Maximizing Ice Retention

Maximizing Ice Retention

Tips for Maximizing Your YETI Cooler’s Performance

YETI Coolers are very strong and tough, but durability is just one of the benefits of a YETI. Outstanding thermal properties set YETI apart.

YETI Coolers are among the best insulated coolers on the market today (a full 2” or more of polyurethane insulation in the walls and lid of most sizes). This insulation, combined with a freezer-quality sealing gasket and durable one-piece construction gives YETI industry-leading ice retention. Use the information below to maximize your YETI Cooler’s performance.

  1. Due to the insulation in the product, the cooler will retain heat as well as coolness. For this reason, to maximize ice retention, try to store your cooler in a cool environment before loading it with ice. If stored in direct sunlight or in a warm environment, a significant amount of ice will be melted to cool the walls of the cooler. In extreme cases, clients have placed the coolers in a commercial freezer to pre-chill their coolers.
  2. Ice temperature is paramount; the temperature of ice could either be hovering at 32 degrees or sub-zero before you put it in your cooler. Therefore, ice that is colder will last much longer under identical conditions.
  3. Chilling or even freezing the intended contents, such as drinks and food is an often overlooked solution to longer ice retention. Remember, the colder your contents are before loading, the less energy these contents will use to cool.
  4. The amount of ice is important. We recommend filling the cooler with as much ice as possible to keep the air space to a minimum. Large areas of air will cause ice to melt faster. A small bag of ice in a large cooler will melt faster than if the same amount of ice were in a small cooler; however, a large cooler filled with ice will keep ice longer than a small cooler filled with ice. In summary, the more ice the better; however, if weight is a concern, you can use other materials, such as towels or crumpled newspaper to fill the air space voids.
  5. Surface area to volume of the ice also affects how ice melts. Block ice will melt much slower than small cubes or ice shavings. However, as ice melts, it absorbs the heat from its surroundings; therefore, smaller pieces of ice will chill the cooler faster. Also, it is easier to keep food cold using smaller pieces of ice. Using a mixture, for example, putting food on top of block ice, then covering the food and filling empty spaces with cube ice will help retain ice, chill, and keep food cold.
  6. Once the cooler is in use, we recommend that you do not empty the cold water. The water in the cooler will be almost as cold as the ice and will help insulate the remaining ice.
  7. Use dry ice to keep ice longer. For more information visit: Using Dry Ice
  8. There are many variables that affect ice retention, such as frequent lid opening, outside environment, placement in direct sunlight, etc. Careful attention to these simple details will significantly extend ice retention.

Using Dry Ice in a Cooler

Dry Ice is a YETI’s best Friend

A major benefit of the YETI cooler is its dry ice compatibility. There are a few hints and tricks to using dry ice safely and effectively. When used in your YETI cooler, dry ice can keep food and drinks cold and frozen longer than regular ice.

What is Dry Ice?

Dry Ice is the frozen form of Carbon Dioxide and its -109° F temperature makes it perfect for freezing quickly and keeping items frozen. Dry ice gives off more than twice the cooling power per pound than regular water ice, and this added benefit provides a dramatic weight savings when packing your YETI.

Proper Handling and Safety:

Dry Ice is completely safe to be used alone or combined with regular water ice, but there are handling precautions to keep in mind. Because dry ice is so cold, it must be handled with protective leather or cloth gloves (oven mitts or hand towels also work) to prevent freezer burning. It is also wise to keep dry ice away from small children.

One other safety item to keep in mind is ventilation. Because dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide, when it melts, or sublimates, it gives off carbon dioxide gas. It is not harmful, but without proper ventilation (example: riding in a closed vehicle), it can cause shortness of breath, and in extreme cases, loss of consciousness because the carbon dioxide will displace oxygen. The simple solutions are as follows: store your cooler with dry ice in well-ventilated areas; and make sure there is proper ventilation during transportation.

Putting that Dry Ice to Work:

  1. Use one 10 inch/10 pound block of Dry Ice per 15 inch length section of your YETI cooler. This will ensure everything is kept frozen, including water ice, for at least 24-48 hours.
  2. Wrap each block of dry ice in several sheets of newspaper before packing.
  3. Dry Ice can be packed on top of or below food, but it will keep longer if packed on top (for convenience, many people pack it on bottom).
  4. When packing the cooler with dry ice, try to minimize air pockets (empty space) in your YETI. Less air space will keep dry ice frozen longer. Water ice can be used to fill this space.
  5. As with regular ice, try to keep your YETI in the coolest temperature spot available. Covering your cooler with a blanket or sleeping bag will help preserve all ice longer.
  6. Dry ice can be used in combination with cubed or blocked water ice.


Unfortunately, we have seen the effects a hurricane or a natural disaster can have on our communities. Using your YETI combined with dry ice and regular water ice could dramatically increase the chances of your perishable items enduring the situation.