If you’re out fishing or boating and your Yeti fell into the river or ocean would it float? Do Yeti Tundra coolers and tumblers float or do they sink like a rock?
I have tested it and Yeti Tundra coolers WILL float even when completely full. This is because the plastic and insulation are less dense than water. Yeti Tumblers on the other hand will sink when filled up with water because they are vacuum sealed and stainless steel is denser than water. However, with some air in them Yeti Tumblers will turn upside down trapping the air in and will float.
All of this was fascinating and super fun to test in my bathtub. In this article we’ll look at more details about whether or not Yeti coolers and tumblers float as well as why the tumblers sink.
Do Yeti Coolers Float When Empty?
When Yeti coolers are empty they are filled with air. Which basically makes them like a big, strong, overbuilt and super expensive balloon.
So yes, Yeti coolers do float when they are empty and full of air.
Do Yeti Coolers Float When Completely Full?
I thought it was pretty obvious that Yeti coolers would float when they are completely empty and full of air but do they float when they are completely full?
The answer is YES and they are actually quite buoyant.
To test this I completely filled my Yeti 45 with water and put it in the bath. The water completely filled the inside of the Yeti more than anyone would naturally fill the cooler with ice or food.
This also cancels out any air inside the cooler so we were just testing if the cooler itself would float.
What I found was not only did the cooler float, but it was extremely buoyant and started floating well before the water level reached the top of the cooler.
So no matter what is in your cooler (unless you’ve filled it with solid lead and I hope you didn’t) the cooler should float if it was to fall in the water.
Also you can rest assured knowing that if the lid was open when it fell in and it completely filled up with water then it would still float on the surface and be easy to collect.
See Yeti Coolers on Amazon (affiliate link)
Can Yeti Coolers Be Used As A Floatation Device?
Yeti’s can actually help people stay afloat in water they float that well. In this news article a Texas couple actually filled their Yeti cooler with their valuables and held onto it after their 23-foot fishing boat sunk.
They were able to use the Yeti for floatation and swim safely to shore. They credit the Yeti with saving their lives and feel they would have drowned if it wasn’t for the Yeti.
Do Yeti Coolers Stay Upright When Float?
When completely full my Yeti didn’t stay upright when floating but had a tendency to fall over. If however it was only partially full it stay upright, but it was easily tipped.
So I wouldn’t rely on a Yeti to float completely upright in water, it just seems to easy to tip given how well it floats and how heavy the lid is.
Why Do Yeti Coolers Float?
Yeti coolers are made out of roto-moulded plastic, which it itself floats in water. But the walls of the cooler are then insulated with polyurethane foam (see what Yeti coolers are made out of). Polyurethane foam has lots of air in it and is much less dense than water.
This means the Yeti cooler itself overall is less dense than water and therefore it floats.
If the Yeti is not completely full (which it rarely is) then the interior of the cooler also contains air which helps it float even more effectively.
Do Yeti Tumblers Float?
This one surprised me. When completely full of water Yeti tumblers don’t float, they actually sink to the bottom.
This is because Yeti tumblers are made of stainless steel which is denser than water and they are vacuum sealed, meaning there is no air in the tumbler, just a vacuum (aka nothingness). So my tests showed they easily sunk to the bottom when completely full of water.
However, when the tumbler has some air in it (especially if the lid is on) then it has a tendency to turn upside down in the water. The air then goes to the bottom of the tumbler and this actually causes the tumbler to stay afloat as it traps the air.
So if you were to drop a tumbler with a lid off a boat and it wasn’t completely full then chances are it would actually trap that air inside and would float and could be retrieved.
I wouldn’t chance it though when you’re out deep sea fishing. Better to keep a firm grip on that tumbler and put it in a safe place when you’re not drinking from it.
See Yeti Tumblers on Amazon (affiliate link)
How Can You Make a Yeti Cooler Sink?
With enough weight you can make almost anything sink and the Yeti is no exception to that.
It won’t sink when it’s empty, it won’t sink when it’s full of water so to make it sink you need to fill it with something extremely heavy.
Solid lead should do the trick, or if you’ve got the cash why not fill your Yeti up with gold and drop it in the ocean. Goodbye wooden pirates chest hello millennial pirate chest with a. 5-year warranty.
You could also tie heavy weighs to the outside of the Yeti and make it sink, kind of like what deep sea divers do when they are going for those crazy world records.
So yes, technically you can make a Yeti cooler sink. But through everyday use, it’s highly unlikely that you would put anything in your Yeti cooler that would make it so heavy it would sink.
Where Can I Buy Yeti Coolers or Tumblers?
Love that Yeti coolers float and want to grab yourself one? Click one of the links below to see the full range of Yeti coolers on Amazon.
See Yeti Coolers on Amazon (my affiliate link)
My Yeti Cooler – Yeti 45 – on Amazon (my affiliate link)
See Yeti Tumblers on Amazon (my affiliate link)
Watch My Experiment on Video:
Below is the YouTube video of my Yeti floating experiment where I filled up my bath with water to see if the Yeti coolers and if the Yeti Tumblers would float. I hope you enjoy it.