Coolers Better Than YETI: Superior Performance Ice Chests

Coolers Better Than Yeti
Coolers Better Than Yeti

Yeti is THE brand name in high-end coolers but there are quite a few coolers that are better than Yeti in both performance, features and price.

Yeti were the first to create top of the line, high-performance coolers back in 2006 but since then a lot of companies have followed in their footsteps creating me-too coolers that promise to perform just as well, if not better.

These newer coolers generally offer additional features that Yeti is lacking. Everything from measuring rulers, to bottle openers and cup holders, more color options and some even have inbuilt wheels.

Yeti are still the most one of the most expensive coolers on the market, often charging a $100 to $200 premium over coolers of similar size and specs. So are Yeti coolers worth the extra money or are there coolers better than Yeti?

The answer is yes, there are multiple cooler brands that are better than Yeti coolers in performance and price. You may or may not have heard of these brands, but each of them is worth a look.

How I Determined Which Coolers Were Better Than Yeti

Ultimately “better” is a subjective term so I had to decide on some key areas of performance so we could objectively measure the coolers against each other to see which one is better.

Ice Retention

Yeti coolers can hold ice a massive 5-7 days. For a cooler to be featured in this list it needed to be able to hold ice at least as long as at Yeti of a similar size, and ideally hold ice even longer than the Yeti. If the cooler failed to hold ice as long as the Yeti (with the exception of our “budget pick”) then it wouldn't make the cut onto this list.

Build Quality

Yeti coolers have a phenomenal build quality that allows them to last for years and years and still continue to perform.

We looked at customer reviews of the coolers to determine the quality of the build and if the coolers come highly recommended. If a cooler seemed to have a lot of customer complaints about quality then it didn't make the cut.

Each cooler also needed to match of exceed Yeti's 5-Year limited warranty. If the warranty was less than 5 years the cooler was not included.

Features

I also looked at the features of each of these coolers. Yeti makes a tough cooler and there are some key features that needed to be present in each cooler to make this list.

  • Roto-moulded durable construction (with the exception of our “budget pick”)
  • Commercial grade gasket
  • Non-slip rubber feet
  • Pull down latches or similar
  • Bear proofing
  • Non-slip lid
  • 2-3 inches of insulation to keep ice cold.

Some brands have added extra features to make their coolers more appealing, we will talk about these as we discuss each brand.

Price Does and Doesn't Matter

When looking for coolers better than Yeti price definitely has to be a consideration. Yeti are generally the most expensive coolers and then there are further price differences between other brands.

I wanted to primarily rank these coolers on performance and features and I'll leave it up to you to decide if a cooler is worth the extra money or not.

However, value for money is an important consideration when looking to buy an expensive roto-moulded cooler. Many of us want to get the best cooler for our hard earned dollars.

Sometimes slightly worse quality is worth it because of the monetary savings, sometimes it's worth spending more for the quality.

Ultimately it is up to you which cooler best suits your needs and is best value for money. But I have tried to take value for money into consideration when recommending these coolers and I am very honest about their pros and cons.

Please note: Links to products in this article are Amazon affiliate links. If you click these links and buy a product then we earn a small commission which helps keep this site running. Thanks


#1 Orca Coolers – Best All Around Cooler

orca-cooler

Orca coolers are one of the best performing roto-moulded coolers with similar performance to the Pelican. They are significantly more expensive than the other coolers that performed better than the Yeti. This makes me hesitant to recommend them over something like the Pelican which is best in class and also one of the most affordable of the 5 brands.

Features better than the Yeti

Made in USA – Orca coolers are made completely in the USA while “some” Yeti coolers are made in the USA with others being made in other parts of the world.

Lifetime Guarantee – Orca offers a limited lifetime guarantee on their coolers while Yeti offers only a 5-year guarantee.

Cargo net attachment for added storage – The Orca comes with an attached net that allows you to store some things outside of your cooler. This is great, but not sure it is worth the premium you pay compared to other models.

Features similar to the Yeti

  • Non-slip feet
  • Moulded in lock hasp stainless steel
  • Freezer-grade rubber gasket
  • Nylon rope handle
  • Similar ball and latch system
  • Similar drainage spout
  • Certified bear proof.

