I first caught on to Igloo calling the Yukon a Cold Locker and not a cooler and that got me thinking. What makes the Yukon a Cold Locker when everyone else calls their product a cooler or ice chest? Turns out there are a number of features that make the Cold Locker different from the rest. During my research I discovered a handful of things that make the Yukon cooler series different and according to many owners better than the more popular brands. It’s not a bad thing that these features also cost quite a bit less.
Igloo has a rich history of delivering coolers for sport and general recreation but with the Yukon Cold Locker series they have delivered an ice chest series designed for the serious hunter, fisherman, or general outdoors thrill seeker. Yukon is designed in a well thought out series of sizes including 50 quart, 70 quart, 120 quart, 150 quart, and a 250 quart option. It’s important to note here that these are all actual cooler capacity and not just a model number like the most popular brand.
Yukon Cold Locker Features
In the beginning I mentioned that the Yukon Cold Locker had a handful of features and these begin with the wide grip, solid, built-in handles at each end. [toc]These handles are molded into the Roto-Molded design to give the user a solid stable grip wide enough for two hands at each end. This makes a big difference when you are trying to move a fully loaded 120 or 150 quart cooler around. Another great advantage to these molded in handles is that they are fixed height so you don’t have to lift as far up as with a rope handle that must be swung up and wants to swing your payload around when moving. These built-in handles will also serve as solid hold-down anchor strap locks. No more trying to thread the strap through a tiny 1″ wide slot when you’re in a hurry. The only downside to this built-in design is these coolers will be a little wider and a little heavier than the other guys with rope handles.(More on that later)
Cold Locker coolers all come with reversible skid/non-skid feet so you can swap them out from sliding out of the truck bed to non-skid on the boat deck. Both sides of these feet are non-marring so they won’t scuff up your surface. Heavy rubberized T-handle latches add to the security of your load but also offer easy access even in cold temperatures and wet weather. Are you looking for an easy to drain ice chest? The Yukon Cold Locker series offers an oversize thread-on drain plug with a stainless steel tether chain so you don’t loose the plug. This drain is much larger that the most popular seller, in fact you can run their entire plug through the Yukon drain hole. In a number of reviews I read where users mentioned this oversize drain plug was much easier to use by older folks who stated they didn’t have as strong a grip any more.
Are you looking for a secure lid system? How about one that uses a full 3″ of injected foam that’s mounted with a solid stainless steel rod through the molded in hinge assembly. Did you know the most popular brand uses an aluminum rod for their continuous hinge? I know which one is stronger. Maybe that’s why the Yukon by Igloo also includes not one but two stainless steel reinforced corner locks to hold their bear proof seal. This should be pretty strong since the more popular brand relies on only molded plastic for their corner locks. (Buyer Tip: Igloo offers a replacement stainless steel corner lock for the Yukon series that doubles as a bottle opener.)
Do you fish, or maybe you’ve got a turkey beard you’d like to measure in the field? Yukon comes with a built-in ruler on the top of every Cold Locker cooler. I mentioned the 3″ full injected insulation in the lid, this comes from their MaxCold® thermal insulation with is also a full 2″ thick on the sides and bottom. This is what really makes the Yukon a Cold Locker once you combine this feature with the full 360º freezer grade gasket that is built into the lid. This gasket also offers a leak proof seal no matter what the cargo.
In the Roto-Molded design Igloo added what they call Cold Riser Technology which is simply raising the coolers bottom up off the deck a little farther than the competition to keep it further from the hot deck surface. This is designed to help hold in the cold longer.
Every Igloo Yukon Cold Locker cooler is made in Katy, Texas USA. So if buying American Made is important to, then you can rest assured of getting everything you’ve been looking for in a new Yukon ice chest.
Yukon Cold Locker Value Comparison
So how does one measure value when shopping for the right high end ice chest? I think it has to be a good balance between how all the features stack up against all the competition combined with how good a value the price is in that same comparison. So lets run a quick list of Yukon features against the most popular Yeti Tundra series coolers. In each comparison I’ll list how the Yukon is built and then the Yeti and you can be the judge. At the end I’ll also give you an idea of how they compare in price.
