Which Is Cheaper, a nICE Cooler or a Yeti?
nICE Coolers are a more budget-friendly option to Yeti coolers, offering many of the same features at a lower price point and with the added convenience of interchangeable wheels. However, there are areas in which it falls short of Yeti.
Which of these two brands, nICE or Yeti, do you think provides better value for the money?
nICE Coolers are more affordable than Yeti, come with removable wheels, and have a drain valve. Yeti coolers are more expensive, but they keep ice longer and have a more premium feel.
The lower cost of a nICe cooler makes it an attractive alternative to the more expensive Yeti. At roughly half the price of Yeti's, nICE's roto-moulded coolers are among the market's best deals.
In the table below, you can see how much more expensive the Yeti coolers are in comparison to the nICE coolers of the same size.
Coolers by YETI
Yeti 35 (28 8-Quart):
Yeti 65 (57 2-Quart):
Yeti 75 (74 8-Quart):
Yeti 110 (96 4-Quart):
If you're looking to save money, consider a nICE cooler instead of a Yeti.
You'll still be getting a quality cooler, and adding the wheels will make transport a breeze.
The question that remains, however, is whether or not the nICE cooler provides better value than the Yeti in terms of its construction and performance.
Additionally, nICE coolers are not the most inexpensive roto-molded coolers available. Walmart's own Ozark Trail brand is a little cheaper than Yetis at the time of this writing (see my comparison of Ozark Trail and Yetis) and so are Lifetime coolers (see my comparison of Lifetime and Yetis), but neither brand includes wheels.
The nICE Cooler stands out from the Yeti and other roto-molded coolers thanks to its unique mobility provided by its built-in wheels.
See the full list of the best wheeled coolers here, and keep in mind that only nICE coolers come with removable and replaceable wheels.
Smaller, hard wheels that don't protrude from the sides of the cooler are included as standard equipment. They work wonderfully for transporting your cooler over smooth surfaces like concrete or asphalt, or over shorter distances on rougher surfaces.
The best part is that they are already included in your cooler at no additional cost. It's worth noting that these are only included on G3 (Generation 3) coolers; G2 coolers may still be found for sale without wheels, so it's a good idea to verify this before making a purchase.
All of the larger nICE coolers come equipped with these wheels as standard. Although Yeti sells a wide range of cooler sizes, the Tundra Haul is only available in one size and costs around $50 more than a comparable size Yeti without wheels.
- Wheels by Default
- All-Purpose Tires
- Inflatable Wheels for the Beach
Larger, more adaptable wheels are available for purchase separately with each nICE cooler. Larger wheels that protrude from the side of the cooler and are suitable for use on a variety of surfaces can be purchased as "multi-terrain wheels."
You could also invest in some beach wheels, which are inflated and fitted with large wheels that make transporting your cooler along the sand a breeze. There is no comparable feature on any other coolers out there.
You should get a nICE cooler if you want a portable cooler with a variety of wheel configurations.
There haven’t been many ice retention tests done on the nICE cooler, and there were not direct head to head comparisons that I could find
Coolers like the Orca and the Techniice lasted much longer in this ice test, but the nICE cooler ran out of ice first.
Based on the limited number of tests conducted, Yeti coolers appear to be superior to nICE coolers in terms of ice retention.
While regular coolers like the Coleman Xtreme are roto-molded, nICE coolers are roto-molded and contain more insulation, so they should perform significantly better.
Regular use, in warmer weather, should result in ice retention for 3–4 days, while use in cooler weather could extend that to 5–6 days.
I won't hold it against you if you haven't heard of the nICE brand before now. Despite devoting considerable time to research, I came up with very little information about them.
It seems that in 2017, under the name "Meadowcraft coolers," they began selling tumblers that infringed on Yeti's patents. They rebranded to nICE, and while their coolers are clearly influenced by Yeti, they don't steal the design wholesale like some other brands have.
Nothing about the company's origins, headquarters location, or anything else is provided on their website or social media pages.