Features worse than the Yeti

  • No mention of being bear proof
  • No stainless steel hasp for locking

To see detailed customer reviews, color and pricing options please click one of the product links below and grab your Orca today:

Orca 20-Quart:

Orca 40-Quart: *MOST POPULAR

Orca 58-Quart:

If you're interested in learning more about this cooler check out my indepth comparison of the Orca cooler vs Yeti


#2: TechniIca Cooler – Hands Down Best Ice Retention

TechniIce Better Ice Retention Than Yeti

The TechniIce has undoubtedly the best ice retention of any roto-molded cooler currently on the market. It consistently outperforms other similar size coolers and it most definitely outperforms the Yeti in terms of ice retention.

If you're looking for a cooler that is going to hold ice for the longest possible period then you cannot go wrong with the TechniIce. The only coolers that comes close are the Orca mentioned above or the Siberian Alpha series mentioned below. It has multiple features that other coolers don't have that give it such amazing ice retention in both extreme heat as well as cooler climates.

The Only Cooler With A Double Gasket

The Yeti has a single freezer grade rubber gasket that goes around the interior of the lid. This means that when the lid is pulled shut no warm air can get into the cooler and this gives it better ice retention. However this gasket is not perfect and generally has a gap in it where the 2 ends meet.

The Techni Ice on the other hand is the only cooler with two gaskets. These gaskets sit on both the inside and outside of an indent in the lid and work to keep the cold out better than any other cooler on the market.

TechniIce 40% More Insulation Than Yeti

40% More Insulation Than The Yeti

Most coolers, Yeti included, have about 2 inches of insulation in the walls. However, given the design of these coolers and the indent in the sides and front of the coolers (which exist purely for design purposes) many sections of the walls have less than two inches of insulation.

The Techni Ice doesn't do this. It has a very minimal and boxy design so there are only minor indents and it also has a massive 2.8 inches of insulation in all of the walls of the cooler. That's 40% thicker than the Yeti. So it's pretty obvious why this cooler has better ice retention.

Insulated drainage plug

We all know that hot air rises and cold air drops. Almost all coolers experience condensation around the drainage plug which is not insulated. Given that cold air drops towards the bottom of the cooler it's understandable that these drainage plugs are a weakness in the insulation of the cooler.

TechniIce fixes this problem by having an insulated drainage plug that keeps the cool air in.

Elevated feet

Due to it's elevated feed the TechniIce cooler sits higher above the ground compared to the Yeti as well as other similar models of cool is. This means it is less likely to absorb heat from the hot ground and it also allows for more air flow underneath keeping the cooler cool.

While none of these features are a big deal by themselves the combination of all of these features lead to TechniIce having the best insulation in the industry bar none.

Features Better Than Yeti

Ice Retention – As mentioned above this has the best ice retention in the industry. You can't beat it.

Stainless Steel Latches – A different design to the Yeti rubber latches I really like the stainless steel latches of the TechniIce

Double gasket – The TechniIce has not one but two freezer grade gaskets.

2-inch drainage plug – The insulated drainage plug both stops cool air getting out but it also means this cooler drains faster than a Yeti

Ruler on lid – The lid

Features Similar To The Yeti

  • Non-slip feet
  • Built like a tank
  • Nylon rope handle
  • Single pin hinge for durability
  • Similar weight to the Yeti

Features Worse Than The Yeti

  • Not bear proof
  • Plastic handle has finger moulds which I find annoying
  • Rope hands aren't recessed into the cooler

If you want the ultimate cooler for ice retention then click the product links below to see more details of the Techni Ice coolers on Amazon.

TechniIce 47-Quart: *MOST POPULAR

TechniIce 63-Quart:

TechniIce 132-Quart:

#3: RTIC Cooler – Popular Cooler Almost Identical To Yeti But Cheaper

RTIC better value for money than Yeti

The RTIC is a cooler I get asked about a lot and it's one that I am happy to recommend. It doesn't excel in performance like the Orca or TechniIce but it is just as good as the Yeti only much much cheaper and thus overall I feel it's a better cooler as it's better value for money.

Apart from the logo and some small minor design differences the RTIC coolers are almost identical to Yeti in everything except the price. They comes in at a severe discount to the Yeti cooler.

