Why Your Yeti Bottle Isn’t Keeping Water Cold [+ Fixes]

I love my Yeti products. I’ve over their coolers for over 7 years now and their tumblers and bottles for 5+ years. Rarely do I have a problem with them but recently one of my bottles stopped keeping water cold.

My daughter came home from school telling me the ice melted really quickly in her bottle. Turns out this problem isn’t completely uncommon and isn’t unique to Yeti bottles either.

So why exactly do Yeti bottles sometimes stop keeping drinks cold and what can you do to fix it?

If your Yeti Rambler bottle is no longer keeping water cold this means the vacuum insulation has been compromised and filled up with air. You cannot fix this issue yourself you must contact Yeti for a replacement bottle if it’s within warranty or purchase a new bottle if it’s outside of the warranty period.

If you have a plastic Yeti Yonder bottle then it’s important to note that these bottles are NOT insulated and will not keep drinks cold.

There could be some other reasons why your Yeti bottle is not keeping water cold, but 99 times out of 100 it’s a loss of insulation.

First, Understand How Yeti Bottles Keep Water Cold 

I’ve done a full deep dive into how exactly Yeti bottles works to keep things both cold and hot but I’ll quickly summarize it here. Understanding exactly how they work helps you to identify the potential problems.

Yeti Rambler bottles are constructed with double-wall vacuum insulation. There is an outer and an inner wall within the bottle. 

Within the space between the two walls, all the air is removed, which creates a vacuum. This airless chamber is then sealed up. 

It isn’t the walls of the bottle that insulate against heat transfer but rather the vacuum in between the walls. Vacuum is the best insulator because it’s so good at stopping heat passing through it.

How Long Should Water Stay Ice Cold In Your Yeti?

Depending on the size of your Yeti bottle you should expect water to stay icy cold for around 12-24+ hours. Larger bottles with more iced water take longer to heat up than smaller bottles.

I personally have an 18 oz Yeti bottle and it does great at keeping my drinks ice cold all day, even on hot summer bushwalks.

Depending on how much ice you use, the temperature of the water you pour into your Yeti and some other factors your Yeti might keep drinks cold a bit longer or a bit shorter.

  • Full of ice – 24-48+ hours
  • Half ice/half water – 18-24+ hours
  • Little bit of ice and cold water – Cold for 6-12 hours
  • Cold water – 4-6 hours
  • Room temperature water – 0 hours

Reasons Why Your Yeti Bottle Is Not Keeping Water Cold 

There are numerous reasons why your Yeti bottle might not be working properly

Here are the most common reasons I have experienced or heard of other people experiencing. 

The Vacuum Insulation Is Compromised 

This is the #1 reason Yeti bottles stop working.

If your insulated bottle is no longer keeping water cold and you feel like it’s not working as it should (or used to), then there is a very good chance that the vacuum insulation has been compromised. 

When the vacuum insulation is compromised, the space is filled up with air. This gives heat a medium to pass through which will cause your water to warm to room temperature fairly quickly.

Ice will still last longer than a non-insulated plastic water bottle as the air gap does provide some insulation, but it won’t be nearly as effective as if the vacuum-seal was still intact.

This issue can happen for a variety of reasons. Excessive heat exposure is a big on.

To create the vacuum seal the bottles are entered into a vacuum and then the inner chamber is sealed up with some sort of soft metal. When exposed to high heats this soft metal can melt and the vacuum seal can break.

Drops, bangs, falls and other impacts can also cause losses in the vacuum seal, allowing air in.

Unfortunately, once the vacuum seal has been ruined, there is no way to fix it. I suggest contacting Yeti’s claim department to see if it is covered under warranty. If your bottle is outside of warranty then unfortunately you’ll need to purchase a new one.

Yeti Rambler Vacuum-Insulated Water Bottles

Backed by Yeti's 5-year warranty this is one of the most durable and long lasting vacuum insulated water bottles on the market.

Made of extra tough kitchen grade 18/8 stainless steel this bottle will keep drinks hot for 12+ hours and ice cold 24+ hours.

