Coolers

RTIC vs YETI [Quick & Easy Comparison] Summer 2019

YETI is arguably the best known cooler brand out there.

YETI is so popular and has received such widespread support the company decided to go public just last October!

And, just 10 years ago… coolers were coolers. They held your drinks and kept them cold (for not very long) Nothing more.

Now – coolers are brand statements.

YETI revolutionized the cooler industry with their everything proof (even bear proof) coolers that claims to hold ice up to 10 days+. Believe it or not – it’s legit. Cold coronas for days.

They weren’t the only ones though.

Competition came to compete with the big bad bear.

One company that attempted to take the throne was RTIC Coolers.

RTIC created an identical product line to YETI Coolers.

Therefore, YETI sued RTIC coolers for patent infringement and trade dress.

You can read more on that here.

As a result, RTIC redesigned their entire product line. But even after redesign both RTIC and YETI coolers are still extremely similar.

Here is our post over other RTIC coolers, drinkware, and other quality products.

Similarly, RTIC and YETI are both expanding their product lines beyond just coolers though. It’s the next logical step for both brands to cater to outdoor enthusiasts or beach bums like you.

But for now – this is our complete RTIC vs YETI coolers guide to help you make a buying decision.

Looking for something specific?  Click on skip ahead to find it.

RTIC vs YETI Coolers Comparison Guide

RTIC vs YETI Soft Side Coolers

RTIC Coolers has more color options than YETI does if you’re a color queen / king.

RTIC will be a better choice if you want a cooler more personal to your style and taste.

If color isn’t a priority then  you’re good to go with either brand (RTIC or YETI).

RTIC vs YETI 

(Soft Cooler 12)

RTIC Softpak Lunch Box

New Rtic Softpak Lunchbox

  • Ice Capacity:  12 Pounds
  • Ice Life:  5 Days
YETI Hopper Flip 12

Yeti Hopper Flip 12

  • Ice Capacity:  12 Pounds
  • Ice Life:  5 Days

Either brand in this category makes for an excellent personal cooler.

This size is a great buy if you already own a larger cooler, and just need one for a short day trip.

There aren’t any major differences between RTIC vs YETI in the soft side 12 cooler size.  The YETI Hopper has side handles, and also comes with a shoulder strap.

On the other hand, the RTIC lunch box has two side straps that come together at the top.

RTIC vs YETI 

(Soft Cooler 20)

RTIC Softpak 20

New RTIC softpak 20 gray & blue

  • Ice Capacity:  20 Pounds
  • Ice Life:  5 Days
YETI Hopper Two 20

Yeti Hopper Two 20

  • Ice Capacity:  20 Pounds
  • Ice Life:  5 Days

Thise size is a tad larger than the YETI Hopper 12 and RTIC Lunchbox.

This size is where the body style changes for YETI. It slims down and gets away from the ‘lid style” and becomes more of a bag style cooler.

RTIC however, keeps the same style generally for all of their soft coolers.

The slimmer style can be nice to have if you will be carrying this cooler at your side.

RTIC vs YETI

(Soft Cooler 30) 

RTIC Softpak 30

New RTIC Softpak 30 Grey and Blue

  • Ice Capacity:  30 Pounds
  • Ice Life:  5 Days
YETI Hopper Two 30

YETI Hopper Two 30 Cooler

  • Ice Capacity:  30 Pounds
  • Ice Life:  5 Days

The soft 30 coolers are beefier versions of the 20s above.

We mentioned that YETI Coolers has more of a ‘bag’ type feel for their soft sides, and this can be good for carrying at your side.

But, we also found that the RTIC Soft Paks to be appealing if you want a true ‘lid’ to your soft cooler.

It can be helpful to have a lid when you’re dumping a ton of ice into the cooler. If you would like the cooler to stay open as opposed holding it open yourself then go with an RTIC.

Additionally, the RTIC SoftPak coolers can function as a seat if they are packed full of ice.

With YETI, this may be more difficult.

RTIC vs YETI

(Soft Cooler 40) 

RTIC Softpak 40

New RTIC Softpak 40 Cooler

  • Ice Capacity:  40 Pounds
  • Ice Life:  5 Days
YETI Hopper Two 40

Yeti Hopper Two 40 Cooler

  • Ice Capacity:  40 Pounds
  • Ice Life:  5 Days

The 40 size is the largest soft side coolers available in both RTIC and YETI.

Either brand in this category would be a great fit if you are an avid outdoorsmen that needs a spot to store food & drinks / supplies for extended periods of time.

RTIC vs YETI Rotomolded (Hard) Coolers

Both brands produce nearly identical hard coolers.

