RTIC vs Yeti: The Ultimate Comparison of Coolers, Drinkware, and More
Are you tired of sipping lukewarm beverages on your outdoor adventures? If so, you've come to the right place. In this article, we delve into the exciting world of drinkware and coolers, specifically the heated rivalry between RTIC and Yeti. Prepare to be captivated as we uncover the ins and outs of the rtic soft cooler vs yeti battle, examining everything from size to durability to ice retention. Get ready to discover the ultimate champion in the world of coolers and tumblers. Let the showdown begin!
When it comes to the sizes of coolers, you'll notice that Yeti typically offers smaller soft-sided coolers compared to RTIC. Both brands start with an 8-can (or about 8-Quart) size and go up from there. Yeti has 12 and 18-can sizes, while RTIC jumps straight to 20, 30, and 40 cans. Surprisingly, even though the sizes are different, the coolers are very similar in capacity, so they must be using different systems for calculating the number of "cans" they can hold. Looking at the chart below, you can see that the Yeti 18 is actually very similar in capacity to the RTIC Soft Pack 30.
RTIC Soft Pack
- 8 can – 5.5 Quart
- 20 can – 15 Quart
- 30 can – 22 Quart
- 40 can – 35 Quart
Yeti Hopper Flip
- 8 can – 7.9 Quart
- 12 can – 13.7 Quart
- 18 can – 21.5 Quart
- M30 – 30 Quart
The RTIC coolers tend to be slimmer and taller, while the Yeti coolers are longer and deeper but not as tall. The difference in size isn't huge, so personal preference may play a role here.
Yeti has a wider range of sizes compared to RTIC. This may be because they have been in the market for a longer time. In general, larger coolers have longer ice life, depending on factors such as materials and frequency of opening the coolers. RTIC has a more limited range of sizes, but they may expand their offerings in the future. However, for the coolers we compared, RTIC is larger in size. Despite copying most of the features and design from Yeti, RTIC is still able to offer more storage space and therefore, more ice life.
Designs, Quality, and Comparisons
These portable coolers are designed to keep your items cold by using insulation and ice. The insulation, typically made from foam or plastic, is placed within the walls of the cooler to slow down air circulation and prevent warm air from getting in. The ice is used to maintain the cool temperature inside the cooler. Let's take a closer look at the specific products offered by both brands:
- RTIC 65: A heavy-duty hard-sided cooler with a storage capacity of 75 lbs worth of ice. It weighs 36.5 lbs when empty and is available at a price of $240 with a one-year warranty.
- RTIC 20: A lighter rotomolded hard cooler.
- RTIC Soft Pack: A soft-sided cooler.
- Yeti Tundra 65: One of the most iconic coolers in the market, offering longer ice retention compared to RTIC 65. It can hold about 52 lbs of ice, weighs 29 lbs when empty, and comes with a 5-year warranty. It also includes accessories like a dry goods basket, sliding feet, and more.
- Yeti Roadie 24: A lighter rotomolded hard cooler.
- Yeti Hopper M30: A soft-sided cooler.
When it comes to ice retention, Yeti Tundra 65 offers a longer duration of 7 days while RTIC 65's ice retention is slightly less. However, considering the significantly lower price of RTIC 65, it still serves its purpose effectively.
RTIC 10 oz. Lowball vs. Yeti 10 oz. Lowball
Yeti 10 oz. Lowball:
The Yeti 10oz Lowball is a tough competitor, made of 18/8 stainless steel and featuring double-wall vacuum insulation and a no-sweat design. It can keep your iced drink colder for a longer time and your hot beverage warm for an extended period. The ice life is approximately 30 minutes.
RTIC 10 oz. Lowball:
The RTIC 10oz (now 10oz) Lowball is similar in size to Yeti and has similar features and performance. It can also retain the temperature for around 30 minutes. It comes with a lid, although it doesn't significantly affect the performance.
In terms of ice life, both the Yeti and RTIC 10 oz. Lowballs are tied.
RTIC 64 oz. Bottle vs. Yeti Rambler 64 Bottle
Yeti Rambler 64 Bottle:
The Yeti Rambler 64 Bottle is the larger size offering from Yeti, capable of holding 64 ounces. It provides similar cooling and heating performance to the smaller sizes, with approximately 24 hours of ice life.
RTIC 64 oz. Bottle:
Similar to the Yeti Rambler 64 Bottle, the RTIC 64oz Bottle follows the same construction and materials, resulting in comparable ice life of approximately 24 hours.
In terms of ice life, both the RTIC 64 oz. Bottle and the Yeti Rambler 64 Bottle are tied.
