Best Yeti Cooler Alternatives: By Category

Best Yeti Cooler Alternatives

Yeti coolers are great, I personally own one, but they are expensive and not everyone wants to get a Yeti brand. The brand is now 10+ years old and in that time so many new options have come to market.

Some are cheaper, some perform better, some are just “me too” versions while others offer something completely unique.

With every man and his dog having written a best Yeti cooler alternatives or best coolers like Yeti article with a generic list of some of the other popular brands I wanted to write an article that is actually going to be insanely helpful in helping you choose the absolute best cooler for you.

This is a difficult task because honestly, we are knit picking here. So many of the coolers are extremely similar with slight differences in design, branding and price.

But having written hundreds of articles on coolers and looked at everything from the best coolers for ice retention to the cheapest Yeti-like coolers money can buy. Plus having done individual reviews on coolers and so many head to head comparisons like Kong Coolers vs Yeti I feel like I've seen every cooler and know them inside and out in detail.

So this isn't going to be another “me too” “here's some generic list of Yeti competitors” article. So strap yourself in and get ready to learn the ins and outs of the best alternatives to the Yeti cooler.

TL;DR (Too Long, Didn't Read) Summary

This post is long and I go into a lot of detail on each of the coolers and why I recommend them.

If you just want to know the main coolers I recommend for each category then you can see them below with affiliate links to buy them from Amazon or their respective sites.

BEST VALUE

Lifetime Coolers

  • Made in USA
  • Fraction of the price of competitors

See the latest price at Amazon

ICE RETENTION

Otterbox Coolers

  • Made in USA
  • Best ice retention performance

See the latest price at Amazon

MOST LIKE YETI

RTIC Coolers

  • Looks most similar to Yeti
  • Also a well recognised brand

See the latest price at Amazon

MADE IN USA

ORCA Coolers

  • Made in USA
  • Extremely high quality
  • Lifetime warranty

See the latest price at Orca Coolers

WHEELED COOLER

RovR Coolers

  • Made in USA
  • Packed with features
  • Wheels come standard

See the latest price at Amazon

BEST SOFT COOLER

Engel HD30

  • Best ice retention of any soft cooler
  • Extremely durable
  • Vacuum insulation

See the latest price at Amazon

Why Buy a Yeti Alternative Cooler?

Why buy a Yeti alternative cooler in the first place? Why not just buy the brand people know and love?

There are a few major reasons people want to buy a cooler similiar to Yeti but different.

Price – Yeti coolers are notoriously expensive and you can save yourself a fair chunk of money by going with a different brand.

Features – Some other coolers have features that Yeti coolers don't have. Making them more practical.

Better ice retention – Yeti coolers are good at holding ice but some coolers do it even better. If you want the best ice retention possible then you'll need to buy another brand.

Made in the USA – Yeti coolers aren't made in the USA they are made overseas. You maybe want to buy a brand that is made in the USA.

You just don't like Yeti – Maybe you just don't personally like the Yeti brand or want to own a Yeti product. Luckily there are loads of great alternatives to Yeti out there so you have lots of options.

First, Avoid These Coolers

Go on Amazon and search “Yeti coolers” (or click here and it'll do the search for you). Also try searching “coolers” (or click here to do the search for you).

Don't look at the organic listings but instead look at the ads at the top.

When I searched Yeti coolers I got an ad for “Thermik” coolers.

When I search “coolers” I got an ad for a cooler brand known as Reyleo

Neither of these brands I have ever heard of before and I've been reviewing coolers for years.

While the Reyleo actually looks pretty good I would always advise you to avoid these no-name brands.

Random brands like this pop up all the time on Amazon or through other ads. 9 times out of 10 they are cheap, crappy, white labeled coolers someone has ordered from China and slapped their logo on.

A simple search on Alibaba shows you can import coolers like this for as little as $30-$50 a piece (in bulk).

But after years in this space I have seen so many of these small brands come and go and I've seen so many bad reviews on these products relating to poor ice retention and poor build quality.

In summary: Don't waste your money on a no-name brand you have never heard of and who probably won't be around in 1-2 years if you do have any issues.

Second, Yeti Coolers Are Actually Surprisingly Better Than Most Coolers

Originally when I started out I thought “why bother buying a Yeti cooler when there are other brands out there that can hold ice just as long?”

It's a reasonable question. It is just an insulated box after all. If I can save myself $100+ dollars then why wouldn't I?

So I went out there and spent thousands buying multiple different brands of cooler. High quality brands too like Pelican and Engel.

