RTIC vs YETI: The Best Cooler?

Two coolers, one beige Yeti and one light blue RTIC, are stacked on a grassy surface at an outdoor market, surrounded by various vintage metal containers and toolboxes

RTIC VS. YETI How To Choose

RTIC and Yeti are two leading brands in the more relaxed industry, each with unique features and benefits. Many outdoor enthusiasts debate which cooler is the perfect choice.

We’ll explore everything from construction and design to price comparisons and ice retention capabilities in our in-depth comparison.

Want to know how RTIC’s rugged build stacks up against Yeti’s sleek design?

Are you curious about how the price points differ between the two? Or maybe you’re wondering which will keep your drinks cold the longest on a hot summer day?

My comprehensive guide will answer all these questions, helping you decide on the best cooler for your particular needs, whether planning a weekend camping trip or a backyard barbecue.

How I tested these Coolers

Let me start by sharing that I’ve been rockin’ the Yeti and the Rtic coolers for years. I snagged the Yeti roughly a decade back, and the RTIC joined my outdoor adventures about three years later.

The Yeti 110? Well, that’s the trusty family cooler, while the Rtic 45? It’s my sidekick on our wild side-by-side journeys.

I’m head over heels for both of them, and I’ve never once regretted splurging on these bad boys. Well, except for that one hilarious mishap when I experimented with dry ice and ended up with a cooler full of frozen Food!

One of the Main reasons I purchased these coolers is that they are bearproof or at least bear-resistant. When you live in Montana, you are in Bear Country every Camping trip, so having the right cooler is a must for me.

RTIC vs. Yeti Coolers: Detailed Feature Comparison Chart

Graphical comparison diagram of RTIC and Yeti 45-quart coolers, showing unique and shared features such as price, weight, ice retention, warranty, handle type, and dimensions in a color-enhanced format.
E-Series Rechargeable Mosquito Repeller
E-Series Rechargeable Mosquito Repeller
E-Series Rechargeable Mosquito Repeller
Our Score
  • EXTENDED MOSQUITO PROTECTION: Our most advanced repellent system now with up to 9 hours per charge. E90 Rechargeable Mosquito Repellent creates a 20-foot mosquito protection zone. Easy to use, one button keeps mosquitoes away..Charging Type : Micro USB.
  • EFFECTIVELY REPEL WITHOUT SPRAY OR SCENT: Repel mosquitoes without DEET sprays or lotions on your skin. No smoke, flames, or harsh odors like citronella. Unscented, liquid repellent cartridges are easy to replace.
  • HEAT-ACTIVATED TECHNOLOGY powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. No fuel to monitor and replace. Max protection in 15 minutes. Ideal for the backyard, poolside and patio.
  • ADVANCED REPELLENT: Independently tested and EPA reviewed for safety & effectiveness. Repels tough mosquitoes, including those that may transmit Encephalitis, West Nile Virus, and Zika Virus. People and pet friendly.
  • GUARANTEE: Extend warranty to 3 years with registration (automatic 2-year warranty included). Backed by Guarantee. See packaging for details. Includes repeller, one 12-hour scent-free refill, and USB charging cable.

What Does Grizzly Proof Mean

In the words of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, “Products must meet specific criteria and either “pass” a live bear test using captive grizzly bears or a technical evaluation to appear on the list. 

It is important to note that IGBC certification does NOT guarantee that a product is BEAR-PROOF, nor does certification by the IGBC guarantee that a product will never be breached by bears or that small amounts of the contents of the containers won’t be able to leak or spill out. 

Certified products must still be utilized appropriately—for example, an unlocked cooler is not bear-resistant. The IGBC also encourages people living, working, or recreating in grizzly bear habitats to be diligent in their sanitation and attractant storage to minimize the chance of a human-bear conflict.

The committee tested and approved the Yeti, and I have been to the Montana Grizzly Encounter and witnessed what the bears can do. On the other hand, the RTIC is only considered bear-resistant. If I used the proper locks, they would perform the same. (“This is only my opinion, and I am not saying the RTIC is bear proof. Please do your research”)

Overview Yeti And Rtic

Here’s a general comparison based on what I know:

FeatureYeti 45RTIC 45
PriceAround $300 – $350Around $200 – $250
MaterialRotomolded ConstructionRotomolded Construction
Ice RetentionUp to 7 daysUp to 10 days
Capacity45 Quarts45 Quarts
WeightApprox. 23 lbsApprox. 25 lbs
HandlesMilitary-grade polyester ropeMolded-in handles
Drain SystemVortex Drain SystemStandard Drain Plug
Colors AvailableMultipleMultiple
Warranty5 years1 year
Comparison

Let’s start with a brief overview of RTIC and Yeti coolers. RTIC was founded in 2015 and offers high-quality coolers that compete directly with the more expensive Yeti brand.