RTIC 36 oz. Bottle vs. Yeti Rambler 36 Bottle
Yeti Rambler 36 Bottle:
The Yeti Rambler 36 is the mid-sized version of the bottled Rambler series. It has similar cooling and heating performance as the smaller size, with approximately 24 hours of ice life.
RTIC 36 oz. Bottle:
The RTIC 36oz bottle emulates the design and features of the Yeti Rambler 36 Bottle, offering comparable ice life of around 24 hours.
In terms of ice life, both the RTIC 36 oz. Bottle and the Yeti Rambler 36 Bottle are tied.
RTIC 18 oz. Bottle vs. Yeti Rambler 18 Bottle
Yeti Rambler 18 Bottle:
The Rambler 18 bottle is a tumbler-style container with a twist-off cap. It offers up to 24 hours of ice life and approximately half of that for keeping items warm.
RTIC 18 oz. Bottle:
The RTIC 18oz bottle follows a similar design to the Yeti Rambler 18 Bottle, with similar materials and features. It provides a comparable ice life of around 24 hours.
In terms of ice life, both the RTIC 18 oz. Bottle and the Yeti Rambler 18 Bottle are tied.
RTIC 30 oz. Tumbler vs. Yeti Rambler 30
Yeti Rambler 30:
The Yeti Rambler 30 is the larger size offering from Yeti, similar to the smaller sizes but with a larger capacity. It provides around 24 hours of ice life.
RTIC 30 oz. Tumbler:
The RTIC 30oz Tumbler has a similar design and performance to the Yeti Rambler 30. It offers ice life of approximately 24 hours.
In terms of ice life, both the RTIC 30 oz. Tumbler and the Yeti Rambler 30 are tied.
RTIC 20 oz. Tumbler vs. Yeti Rambler 20
Yeti Rambler 20:
The Yeti Rambler 20 is the smaller size option from Yeti, capable of holding 20 ounces of liquid. It offers similar performance and ice life as the larger sizes, with up to 24 hours of ice life.
RTIC 20 oz. Tumbler:
The RTIC 20oz Tumbler has a design and features similar to the Yeti Rambler 20. It provides comparable ice life of around 24 hours.
In terms of ice life, both the RTIC 20 oz. Tumbler and the Yeti Rambler 20 are tied.
RTIC Can vs. Yeti Colster
The Yeti Colsters are specially designed cozies for bottles or cans. They keep the initial liquid temperature for as long as possible with double-wall vacuum insulation, stainless steel construction, and premium manufacturing. They offer approximately 1 hour of ice life.
The RTIC Cans are similar in size and performance, providing ice life of around 1 hour.
In terms of ice life, both the RTIC Can and the Yeti Colster are tied.
Drinkware and Tumblers
Yeti 10 oz Lowball and RTIC 12 oz Lowball
Yeti's lowball drink container is made from 18/8 stainless steel and features double-wall vacuum-based insulation. This unique design eliminates condensation. The double-wall construction also helps maintain the temperature of your drink for a longer period of time, with minimal temperature changes in the first 30 minutes of use.
The RTIC 12 oz lowball has a very similar design to Yeti's 10 oz lowball. However, the advantage goes to RTIC because it can accommodate an extra 2 oz of liquid. Additionally, the RTIC lowball comes with a lid, while the Yeti lowball does not.
Yeti Rambler 30 vs RTIC 30 oz Tumbler
Both tumblers share the same double-wall design that prevents condensation. They offer similar features commonly found in other drinkware. What sets them apart is their exceptional ability to keep drinks cold for approximately 24 hours.
When considering the price, the RTIC 30 oz tumbler is significantly cheaper than the Yeti Rambler 30. Despite the price difference, their quality is comparable, making the RTIC 30 oz tumbler the clear winner in terms of affordability.
RTIC vs YETI Soft Coolers
After establishing themselves in the hard cooler market, both companies ventured into redesigning soft-sided coolers. Soft coolers have advantages over roto-molded coolers, such as being smaller, lighter, and easier to store and carry. However, they do not have the same level of insulation, resulting in shorter ice retention.
Both RTIC and Yeti produce excellent soft-sided coolers. However, if we had to choose a favorite, we would go with Yeti. Unlike RTIC, Yeti offers a range of soft coolers, including a handbag-style ice chest, which we find more preferable in terms of design and flexibility for packing, carrying, and storage.
Design & Materials
RTIC's SoftPak soft coolers follow a more traditional style with a flip-up lid. They feature soft insulation that provides structure and shape to the cooler, as well as preventing delicate items from getting crushed. However, this design makes it difficult to fold and store the cooler. Additionally, the boxy style can be less comfortable to carry compared to Yeti.