The fact that they are already on their third generation of coolers gives me faith in the company, but they can't compare to Yeti in terms of heritage or name recognition.
I think Yeti's branding is excellent; it's right up there with that of Nike and Apple. On the other hand, nICE's website is bare-bones and uninformative; you can't even buy coolers there. This whole thing seems strange to me.
In terms of ice retention and durability, customers have given this Amazon cooler mixed reviews, with some likening it to a cheap foam cooler. To hear that about your roto-molded cooler is not ideal.
The 26-Quart cooler has a similar external footprint to popular coolers like the Yeti Roadie, suggesting that its insulation is just as poor.
Some customers are very satisfied, but many others have complained about issues such as warping, missing parts on brand-new coolers, and the rubber latches breaking, with customer service promising to send a replacement but never following through.
The customer reviews on this page give you a good idea of how the nICE cooler's quality control and build quality pale in comparison to the Yeti cooler.
I hate to say it, but this is where I'd have to end the review. Because I was unable to locate any information about the manufacturer and because of the negative feedback from customers, I would not feel comfortable recommending this cooler to anyone.
There is currently no way to tell whether or not these problems have been addressed in newer generations of coolers, as most of these reviews are for models from the first and second generations.
I'll put in the effort to compare these coolers' features, but it's already obvious that the Yeti's construction will be far more sturdy than that of the nICE cooler.
There are a few other brands to consider besides nICE if you're looking for low-cost roto-molded coolers so you can get something like a Yeti without breaking the bank.
Ozark Trail are some of the least expensive roto-molded coolers available while still offering many of the same convenient features found in more expensive brands like nICE and Yeti.
They don't come with wheels (well, this size does), but a wheel kit for the bigger sizes can be purchased for around $40.
When compared to Yeti coolers, Ozark Trail coolers are inferior in terms of durability and ice retention. They don't pretend to be the best roto-molded coolers on the market, and that's okay.
If you want a roto-molded cooler but can't afford the high price of the Yeti and other brands, these are a good option to consider.
Read about how I rate the Ozark Trail versus the Yeti.
Walmart.com is where you can find Ozark Trail coolers.
The plastic used to make Lifetime coolers isn't as thick because they're blow molded rather than roto-molded. However, they are just as strong and bear-proof as a Yeti cooler, and they can keep ice for about as long.
They, like Yeti products, are made in the USA and come with a 5-year guarantee. Lifetime coolers aren't without flaws, but their drawbacks are minimal, and the product is still highly recommended.
Currently, they are one of my favorite brands of cheap coolers, and their 55-Quart cooler costs under $100, which is insane.
Look at my analysis of the Lifetime vs. Yeti cooler.
Walmart.com is where you can find Lifetime Coolers.
We've already covered the wheels, but nICE coolers also have a few other nice extras that you won't find on a regular cooler.
Here we'll compare and contrast the nICE and Yeti coolers, two of the most popular brands on the market today.
This is one of the ways in which the nICE cooler excels over the Yeti.
Rubber gaskets and pull-down rubber latches ensure an airtight seal in these coolers. Coolers can be tricky to open because of the pressure difference between the cooler's interior and the warmer air outside.
The engineers at nICE have devised a pressure relief valve to address this issue. To release the air pressure and make opening the cooler simpler, press the valve on the front of the device.
The drain plug isn't permanently attached to the Yeti, so it's easy to misplace.
A while ago, I experienced something similar to this. My Yeti was rendered useless after I misplaced the drain plug while I was cleaning it.
The nICE cooler's drain plug is chained to the cooler's side, so you can't lose it whether you drain it slowly or quickly.
This is why the nICE cooler is so great. Two cup holders are preformed into the cooler's lid. This is something I think the Yeti desperately needs.
You can easily and quickly measure your catch with the built-in fishing ruler.
The rubber feet included with both models ensure that your cooler won't move around in the back of your vehicle or on the floor of your boat.