But when the coolers arrived Yeti was an absolute standout!

The feeling this brand of cooler gives you is difficult to describe.

The plastic looks and feels nicer, the colors are better, the attention to detail and the build quality is spot on.

This cooler FEELS premium. Whereas looking at the Engel beside the Yeti it felt like a serious downgrade.

In reality (and thinking logically) they were both almost identical white boxes. But Yeti FELT premium and I fell in love with it.

It also performs really well at holding ice. There are other coolers better at holding ice, but all in all it's pretty close and the Yeti performs really well.

Check out the ice test I did below:

My wife at the time also thought it was the most beautiful so after all my reviews were done I sold or gave away the other coolers and kept the Yeti.

So while some other coolers might perform slightly better or have some extra features. Yeti coolers are just freaking good coolers.

They are the market leader for a reason and if another brand doesn't scream at you “I'M PERFECT FOR YOU I WILL MAKE YOU HAPPY” then I would actually suggest just getting a Yeti.

Click here to see the latest prices of Yeti coolers at Yeti.com

PROS:

  • Most popular and more desirable brand
  • Great ice retention
  • Extremely high build quality
  • Lots of color and size options

CONS:

  • Expensive
  • Only a 5-Year warranty
  • Not the best ice retention in the industry

So How Can You Pick a Yeti Alternative?

Picking a Yeti alternative is hard but it can be done.

I think the key to picking a good Yeti alternative is to look at the best coolers in different categories.

If you value price and value-for-money then there is a blatant obvious winner in that category (it's the Lifetime cooler). If you value the longest ice retention above all else then there are 2 clear coolers in that category.

If you value your cooler being made and manufactured in the USA then there's two obvious choices in that category. If you want a cooler with wheels there is one main cooler you should consider.

And so on and so forth.

Find out what's most important to you and then pick the cooler that is the best in that category.

This won't solve everyone's decision dilemma, some people need to research EVERYTHING (and there are articles on this site for that). But it will help most of you find the right cooler for you that is like Yeti but cheaper.

Honorable Mentions

There are a bunch of brands of coolers that didn't make this list. It isn't because they aren't great coolers. It's more just because there is nothing about these coolers that made them stand out as the best in any one category or for any one situation.

They are good coolers, but they are “me too” coolers. Very similar to Yeti but maybe a little cheaper or with an extra feature or two.

You can buy them and be happy with them and if you want to research them by all means go for it. But for me they just don't make the cut.

The honorable mentions go to:

  • Grizzly Coolers
  • Kenai Coolers
  • Engel Coolers
  • K2 Coolers
  • Siberian Alpha Coolers
  • TechniIce Coolers
  • Patriot Coolers
  • Cabela's Coolers
  • Bison Coolers
  • Esky Coolers
  • IceHole Coolers
  • Taiga Coolers
  • Cordova Coolers
  • ICON Coolers

As you can see this is a solid list full of great coolers. But you can't be expected to research every one of them.

Below I've put together my list of the 12 best Yeti cooler alternatives by category. Depending on what is most important to you you should be able to find a cooler in this list to suit your needs.

If you don't find a cooler here that you love then you should either just buy a Yeti or you can research into the honorable mentions listed above.

Best Value For Money: Lifetime Coolers

Lifetime Cooler

When it comes to value for money nothing beat the Lifetime cooler.

It has all the major features you would expect from a cooler like Yeti but has one of the cheapest selling prices of any Yeti alternative on the market.

The smaller 28-Quart and 55-Quart sizes generally sell for under $100 with the larger 77-Quart being just a little bit more expensive than that.

Compare than to around $200 for the Yeti Roadie 24 or $350 for the Yeti Tundra 65 and you can see how massive this saving is! Read my full Lifetime vs Yeti cooler comparison for full details.

Here's a shortlist of some of the key features of this cooler:

  • Ice retention similar (if not better) than Yeti
  • Made in the USA
  • Non-slip feet that slide when cooler is raised (great feature)
  • Bear proof
  • Built in bottle opener
  • Easy to use rubber latches
  • Rubber gasket
  • Nylon rope handles

As you can see it ticks basically every box.

Lifetime are a USA based company that specialise in blow molded plastics. So this cooler is blow molded, not roto-molded like Yeti coolers.

This means Yeti coolers are slightly more durable. But to the average person this isn't going to be noticeable. Unless you're really hard on your gear then this cooler will hold up just fine.

The only major downsides to the Lifetime cooler are the limited size options and the face that it only comes in the one color.