Yeti offers a variety of soft coolers, including the unique duffel bag-style Hopper. The Hopper features a zipper located near the top, making it easier to carry over your shoulder. The second-generation Hopper has improved access with a larger zipper opening. It can also be compacted to a smaller size for easier storage. The YETI Hoppers are composed of a tough high-density fabric that is waterproof, puncture-resistant, mildew-resistant, and UV-ray resistant. The insulation and waterproof materials prevent sweating.
RTIC soft coolers are made of a similar waterproof, puncture-resistant, and antimicrobial outer material as Yeti. However, they do not provide the same level of insulation and have some quality issues, such as seams not being well-assembled and buckles and straps being of lesser quality.
Neither RTIC nor Yeti's soft coolers have been certified as bear-proof. It is important to take precautions by hiding or elevating your cooler when camping to prevent wildlife interference.
Size Range & Colors
RTIC offers soft coolers in three sizes based on the number of cans they can hold: 20, 30, and 40. The SoftPak 40 is the most versatile option and can accommodate the needs of a whole family or group. RTIC soft coolers are available in various colors, including camouflage designs.
Yeti also offers soft coolers in the same three sizes as RTIC. However, their capacity is slightly lower, with the Hopper 40 holding 34 cans and a 2:1 can-to-ice ratio. The Hopper 40 is suitable for weekend trips or larger families. Yeti soft coolers are available in gray and silver colors.
While these soft coolers do not provide the same ice retention as roto-molded coolers, they still offer decent ice life. The closed-cell foam insulation helps maintain ice for a reasonable amount of time under typical usage conditions. On average, the YETI Hopper holds ice slightly better than RTIC soft coolers. However, ice life can vary based on external factors such as temperature and frequency of lid opening. Realistically, RTIC coolers provide around 20 hours of ice retention, while Yeti coolers offer around 32 hours on an average summer day.
RTIC soft coolers are significantly more affordable than Yeti. Despite the slight price difference, the quality and durability of Yeti coolers make them a better investment in the long run. RTIC coolers often have material and manufacturing issues, such as sweating and inferior assembly of seams, plastic buckles, and straps.
Product Spotlight: YETI Tundra 45 qt
This cooler stands out with its exceptional ice life, lasting 7-10 days. It features thick rubber gaskets and latches, as well as 3" insulation. The versatile size makes it suitable for various uses.
Overall, despite the price difference, we believe that Yeti offers superior quality and durability, making them the better choice when it comes to soft coolers.
RTIC vs YETI Hard Coolers
RTIC's attempt to compete with YETI's hard coolers began with their roto-molded cooler design. When comparing the two coolers, the design is very similar. However, there are a few differences in the quality of materials. RTIC cuts corners in a few areas, particularly in the unsealed gasket and foam handles, which are better in YETI coolers.
When it comes to warranty, YETI stands behind their hard coolers with a 5-year defect protection agreement, while RTIC's warranty is confusing and inadequate. Interestingly, both coolers perform equally well in ice retention.
RTIC usually comes out on top in terms of price, but since the lawsuit that required RTIC to modify their design and stop manufacturing, the original RTIC coolers have also increased in price due to limited supply. If you can find a good deal on a YETI cooler, we recommend going with that option because of the quality issues with RTIC. However, if you find an RTIC cooler at a reasonable price, you'll get the same performance at a fraction of the cost. For more details, check out our full ice chest comparison below.
Design & Materials
Both companies make coolers that look almost identical. We won't go into too much detail about the similarities, so be sure to read the full cooler review articles if you want to learn more. Both coolers have thick rubber latches, drain spouts, rubber lid gaskets, non-stick feet, thick insulation, lockable corner slots, rope handles, and tiedowns. Here are the key differences you should know.
In terms of plastic, both brands are very similar. This isn't surprising since it's just plastic molded over insulation. Both YETI and RTIC coolers can withstand a lot of abuse without cracking. The weight of the coolers is due to the thick insulation and plastics, which also contribute to their impressive ice retention.
The rubber components on RTIC coolers are slightly lower grade. The latches are easier to snap into place, so over time the rubber could wear out and compromise the lid seal. The rubber lid gasket on RTIC coolers is thinner and more flimsy compared to YETIs. Additionally, the gasket on RTIC coolers is not sealed, leaving a small gap where the ends meet. If you choose an RTIC cooler, we recommend using superglue or epoxy to fill the gap and prevent any issues.
Product Spotlight: YETI Haul Wheeled Cooler
- Ultra portable design
- Great ice retention: up to 10 days
- Rotomolded, durable construction
- Most convenient cooler you can get
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RTIC coolers are commonly available in tan or white, while YETI offers tan, white, seafoam green, and light blue colors. If you prefer something other than the classic desert tan or want to avoid the white getting dirty, you may want to consider the green or blue options.
