Throw Down: Yeti Coolers v. Brute Box Coolers
I am working on an article for Fly Rod & Reel magazine right now and it's going to involve testing a lot of gear. I'm not going to have the word count in the article that I might like, so I wanted to say some things now about the Yeti 45 cooler and the Brute Box 55. (Yeti does not make a 55 quart model, or I would have compared one to one).
First off, even though there is a difference of 10 quarts volume in these two coolers, the smaller Yeti is actually quite a bit heavier (24.5 lbs. for the Yeti verus 21.5 for the Brute Box).
I think this is due to a difference in the density of the plastic material. The Brute Box is slightly softer, but not enough to make a difference. The latches on each box differ; I give the advantage to Yeti with their all-rubber version here. The Brute Box has a rubberized metal closure that I think would work just fine but isn't quite as burly.
On the other hand, Brute Box did it right with the carrying handles, which pass through the box from above rather than attaching to the sides. This makes a significant difference in swing (I rarely use the rope handles on the Yeti because it is easier to just grip the molded ones on the side and carry it as a solid, non-swinging object).