This cooler is perfect for people who want a cooler like Yeti but are on a tight budget. They are sold primarily through Walmart but you can also find them on Amazon.

See the latest price of Lifetime coolers at Walmart

Compare that to prices of Lifetime coolers at Amazon

PROS:

  • Great value for money
  • Made in the USA
  • Similar ice retention to Yeti
  • Has similiar features to the Yeti

CONS:

  • Only 3 sizes available
  • Not quite as durable as the Yeti
  • Only comes in 1 color

Runner Up For Value-For-Money: Igloo BMX

If the Lifetime doesn't feel right for you then anther good value-for-money option is the Igloo BMX cooler.

This is one of the cheapest Yeti alternatives out there.

It's more afforable than the Lifetime but in my opinion the build quality isn't quite as good and neither is the ice retention.

See the latest prices for Igloo BMX Coolers at Amazon

PROS:

  • Super affordable
  • 2 days ice retention
  • Most features the Yeti has

CONS:

  • Not roto-molded so durability isn't as good
  • Hinges and handle not as durable
  • Ice retention isn't as good as Yeti

Cheapest Roto-Molded Cooler: Walmart's Ozark Trail

The Lifetime and Igloo BMX coolers mentioned above are blow molded. This means they are made from a thinner plastic and aren't as durable as coolers like Yeti that are roto-molded.

Roto-molding creates a much thicker shell and is what makes Yeti coolers so indestructible.

If you're looking for the cheapest roto-molded cooler then the standout here is Walmart's own brand – The Ozark Trail cooler.

While these are decent and the design does feature built in cup holders in the lid overall it's a poorer performing cooler in quality and ice retention when compared to the the Lifetime cooler. Read my full Lifetime vs Ozark Trail cooler comparison.

The lids have a tendency to warp in the sun and it's one of the worst performing roto-molded coolers when it comes to ice retention.

There is a 60-Quart wheeled Ozark Trail cooler that is pretty decent value for the price, but the other ones I'm not personally super stoked on.

Still they are cheap and easy to buy and some people love them.

See the latest price of Ozark Trail coolers at Walmart.com

PROS:

  • Less than half the price of a Yeti
  • Roto-molded and durable with similar features to Yeti
  • Built in ruler and cup holders in the lid

CONS:

  • Ice retention isn't as good as Yeti
  • Overall built quality isn't as good
  • Only comes in 1 color
  • Comes with no known warranty

Best Ice Retention: Otterbox Coolers

If you're looking for the cooler that can hold ice the absolute longest, the one that outperforms all other coolers then the Otterbox is going to be the brand for you.

I painstaking researched the ice retention of every brand of cooler for my article on the best coolers for ice retention and Otterbox continually came out on top, followed closely by Kong Coolers.

The Otterbox Venture has ice retention of 10-14 days and will outlast a similar sized Yeti cooler by 2+ days easily. Read the full Otterbox vs Yeti comparison.

It's injection molded and made to an extremely high quality. It's also manufactured in the USA for those who find that important.

You're going to pay a price premium for this one. It's actually more expensive than the Yeti by a little bit.

However, it is backed by a lifetime guarantee and it's a really good quality cooler.

If you want the absolute best performance possible then this is the #1 Yet alternative for you.

See the latest prices of Otterbox coolers at Amazon

PROS:

  • Best brand for ice retention
  • Made locally in the USA
  • Extremely high-quality
  • Cool system for mounting accessories
  • Two-tone color design
  • Lifetime warranty

CONS:

  • More expensive than Yeti
  • Side handles protrude out taking up more space
  • Limited color options

Runner Up For Ice Retention: Kong Coolers

The Kong cooler performs extremely closely to the Otterbox in terms of ice retention, with the Otterbox having the teeny tiniest upper hand.

You can expect 7-14 days of ice retention from these coolers depending on what size you get as well as the external temperatures.

Below you can see a long video where some tests each Kong cooler side by side and all to the coolers last 6+ days with the largest size holding ice for a whopping 10+ days!

Made in the USA and backed by a Lifetime warranty this is a really high-quality cooler that you won't be disappointed with.

The big beefy handles and thick plastic latches are a nice feature and the accessories are really cool – allowing you to add a side table for food prep.

These coolers are sold in hardly any stores, but you can get them online at Amazon.

