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RTIC vs YETI is a battle fought at tailgate parties, car camping trips, sand volleyball courts, and at the beach. The contest between these two top cooler brands can only be settled by veteran cooler owners – those who know the importance of keeping food cold when traveling, on day picnics, and during campouts. If you’ve never owned at YETI and don’t know what RTIC even stands for, you might be asking – does it really matter? Aren’t modern coolers all pretty much light years ahead of that old styrofoam-walled Coleman your dad loved? In fact, coolers are leaps and bounds better, but price and features still matter.

The YETI Company

This cooler company is a dozen years old, beginning its reign over all other coolers shortly after selling their first ice chest in 2006. YETI has its roots in Austin, TX and was founded because the business owners were underwhelmed with current cooler offerings, and as avid hunters, they knew what they wanted in a good cooler. What they were looking for is also what consumers wanted, because YETI took off like a rocket in sales. The cooler they produced, now in both hard and soft versions, keeps food and drinks ice cold for days. Who wouldn’t want a YETI?

RTIC: A Copycat?

Founded in 2014, also by two brothers, this cooler company decided YETI had a good thing going, so why not make a cooler just as good for less money? This idea proved fruitful, and thus the RTIC vs YETI wars began. The RTIC took the molded cooler concept and came up with the slogan, “A YETI at Half the Price.” YETI noticed this and filed a lawsuit, claiming patent infringement, which was recently settled. As a result of this somewhat auspicious start, RTIC had to cease making identical coolers. There are still several RTIC copycats out there, but RTIC has since redesigned enough to satisfy YETI and the courts.

Where Can You Purchase The RTIC And YETI Coolers?


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RTIC has a more exclusive sales territory, and they are available through the company website and on Amazon. YETI is a lot easier to find. Both cooler types can be bought on the used market. Look for RTIC and YETI on Craigslist and eBay.



RTIC Vs YETI On The Used Market

Coolers like this last. Undamaged, they work just as well used as new and sometimes people find that their cooler needs change. Customers who’ve bought YETI at significant investment will sometimes sell on Craigslist or eBay. There are many more YETI coolers on the used market than RTIC simply because YETI has been manufacturing coolers eight years longer than RTIC and it takes a while for a product to start hitting the used market.

Which Cooler Is More Affordable?

RTIC is more affordable than YETI, however, YETI is more consistent in quality. So in terms of value, the comparison isn’t always straightforward.

RTIC Vs YETI On Price And Value

YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler
  • The Haul is the first-ever YETI cooler on wheels. Perfect for taking the Tundra's...
  • NeverFlat Wheels – A solid, single-piece tire construction that is impact- and...
  • StrongArm Handle – A durable welded aluminum arm with comfortable grips. The curved...
  • Rotomolded Construction - Makes it armored to the core and virtually indestructible
  • Permafrost Insulation - Pressure-injected commercial-grade polyurethane foam in the walls...
RTIC Cooler (RTIC 45 Tan)
  • Keeps Ice up to 10 Days, Like a portable freezer
  • Integrated Locking System, Bear Resistant
  • Easy-Flow Drain Spouts, Lets the water out, keeps ice in
  • Molded Tie Down Slots and Heavy Duty Rope Handles
  • Heavy Duty Rubber T-Latches for smooth trouble-free closure

The bottom line is that these are both excellent coolers, but RTIC is a knock-off of very high quality. For this reason, and because RTIC is a much newer product, it doesn’t compare with YETI in the final analysis. The RTIC vs YETI battle isn’t a done deal though because RTIC is a lot less expensive than YETI. When it comes to value, most RTIC products are a better deal, but YETI is more consistent in delivering a flawless product. We will go into more detail on the specific issues that sometimes crop up with RTIC hard coolers.

RTIC Vs YETI: A Comprehensive Review

Both RTIC and YETI produce two cooler lines: soft and hard. The soft coolers are easier to store, maneuver into small spaces, and if not full, this style can be packed more easily into a car. Hard coolers have the advantage of doubling as a stool or table, or even a chair for a kid, and are more durable.

Soft Coolers

Hard Coolers

RTIC Vs YETI Soft Coolers

The soft cooler RTIC vs YETI battle yields no victor. Both make great soft-sided coolers with a slight style variation and potential advantage by RTIC. The RTIC soft coolers have a slight size edge, but many consumers may want to make their decision based on look and style since performance is such a close call.

RTIC Vs YETI Hard Coolers

The capacity of RTIC hard-sided coolers is better: ice life is better, and overall, the RTIC vs YETI battle has a clear winner – RTIC. The ice life is the issue, and for long trips where the cooler isn’t being lugged over terrain, RTIC is a clear choice. The YETI ice life is excellent, however, so some buyers may prefer the YETI style and consider other factors like design and warranty.

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