RTIC vs YETI: Cold Truth Behind This Cooler Titan Rivalry

When it comes to keeping your goods cool on those hot summer days, the cooler market has been dominated by two big names: RTIC and YETI.

Both companies have built a reputation for high-quality coolers that boast impressive ice retention and durability. But how do they truly compare?

Let’s examine the ins and outs of RTIC vs YETI, from their company history and product offerings to ice retention performance, sizes, bear-proofing, drinkware, price, and customer service.

Get ready to discover which cooler your cold, hard cash should be stored in.

Short Summary

  • Comparing RTIC and YETI coolers, customers must consider size/capacity, price, bear-proofing features & warranty details.
  • YETI has greater ice retention than RTIC. Both offer high quality stainless steel drinkware with customization and color options.
  • Price and customer service should be taken into account when choosing between the two brands for an informed decision.

RTIC and YETI: A Brief Company Overview

The story of RTIC and YETI begins with two sets of brothers: James and John Jacobsen, who founded RTIC, and Roy and Ryan Seiders, who established YETI.

Both companies have since become major players in the cooler market, with RTIC offering products like the RTIC hard cooler that rival the popular Yeti Rambler and YETI being known for its high-quality, durable coolers.

In the ongoing battle of RTIC vs Yeti, both companies offer a wide range of products, including:

  • Hard-sided coolers
  • Soft-sided coolers
  • Drinkware
  • Other accessories

The battle between RTIC and YETI is more than just a simple competition; it is a clash of titans, where each brand strives to outdo the other in terms of:

  • bear-resistance
  • quality
  • ice life
  • price

Understanding the differences between these cooler giants will ultimately help you make an informed decision on which cooler is the best fit for your needs.

Cooler Construction and Design

When comparing RTIC and YETI coolers, it’s essential to examine their construction and design. Both brands feature:

  • Tight-sealing, double-gasket lids that keep warm air out
  • Rope handles
  • Pre-formed slots for strapping them down
  • Formed using the same rotomolding process

The main distinction between the two lies in the price, with RTIC generally being more affordable.

In terms of materials, both RTIC and YETI coolers are crafted from 18/8 stainless steel, featuring double-wall vacuum insulation. However, there are some differences in the quality of the materials used.

For instance, the rubber components of RTIC coolers are slightly lower grade, and the rubber lid gasket is thinner and more fragile than YETI’s, leaving a small gap where the two ends meet.

Despite these slight differences in materials, both RTIC and YETI coolers offer impressive features that make them stand out in the market.

RTIC coolers boast a 100% leakproof, puncture-resistant, antimicrobial liner, tough construction, and the ability to keep ice for up to 5 days, while YETI coolers feature a rubber latch system, rubber lid gasket, non-stick feet, thick insulation, lockable corner slots, rope handles, tiedowns, and more.

Hard-Sided Coolers

When it comes to hard-sided coolers, RTIC offers roto-molded coolers in five sizes, while YETI provides two types: the Roadie Series and the Tundra Series. Although the two cooler brands have similar designs, RTIC utilizes lower quality materials in certain areas, such as the unsealed gasket and foam handles.

In terms of size and capacity, YETI boasts a capacity of 28 beer cans and 34 pounds of ice, while RTIC advertises a capacity of 36 beer cans or 40 pounds of ice.

Additionally, the YETI cooler is 6 pounds lighter than the RTIC when both are empty, making it easier to carry and transport.

As for price and warranty, RTIC is usually more affordable, although the original models have gone up in price due to limited availability.

YETI offers a 5-year defect protection agreement for their hard coolers, while RTIC’s warranty is rather ambiguous, making it essential to consider these factors when choosing between the two brands.

Soft-Sided Coolers

In the realm of soft-sided coolers, RTIC’s SoftPak line features a flip-up lid and a boxy shape, while the YETI Hopper is a duffel bag style cooler with a zipper near the top.

When it comes to materials, RTIC SoftPak coolers are made of a heavy-duty, waterproof, puncture-resistant, and anti-microbial nylon fabric, while YETI Hoppers are constructed from a very tough, high-density fabric that is completely waterproof, puncture-resistant, mildew-resistant, and UV-ray resistant.