See the latest price of Kong Coolers at Amazon

PROS:

  • Amazing ice retention – better than Yeti
  • Made in the USA
  • Has cooler accessories like the Kong-Kicker

CONS:

  • More expensive than Yeti and other brands
  • Design isn't the most glamorous
  • Newer brand and relatively untested in the market

Best Warranty: Canyon Coolers

If you're someone who values peace of mind above all else then you'll want to get yourself a cooler with a lifetime warranty.

Yeti hard sided coolers only come with a 5 year warranty but there are a variety of cooler brands that offer a LIFETIME warranty on their cooler.

That's right your cooler is covered for your entire life!

Brands like Orca, Kong, Pelican, Otterbox and Grizzly all come with a limited lifetime warranty. I've outlined all the coolers with a lifetime warranty in this post.

But by far the cooler with the best warranty is Canyon Coolers.

Check out this statement from their warranty page:

We will repair or replace your Canyon product in the event it becomes damaged or defective – at no cost to you. If we cannot repair your product, we will replace it with a new product of equal or better physical condition.

We don’t care what happened, how it happened, who’s fault it was, or where or when you bought your Canyon Cooler. As long as you have the cooler, we promise to take care of you.

  • Unlimited Lifetime Warranty
  • Fully transferable
  • No warranty card to complete
  • No product registration requirements
  • No need to keep the receipt

The only thing our Warranty does not cover is loss, theft, deliberate damage, or normal cosmetic damage that does not negatively affect the performance of the product.

Their coolers have all the main features you would expect for a brand similar to Yeti and they perform just as well in durability and ice retention.

Plus they are one of the cheaper brands on this list too so you can save some good money by going with Canyon.

See the latest prices of Canyon coolers at Amazon

PROS:

  • Best lifetime warranty of any cooler
  • Great ice retention and durability
  • More affordable than other similar sized coolers

CONS:

  • Not made in the USA
  • Limited color options available
  • Not the most premium design

Made In The USA: ORCA Coolers

Orca Coolers Made in USA
ORCA Manufacturing Plant in the USA

If owning a cooler that was made and manufactured locally in the USA is important to you, either for national pride, keeping jobs or quality assurance then Orca is going to be the best brand for you.

These coolers are arguably better than Yeti coolers anyway in terms of performance. They can hold ice longer than a Yeti cooler.

But they are also one of the coolers that look most like Yeti. The design of Orca coolers is very similar to that of Yeti with only minor differences.

They rank #1 for the best coolers made in the USA and they are also one of the top coolers when it comes to ice retention.

They come with a lifetime warranty and they sell for a slight discount compared to Yeti coolers.

Made In USA
Orca Coolers
~$239-$600

Orca Coolers have some of the best ice retention of any cooler on the market, are made locally in the USA, feature a lifetime warranty and have lots of colors to choose from.

See Latest Price at OrcaCoolers.com See Latest Price at Amazon

PROS:

  • Made in the USA
  • Premium ice retention
  • The most color options of any cooler other than Yeti
  • Lifetime warranty

CONS:

  • What cons? Haha
  • Not as cheap as other models

Runner Up USA Made: Pelican Coolers

Pelican are known for creating high-quality durable products and their coolers are no different.

The design of their coolers is unique. They look big, bulky and tough.

They seem to outperform Yeti in ice retention tests, but only by a small margin and they are made in the USA.

They also have a wheeled version which is one of the best coolers on wheels.

Their metal latches are easy and satisfying to use and are also backed by a lifetime warranty.

See the latest price of Pelican coolers at Amazon

PROS:

  • Made in the USA
  • Extremely high-quality and built to last
  • Similar features and ice retention to the Yeti
  • Cup holders built into the lid

CONS:

  • Latches don't pull down the lid tight making it more likely to leak
  • Larger sizes have protruding size handles which take up extra space

Most Similar To Yeti: RTIC Coolers

If you're looking to a Yeti knockoff cooler or a cooler that is as similar to Yeti as you can get without it actually being Yeti then RTIC is going to be the brand for you.

In fact Yeti sued RTIC and won because their coolers were so similar and the two companies settled out of court.

RTIC was started by 2 brothers (just like Yeti was) and while they began life as a “me too” product they have quickly grown their reputation and brand and expanded into a lot of different outdoor equipment.

The features of each of their coolers is almost identical to Yeti, ripping off pretty much all of Yeti's design. But they have built their coolers well and are able to hold ice just as long as Yeti coolers.

They'll also save you a good chunk of money compared to a more expensive Yeti cooler.

