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9 Different Brands of Coolers Similar to Yeti

A grey cooler with water bottles at the back.

There is no doubt that Yeti coolers are outstanding pieces of equipment to own, but the heavy price tag that goes along with the brand can leave you wondering if the outlay is worth it. After all, unless you go camping regularly in bear country surrounded by brand-conscious friends, plenty of other brands offer similar coolers at a fraction of the price that will do the job admirably.

Coolers that offer features similar to Yeti:

  1. RTIC
  2. Kong Coolers
  3. Lifetime Coolers
  4. Otterbox Coolers
  5. Igloo Sportsman
  6. Pelican Coolers
  7. Canyon Coolers
  8. Coleman Xtreme

Many of these similar coolers are made in the USA and have better warranties than Yeti.

If you are intent on purchasing a Yeti cooler, then there is no doubt that it is a solid investment. However, if you just need to get the job done, several brands offer similar features and even exceed the performance of a Yeti in some respects. Let’s check out some other brands and models.

Related to: 14 Different Types of Coolers 

Coolers Similar To Yeti

Yeti coolers are a premium brand that other campers and hikers will definitely notice, but if the status symbol is not the main feature that you are interested in, then there are plenty of similar cooler alternatives available.

Before we start looking at coolers similar to Yeti, let’s set the benchmark to know what features we need to look at. The type of traveler, camper, hiker you might be will dictate what features are most important to you in a cooler. 

Yeti coolers have an excellent reputation for the following reasons:

  • They have good ice retention
  • Virtually indestructible. They are roto-molded, which makes them super strong.
  • Available in various shapes and sizes
  • Trendy colors and appearance
  • They are expensive so have become something of a status symbol
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So, if you are considering what type of cooler to buy, and you aren’t sure that a Yeti cooler is worth the price tag, let’s take a look at some options that offer similar features.

1.    RTIC Coolers

A white hard coolman of RTIC.

Source: RTIC Outdoors

RTIC are almost identical to Yeti coolers except for the branding on the front. They are, in fact, so similar that it is nearly impossible to tell them apart, and they are like matching twins. The only real difference is the cost, with RTIC being considerably less expensive.

Since the coolers are almost identical in appearance, let’s go through the slight differences that you can expect from an RTIC compared to a Yeti.

Brand Yeti Cooler RTIC Cooler
Price High price range Considerably less than Yeti
Ice Retention Good Marginally less, but still good
Appearance Yeti logo on the front. More choices of sizes are available RTIC logo – otherwise almost identical. Fewer size options are available.
Durability Excellent Excellent
Handles String handles String handles – slightly different plastic grips
Warranty 5 years on hard cases 1-year warranty of hard cases
Manufactured Not locally made Not locally made
Drainage holes One side Both sides

2.    Kong Coolers

A dark gray Kong cooler with strap holder.

Source: Kong Coolers

If you are seeking the ultimate performance in ice retention, then a Kong Cooler is the way to go. They may not resemble a Yeti, but they certainly outperform the well-known brand in terms of keeping things cooler for longer.

Kong Coolers are similar to Yeti in more than just features. They have a lot of very similar features and a few significant differences. They are in a similarly high price bracket, so there probably won’t be much difference in the cost when deciding on which of the two brands to purchase.

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Brand Yeti Cooler Kong Cooler
Price High price range High price range
Ice Retention Good Superior
Appearance More colors available Limited colors
Durability Excellent Excellent
Handles String handles Large, strong latches
Warranty 5 Year warranty on hard cases Limited Lifetime warranty
Manufactured Not local Made in the USA

Kong Coolers offer similar quality and guarantee as Yeti. Like Yeti, they are virtually indestructible, so if you need the durability feature in a cooler which is also locally made, then Kong is a brand worth considering.

Many customers prefer the firmer feel of the handles compared to Yeti, but of course, the brand is not as flashy.

3.    Lifetime Coolers

A Lifetime gray cooler on a white background.

Source: Lifetime

Lifetime Coolers offer very similar features to Yeti in terms of performance, but at a fraction of the price. It may not look exactly like a Yeti, but it’s got many of the same features and even some extras that you may like.

This brand provides some serious bang for your buck and is definitely worth a second look.