It's also useful when my kids try to jump off the cooler. The cooler won't move from under them, so I'm not worried about that.
When secured with a padlock, both coolers have been verified as bear-proof. The Yeti calls for two padlocks in the front corners, while the nICE can be secured with just one.
Certified bear proof coolers have been tested for at least 60 minutes with live bears and have passed with no bears gaining access. Here you can find out how to get your bear proof certification.
The stainless steel lock on nICE Coolers doubles as a bottle opener. Because of this, you can relax knowing that you will never be in a situation where you need to worry about not having access to a bottle opener.
This is a minor improvement that I was hoping Yeti would implement.
The rubber gaskets used on the inside of both coolers' lids are of industrial quality. When the lid is closed, the tight seal created by the gasket helps to keep the cold air inside and the warm air outside.
Both coolers' lids are securely fastened to the rest of the bodies by means of pull-down rubber latches.
The rubber latches on a Yeti have little balls on them that engage with the cooler's molding. The rubber nICE latches are secured in place by a bolt protruding from the cooler's body through a hole in the latch.
While both have similar functionality, I prefer the Yeti's latches due to their aesthetic appeal and ease of operation.
The lid and body of a Yeti cooler are connected by a single pin stainless steel hinge through which a substantial bolt passes. You shouldn't have to worry about this hinge breaking anytime soon.
Each nICE cooler has a stainless steel hinge, with a single pin for the smaller coolers and two for the larger ones.
Both of these coolers feature tie-down loops on the side for securing the cooler to your vehicle, truck, or boat.
Both models feature a main body that can be secured with a strap while the lid can be opened and closed for easy access.
However, this requires the purchase of a tie down kit.
Before you go out and buy a nICE cooler, there are a few things I want to bring to your attention that bother me about them.
Multiple models of nICE coolers are currently selling, with the G3 and G2 being the most popular.
The G2 is the older, wheelless model, while the G3 is the newest. The cost of these two coolers is identical.
There appears to be less insulation in the nICE 26-Quart Cooler compared to other models and to comparable Yeti coolers like the Yeti Road and the Yeti 35.
This has an adverse effect on how prices perform.
Customers have a lot of issues with the coolers, including warping, missing pieces, and other issues, according to the reviews.
Worryingly, there are also reports of poor customer service in response to actual incidents.
nICE Coolers are notoriously difficult to track down. Neither Amazon nor Walmart carry a complete selection of their coolers, and their website doesn't offer sales.
NICE coolers are not always easy to come by, as previously mentioned. There are logos of stores carrying the coolers on the homepage, but that doesn't mean you'll find them there.
It's also not easy to track down the newest iteration of nICE coolers in an online search. At the time of writing, Amazon only carried the newest, smaller models, while Walmart carried the older, larger ones.
If you're interested in purchasing a nICE Cooler, I've included links to their respective product pages on Amazon and Walmart below.
$199 for a 50-quart nICE Priced at (for specifics, click here)
Price of a NICE 75-Quart: $249 Priced at (for specifics, click here)
110-Quart nICE: $299 100 (find out how)
Personally, if I had to choose between nICE Coolers and Yeti Coolers, I'd go with the latter.
Yeti coolers are more expensive than comparable products, but their superior construction, popular lifestyle brand status, and countless satisfied customers speak to the value of the investment.
I have a Yeti of my own and I still adore it.
The nICE cooler has some great features (wheels, built-in cup holders), but I don't think it's worth the price compared to a Yeti.
I would look into Ozark Trail, RTIC Coolers, or Lifetime coolers as less expensive alternatives to Yetis.
Here are some affiliate links to Amazon and Walmart if you're interested in buying a nICE cooler or a YETI cooler.
If you've made it this far in my nICE Coolers vs. Yeti comparison, I appreciate it more than you know.
Coolers by YETI
Yeti 35 (28 8-Quart):
Yeti 65 (57 2-Quart):
Yeti 75 (74 8-Quart):
Yeti 110 (96 4-Quart):
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