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Do Yeti Coolers Float?

Take a moment to imagine this scenario: it is summer and you have an evening hangout with your buddies by the beach and are tasked with getting the drinks. As the evening approaches, a cool idea pops up in your head, and you are confident you can pull it off. You see yourself making an entrance on a speed boat, the beautiful scenery of a sunset against the ocean as your background as you make your entrance like a hero, with the drinks, of course.  But there’s one question you need to answer. DO Yeti Coolers float?

Tony Stark has got nothing on you with this entrance; you can see your buddies give you that look, and amid this unlikely infatuation, a question hits you and snaps you back into reality. What happens if the cooler of cold drinks falls into the ocean as you make your dramatic entrance? How will you be able to face your pals if you cannot pull off your entrance with the drinks in one piece?

Yeti makes many products, but they are renowned for producing high-quality coolers and tumblers. They have built an incredible reputation for the quality of their products, endearing them to many people worldwide. They are the envy of many at most field gatherings and are even seen as a status symbol among other outdoor cognoscenti.

It is a given that they will keep your drinks (or water as the case may be) ice-cold and your coffee hot for far longer than you might reasonably require. They are even said to provide the best ice retention capacity in the industry.

One would reasonably expect one of the best coolers to be able to do this, but one thing you would want to be sure about for a cooler you could take outdoors, possibly for a fishing expedition, a swim, or as in the case of our preceding imagination, a dramatic entrance to a beach hangout, is buoyancy.

Do Yeti Coolers Float?

So do Yeti coolers float? The answer is yes. Well, most of the time. The buoyancy of your Yeti cooler depends more on the content. So you do not have to worry about losing your Yeti and its contents to the depths of whatever water body you find yourself exploring, as long as the contents are not overly heavy like rocks or something. To understand why Yeti coolers float, we must first understand what they are made from.

What are Yeti Coolers Made From?

Yeti coolers are made from the most common plastic in the world, polyethylene. Polyethylene is a thermoplastic, implying that when it is heated to a certain temperature, it can be easily molded into any shape and solidify upon cooling. The shell of the cooler is made through a process called roto-molding in which the heated and, by implication, soft thermoplastic (polyethylene) is rotated and then sticks to the sides of the mold and is left to cool down and take shape.

After this, polyurethane foam is infused into the cooler to provide insulation. This helps to prevent heat loss to the environment or heat gains depending on the content of the cooler, consequently keeping the said content at the same temperature for as long as possible.

Why do Yeti Coolers Float?

In physics, the principle of floatation states that for a body to float, its density must be less than or equal to the density of the liquid in which it floats. Polyethylene is a lightweight plastic and has a lot of air trapped within it in pockets which makes it a lot less dense when compared to water.

This shows that Yeti coolers float in water literally because they are constructed to do so, quite possibly without the initial knowledge of the manufacturer. Considering all these factors, it is easy to see where Yeti coolers get their excellent buoyancy from. The coolers float even better when they are not filled up because more air is inside, which helps keep them afloat.

The construct is similar to that of a life jacket, which brings the intriguing story of a couple who credit Yeti with saving their lives. This Texan couple put all their important items in the cooler as their boat capsized and held unto the cooler to help them stay afloat and swim ashore.

Can my Yeti Cooler Sink?

Given the right circumstances, anything can and will sink in water. You can be sure that your Yeti cooler will not sink as long as it is empty. The same goes for when it is full of water or ice. Ice is less dense than water and floats on water, so an ice-filled Yeti cooler would not sink.

So what can make your cooler sink to the depth of the ocean or whatever body of water you are on? Well, it would require you to put in something really heavy, perhaps some rocks or solid lead, although the question of why anyone should put those in a high-end cooler would arise at some point.

Yeti Coolers Are a Good Investment

Any high-end brand has an elusive quality that we cannot define, an ethereal quality that eventually raises the cost of its goods. There are many reasons why Yeti coolers are a great investment. However, in this section, we will only be describing one of the most prominent reasons.

Yeti revolutionized coolers by creating sturdy, one-piece designs that genuinely don’t break. Their sturdy coolers are produced using the same rotomolding technique as kayaks and are designed to work consistently.

Anything that might break, like a handle or a T-latch, can always be changed with common household tools because the Yeti’s architecture is made to withstand abuse. When you don’t need to buy a new cooler every year, the higher initial cost of a Yeti pays for itself in the long term.


The solidity of Yeti coolers makes them a great investment when compared to other types of coolers, coupled with their ability to float, and they trump most other products you’ll find on the market. If you’re a person who loves to hang out outdoors, then Yeti coolers are your best bet.