There are certain tools everyone needs to make their backyard shine. Hose. Lawn mower. Pruner. Shovel. We research these things to no end. What’s the best? How does it compare? But the most essential backyard tool, the one that you’ll use the most, is the one you’ll likely consider the least: the humble bucket. That’s right, the bucket.
But anyone with a backyard needs a reliable bucket. Not just any bucket, but a big bucket. A big bucket with a handle, a comfortable handle, is the unsung hero of summer. There is its obvious use: filling it with something and lugging that something somewhere else. That something usually being dirt or pulled weeds or water; the somewhere else is the trash or compost pile.
The humble bucket, however, has many more purposes. Oh, you have to climb the ladder to do work on the rafters? Put your caulking gun, paint brush, and everything else you need in that bucket, climb the ladder, and hang that bucket from the ladder for easy retrieval of items. Oh, you got the fire pit going? The bucket is your go-to fire pail. Need to make a big batch of bubbles for the kids? Bucket. Clean the car? Bucket. Mix concrete? Bucket. Grab a just-out-of-reach-item in the garage but don’t feel like getting the step ladder? Flip over the bucket. It’s there for you.
Even if you think you don’t need a big bucket, you need a big bucket. And our hauler of choice is the Yeti Loadout. It’s big, tough, and has a handle that can support heavy loads without causing hell on your hands.
When choosing a bucket, build matters. If you want it to last, you want something that’s thick-walled and made of durable plastic. (Yes, there are stainless steel buckets, but they are quite expensive and you don’t need that unless you plan on brining a side of meat or milking a cow sometime soon.) The Yeti Loadout stands 16-inches tall and can hold 5 gallons. It’s molded out of a high-impact resistant food safe plastic, that can certainly stand up to everything from thrown rocks to dropped chunks of kindling. Hell, it can pretty survive an accidentally run in with an SUV (true story).
Another big selling point is the Loadout’s handle, which is reinforced webbing with a fat grip. Five gallons of water equals roughly 42 pounds. So, when a 5-gallon bucket is filled, it’s heavy — and hell on your hands. Most 5 galloner handles are either flimsy or not reinforced, which makes lugging something from A to B akin to a Tough Mudder challenge than a standard chore. The Loadout’s handle distributes the load well and is a little bit cushy to provide some give.
No, the Loadout can’t double as a cooler. Because Yeti is Yeti, however, the Loadout is available with a bunch of add-ons, from a special lid to a wrap-around tool holder. These accessories are pretty over the top for around-the-house reasons, but handy if you’re fishing or taking this bucket on a three-day hunt.
The biggest selling point about the Loadout is that it can perform all the hauling, hanging, high-impact tasks a bucket needs to perform. At $40, it’s a bit pricey for a humble tool. But given everything you’ll inevitably use it for, we’d say it’s worth the price. It’s likely to survive until your grandkids are off to college.