If you're going to be investing money into an expensive RTIC cooler then you'll want to protect it with a high quality RTIC Cooler lock to make sure it doesn't get stolen.
People stealing high-end coolers like Yeti and RTIC is actually a very common occurrence. According to Forbes coolers are one of the hottest items among thieves and they are often stolen from under houses, from backs of trucks and even inside locked cars or garages.
RTIC don't offer any insurance on your cooler being stolen so it's up to you to make sure you lock your RTIC properly so no one can take it.
The best lock for an RTIC cooler is the Kryptonite New York hardened steel chain (or similar) + Maccann & Essin locking bracket. It's bolt cutter resistant and versatile enough to lock your cooler almost anywhere.
What Your RTIC Cooler Lock Needs To Prevent Against
When looking to secure your RTIC cooler it helps to first think like athief and the methods they may use to steal your cooler. Then invest in a cooler lock that will stop all but the most savvy and trained lock pick from running off with your ice box.
Grab It and Run
This is the easiest and most common way people steal RTIC (and similar branded) coolers.
If your RTIC cooler is unsecured in the back of your truck, campsite, under your house etc people can just grab it and run away with it.
So having some sort of lock and chain to stop this type of common theft is extremely important.
Cutting Cable With Bolt Cutters
If you secure your RTIC cooler with a metal cable or chain thieves can still use bolt cutters to cut through the cable and steal your cooler.
There are actually a lot of stories of people stealing coolers using this method. Check out the below story from Deny Lock's website:
“I would always park where I could see my truck if I went somewhere or go in the store nervously knowing my $300 cooler is sitting in the back of my truck with a puny cable lock. Well, I had left it in the back of my truck at my house and when I woke up the next morning, it was gone!”
So while cable locks stop people from running off with your cooler any thief with a set of bolt cutters can easily snip the cable and run off with your expensive cooler.
So if you're serious about protecting your RTIC cooler you'll want something thicker, stronger and harder to cut.
Sledge Hammer, Angle Grinder etc
Other tools people might use is sledge hammers, wrenches, angel grinders etc. They'll use these to either break your chain/cable or more likely break the lock holding it.
If you're locking up your RTIC Cooler you'll want to make sure you get something that is resistant to these types of attacks.
This is much less likely but still possible. The Lock Picking Lawyer is a YouTube channel that shows us almost any lock can be picked with the right skills.
But if you get a good lock most thieves won't have the specialty tools or skills required to pick the lock and steal your cooler.
Bears/Humans Getting Into Your Cooler
Lastly, if you want to secure whatever is INSIDE your RTIC cooler then you need completely different locks.
RTIC coolers have 2 holes on the front corners of the cooler. You'll need to lock these to make the cooler bear proof or to stop prying human hands getting into your cooler and stealing your beers, food or prize game.
The 10 Best Locks For an RTIC Cooler
RTIC doesn't seem to sell any of their own locks or locking brackets which is unfortunate, but luckily the coolers are modeled off Yeti coolers and the same locking brackets fit RTIC that fit Yeti.
I've done a lot of research and have written about the 10 best locks for Yeti coolers. My recommendations for RTIC coolers below are basically the same with some minor variances.
There are a variety of brand options out there so you don't need to get the ones I've recommended if this article. However, if you do want to check out the pricing or purchase them I'll leave affiliate links for each product.
For a full locking solution you'll need:
- A cooler locking bracket
- A chain/cable
- A lock
1. Krptonite New York + Maccaann & Essin Locking Bracket
You first put the locking bracket through the slot in the side of the cooler, like shown above, and then the U-Lock goes through the hole in the bottom of the locking bracket.
The reason I recommend the Kryptonite New York is that it's made from hardened manganese steel that is 12mm thick and hard to cut with bolt cutters or hack saw and it's hard to hold steady to cut with an angle grinder.
The U-Lock has a 14mm shackle made from a max performance steel. It has a double deadbolt for stronger locking power (and resistance to sledge hammers) and the lock itself has anti-drill and anti-pull technology and is difficult to pick.
Basically this chain and lock can't be opened with common tools cooler thieves may carry. It's about as secure as you can expect.
In fact the easiest way to steal a cooler locked up with this solution is to actually cut the side of the cooler to remove the locking bracket completely. But that would damage the cooler and all locks and coolers face this same vulnerability.
The reason I recommend pair with the Maccann & Essin locking bracket is that this locking bracket has the largest hole so it can fit the larger lock. The hole is around 7/10 inch (17mm) in diameter. More than enough to fit the 14mm U-Lock.