In fact their slogan is:

Overbuilt. Not Overpriced.


And this is certainly true with many of the RTIC coolers coming in at over $100+ cheaper than a similar sized Yeti.

Features Better Than Yeti

RTIC is so similar to Yeti in both design and performance that it's hard to list areas where it truely outperforms the Yeti. It is really just price and sizing where the RTIC is better.

So if you're looking for a cooler that is most similar to Yeti, but that is better value for money then the RTIC is likely the cooler for you.

Price – Better Value For Money

The RTIC beats the Yeti cooler in price massively. With their coolers often coming in at over $100 cheaper than a similar sized Yeti.

You're getting all the same features as a Yeti, but you're saving money which I believe is a massive positive.

Sizing – Bigger is Better

Yeti sizing is confusing. Did you know the Yeti 45 is actually only 37.6-Quart or 35.6 Liters…so no idea why it is called a 45. You can see the actual capacity of Yeti coolers here.

An RTIC 45 on the other hand is exactly 45-Quart in capacity.

In fact all RTIC cooler model numbers match their quart capacity. So not only is an RTIC 45 cheaper than a Yeti 45 by about $100 it actually has a greater capacity also giving you further value for money.

Features Similar To Yeti

  • Almost identical design
  • Similar ice retention performance
  • Non-slip feet
  • Single pin hinge
  • Freezer-grade rubber gasket
  • Similar pull down rubber latches
  • Certified bear proof.

Features Worse Than Yeti

Given how similar RTIC are to Yeti the only feature worse than Yeti is the branding. Rather than getting a Yeti brand cooler you're getting an RTIC brand cooler.

For those where brand matters this may be a deal breaker.

But otherwise if you want a cooler that looks just like a Yeti, performs just like a Yeti, but is much more affordable than a Yeti than the RTIC is a great option. Check out customer reviews or purchase yours today using the Amazon product links below:

RTIC 20-Quart:

RTIC 45-Quart:

RTIC 65-Quart:


Pelican Cooler 35-Quart – Around $200 cheaper

Pelican Best Camping Cooler

[yasr_overall_rating]

The Pelican is arguably the #1 competitor to the Yeti and for good reason. This cooler has amazing ice retention that outperforms the Yeti and also has some extra features people will love.

Features Better Than The Yeti

Made in USA – Pelican coolers are made completely in the USA while “some” Yeti coolers are made in the USA with others being made in other parts of the world.

Ruler on the lid – The lid has two embossed rulers (inches and cm) on the lid for easy measuring of your catch.

Dual handle system – Instead of rope handles like the Yeti the Pelican has a dual handle system. Strong fold up handles for carrying with a friend or inbuilt side handes for single person carrying.

Hose attachment to drainage plug – The Pelican cooler features a hose attachment on the draining plug. This allows you to drain water away from your cooler. Perfect for camping (so your tent doesn't get wet) or for fishing (to get rid of the smelly fish water).

Press & Pull Latches – These latches are easier to put in place and really simple to open even if you are wearing gloves. A marked improvement on Yeti's ball and latch system.

Lifetime Guarantee – Pelican offers a limited lifetime guarantee on their coolers while Yeti offers only a 5-year guarantee.

Built in bottle opener – There is a built it bottle opener so it will always be to enjoy your ice chilled beers.

Features similar to the Yeti

  • Non-slip feet
  • Moulded in lock hasp stainless steel
  • Freezer-grade rubber gasket
  • Certified bear proof.

Features worse than the Yeti

  • Handles protrude out the side of the cooler meaning it takes up more space

Canyon Coolers 35-Quart

canyon-cooler

Canyon coolers are a little-known brand that makes really great coolers. Originally designed with long distance kayakers in mind these coolers have great ice retention that is on par with the Pelican.

Features better than the Yeti

Made in USA – Canyon coolers are made completely in the USA while “some” Yeti coolers are made in the USA with others being made in other parts of the world.

Lifetime Guarantee – Canyon used to only offer a 4-year guarantee on their coolers. They have since changed that stance and now they offer a limited lifetime guarantee on their coolers while Yeti offers only a 5-year guarantee.

