Our Explorer Pat Corden was the perfect choice to put the Yeti Tundra esky through its paces: with a non-stop microadventure schedule and a family history of esky-affinity, he wasn’t going to be impressed by any gimmicks. Here’s his rundown of the Yeti Tundra experience.
If you’re looking for industry buzzwords, a technical diagram and a feature comparison table, then you’ve come to the wrong place. However, if you’re looking to suss the vibe of this bangin’ esky and get the lowdown on how it handles a bit of real world rough and tumble, read on comrade.
When Dad was younger, his mates had a custom of giving an esky to mates for their 21st. An esky isn’t something that you replace every few years. It’s a buy-it-for-life kind of deal. And that’s what the Yeti Tundra esky is all about.
There are a few things that you look for when you’re snagging an esky: refridgability (note to self: check this is a real word); toughness; size and weight; and bang for buck.
Fortunately, here at We Are Explorers, we like to be thorough. So I’ve had the arduous job of squeezing as many adventures as possible into the past few weeks to really put it to the test.
Refridgability (still may not be a word)
You’d kind of hope these guys had nailed the “keeping your delicious camp meals (and bevs) cold” thing, ’cause otherwise it’s not really an esky right?
Well they’ve gone a step further, this thing is the bee’s. Chock this bad boy up with ice and it’ll keep you going through the weekend and beyond. I’ve seen my fair share of eskys (eskii?) and this one can outlast the best.
When I checked out the Yeti website, they kept going on about how tough their eskys are. Then the bloody thing arrived and the packaging went on about it more. What I did next might not have been my smartest moment, but I wanted to test if the esky was legit or if they were talking smack.
I took all the packaging off, climbed on top of it, and then jumped up and down a few times… Luckily, the folks at Yeti know what they’re doing and the Tundra held up. Otherwise I was going to have to call up Explorer HQ and tell them I couldn’t review the esky and didn’t have any photos because I had broken it in the first five minutes. It’s held up well since its first beating, happily being tossed around the campsite and used as a seat.
Size And Weight
Unfortunately, it ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. There have to be some compromises and with the Yeti Tundra, its the size and weight. This fella is a big boy. This esky would have to be the antithesis of Mary Poppins’ bag.
Instead of opening it up and being amazed at all the space inside, you open it up and wonder how the inside can be so small. For reference, I was testing the Yeti Tundra 45 and while it still has plenty of space, the killer insulation is just thicker than you’d expect. To be honest, I thought the size and capacity guide on their website could have been clearer about the amount of litres it could take.
I can also say with some certainty that it wouldn’t fit into the ultralight category. You’ll have no trouble getting it down to the beach or moving it around the campsite, but this isn’t something you want to take on a hike, that’s for sure. It’s a car camping champion, festival friend and weekend warrior sidekick.
Bang For Buck
Now I’ll be honest with you, these things aren’t cheap. I’d much rather be spending my hard earned dollars on hiking the Larapinta Trail or taking on the 100 Beach Challenge than spending it on more gear.
But the way I look at it, you buy an esky for life. And with a Yeti, you’ll probably be handing it on to your kids, and then your kids’ kids. Seriously, that’s how tough this thing is. Keeping that in mind, I’d say it’s a pretty good deal.
So what’s the verdict? I’d love to tell you that the Yeti Tundra is much more than just an esky, but it’s not. And that’s why it’s so great. Instead of packing it with questionable features, they’ve kept it simple, kept it tough and kept it real. So whether you’re just trying to make the most of your 116 days off a year or ticking off all Australia’s microadventures, the Yeti Tundra will have you sorted.