research the highest rated coolers from Yeti, Grizzly, and K2 and learn how to pick the best cooler for your next adventureMy Yeti vs Grizzly & K2  Cooler Reviews for 2016 is a great place to start if you’re looking for a cooler that will give you up to 10 days of continuous ice from one fill. After all there is nothing worse than being out and running out of ice in the cooler with 3 days left in the trip and having to find some place that sells ice rather than enjoying your time off.

Doing my research I decided to put together a side by side comparison review in two of the most popular cooler sizes. So I put together details from Yeti, Grizzly, and K2 in their 20 series range as well as the 40-50 series range. These models are rated to carry between 16 and 66 cans and after reading this review you’ll be able to decide which model will be best for your needs.

I also wanted to give you helpful tips to get the most out of your high-performance cooler. So I added a section of top rated tips to help you. I started by explaining what all three brands have in common and what you can expect from these features. Then I get into specific details of each cooler. Here are links to the individual brand reviews:

What Do Yeti, Grizzly, and K2 Coolers Have in Common?

Roto-Molded Construction

[toc]All three manufacturers use Roto-Molded technology in the construction of their coolers outer shell. What this means to you is that every cooler is created with a solid one piece shell construction much like the process used to create durable whitewater kayaks. By using this technology each company delivers a product that is a uniform wall thickness, no seems, and with no weak or void spots in the body.

You will be able to count on years of dependable service even under the harshest usage. Grizzly talks about their bear proof certification and so does Yeti who also says you can drop it or kick it without any chance of damage. (Yeti will  not be held responsible for broken toes)

Pressure‐Injected Commercial‐Grade Polyurethane Foam

Through the use of a commercial grade polyurethane foam each manufacturer can deliver unmatched insulating value and ice retention. Each of these brands injects an average of 2-3″ of foam with an insulating value of up to R-7 per inch into every inch of their cooler. With this technology Grizzly claims their Grizzly 20 will keep ice for up to 5 days, 4 hours in a 90 degree test environment. Read their review and discover up to 19 days of ice retention in the Grizzly 400.

Cooler wraps for Yeti Grizzly K2 Engel and Pelican performance coolers

Design your one of a kind cooler here!

Positive Locking Rubber latches

Each brand uses a positive locking rubber latch system to insure easy grip even in extreme wet weather. This locking system ensures a positive lock to keep your cooler from popping open which could allow ice to melt faster during transport.

Integrated Hinge System

All three companies use a form of full length integrated hinge system. This means that you will never have to worry about a hinge failure causing a loss of cold retaining power due to a loss lid.

Freezer Quality Gasket System

its no secret that plastic on plastic is not a good way to keep cold in, so why do so many cooler companies rely on such a system. Probably because its cheaper. But you are here because quality matters and keeping in the cold really matters. Yeti, Grizzly, and K2 all use a form of continuous freezer like or rubber gasket that goes completely around the lid and seats into a matched groove for a positive tight fitting cold seal.

Thick-wall Construction Standard

Do you use Dry Ice in your cooler? Did you know that Dry Ice can crack and permanently damage a standard cooler? But that will never happen with a Yeti, Grizzly, or K2 cooler because all these coolers are built with thick-wall construction. What this means to you is that these coolers have an average of 1/8″ thick walls both on the interior and exterior surface. This combined with between 2-3″ of polyurethane insulation means you can use Dry Ice in any of these coolers to gain extra cooling time for your longest outings.

Replacement Parts

You’re going to invest a lot of money in this cooler so it’s important to know that you will always have access to replacement or accessory parts. When you pick a Yeti, Grizzly, or K2 cooler you will have access direct from the manufacturer for common parts like rubber latches, rope handles, and non-slip feet as well as popular accessories like cutting boards, re-freezable ice packs, cable locks, and rod or beverage holders.Here are links to search parts for each brand. Yeti Cooler parts    Grizzly Cooler Parts     K2 Cooler parts

Or you could read my detailed K2 Coolers Summit Ice Chest Series Review where I have researched every K2 model and described every available part or accessory to fit each size Ice Cooler.


Here is where we saw the biggest difference in the three brands.

Yeti offers a 5 year warranty on their Tundra and Roadie series coolers.