Portability is another critical factor when comparing soft-sided coolers. Here are some options to consider.

  1. RTIC’s SoftPak has soft insulation that provides a stiffer structure and uniform shape, making it less likely to crush delicate items. However, it cannot be folded up for storage and is less comfortable to carry than the YETI.
  2. YETI’s Soft-Sided Coolers come in two models: the Hopper Flip and the Hopper Two. The Hopper Two is larger and has a zip-open entry, while the smaller Hopper Flip opens like a lunchbox with a flip-open top.
  3. YETI also offers the Hopper Backflip 24, a backpack cooler designed to carry approximately 25 pounds of ice and 20 cans.

The RTIC cooler is much more economically priced than the YETI Hopper Flip 18. Its cost is roughly one-third of the YETI’s expense.

However, it’s important to note that some users have reported issues with RTIC SoftPak coolers, such as sweating in higher temperatures and discrepancies in material and manufacturing quality.

Ice Retention Performance

Ice retention performance is a crucial factor when comparing RTIC and YETI coolers. The longevity of ice in coolers is largely determined by the ambient temperature of the environment and the amount of direct sunlight exposure.

Additionally, the size of a cooler has a direct effect on its ice retention capabilities, as larger coolers contain more ice in relation to their surface area.

The typical ice life for both RTIC and YETI coolers is approximately 5 days. However, the YETI Tundra 65 has a greater ice retention than the RTIC 65, and YETI coolers are generally superior to RTIC coolers in terms of temperature retention, user-friendliness, and portability.

The primary factor that contributes to RTIC’s enhanced performance for ice life is their larger size, with thicker walls and plastic construction.

Cooler Sizes and Capacities

When it comes to cooler sizes and capacities, RTIC coolers are available in 20, 45, and 60 quart models, while YETI coolers offer a size range from 20 quart to 350 quart.

The RTIC 45 is a cooler with a capacity of 45 quarts. On the other hand, the YETI Tundra 45 has 38 quarts of capacity. The RTIC 20 has a slightly larger capacity at 22 quarts, while the YETI 20 holds 16 quarts. The RTIC 65 has a true 65qt capacity, compared to the YETI’s 57qt internal storage.

In terms of weight:

  • The YETI 20 quart model has a weight of 15lbs
  • The RTIC 20 quart model has a weight of 25lbs
  • The YETI Tundra 65 is 29 lbs
  • The RTIC 65 is 36.5 lbs
  • The YETI Roadie 20 has a weight of 15lbs

Bear-Proofing and Security Features

When it comes to bear-proofing and security features, YETI is certified bear-proof, while RTIC does not possess a bear-proof certification. It’s important to note that neither RTIC nor YETI soft coolers have been granted bear-proof designation.

As for padlock options, RTIC coolers feature a padlock hole already built-in, whereas YETI coolers come with a padlock loop. This ensures that your belongings are secure and protected from wildlife and other potential threats.

Drinkware Comparison

In addition to coolers, both RTIC and YETI offer a range of drinkware products crafted from high-quality stainless steel and featuring double-wall vacuum insulation.

YETI provides more color options and customization, while RTIC offers 12-ounce and 16-ounce versions of their drinkware products.

Both RTIC and YETI drinkware products feature double-wall vacuum insulation, providing up to 24 hours of performance. However, when it comes to price, RTIC drinkware products are generally more affordable than YETI’s, making them a popular choice for those looking for a budget-friendly option.

Price and Affordability

A significant factor to consider when choosing between RTIC and YETI coolers is their price and affordability, which raises the question of yeti coolers worth. In general, RTIC products are more cost-effective than Yeti, often offering a larger storage capacity.

For example, the RTIC 65 is approximately a whole franklin less than the YETI Tundra 65.

YETI Tundra 65 Cooler, White

Ice lasts in ~3 inches of PermaFrost Insulation and an extra thick FatWall design.

