Arctic Coolers vs YETI – Winner?
RTIC (sometimes spelled Arctic on accident) is a very well-known knockoff of the famous cooler brand – Yeti. As a matter of fact, if you put these coolers side by side (in terms of product type and capacity), you can see there’s virtually no difference. When you look at them, you’ll notice though, that there is two different categories that set them apart. We’re going to look into an RTIC vs. Yeti test today that’s going to show the difference between the two. May you see the final winner in the rounds, and maybe you’ll know which one you’ll want to pick. Don’t worry, both of these coolers do have some valid points that make them a little better in many people’s opinions. But are RTIC coolers even better? Let’s find out!
What Is Yeti?
Well, Yeti is the biggest brand name in coolers. They’ve been dubbed the most high-end cooler on the market, and they have a ton of things you can do to customize them. Yeti has been well-known among anglers, hunters, and even truck drivers for years due to their small marketing strategy, but highest-grade coolers.
Who is RTIC?
RTIC is a manufacturer who has budget in mind. They claim to offer the exact same as a Yeti, but at a much lower price than a Yeti costs. While both of them claim to be overly manufactured, Yetis can cost hundreds of dollars, and the RTIC takes pride in costing less than a Yeti and almost every other brand of premier cooler out there.
The Release Date is Important
Some people love the fact that Yetis have been around since 2006. And they started back in Austin, TX. Their first coolers were around $200, and even though most coolers were hundreds cheaper, they took the cake because customers knew what they were getting. It’s about like choosing a Zippo lighter compared to one of those flip-top cheap lighters you get at a Carnival. It’s just not the same.
RTIC got its start back in 2015. They utilize their brand by selling directly to consumers on their website, and they use social media sites like Facebook, and other online ad-generating tactics online to promote their products. Because of the way they market their products, they’ve quickly become one of Yeti’s largest coolers to compete with on the market. Fortunately for Yeti, there is some reasons that they are still winning on the market.
Pitting Smaller Coolers
We’re starting out with the Yeti Roadie 24 and the RTIC 20. Both coolers are similar in storage size, so that’s what we’re going by. When you start with the Yeti, you can see that it has a unique design that makes it ultra compact, but it is still a large cooler for being so durable and lightweight. It only weighs almost 13 pounds, and you can add things like the Yeti dry basket, tiedowns, and more. You can hold 18 cans, or up to 24 pounds of ice (which is how it got its name). It doesn’t have a drain plug, but many smaller coolers don’t.
The RTIC 20 knockoff is $70 bucks less on the suggested retail price market. You can hold 24 cans, so they’ve already got the win on the capacity. The cooler isn’t that tall though, so don’t think you’re going to fit your favorite bottle of merlot in it! It comes with a stainless steel handle that the Yeti doesn’t come with. It also has a drain plug, so this makes water draining a breeze. In terms of portability, comfortable handles (and handling), and a bit more features, you may want to give the RTIC a try. The quality may not be quite as good as the Yeti’s though.
Onto the Mid-Sized Champions
When it comes to longer trips that are going to last a while, you may want to look into the Yeti or RTIC 65. Both coolers offer almost identical features, and they have almost the same look (literally, there’s no difference in appearance). The Yeti is one of the more popular coolers of this size. It only comes with a 5-year warranty, so that can be a problem. One of the cool things about this, is that it’s a fisherman’s friend. You can customize it by ordering and attaching a bottle opener, cupholder, fishing pole sheath, and much more. One of the key things about them though – they’re so long-lasting that not very many people had to utilize the warranty because they’re just that darn good. The downside is the price.
The RTIC 65 offers a decent knockoff that is comparable. You don’t get the cutting board on the top of the lid though. You do get more storage space, but the RTIC doesn’t quite cut it in terms of ice retention either. This is often a problem, and it’s perfectly understandable since it weighs about 5 pounds more than the Yeti in comparison. These coolers also only come with one accessory, and a very short warranty as well. Most importantly though, these do often give Yeti a run for their money because they’re more than a hundred dollars cheaper, and they are a great budget ice chest.
What About Soft Bag Coolers?
Soft Packs are gaining popularity when it comes to smaller gatherings, picnics, and just having an on-the-go solution and need a cooler. Many people often go to their local Wal-Mart and find a cheap cooler, and then find out that they don’t have good ice retention. That’s where watertight soft packs come into play. Both the Yeti Hopper M30 and the RTIC Soft Pack 30 are the ideal candidates when it comes to choosing a high quality cooler pack. They are some of the most popular though because they’re leakproof, and are made of some of the highest grade materials possible. You can have ice last a really long time too, which is always important.