RTIC offers similar features to Yeti at lower costs, making it an attractive option for budget shoppers. The cooler is made from durable roto-molded plastic, with thick insulation walls and a freezer-style gasket that creates an airtight seal.

RTIC coolers come with a T-latch lid for easy access and non-skid feet to keep the cooler from slipping.

Yeti Tundra Cooler

Yeti was founded in 2006 and has become one of the most popular and fantastic brands.

Their coolers are made from durable roto-molded plastic and feature two inches of insulation in the walls and lid, creating an airtight seal.

Yeti coolers come equipped with BearFoot non-slip feet, integrated lock systems, and latches that can be opened with one hand.

Price

Now, let’s compare the prices of the RTIC and Yeti coolers. RTIC coolers cost about half as much as Yeti coolers, making them a more budget-friendly option for those looking to save money without sacrificing quality. RTIC offers sizes ranging from 20 quarts up to 125 quarts, while Yeti’s range ranges from 20 quarts to 150 quarts.

When it comes to construction, RTIC and Yeti coolers are incredibly similar. Both brands use a roto-molded plastic cooler designed to be durable and lightweight.

RTIC coolers feature thick insulation walls and a freezer-style gasket that creates an airtight seal, while Yeti coolers have two inches of insulation and an integrated lock system. RTIC coolers have a T-latch lid for easy access, while Yeti coolers have BearFoot non-slip feet.

Construction Layout and Design Of Rtic And Yeti Coolers

The RTIC and Yeti coolers both keep ice for a long time. RTIC coolers are rated to keep ice for up to 10 days, while Yeti coolers hold ice for up to 14 days. Both more extraordinary brands have different sizes available, ranging from a 20-quart cooler up to 125 quarts (RTIC) and a 150-quart cooler (Yeti).

Note: The Rtic cooler is much lighter and easier to cart around than the heavy-duty Yeti Tundra

Yeti vs. RTIC Lawsuit

Regrettably, the similarity between the RTIC and YETI coolers was too close for comfort, so YETI filed a patent infringement lawsuit against them. When you compare their products side by side, it’s not surprising at all! Fortunately, both companies were able to come to an agreement in which RTIC had to stop selling any of its current coolers and remodel future designs.

Despite that, many hard cooler models are still available through Amazon if your budget allows you to invest in one of these half-priced “YETIs.”

Hard Cooler Comparison: Rtic or Yeti

For starters, these 45-quart coolers are nearly identical in their exterior dimensions. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Yeti Tundra 45: 25.8″W x 16.1″D x 15.4″H
RTIC 45: 26.5″W x 16.5″D x 15.9″H
When both empty, the Yeti cooler is 6 pounds lighter than the RTIC. This might not seem like a lot, but it is easier to carry when loading and unloading from a truck bed.

The Yeti can hold 28 beer cans with 2 beers or 34 pounds of ice. The RTIC can hold 36 beer cans, 40 pounds of ice, or 45 quarts of water.

The last feature that might be easily overlooked is that the Yeti comes with a dry goods basket, while the RTIC does not. This may seem insignificant, but it will save you from fishing soggy foods from the bottom of your cooler once your ice is melted.

The last feature that might be easily overlooked is that the Yeti comes with a dry goods basket, while the RTIC does not.

This may seem insignificant, but it will prevent you from fishing soggy foods from the bottom of your cooler once the ice has melted.

Yeti 45

  • What I like
    The insulation in this product is up to 3 inches of Permafrost™.
    This product features a durable rotomolded exterior construction.
    It comes with a basket to hold dry goods up and out of melting ice
    Tie-down slots are for attaching your boat, trailer, or truck to something so it does not move.
    The durable carry handles are made from military-grade rope
My personal Choice
YETI Tundra 45
9.7/10 Our Score

The YETI Tundra 45 Cooler is a hard cooler that is over-engineered to outperform and sized for all adventures. It has a capacity of up to 36 cans with ice, making it perfect for a road trip or a day at the beach. If you’re looking for our legendary, nearly unbreakable cooler, look no further than the Tundra line. Every one of our hard coolers can handle the paces of a rugged life in the wild and still keep ice for days.

  • The YETI Tundra 45 combines versatility with durability with a capacity of up to 26 cans with a recommended 2:1 ice-to-contents ratio
  • Ice stays ice thanks to up to 3 inches of PermaFrost Insulation and an extra thick FatWall design is certified Bear-Resistant
  • The Rotomolded Construction makes the Tundra armored to the core and virtually indestructible so wherever you decide to take it, this portable cooler’s sturdy construction will stand up to the rigors of the journey
  • All Tundra coolers feature T-Rex Lid Latches constructed of heavy-duty rubber so you’ll never see another busted latch and has patented keeper technology
  • The Tundra 45 dimensions are 25 1/2 in long x 16 in wide x 15 ½ in high with an empty weight of 23 lbs NOTE: All Tundra models come standard with one dry goods basket.