Let’s make a quick comparison of the main features at a glance:

Brand Yeti Cooler Lifetime Coolers
Price High price range Very affordable
Ice Retention Good Outstanding
Appearance Multiple colors available Very limited colors are available
Durability Excellent Excellent – will need a padlock to be bear-proof
Weight Heavier than Lifetime Coolers Much lighter than Yeti
Handles String handles String Handles
Warranty 5 Year warranty on hard cases 5 Year Limited Warranty
Manufactured Not local Made in the USA

One of the other outstanding features of these coolers is the easy to open cam latches. These durable latches make opening the coolers even with one hand a breeze, so if you have kids, this may be a less complicated option for them to access.

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So for a lighter cooler that still offers the same, if not better, ice retention than Yeti for a fraction of the cost, Lifetime Coolers will do the job.

4.    Otterbox Coolers

A light brown Otterbox cooler in a white background.

Source: Otterbox

Otterbox has a range of coolers in a similar price range to Yeti, but if it is unbeatable performance in terms of ice retention that you need, this brand is hard to beat. Since they are made in the USA and backed by a lifetime guarantee, there are certainly not many downsides to an Otterbox.

Brand Yeti Cooler Otterbox Coolers
Price High price range High price range
Ice Retention Good Outstanding
Appearance Multiple colors available Fewer colors available
Durability Excellent Good – you will need some extra features to make it bear-proof
Handles String handles Protruding molded handles – easier to carry but can take up extra space
Latches Regular T-rex latches Rubber latches lock upwards
Warranty 5 Year warranty on hard cases Lifetime
Manufactured Not local Made in the USA

One of the nifty features of Otterbox coolers is that they have places to add external attachments. So your cooler can become an additional user-friendly area where you can hook in beverage holders or bottle openers onto some of the models.

5.    Igloo Sportsman Coolers

A retro family 36 qt Igloo cooler.

Source: Igloo Sportsman

Igloo has a range of coolers that are considerably less expensive than Yeti but have perfect features for hunting or fishing expeditions. This affordable brand stands up well to the rigors of serious trips, although the lid would need an additional locking mechanism if you need it to be bear-proof.

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One of the best features of the Igloo Sportsman is the clever use of the lid. There is a handy measuring tool and chopping board inside for anglers, so quickly processing a catch and getting it on ice is a snap.

There aren’t many differences between the Yeti and Igloo Sportsman. Both are roto-molded, making them incredibly strong, and both have the same warranty. Let’s compare these two brands at a glance:

Brand Yeti Cooler Igloo Sportsman Coolers
Price High price range Reasonable price range
Ice Retention Good Good – similar to Yeti
Appearance Multiple colors available Fewer colors available – white and tan mostly which are suitable for hunting and fishing
Durability Excellent Good – you will need some extra features to make it bear-proof
Handles String handles Strong, swing-up T-handles make it easy to carry.
Latches Regular T-rex latches Slightly thicker T-rex latches that are slightly recessed so the cooler can fit into tight spaces
Warranty 5 Year warranty on hard cases 5 Year Warranty
Manufactured Not local Made in the USA

Overall, the Igloo Sportsman is an excellent option that will hold up just as well as a Yeti in most situations.

6.    Cordova Coolers

A 28 qt red Cordova cooler in a white background.

Source: Cordova 

Cordova Coolers are an affordable alternative to Yeti, which boasts an incredible ice retention rate of up to 10 days. In addition, they are attractive coolers that are also bear-resistant.

Brand Yeti Cooler Cordova Coolers
Price High price range Slightly less than Yeti
Ice Retention Good Excellent – best performing brand
Appearance Multiple colors available Classic colors plus a range of trendy specialized patterned colors
Durability Excellent Outstanding
Handles String handles Anodized Aluminum handles with built-in bottle opener
Latches Regular T-rex latches Similar latches, but they are reversed and pulled upwards rather than down to close
Warranty 5 Year warranty on hard cases Lifetime Warranty
Manufactured Not local Made in the USA
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An extra handy feature that you may find useful is the anti-slip goat’s feet feature on the unit’s base. This keeps the Cordova firmly in place, so matter where you set it down. Cordova has not cut any corners in producing its quality range of coolers.

Cordova offers everything and more than you would expect from a great cooler. Making things even better, they are one of the only companies that use eco-friendly foam in manufacturing their products, so they are a more environmentally friendly option than Yeti.

