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Just recently Yeti has started making coolers with wheels. Though this is a slight departure from their usual lineup and Yeti’s wheeled coolers are arguably hard to find in some stores.
The two Yeti cooler models with wheels are the Yeti Tundra Haul and the Yeti and the Yeti Roadie 48. Of them, the Tundra Haul has a slightly higher capacity as well as a more robustly insulated lid.
Yeti has gone so many years without offering rolling coolers that camping accessory manufacturers like Camco and Sherpa have started offering compatible cooler wheel kits. They are a great option for adding wheels to your existing Yeti cooler to improvise as a roller when you need it to.
Does Yeti Make a Rolling Cooler?
Yeti recently started offering the Tundra Haul and the Roadie 48 with wheels. Both have been met with favorable reviews.
The Yeti Tundra is their most popular model, though the only version with wheels is the 45-quart capacity “Tundra Haul.” All the other Tundra volume models are devoid of wheels.
The Yeti Roadie with wheels is available in a 48- and 60-quart capacity and comes with a robust telescoping handle. Just note that the Yeti Roadie 24 is the same original model with a strap handle.
Does Yeti Make a Wheel Kit?
Yeti themselves don’t make a wheel kit, but several aftermarket accessory manufacturers do. Of them, Rambler, Sherpa, Badger, and Camco tend to have the best wheel kits that are compatible with the most popular Yeti coolers.
Sea Striker makes an all-terrain cargo cart that is compatible with most 55-quart coolers. I like how you can use it to carry a mid-size Yeti cooler on a trip to the beach, and then repurpose it for hauling other things when needed. Definitely
Why Do Yetis Not Have Wheels?
Yeti’s founders originally engineered their coolers to answer a lot of the problems you find with common coolers. Yeti’s founders were serious outdoorsmen who found that wheels and handles tended to be a hassle in rough, primitive environments.
Since wheels and retractable handle systems are often the first things to fail, they left them out of their original models.
Instead, they focused on creating coolers with superior thermal efficiency and robust engineering. This includes well-insulated lids that seal tightly to make the most out of the cold payload within.
The rapidly growing popularity of Yeti coolers has encouraged a re-think of some of their models. To the point, that Yeti now offers a limited, but growing lineup of coolers with wheels.
Is a Cooler with Wheels Better?
The heavier a cooler gets the more convenient wheels become. Especially if you’re going to be hauling that cooler all by yourself.
Though when you get into muddy, loose surface conditions the wheels on a cooler become less and less effective. In mud and sand, a lot of cooler wheels just sit there and you end up dragging the cooler more than rolling it.
Worse still, you’re then compelled to pick up the dirty cooler to carry it making a mess out of your clothes. So, if the surface you need to cross looks sloppy from the get-go, it’s best to just carry the cooler from the start.
The other thing that decreases the value of a wheeled cooler is that a lot of telescoping or retractable handle systems get stubbornly jammed and remain persistently in the way. Though Yeti did a good job of engineering their cooler handles to move smoothly and prevent dirt from getting into the shaft mechanism.
Yeti has finally embraced wheeled coolers in the form of the Yeti Tundra Haul and the Yeti Roadie. Both are well-engineered to avoid a lot of the foibles suffered by lesser-wheeled coolers.
Yeti originally resisted models having wheels and handles as they were constantly a problem in the rough environments that the founders designed their coolers to handle. So, they made sure to engineer their new wheel cooler models to be able to handle rugged conditions.
If you already have a Yeti cooler, and you want to find a way to add wheels to it, there are some accessory manufacturers to consider. While Yeti themselves don’t yet sell wheel kits you can get some good ones via companies like Camco, Rambler, and Sherpa.
Wheels on a cooler make a lot of sense with larger models that you might not be able to carry on your own. Though even the best-engineered rolling cooler is still going to struggle in glutinous mud and soft sand.
If the surface conditions do look bad, you might want to start out carrying the cooler. That way you don’t have to risk having to pick up a dirty cooler 2 minutes into your walk to soil your clean clothes.