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Yeti Roadie 24 Review

This durable and useful 1-2 person option won our testers over among the competition of its size
Yeti Roadie 24
Photo: Backcountry
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $200 List | $199.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Sturdy construction, easy-to-use latches, good insulation for its size, multiple ways to carry
Cons:  Handle gets in the way of opening, no drain, not totally airtight
Manufacturer:   Yeti
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 2, 2020
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66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 17
  • Insulation - 50% 5
  • Durability - 20% 9
  • Ease of Use - 15% 7
  • Portability - 10% 9
  • Features - 5% 6

Our Verdict

The Yeti Roadie 24 is a sturdy, small cooler that offers excellent insulation for its size and a useful shape for diverse contents. It's a well-thought-out design that works well across many 1-2 person situations. Updated latches allow you to open and close it with one hand easily. A webbing handle adds comfort to over-arm carry, while indented side handles make it easier to port when heavy. Tall enough for most 2L and wine bottles and sturdy enough to sit on, the compact 24L Roadie is our top recommendation if you frequently need and use a cooler of this size.

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Yeti Roadie 24
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Yeti Roadie 24
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award    
Price $199.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
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$339.99 at Amazon$249.99 at Amazon$279.99 at Amazon
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Pros Sturdy construction, easy-to-use latches, good insulation for its size, multiple ways to carryExcellent insulation, super durable, easy to use, great sizeExcellent insulation, great drainage, durable, compact designVery durable, good insulation, comfortable handle gripsPretty good insulation, convenient size, comparatively lightweight, good price
Cons Handle gets in the way of opening, no drain, not totally airtightExpensive, no leash for plug, smaller than claimedTall narrow shape is hard to dig through, expensive, not our favorite handlesA bit large for one person, no leash for plug, latches are scarily stretchyHandles uncomfortable, not our favorite latches
Bottom Line A sturdy, handy personal-sized model that's great for extensive use in the car and outdoors and pretty much anywhereFor the toughest, best insulated, and highest all-around performing cooler; the Tundra is where it’s atTop-notch insulation in a long-lasting, compact designGreat, long-lasting performance in a premium and functional coolerA less expensive option that still performs well in the face of some stiff competition
Rating Categories Yeti Roadie 24 Yeti Tundra 65 ORCA 58 Quart RTIC 65 Engel 65
Insulation (50%)
5
9
9
8
8
Durability (20%)
9
9
8
7
7
Ease Of Use (15%)
7
7
5
8
6
Portability (10%)
9
7
6
6
7
Features (5%)
6
7
6
5
7
Specs Yeti Roadie 24 Yeti Tundra 65 ORCA 58 Quart RTIC 65 Engel 65
Shelf Life of Food (Measured Days Below 40ºF) 2.6 days 6.5 days 6.5 days 6 days 5.6 days
Weight (lbs) 12.9 lb 31.9 lb 30.6 lb 34.9 lb 25.5 lb
Measured Capacity (quarts) 24 qt 56 qt 56 qt 67 qt 54 qt
Advertised Capacity (quarts) 20 qt 65 qt 58 qt 65 qt 65 qt
Days of Cold Beverages (Measured Days Below 50º F) 3 days 7.4 days 7.3 days 6.8 days 6 days
Internal Maximum Body Height (inches) 13.25" 10.5" 13" 12" 10.75"
Does it Fit a Wine or 2L Bottle Standing Upright? Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Exterior Dimensions (L x W x H) 16.5" x 14" x 17.5" 30.75" x 17.5" x 16" 26.75" x 20" x 19.4" 32" x 18.5" x 17" 29.5" x 17" x 16.6"
Construction Rotomolded Rotomolded polyethylene Rotomolded Rotomolded Rotomolded

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Roadie is a rotomolded personal-sized cooler with dual handles and an internal height just over 13 inches, easily accommodating most 2L sodas and bottles of wine. It features upgraded single-hand latches, tie-downs, and anti-slip feet.

