Canyon Coolers vs Yeti

In the Canyon Cooler vs Yeti showdown, we discovered that have longer ice retention and better prices but are they a better cooler overall?

I personally think so and in this article we are going to go into detail about these 2 coolers and compare them side by side to see which one is the best.

Until created their ultra-insulated ultra-expensive coolers in 2006 your only option was a cheap cooler that held ice for about 20 minutes (ok 1-2 days).

But since 2006 there have been a lot of new cooler brands cashing in on Yeti's early success, creating coolers that are more affordable and (in many ways) better than Yeti coolers.

Canyon Coolers is one of these companies but when you compare Canyon Coolers to Yeti coolers are they actually better?

Better Insulation and Ice Retention

Canyon Cooler Ice Retention

Yeti coolers have 2-inch thick walls full of pressure injected high-density polyurethane foam and a 3-inch lid file with the same stuff.

It is this extra insulation that makes these high-end coolers so good at keeping ice frozen.

Canyon coolers have the same insulation as Yeti coolers however, they have added even more insulation with 2.75-inch thick walls and a 3-inch lid. This is over 30% more insulation in the walls than Yeti.

But the real question is does this extra insulation lead to better ice retention?

The answer according to almost all reviews is yes it does.

Cooler: Yeti Canyon
Ice Retention: 5-7 Days 6-8 Days

In multiple different ice challenges and in multiple customer cases the Canyon Cooler outperformed the Yeti cooler in ice retention every time. In fact, I am yet to see a single example where the Yeti cooler can actually outperform a Canyon cooler. It just hasn't been done…yet.

A Yeti cooler will keep ice for 5-6 days in most cases whereas a Canyon cooler will easily keep ice for up to 8 days or longer. Put the two side by side and after 5 days you can notice the difference in the amount of ice left.

Check out the below video of how much ice is left in the Canyon cooler after 8 days! And this guy wasn't even using the best practices for keeping ice longer in a cooler.

Both coolers have freezer grade gaskets around the lid which makes a huge difference in terms of ice retention, but each are comparible to each other so I won't waste your time on this aspect.

Just As Tough?

Ok, so the Canyon cooler beats the Yeti cooler in ice retention. But 5 days compared to 8 days…I can live with that.

Yeti Cooler Tough

I heard the Yeti was tough, in fact I even saw a video of a big strong guy trying to break the Yeti so it must last longer than the Canyon right?

Ummmm, wrong again here. The Canyon is covered in the SAME plastic as the Yeti. It's called high impact polyurethane and they use this plastic to make kayaks.t needs to be tough as you don't want to get a hole in your kayak.

This stuff needs to be tough as noone wants to get a hole in their kayak while whitewater rafting down the Grand Canyon.

Both coolers are certified bear proof which is a true test of how strong a cooler is. Check out the beat trying to rip into the Canyon cooler in the video below.

Lifetime Warranty

Canyon offers customers a lifetime warranty on their coolers whereas Yeti only offers a 5-year warranty. If your Canyon was to break for one reason or another you know they've got you convered.


The Yeti cooler carries a price premium due to it's well-known brand name and tightly controlled distribution network. When Costco was discovered to be selling Yeti coolers unauthorised the brand did what it could to remove the coolers from Costco stores.

They want to control their price, and their profits and we can all understand why. But is the Yeti cooler worth the price premium?

Size Canyon Yeti
22  $139.99 $249.99
28 $299.00
35 $239.99
37 $349.99
46 $379.99
52 $399.99
54  $289.00
74 $349.99
79 $449.99
84  $479.99
92 $499.99
126 $429.99

From the price comparison we can see that Canyon coolers are significantly less expensive than Yeti coolers of a similar capacity.

The easiest to compare are the Yeti 45 (37-quart) and the Canyon 35 (35-quart). The Canyon is $110 cheaper than the Yeti. The same is true for the Yeti 65 (52-quart) vs the Canyon 55 (54-quart) where the Canyon is again $110 cheaper.

I don't know about you but $240 for a cooler is a much easier pill to swallow than $350. Plus I know I can more easily convince my wife to spend around $200 on a cooler than around $350

Plus I know I can more easily convince my wife to spend around $200 on a cooler than around $350 on a cooler. I mean it's still going to take some convincing but once I explain how awesome it is I'm sure she will come around.

I think that given the price difference you should look at Canyon coolers as your primary option and then only consider Yeti coolers if you find them to outperform Canyon (which they will rarely do) or if brand image is super important to you.

Check Out The Latest Price For The Canyon Cooler


What Makes The Yeti Worth $100 More Than The Canyon?

So the Yeti is $110 more. What makes so much more expensive?

Brand – As mentioned previously Yeti basically created the high-end cooler market in 2006. They have had time to establish their dominance and create a well-known brand. As they are well known they can charge a premium.

In the same way you would pay more for a Toyota than a no-name new entry brand car many people are willing to pay more for the Yeti brand.

Distribution – Yeti have the best distribution of all the high-end coolers. They are in the most shops around the USA and have many online options. They are one of the easiest coolers to find if you want to go out and buy one and don't want to buy one online.

Not Locally Manufactured – If you want to buy a Yeti because you believe it's manufactured in the USA then be careful as many of their coolers are made overseas. Their price isn't higher because of manufacturing locally.

Canyon Cooler vs Yeti Cooler: Feature Battle

Let's dig a bit deeper and look at some of the features and accessories and see how Canyon lines up against the Yeti.

Does the Yeti have more features/accessories than the Canyon that make it the better cooler?

