RTIC and YETI are two of the best cooler manufacturers at the moment. Both companies produce top-notch models that are capable of keeping your food fresh for a long period of time. Some of their models actually give similar performances. In fact, they’re so alike that YETI took legal action against RTIC and won, demanding the latter to change some of their designs.
Since both companies developed similar coolers but sold them at significantly different prices, we were curious to find out which would be the winner in an RTIC coolers VS YETI coolers showdown.
In the following article, we examine the most popular cooler models developed by these two companies and compare their features. Can you guess the winners? Let’s take a look.
RTIC VS YETI Coolers
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Yeti Tundra 45
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1. RTIC 45 VS YETI Tundra 45
The RTIC 45 is a good multi-purpose cooler that can accommodate up to 36 – 40 drink cans along with plenty of ice to keep them cool. This model has a sturdy rotomolded construction that makes it sturdy enough to support your weight, so it can easily double as a chair.
One of the things that we liked about this model is that it has a simple yet efficient design. The cooler has thickly insulated walls and it comes with a lid that uses a gasket to keep the warm air from entering the cooling compartment. The cooler’s latches have a T design, and they will secure the lid firmly. The cooler’s handles are made out of nylon cord, and they provide a comfortable grip.
As far as the cooler’s effectiveness is concerned, this model is capable of keeping your drinks cold for 6 or 7 days, depending on how much ice you pack and the ambient temperature.
The Yeti Tundra 45 is a very popular cooler, and it provides enough storage space to accommodate up to 26 cans of drinks if you pack the cooler respecting the manufacturer’s ice to product ratio of 2:1.
We were impressed by the Tundra’s sturdiness. This model is built to last. In fact, the cooler is certified as being bear-proof, so a hungry bear won’t be able to crack it open. We couldn’t test the truth behind this certification, but one thing is clear. This cooler is strong enough to support your weight, so it can double as a chair.
Besides being sturdy, the cooler is also efficient. This model will keep your drinks cold for up to 10 days if you pack it correctly. The cooler is large, but it’s still small enough to be carried comfortably by a single person. However, the cooler can get pretty heavy when it’s loaded, so it might be easier to have someone’s help when carrying it.
- Storage Capacity – Both coolers offer a good storage capacity. Even though the RTIC seems to be capable of holding more cans than the YETI, both will hold the same number of cans if you pack each of them identically.
- Cooling Capacity – Both the RTIC and the YETI can keep your drinks cold for up to a whole week or more if you pack enough ice. Even so, the YETI seems to be more effective, and it will keep your drinks cold for up to half a day longer than the RTIC if you pack them identically.
- Portability – Both of these models use handles made out of nylon rope and offer the same comfortable grip. However, the Tundra weighs 23 lbs when it’s empty, whereas the RTIC weighs 25 lbs, so the Tundra is lighter and easier to carry.
Thanks to its lighter weight and its slightly better cooling capacity, the YETI Tundra 45 is the winner of this bout.
2. RTIC 20 VS YETI Roadie 20
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YETI Roadie 20
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The RTIC 20 was designed with everyday practicality in mind. This small rotomolded cooler offers a storage capacity of up to 24 cans plus plenty of ice to keep them cool for a good amount of time.
We liked the cooler’s stainless steel handle. The handle is sturdy and durable, and most importantly, it offers a comfortable grip that makes carrying the cooler easy even when you’re using only one hand. However, despite its compact size, this cooler is somewhat heavy, and it might get too heavy to carry using only one hand when it’s full.
As far as the cooler’s effectiveness is concerned, this model will keep your drinks cold for up to 3 days or more if you pack enough ice into it.
Even though this cooler uses an insulated lid, the fact that the lid doesn’t stay open on its own and that you have to keep it open can be somewhat bothersome.
The YETI Roadie 20 is a very popular model, and some people even use it as a personal cooler. This model offers a storage capacity of 14 cans plus enough ice to keep them cold for a long time.
What impressed us the most about the Roadie was its strong design. Despite the fact that this cooler is compact, it manages to incorporate 3 inches of insulation on its walls. Thanks to the thick insulation, the cooler can hold your drinks cold for 3 to 4 days, depending on how much ice you pack and the ambient temperature.
Another helpful feature of this cooler is that it comes with a drain. This will allow you to leak the accumulated water out of the cooler instead of tipping it on a side, and it’s one of the features that make this model a good camping cooler.
- Storage Capacity – Both models have similar dimensions, and both of them will hold a similar number of cans when packed with the same amount of ice.
- Cooling Capacity – Even though the YETI can keep your drinks cold for slightly longer than the RTIC, the difference is not significant. Both models will keep your drinks cold for 3 – 4 days, depending on the ambient temperature.
- Quality Control – Every YETI cooler you buy has the same top-notch quality. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the RTIC coolers. Some customers complained that their RTIC coolers presented small defects and that when they contacted the manufacturer’s customer service, they were ignored.
These models offer similar performances, but unfortunately, the RTIC coolers sometimes present manufacturing defects. Instead of dealing with these problems, RTIC ignores them. Thus, the winner of this round is the YETI Roadie
3. RTIC 30 VS YETI Hopper 30
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YETI Hopper 30
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The RTIC 30 is a very popular soft-sided cooler. This model has a spacious design that allows it to accommodate up to 30 cans of drinks plus some ice to keep them cold for a while.
One of the things we liked about this model is that it has a great design. The cooler’s exterior is made out of a laminated fabric that’s soft to the touch but capable of maintaining its form when you place something on the cooler. The cooler’s interior has thick insulation and it’s lined with a no-leak material that actually works and prevents the water from leaking on the exterior.
