Coolers

RTIC vs YETI Coolers [The Quick & Easy Comparison]

YETI is one of the best known cooler brands in the industry.  A decade ago, the cooler industry wasn’t a hot one – dominated by standard coolers that have essentially been the same since the 1960’s.

Once YETI revolutionized that with their everything proof (even bear proof) coolers that held ice up to 10 days, a lot of competitors started to pop up to compete with the big bad bear.

One company that stuck out from the others was RTIC Coolers.  They essentially created a duplicate product line to YETI Coolers.  So much so that YETI sued RTIC coolers for patent infringement and trade dress.  You can read more on that here.

Because of the litigation RTIC had to redesign their entire product line, but even after redesign both RTIC and YETI coolers are still similar.

Check out some of RTIC’s new hard coolers, soft coolers, and drinkware here.

Regardless of the now settled case – both brands do an excellent job at keeping your stuff cool with products that last you a lifetime.

This is our guide to help you compare coolers from both brands and also give you a better idea on the performance of each to help you pick the one that’s right for you.

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

We Cover Everything On

RTIC vs YETI Coolers

The main difference in the Rtic and Yeti soft sides are the color choices, and the shape.

  • Color Choices:  YETI has two colors to choose from currently.  Field Tan, and Fog Gray.  RTIC recently expanded their color options.  You can read about the new options here.
  • Shape:  YETI Hoppers (with the exception of the Hopper Flip) have a slim profile, while RTIC has more of a boxy type shape to them with a flip lid for all soft coolers.

RTIC vs YETI Soft Side Coolers

(+ Here’s The New RTIC Styles)

RTIC updated their soft side and rotomolded coolers.

Here are some of their new color options for their soft sides:

Blue & Dark Grey RTIC softpak 40

Blue & Dark Grey

Viper Snow RTIC Softpak 40

Viper Snow

Blue RTIC softpak 40

Blue

Kanati RTIC Softpak 40

Kanati

Blue & Grey RTIC softpak 40

Blue & Light Grey

Strata RTIC Softpak 40

Strata

Rift Blue

Viper RTIC Softpak 40

Viper

Blue RTIC softpak 40

Black

 

RTIC vs YETI 

(Soft-Side 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

You can’t go wrong with either one of these coolers if you need a good personal cooler that will last.

This cooler is nice to have if you already have a hard sided rotomolded cooler and need one for a day trip to the beach, or if you decide to go on a short road trip.

Out of all the soft sided coolers the main difference here between these two are the straps.  The hopper has side handles, and also comes with a shoulder strap while the RTIC lunch box has two side straps that come together at the top for each pick up and move.

RTIC vs YETI 

(Soft-Side 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

The soft side 20 coolers pictured above are step up from the lunch box and hopper flip.

If you need more room to share and hold some extras then this will be a great fit for you.

With YETI this is where the body style changes on the soft side coolers.  When you step up to the hopper 20 the body changes to a slimmer style cooler than the Hopper Flip.

The slimmer style helps when carrying the cooler at your side.

RTIC vs YETI

(Soft-Side 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 side 30s are beefier versions of their little brother above with the same color choices.

We mentioned above that the YETI has more of a bag type feel, 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’ type feel to your soft cooler.  This can help when dumping ice into it (especially 30 pounds of ice).  Another nice feature with the RTIC coolers if it’s full of ice is it can also act as a seat.

RTIC vs YETI

(Soft-Side 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

These are the largest soft side coolers available in both brands, and another step up from the 30 pound soft sides on ice capacity.

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

RTIC vs YETI Rotomolded Coolers

RTIC and YETI make nearly identical hard sided coolers.  The hard sides put both brands in the spotlight, and really opened up the lid on the whole cooler industry.

YETI has more options on the hard sided coolers so for the purpose of this post we’re only comparing the 20, 45, and 65 rotomolded coolers from RTIC and YETI.

If you’re looking for in-between sizes check out what options you have here.

RTIC vs YETI

(Rotomolded 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 20 hard side can be applicable to a lot of situations, and the metal bar handle with soft grip can be a real life saver when carrying a full cooler.