Cooler: Yeti Canyon
Color Options yeti-tundra-35 yeti-tundra-35-tan yeti-tundra-35-iceblue canyon35front canyon35frontwhitecanyon35frontblue

Color Options

The color options for the Yeti and the Canyon are quite similar.

The Yeti comes in white (most popular), desert tan and ice blue.

The Canyon comes in sandstone (most popular), white and aquamarine.

I personally think the Yeti's look nicer than the Canyons and that is going to be a big draw factor for a lot of people.

The Canyon sandstone is popular because it hardly shows the wear and tear at all. A white cooler is going to get scuff marks and stains you can't get out but I can see how on the sandstone this would be way less noticeable.


Both coolers come with nylon rope handles. The Yeti has a rubber grip to hold onto while the Canyon has a piece of plastic for the grip piece. So in that respect the Yeti has a nicer grip than the Canyon.

However, the Canyon also has recessed handles for easier single person carrying. This is an option that the Yeti coolers don't have and I think this outweighs the rubber vs plastic debate above.

I personally am not a massive fan of the rope handles and love the handles of the Pelican, but hey you can't have everything.


The majority of Yeti competitors have extremely similar latch systems to the Yeti's T-Rex rubber system. Grizzly, Orca, Siberian, Icehole…the list goes on and on.

While this latch system is fine it can be a bit fiddly and people in colder climates who are wearing gloves have complained about it being difficult to use with gloves on.

Canyon Latch

The Canyon cooler has a different latch system altogether. It's a cam latch system where you put the rubber latch over a pin on the lid and then push it in (which pulls down and fixes the lid in place).

While not a groundbreaking achievement this latch system is slightly easier to use and also has the added bonus of being completely recessed into the cooler. This means the latch system does not produce from the body of the cooler at all meaning it'll never get caught on things or won't get bumped and broken when you throw your cooler in the back of your truck.

Non-Skid Feet

Both Yeti and Canyon have hard rubber non-slip feet. There is hardly anything to report here as both are comparable to each other and this generally isn't a defining feature for why you would choose one cooler over another.



Not that many people care about accessories for their cooler, but for some people metal racks, fishing rod holsters or bottle openers are a really important part of their cooler experience.

Yeti and Canyon have comparable accessories. Seat tops, bottle openers, cup holders, rod holsters, tie down kits and keep dry baskets.

However, the majority of Canyon's accessories are more affordable than Yeti's. Seat covers are about $30-$50 cheaper and a rod holster from Canyon will set you back $8.99 while a similar holster from Yeti will cost you $39.99.

Plus the Canyon cooler comes with a free metal basket worth $10 when bought separately. It's a nice little add on to keep things dry.

If you really want to set up your cooler with lots of flashy accessories there are a bunch of companies out there that make items you can add to your cooler. Yak Gear is a great one with lots of different options.


We mentioned it before but Yeti coolers have a 5-year warranty while Canyon coolers have a lifetime warranty.

Made in USA

Yeti coolers are made in the USA and in the Philippines. They don't say but it's my guess the majority of them are made overseas.

They do claim if you give them a call they can specifically source you one that is manufactured in the USA, but how you could tell the difference I would have no idea.

Canyon coolers according to this slideshow are assembled in Thailand with the foam insulation coming from Alabama and the seal from New Jersey. They claim 80% of the price of the cooler stays in the USA.

So neither cooler is 100% made in the USA so unfortunately this isn't a deciding factor. If being made in the USA is the #1 priority for you when it comes to your cooler then check out Icehole coolers as they are proudly American.

Customer Service

Yeti coolers have a full help center which worries me a little bit. Airlines have “help centers” but that doesn't mean they are very helpful. I am not 100% sure if their staff are in the US or if this part of their business is outsourced also.

Canyon coolers have a Contact Us page and I have heard good things about their customer service. It's located in Flagstaff, Arizona and they are very friendly and helpful.

Canyon Cooler vs Yeti: Which Cooler Is Better?

I think without a doubt the Canyon Cooler is a better cooler than the Yeti in multiple different aspects

The Canyon Coolers Is Better Than The Yeti In:

  • Insulation
  • Ice Retention
  • Price
  • Handles
  • Latches
  • Accessories price
  • Warranty
  • Customer service

Best Camping Cooler - Canyon Outfitter


The Canyon Cooler Is Comparable To The Yeti In:

  • Color options
  • Non-skid feet
  • Certified bear proof
  • Manufactured primarily overseas

The Yeti Cooler Is Better Than The Canyon In:

  • Distribution
  • Brand Recognition

Who Should Buy A Yeti?

While the Canyon beat the Yeti in almost every category discussed here there is still an argument for buying the Yeti brand.

The Yeti brand name is well know and is basically a household name. You get the “wow factor” of the Yeti brand name.

People don't pay thousands of dollars for Luis Vuitton bags because they are the best-made bags in the world. Buying brand name products helps you make a statement and it also helps you enjoy the product more.

This is not to be looked down upon. If you love brand names and can afford it, GO FOR IT! I don't want to stop you buying the cooler you want.

If you really want the Yeti brand you won't be completely happy with a lesser known brand like the Canyon. I'll leave it up to you to decide.

Who Should Buy A Canyon?

You should buy a Canyon if you want to absolute best ice retention available, you want the same or similar specs to a Yeti and brand isn't the deciding factor for you.

You should buy the Canyon if you want to save yourself over $100 or your wife says you can't afford $350 (but maybe you can afford $240).

You should also buy a Canyon if your friends have a Yeti and you want to show off and make them feel bad about their purchase by flaunting your superior coolers.