There’s no denying that Yeti makes some of the world’s best coolers. They’re also the most expensive. Still, they’ve developed a diehard following of buyers willing to “buy once, cry once,” assuming that that $400 cooler might be the last they ever need to purchase. But, if you’re looking for solid Yeti alternatives — coolers like Yeti but cheaper — here are the best options on the market.
Due to their incredible durability and ice retention, rotomolded coolers have long been the industry standard, especially among premium brands like Yeti. The problem is that they’re bulky and heavy. RTIC is upending that idea with a unique injected-molded design that uses closed-cell foam insulation. The result is a design that’s 30% lighter and more portable while still promising 10-day ice retention.
Grizzly has been a go-to brand among hunters for years. Its beefy rotomolded coolers are made of LLDPE plastic for extreme durability and ice retention. Every side is pressure-injected with as much as two inches of Ecomate polyurethane foam for unbeatable cooling. They’re also made in the USA and eco-friendly with no ozone depletion or VOC off-gassing potential. Plus, as the name implies, they’re bear-proof and, with two lock holes, nearly theft-proof too.
OtterBox is best known for its legendary smartphone cases. But, you might not know that the brand also makes premium coolers that give Yeti a run for its money. The soft-sided Trooper 30 is smaller than most on this list, making it far more lightweight and portable. Smart insulation ensures up to three days of ice retention for up to 50 cans with ice. Plus, the large-mouth opening makes loading and unloading this cooler a snap.
Arctic Zone’s Titan Deep Freeze Ice Chest Cooler is a Yeti-worthy competitor in every way. The seamless, rotomolded design maximizes ice retention with a freezer-grade, 360-degree rubber gasket and corrosion-resistant T-latches for an ultra-tight seal. The 55-quart model is bear-resistant and keeps ice for up to eight days. It’s also effortless to clean with a built-in, antimicrobial Microban protective layer inside and out.
Another Yeti competitor, Canyon Coolers’ entire lineup of rotomolded coolers offers many of the same features at a more affordable price point. The 55-quart model holds up to 56 cans of beer, seltzer, or kombucha, keeping them ice-cold for up to nine days. The straightforward design integrates EZ cam latches, an air-tight seal, built-in rope handles, and a fast-action drain plug. What’s more, the boxy, straight-wall design eliminates the awkward shapes and cutouts common in other coolers, so it’s easier to stack and pack in your vehicle.
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Orca Coolers’ rotomolded coolers look similar to Yeti’s coolers in almost every way. The chunky design boasts several inches of insulation for maximum ice and cold retention of up to 10 days. An integrated lid gasket creates a perfect seal to keep cold in and heat out. Dual flex-grip handles provide easy portage, while a built-in cargo net attachment offers additional storage for bottle openers, kitchen accessories, and other essentials.
Of all the competitors on the market, Pelican is the most Yeti-esque alternative. Its industry-leading coolers boast two inches of polyurethane insulation and a 360-degree freezer-grade gasket for extreme ice retention. With over-molded handles, three-inch locking latches, and a reinforced lockable hasp, the durability and security is second to none. We also dig the built-in stainless steel bottle opener and self-draining cup holders in the lid. With Pelican’s lifetime guarantee, it may be the last cooler you ever need or have to buy.
Having to move a cooler is the most frustrating part of owning one. Coleman alleviates that headache with its Xtreme 5-Day Rolling Cooler. Heavy-duty wheels make it a snap for rolling over almost any terrain. Inside, the 50-quart capacity holds up to 84 cans, while extra wall insulation ensures they stay cold for nearly a week, even in 90-degree heat. We especially love that the entire build weighs just two pounds empty.
Read more: Best Wheeled Coolers
Like Coleman, Igloo has a long-standing history as the go-to cooler brand for tailgating, concerts, and weekend camping at the lake. The premium BMX line boasts many of the same features of Yeti at a fraction of the price. The 52-Quart model is plenty large enough for most outdoor events and promises to keep drinks ice cold for five days in up to 90-degree heat. We like the addition of comfort grip handles, risers to keep it elevated off the ground, and tie-down loops to secure it in transit.
If you need a next-level cooler — one with built-in speakers, one that plugs in, or a cork-insulated alternative — check out our roundup of the best luxury coolers.
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