Hands-on Gear Review

Igloo Yukon Cold Locker Review

Price:  $462 List | $317.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Durable, easy to drain, nice drain plug leash, reversible feet
Cons:  Large exterior, expensive
Editors' Rating:   
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Advertised Capacity (quarts):  70
Capacity (quarts):  67
Weight:  34 lbs
Manufacturer:   Igloo

Our Verdict

The Igloo Yukon Cold Locker offers great ease of use and durability attributes but fell into the mid-range of high-end model performance in our insulation test. If you're looking for the best insulation performance there are better models out there, such as the ORCA 58 Quart and the Yeti Tundra 65, but some may prefer the Yukon's large drain plug and unique reversible feet.



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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
OutdoorGearLab Review Team

Last Updated:
Friday
June 3, 2016

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Performance Comparison



All loaded for some good eating. We measured the Yukon's internal capacity at 67 quarts.
All loaded for some good eating. We measured the Yukon's internal capacity at 67 quarts.

Insulation



While the Yukon bested all of the traditional models in our insulation test  it fell behind most of other high-end models. The top performing ORCA did significantly better in both holding safe food temperatures and ice retention.
While the Yukon bested all of the traditional models in our insulation test, it fell behind most of other high-end models. The top performing ORCA did significantly better in both holding safe food temperatures and ice retention.

The Yukon scored a 6 on our insulation test, maintaining safe food temperatures for 4 full days and holding ice for 6 days. This put it right about in the middle of the performance of high-end coolers we witnessed. While this range of performance is fairly wide most models sit at the upper end. The worst performing high-end model we tested held safe food temperatures for 3 full days and scored a 4 in our insulation test. The remaining 4 high-end models all held safe food temperatures for 5 or 6 full days and accordingly scored 8 or 9 in our insulation test. So while the Yukon's insulation performance is better than that of the traditional models we tested, which kept safe food temperatures for 2-3 days, it is significantly worse than the majority of high-end models.It can still keep food freah for a long weekend camping trip and then some, but we would expect just a bit more from a high-end model.

The Yukon was still hanging tough on day 5 of our insulation test  but had less ice than some of its high-end competitors.
The Yukon was still hanging tough on day 5 of our insulation test, but had less ice than some of its high-end competitors.

Durability


The Yukon was one of the top scorers in our durability ratings. It has all the hallmarks of high-end construction and beefy extended handles that are molded into the body of the cooler. It is also the only model we tested that has a drain plug leash made out of metal. It is clear that the Yukon was designed to last a lifetime, and then some. It scored with the best of the models we looked at in our durability tests, taking home a top score of 8. This is much better than the scores of 3 and 4 that the traditional models earned.

The Yukon has all around rugged construction  as seen here in its burly hinges.
The Yukon has all around rugged construction, as seen here in its burly hinges.

Ease of Use


The Yukon shined in our ease of use testing with simple latches, a lid that stays open and an easy to open drain plug. It also drained quickly, completely, and with minimal splashing. The leash on the drain plug is long enough that it can be slotted into the hard models handle, keeping it conveniently out of the way when draining. The drain is large enough that it is possible to lose some smaller ice cubes while draining, which can be disappointing if you're trying to eek out every ounce of insulating performance. This minor complaint did not stop the Yukon from earning a top score of 8 in our ease of use test, which included scores between 5 and 8.

The Yukon drains well  and its leashed drain plug conveniently stows out of the way on the handle. Just be wary  the drain is big enough to let some smaller ice cubes escape.
The Yukon drains well, and its leashed drain plug conveniently stows out of the way on the handle. Just be wary, the drain is big enough to let some smaller ice cubes escape.

Portability


The Yukon received an average score of 6 in our portability testing, a metric with scores ranging from 4 to 7. The unique stationary extended handle design makes the cooler easier to muscle around when it is already loaded into a trunk, but doesn't function as well for carrying as other more common handle designs. All of the other all rigid handle designs we tested pivot at the connection point at the body of the cooler. The fact that the Yukon's handles don't means that loads can be distributed unevenly when walking across rough surfaces. The Yukon is one of the beefier models we tested and is too large to fit into one the smaller Yosemite National Park bear boxes. Its lack of pivoting handles doesn't help it in this area either. It is the only model that offers reversible feet that are smooth on one side and rubberized on the other. This allows you to choose between being able to slide the cooler around in the bed of a pickup or having it stationary in a rocking boat.

The Yukon's stationary  hard molded handles make some things easier  but our tester did not prefer them for carrying.
The Yukon's stationary, hard molded handles make some things easier, but our tester did not prefer them for carrying.

Features


The Yukon includes a built in ruler on the lid, reversible feet that allow you to choose between traction and slidability, external latches, pin style hinges, and the burliest drain plug leash we've seen. This set of features earned it a score of 4 in a metric with scores ranging from 3 to 7.

Value


When considering the entire range of models available, the Yukon is an above average performer. However, when only considering high-end models its performance is decidedly below average. It also comes with the highest price tag of any model we tested, listing for $462. We don't feel that below average performance for an above average price translates to a good value.


Conclusion


The Yukon was surpassed by most of the other high-end models in our insulation test, but somewhat lived up to its high-end pedigree by bettering all of the traditional models. For most people we believe one of the other slightly cheaper and better performing high-end models would be a better choice, unless you particularly like the Yukon's unique handle design or its reversible feet that allow you to choose between slide-ability and traction.

OutdoorGearLab Review Team

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Most recent review: June 3, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
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5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
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