The rope handles on YETI coolers feel more durable compared to their RTIC counterparts. RTIC handles are made of foam and may degrade over time. For example, in comparing an RTIC 20qt to a YETI Roadie 20, we've seen the handles on the RTIC degrade from exposure to the elements, while the YETI holds up well.
Some RTIC coolers may arrive with scratches or blemishes due to shipping or reshipping returned coolers. These cosmetic issues do not affect the cooler's performance but are worth noting.
Despite being designed in the USA, both brands manufacture their ice chests in China. However, YETI's quality surpasses RTIC's in almost every aspect. If you're looking to purchase your own cooler, online stores usually offer the best prices and avoid retail markup.
Size Range and Colors
YETI offers a larger selection of sizes compared to RTIC. They have 10 different sizes, ranging from the 20-quart model to the massive 350-quart model designed for fishermen and hunters. These larger models, such as the YETI Tundra 45 or Tundra 65, are some of the highest quality and highest capacity coolers in the industry. YETI also offers a wider range of sizes.
The most popular YETI Tundra model is the 65 quart, which is versatile and suitable for fishing, camping, hunting, and even barbecues. The smaller 20-quart YETI Roadie is a great option for shorter trips to the beach due to its lightweight and folding handle.
However, we often recommend the slightly smaller YETI Tundra 45 due to its versatility. It's important to consider that the Tundra 45 and Tundra 65 are heavier and more expensive. The size of the cooler affects ice retention, with larger coolers generally providing better ice retention due to the larger ice-to-surface area ratio.
RTIC coolers are available in 20, 45, and 60-quart models. The 20-quart model is ideal for day use with its compact size and easy-to-carry handle. The RTIC 45 is a middle-ground size, while the RTIC 65 offers more capacity and weight. Additionally, RTIC coolers have slightly larger dimensions despite claiming the same number of quarts.
Here's a video that compares the capacity of the RTIC 65-quart cooler with the YETI Tundra 65. The larger dimensions of RTIC coolers are due to slightly thicker plastic and insulation, which also makes them heavier. For example, comparing the 20-quart models of YETI and RTIC, the weights are 15lbs and 25lbs, respectively. If you want to minimize size, weight, and cost, YETI is the better option.
Now let's get to the important question: which cooler performs better and has better ice life? If you're spending $200-400 on a roto-molded cooler, you need it to work and keep your ice frozen. It's likely that you're looking for a cooler that can provide ice for more than 5 days.
Surprisingly, when comparing RTIC and YETI coolers, the less expensive RTIC coolers are more effective at retaining ice. While they claim to provide ice for longer than a week, that's under ideal conditions. On average, you can expect 5 days of ice retention from both brands.
Remember how we mentioned earlier that RTIC coolers are generally larger and have thicker walls and plastic? This is the main reason why RTIC coolers perform better in terms of ice life.
Although RTIC coolers offer better ice capability, the difference in performance isn't significant. Both coolers have great ice life and are effective at keeping your things cold. However, it's interesting that RTIC coolers, at a lower price, can actually outperform YETI coolers.
One feature that YETI coolers have that RTIC coolers don't is being certified bear-proof. YETI filled their coolers with treats and let grizzly bears try to get in. With a padlock in the designated hole at the corner of the lid, you can lock the cooler tightly and keep your items safe from wildlife.
This is a valuable feature for camping trips or when you have valuable items or liquor in the cooler at the beach. Although RTIC coolers don't have the official bear-proof certification, they would likely hold up similarly since they have the same padlock hole. However, having the certification can provide additional peace of mind.
Product Spotlight: YETI Tundra 65 qt
- Premium, respected brand
- Keeps ice for up to 10 days
- Last cooler you'll ever need
- Dry goods basket included
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As we briefly mentioned earlier, the main factor separating these two brands is the price. Why are YETI coolers so expensive? It's hard to say. Part of it could be attributed to their marketing. YETI was arguably the first to introduce the roto-molded cooler, and people are willing to pay for the original. Additionally, the "officially bear-proof certified" label adds value.
However, we've found that an RTIC cooler like the RTIC 45 can have comparable or better ice retention than the YETI Tundra 45 at a more affordable cost. While RTIC coolers may use slightly lower grade materials in some areas, such as rubber latches, gaskets, and handles, the plastics and insulation used are nearly identical. It's up to you to decide if these small features are worth paying extra for. The warranty is another factor to consider in the higher price of YETI coolers.
