The Yeti

     "I always wanted one", that's what I said to help rationalize the purchase.  Seriously though, I have wanted one for a while.  I remember the first time I saw one on tv.  It was during an episode of Saltwater Experience and the hosts were using it as a casting platform while chasing bonefish in Florida.  The issue I had was how do you explain why you spent that kind of money on a cooler when you in live in a state that is frozen for half the year?  The kayaks!  Starting a guide service and purchasing those kayaks has finally given me a guilt free excuse to be a Yeti owner.  I went to Rutabaga Paddlesports with the Versaboard and Slayer Propels measurements in hand, excited to pick up my own Yeti cooler.
     Yeti coolers aren't new, they have been on the market for a while now.  They are what I would consider a premium cooler.  Built for abuse, they're one piece rotational-molded.  This means that the sides, corners, and walls are all the same thickness and extremely tough.  So tough in fact that they have earned IGBC Bear Resistant Certification.  That is insane!  Add to that the thick rubber latch closures, padded nylon rope handles, and a full freezer style gasket and you end up owning one sweet cooler.
     Since I am going to be using my Yeti in a number of situations and on multiple boats I bought the 35 quart Tundra model.  Actually it's considered an anglers model with a paddle holder added to the side of the cooler.  This lets you attach your SUP or kayak paddle to the cooler.  A simple, but welcome feature that should allow me to keep the decks of the boats clean and free from possible snags while fly fishing this summer.  I added a precut SeaDek foam top to the Yeti to provide me with some padding while using it as a drop in seat or standing on it to sight fish for carp.  The SeaDek top was a perfect fit and matches the flooring in both the Versaboard and Slayer Propel pretty well.  I love the look and so far it's holding up well.  It has accompanied me to multiple expos and speaking engagements so far this winter/spring.
     Yeti coolers are not for everyone.  The price can be an issue for some people.  You may be one of those people who just can't wrap their mind around owning a $300 cooler.  If that's the case then good for you, just don't be one of those people that bad mouths them without having ever used one.  It is one hell of a cooler.  They are built to last a lifetime and take some serious abuse.  If you want one of your own or just have some questions stop by Rutabaga Paddlesports in Middleton, WI or check them out online at www.YetiCoolers.com.
     Tight Lines.

     

   

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