RTIC 45

What I Like

  • It’s cheaper than the Yeti Cooler
  • It has the same kind of tough roto-molded exterior as the Yeti.
  • The molded tie-down slots make it easy to secure on a moving vehicle or vessel
  • The walls are insulated with 3″ of foam.
  • It has drain holes on both ends for fast draining and easy cleaning
    Both Brands Make Soft Coolers As Well
  • Soft Cooler Comparison
    Yeti Hopper Flip 18: 16.3″W x 10.8″D x 13″H
    RTIC Soft Pack Cooler: 13.5″W x 9.5″D x 13.75″H

The RTIC cooler is slightly smaller and weighs 2 pounds less than the Flip 18. However, both coolers can hold up to 20 cans or approximately 24 pounds of ice.

Budget Friendly
RTIC Hard Cooler
9.5/10 Our Score

Looking for a hard cooler that will keep your drinks cold on long trips outdoors? Look no further than the RTIC Hard Cooler Insulated. This cooler is perfect for a day trip to the lake, camping, fishing, or picnicking. It is made of durable materials and features heavy-duty rope handles that make it easy to transport. The insulation will help keep your food and drinks cold for longer and the cool-lift design prevents the ice from melting.

These coolers are made with up to 3 inches of closed-cell foam insulation, making them some of the best coolers on the market for keeping ice. Plus, they come in a variety of sizes so you can find the perfect one for your needs. Whether you’re looking for a beverage cooler, travel cooler, beer can cooler, lunch box cooler, camp cooler, fishing cooler, boat cooler, or soda can cooler, RTIC Hard Cooler is sure to meet your needs. And if that wasn’t enough, these coolers also double as a bench, step stool, tabletop, or extra cutting board. 

  • The Perfect Size: The 45 is small enough to carry alone but big enough to store drinks for the whole group.
  • Temperature Retentive: The 3-inch foam insulated walls plus the cool-lift feature will make worrying about your ice melting a thing of the past.
  • Mobile And Multifaceted: Use the heavy-duty rope handles to take the 45 anywhere and when you need an extra hand—this cooler doubles as a step stool, tabletop, or cutting board.
  • Heavy-Duty Protection: The combination of durable rubber T-latches and molded tie-down slots will keep your food and beverages secure.

The price is the most important thing to compare when looking at coolers.

The RTIC cooler costs about one-third of the YETI Hopper Flip 18. When buying a “soft cooler,” price is the primary deciding factor, and the RTIC is much more affordable.

Regarding color selection, RTIC flexible pack coolers have you covered with 11 shades available. Also, the range of colors depends on the size of your cooler!

But if that’s not enough for you, we also offer The Flip 18 in five more attractive hues.

RTIC Vs Yeti Ice Test
Yeti Cooler After a Visit to Glacier Park

Portability and Convenience Of The RTIC And Yeti

When looking for a portable and convenient cooler, RTIC and Yeti are two dependable options. Not only is an RTIC cooler lightweight and effortless to carry around, but the BearFoot non-slip feet on a Yeti help keep it in place while transporting.

RTIC also offers wheeled coolers for those who need a more convenient option.

Finally, RTIC and Yeti both offer excellent warranties and customer service options. RTIC offers a generous 5-year warranty on their products, while Yeti provides an even better 7-year warranty on theirs.

RTIC and Yeti also have excellent customer service teams available to answer any questions or concerns you may have about their products.

RTIC Warranty

  • Hard Sided Coolers, Ultra-Light Coolers, Soft Sided Coolers, Duffle Bags, Tote Bags, Backpack Coolers, Canopy Tents, Chairs: 1 Year Warranty
  • Day Coolers (Including Lightweight Backpack & Insulated Totes) & Base Camp Bundle: 90 Days Warranty
  • Stainless Steel Drinkware & Accessories: 90 Days Warranty
  • Hard Cases: Limited Lifetime Warranty (specific conditions apply)
  • The warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship for the product’s life, depending on the category. It’s valid for the original retail purchaser and applies only if purchased directly from RTIC or from RTIC as the seller on Amazon.

If the product breaks, RTIC will repair or replace it at their sole option. However, the warranty does not cover normal wear and tear, abuse, misuse, neglect, unauthorized alterations, or failure to follow recommended care and use instructions. Also, factory seconds, discounted or second-hand products, or products purchased from third-party retailers are not covered.

There’s also an Ice Retention Warranty, under which RTIC will replace or fix your cooler or drinkware if no ice remains after a minimum number of days/hours based on specific testing procedures.

