Do RTIC Coolers Float? Will They Sink on Your Fishing Trip?

RTIC coolers are an excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts. They’re comparable to Yeti coolers but much easier on the bank account.

I took my RTIC cooler with me on my last fishing trip, and as I packed it, I wondered what would happen if I accidentally knocked it off the boat.

Would all my beverages sink to the bottom of the lake, along with my expensive cooler? Or would the RTIC cooler simply float and become another thing to fish out of the water?

Water enthusiasts rejoice – RTIC coolers don’t just float they are extremely buoyant! The soft coolers are also 100% waterproof, so your drinks and snacks will stay cold and dry all day. The hard coolers are leak resistant (not waterproof) so shouldn’t fill up with water immediately when submerged.

Do RTIC Coolers Float?

Yes, all RTIC coolers float when submerged in water. This is because the coolers contain thick insulation which is more buoyant than water. The insulation contains millions of tiny air bubbles that bring your RTIC cooler to the surface if it was to ever fall in the water.

RTIC hard and soft coolers all float when they are empty. The insulation plus the air inside the cooler will keep it high in the water.

However, even if your RTIC cooler is completely full of water with no air in it at all then it’ll still float to the surface.

Not only will your RTIC cooler float, even when full, it’ll be extremely buoyant. So your drinks, food or the day’s catch will all be safe and easy to retreive.

Below you can see pictures of me filling up my Yeti cooler in the bath tub to see if it’ll float. RTIC Coolers are made from the same stuff as Yeti so they’ll float just fine too.

What Makes RTIC Coolers Float?

The RTIC soft pack and backpack coolers have puncture and tear-resistant nylon shells, welded seams, and waterproof zippers that make them waterproof and allow them to float.

They also have super lightweight, closed-cell foam insulation that improves their buoyancy while keeping your drinks and snacks cold. This is the same reason that soft Yeti coolers float so well.

RTIC hard coolers are made from Roto-molded (rotationally molded) plastic. That means their coolers are made all in one piece by rotating the mold, which ensures a thick, continuous wall that doesn’t have any seams or imperfections that could cause leaks.

Since it’s just one lightweight piece of plastic, filled with insulation that is full of air bubbles, it will keep water out and allow the cooler to float. 

Unfortunately, the seal on the lid isn’t waterproof, so even though they float, you can’t submerge RTIC hard coolers in water.

How Would You Make An RTIC Cooler Sink?

If you were really desperate to make your RTIC cooler sink to the bottom of the ocean then simply filling it up with beers or soda’s won’t be enough to make it sink.

In order to make your RTIC cooler sink you’d need to fill it with something extremely heavy. I’m talking rocks, metal or heck you could fill it will got and drop it into the ocean as a secret millennial pirate treasure chest.

The exception to this might be the RTIC Day Coolers which have quite thin insulation and if it’s filled with a heavy bowl or lots of cutlery then I could see that cooler sinking rather easily.

But the Soft Pak coolers with thick insulation and the hard coolers will need a lot more to make them sink.

So while it’s technically possible to make an RTIC cooler sink, it’s a very difficult thing to do and you’d likely need to do it intentionally. It won’t happen by accident.

Watch My Video On Trying To See If A Cooler Floats