It's also made from stainless steel so it's rust resistant and it's one of the most affordable cooler locking brackets out there.
This combination is also very versatile and allows you to lock up and secure your RTIC cooler almost anywhere.
2. DENY Cooler Lock
If your RTIC cooler is going to be staying in the same place (eg. the back of your truck) then Deny locks are one of the best and most secure locking options.
It has a unique locking base that bolts directly into the bed of your truck or your car or boat or wherever you want to secure your RTIC cooler.
It then uses a thick steel rod that goes directly through the anchor point on the side of your cooler and straight down into the locking base at the bottom.
Bolt cutters can't get through this bar and it's resistant to sledge hammers too.
Deny Locks have sets that fit all the major RTIC cooler sizes as well as other brands as well.
The major downside of this vs the Kryptonite mentioned above is that once you install the locking base you can't move it so it's less versatile. But you want to lock your cooler in a regular place then this is a great secure option.
4. Master Lock Python Cable + Schmidt-Riffer Locking Bracket
If you're looking for a decent cheap solution then the Schmidt-Riffer locking bracket and the Master Lock Python Cable can help you secure your RTIC cooler for under $30.
The Master Lock Python is a locking cable that can be set to any length and feeds easily through the hole in the Schmidt-Riffer locking bracket.
This solution however is more a “theft deterrent” than anything.
It'll stop someone grabbing your unsecured RTIC and running away with it. But any thief with a pair of bolt cutters will be able to snip through the cable easily and steal your cooler.
Still, if you don't want to invest heavily in the Kryptonite or Deny lock mentioned above then this still better than nothing.
3. Yeti Locking Cable + Bracket
Yeti have an all-in-one solution that comes with a locking bracket and a cable lock combined and it fits perfectly in the RTIC coolers too.
This is basically the exact same combination mentioned above and I'm pretty sure the locking cable is a Master Lock Python with Yeti's logo stuck on it.
It'll cost you a bit more than buying the items separately (as mentioned above) but for convenience it can be easier to get this.
Again this is a theft deterrent and will stop people running off with your RTIC but it can be easily cut with bolt cutters so it's not the most secure solution.
5. Lumintrail 12mm Heavy Duty Cable
If you like the ease and flexibility of a cable but want to use your own lock then the Lumintrail 12mm heavy duty cable is thicker and more robust than the Master Lock and Yeti cables mentioned above.
It can still be cut through but requires more time and effort so thieves may be more likely to leave it alone.
6. Noa Store Locking Bracket With Bottle Opener
I've had my cooler for over 5 years and one of the best investments I ever made was attaching a bottle opener to it. Never do I or my friends have to search for a bottle opener, it's always handy.
If you're going to be buying a locking bracket anyway why not spend just a little bit more and get the Noa Store locking bracket that comes with a built in bottle opener.
Your RTIC cooler will be secure and you'll have the convenience of a bottle opener always handy.
7. Yeti Bear Proof Locks (For RTIC)
If you want to make your RTIC bear proof then you need to lock the front corners with padlocks.
Yeti sells a set of 2 padlocks that are the perfect size for the front of the cooler. They are actually well priced and come with matching keys to make life easier.
They aren't branded Yeti as they are Master Locks and they are actually an affordable price (not overpriced like a lot of Yeti's stuff).
8. Desicu Combination Lock For Bear Proofing
If you want to bear proof your RTIC cooler or you want to lock the lid to keep your beer, food or prize game safe from prying human hands then the Desicu combination locks can keep your cooler secure without having to carry another set of keys.
They are a 4-digit combination lock that you can set to any number and they have a long 2.5 inch shackle to perfectly fit the lid holes of your RTIC cooler.
They are also a more affordable option than the Yeti locks mentioned above.
9. DENY Cooler Lid Lock
If you're super serious about locking the lid of your cooler tight and making it as theft proof as possible then the Deny Cooler Lid Lock is the ultimate solution.
It's much harder to break this lock to get into your cooler. This keeps it safe from bear yes, but from humans also.
These are expensive and you only get 1 lock but if budget isn't an issue but security is then these are the RTIC lid locks for you.
10. Bolt and Nut
Let's say you've just been hunting or fishing and you want to check your RTIC cooler onto an airplane and want to make sure the lid has no chance of popping open.
Or you want to secure the lid in your car or truck but don't need to actively lock it.
Well a 2 inch bolt with a nut can do the trick. It's way cheaper than buying locks and easy to secure and undo.