K2 steps it up a notch and offers the original buyer a 7 year warranty.

For the ultimate in protection your new Grizzly Cooler comes with a Lifetime warranty to the original purchaser as the manufacturer says  you should have protection for a lifetime. To learn more be sure and read Made in America Grizzly Coolers ice Chest Review.


Yeti Roadie 20 Cooler Review

the Yeti Roadie 20 is perfect for a long day trip if you want the last beer to be as cold as the first no matter what the outside temperature.The Yeti Roadie 20 features their Permafrost™ Insulation technology as well as No Sweat™ design to keep the cold in and prevent a wet exterior.

The Yeti Roadie 20 measures 19 1/4″ L x 13 3/4″ W x 14 3/8″T and is rated to hold up to 14 12 oz. cans or 20 lbs. of ice.

The Roadie 20 is perfect for an outing on the golf cart, ATV, or canoe because it features all the same quality features of the largest Yeti coolers.

Yeti’s legendary technology is backed by a solid 5 year warranty against workmanship defects. We found that with over 443 reviews on Amazon, a whopping 83% of reviewers gave the Yeti coolers a 5 star rating with an overall average of 4.8 stars. [easyazon_cta align=”right” identifier=”B004YIBWNS” key=”tall-orange” locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”reviewsright-20″]

Grizzly 20 Cooler Review

review the Grizzly 20 high performance cooler with extended ice storage of up to 6 daysIf you’re looking for a little more capacity then you’ll want to look closer at the Grizzly 20 cooler. After our research we found that Grizzly rates their 20 to be able to hold up to 24 12 oz. cans along with 5 lbs of ice.

If you’re into the technical size details then you’l be happy to know the Grizzly 20 measures 20 1/4″L x 14 1/2″W x 14 1/4″ T.

When it comes to Amazon reviews the Grizzly 20 stacked up pretty well even though it has fewer reviews. Out of 13 reviews, 77% gave it a 5 star rating. The only negative reviews we found referenced the older model Grizzly coolers. The new model units all feature rope style handles, and dependable drain plugs like the ones featured on all other brand high end coolers. [easyazon_cta align=”right” identifier=”B010QW7WLG” key=”tall-orange” locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”reviewsright-20″]

K2 Summit 20 Cooler Review

read our review on the K2 Summit 20 cooler as we compare it to the Yeti 20 and Grizzly 20 coolersWhat makes the K2 Summit 20 Cooler different from the others? The K2 features SNOWblown™ insulation along with construction of food-grade UV resistant material that is also Dry Ice suitable.

Your new K2 Summit 20 cooler is designed to hold up to 14 12 oz. cans and you can expect to keep those cans cold for up to 6 days.

How big is the K2 Summit 20 cooler? The exterior measurements of this cooler are 16.9″L x 12.63″W x 15.6″T.

One thing we noticed is that the K2 is the only one of these three that does not include a drain plug. This is probably because they recommend leaving water with the ice in order to extend the cooler performance time.

There were 15 Amazon reviews at the time of this review and 67% of reviewers gave the K2 Summit 20 a 5 star review.  The biggest complaint about this cooler was the absence of any hold-down option. [easyazon_cta align=”right” identifier=”B00O5HM2JQ” key=”tall-orange” locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”reviewsright-20″]

How-To Get the Most From A High Performance Cooler

Pre-Chill the Cooler First

Place ice in your cooler several hours before packing the food. By pre-cooling the cooler and then placing food and more ice your cooler will stay cold much longer. In one review we were reminded that since these are so well insulated, if you start with a warm cooler and just add ice and food  it will hold the heat so well also that it will melt your ice before you begin your outing, so make sure to pre-chill your cooler before each use for longest results.

Get Colder Ice

It’s possible to begin with colder ice, ice that can be as much as 40 degrees colder than ice that is already wet and melting or just above the freezing point.

Cubed or Block Ice

Cubed or even chipped ice will cool food down faster but block ice will stay frozen longer. So consider using a combination when possible in order to cool food faster and keep it cold longer.