YETI vs RTIC Summary:
Design & Features: Tie, they're basically identical
Materials: YETI's materials are slightly better
Size & Weight: YETI coolers are lighter and smaller
Sizes available: YETI has more size options (10 vs 3), but RTIC coolers have larger capacities
Colors available: YETI offers tan, white, blue, and green; RTIC offers tan and white only
Bear-Proof: YETI only (technically)
Ice Retention: RTIC coolers surprised us with longer ice life
Warranty: YETI, hands down
Price: RTIC, by a wide margin
RTIC Coolers vs YETI Coolers: The Top 3 Models Compared
|RTIC 20 qt||YETI Roadie 20|
|3 different colors||7 different colors|
|True 20 quart capacity||18 quart capacity|
|Quality lacks in certain areas like hinges and rubber||Still made with durable, premium materials|
|Slightly better ice life||Several days of ice life|
|Great value pick, ideal for smaller trips to the beach, picnics, and road trips||Awesome ice chest that will perform and last you for years. Premium option.|
|CHECK PRICE ONLINE||CHECK PRICE ONLINE|
|RTIC 65qt||YETI Tundra 65|
|2 different colors||4 different colors|
|True 45 quart capacity||38 quart internal capacity|
|Good materials, though significantly heavier||Manufactured with premium materials but still lightweight|
|Slightly better ice life||Great ice life and performance|
|Warranty isn't great||5-year warranty|
|CHECK PRICE ONLINE||CHECK PRICE ONLINE|
|RTIC SoftPak||YETI Hopper|
|4lbs (30 can)||3lbs (30 can)|
|2 sizes (20, 30 can)||3 sizes (8, 12, 30 can)|
|8 different colors||7 different colors|
|Material and fabric are good, but not great||Durable, rugged, and great manufacturing|
|Slightly less ice life than YETI||Great ice life and performance, as expected|
|Warranty subpar||5-year warranty|
|CHECK PRICE ONLINE||CHECK PRICE ONLINE|
Comparison: RTIC Coolers vs YETI Coolers
Are you someone who values brand reputation and is willing to pay more for the best materials, warranty, and customer service? If so, YETI coolers are the perfect choice for you.
Are you someone who prioritizes functionality and affordability and doesn't mind if some aspects degrade slightly faster as long as your items stay cold? In that case, RTIC coolers are a great option for you.
Regardless, both YETI and RTIC coolers are impressive in their own right, and you can't go wrong with either one.
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Frequently Asked Questions:
Which Cooler is Better: RTIC or YETI?
In our opinion, YETI coolers are superior to RTIC coolers in every category except affordability. YETI offers better materials, ice retention, warranty, and features. However, if you want comparable performance and durability at a lower price, go with an RTIC cooler.
What Brand is Better than YETI?
While there aren't many brands that compare to YETI, ORCA Coolers come close with unique features not found in YETI coolers.
What does RTIC Stand For?
RTIC is simply a catchy brand name that plays on the word "Arctic."
Who Owns RTIC Coolers?
RTIC Coolers is privately owned by John and Jim Jacobsen.
A Closer Look at Specific Coolers
Now let's dive deeper into a comparison of popular models from YETI and RTIC.
YETI Hopper Flip vs. RTIC Soft Pack Cooler
When comparing the YETI Hopper Flip and the RTIC Soft Pack coolers, there are noticeable differences in size, price, and features. The YETI Hopper Flip comes in three sizes: 18, 12, and 8. These models can hold 30 cans or 28 lbs of ice, 24 cans or 16 lbs of ice, and 11 cans or 10 lbs of ice respectively. With prices ranging from $200.00 to $300.00, the YETI Hopper Flip features ColdCell Insulation, a leak-proof HydroLok Zipper, and a durable DryHide Shell. It also offers convenient tie-down points and a HitchPoint Grid for accessories.
On the other hand, the RTIC Soft Pack coolers come in four sizes: 40 can, 30 can, 20 can, and 12 can, with prices ranging from .99 to $149.99. These coolers are known for their durability, lightweight design, and leak-proof construction. They also have 2 inches of insulation and are designed to float for water activities.
Both YETI and RTIC coolers offer excellent features and performance. Your choice ultimately depends on your specific needs, preferred size, and budget.
When it comes to durability, YETI coolers have a slight edge over RTIC coolers. The YETI coolers have a more robust zipper and a higher-quality external material that feels more durable compared to RTIC.
The RTIC coolers are made of heavy-duty vinyl, while YETI coolers are made of heavy-duty nylon laminated with TPU. Both coolers are tough, scratch-resistant, tear-resistant, and waterproof.
Construction and Durability
YETI and RTIC coolers have similar construction and durability. They are made from durable materials and can withstand drops and collisions with hard objects. Their thick insulated walls, heavy-duty latches, non-slip feet, and premium hardware contribute to their durability. Both coolers also have puncture-resistant outer shells, high-quality foam insulation, antimicrobial liners, and excellent stitching. The drinkware from both brands is made from high-quality stainless steel with double-wall vacuum insulation.
RTIC has done a good job emulating the features of YETI coolers in their products.
