RTIC vs YETI Coolers – 5 Best Products Head to Head – Which Is Better?

The Best 5 Products Per Price Category Compared!

Why Do You Need Coolers

Coolers are an essential part of outdoor adventure. Sure, people will say, you don’t really need it, you can just eat instant noodles. Sure, you can do that. But 3 days of nothing but Ramen and dried food will get old fast. My advice, get yourself a cooler. Not just those run of the mill stuff you get at best buy, but something that can keep your food fresh for longer periods.

Get some racks (otherwise your food will end up in melted ice) and you can have fresh food for a week. You can catch fish or hunt deer and keep it for later. It’ll make your life a whole lot easier.

Modern coolers feature nifty tech that make them last longer. Some of them have ice times that range in the 8-10 day category. That’s enough for an extended fishing trip or a long road trip.

In our research two companies really stood out. YETI and the up and coming company RTIC. We reached out to them and they’ve kindly given up samples to test out. Read on to see how they did.

Best 60 Quart Coolers YETI Tundra 65 Cooler VS RTIC 65 Tan Cooler

In the 65 quart range there’s some tough competition and it's not always easy to pick between them. From the well-established YETI we'll take a look at the Tundra 65, a well known and often bought model, which has a steady stream of supporters in the camping and outdoors community. From the new kid on the block, RTIC, who's been in the news lately boasting about the longer ice melting times, we'll look at the RTIC 65 Tan.

Both manufacturers provide similar specs yet the price difference is the first detail that will jump out at you. The RTIC is significantly less costly almost allowing you to buy two for the same price as the YETI model. This automatically begs the question, did RTIC cut too many corners or are you paying more for the YETI name?

You'll also notice that the RTIC 65 is quite a bit larger then its competitor even if both models are rated at 65 quarts. The Tundra 65 dimensions are 30 1/2 in long x 17 1/2 in wide x 16 in high with an empty weight of 29 pounds yet you can fit almost 13 pounds more of ice in the RTIC 65.

So let's look at the head to head:

YETI Tundra 65

PROS

  • Size: 30.5 x 17.5 x 16
  • Rated 65 quarts
  • ​Fits 56lbs of ice
  • ​Ice life 7 days
  • ​Bear resistant certified
  • ​Vortex drain
  • Foam filled
  • ​29lbs empty weight
  • 5-years warranty

CONS

  • Price 400$

RTIC 65

PROS

  • Size: 32.25 x 18.5 x 17.1
  • ​Rated 65 quarts
  • ​Fits 69lbs of ice
  • ​Ice life 8.5 days
  • ​Bear resistant
  • ​Screw in drain plug
  • ​Foam filled
  • ​Price 200$

CONS

  • 36lbs empty weight
  • 30 days warranty

It all comes down to price vs. warranty between these two fantastic products. Since the RTIC 65 can actually hold even more ice then the YETI Tundra 65, it is understandable that the ice will last longer and have a slightly better chill retention capability.

Also, since the price of the RTIC 65 is lower you can easily afford to take a risk with a shorter warranty especially since most problems occur during transport and delivery and not trough regular use of the cooler.​

Best 10 - 15 Quart Soft Pack Cooler: YETI Hopper Flip 12 Cooler VS RTIC 20

Some of the most often used coolers are of the soft variety because of their flexibility and the diversity of use. Yes, they're definitely not made for the long extended trips in the outback country yet only a small fraction of the population of cooler users actually goes on extended trips. However a much larger number of people use the soft coolers every day to bring their healthy lunches to work or take some snacks while out on the golf course or even while shopping with the kids.

​In looking at the YETI vs. RTIC options in the 15-quart range, we've selected two of the most popular models with the Hopper Flip 12 from YETI and the RTIC 20 Soft Pack. Both products boast similar specs yet you can immediately spot the YETI by the higher price and FDA certified materials. Since both have a tested ice life of 70 hours we can safely say that there's not much difference in quality.

