Summer is just around the corner, and if you are beginning to plan for outdoor gatherings and camping trips a solid drink dispenser makes a great addition to outdoor living. In terms of premium options the YETI Silo definitely makes the “shortlist” but the big question is, “Is it worth it?”
My family and I brought our YETI Silo 6G all the way out to Africa with us and have used it daily for two years straight…heat, insects, and all. I guess you could say we are “power users” of the Silo.
I’ve seen a number of “reviews” of the YETI Silo from folks who clearly have never even owned one. As a long-term owner, I will give it to you straight: good and bad.
In a nutshell:
I think the Yeti SILO 6G is overpriced (like most YETI products), however, the product itself is quite good. It is one of the better drink dispensers on the market. The Silo is extremely rugged, holds ice well, is easy to tie down, and is easy to maintain. The high-flow spigot is a very nice feature too. I like the embossed metal grab handle and upscale aesthetics.
I do, however, have a few gripes with it which I’ll get into later. So, stick around.
Best Alternative to the Yeti Silo ?
Bulldog Winche’s 5 Gallon Drink Dispenser(Amazon link) costs way less and is much more spill-proof when jostled. Besides being the same size and form factor it comes with an integrated bottle opener which the YETI does not. It’s definitely uglier than the YETI, but I consider it a hidden gem that deserves more attention than it gets.
Yeti Silo Specifications
- Size: 5.8-gallon (not 6 gallons as implied by model number)
- Weight: 16.5 lbs(empty) ~60lbs(full)
- Dimensions: 17 1/4” × 20” (5-gallon)
- Insulation: 2″ Polyurethane foam Insulated body and lid
- Fast-fill spigot
- Excellent cold retention measured in multiple days
- Maintenance-friendly spigot
- Available in two different sizes to fit your needs
- Sleek and modern design that looks great in any setting
- Non-slip feet keep the dispenser in place
- Heavy and bulkier than other drink dispensers on the market
- More expensive than some other options
- The spigot needs cleaning and maintenance in high-use or commercial scenarios.
- Not spill-proof when sloshed around
- It has “no rope handle”: I personally hate rope handles but some prefer them…I have no idea why.
The YETI name commands a premium. The YETI 6G usually goes for around 300 bucks but you can check their latest price here
This all begs the question: “Is the YETI Silo worth it?”
Let me answer that in point form:
- Do you want a top-tier drink dispenser? Then yes.
- Are you already a YETI collector? Then likely.
- Do you want to impress your friends? Then yes.
- Are you a 4×4 enthusiast? Then no(the lid seal can leak on rough roads)
- Are you budget-conscious? Then Heck NO! Get the Bulldog Winch dispenser (Amazon link) instead, it’s a third of the price yet very good.
- If you can’t carry 60lbs get help carrying it otherwise skip it.
The YETI Silo drink dispenser is insulated with 2-inch polyurethane foam- enough to keep your drinks icy cold for days which is obviously important for outdoor events on those hot summer days.
In terms of cold retention, the Yeti Silo does very well. With 25% ice, it can easily keep drinks ice-cold for a couple of days even in hot temperatures. The one weak spot when it comes to insulation is that they designed the Silo with recessed sides which reduces the insulation in that area.
Use it as a Cooler
Most folks overlook the fact that the YETI Silo can pull double-duty as a cooler for road trips or weekend camps. Fill it with ice and you’re good to go. Plus you can drain off melted water using the spigot.
I’ve never used my Silo as a cooler. I mainly use my Pelican 70qt cooler. However, I could see myself using the Silo as a cooler on shorter trips thanks to its smaller footprint and the fact that it utilizes vertical space in my truck more efficiently than my massive Pelican cooler.
The Silo’s lid has lightly textured on top with a large molded YETI logo on the interior side. It is securely held in place by the two “T-Rex” rubber lid latches.
Breaking the lid on the Yeti Silo would take significant effort. A heavy-duty steel hinge pin makes ensures a long service life.
The YETI Silo has a thick, freezer-grade gasket that effectively locks in the cold. By design, it is not completely air-tight in to avoid air-locking which would prevent the liquid from dispensing properly.
The Silo also has two Padlock/zip tie hasps on the front corners just in case you want to lock it down from marauding wildlife or kids.
I have no complaints about the lid or gasket. The fact that it is not completely watertight is not an issue for my application since my YETI stays stationary most of the time not sloshing around on the back of a side-by-side ATV. The most impressive aspect of the seal for me is that I have never once found an insect inside the Yeti Silo. That is actually quite an accomplishment considering that I live in Africa where I’ve even found ants inside my Tupperware.
