"Will that stay cold in there? Oh, it's a Yeti — it'll be fine."
For the record, that's not a Yeti's advertising slogan; it's a verbatim quote from a cooler-owning friend of mine. Anecdotal evidence it may be, but it's proof of what anyone who's spent time using a cooler, mug or other insulated gear from the company knows: a Yeti keeps cold things cold damn well.
And the company is always finding new ways in which to innovate, from bold new colorways to whole new categories. In the summer of 2022, the famed keep-things-cold company kept things fresh by wheeling out a pair of new wheeled hard coolers called the Roadie models. Think of these as sturdier, more stable versions of the brand's Tundra Haul, or more mobile versions of the regular Tundra models.
Yeti Wheeled Roadie: What We Think
There are two models available in the Wheeled Roadie family: the smaller Roadie 48 ($450) and the larger Roadie 60 ($500). Both measure 19.95 inches tall and 20.50 inches deep, but the former is 19.83 inches wide and the latter 23.74. The 48 is designed to hold 41 cans at Yeti's ideal 2-to-1 ice-to-can ratio, while the 60 is made to hold 51 cans in the same fashion.
Apart from their width, they're basically the same. Both pack a sturdy, retractable handle and solid wheels for easy wheeling, tie-down slots and non-slip feet to hold them down in moving vehicles, and a tall-enough interior for wine bottles or two-liter sodas to stand upright.
All of which sounds good in theory, but does it hold up in practice? Well, Yeti was kind enough to send a Roadie 60 my way to test it out during a men's weekend packed with relaxed outdoor activities in upstate New York — exactly the sort of situation where its capacity and capability to hold drinks both hard and soft could be best put to the test.
The Yeti Roadie is made for pickup trucks
Standing almost exactly 20 inches tall, as it turns out, is an ideal height for stashing this cooler in the bed of a pickup truck. The cooler was able to slide neatly under the tonneau cover of my Ram 1500 Laramie, a fairly typical full-size pickup; it also fit neatly on the floor of the back of the crew cab, so long as the rear bench was folded up. It's also well-sized to fit in the back of most SUVs or station wagons, and even likely many a hatchback. (Sedan owners might find it tricky to squeeze it into the trunk, however; best to put it in the back seat.)
Unsurprisingly, this Yeti can get heavy
One note of advice: be sure you don't skip leg day at the gym if you plan on hefting a full Roadie in and out of a pickup bed or SUV on a regular (or even occasional) basis. At 25.7 pounds empty for the Roadie 48 and 28.8 lbs dry for the Roadie 60, it's substantive before you put anything in it; add in a full load of ice and cold drinks, and you're looking at well over 70 pounds or more. (I didn't have a chance to pop mine on the scale, but it felt closer to 100.)
That weight can also make wheeling it around an experience that takes a little getting used to. The Periscope telescoping handle feels more than plenty secure when extended, but having that amount of weight at the end of its lever means it takes a surprising amount of force to keep the cooler tilted forward when rolling it about.
There aren't many wheeled coolers in this narrower, upright design — most wheeled coolers are of the longer and shorter variety like Yeti's own Tundra Haul. The Tundra Haul has a bit more capacity than the Roadie 48 Wheeled but a tad less than the Roadie 60 Wheeled. While it doesn't utilize the telescoping handle those two do, the Tundra Haul is the same price as the 48 and $50 cheaper than the 60.
Coleman's Rolling Cooler is extremely popular and clocks in under $60 and is probably the most similar in shape (and a telescoping handle) to the Wheeled Roadies. We have not tested it ourselves though. If wheels aren't a dealbreaker for you, the Hydro Flask 20L Day Escape backpack cooler ($200) is a very portable option that is sleek and comfortable to carry. Finally, RTIC's Soft Pack Cooler ($90-$150) is currently (as of April 2023) our top soft cooler pick and comes in four sizes and plenty of colors.
The Roadie coolers pack Yeti's legendary cold-holding capability
Not that there was any doubt, but a quick anecdote never hurts. I loaded my Roadie 60 up with a 15-lb bag of ice and an array of refrigerated food and drink on a Friday at noon, then swapped out the food for other cold beverages that evening. The cooler spent most of the weekend outside in summer heat, much of it in direct sun, much of it not even fully sealed up — yet it kept all the drinks as cold as the fridge. Hell, as I wrote this, it was fully four days later, and there was still some ice in there.