Both brands have integrated leek proof zippers although YETI's is sealed only on the inside while the RTIC's zipper is sealed on the outside using the same technology as the thigh end ski suites. There's a better chance that the YETI will maintain the water seal over time since it's not exposed to the elements most detrimental of which is the sun. The advantage here would have to go to the higher priced Hopper Flip as it’s also covered by a 3-year warranty.​

Let's take a look at all these features side by side and see how they stack up:

YETI Hopper Flip 12

PROS

  • Size: 13.5 x 12 x 10.5
  • Ice life 70 hours
  • Leek proof zipper
  • High density fabric
  • Rated 12 quarts
  • 3-years warranty

CONS

  • Price 270$

RTIC 20 Soft Pack

PROS

  • Size: 13.25 x 14 x 9.25
  • Ice life 70 hours
  • Leek proof zipper
  • Foam insulation
  • Rated 15 quarts
  • Price 100$

CONS

  • 30 days money back warranty

We've compared these two models since even if they are rated at different quart sizes they do offer a similar volume inside. However the hands down advantage goes to the RTIC 20 Soft Pack where the price is and overwhelming plus compared to the YETI Hopper Flip 12. Even if the RTIC model will only last you one year, you can afford to purchase a new one every Christmas and come out spending almost the same amount as the you'd for a YETI.

It is important to note however that from our experience, very few problems occur with cooler that are not noticeable in the first week of usage. This is why we strongly recommend that you use your cooler right after purchase and see if it respects the manufacture's specs.

Best 20 Quart Cooler: YETI Roadie 20 Cooler VS RTIC 20 Tan

The 20-quart cooler range is generally the smallest size for hard shell coolers also making it the most versatile and the product of choice for many users. They offer a small enough size to fit amongst the weekend gear yet enough cooling retention to keep for the duration of the trip even with the assumed higher usage of a family with kids. The hard shell also perform much better in the marine environment where exposure to sun is almost inevitable and as such making the job of cooling preservation many times more difficult.

As we look at the 20-quarts choices from the veteran and well-established YETI and compare it with the new kid on the block form RTIC, we have to state from the get-go that both models perform exceptionally well in their main task extending ice life. Both the Roadie 20 and the RTIC 20 have demonstrated in real life tests a max ice life of 4 days. This is the primary characteristic on which they are judged.

Looking at the physical differences, which there aren't many, both feature great locking T-latches and heavy-duty hinges, and they both market their products as bear proof. We've not seen any hard evidence from RTIC to demonstrate the bear resistance as we've seen form YETI, however this may explain the price difference between the two. If you are going camping in bear country you may want pay closer attention and utilize the padlock every time you leave the cooler unattended.

Let's see how they both stack against each other:

YETI Roadie 20

PROS

  • Size: 19 x 13.75 x 14.4
  • Rated 20 quarts
  • Ice life 4 days
  • Bear resistant certified
  • Vortex drain
  • Roto-Molded construction
  • 13.2 pounds
  • T-Rex latches
  • 5-years warranty

CONS

  • Price 250$

RTIC 20

PROS

  • Size: 21 x 15.75 x 14.75
  • Rated 20 quarts
  • Ice life 4 days
  • Bear proof
  • Screw in drain plug
  • Roto-Molded construction
  • 15.5 pounds
  • Heavy-duty T-Latches
  • Price 125$

CONS

  • 30-day money back

It's very hard to pick between these two excellent products especially if money is no object. Since the YETI model is significantly more expensive then the RTIC and yet they offer a 5-year warranty, we are slightly more concerned about the 30-day money back warranty from RTIC. Not everyone is going to be able to use and test the hard shell coolers within the first 30-days and yet, a manufacturing defect could only show itself once the cooler is dropped on a small rock.

Best 30 oz Tumbler: YETI Rambler 30 oz. VS RTIC 30 oz. Tumbler

You don't have to be a coffee or tea aficionado to appreciate the small delight that comes with drinking your beverage of choice hot and fresh. This is the main reason why it's become an extremely popular habit for the every day Joe and Jane to make a mental note, as they rush to get ready, to remember to take the giant insulated tumbler. The workday could be scraped if it doesn’t start with a "Venti"!

