There’s a reason Yeti coolers have become so popular recently. That’s because they’re excellent products, but also because they have a fantastic marketing campaign. Many envision Yeti coolers to be the standard in high-end performance, simply due to the fact that Yeti was one of the first to improve upon older concepts and bring a quality product to market. Combine that with extremely effective advertising and most people never realize there are other competitors. For this reason Yeti has enjoyed demanding a relatively absurd price for their products. In fact there are several other comparable brands, each with their own set of pros and cons. Since we’re talking about Yeti, let’s start with the RTIC line of coolers.
Same Product, Half the Price
Rumor has it, someone from Yeti left the firm and started their own line of nearly identical products. Enter RTIC Coolers. I can’t confirm if their origins involve any folks from Yeti, but I can confirm that their products perform just as well… perhaps even better. In fact, RTIC has been so effective that Yeti has filed a lawsuit against them in attempt to prevent losing market share. Whether this is a positive or negative in your mind, consider the average Yeti cooler goes for about four hundred dollars while an RTIC sells for less than half that.
Paying less than half for essentially the same product is so appealing that it’s pretty difficult to find any drawbacks. Yet, RTIC does fall short in a few areas. For one, Yeti products are widely available and come in a range of sizes, colors, and configurations. Not to mention accessories. RTIC on the other hand has far fewer options and extras and has ramped up so much demand that there’s a huge delay in their shipping. Consequently they can be more difficult to purchase or find parts, options, and extras.
Size & Capacity
RTIC coolers come in most available sizes already advertised by Yeti, with a few exceptions. Yet while a Yeti 45 may claim to hold 45 quarts, this is not true. Yeti’s coolers fall short of these measurements by a few quarts, while the RTIC is spot on. This increases their value even further beyond the significant price cut. RTIC coolers are slightly heavier and bulkier because of this, but that just doesn’t seem to be much of an issue in my book.
For a little perspective, RTIC’s average cooler, the RTIC 45 can hold a pretty impressive quantity of cold goods. 45 quarts of water, 36 cans of beer, or 40 pounds of ice. That’s quite a lot for such a small cooler. The Yeti 45? It’ll hold only 26 cans of beer.
Construction & Durability
Just like Yeti, RTIC rotomolded coolers are virtually indestructible. This allows for years of use and abuse while maintaining the same level of quality as the day it was bought. Whether you only decide to use it as a non-slip stepstool, accidentally drop it off the roof of your camper, or let it roll down a rocky slope, I’m sure it’ll be fine. It’s so durable in fact, that both Yeti and RTIC coolers can be used as a bear-safe container in the wild.
The 3″ insulated walls can hold ice for up to 10 days and are solid enough to be used as a cutting board, while the non-slip feet allow an RTIC cooler to be used as a casting platform while boating. Full length hinges ensure the top will never come loose, and the freezer style lid gasket creates the best seal possible. Water may be drained from the integrated easy-flow spout without losing ice, while the V-Drain system allows for rapid flow. Finally, RTIC coolers come with an integrated locking system in order to keep your goods safe from both bears, and humans.