Performance Comparison


The Yeti Roadie 24 is a great size for keeping two people refreshed...
The Yeti Roadie 24 is a great size for keeping two people refreshed on a hot beach day.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Insulation


When it comes to insulation, the Yeti Roadie 24 does a pretty solid job for a small cooler with a lot of surface area. In our rigorous hot room insulation testing, the Roadie lasted an impressive 2.8 days of holding temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Compared to larger models with lower surface area to volume ratios, this 68-hour performance may not sound that impressive, but among similarly-sized personal coolers, the Roadie outshines the rest. It then held temperatures below 50 degrees for an additional several hours, providing a full three days of chilled beverage temperatures. Yeti claims this cooler is "30% better thermally than its legendary predecessor", the Roadie 20. Our test results show the Roadie 24 is only about 20% better at insulating than the Roadie 20 (which we previously tested), which is still no small feat.


With similar rugged construction used across the line of Yeti coolers, the Roadie 24 is rotomolded with thick walls filled with insulation and an interlocking hinge. It has a freezer-style rubber gasket to seal the contents - however, the specific unit we tested proved not to be airtight, easily leaking both air and water at the sloppily taped gasket seam. Reading other online testimonies about the Roadie 24, this seems to be true of many people's units. It would make sense that a fully airtight cooler can be expected to perform even better when it comes to insulation, but alas, the Roadie isn't quite airtight.

A rubber seal helps trap cool air inside the rotomolded Roadie 24...
A rubber seal helps trap cool air inside the rotomolded Roadie 24 while a 13" tall interior fits most wine and 2L soda bottles upright.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Durability


Living up to what we've come to expect of the Yeti hard cooler lines, the Roadie 24 is beefy, sturdy, and solidly constructed. It oozes durability from just about every detail and is actually made to be sat on — you can even purchase a seat cushion for the top for added comfort. A new latch style cuts down the amount of effort required to maneuver it without sacrificing how rugged the plastic is or how hardy the rubber seems to be. The new over-the-top handle is wide, hefty webbing with a robust plastic handle attached by rotating plastic attachments that feature tie-down slots on the outsides. A pair of secondary handles is indented in the cooler's rotomolded body, and the Roadie 24 boasts the same staunch integrated hinge as their other hard-sided models. No matter how we yanked, pressed, or jumped on the Roadie 24, it never broke or even gave us the impression that it might. Long hours sitting directly in the hot sun seemingly made no difference to this cooler's durability.


We have very few complaints about the durability of this mighty little cooler. Just two minor concerns that we feel compelled to mention here. First, the Roadie 24 isn't certified grizzly bear-resistant by the IGBC (Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee) like its predecessor and most other Yeti hard coolers. However, this personal-sized box is much less likely to be our top choice for a weekend camping in grizzly bear country anyway, so we don't think it's a significant downgrade to this model. Secondly, as we discussed above, the tape that holds together the two ends of the rubber gasket is a bit sloppy, and the seal is imperfect. We read a handful of similar complaints online from other users as well. This slipshod tape job renders the cooler not airtight and allows water to easily drip out of the box when tilted on the side with the taped seam.

You can see the rough tape along the lefthand side of our model's...
You can see the rough tape along the lefthand side of our model's lid, which is sloppy compared to the rest of the Roadie 24's construction and renders our unit not airtight or leakproof.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Ease of Use


The updated latches are the main selling point of the Yeti Roadie 24. Gone are the solid rubber T-grip latches that take two hands and significant muscle power to operate. The Roadie 24 has new, two-part latches that combine a plastic clasp with a rubbery arm that holds the lid tightly shut. They're simple to use, requiring two steps but only a single hand for easy opening and closing. Yeti has also swapped out the stiff top handle for a webbing version with a moveable plastic grip, that's far more comfortable use hooked over your forearm than the old metal handle was. Just as its predecessor, the Roadie 24's lid stays open for easy loading and unloading. Its interior is now taller than it is wide, stretching just over 13 inches inside — plenty of space for the average-sized bottle of celebratory champagne or refreshing 2L soda. Though its narrow shape appears small, it measures a full 24L capacity inside, compared to the 20L of its predecessor, the Roadie 20.