You can submit a Warranty Service request here if needed.

Some Thoughts and Insights:

  • Limited Lifetime Warranty for Hard Cases: This is a robust offering, especially if you want something that can withstand heavy use. Just follow the specific conditions to keep the warranty valid.
  • Ice Retention Warranty: This unique warranty ensures that the cooler performs as advertised in terms of ice retention. It’s a good indication of RTIC’s confidence in their product.
  • Warranty Exclusions: Be mindful of what’s not covered under the warranty, such as normal wear and tear or purchases from third-party retailers. Always buy from authorized sources to ensure warranty coverage.
brown bear, predator, wild beast

Yeti Warranty Information

The following Yeti products have a five-year Warranty Period from the date of purchase:

YETI Tundra® | YETI V Series | YETI Roadie® | YETI TANK® | YETI Silo® | YETI ICE™ | YETI Rambler® | YETI Yonder™ | YETI LoadOut™ | YETI Hondo™ | YETI Trailhead™ Camp Chair | YETI Boomer™ Dog Bowl

So Which Is Better?

While both RTIC and Yeti coolers are excellent choices for keeping food and drinks cold, RTIC offers a more budget-friendly option that still provides the same quality and features as Yeti coolers.

RTIC offers various sizes, excellent ice retention capabilities, and a generous 5-year warranty.

Yeti coolers are more expensive but offer an even better 7-year warranty. Ultimately, the choice comes down to your individual needs and budget.

So, who makes the better cooler:

In the ever-competitive world of outdoor equipment, finding the perfect cooler is no small feat, and I own both brands. We’ve embarked on a comprehensive journey to compare two of the industry’s leading brands, both of which have proven their quality in previous tests. We aimed to conduct a thorough, like-for-like comparison to determine the superior product.

The evaluation process was meticulous, covering every conceivable aspect of cooler performance. We looked at design, durability, and, most importantly, the ability to keep your food and drinks cool over an extended period. Both brands impressed us with their performance, demonstrating why they are top contenders in the market.

Weekend Campfire with the family using the Rtic and Yeti Coolers

Yeti, however, began to distinguish itself in several key areas. They offer unparalleled ease of use, with intuitive features that make packing and unpacking a breeze.

The Yeti also excelled in the comfort of carry, with ergonomic handles and a balanced design that made transportation effortless.

But Yeti truly shined in temperature retention. Through rigorous testing, we found that Yeti’s insulation technology maintained the desired temperature for longer, ensuring that your items stay perfectly chilled even in the most demanding conditions.

In conclusion, while both coolers performed admirably and are undoubtedly worth your investment, the cold truth is that Yeti stands a notch above the rest. Yeti is the clear choice for those seeking the ultimate in convenience, comfort, and cooling performance.

Its commitment to quality and innovation has earned it our highest recommendation, making Yeti the go-to brand for outdoor enthusiasts and casual users.

My personal Choice
YETI Tundra 45 Cooler, White
9.4
  • The YETI Tundra 45 combines versatility with durability with a capacity of up to 26 cans with a recommended 2:1 ice-to-contents ratio
  • Ice stays ice thanks to up to 3 inches of PermaFrost Insulation and an extra thick FatWall design is certified Bear-Resistant
  • The Rotomolded Construction makes the Tundra armored to the core and virtually indestructible so wherever you decide to take it, this portable cooler’s sturdy construction will stand up to the rigors of the journey
  • All Tundra coolers feature T-Rex Lid Latches constructed of heavy-duty rubber so you’ll never see another busted latch and has patented keeper technology
  • The Tundra 45 dimensions are 25 3/4 in long x 16 1/8 in wide x 15 3/8 in high with an empty weight of 23 lbs NOTE: All Tundra models come standard with one dry goods basket.

My Thoughts

When you want to keep your food and drinks cold no matter where the day takes you, RTIC or Yeti coolers are two of the best options.

Whichever you choose will ensure that everything stays fresh for as long as possible without breaking your budget! So, pick a cooler based on what works best for you and your lifestyle. Happy cooling!

FAQ’s For Rtic And Yeti Coolers

Are RTIC and YETI coolers worth the investment?

Yes, RTIC and YETI coolers are worth the investment, as they offer superior performance and durability compared to other more excellent brands.

How long can RTIC and YETI coolers keep ice frozen?

YETI coolers can keep ice frozen for up to 10 days, while RTIC coolers can keep ice frozen for up to five days.

Are YETI coolers worth the extra cost compared to RTIC coolers?

It ultimately depends on your preferences and requirements. YETI coolers are worth the extra cost if you value superior cooling performance and durability. However, if you’re on a budget and still want a high-quality cooler, RTIC coolers are an excellent choice.

To learn more about Trevor Riggs, please visit our About page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

No Email Required