Recessed handles – In addition to the rope handles (which I personally think are slightly worse than the Yeti rope handles) you also have recessed handles moulded into the cooler for easier single person carrying.

Drain cap attached to cooler – A similar 1-inch drain cap however the drain cap is attached to the cooler so you will never lose it.

Features similar to the Yeti

  • Non-slip feet
  • Moulded in lock hasp stainless steel
  • Freezer-grade rubber gasket
  • Similar ball and latch system
  • Certified bear proof.

Features worse than the Yeti

  • Rope handles look cheaper and have a plastic handle (not rubber)
  • No stainless steel hasp for locking

If the Canyon sounds like your type of cooler check it out using the links below:

Canyon 22-Quart:

Canyon 35-Quart: *MOST POPULAR

Canyon 55-Quart:

If you're interested in learning more about this cooler check out my indepth comparison of the Canyon cooler vs Yeti


Siberian Coolers 40-Quart

Siberian is another brand that not many people have heard about. They are worth a look at because they are more than half the price of Yeti coolers but still perform better in terms of ice retention.

The Siberian are the cheapest coolers that are better than Yeti when you compare list price. However, a recent look on Amazon had discounted Pelican coolers making them the same price as the Siberians, so always check your prices before buying.

Features better than the Yeti

Lifetime Guarantee – Orca offers a limited lifetime guarantee on their coolers while Yeti offers only a 5-year guarantee.

Cup Holder In Lid – The Siberian is the only roto-moulded cooler with cup holders moulded into the lid. I absolutely love this feature.

Recessed handles – As well as the rope handles the Siberian also has recessed handles moulded into the cooler.

Attached drainage spout – You aren't going to lose your drainage spout as it's attached.

Features similar to the Yeti

  • Non-slip feet
  • Moulded in lock hasp stainless steel
  • Freezer-grade rubber gasket
  • Nylon rope handle
  • Similar ball and latch system
  • Similar drainage spout
  • Missing ruler

Features worse than the Yeti

  • No stainless steel hasp for locking
  • Only designed in the USA, all products are manufactured overseas
  • Fewer color options
  • Styrofoam gasket (not actually sure if this is better or worse)
  • No claim to be bear proof

Siberian Alpha 22-Quart:

Siberian Alpha 45-Quart: *MOST POPULAR

Siberian Alpha 65-Quart:


Engel Coolers 35-Quart

Engel is probably the 3rd best known cooler brand behind Yeti and Pelican and performed well in ice tests, though slightly worse than other models we reviewed.

It is a great sturdy cooler that is better than the Yeti but is also cheaper. All in all a great cooler.

engel-cooler

Features better than the Yeti

Made in USA – Engel coolers are made completely in the USA while “some” Yeti coolers are made in the USA with others being made in other parts of the world.

Lift free draining – The floor of the Engel cooler is pitched so it will drain without having to lift the cooler on one side.

Recessed handles – In addition to the rope handles the Engel also has recessed handles for easier single person carrying.

Features similar to the Yeti

  • Non-slip feet
  • Lock hasp on the corners
  • Freezer-grade rubber gasket
  • Nylon rope handle
  • Similar ball and latch system
  • Similar drainage spout
  • Certified bear proof.

Features worse than the Yeti

3-Year Warranty – The Engel has the worst warranty of all the coolers mentioned above. It only have a 3-year warranty compared to Yeti's 5-year warranty and other coolers lifetime warranty.


 Coolers Similar To Yeti

igloo-sportsman-cooler

Igloo Sportsman – The sportsman range by Igloo has comparable ice retention to the Yeti but will cost you around $100 less than the Yeti. Still a good option but compared to other models mentioned above it is more expensive than most and didn't perform as well.


Coolers Worse Than Yeti

grizzly-cooler

Grizzly – The Grizzly cooler comes really close to the Yeti in terms of ice retention but unfortunately, doesn't beat it and thus I wouldn't rate this cooler as better than the Yeti.

coleman-xtreme-cooler-black

Coleman Xtreme – The Coleman extreme didn't really come close to the Yeti in terms of ice retention. It generally only holds ice for around 2-3 days. But at about a tenth of the price it is a great budget pick.