And, the hard coolers were the products that really ‘opened up the lid’ on the cooler industry.

For the purposes of this post we are only comparing the 20, 45, and 65 hard coolers.

YETI has a lot more hard cooler options so if you’re needing an in-between size they have what you need.

You can check out a full list of the YETI hard Coolers here.

RTIC vs YETI

(Hard Cooler 20)

RTIC 20

Blue RTIC 20 Rotomolded Cooler

  • Ice Capacity:  25 Pounds
  • Ice Life:  10 Days
YETI Roadie

Blue YETI 20 Roadie Rotomolded Cooler

  • Ice Capacity:  20 Pounds
  • Ice Life:  10 Days

This size is perfect for many situations, and the metal bar handle with soft grip can be a real life saver when carrying a full cooler.

The metal bar is the main difference between the 20’s and the 45 & 65 coolers below.

Plus, the ice life doubles for the hard coolers when compared to the soft coolers (both RTIC & YETI).

RTIC vs YETI 

(Hard Cooler 45)

RTIC 45

White RTIC 45 rotomolded cooler

  • Ice Capacity:  40 Pounds
  • Ice Life:  10 Days
YETI Tundra 45

White YETI 45 rotomolded cooler

  • Ice Capacity:  35 Pounds
  • Ice Life:  10 Days

Sharing is caring!  This cooler size is exceptional for a large get together with friends and/or family.

Plus, to give you an idea of size range.. this cooler will hold 36 cans comfortably.

RTIC vs YETI 

(Hard Cooler 65)

RTIC 65

Tan RTIC 65 Rotomolded Cooler

  • Ice Capacity:  70 Pounds
  • Ice Life:  10 Days
YETI Tundra 65

Tan YETI 65 Rotomolded Cooler

  • Ice Capacity:  52 Pounds
  • Ice Life:  10 Days

Both the 45 and 65 hard coolers from RTIC and YETI come with marine grade rope handles.

Because of that it seems like they are easier to carry. The ropes allows for more flexibility to carry as opposed to the stiff bar that comes with the 20.

This size cooler size holds 64 cans with ice.

RTIC vs YETI Coolers – Which One Is Better?

We compared RTIC vs YETI on 4 different soft coolers, and 3 different hard coolers for you.

RTIC & YETI both make excellent coolers.

They both keep your stuff cold.  And for a long period of time.

That’s what you want, right?

How do these coolers keep everything cold for so long?

What is Roto-Molding?

Rotational Molding is a process that involves taking a thermoplastic (or plastic that is moldable above a specific temperature range), and casting it into a specific shape.

This process is used to create hollow singular pieces of plastic.

After YETI rolled out the first rotomolded cooler it became the standard for the market.

But, how does that keep your beer cold?

The space between the outside environment, and the items in your cooler are what makes a difference.

And the casting results in thick hollow walls and a lid, which are then filled with polyurethane insulation.

Hence, the thickness of the plastic and the amount of insulation make a HUGE difference compared to your grandpa’s cooler.

Yeti Tundra 35 Tan Cooler

Plus, not only do rotomolded coolers do well with ice retention, but they are VERY durable.

Like…literally bear proof durable.

How Many Coolers Are Similar To Yeti?

Hoards of brands are trying to pave their way like YETI has.  Of course, being the first major high end cooler was a huge advantage for YETI, but they aren’t the only players anymore.

You can find some of the highest rated coolers similar to YETI here, but for this post we’re looking at their closest competitor…RTIC.

Both brands are mostly identical except the amount of capacity (in some instances), and the price tag.

When RTIC stepped in to the picture in 2014 they quickly became known as the cooler that was “a YETI for half the price!”.

Their website previously read “half the price of a YETI, and holds more ICE!”.

Taunting that tagline gained a ton of attention.

As a result, YETI filed a lawsuit in 2014..

RTIC Coolers had to change up their product line slightly so they weren’t exact matches to YETI.

RTIC vs YETI Coolers: What Did We Compare?

There were a list of factors that we considered weighing, but for this post it made the most sense to compare 2 simple aspects:

  • Ice Life
  • Ice Capacity

Here are some of the other things we touched on that may be important to you..

  • Look & Color (Preference)
  • Durability (Identical)
  • Size Choices (Preference)

Before you start to compare coolers…

What’s Important To You In A Cooler?

  • Need a small cooler, or a large one?
  • Are you only going to use a cooler for beverages?  What about food too?
  • Do you mainly use a cooler when you are out at the beach/lake/pool?
  • What about sitting around enjoying a few drinks with friends?
  • How many friends do you normally get together with?