Besides size – the metal bar is the main differentiating size between the 20’s and the 45 & 65 coolers below, and the ice retention increases two fold for the hard coolers compared to the soft sides.

It jumps 5 days to 10 days due to the extra insulation that is provided.

RTIC vs YETI 

(Rotomolded 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 is exceptional for a decent size get together with friends and/or family.

To give you an idea of size range this cooler will hold 36 cans comfortably.

RTIC vs YETI 

(Rotomolded 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

The 45 and 65 both come with marine grade ropes at the sides so that you and a friend can lug it around with ease.

This size holds 64 cans.

RTIC vs YETI Coolers – Which One Is Better?

We compared RTIC vs YETI on 4 different soft-side coolers, and 3 different rotomolded (hard) coolers for you.

 

Both brands make excellent products to help with very common and widespread need:

Keeping things cool.  And for a long period of time.

Both RTIC and YETI coolers accomplish this with a process called ‘roto-molding’.

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.  This is the standard of high end coolers in today’s market after YETI popularized it.

But how does that keep your stuff cool?

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

The casting results in the thick hollow walls and lid, and are then filled with polyurethane insulation.  Enough so that gap has some ‘meat on its bones’.

The thickness and the insulation make a HUGE difference compared to the flimsy lids of standard coolers where the heat can get straight to the contents of your cooler.

Yeti Tundra 35 Tan Cooler

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

Coolers Similar To Yeti

Tons of coolers are trying to pave their way like YETI has.  Being first major high end cooler to market 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.

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

Price is the biggest diferentiator here.  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!”.

That gained a ton of attention for RTIC

So much that YETI filed a lawsuit in 2014..

RTIC came into the market in 2014 with the popular, “A YETI for half the price”.  YETI filed a lawsuit against RTIC in March of 2016 for trade dress infringement, and patent infringement.

What does that mean for you?

Absolutely nothing in terms of purchasing a product.  As a consumer you have two virtually identical sets of products that you can choose between on what’s best for you.

What We Compared

We compared 2 aspects of each cooler:

  • Ice Life
  • Ice Capacity

Here are some of the other things we sprinkle throughout the post:

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

Before comparing…

What’s Important To You In A Cooler?

  • Do you only use a cooler for beverages?  What about food too?  A lot of it?
  • 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?
  • Have a lot of friends?

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

RTIC has typically been around the half the price of YETI (even after they got sued).  I don’t see that changing anytime soon as 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 Ice Life

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

RTIC publicly displays their ice retention while YETI does not as there are too many variables.  We agree with YETIs route here, and leveled these off on what you can 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.  But either one of these brands would do an exceptional job at keeping your drinks/meat/food cold over an extensive period of time.

RTIC vs YETI 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 here that the soft coolers are identical on ice capacity, but RTIC coolers hold more than YETI on the hard coolers.

Although the RTIC rotomolded coolers did hold more than YETI, we didn’t relate that back to the above ice life.

Consequently, yes – being able to hold more ice would relate to greater ice retention, but as previously stated there are too many variables when it comes to just how long the ice lasts between these coolers so felt it would be best to just show you differences in capacity.

RTIC vs YETI Durability & Features

(Rotomolded 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 Durability & Features

(Soft-Side 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.  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.

You won’t have this issue with a rotomolded cooler as they will be more resistance to puncture.

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

RTIC vs YETI (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.

Some of the others towards the top are for ‘in between sizes’.

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 (Warranty Info)

YETI has a 3 year warranty from time of purchase for their rotomolded coolers, and 3 years for their soft coolers.

RTIC will warrant your hard coolers, soft coolers, and RTIC duffel bags for 1 year.

Any RTIC stainless steel drinkware and other accessories are warranted for 90 days.

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.

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.

Yes the coolers are bear resistant, and are extremely resistant to normal wear and tear, but this shouldn’t be a reason to go out and damage your product ‘just to see’.

The more you take care of your cooler the longer it will last.

RTIC vs YETI Coolers (Our Pick)

This was a tough one, 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.

Considering that..

  • The rotomolded 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…

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