Are YETI Coolers Bear Proof?

YETI coolers have become a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts who want to keep food and beverages cool in the summer months. However, a growing number of people are asking whether these coolers are truly bear-proof.

In a bear country, it is important to know if YETi coolers are indeed certified bear-proof, as well as what steps can be taken to ensure the cooler is safe from bears.

So, Are YETI Coolers Certified Bear Proof?

YES. The IGBC (Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee) has certified that Yeti roto-molded coolers are bear proof or bear resistant, having successfully withstood grizzly bear attacks for over one hour without allowing entry into the cooler.

The construction of YETI hard roto-molded coolers is exceptionally strong, making it virtually impossible for bears to penetrate them by breaking the cooler, hinges, or locks. This robustness has been tested and certified by the IGBC, withstanding a bear attack for over an hour without breaching.

yeti coolers are certified bear proof

However, you should keep in mind that, Yeti coolers are only certified as bear-resistant when they are secured with two padlocks. In the absence of padlocks, bears have the capability to breach the cooler by biting and removing the rubber latches. So, Locking the cooler is a must to save your food from bear.

Let’s take a closer look at Yeti’s bear-resistant construction and find out how you can keep your food and drinks safe from bears.

How YETI Passed in the IGBC Bear Proof Testing?

yeti is a igbc certified bear-resistant cooler

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) provides bear-resistant certificates to the coolers through rigorous testing.

In order to be considered as a “bear resistant” cooler and receive certification from IGBC as being “bear proof“, a cooler must successfully endure a bear attack for at least 60 minutes.

The testing method involves making the cooler visually and olfactorily appealing to bears by placing desired items inside and rubbing the cooler with scents the bears are drawn to.

After that, the cooler will be placed in an area containing bears to check if it is able to withstand the scrutiny of the bears without being breached for 60 minutes. If the cooler can withstand a bear attack for about 60 minutes (1 hour), it will then be certified as a bear-proof cooler.

Wild bears generally exhibit a short attention span when interacting with objects and will typically move on after a few minutes.

YETI cooler has successfully passed this test and therefore certified by IGBC as a bear-proof cooler. You can watch some of the footage of the test in the following video:

How Are YETI Coolers Designed To Withstand Bear Attack?

Yeti coolers are designed with a number of features that make them resistant to bear attack. Most notable among these is their rugged construction, which is perhaps the most critical aspect of their bear-proofing.

The coolers are pressure injected with foam, providing increased strength and durability, making it impenetrable to bear intrusion.

Yeti’s superior strength is further reinforced by its single pin hinge, which is reinforced with a metal rod, making it virtually unbreakable. Additionally, the hinge design ensures that it is not susceptible to being breached by a bear or other external forces.

lock your yeti to prevent bear attack

Finally, the padlocks are very powerful and bear cannot break it to access the content inside the cooler.

Are Bears Capable of Accessing an Unlocked Yeti?

Yes. Bears will be able to gain access to Yeti coolers if they are not secured properly. So, It is essential to ensure you lock your cooler if you do not want bears to gain access to it.

What Will Happen If You Don’t Lock Your Yeti?

It is important to properly lock your Yeti cooler to make it bear-proof. If the cooler is not securely locked, it will not be bear-proof, as bears have the capacity to pull off the rubber handles with their teeth in order to gain access to the interior of the cooler.

Are YETI’s Soft Sided Coolers Bear Proof?

The soft-sided coolers from Yeti are not certified bear-proof like the hard-sided coolers. So, the BackFlip or Hopper series cooler from YETI may not be able to keep bears away from the food stored inside.

You should take additional precautions to ensure the security of your soft-sided coolers from bears.

What To Do When Bear Attacks Your YETI Cooler?

In the event that a bear discovers your Yeti cooler and chooses to interact with it, please refrain from interfering. Engaging with a bear in any way is risky and can be dangerous; it is best to avoid doing anything that could provoke or attract its attention.

They may cause some damage to the cooler’s exterior using their claws and teeth, as well as potentially breaking the rubber latches and handles. However, those items are easily replaceable.

What Damages may Occur on YETI Cooler from a Bear Attack?

It is widely agreed that Yeti coolers are constructed to a high standard; however, if a bear were to physically interact with the cooler, it is likely that some degree of damage could occur.

The most common damage you can expect is scratches and disfiguration on the exterior plastic. This may happen due to the claws or teeth of the bear.

Bears have occasionally breached the exterior of roto-molded plastic coolers and revealed the insulation layer, however they generally do not penetrate the entirety of the cooler.

It is probable that the rubber latches, as well as the rope handles, won’t be able to sustain damage due to the bear attach. However, replacing these parts will not a significant issue.

How to Keep Your YETI Safe from Bear Attacks?

In order to ensure the safety of your Yeti from potential bear encounters, you should take some precautionary measures. Some of them are discussed below:

Lock your YETI Properly

It is essential to ensure the cooler is secured with locks on the two front corners. These locks provide the necessary protection against bears.

Hang the Cooler on a Tree

Hanging the cooler up is the easiest way to keep is safe from any harmful animal including bear. You can do this by simply using a rope. Just make sure to hang the cooler at least 10 feet up from the ground. This way, most of the animals will never get access to your cooler.

Keep the Cooler in a Secret Place

Don’t leave your cooler outside and entice the bears with a tempting offer to access its contents – after all, these clever creatures are quite capable of getting into non-bear proof coolers. Keep it safe and away from their reach!

Rather than leaving it out in the open, make sure to tuck your cooler away under a tarp. If you leave it in your car be sure to hide it, or else you’re likely to attract some hungry bears!

Is Damage Caused by Bear Attacks Covered Under The Yeti Warranty?

You probably know that Yeti’s roto-molded coolers are come with a five-year limited warranty. This warranty covers any manufacturing defects.

Unfortunately the warranty does not cover damage from normal wear and tear or any damage caused by a bear attack.

If your cooler is damaged by a bear to the point of being unusable, it is advisable to purchase a new cooler, even if it is costly. The alternative of having a bear frequenting your campsite, with the potential to cause harm, is much worse.


Finally, we can say that YETI coolers are IGBC-certified bear-proof coolers. However, you must secure the cooler with proper locks to prevent any bear attack.

marlon cortez

Hi there! My name is Marlon Cortez and I am an avid traveler and camping enthusiast. One of my favorite things to do is go on camping trips and explore new and exciting places. I have a passion for all things related to outdoor adventure, and one of my areas of expertise is camping coolers and ice chests. I have spent years researching and testing different brands and models, and I am always on the lookout for the latest and greatest products on the market. In my reviews, I strive to provide authentic information and unbiased ratings to help other outdoor enthusiasts make informed decisions. When I'm not camping or writing, you can find me planning my next adventure or sharing my love of the outdoors with others.