As for its cooling capacity, this model will keep your drinks cold for up to a day, depending on the ambient temperature. The cooler’s lid has thinner insulation than the walls, so it would be better to place the cooler out of the sun.
Another popular model, the YETI Hopper 30 is also one of the best-rated portable coolers currently available on the market. This model is spacious enough to hold 24 cans of drinks if you respect the manufacturer’s 2:1 ice to content ratio. If you’re not planning on keeping the drinks cold for long, the cooler can easily hold 30 cans and ice.
The things that impressed us the most about this cooler were its construction and well-thought design. The cooler is made out of a high-quality waterproof fabric that’s pleasant to the touch, and it comes with heavy-duty zippers that will prevent the ice from melting. The cooler’s size and shape make it highly portable. Its portability is further improved by the sturdy handles and the adjustable shoulder strap.
As far as the cooling capacity is concerned, this model will keep your drinks cold for up to two days if you pack enough ice and store it out of the sun.
- Storage Capacity – Both of these coolers can hold up to 30 cans of drinks and enough ice to keep them cold for at least half a day.
- Cooling Capacity – Even though these models offer similar cooling capacity, the YETI Hopper will keep your drinks cold for longer. If you follow the manufacturer’s packing instructions, the Hopper will outlast the RTIC by about 8 hours in the same ambient conditions.
- Portability – Both of these models come with padded handles and shoulder straps, but the YETI’s shoulder strap seems sturdier. Both coolers weigh about 5 pounds when they’re empty, so they’re really comfortable to carry.
Thanks to its superior cooling capacity, the YETI Hopper comes out on top in this match.
RTIC VS YETI Coolers – The Good And The Bad
Both RTIC and YETI coolers are renowned for their effectiveness and their cooling capacity. In this section, we take a look at the good and the bad things offered by each of these brands.
1. RTIC – The Good
- Long Cooling Period – RTIC coolers are really good at keeping the ice from melting. Even though most of their models can’t match the performances of the YETI coolers, that doesn’t mean they’re not impressive on their own. Models like the RTIC 45 can keep your drinks cold for up to 7 days, which is a very long time. This is why many people choose RTIC as their marine coolers. You can even use dry ice to keep food fresh for longer
- Good Portability – Each of the coolers developed by RTIC offers a good portability. Whether they use padded shoulder straps, padded handles, or rubberized guards for their rope handles, all of their models provide comfortable grips and they’re easy to carry.
- Sturdy – RTIC coolers are strong and durable. These models are built using high-quality materials, and they will withstand a lot of punishment without being affected.
- Good Designs – RTIC coolers have well-thought designs. These models are capable of holding a lot of food and drinks for their size, which makes them suitable as kayak coolers when planned provisioning is a must. Their designs also help to keep your food fresh for longer.
2. RTIC – The Bad
- Legal Problems – You might have noticed that some of the RTIC products we presented look very similar to their YETI counterparts. Well, it seems you weren’t the only one who noticed. As a matter of fact, YETI noticed that too, and they took legal action against RTIC, requiring them to redesign some of their products.
- Short Warranty – Even though the RTIC official website states that some models have a 1-year warranty, you might be surprised to find out that your model only comes with a 30-day return policy. Since the company has to redesign its products, they no longer stand behind them.
- Poor Quality Control – RTIC products are generally reliable, but it’s not unheard of to discover that your cooler’s lining is not glued to the bottom, or that the seams of the zipper are not stitched as they should.
- Poor Customer Service – RTIC’s customer service should definitely be improved. There are a lot of clients who complain that the manufacturer didn’t answer their calls or emails and that they have been banned from contacting the manufacturer on social media.
3. YETI – The Good
- Good Customer Service – YETI’s customer service is nothing like RTIC’s. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Their customer service representatives know their products, and they offer valuable advice when you need it.
- Good Warranty Period – Most YETI coolers come with a 5-year manufacturer warranty. If the products present some manufacturing or material defects within this period, YETI will exchange the product or they will refund your investment.
- Long Cooling Period – Even though the differences between the cooling periods of RTIC and YETI coolers are most often insignificant, they can be really obvious at times. For example, the YETI Hopper 30 can keep your drinks cold for up to 8 hours longer than the RTIC 30. 8 hours might not seem like much, but when you consider that the RTIC 30’s cooling period is only a day long, the 8 hours make the YETI 30% more effective.
4. YETI – The Bad
- Prohibitive Prices – Even though RTIC and YETI coolers often offer similar performances, the price differences between the two manufacturers can be quite obvious. This is one of the reasons why people avoid buying YETI in the first place.
- No Dry Storage Pockets – All the YETI rotomolded coolers come with dry storage wire baskets that give you the possibility to store some items away from the ice. However, their soft-sided coolers don’t come with dry storage pockets, so you can’t store anything that’s not waterproof in them.
As you could see from our RTIC coolers VS YETI coolers matches, even if the models developed by RTIC are similar to those developed by YETI, there are some differences to be had in each unit. Now, you shouldn’t consider the RTIC units weak or ineffective just because they lost their matches. There’s no shame in losing if you give a good performance, and the RTIC dueled against some of the top coolers in the world. Read more to find YETI like coolers here.
We hope that this article provided you enough information to determine which cooler to pick for your needs. If you think that neither RTIC nor YETI produce anything you need, you should read our other articles. When you’re using our guides, finding the right model is only a matter of time.