- Yukon uses a 5/16″ stainless steel hinge rod for continuous solid support against the Yeti aluminum rod.
- Yukon uses two stainless steel paddle lock plates, one in each corner and Yeti paddle locks plastic to plastic.
- Yukon uses solid molded two handed lift handles where Yeti relies on either a swinging rope handle to small built-in edge handle.
- Yukon designed these lift handles as hold-down anchor points from 4 directions while Yeti offers a 1″ slot molded into each end.
- Every Yukon 50 Quart, 70 Quart, 120 Quart, 150 Quart, and 250 Quart model is its true capacity while the Yeti models are just that, model numbers?
- Igloo Yukon Cold Locker coolers are made in Katy, Texas USA while Yeti makes some models in the USA and others in the Philippians.
- Yukon offers the oversize RapidFlo™ drain system with stainless steel tether while Yeti relies on a plug about half the size and the Yukon 150 even has a plug at each end.
- Yukon uses a reversible non marring skid/non-skid foot design on every cooler while Yeti offers a optional replacement foot system.
I have to say after researching and reviewing most of the top selling high end coolers available today, I’ve been very impressed with the feature to price comparison. The one feature that stands out above all the rest has to be the built-in solid handles. It’s no secret that these high performance coolers are bigger and heavier than standard models, especially when loaded. I read countless comments about how much easier every size Yukon Cold Locker was to pick up and carry around than all the competitors with rope style handles. This is going to be an important feature if you’ll be moving the cooler around a camp site or from vehicle to boat.
Yukon Cold Locker Sizes
Yukon Cold Locker 50 Quart
The Yukon Cold Locker 50 is a true 50 quart cooler that weighs 32.1 lbs. empty. Its interior dimensions are 23.550″ L x 11.370″ W x 11.675″ T. With the molded in handles the 50 quart exterior dimensions are 33.581″ L x 17.026″ W x 17.550″ T. When it comes to ice retention, plan on 7 days with regular ice.
Yukon Cold Locker 70 Quart
The Yukon Cold Locker 70 is a true 70 quart cooler that weighs 34.3 lbs. empty. It’s interior dimensions are 24.900″ L x 10.900″ W x 14.600″ T. With the molded in handles the 70 quart exterior dimensions are 35.250″ l x 17.024″ W x 20.500″ T. When it comes to ice retention, plan on 7 days with regular ice.
Yukon Cold Locker 120 Quart
The Yukon Cold Locker 120 is a true 120 quart cooler that weighs 45.8 lbs. empty. It’s interior dimensions are 32.010″ L x 14.500″ W x 14.022″ T. With the molded in handles the 120 quart exterior dimensions are 42.500″ L x 20.900″ W x 20.500″ T. When it comes to ice retention, plan on 8 days with regular ice.
Yukon Cold Locker 150 Quart
The Yukon Cold Locker 150 is a true 150 quart cooler weighing in at 60.5 lbs. empty. It’s interior dimensions are 38.000″ L x 15.800″ W x 14.600″ T. With the molded in handles the 150 quart exterior dimensions are 48.723″ L x 22.000″ W x 20.500″ T. When it comes to ice retention, plan on up to 10 days with regular ice.
Yukon Cold Locker 250 Quart
The Yukon Cold Locker 250 is a true 250 quart cooler weighing in at 92.0 lbs. empty. It’s interior dimensions are 43.400″ L x 17.200″ W x 19.000″ T. With its molded in handles the 250 quart exterior dimensions are 56.860″ L x 25.490″ W x 26.120″ T. When it comes to ice retention, plan on up to 14 days with regular ice.
Yukon cold Locker Pricing
I’ve mentioned that I believe the Yukon Cold Locker will be a good value for anyone searching for a high end cooler at the low end of the price range. At the time of this writing you could buy a 50 quart for less than $230 and they had equally as low pricing on all other sizes. Even the monster 250 quart Cold Locker was under $1000 and that’s a great value for such a high volume cooler, especially if you’ve priced a Yeti lately. I’m including a link here where you can check the lowest price on every model Yukon Cold Locker including a special model on wheels and even options with exterior colors other than white.