Ice Retention: RTIC Outperforms Yeti
To my surprise, RTIC Soft Pack coolers actually outperform Yeti Hopper Flip coolers in terms of ice retention.
Various ice test videos have shown that RTIC coolers consistently keep ice longer than Yeti coolers.
RTIC Has More Insulation
This is likely due to RTIC coolers having more insulation than Yeti coolers, especially in the lid.
The RTIC lid has approximately 2.25 inches of insulation, while the Yeti lid has only approximately 1.5 inches. RTIC coolers also have slightly more insulation in the sides, with 1 inch in the walls and base compared to Yeti's 0.75 inches.
This extra insulation in RTIC coolers improves their ice retention compared to Yeti coolers.
Overall Ice Life: RTIC vs. Yeti Drinkware Verdict: Tie
Overall, both RTIC and Yeti coolers perform similarly. RTIC has a slight edge over Yeti in the hard-sided category due to its larger storage space, allowing for more ice. Refer to the graph below for a detailed comparison of all tested products.
Both RTIC and Yeti coolers have similar features, with slight differences in design.
Both coolers have completely waterproof zippers at the top to prevent leaks and spills.
YETI's zipper is slightly easier to open and feels more robust.
Both brands provide a shoulder strap for easy carrying.
YETI's shoulder strap is slightly larger and more padded than RTIC's.
Both coolers have side carry handles, but YETI also has a single handle on the lid for one-handed carrying.
Anti-Microbial Food-Safe Liner
Both coolers have an anti-microbial liner that is FDA-approved and safe for storing food.
RTIC Has Pockets
The RTIC Soft Pack coolers have two external pockets, one with a zipper and another with a mesh pocket. These pockets are useful for storing smaller items separately.
YETI coolers do not have external pockets, but you can purchase the SideKick Dry accessory if you want additional storage.
Both coolers have a Molle webbing on the outside for attaching accessories.
Tie Down Points
Both coolers have tie-down points for securing them in vehicles or boats.
Warranty: Yeti Has a Longer Warranty
RTIC offers a 1-year warranty on their soft-sided coolers, while Yeti offers a 3-year warranty on their soft-sided coolers.
Customer Service and Warranty
Customer service and warranty play a significant role in brand reputation. YETI has a well-established customer service department and a strong brand reputation due to its advertising efforts. They offer a 5-year limited warranty for roto-molded coolers and a 3-year warranty for soft-sided products.
In comparison, RTIC relies on word of mouth for advertising and offers a 7-year warranty for hard-sided models but only a 30-day warranty for other items.
When it comes to customer service and warranty, YETI stands out with its better warranty system and excellent customer service.
Companies & Reputation
YETI, founded in 2006 by Ryan and Roy Seiders, is a well-known brand with a strong reputation. It has grown into a multi-million dollar company with endorsements from pro athletes.
RTIC, established in 2014 by James and John Jacobsen, is a relatively young company that gained attention for offering similar coolers to YETI at a lower price. However, they faced a patent infringement lawsuit from YETI and had to reach an agreement, leading to a redesign of their coolers.
Despite the legal dispute, both YETI and RTIC coolers are widely available and offer reliable performance at different price points.
The Lawsuit Between RTIC Coolers and YETI Coolers: What You Should Know
If you haven't heard about the lawsuit between RTIC and YETI, it's not surprising. These two cooler brands are so similar that you need to carefully examine them to spot the differences. Curious about what happened and how it affects consumers? We've analyzed the lawsuit and its implications for you, depending on which brand you choose.
After RTIC's success, YETI filed lawsuits for patent, trade dress, and trademark infringement. It's understandable considering how similar the two products are. However, what's interesting is that YETI wasn't the first of its kind. Engel coolers actually hit the market in 2005, a year before YETI. But YETI managed to market their product better and solved design issues, such as their rubber latch system and rust prevention. So, if we were comparing Engel and YETI, we'd probably go with YETI, even though it's not the original.
YETI also accused RTIC of trade dress infringement, which refers to the physical characteristics and packaging of a product. Essentially, if you can't distinguish two products when you switch their logos, it might be a trade dress issue. As you can see from the examples in this article, it's almost impossible to tell YETIs and RTICs apart. On the other hand, ORCA coolers have distinct features that differentiate them from YETI.
After months of legal back and forth, YETI and RTIC reached a supposedly amicable settlement. The details of the settlement were not made public, but it seems that both sides wanted to avoid further legal fees and decided that settlement was the best option. RTIC released a statement explaining that they wanted to end the lawsuit to avoid additional expenses and uncertainty. YETI received financial compensation from RTIC and required RTIC to redesign their product line.