Save Ice and Pre-Cool Food

Did you know it takes up to 2 pounds of ice to cool down 12 cans of beer. So cooling your food before loading it into the cooler will extend the life of your ice. Hint: if you pick up more beer remember to buy it from the cooler and not directly off the shelf to keep things cold longer.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Direct sunlight creates much more heat than we realize. In fact direct sunlight can create up to 50% more heat on your cooler than keeping it out of direct sunlight.

Water is Good

Have you ever noticed how much colder it feels when you have to reach into a cooler full of ice and water? The water will help your ice last longer and extend the cooling duration of your cooler so don’t drain the cooler until you are done with it.

Yeti Tundra 45 Cooler Review

our review of the Yeti Tundra 45 cooler will compare the Tundra 45 with the Grizzly 40 and K2 Summit 50Did you know the Yeti Tundra 45 is really a  40 quart cooler. We prefer to list it by it’s can capacity. They tell you to plan on 26 12 oz cans based on a 2 to 1 ratio of 66% ice and 33% can space. This also means your Yeti Tundra 45 will hold up to 35 pounds of ice and will keep it cold for up to a week. Find more details in out Yeti Tundra Coolers Review.

Many Amazon reviewers claim it will hold up to 48 cans with less ice for a few days time. We also noted that this cooler is just the right size for one person to carry loaded with it’s military grade rope handles. The Yeti Tundra 45 measures: 25 1/2″L x 16″W x 15 1/2″T.

The Yeti Tundra 45 features all the standard features listed above along with a set of tie-down slots and both rope and built-in carry handles. Find today's best price at Amazon

Yeti Tundra 45 Product Review Video


Grizzly 40 Cooler Review

We review the Grizzly 40 cooler along side the Yeti Tundra 45 and Ks Summit 50Looking for extra capacity, then be sure and check out the Grizzly 40 cooler. Grizzly says the Grizzly 40 is designed to hold up to 66 12 oz. cans along with a 10 pound supply of ice. This is the largest factory rating of any model we researched,

When it comes to checking out the measurements, we found the Grizzly 40 to weigh in at 22 lbs. empty with the following measurements: 25 1/2″L x 16″W x 15 3/8″T.

The Grizzly 40 comes in as the least expensive model in this size class and with over 34 reviews it scored a 5 star rating by 73% of the people who reviewed it. Top comments where about what a great value it is for the money being over $100 less than a Tundra 45.

Buyers also felt they were getting more value from the Lifetime warranty Grizzly puts on all its coolers. [easyazon_cta align=”right” identifier=”B00JBGZRHA” key=”tall-orange” locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”reviewsright-20″]


K2 Summit 50 Cooler Review

We reviewed the K2 Summit 50 cooler along side of the Yeti Tundra 45 and Grizzly 40 coolers so you can find the perfect coolerWeighing in at 26 lbs. empty, the K2 Summit 50 is the largest cooler in our review. It’s exterior measurements are: 29.25″L x 17″W x 16″ T and the factory rates it to hold up to 40 12 oz. cans.

The K2 ICEvault™ gasket is designed to seal in the cold while the K2’s SNOWblown™ insulation will insure that your food will remain cold or hot longer than any standard design cooler on the market.

To learn more you could read my detailed K2 Cooler Summit Ice Chest Series Review and learn about every size available up to the massive Summit 120

We noticed that many of the K2 reviewers pointed out what we mentioned above about pre-chilling the cooler for maximum cold duration. It’s also worth noting again that your cooler will stay cold much longer if you always fill it with pre-chilled food. [easyazon_cta align=”right” identifier=”B00O5HMDF4″ key=”tall-orange” locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”reviewsright-20″]


Which Cooler is Right For You

In summery, we hope that Yeti vs Grizzly & K2 Cooler Reviews 2016 has given you ideas about which cooler will be best for you and how to get the most out of your next high-performance cooler. If you want to learn more be sure and read our individual product reviews with the links above. You may also be interested in reading our ORCA Coolers Review  Outdoor Recreation Company of America complete line of coolers actually outperformed Yeti and K2 in extended ice challenge tests. They are 100% American made with a Lifetime Warranty like Grizzly.

If you’ve purchased one of these coolers or have a tip to add to our section on how-to get the most out of your high performance cooler we’d love to hear from you below.