There are many options when it comes to tumbles on market today and we've chosen to look at the well known YETI and the news making RTIC for an in-depth comparison. The 30 oz. is the largest of the tumblers and this size gives you the ability to keep your drink hot or cold for a full day. In this aspect both models are inseparable since the tested max ice life came out to 25 hours for both.

Looking at the construction, both the YETI Rambler and the RTIC Tumbler are made from 18/8 stainless steel, double-walled and with vacuumed insulation. The main difference is that the YETI is dishwasher safe while the RTIC is not. They also both have shatterproof lids yet both models don't have stops to prevent leaks.

When it comes to price the RTIC is the hands down favorite at half the price of its better-known rival. Yet the YETI is backed by a 3-year warranty far better then the 30 days for the RTIC.

Here's a side-by-side glimpse at the two models:

YETI Rambler 30

PROS

  • Size: 4 x 7.8
  • 30 ounces
  • 18/8 stainless steel
  • Ice life 25 hours
  • Dishwasher safe
  • 3-year warranty

CONS

  • Price 40$
  • Lid has no leak stop

RTIC 30 Tumbler

PROS

  • Size: 4 x 7.75
  • 30 ounces
  • 18/8 stainless steel
  • Ice life 25 hours
  • Price 20$

CONS

  • 30-day money back
  • NOT dishwasher safe
  • Lid has no leak stop

The fact that the RTIC Tumbler is not dishwasher safe is a major drawback and coupled with the very short warranty that the direct to consumer brand offers makes this product much less desirable. Even if the YETI Ramble retails for twice the price, the cost is not so high as to justify the savings. Especially in family environment, it is easy to imagine that the RTIC will inadvertently make its way into the dishwasher and then could be ruined. It would also be nice if both models could have stops on the lids as to prevent any leaks.

Best 36 Ounce Bottle: YETI Rambler Bottle 36 OZ. VS RTIC Stainless Steel Bottle 36 OZ.

If you're sick of the constant nagging from every personal trainer about your hydration habits then you've surely considered a liquid container that you can carry around and keep drinking all day long. Regardless if your choice of beverage is hot or cold, a stainless steel bottle is a great choice.

From the well-known maker of outdoor and thermo resistant products YETI, this is their mid-sized contribution to the bottled Rambler series, and it shares many similarities with its smaller sibling. The biggest difference is to be noticed in the overall size of the bottle, which is twice as large. However, the components and materials used are identical so you will see similar cooling and heating retention performance. There's a slightly better thermo performance since it is a bigger container yet for the most part just as expected, the tests yield results of up to around 27 hours of ice life.

Then again, RTIC comes through and just about copies every facet of the Yeti example. Therefore, as expected, we get a very similar ice life of around 26 hours. It's no wonder that there's some outstanding litigation between the two companies. However this doesn’t change the fact that RTIC is much more affordable then its bigger competitor.

In the head-to-head here's how they compare:

YETI Rambler 36

PROS

  • Size: 10.75 x 3.75
  • 36 ounces
  • 18/8 stainless steel
  • Ice life 27 hours
  • Dishwasher safe
  • 3-years warranty
  • Leak proof cap

CONS

  • Price 43$

RTIC Stainless 36

PROS

  • Size: 11 x 3.75
  • 36 ounces
  • 18/8 stainless steel
  • Ice life 26 hours
  • Price 20$
  • Leak proof cap

CONS

  • 30-day money back
  • NOT dishwasher safe

As is the case when comparing a YETI product with a RTIC competitor, the price leans heavily in RTIC's favor however it's clear that YETI stands behind their product for a much longer period of time. Also, it's puzzling how strict RTIC is about the dishwasher issues for their stainless steel line. If RTIC would certify the stainless steel line for dishwasher use and return to their previous 7-year warranty for their products, they would become the clear market leaders.

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