The Yeti Hopper is made in China primarily. Unfortunately for those who take pride in Yeti, some people won’t buy these hoppers simply because of that. Either way though, they offer superb protection for your food and drinks because they’re so durable. The design of the Yeti Hopper is extremely sleek, and it only weight 7 pounds, which is great considering how heavy duty they are. The lid has a magnetic buckle as compared to having a zipper like most bags out there. And they utilize this to maintain leak resistance, which means you won’t have to worry about this cooler tipping and making a mess. Unfortunately, some people don’t like how much of a pain this cooler can be to open. This is very portable though, and can hold up to 28 pounds of ice. It does have a pretty high price.
The RTIC is two hundred dollars less than the Yeti, and almost all of the features are similar to the Yeti competition. It can hold up to 30 cans, or you can fit up to 30 pounds of ice in it. While it’s not as stylish as the Yeti, the fact that you can use it and not worry about water leaking out is a big plus. One of the main downsides though, is that while Yeti uses a specially designed zipper with their magnetic lock, you don’t get as good of a zipper on the RTIC. This can be problematic, and some users have complained about the zipper breaking and not lasting as long as the Yeti counterpart.
On with the Goods and the Bads
All things have pros and cons, and depending on which one you want to go with, you may decide to save a bit of money, or just save up until you can afford the Yeti brand. Yetis are far more known to have less design and manufacturing flaws than any other brand on the market, despite the high price.
- RTIC coolers are pretty good in general at keeping your food cool for up to 7 days.
- These coolers are very easy to carry. They’re very popular and have rubber grips that make them comfortable compared to the standard hard coolers. This is something that you can’t get with any other cooler brand.
- In terms of durability, you can’t get that from any cheap cooler. But the RTIC offers almost Yeti-like capabilities in this field too, which makes it worth it.
- The design of RTIC coolers are almost identical to a Yeti. You could almost fool someone with how similar they are in most cases (except for the soft packs).
- RTIC has actually gotten into some trouble from Yeti for offering such a trademark looking knockoff. The downside is that this may mean that you won’t get the same amount of support as you would with a Yeti.
- You only get a year’s warranty with this, but they only offer a 30-day money back guarantee. This is another downside to their customer service, because users often have troubles with getting products replaced.
- Quality is a big deal, but a lot of times, RTIC has had problems with faulty products. This is a no-go for a lot of people, and it very well should be. Therefore, you sacrifice quality for paying less.
- RTIC’s customer service is flagged as the worst in terms of customer service. They don’t answer when you call them many times, and they have actually banned users that get blocked from their social media page. Customer service is a huge deal when you’re offering such a high-quality product too.
- Yeti has top of the line customer service. What’s even better, is that they’re really good at honoring their warranties, and taking pride in their products.
- Speaking of the warranty, most of Yeti’s coolers give you five years of one, which is often more than enough of a warranty to people who buy their products.
- The ice retention of a Yeti is much more than the RTIC. Even though it’s only about 8 hours longer in a Yeti Hopper, which makes a win for Yeti.
- Yeti is extremely lightweight, which makes them better than a lot of their competitors overall as well.
- The prices of a Yeti is much higher. They’re actually one of the highest priced coolers on the market. While you can see that the price of a Yeti is so high, this often deters people from buying them – that is until they do for the first time.
- You Don’t get Pockets for dry storage with all of the Yeti hoppers. This can be problematic when it comes to trying to carry around a cooler bag. Of course, you do get a dry storage basket for the hard coolers.
And the Winner Is
In terms of quality, Yeti coolers are definitely over the top. You just can’t beat the industrial-grade strength that a Yet offers. However, in terms of having an “almost perfect” cooler, you can’t go wrong if you want to save with the RTIC either. On the downside though, there are more problems with RTIC, and customer service is a big deal on reflection of product quality too. This means that they’re just looking to get your money and not give you any support. The Yeti definitely is the winner in this category, as well as many others. You don’t get the best customer support for a premium product if you’re not going to represent it the right way.
Conclusion – RTIC vs YETI
Yeti is definitely the better of the two coolers in terms of everything except for the price. Whether you’re wanting to get a cooler for a short trip, or you’re an avid angler, Yeti can definitely provide you with a cooler that can end up lasting you an entire lifetime – even if you’re only getting a five-year warranty with it. Our guess, is that you can buy an RTIC cooler, but you’re making a good sacrifice just to pay the smaller amount of money, so why not save up and go with one that’s going to give you better overall usability?