Product Spotlight: RTIC 45 qt
- Most versatile cooler size
- Ice life for 7 days
- 3" insulation
- Cheaper than YETI
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What it Means For You
If you were planning to buy an RTIC or a YETI cooler, you may be wondering what this lawsuit means for you. RTIC coolers have been shown to perform comparably to YETI coolers. However, now that RTIC has to redesign their roto-molded models, it's unclear how they will measure up to YETIs. Most likely, the changes will be superficial, and they will still have comparable ice retention. YETIs still come with a higher price tag, but they are a reputable brand that offers a great product, even if it comes at a premium price.
Lawsuit Against RTIC
The resemblance between the two brands was striking, leading Yeti to file a lawsuit against RTIC for patent infringement. This came as no surprise, considering how closely they resembled each other when compared side by side.
The two companies ultimately settled the lawsuit. RTIC was required to make financial compensation to Yeti and, according to RTIC, "redesign only those products involved in the dispute."
Both brands agreed that settling the lawsuit was in the best interest of both parties and have continued their regular operations.
Similarities and Differences
At first glance, it's hard to spot major differences between the coolers and tumblers offered by both RTIC and Yeti. They have minor design differences, but to the untrained eye, they look almost identical.
Both RTIC and Yeti offer soft-sided and hard-sided coolers of similar sizes. They also have comparable features like draining systems and industrial handles. However, there are two significant differences between RTIC and Yeti - their price range and quality.
Despite their many similarities, there are definitive differences to consider. A closer look at the inner workings of both brands reveals key factors that set them apart.
RTIC products are more affordable compared to Yeti. Yeti, on the other hand, is known for its convenience and superior ice retention.
The RTIC Soft Pack is a great personal cooler that can hold up to 20 cans of your favorite beverage plus ice. It is 100% leakproof, puncture-resistant, and has an antimicrobial liner that resists mildew. This cooler is practical for everyday use and can be taken to work, camping, hunting, or fishing.
Starting with Yeti, they offer a wide range of rugged and overbuilt products, which is reflected in their prices. Yeti's manufacturing processes have come under scrutiny due to the uncertainty surrounding the sourcing of their materials. Yeti claims that their Tundra coolers are manufactured in the USA, while their Hopper coolers are manufactured in China.
Yeti offers a vast range of products and accessories, including seat cushions, ice packs, beverage holder attachments, gear bags, and customization options.
Despite the aforementioned differences, RTIC has gained popularity and a loyal following across the US. Many RTIC cooler owners believe that the brand offers comparable quality to Yeti at a significantly lower price. If you're on a budget, RTIC is the way to go for a cheaper option with reasonably good quality.
In terms of authenticity and originality, Yeti is the better brand, especially with their commitment to sourcing and manufacturing locally. Yeti ensures better quality products and name recognition.
For further comparison and exploration of the unique features of each brand's products, continue reading.
YETI vs RTIC Tumblers
Another product format offered by both YETI and RTIC is vacuum-sealed travel mugs: the RTIC Tumbler and YETI Rambler. Both mugs perform their function well, but which one should you choose to keep your drinks ice-cold or steaming hot?
How They Work
Both YETI and RTIC tumblers are made from 18/8 stainless steel and feature double-wall vacuum insulation. The stainless steel construction ensures durability, while the double walls keep the outside of the cups at ambient temperature. This prevents sweating or condensation and maintains the temperature of the liquid inside, whether hot or cold, for longer than a traditional stainless steel travel mug.
Both cups are made from the same materials and have very similar designs. We found that both cups kept ice frozen for nearly the same amount of time - slightly over 24 hours. The difference was so marginal that we would declare a tie for heat/cold retention. If you need something to keep your drinks cold, either option is a safe bet. However, if you're using hot beverages, we trust the lid of the YETI a little more.
Durability & Design
The YETI Rambler wins in the tumbler category due to the design of its lid. It features a sliding mechanism to close the opening, along with a rubber gasket to ensure a tight seal. In comparison, the RTIC has a flip-top lid that may not be as secure and is more prone to breaking. When it comes to durability, the stainless steel construction of both mugs ensures similar performance.
If budget is not a concern, YETI products come with a premium price tag justified by their superiority, brand reputation, and warranty. For those looking for a more affordable option, RTIC provides a stainless steel tumbler with excellent features and support.
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YETI vs RTIC Soft Cooler: The Showdown
Design and Construction
Both YETI and RTIC deliver exceptional quality when it comes to design and construction. YETI soft coolers feature a rugged and durable exterior with a claim of being puncture-resistant.
On the other hand, RTIC soft coolers are also known for their robust construction. They have heavy-duty nylon shells with a liner that boasts puncture and tear resistance. RTIC coolers are reinforced with stitching and heavy-duty zippers for long-lasting performance.
