You’ve heard about how great Yeti coolers are, but you’ve also seen how expensive they can be. Should you buy a Yeti knockoff cooler instead?
It’s a great question to ask and one that I will try my best to answer for you. See I have reviewed basically every single Yeti knockoff cooler out there and so I know the pros and the cons.
Let me just be clear that when I say Yeti knockoff I do not mean a fake Yeti cooler that cliams to be a Yeti cooler but isn’t. I mean a cooler than is similar to Yeti in most ways but has a unique brand. The most popular brands being Pelican, Orca and Canyon.
Are Yeti Coolers Really That Great?
Yeti coolers are pretty amazing. Whereas standard polystyrine coolers will keep ice for 1 day (2 days absolute max) Yeti coolers will keep ice for up to 7 days.
They have a hard roto-moulded plastic exterior which makes them super tough and are built to last with a 5 year warranty. People run trucks over these things and they don’t break.
So yes, when it comes to coolers, Yeti coolers are pretty badass and are built to last.
The Problem With Yeti Coolers
The problem with Yeti coolers is that they are the most expensive cooler on the market. With the smallest size Tundra (their most popular range) starting at a lazy $300!
Also Yeti first started selling their coolers back in 2006! This has given other companies 10 years plus to catch up and improve on Yeti’s design.
This means that Yeti coolers are no longer the best coolers on the market when it comes to features, ice retention and most importantly….price.
Why You Should Consider A Yeti Knockoff Cooler
There are 4 main reasons you should consider a Yeti knockoff cooler.
Price isn’t everything. I, like many people, are happy to pay more for better quality. However, with the Yeti being the most expensive cooler on the market it makes sense to consider cheaper alternatives and to see if they are just as good.
Infact, when I looked at the coolers like Yeti but cheaper I found many of them to be of equal of better quality than Yeti.
If you can buy something that is better quality for less money, isn’t that something you’de consider?
How Much Money Are We Talking?
The Yeti 45 (37-Quart) sells for $349.99. Compare than to one of my favourite coolers the Pelican ProGear Elite that sells for $229.99. That’s a saving of $130!
2. Ice Retention
The main reason coolers like Yeti sell for so much money (compared to the $50 coolers at the supermarket) is that they can keep ice longer.
Yeti coolers can hold ice for up to 7 days, but 5 days is a more realistic figure. Some Yeti Knockoff coolers, such as the Canyon Outfitter or Orca, can keep ice up to 10-12 days with 8 days being a realistic expectation.
So while Yeti used to have the best ice retention in the industry this is no longer the case.
Other coolers often come with cool features that are lacking on the Yeti.
The Pelican ProGear Elite has the most features with a built in ruler, strong fold up handles and push and pull metal latches.
Other alternative cooler brands have features like larger drain plugs, built in bottle openers, cup holders, complimentary dry basket and much more.
I haven’t even mentioned the vast array of colors all of these different coolers come in (white is still my favourite).
Yeti provide a solid 5 year warranty on their coolers. While a 5 year warranty sounds like a long period of this this is actually one of the shortest warranties in the industry.
Many other brands now provide a LIFETIME warranty on their coolers. So if you are worried about your expensive cooler breaking on you a Yeti knockoff cooler with a longer warranty may actually be a better option for you.
Which Yeti Knockoff Cooler Is The Best?
Asking which cooler is the best is kind of like asking which car is the best? Different people have different needs and thus choose different coolers accordingly.
But here’s a shortlist for you
Pelican Progear Elite
This cooler has better ice retention than Yeti and is the most feature rich cooler on the market. The push and pull latches are arguable the best design and the big bulky fold up handles make for easy carrying.
The downfall of this cooler is it’s weight. Most models are a solid 10 lbs heavier than other brands of a similar size…and that’s before you put anything in there. So if you have a bad back or no one to help you carry your cooler this may not be the best option for you.
Canyon Outfitter Series
The Canyon stands out as it has the thickest insulation of any brand on the market and thus has some of the best ice retention possible. Some white water rafters have even experienced 12 days ice retention in these bad boys.
These coolers aren’t as flashy as the Pelican or the Yeti in terms of their appearance and branding, so that may turn you away if one of your main goals of purchasing these coolers is to impress those around you. But all around a great cooler that I absolutely love.
Orca coolers aren’t actually cheaper than Yeti coolers, however they are the best rated cooler on the market, outranking all other coolers with an average 4.7 star rating.
Ice retention is again better than the Yeti (otherwise I wouldn’t be mentioning it) and it is also probably the most similar looking cooler when compared to the Yeti. The closest thing you’re going to get to a true Yeti knockoff (not that you would want one of those anyway).
So there you have a shortlist of Yeti knockoff coolers and I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether or not you prefer to buy the genuine Yeti brand or if you’de prefer to save some money and buy an alternative brand.