Whether you’re a fisher, a tailgating fan or an avid barbecue host, you’re likely familiar with Yeti’s legendary coolers. Tough as nails and available in a rainbow of hues, the brand’s hard coolers are packed with high-tech details, such as next-level insulation that can keep your beverages icy cold on even the hottest day and design swagger that is guaranteed to draw a crowd around your setup, that make them stand above the rest.
While there aren’t many downsides to Yeti’s coolers, one for me is the sheer weight of the Roadie and Tundra hard coolers, which start at 13 pounds (empty) and go up from there. Listen, I’m a very active mom of four who works out regularly, but I’m also only 5 feet 3 inches tall and weigh 115 pounds, which is to say that lugging a hard cooler packed to the gills with Gatorades from my car onto a soccer field has proven … difficult. Yeti does offer a wheeled version of its larger Tundra format, but it hasn’t for its more compact Roadie design — until now.
That’s right — as of July 14, Yeti has dropped the Roadie 48 Wheeled Cooler.
Tall and narrow, the Roadie is the perfect size and shape for being on the go — and now it literally can be on the go, thanks to the addition of a dolly-style handle and “Neverflat” wheels that are impact- and puncture-proof, ready to be wheeled to campsites, parking lots and beyond.
Boasting all the same bells and whistles that Yeti’s Tundras have, the Roadie Wheeled Cooler comprises those beloved nonslip feet hidden underneath, tie down slots for securing the cooler to your boat or car and the insulation/lid system/freezer gasket combo that creates the icy interior conditions the brand is known for.
The new Roadies also have the same curvy appearance, thanks to the “Rotomolded” plastic-forming process the brand uses to create those wildly durable, single-piece, hollow cooler molds. How durable, you ask? Heavy-duty enough to go up against both a grizzly bear and a 500-pound man and survive with nary a scratch.
While the Tundras are great for big-time storage, the Roadies are more portable, and given their 13-inch internal height, they can fit upright wine bottles — clearly a very important detail for those of us looking to enjoy some al fresco pinot grigio.
A few months ago I tested the Roadie 24 Hard Cooler in the “Bimini Pink” hue that I was (and still am) totally smitten with. I mean, who doesn’t want a neon pink cooler?! The problem was that even though the cooler has a rugged handle, its overall weight when packed with ice and drinks was upward of 40 pounds — which, as I mentioned earlier, was difficult for me to easily carry. Hence why I was thrilled to try out the larger wheeled version of this cooler.
There’s a lot of things I love about the Roadie 48 Wheeled Cooler. For one, its tall, narrow shape means that it can actually fit behind the passenger seat in your car, thus freeing up space in your trunk. This was a big selling point for me, as my trunk is always jam-packed with other traveling essentials, whether I’m headed to a daylong lacrosse tournament or on a weekend getaway with my family.
Secondly, the cooler’s internal capacity is just the right size for mobile entertaining — not too big, not too small. With the ability to accommodate several bottles of wine, in addition to dozens of beers, sodas and juice boxes, the Roadie 48 is now my go-to when I’m hitting the road (pun intended). More to know: With the brand’s Clear Tritan Basket accessory, you can also keep dry provisions safely tucked inside.
Truly the cooler’s biggest and best selling point, however, is its newfound portability. There’s no way I’d be able to transport this cooler by myself without these added details. And while I was concerned that the cooler would still be cumbersome to haul around when fully loaded with drinks — it weighs 26 pounds empty and probably 50 pounds when packed — it actually felt light as a feather and was a breeze to wheel around, even when walking it up a moderately sloped hill. More about that handle: Retractable and periscope in style, it can slide up two levels, it lies flat when you don’t need it and it locks in place. And those wheels are no joke; I dragged the cooler over curbs, on top of loose gravel and along the sidelines of an entire football field with zero problems.
A few more details worth noting are the cooler’s tidy hidden handles that allow for carrying and lifting when you’re not wheeling it, and the two locking latches that can be opened and closed with one hand. The embedded drain plug is also a genius feature that saves you the hassle of tipping the cooler over once the ice has melted.
All in all, the Roadie 48 Wheeled Cooler is about as badass as you can get. Indestructible and highly functioning, it’s the perfect travel accessory for anyone looking to invest in the best of the best. And if you’re hoping for something even bigger, fear not: Yeti is launching the Roadie 60 Wheeled Cooler in late August.