Coolers

RTIC vs YETI [Quick & Easy Comparison] Summer 2019

The Ultimate RTIC vs YETI Comparison Guide

This is our ultimate RTIC vs YETI comparison guide.

To start off? A little background.

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 for 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 (more on that below).

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

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 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 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.

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.

New RTIC Coolers & Products!

YETI sued RTIC over patent infringement and trade dress back in February of 2017.

RTIC settled because of the uncertainty in the outcome of the litigation, and decided to redesign their coolers, and also put out some new products out.

Do the coolers like entirely different?

They actually look very similar to what they looked like before being sued.

This is what RTIC’s new coolers look like:

See anything new compared to the original design?

The only part of the RTIC Coolers that were different than the ones that they were sued for by YETI is the piece beneath the lid handle.

If you look here on the left (old RTIC cooler) you can see the that there is a lengthy piece that’s underneath the lid ‘lip’ so it creates a space for your hand to go into and open up the lid.

This one aspect alone made it an exact match to the YETI coolers – which is why they were sued in the first place.

Now look at this.  All RTIC did was take that piece out so they can say their cooler isn’t an exact match to YETI coolers anymore.

Plus…they made the font larger than before.

Both RTIC and YETI coolers are meant to last you a lifetime.

If it doesn’t you either lost the cooler, or you blew a stick of dynamite inside of it.

As far as the soft coolers go – RTIC had to update those too.

One of the aspects you may have noticed is that RTIC changed the color scheme on their soft side coolers.  It’s a stylish and noticeable difference, and of course doesn’t hurt ice retention or other key features.

If you do like the old grey and hints of blue color scheme that RTIC had on their old soft side coolers then you can still grab one here on Amazon:

Last update was on: March 19, 2019, 10:11 pm

This guide compares both Rtic & Yeti product lines from their soft coolers, hard coolers, and drinkware.

The only new products besides the updated coolers that they rolled out are the new RTIC water bottles, and the new RTIC duffel bags.

RTIC Duffel Bags

Updated RTIC Softpaks

New RTIC Water Bottles

 

 

Let’s briefly cover the RTIC water bottles first, and then we’ll cover the RTIC duffle bags.

RTIC Water Bottles

The RTIC Water bottles are just like any other steel water bottle on the market today.  This space has become so crowded from so many brands competing to keep your drink cold.

Some of the cool features and benefits that the new RTIC water bottles have are:

  • Double Walled Vacuum Insulation
  • An Air Tight Seal
  • Keeps Ice For 24 Hours
  • The Exterior Doesn’t Sweat
  • Keeps Drinks Hot Too
  • 18/8 Stainless Steel

So when you’re headed to the beach, park or just want to keep your water cool throughout the day then you’re all set.

The biggest difference between the RTIC water bottles and the YETI tumblers is the size of the bottom portion of the bottle.  With the YETI Tumblers they are wider so there are limitations around what types of cup holders you can fit them in.  That isn’t the case with RTIC (with the exclusion of the YETI 20 oz tumbler being slim).

RTIC vs YETI Drinkware

Ranging from the lowball 10 oz. stainless steel cup that’s great for your personal mix drink all the way up to a 64 oz. container that’s great for any extended outdoor activity.

Be sure to check out our personal favorite…The RTIC 32 oz Sport Water Bottle

Also keep in mind that some of these listed are some of RTICs old products, while some of them are updated.

The older ones won’t be around much longer so grab one while you can.

RTIC vs YETI 10 oz. Lowballs

 

No difference here.  If you’re evaluating what stainless steel cup is better to drink your whiskey out of then you need to work on relaxing a little more.

What we’ve found is that the RTIC or YETI lowballs can sometimes be a little too wide to grip – so here is our personal favorite lowball.  It is not made by RTIC or YETI.

RTIC vs YETI Colster

Although we like both the YETI colster and RTICs version too – neither one of these is our favorite.  Unscrewing the top part is tedioius.

Check out the Thermos can insulator below.  It keeps your drink cold just as long as YETI and RTIC, and you don’t have to worry about the top part because your drink slides right in.

RTIC 17 oz. Water Bottle (New)

RTIC 18 oz. Water Bottle vs. YETI 18 oz. Water Bottle

 

 

RTIC 20 oz. Tumbler vs. YETI 20 oz. Tumbler

One thing you may notice is that RTICs 20oz tumbler has the same shape as their 30oz tumbler, while the YETI 20oz is slim compared to their larger 30oz tumbler with a big body, and smaller bottom.

Here are the new and improved YETI 20 oz Tumblers with a matte color, and a sliding lid so you can close the drink hole.

RTIC 25 oz. Water Bottle (New)

YETI 26 oz. Bottle

RTIC 30 oz. Tumbler vs. RTIC 30 oz. Tumbler

 

RTIC 36 oz. Bottle vs. YETI 36 oz. Bottle

YETI 64oz Rambler Bottle

YETI Half Gallon Jug

YETI Gallon Jug

Both the Half Gallon Yeti Jug and the Gallon Jug are great for camping trips and having enough water on hand for more than 1 person.

This is extremely important if you’re looking to go on an extended hiking trips, or if you’re not sure if you’ll be by a fresh water source.

There are so many types of water bottles to choose from so it’s important to consider what type of activities you normally do.

Some of the above have ‘screw off’ lids (like the RTIC 17 oz. Water Bottle) – while others (like the YETI 20 oz. Tumbler) have flat lids where water can always escape if tipped.

New RTIC Duffel Bags

At first glance the RTIC Duffel bags look like they could be duffel bags AND coolers.  Could they be a cooler?

The short answer is no, that’s not what the duffel bags are intended for, but they can certainly be used as coolers if you don’t have one.  You certainly won’t have any issues with water and ice escaping from the inside and leaking because of the stay dry material, but that definitely isn’t their purpose.

The duffel’s have the same material as the RTIC SoftPak, but they have less structure to them.  They don’t have the internal ‘boxy’ type frame that the SoftPaks offer – rather they have more of a ‘barrel’ type frame so that you can use them for virtually anything.

  • Camping
  • Traveling
  • Vacations
  • Long Weekends At The Beach

  • Stay Dry Material
  • Easy Access Flap
  • Heavy Duty Nylon Shell
  • Lightweight & Durable

The small 40-liter duffel bag is perfect for an extended trip.  40 liters is roughly 10.5 gallons so more than enough room for clothes, and other things.  Enough room for more if you wanted to use this duffel bag for 2 sets of clothes.

It comes with a detachable, adjustable shoulder strap that you can use to carry this thing across body, and there are padded side handles to make it easy to grab this thing out the back of a vehicle or lug it into a boat with a friend if it’s heavy.

Here are the sizes of the duffel bags…

  • Small – 40 Liters (roughly 10.5 gallons)
  • Medium – 70 Liters (roughly 18.5 gallons)
  • Liter – 140 Liters (roughly 37 gallons)

 

Another great feature for the RTIC duffel bags as well is the water-resistant name tag on top of the bag.  Great if you accidentally lose it on your kayaking trip, or if you’re just in the airport using it as a travel bag.

RTIC vs YETI (Which Brand Is Better?)

RTIC & YETI both make excellent lines of gear.

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

That’s what you want, right?

But, 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.

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.

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…

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