Are Yeti Coolers Bear Proof? Plus How Are They Tested

Are Yeti coolers bear-proof and what makes something like a Yeti bear proof whereas something like a Coleman Xtreme is absolutely not bear proof at all?

Yeti coolers are bear proof when locked because the construction is so strong that bears can't get into them by breaking the cooler, hinges or the locks. They are IGBC certified which means they have been tested by having bears attack it for over an hour and not be able to get into it.

Are Yeti Coolers Bear Proof?

Yeti Bear Proof Locks

Yes indeed yeti coolers are bear proof if you lock them.

On the front of the Yeti coolers there's actually two corners and holes that run from the lid and then into the body of the cooler.

If you lock these with padlocks in the front corners they are bear proof.

We're going to talk about how we prove they are bear proof but if you lock them they are certified bear proof and they've gone through the correct testing that's required to get that certification.

What If You Don't Lock Your Yeti?

Now if you don't lock your Yeti cooler they're not bear proof because what bears can do given enough time they can actually pull off the rubber handles with their teeth and get into the cooler by removing those rubber handles.

How Are Yeti Coolers Tested For Bear Proofing?

IGBC Bear Resistant Certification

Let's talk a bit about the testing that Yeti Coolers go through.

Yeti coolers are IGBC certified – IGBC stands for the “Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee” and in order to get these certified what they need to do is undergo testing where a bear will actually attack this cooler for a minimum of 60 minutes.

The way they do this is they make the cooler delicious and enticing to the bear by putting things that the bear would desire inside the cooler. Then rub the cooler with what the bears desire to encourage the bears to go into it.

They will then put the cooler in an enclosure with bears and the bears will have a go at it and if it survives for 60 minutes without the bears getting into it then it is considered bear proof and certified bear proof.

On IGBC's website you can actually download a PDF that shows you all the certified bear proof products and you see that Yeti products are on there.

What Makes Yeti Coolers Bear Proof?

Yeti Cooler Bear Proof

So what is it that makes this cooler bear-proof whereas something like a Coleman is not bear proof?

There's a few different things but really it comes down to the construction of the cooler and how strong and sturdy Yeti coolers are.

Yeti coolers are roto-molded plastic which means they have a much thicker plastic and are much stronger than regular coolers. Because the plastic is so thick and so strong the bears are unable to actually claw through or bite through the cooler.

Yeti Cooler Insulation

It's also pressure injected with foam which adds to its strength and durability as well so the bears can't break this and get through.

Whereas something like the Coleman it has a lot thinner plastic and a lot thinner insulation so even if the bears aren't able to open the lid they can actually break the cooler.

Another thing that makes the Yeti so strong is it has a single pin hinge. It's got a metal rod that runs through the hinge which means when you open it it's extremely strong. It also means that you can't just break off the hinges or a bear can't just break off the hinges to get into the cooler.

Compare that to the Coleman and you'll see that it has these little plastic hinges on the back much easier to break. If the bear was to somehow work out how to break these then it could open the lid from the other side. Also the Coleman has no way of locking the lid down, it doesn't even have the rubber lectures that the Yeti has.

It's only held down with a bit of friction so for a bear to open that would be extremely simple. Bears are very smart animals they can easily get into that.

Whereas a Yeti when it's locked there's just no way of bears getting into it. They can't break the locks in order to do it and the plastic is so strong that they can't break through the plastic.

See Yeti Coolers on Amazon (affiliate link)

Products Mentioned:

Yeti Coolers

Coleman Xtreme

Video Timestamps:

0:27 – Yeti Coolers ARE Bear Proof IF (And Only If) You Lock Them
1:25 – What Testing Do Yeti Coolers Go Through To Be Certified Bear Proof?
2:40 – What Makes Yeti Coolers Bear Proof?

Recommended Resources:

IGBC Bear Proof Products

Are Yeti Coolers Actually Certified Bear Proof?