Which is better? – Chicago Tribune

Whether you’re packing fresh food for a multi-day camping trip or a few drinks to enjoy on a picnic, the right cooler can make all the difference. RTIC coolers and Yeti coolers are both excellent options, so you might be wondering which one to buy.

RTIC makes a wide range of soft coolers and a handful of hard coolers, while Yeti makes a wide variety of hard coolers and a few soft coolers, so this will likely influence your decision.

RTIC is a relative newcomer on the block and has only been making coolers since 2015. RTIC coolers are durable and well insulated. With a wide range of soft cooler models, they’re great for anyone looking for a lightweight, affordable cooler for picnics and day trips.

When comparing RTIC coolers are cheaper than Yeti coolers. You can expect to pay anywhere from $20 for a small RTIC soft cooler to over $500 for an extra large hard cooler.

  • RTIC manufactures a large selection of soft coolers in a variety of sizes and styles, from classic soft coolers to lunch bags to backpacks and tote bags, so you’re sure to find the option that works for you.
  • RTIC solid coolers are spin-forming, a process that enables large plastic parts to be manufactured into seamless units, making them highly durable and able to hold ice for days.
  • When you choose an RTIC cooler, you get a build quality similar to the Yeti coolers but at a fraction of the price.
  • RTIC doesn’t make many solid coolers, so if you want to buy a solid cooler, you have limited options.
  • RTIC designs are often less modern and elegant than similar Yeti coolers.

RTIC stationary cooler: Available in Amazon

This rotary mold cooler is heavy-duty with 3 inches of insulation to hold ice for days. With three options from 20 to 65 liters, you can find the volume that meets most needs.

RTIC Soft Cooler 30: Available at Amazon

Large soft cooler can hold up to 30 beverage cans plus ice. It features a leak-proof zipper and a sweat-free exterior, so you won’t leave your hands wet.

RTIC Soft Cooler Day Bag: Available in Amazon

Looking for an affordable basic cooler for picnics, beach picnics, and other day trips? This model is the perfect choice. Don’t expect to keep your food or drinks cold for several days, but they are good for up to 24 hours.

Yeti coolers have been around since 2006. Although they weren’t the first company to use rotary dies to create highly durable products, these coolers were much stronger than others on the market at the time and held ice for much longer.

Although you can now find similar coolers – like the ones made by RTIC – the Yeti has been doing it for longer and has cooler make down to fine art. If you don’t mind paying top dollar, you’ll get an exceptional cooler if you go with the Yeti. You can spend anywhere from $80 on a soft core cooler to $1,300 on the largest 350L Yeti cooler.

  • Yeti solid coolers are nearly indestructible and so well insulated that they can hold ice for days, depending on external factors.
  • You can find Yeti coolers in a wide range of sizes, from compact soft coolers that hold six beverage cans plus ice to giant 350-liter coolers that will fuel a large group or last you on a multi-day camping trip.
  • Yeti makes a range of wheeled solid coolers that are perfect for those times when no one else is with you to help pull a large cooler.
  • Even Yeti soft coolers outperform your average cooler bag, and are powerful enough to withstand regular heavy use.
  • Yeti coolers are more expensive than RTIC coolers, even when comparing models of similar size and quality.
  • You won’t find a wide range of Yeti soft coolers compared to RTIC’s offering, although there is still enough choice to satisfy most buyers.

Yeti Tundra Wheel Portable Cooler: Available in Amazon

This sturdy, heavy-duty cooler comes on wheels, so it’s easy to move it to your camp site, picnic spot, or anywhere else you want to take it. Large enough to fit 45 drink cans plus ice, with a 2:1 ice-to-can ratio, it’s big enough for the majority of buyers.

Yeti Roadie 24 Cooler: Available at Amazon

Compact hard cooler is great for those times when you simply don’t need a bulky cooler. It holds 18 cans plus ice and has an internal height of 13 inches, so it’s large enough to hold 2 liters of soda and standard wine bottles upright.

Yeti Hopper Portable Chiller: Available in Amazon

Buyers looking for a compact and lightweight cooler will love this option. It holds six packs plus snow and won’t weigh you down if you have a little hiking to get to your picnic location or the perfect beach spot. The outer material is more durable than that of the average soft cooler and features a leak-proof zipper.

Yeti coolers and RTIC coolers are both very similar. If you want the original and don’t mind paying more, you should choose the Yeti cooler. If price is your main concern, RTIC coolers cost less than similar Yeti coolers. In terms of quality, Yeti coolers are slightly superior, but only only. You have a greater selection of solid Yeti coolers, and their designs have been thought out more carefully – for example, smaller models are made enough to fit standard wine bottles.

Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with one mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best choices for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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