See the latest prices of RTIC Coolers at Amazon

PROS:

  • Looks almost exactly like Yeti
  • Performs almost exactly like a Yeti

CONS:

  • Isn't a Yeti
  • Made overseas, just like a Yeti

Round Cooler: KULA Cooler

If you're into into squares and rectangles and would rather a circular cooler then KULA Coolers are the best round cooler on the market.

They have similar features to the Yeti Roadie with the main difference being that the cooler in round.

It features a built in bottle opener, drain plug on the bottom and strong metal carry handle. These coolers are popular with stand up paddle boarders and are kind of a mix between the Yeti Bucket and a cooler.

Why is a round cooler better? I don't think it really is.

Is this cooler pretty awesome and could suit some people? Yes it could!

See the latest price of the KULA Cooler at Amazon

PROS:

  • One of the only round coolers
  • Built in bottle opener
  • Grip on lid for easier standing and more comfortable sitting
  • Smaller size has a tap

CONS:

  • No real benefit to the cooler being round
  • Ice retention isn't as good as Yeti
  • Only comes in small sizes (5 gallon and 2.5 gallon)

Best Cooler With Wheels: RovR Cooler

All of these coolers so far have one thing in common, or lack one thing in common and that is wheels.

Coolers like Yeti, with a thick plastic shell and thick insulation, are extremely heavy even when empty. Fill them up with ice and drinks and then all of a sudden they become almost impossible to carry.

The RovR cooler isn't the only roto-molded cooler on wheels but it's definitely the best one.

It's stacked with features like internal and external storage buckets, cool accessories and even an attachment which allows you to attach your cooler to your bike and pull it along behind you.

This cooler is extremely unique and is extremely high quality. You can see my RovR vs Yeti comparison for the full details of how this cooler stacks up or your can see my list of the best wheeled coolers (where it ranks #2 on that list just behind the Yeti Tundra Haul)

This cooler comes in a few different sizes and colors and I just love all the features that you get with it that you don't get with any other cooler. It really is one of a kind.

See the latest price of RovR coolers at Amazon

PROS:

  • Built in wheels for easy transport
  • Internal and external storage buckets
  • Bike attachment
  • Great ice retention

CONS:

  • Similar price to Yeti
  • Limited size and color options
  • Small distribution

Best Soft Cooler: Engel HD30

When it comes to soft sided coolers no cooler quite compares to the Engel HD30.

It's ice retention is higher than any soft sided cooler and it can hold ice for 4+ days, which is longer than a lot of hard sided coolers of a similar size. Read my full Engel HD30 review.

It uses a unique vacuum valve that allows you to suck air out of the insulation making it more effective.

It's made with extremely strong 840-denier nylon that is TPU laminated making it scratch, tear and puncture resistant.

It's cheaper than the Yeti M30 which is Yeti's closest comparison and in my opinion is a better cooler anyway.

See the latest price of the Engel HD30 at Amazon

PROS:

  • Best ice retention of any soft sided cooler
  • Made from super durable puncture, tear and water resistant fabric
  • Cheaper than Yeti

CONS:

  • Items inside can be hard to access when full
  • It's quite a large soft sided cooler
  • Color options aren't the best

A Budget Alternative: Coleman Xtreme

Maybe you're thinking to yourself “I don't need all these bells and whistles. I just need an affordable cooler that can hold ice for a few days”

If that's you then the Coleman Xtreme is a bare bones cooler that doesn't have all the features a cooler like Yeti would have. In fact it's more like a regular cooler than a Yeti.

However, it keeps ice much longer than a regular cooler. Rather than only holding ice for a day it can hold ice up to 5 days (but 2-4 days is more common).

It's lighter than a yeti and it's 8-10x cheaper so if you're on a tight budget and just need a good cooler. tohold ice get the Coleman Xtreme.

See just how cheap the Coleman Xtreme coolers are at Amazon

So Which Yeti Cooler Alternative Should You Get?

How did you go?

Are you any closer after reading this article to choosing your perfect cooler?

Are you going to go with a budget cooler like a Lifetime cooler or a Coleman Xtreme cooler and save yourself some money?

Or are you going to go for a high performance cooler and pay a bit extra to get something like the Otterbox cooler or Orca cooler, which are both made in the USA?

Or maybe you've read through this list and decided that a Yeti really would be the right cooler for you. That's totally fine too.

Whatever you decide is up to you. Below are some resources if you want to do further research into finding your perfect cooler:

See the latest price of Yeti coolers at Yeti.com

What size cooler should I get?

11 Best Coolers for ice retention

Best soft sided coolers like Yeti

19 best coolers made in the USA