Yeti Roadie 24 Review
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Yeti Roadie 24
|Price||$250.00 at REI|
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$197.89 at Amazon
|$250 List||$100 List||$80 List|
$79.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Sturdy construction, easy-to-use latches, good insulation for its size, multiple ways to carry||Lightweight, easy to use, great features||Very durable, good insulation, comfortable handle grips||Lightweight, excellent insulation, relatively inexpensive, thick and durable walls and lid, comfortable handle||Super lightweight, decent insulation for the price, surprisingly large capacity, inexpensive|
|Cons||Handle gets in the way of opening, no drain, not totally airtight||Flimsy latches and hinges, leaky lid||A bit large for one person, no leash for plug, latches are scarily stretchy||Doesn’t seal against water/air, hinges not sturdy, rubber latches catch against your leg||Not airtight, not particularly durable, uncomfortable handles|
|Bottom Line||This durable and useful 1-2 person option won our testers over among the competition of its size||A lightweight and colorful update to the RTIC line that includes nice accessories at a more accessible price||A high-performing and durable cooler with solid usability features at a lower price than expected||A well-performing, personal-sized cooler for a fraction of the price of its competition||A functional cooler for a mere fraction of the price of the competition|
|Rating Categories||Yeti Roadie 24||RTIC Ultralight 52||RTIC 65||Igloo BMX 25||Coleman Xtreme 5-Da...|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Yeti Roadie 24||RTIC Ultralight 52||RTIC 65||Igloo BMX 25||Coleman Xtreme 5-Da...|
|Shelf Life of Food (Measured Days Below 40ºF)||2.8 days||6.0 days||5.7 days||2.6 days||3.7 days|
|Measured Weight||12.9 lb||21.4 Ib||34.8 lb||11.3 lb||11.4 Ib|
|Measured Capacity||24 qt||50 qt||67 qt||25 qt||68 qt|
|Advertised Capacity||20 qt||52 qt||65 qt||25 qt||70 qt|
|Days of Cold Beverages (Measured Days Below 50º F)||3 days||6.8 days||6.5 days||2.8 days||4.9 days|
|Internal Maximum Body Height||13.25"||12"||12"||11.75"||12.25"|
|Does it Fit a Wine or 2L Bottle Standing Upright?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes - indented lid||Yes - indented lid|
|Exterior Dimensions (L x W x H)||16.5" x 14" x 17.5"||27" x 13" x 14"||32" x 18.5" x 17"||20.25" x 12" x 15.25"/20"||28.5" x 15.5" x 17.5"|
|Construction||Rotomolded||Rotomolded||Rotomolded||Blow-molded plastic (non-rotomolded)||not specified (not 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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