If you plan on using your cooler for parties and/or food storage we recommend a bigger hard coolers (45 & up).

  • Don’t use a cooler much, but like to have one on hand just in case?

Maybe look at the soft sided coolers (20 & 30), or the rotomolded 20.  Doesn’t take up a ton of space, but nice to have it when you need it.

RTIC vs YETI Comparison Graphs

RTIC vs YETI Price

Even after they were sued by YETI, RTIC Coolers have still been around half the price of a YETI Cooler.

I don’t see the pricing changing anytime soon.

RTIC’s entire business model was built around challenging YETI on price with a nearly identical product.

The current prices can be found here.

RTIC vs YETI Coolers Ice Life

Ice life is a grey area when comparing coolers because there are too many variables that can affect the time before ice melts.

RTIC publicly displays their ice life while YETI does not as there are too many variables.  We agree with YETIs route here, and leveled these off on what you can roughly expect from ice retention under normal conditions.

Now, if you were going to test the rotomolded coolers side by side with each other yes..the RTIC would last a bit longer than the YETI when we consider the amount of ice it holds.

All things considered they will both hold ice for a long time.

RTIC vs YETI Coolers Ice Capacity

Although the RTIC and YETI names are identical on the rotomolded coolers it doesn’t directly correlate with the ice capacity…

You can see below that the soft coolers are identical on ice capacity, but RTIC coolers hold more than YETI on the hard coolers.

Although RTIC hard coolers hold more than YETI hard coolers when compared side by side, we didn’t relate that back to the above ice life (first graph).

Consequently, yes – being able to hold more ice would relate to greater ice retention, but like we said…too many variables.

RTIC vs YETI Coolers Durability & Features

(Hard Coolers)

Both RTIC & YETI coolers are made to last.  Period.

All of these features will come standard whether you get an RTIC or a YETI:

  • Rotomolded Construction
  • Non-Slip Feet
  • Integrated Locking System
  • Bear Resistant
  • Marine Grade Rope Handles
  • Heavy Duty Rubber Latches (Except YETI Roadie & RTIC 20)
  • Large Freezer Gasket
  • Draining System
  • Traction Lid
  • Drain Spout
  • No Sweat Exterior

RTIC vs YETI Coolers Durability & Features

(Soft Coolers)

The big difference in the soft side coolers is the lid.  RTIC has insulated flip top lids on all of their SoftPaks while YETI only has a zipper.  Although it’s only one feature it may be an important one depending on what the cooler will mainly be used for.

Also, consider the nylon shell exterior in regards to what type of environment you will have it in.

Most noteworthy, it may not be best to go with a soft side if your cooler is going to be around a bunch of tools or sharp objects.

  • Straps To Easily Carry
  • ‘Stay Dry’ Material
  • Waterproof Zipper
  • Heavy Duty Nylon Shell
  • No Sweat Exterior

RTIC vs YETI Coolers (Size Choices)

Here is a list of all the YETI size choices that RTIC does not carry.

There are 10:

  • YETI 35
  • YETI 50
  • YETI 75
  • YETI 105
  • YETI 110
  • YETI 125
  • YETI 160
  • YETI 210
  • YETI 250
  • YETI 350

The question to ask yourself is whether or not RTIC has the size you are looking for.  If they don’t, and you aren’t considering any other brands it looks like you’re left with one choice (YETI).

Some of these coolers on the bigger side are for HUGE events where you need to supply crowds with drinks, or for deep-sea fishing.

If the RTIC or YETI 45 or 65 isn’t a good size for you then YETI has you covered on all of the in-betweens.

RTIC vs YETI Coolers (Warranty Info)

YETI has a 3-5 year warranty depending on what type of cooler you purchase.

RTIC will warrant your soft or hard coolers for 1 year.

Yes, YETI has a longer warranty, but if you’re an average consumer putting these coolers to normal use I highly highly doubt you will be filing a warranty claim on something that keeps your drinks cold considering how durable these coolers are.

If you read up on their warranty it does not cover normal wear and tear, and is always at the discretion of the manufacturer so nothing is 100% guaranteed anyways. Keep that in mind.

RTIC vs YETI Coolers (Our Pick)

This was a ‘bear tough’ decision, but the products are too identical to not give way to the product line that brings a ton of value to the customer by offering excellent quality that will last you years to come with an unbeatable price.

When we considered:

  • The RTIC  & YETI hard coolers are nearly identical
  • The RTIC Soft Coolers have the lid advantage on insulation
  • RTIC Coolers are typically around half the price of YETI coolers.

Our winner here is…

Did you like this post? Something we didn't cover? Drop us a comment below!

Leave a reply

BeachRated