Check Price
09/28/2023 06:51 pm GMT

However, it’s important to weigh the potential trade-offs when opting for a more affordable cooler. YETI’s reputation for high-quality, durable products and excellent customer service may justify the higher cost for some consumers.

On the other hand, if you plan to use your cooler for only two or three summers, an RTIC cooler may be a more cost-effective choice.

When making a decision between RTIC and YETI coolers, it is important to consider factors such as the warranty offered and whether the higher cost is justified.

While RTIC coolers may be more affordable, YETI’s reputation for durability and extended lifespan could make their premium prices more than reasonable.

Customer Service, Warranty, and Reputation

Both RTIC and YETI offer excellent customer service and warranty policies, with strong reputations for reliability and customer satisfaction. However, there are some differences between the two brands.

RTIC provides a 30-day return window and a complex warranty system, while YETI offers a 5-year limited warranty and a dedicated customer service department.

When it comes to brand trust and customer satisfaction, YETI is widely regarded as one of the premier coolers in the industry, while RTIC has gained a strong following due to their competitive pricing and quality products that rival YETI’s.

Ultimately, the choice between the two brands comes down to your personal preferences and priorities, such as quality, price, and warranty.

Accessories and Customization

When it comes to enhancing your cooler experience, both RTIC and YETI offer a range of accessories and customization options.

Some of the accessories and customization options offered by YETI include:

  • A variety of color choices
  • Patterns
  • Custom logos
  • Sliding feet
  • A rod holster
  • A beverage-holder
  • Ice packs
  • Seat cushions for the Tundra 65
  • A dry goods basket
  • A tie-down kit
  • Ice packs for the Roadie 24

RTIC, on the other hand, may not offer the same level of customization as YETI, but they still provide a range of accessories to enhance your cooler experience.

This includes items such as ice packs, tie-down kits, and other add-ons that can help you get the most out of your cooler.


In conclusion, both RTIC and YETI offer high-quality coolers with impressive ice retention performance, durability, and a range of sizes and capacities.

While RTIC may provide a more affordable option for those on a budget, YETI’s reputation for quality, customer service, and extended lifespan may justify the higher cost for some consumers.

Ultimately, the choice between RTIC and YETI comes down to your personal preferences and priorities, such as quality, price, and warranty.

No matter which cooler you choose, you can rest assured that your goods will stay cool and fresh during your outdoor adventures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is RTIC so much cheaper than YETI?

RTIC’s success is due to the fact that it sells almost exclusively direct to consumers, allowing them to sell their products at much lower prices than YETI and still turn a profit.

This is why RTIC is so much cheaper than YETI.

Why is YETI better than RTIC?

The YETI Tundra 45-quart cooler outperforms the RTIC in terms of weight, handles, feet and ice retention. It has a lot less ice than the RTIC when filled with the same amount and is 5 pounds lighter.

This makes it the clear choice for anyone looking for the best 45-quart hard cooler.

What happened between RTIC and YETI?

RTIC and YETI have settled their legal battle, with RTIC agreeing to redesign their products and pay an undisclosed sum to YETI. The lawsuit included patent, trade dress, and trademark infringement allegations.

The settlement marks the end of a long-running dispute between the two companies, with YETI claiming that RTIC had copied their designs and products. RTIC has agreed to make changes to their products and pay an undisclosed sum to them.

What are the key differences between RTIC and YETI coolers?

RTIC and YETI coolers differ in terms of construction, materials used, ice retention performance, sizes, capacities, bear-proofing, and price.

Construction-wise, RTIC coolers are made with a roto-molded construction, while YETI coolers are made with a roto-molded construction and a T-Rex lid. The materials used in RTIC coolers are a good choice.

Which cooler brand offers better ice retention performance?

YETI coolers offer superior ice retention performance compared to RTIC coolers.

Navigate through the cool face-off of RTIC vs Yeti! Each image is a glimpse into the icy battlefield where these titans of chill compete. From design to ice retention, it's a chilly quest for the cooler crown. Ready to discover which cooler reigns supreme in keeping your brews frosty?

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