Ten Years of MGS Buckets
It’s kind of crazy to think that I have been writing reviews and other golf related articles for mygolfspy for almost ten years. That means that my soon to be twenty-year-old son was ten. Funny how fast life can fly by when you are not paying attention, or even when you are paying attention, I suppose.
Anyway, over the years I have written a whole load of things, both here and on the blog. I have somewhere around 280 pages of forum posts and nearly 200 blog articles. That’s quite a few words about this silly sport that we love!
It’s interesting to look back on some of those reviews, and see how the subject of the review worked out in the long haul. One of my earliest mygolfspy reviews focused on the Clicgear 3.0 pushcart, and obviously Clicker is still going strong. The new straps on the 4.0 model look pretty cool. Other products, such as the PivotPro, didn’t fare so well in the market, though preventing excess weight shift to the outside of my right foot is still a thing.
While I am down to check out just about anything golf related, there are a couple of things that I always viewed as apex activities and/or products. Projects that were just a little bit more than the usual.
I always wanted to visit PING and see how their Phoenix plant operates (did that), and I’ve also wanted to get a fitting done at and tour Scotty Cameron HQ (not done that yet). There are just some things that stand out on the to do list, like in the photo above where I was able to get Callaway to donate sets of clubs to the First Tee. All reviews are fun, but some have extra significance.
With that thought in mind, we get to the subject of today’s review, The Yeti Roadie 20. My fondness for Yeti gear may be the worst kept secret on mygolfspy, perhaps second only to my addiction to putters. Up until this point though, my reviews have all been focused on what I consider to be somewhat supporting cast Yeti products. Not saying that the soft-sided coolers and insulated drink wear are not solid products, they are. It’s more that what initially drew me to Yeti was their hard-sided coolers, and until today, those sturdy suds schleppers have remained unexplored.
And so, without further prattling, lets dive into this river green YETI Roadie 20.
Something Solid for Standing
I don’t remember if I recounted previously what a sales rep shared with me about the origin of the original YETI hard-sided cooler. If I’ve shared this anecdote before, and if you ask my wife, I probably have, then skip ahead. Otherwise, read on.
Basically, the original YETI cooler was designed to allow fishermen to stand, or sit upon the cooler when in the boat, without worry about it collapsing. What synergistically happened was that once they achieved this level of structural stability, they also had produced a cooler that could hold ice for days, rather than more typical hours. Somewhere along the way they figured out that amazing cooling was a better marketing strategy than “you can stand on it”, and so the coldness became the main story.
Enough history, let’s see what this Roadie 20 is all about.
Whatever the Roadie 20 origin story, what YETI has produced is an insanely durable cooler. Like surviving two gorillas using the coolers as gladiator weapons durable. Naturally, the first thing that I did when the cooler arrived was stand on top of the cooler, perhaps even pretending to cast a line out. What I do in my own backyard is my business! Regardless, it didn’t even flex under my 212 lbs.
Not really being remotely facetious about the fighting gorillas either. Check out this bear tag:
I’ve witnessed YETI quality of design time and time again in the other products, but with the Roadie 20, you can really see how these are engineered, perhaps over engineered even for longevity.
Check out this photo of features taken from the YETI site and you’ll see that most of them share the theme of durability.
From the locking straps, to the hinge, to the wall design, nearly all of the aspects are about strength of construction. It’s one of the things that helps me to swallow the price of YETI items: they are designed to last, and their warranty backs that up as well.
Porting the Potables
So let’s get to the real guts of the Roadie 20 review, how does it work as a cooler? Standing on it is all fine and good, but I can stand on lots of things that don't hold cold beer. Let’s look at the capacity and the cooling.
Here are a couple of shots showing how various bottles and cans fit into the Roadie 20.
Standard Bottles and Cans
So you can see that this, the smallest of the Yeti hard-sided coolers is not deep enough to take on a wine bottle or a 22oz beer bottle standing up. Tip them on their side though, and you can get a half dozen in there easy. I was pretty surprised that the half-gallon Rambler fit in there, but this definitely ups the road-trip-to-breweries potential of the Roadie 20.
Naturally, tall cans and standard 12oz cans went in with ease, but there was one thing worth noting that differed a bit from the YETI info.
It was pretty easy to fit a 3x5 layer of cans across the bottom, and there was definitely room for a second layer on top of those. Sure, this cuts down the room for ice, but it would allow you to get more in there than the advertised 16 cans. I’d definitely wager that you could throw a case of beer in there, fill the remaining volume with ice, and that the 24thbeer would still be cold when you grabbed it.
Beer Spotlight: North Coast Scrimshaw Pilsner
Just thought that I would share a little bit of info about the most amazing of beers: North Coast's Scrimshaw pilsner. Back in the fall, I had a Keto phase for about three months. This inspired me to seek out low carb beers, knowing that something out there must be better than Ultra. As it turns out, Scrimshaw has only 2 grams of carbs, and 100 calories per 12oz bottle. That’s actually lower than Ultra. It is 4.7% ABV with 22 IBU if that’s of interest. Bottom line is that it is a good beer, which happens to be low carb too. We actually had a keg of it for my 40thbirthday party. Who knew that we made the healthy choice?
Cold For Days
So I didn’t go and buy a block of ice and see how long it would take to melt. I was going to, but then I saw how many people on YouTube have done that already. Instead, I explored the construction that enables the sustained coldness.
The main player in the durability story is the thick, insulated walls of the cooler. Obviously this is the main ingredient for YETI’s signature cooling as well. This is also the design element that you see copied so frequently by the competitors. Lots of coolers out there now feature this rotomolded, double-walled, insulated design, but YETI was the company that came up with the modern version. It's the Anser of coolers.
Along with the thick walls, the lid also plays a significant role in the cooling story. At home, it doesn’t matter how much you insulate your walls if you have drafty doors. Too too with the Roadie 20. The lid gasket and body fit together in such a way that the cooler seals seemingly airtight. My pressure testing hardware is out at shop for repair right now, so I can’t say that it is airtight for sure, but it seems that sealed to me.
Thick, insulated walls, combined with airtight sealing are the keep cool components for the Roadie 20. As long as you don’t keep opening it up all of the time, your cans will stay cold for a long while.
There are Some Cold Spots
There are a couple of things that you will want to be aware of if you are thinking about grabbing a Roadie 20, or one of the other YETI hard coolers. First, these coolers can get heavy quickly. The Roadie 20 weighs fifteen pounds empty, and obviously much more than that once you add ice and cans. Remember this before you head out with it on the two mile walk to the beach. If I have a hike ahead of me, I’d probably go with a soft-sided option like the Hopper series. The handle on the Roadie 20 is ergonomic and stout, but prolonged lugging could make this cooler feel like you are swinging a kettle bell. Remember though, every beer that you drink makes the cooler that much lighter.
While the hard sides are great at making the Roadie 20 an unsquishable structural marvel, they also make it unsquishable. This cooler will not cram into the trunk last. You’ll need to pack around it. You can pack one less chair though for that soccer tournament as you can safely just sit upon the Roadie 20.
Successfully Stalking the YETI
While I am not ruling out any future YETI reviews, I do feel a sense of closure now that I’ve run the gamut from tumbler to cooler; hard-sided to soft. The Roadie 20 is a solid cooler (literally). It’s not a cooler for the walking golfer, but those of the riding ilk could have it sit co-pilot, or lash it down to the back rack on the cart. It does have openings specifically designed from lashing. Be sure to ask your marshal to help you tie it down.
I’m looking forward to many road trips with the Roadie 20 in 2020. Cheers MGS peeps!