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Yeti Coolers: Worth the Extra Money?

yeti coolerI have been hearing a lot about the Yeti Coolers lately – how they keep ice way longer than any old-school cooler. So, I thought this would be the perfect present for my husband’s upcoming birthday… since we enjoy boating, fishing and camping, I thought we would definitely get some use out of a Yeti. And, I have to say, I really like the name of this product. Who doesn’t want a monstrous cooler aptly named after the abominable snowman? A good name just makes a product even more appealing. So, I went to Crowder Brothers in Bradenton to check them out.

The salesperson at Crowder’s had nothing but glowing remarks about the Yeti.  The Crowders staff actually put it to the test. They put a bag of ice in one, closed it up placed it out in the sun and checked on it daily.  The ice was still solid, no water, through day eight.  It was still icy with water through day 10.  That is pretty amazing.  That’s really gotta help come in handy, especially on fishing trips.
I had heard that Yetis were expensive, but I wasn’t prepared for HOW expensive. The smallest one was teeny tiny, only 21 inches wide. Not big enough to hold much of anything, maybe a picnic lunch but certainly not big enough to hold any decent-sized fish! The small cooler was $299 and the next size up was a decent size of  30 1/2 inches and this cooler is $499.  We have gone through probably 10 coolers in the past five years (they get busted or have too much sun damage), so spending extra money on one that is said to be indestructible would not be so bad. We’d probably end up saving money in the long run, right?  Still, shelling out $500 bucks for a cooler seems kinda crazy.  What do you think?
Has anyone tried a Yeti and how did it perform?  Is it worth the money?