Dishwasher safe and featuring a chug cap lid this is one of the best water bottles money can buy.

See Latest Price at Yeti.com See Latest Price at Amazon

Typically insulated bottles can get damaged in the dishwasher because of the high temperatures in the dry cycle, but the Yeti Rambler is dishwasher safe. 

How To Test If Your Yeti Has Lost It’s Vacuum Insulation

There are a few different ways to test whether or not your Yeti bottle has lost it’s vacuum insulation but the simplest way to test it is to do the following.

  • Boil some water and then fill your Yeti bottle to the top with boiling water
  • After 30-60 seconds feel the sides of your Yeti bottle
  • If the bottle feels very warm to touch then the vacuum insulation is likely broken
  • If the bottle still feels fairly cool to touch on the outside then your vacuum insulation is likely fine and something else is causing your issue.

Below is a video where I show the external temperature of a broken vacuum insulated bottle compared to ones that are still working.

You’re Using a Plastic Bottle

For a long time Yeti only had stainless steel water bottles but now they sell both stainless steel and plastic water bottles. The plastic water bottles do NOT have any insulation.

The Yeti Yonder bottles are made from BPA-free plastic but it is single layered and there is no vacuum. There is no insulation in these bottles, and the bottle will not keep your water cold. 

But there are some tricks that I like to use to keep water cold in my plastic bottle. 

If I know I am going to want cold water the next day, I fill my bottle and leave it in the freezer overnight. When I take it out the next day, I like to wrap the bottle in a cloth before throwing it in my bag. This stop sweating but also to keep it cold a bit longer.

The cloth acts as an insulator which I find helps keep the water cold for longer. Store the wrapped bottle in your lunch bag. 

The Bottle Is Exposed To Too Much Direct Sunlight 

Leaving your bottle in direct sunlight or exposed to too much heat will result in your water warming up even inside your insulated bottle.

Even though Yeti insulated bottles are amazing products, they do have their limits and thermal radiation from the suns rays is something they don’t completely insulate against.

I like to store my bottles in a cool area away from direct sunlight because I have noticed that my darker bottles attract more heat than the lighter ones. 

You’re Not Using Enough Ice

The more ice you use in your Yeti bottle the longer it’s going to stay cold.

You can never use too much ice when you want cold water in a bottle. If you’re not using enough ice, it won’t take too much energy for the ice to melt and the water to warm up.

In my bottles, I fill them with at least 50% of ice and often I’ll fill them completely with ice before adding water if I want them to stay completely cold all day.

This also allows me to drink the water that’s in there and then add more water when I’m done. This water quickly cools down because there’s still lots of ice left over so I get multiple bottles of cold drinking water throughout the day.

You’re Leaving The Lid Open 

Sometimes when I get busy, I forget to close the lid of the bottle and find that the water is no longer cold. 

The top of your bottle is the main area where heat gets in and if you leave the lid off then heat and warm air can flow into your bottle warming up your water faster than if you have the lid closed.

Make sure that you are keeping the lid closed and that you are putting the lid on properly. You don’t want any warm air entering the bottle.

Even without the lid it should still keep water ice cold for a decent amount of time but your drinks will warm up faster with the lid off, compared to the lid on.

You’re Filling It Up With Warm Tap Water

To keep the water in your Yeti bottle as cold as possible you want to be filling up your bottle with pre-chilled water from the fridge.

If you go ahead and fill up your yeti with room temperature water, if you have ice in the bottle this is going to quickly melt the ice and your water won’t stay as cold for as long.

You can put your Yeti bottle in the fridge overnight in order to keep the water in the pre-chilled. If you want the water to cool down faster then put your Yeti bottle in the fridge with the lid off.

You’re Drinking The Water

Your Yeti bottle will keep drinks cold out longer when they are completely full. The more air and empty space that is in your bottle the quicker the water will warm up.

For example, a smaller 18 oz Yeti filled with ice and cold water will keep that water colder for longer than a large 64 oz Yeti bottle that only has 18 oz of ice and water in it.

If you’re using an extra large water bottle and it’s only partially full this may explain why the water in your Yeti isn’t staying very cold for long.