One of the standout features of the YETI Silo drink dispenser is the high-flow spigot. It makes filling large water bottles a quick affair. You can easily open and close the spigot with one hand using the leverage of the metal grip handle situated above it. The spigot can be easily removed and cleaned by loosening the retaining nut inside the dispenser.
The Spigot is protected from accidental impacts on three sides. Two black bumpers protect against side impacts and the steel handle prevents damage from above. I like that attention to detail. It is a common fail point. I’ve accidentally broken spigots on Colemans before. Trust me. It’s easily done.
So far the spigot has proven to be very durable. It has never leaked, but it does dribble for a second or two after closing the valve which is par for the course with all drink dispensers. No other drink dispenser will fill a cup faster. The spigot is also easy to remove and clean-which you should do it occasionally especially if you use it to serve sugary drinks. The metal grip handle serves to protect the spigot from bumps in transit while also offering some leverage for your hand when pressing the button.
After about 1 year of daily use, the spigot on my Silo did start to stick open when I pressed it! This was rectified by periodically lubricating the smallest o-ring in the spigot using a tiny dab of veg oil. I do wish YETI offered replacement spigots for sale. I would buy a couple since this thing will last a lifetime.
I admit the brushed steel handle with embossed YETI logo looks good. It also protects the spigot in transit. I wouldn’t use it lift on when it is full but it is pretty rugged. It somehow feels very natural to grab the handle to help press the big spigot button with your thumb. It’s also handy for stabilizing the dispenser- you know when you are tipping it for the last drops…we all do it.
Another handy feature of the YETI Silo drink dispenser is its Bearfoot™ non-slip feet. These feet do a great job of keeping the dispenser in place, preventing it from sliding around on your deck or pickup truck bed. This is especially important when you have a lot of people around, as you don’t want the dispenser to tip over or spill.
Yes, the rubberized feet are very grippy. This can work for you or against you. For example, You will never slide a full YETI Silo into the back of your pickup. It won’t slide. You’ll have to climb up and lift it into position.
On the other hand, we keep our Silo on a tall wooden stool just beside the dining table for quick refills while we eat. I can’t tell you how many times my kids have bumped into the Yeti on that stool and it never moved. A Coleman would have slid right off and crashed to the ground.
Tie Down Points
The Silo’s lid has ratchet strap-sized grooves which I used frequently to strap it down lashing points in my SUV before heading out. Alternatively, there is also a strap pass-through within the recessed handle which would allow you to have the Silo tied down while still being able to open the lid. Yeti also offers an accessory base bracket to secure the Silo to the surface.
I always strap this beast down on road trips. If an accident were to occur the Silo would turn into a flying 60 lb brick. The Yeti would probably survive but I wouldn’t. Enough said.
I usually just strap the Yeti down using the grooves in the lid. It worked fine for me. Keep in mind that the Yeti Silo’s lid is not completely watertight. It has never leaked on road trips for me, but if you’re hitting some hard trails I’d recommend the Bulldog Winch 5 Gallon Drink Dispenser which is designed for 4x4s and has a watertight seal and air equalizer valve allowing air in without letting water escape.
The YETI Silo holds more like 5.8 gallons not 6 Gallons as the “6G” name implies. I find it annoying that YETI embellishes the capacities of their products. They do it with their coolers too which I discuss in this article on YETI coolers. Nonetheless, 5.8 gallons is enough for more than 20 guests to drink a full quart(~1 liter) each.
The Yeti Silo weighs around 60lb when full. I’m thankful for the deeply recessed grips when hauling it to and from my truck on outings. It may be a two-person lift for some. I personally wouldn’t enjoy carrying it more than 50 feet when full.
This drink dispenser is functional but also aesthetically pleasing. I get a lot of comments from guests on it like, “That’s a nice water cooler,” or “Where did you get that?” It has a sleek and modern design that looks great in any setting. Plus, the dispenser is made with high-quality materials, ensuring its durability and longevity.
I don’t have much to complain about except that the white textured lid tends to collect dust. You’ll need to wipe it down and maybe use a magic eraser to bring it back to that like-new look. Also, the recessed sides look nice but it reduces wall insulation which affects potential ice retention.
If you are already a YETI cooler owner then completing your set by getting a YETI Silo might make a lot of sense. After 2 years of daily use, I can say it is a solid product. Buyer’s remorse is rare. Just be prepared to pay more for it. The Silo is heavy, but that large capacity comes in handy when there is a crowd. It may spill water from the lid if you take it on 4×4 trail runs, so keep that in mind. Nevertheless, the Silo is very rugged and holds ice very well.
As a long-term owner, I can attest to its durability and reliability. I’m not a fan of the price, but I am generally quite happy with the product.