Both YETI and RTIC excel in insulation and can keep beverages and food cold for extended periods. YETI coolers are renowned for their excellent insulation capabilities, thanks to their thick insulation walls and premium-quality materials such as the welded DryHide™ double-TPU Shell and thick ColdCell™ Insulation. With a well-insulated YETI soft cooler, your ice can last for days, even in hot weather conditions.
Similarly, RTIC soft coolers are designed to offer exceptional insulation performance. They feature a layer of closed-cell foam insulation, ensuring maximum ice retention. RTIC coolers can maintain ice for several days, making them ideal for long camping trips or extended outdoor adventures.
Size and Capacity Options
Both YETI and RTIC offer a variety of sizes and capacities to cater to different needs. YETI soft coolers come in various sizes, ranging from compact personal coolers to larger options that can accommodate supplies for multiple days. Whether you need a small cooler for a day trip or a large one for a week-long camping excursion, YETI has options for you.
RTIC also provides a wide range of size options for their soft coolers. From compact 20-can coolers to larger 60-can capacity coolers, RTIC offers versatility to suit different requirements. Whether you're going for a picnic or embarking on a fishing trip, RTIC has a soft cooler to meet your needs.
Durability and Longevity
Both YETI and RTIC soft coolers are built to withstand the rigors of outdoor adventures. YETI coolers are known for their exceptional durability, thanks to their robust construction and high-quality materials. They are designed to withstand rough handling, impacts, and even encounters with bears. YETI coolers have a reputation for lasting for years, making them a reliable investment for outdoor enthusiasts.
Similarly, RTIC soft coolers are built with durability in mind. They feature tough exteriors and rugged components that can withstand harsh conditions. RTIC coolers are designed to be tough and resilient, ensuring that they can handle the demands of outdoor activities.
Price is an important consideration when choosing a soft cooler. YETI coolers are known for their premium quality, which is reflected in their higher price. Compared to other brands, including RTIC, YETI products tend to be more expensive. However, many customers believe that the higher price is justified by the superior performance and durability of YETI coolers.
On the other hand, RTIC offers a more budget-friendly alternative without compromising on quality. RTIC coolers provide excellent performance and durability at a more affordable price point, making them an attractive option for budget-conscious outdoor enthusiasts.
Lawsuit Against RTIC
Yeti filed a lawsuit against RTIC for patent infringement due to the striking resemblance between the two brands. They ultimately settled the lawsuit, with RTIC required to provide financial compensation to Yeti and redesign the products involved in the dispute.
Both brands acknowledged that the settlement was beneficial for their respective interests, and they have continued their regular operations.
RTIC Soft Pack vs Yeti Hopper Flip: Which Will You Buy?
Based on this side-by-side comparison, it is evident that these two coolers are extremely similar in nature.
This is because Yeti releases a product, and not long after, RTIC introduces its own version that is very similar but sold at a cheaper price.
The RTIC Soft Pack is cheaper and has better ice retention than the Yeti, but the Yeti is more durable and comes with premium branding, a slightly nicer design, and a higher price.
If money is not an issue, then I would recommend going with Yeti. However, it's difficult to justify spending $100-$200 more for a Yeti when an RTIC offers essentially the same functionality and high quality at a lower price. Read my full RTIC Soft Pack cooler review here.
Ultimately, the choice is yours. You can find the latest prices for both coolers on Amazon using the links below:
See the latest price of Yeti Hopper Flip coolers on Amazon
See HOW MUCH CHEAPER RTIC Soft Pack coolers are on Amazon
This aspect is arguably the most crucial. You don't want a cooler with a shorter ice life than you need, especially if you're spending a significant amount of money on it.
Among the two brands, RTIC has a longer ice life compared to Yeti. Their larger sizes, plastic construction, and thicker walls make them better at retaining ice. Yeti, on the other hand, offers higher quality coolers, although with shorter ice life and smaller sizes.
Some coolers claim to have an ice life of 8 days or even longer. However, it's important to consider that these claims may be under ideal conditions. When exposed to direct sunlight on a beach during summer, the ice life might be shorter.
In conclusion, when it comes to the battle of RTIC vs. Yeti, there are many factors to consider. Both brands offer a wide range of sizes, designs, and quality products to choose from. From drinkware to coolers, there is something for everyone. While RTIC may have faced a lawsuit in the past, they have since made improvements and are now a reputable brand in the industry. When it comes to ice retention, RTIC actually outperforms Yeti, providing longer-lasting cold temperatures. However, when it comes to customer service and warranty, both brands are on par. Ultimately, the decision between RTIC and Yeti will come down to personal preference and budget. So whether you're heading on a camping trip or just need a reliable cooler for your drinks, make sure to carefully consider all the features and options available before making your choice.
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