7.    Pelican Coolers

A dark gray Pelican cooler on a white background.

Source: Pelican

Pelican coolers have stood the test of time. This brand, established in 1976, continues to provide durable quality products. Evidence of their quality is the lifetime guarantee offered on their coolers.

Pelican coolers have an attractive range of solidly built coolers which have been shown to outperform Yeti in ice-retention tests.

Brand Yeti Cooler Pelican Coolers
Price High price range Less expensive than Yeti
Ice Retention Good Superior to Yeti
Appearance Multiple colors available Fewer colors available –  subtle muted range of colors
Durability Excellent Certified bear proof
Handles String handles Larger side handles that pivot out – easier to carry but may take up more space
Latches Regular T-rex rubber latches 3″ Press and pull latches
Warranty 5 Year warranty on hard cases Lifetime
Manufactured Not local Made in the USA

One of the only drawbacks of Pelican coolers compared to Yeti is that they are slightly heavier and bulkier. So if you need to haul the cooler over a long distance, that may be something to consider. However, this is an outstanding locally made product that will stand up to a lifetime of adventures.

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8.    Canyon Coolers

A 35 quarts light brown Canyon cooler.

Source: Canyon

Canyon Coolers are so durable and ready for action that they have been dubbed ‘the tank.’ These are the perfect coolers, and some models have specific features, like the Canyon Adventure, which are specifically intended for action sports.

They have several tie-down points on the lid. This means that they can be easily tied to your pickup, boat, or raft with minimal strapping.

Brand Yeti Cooler Canyon Coolers
Price High price range Less expensive than Yeti
Ice Retention Good Superior to Yeti
Appearance Multiple colors available Muted color range
Durability Excellent Certified bear proof
Handles String handles Nylon rope handles. It also has recessed side handles, so it’s easy to carry if you prefer something more rigid.
Latches Regular T-rex rubber latches UV Resistant flexible latches
Warranty 5 Year warranty on hard cases Lifetime
Manufactured Not local Made in the USA

Canyon Coolers have designed their products to remain intact no matter what. The lid is firmly set on a metal rod so it can’t fall into the dirt or ocean as you reach for a drink.

Even the drain plugs, of which there are two, have no-lose features, so there’s no chance of losing the part if you set it down somewhere while the cooler drains.

Canyon coolers offer an excellent value for money option compared to Yeti coolers. They may not have the trendy name brand behind them, but they are a hardwearing, solid choice that is locally made.

One of the great features about these coolers, if you are moving a lot of gear, is that they don’t have any parts that jut out. If you have more than one cooler, they can fit snuggly against each other without wasting any space.

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9.    Coleman Xtreme

A light blue Coleman cooler with wheels.

Source: Coleman

The Coleman Xtreme may look nothing like a Yeti, but if you are only an occasional camper or hiker who needs something that will deliver performance in terms of ice-retention without an enormous cash outlay, this may be the way to go.

This functional cooler can hold ice for up to 3 days at a fraction of the cost of a Yeti.

It may not have the sleek appearance of the Yeti, but if you have a busy family who is just out to have fun camping, do you need the premium brand appeal?

You may need a rougher and tumble cooler that can still get the job done, and it holds ice for a surprisingly long time, so this cooler offers excellent value for money.

Brand Yeti Cooler Coleman Xtreme
Price High price range Most affordable
Ice Retention Excellent Can hold ice for 2-3 days
Appearance Multiple colors available Multiple colors available
Durability Excellent Not for frequent serious campers
Handles String handles Plastic replaceable handles
Latches Regular T-rex latches No latches – extremely user-friendly, especially for kids
Warranty 5 Year warranty on hard cases 1 Year Limited Warranty
Manufactured Not local Made in the USA

Coleman may not be in the same league as Yeti in terms of ice retention and features, but casual campers or picnickers can use this cooler with confidence at a fraction of the cost. However, one of the drawbacks that you should note is that the lid does not latch.

If you need something that locks into place, this is not the cooler for you.

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And one of the nifty features is that some models have sturdy wheels, so you don’t have to worry about lifting them to move.

Conclusion

Yeti coolers are a popular brand that has almost become a status symbol among campers. However, they are expensive, and many other brands have similar features and will get the job done the same, or even better, than the Yeti.

References:

Yeti

The Manual.

Gear Patrol