We talked to a patent expert to make heads and tails of YETI’s latest innovation concept.
All the big vacuum-insulated players are moving from sips to suppers, building on the tech that transformed hydration to improve the outdoor eating experience. Hydro Flask and Klean Kanteen both launched camp kitchen pieces of varying sizes and shapes this year. And Stanley has been on it for years.
But that leaves one very big — and hungry — elephant in the room: YETI. That may soon change, as GearJunkie obtained a patent filing from the Austin, Texas-based cooler manufacturer that appears to show YETI’s concept for an insulated food vessel.
But where other brands’ designs focus on nesting shapes and heat retention, YETI’s “container and lid” includes an adjustable vent that can manually or automatically engage as pressure builds inside the container.
And that’s not the best part; this big jug could actually house smaller YETI containers. So in theory, you could prep multiple meals, slide them into the insulated venting jug, and be on your way.
We reached out to a patent expert to help understand how the YETI “container and lid” might work and how it might be used:
YETI is introducing a new container with two interesting pieces: a vent and a variety of internal containers that can fit inside the primary container. This is probably going to be a jug.
First, the vent system allows air pressure in the storage area to be manually, or automatically, equalized with the ambient air pressure if a predetermined air pressure is reached inside the container. You turn the knob, and it clicks into different detents with a haptic or audible feedback so the user knows the vent is in place.
Second, YETI is showing different sized internal containers for food, liquids, [etc.] that can fit into the container to keep them cold or hot. These containers can be mixed and matched depending on what you’re bringing with you.
Basically, think of a large, insulated jug — up to 120 ounces — with an adjustable-venting lid. Users can click this vent closed, open, or “auto,” which could allow the vessel to vent when pressure builds up inside the canister. This could be very helpful if you have, say, hot soup inside at a cold campsite. A venting lid could prevent an explosive mishap from pressure buildup.
According to the patent, this container could also size as small as 24.2 ounces. But if scaled to 120 ounces, the jug could house smaller insulated vessels of varying sizes. Again, our patent expert:
It looks like [YETI is] offering three sizes of these internal containers — small, medium, large — all of which can be interchangeable and stack very nicely in the container. Soups, veggies, and meats can all be separate and maintain a desired temperature for a long time.
The patent also cites the use of a magnetic lid — like YETI’s big Rambler jug — which, “may be magnetically attracted to the vent plug,” according to the patent filing.
And one final note: As with most of its new product offerings, YETI appears to have designed another “handy” feature — a secondary handle. The design sketches show a handle grip on the bottom of the jug, presumably to make twisting off the lid a little easier.
GearJunkie reached out to YETI regarding the patent filing, but the brand said it has no comment at this time.
Patent research assistance provided by WheelBased.com. Check it out for deeper dives on some of these patents and more.