In general, the Roadie 24 is pretty easy to load and unload, has a decent capacity, and is simple and straightforward to use. However, it's not perfect. As much as we like its tall internal height when it comes to bringing along those over-sized bottles, its narrow shape makes it more challenging to easily locate small items that have migrated to the bottom of the cooler. This is further compounded by the dark blue color we tested, though Yeti also makes this model in lighter hues, which we solidly recommend. While the webbing handle is an improvement to the carrying comfort of the Roadie 24, it's a bit short and frequently gets caught on top of the lid, making it impossible to open the cooler more than a few inches. It doesn't fall out of the way easily when set down, and this shortened strap — while indeed a better length for ease of carrying — nearly always requires the added step of pushing it back over the corners of the lid to be able to open it. Not a dealbreaker, but it does get a bit annoying. It also lacks a drain, though considering its small 24L size, this isn't much of an issue as it can be easily tipped over when you're done using it.

With dual-step, single-hand latches, the Roadie 24 is easy to open...
With dual-step, single-hand latches, the Roadie 24 is easy to open. A second set of handles hides, indented, underneath each side of the lid for two-handed carry.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Portability


Tipping the scales at just under 13 pounds, the Roadie 24 manages to be both larger and lighter than the Roadie 20 before it. While this box filled with contents is still no picnic to carry over long distances, it's about average weight among models we tested with this capacity. The webbing top handle helps to make carrying this rigid box draped across your forearms to be slightly less painful, though the hard corners still crash into your legs like any other cooler. More helpful, the indented handles on the bottom of either side of the lid are perfectly placed for easy grabbing and moving the Roadie 24 with two hands. Though it's not something you're likely to love carrying for miles on end (unlike some soft coolers), compared to so many other monstrous models we tested, the Roadie is positively blissful to move around with.


The webbing handle has a plastic grip that easily slides around to be wherever you want it. However, we're not sure in what instance you would want it. This hard tube is uncomfortable in the shadow of so many other models' squishy and grippy handles. Using it with the handle looped over your forearm defeats the purpose of having the wide webbing, and trying to carry this tall cooler at your side results in bashed ankles and sometimes even scraping the ground, as some of our shorter testers discovered. But we didn't count this against the Roadie 24, as the plastic grip can not only be slid out of the way when you don't need it, but a slit running its length allows you to remove it easily if you prefer.

The top handle of the Roadie 24 is more comfortable looped over your...
The top handle of the Roadie 24 is more comfortable looped over your forearm, but still a bit awkward when carried at your side and often gets in the way of opening this small cooler.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Features


True to the Yeti hard cooler form, the Roadie 24 is simple in its appearance and design, with some thoughtful features added in. The swinging joints on either side that attach the top handle also have integrated slots that function as tie-down attachment points. Anti-skid feet help keep the Roadie 24 from sliding. And at the time of writing, Yeti backs this product with a five year manufacturer's warranty to help protect your investment in case of any error during the making of or fault of the materials used in this cooler.


Though they cost extra, Yeti also offers several additions to the Roadie 24 that can improve your user experience, including a tie-down kit, ice packs, a dry bin, and even a seat cushion.

Slotted handle attachment points also function as tie-down points...
Slotted handle attachment points also function as tie-down points for when you really need it.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


The Roadie 24 isn't a cheap buy, but the question is — is it worth it? If you're someone who uses a cooler constantly, requires a lot of toughness from your gear, and is willing to invest in serious excellence, the Roadie 24 is worth it. Its convenient size and shape and thoughtful features make it a great choice for 1-2 person road trips (as its name implies), beach days, and even some overnight camping trips. However, if you infrequently use a cooler and need something to keep things cool only a few times per year, the Roadie 24 is perhaps overkill for your needs.

Conclusion


If you're after the best personal-sized cooler on the market, the Yeti Roadie 24 is our top choice. It's seriously rugged, easy to use, a cinch to carry, and a great size for one or two people relaxing at the beach or venturing on a road trip. It's an investment that's well worth the money for anyone who never leaves home without a cooler full of goodies and our clear favorite among coolers of its size.

True to its name, the Yeti Roadie 24 is a great road trip companion.
True to its name, the Yeti Roadie 24 is a great road trip companion.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Maggie Brandenburg