If you see a cooler with the words “Do not sit on lid” glaring at you from a label, you know immediately that the little rosebud of a cooler won’t hold up to your outdoor adventures. You might as well make a dainty little planter out of it. Because: Who doesn’t sit on coolers; or stand on them; sometimes fish from one? Plus, if your cooler can’t take some vertical pressure, can it be trusted to keep your beer cold?
These are the questions that the YETI guys asked and answered.
Tired of Wimpy Coolers
The founders and friends of YETI are outdoorsy types, always hauling gear into the rough to see what kind of creature they can wrangle to the dinner table. They put their Yeti coolers to all the uses you do. It was their constant disappointment in coolers that finally led them to solve the problem. They eventually figured out how to manufacture a cooler that lives up to your expectations and theirs.
Let’s Play Spin the Plastic in the Mold
In search of a really tough plastic for their design, our cooler heroes noticed that their kayaks could run into rocks, a lot, and not crack. Well, however they make kayaks must hold the key, they thought. As it turns out, kayak makers (and now YETI) use a plastic formation system called rotational molding, or rotomolding. Powdered polyethylene is dumped in a mold, the mold run into a large oven and then spun on two axes (kind of like how they train astronauts, except without the volcanic temperatures). This causes the powder to coat the inside of the mold evenly as it melts. The results were YETI coolers that can wear out a baggage handler and still remain intact.
Once formed, the box receives its load of polyurethane foam insulation; three inches worth.
Can it Hold Up to a Real Yeti?
It remains to be seen whether the YETI cooler can live up to its namesake. However, if you hike the Himalayas in search of that legendary abominable snowman, you may want to take the Tundra 210 model as an escape vehicle should you actually encounter the thing. Yeti coolers have been tested against more accessible beasts, though, such as a real grizzly bear and its cousin the 500-pound professional wrestler. In both cases, the cooler won.
The founders of the YETI company set out to create products that actually hold up to use and abuse while still keeping the frost (or the steam) on your goods. With the rotomolding manufacturing process, three inches of foam insulation and a freezer-style gasket, the YETI cooler will easily become the centerpiece of your outdoor gear.
“YETI vs. Grizzly Bear.” YETI (2011). YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgwejaTNZmI&list=PLT6IyUkzp1o19uDFEIqhLwJahqXOMAxGA&index=6