May 06, 2020
By Ross Purnell
The original Yeti Roadie was a stroke of genius—it's a down-sized cooler you can sit on the seat beside you for long hauls. Pop the lid with one hand and you’ve got a cold drink without ever slowing down. Whoever came up with the Roadie knows how important it is to get to the river in the morning ASAP, and how grueling it can be to drive home late at night after hitting that hatch right at dusk.
While the Austin-based company has put a lot of research and development into soft, portable coolers in recent years, there are undeniable advantages to a hard cooler design: They are easier to get in and out of while you are driving, rowing, or otherwise on the go, and the Rotomolded construction makes them tough as hell. Because you can stand on them, they also serve as steps, benches, seats, table tops, stools, and cutting boards.
While the original Roadie was good, the new Roadie 24 ($199, yeti.com) has a fistful of design changes that make it even better. This one has more volume and holds 24 pounds of ice, although the overall weight of the cooler itself is about 10% lighter than the smaller original. The outside dimensions are 16 1/2" long by 14 1/2" wide by 17 1/2" high, so it has a smaller footprint. It's even easier now to find a spot in your boat for the Roadie, and it easily fits on the floor of a small commuter car.
Inside its 12 1/2" long by 13 1/4" wide by— 10 7/8" high, so it's tall enough to hold a bottle of wine or a 2-liter soda bottle. The old Roadie couldn't do that. More importantly, it holds 18 cans with a 2-to-1 ice-to-can ratio.
If it's lighter, and holds more beer, you might assume that it doesn't keep ice as long. Well, you'd be wrong. The Permafrost Insulation in this one is more efficient and keeps ice 30% longer. There's no drain plug, but you don't need one. The Roadie 24 weighs just 12.9 pounds so it's easy flip and dump any ice or water.
The Heafty Hauler Handle is more comfortable than the old metal handle, and it stows nicely. The new Quicklatch fasteners give you easy, one-handed cooler access, and unlike the old T-shaped rubber fasteners, these won't catch your fly line. In almost every way this is a better cooler for your boat, and for day trips almost anywhere. If space is an issue, the Roadie 24 has that problem solved.
For more information, or for accessories like a perfectly sized dry-good basket or a seat cushion, visit yeti.com