stores food and drink, doubles as furniture, can be locked up, comes with sturdy rope handles, and has a large drainage spout. This cooler also comes with the option of a Grizzly Proof kit to improve its impermeability rating. The YETI coolers in all sizes (hard) are customizable so the color can be changed, or a sports team logo added. This large capacity cooler has excellent refrigeration, rivaling any other brand at 5-6 ice days. Ice days are rated to keep food safely cold. There is an interior tray for separating items, and the hinges on this model make opening easy and closing secure.
The high-end construction means the YETI 65 design keeps food cold and acts as a true refrigerator for days. The thick, insulated walls and excellent sealing, plus drain to remove water, mean that using the YETI is a hassle and worry-free. However, the YETI 65 comes with two design issues: first, the rope handles, while durable, make carrying it more of a chore. Second, the YETI 65 drain is positioned in such a way that when draining one of the handles has to be held out of the way. YETI could solve both problems by re-engineering the handles.
The warranty is for 5 years.
- Keeps interior cold for nearly 6 days
- Sturdy and long-lasting
- Huge color range
- Can be customized in color or logo
- Optional bear-proof feature
- Can be locked up
- Interior tray and hinges top rate
- Seals tight
- Great warranty
- Grizzly proof lock extra
- Capacity doesn’t reach 65 quarts
- Draining is a minor hassle
- Heavy for interior space
- INSULATED COOLER: Driftsun Ice Chests hold ice for days on end with up to 3” inches of...
- FEATURES: Every Driftsun Cooler is packed with features that make camping and the outdoors...
- SERIOUSLY TOUGH: All Driftsun Ice Chests are virtually Indestructible. These portable...
The Driftsun is large, which is great for certain outings, but due to its size, it’s also heavy. But for large capacity and long refrigeration life, this cooler does the job. The Driftsun hits its marks in every important category and bills itself as an ice chest, not a cooler. The Driftsun has the best features on our list and easily tops YETI in interior capacity. The huge capacity makes Driftsun the obvious choice for long trips or river or hunting trips where plenty of people can help carry it. The large size is a plus for some, but impractical for others.
A pressure release valve, integrated fish ruler on the lid, and dual bottle openers give the Driftsun some fun and useful features. It has a non-slip foot called “the gorilla” system, a dual cap easy flow drain plug, and molded tie-down slots and cable locks. The UV-resistant exterior and range of colors are also nice features. Quick clip latches and Therma Lock freezer-style gasket make sure this ice chest seals completely. It weighs only 45 pounds, but the construction means plenty of durability so, like the other coolers we’ve reviewed, it makes a great seat or platform, and the variety of features overall is impressive.
With the usual high-end roto-molded thermal plastic, the Driftsun reaches cooling standards that are excellent and certainly a leap beyond the Colemans of yesteryear. Compared with the YETI this ice chest doesn’t stand up in ice-days, with about 4-5 days depending on the ratio of ice to food or drink. While large inside, and holding plenty of ice, the Driftsun will keep food safely cold for four days. This cooler is very large, however, which makes it great for parties or the back of the car on a cross-country trip, but limits its usability when it has to be carried far.
Driftsun offers a 1-year warranty
- Extra features like a bottle opener
- Great for vehicles
- Doubles as a bench
- Seals well
- Easy to open, close
- Drain is convenient
- Comes in five colors
- Ice days at 4
- Limited warranty
- Kinks still being worked out
- VOLUME: True 70 quart internal volume
- EXTREME ICE RETENTION: 2 inches of polyurethane insulation with a 360 degree freezer-grade...
- FEATURES: Overmolded carry handle, 3 inch locking latches, reinforced lockable hasp,...
This cooler looks like a hunting or fishing accessory you wouldn’t want to mess with and might need a combination lock to open. It screams sturdy and indestructible and also suggests an array of features underneath its aggressive appearance. The Pelican is the most affordable cooler on our list, and consumers can save by choosing the Pelican over the YETI 65. Yet Pelican, for all its features and practical styling, has a few design flaws buyers want to consider before purchase.
This cooler comes with four molded drink holders that drain, molded handles, and 3 in inch locking latches. The cooler has three colors, so the color of the handle, latch, and cooler body. The interior is also a different color. While interesting, this color coding doesn’t seem necessary. The drain spout is recessed, and the interior is actually 70 quarts, so quite spacious. There is a nicely placed bottle opener center front, and interior wire baskets can be purchased to separate food and drink from one another.
At only 2 inches of polyurethane insulation, this cooler isn’t as thick as some. As advertised, it holds 70 quarts, which is substantially more than the YETI 65, which comes in at only 51 quarts tested. To make up for slender walls, the freezer-grade gasket gives a tight seal. This cooler is designed with four molded cup holders on top and has a recessed drain spout. The drain is the weak point as it occasionally leaks. The look of it is boxy and functional, and less streamlined than most coolers, and its colored handles seem unnecessary. The molded handles make carrying the Pelican efficient but this cooler is no lightweight.
A lifetime warranty covers most of the cooler, but the parts that are likely to need replacement like the interior lid seal, come with only 90-days of coverage.
- Eye-catching design and colors
- Multiple top cup holders
- Keeps food cold 4+ days
- Easy to carry
- Drain plug leaks
- Unreliable cooling
- Limited color choices
- 75 quart storage capacity
- Durable, roto-molded construction
- Lid gasket to ensure a perfect seal
The ORCA bills itself as competitive with YETI in ice days, but its performance varies. This cooler also comes in lower on price, and its design features mean cold food and drink for several days, as well as features such as a drain, molded handles, and roomy interior. This is the only cooler that comes in a bright, fun color, but overall the ORCA can’t keep up with its high-performance cooler cousins on this list.
The ORCA has a few interesting features, such as a cargo net to maximize capacity. It comes in several color choices and uses solid construction with “flex-grip” handles. The ORCA has a well-placed drain and offers a full 75 quarts of interior space. It has a decent gasket for sealing. However, ORCA does not offer a bottle opener, top molded cup holders, a locking system, or bear-proof options. It is a well-made cooler that tops Walmart brands and is a better insulator than older coolers, but its features for the price are a let-down.
This cooler maximizes the interior space with a height of 18 inches and a length of 35 inches, but it’s not possible to stand up a bottle of beer which for some owners is a hassle. In terms of overall interior space, it bests YETI 65 but there is a height issue, even without ice. The insulation does not come close to DriftSun or YETI, and ice-days are reported by many users are only two days with crushed ice. The ice-days are a deal-breaker for some hunters and fisherman, and for this price, the ORCA should be consistently performing at four ice days or more. At 38 pounds, ORCA is a lightweight.
Orca includes a 1-year warranty.
- Best for carrying, lightweight
- Molded handles
- Cargo net adds storage
- Bright color offered
- Good interior capacity
- Can’t store bottled beer upright
- Limited color choices
- Lacks features
- Limited ice-days
- Unreliable performance
ORCA doesn’t compete due to basic cooling ability, so we are left to compare only three coolers in ease of use, capacity, warranty, durability, and ice days. The YETI doesn’t measure up in capacity and its ice days, while impressive, don’t crush Driftsun. The YETI 65 is a better cooler than the Pelican because YETI is consistent and doesn’t have leaky drain ports. YETI 65 also wins for warranty. The Pelican, with its cool look and handy features, can’t keep itself cold with the consistency most consumers want, but it wins on space. YETI or Driftsun? It comes down to storage and portability. Overall, we prefer YETI 65 for most uses.
Last update on 2021-01-20 at 11:40 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API