The Yeti Alternative

There’s no getting away from the fact that YETI is high-end, a reputed brand you will love to own. It’s a cooler that boasts of great capacity, superior ice-retention, strong enough to weather the toughest of conditions and suffer an onslaught at your hands without being unnerved. But, (there’s always one, isn’t there?) there are coolers that compare favorably with YETI in terms of capacity, durability, insulation, quality, and performance. A look at a few YETI-like coolers will iron out those creases of disappointment at not owning the most favored cooler in recent times.


Coolers that stand up to YETI

There are coolers in the market that challenge the market leader with an aplomb that is reassuring. Many competing brands have attempted to up performance and design to nudge past the YETI and give you features you want. Also, these are less expensive than a YETI cooler and worthy of consideration

1. Igloo Yukon Cold Locker

A cooler that’s great in terms of price and ice and yet similar to the YETI Tundra. The Yukon cooler is ahead of the YETI in the ‘alternative game’ and offers many features that the Yeti has and some that it doesn’t! It is an interesting option that lovers of the outdoors will appreciate. Yukon coolers have not disappointed users, who place a great onus on quality and performance.

The dual locking lid keeps food and drinks secure and cool. Coupled with Yukon’s Cool Riser Technology, cooling performance is maximized and the contents of the cooler remain as fresh as ever. Also, the UV inhibitors ensure that the sun doesn’t play havoc. The cooler’s design and thickness is responsible for superior ice-retention. The body of the cooler has 2-inch thick polyurethane insulation and the lid 3-inches of polyurethane insulation. It’s not surprising then that the Yukon cooler can keep ice for periods ranging from a week to two weeks in 90 degrees Fahrenheit. That translates into a vacation that can last just as long.

These coolers are tough, can withstand the rigors of harsh environments, travel through rough terrain and stand up to tough beatings- the hauling and dragging that coolers are generally subjected to. Durability then is not a factor that will cause concern. Also, with a tethered drain plug, cleaning and draining the cooler is easy.

It scores over the YETI in that the Yukon coolers have a fish keeping scale that helps fishing enthusiasts to weigh their catch and a measuring tool on the lid that helps to record the size of the fish. In addition, the lids’ elevated textured surface is ideal for filleting or preparing food. If you’re prepared to ignore the status symbol that YETI has and focus on cost and performance, the Yukon Cold Locker is a great Yeti alternative.

2. RTIC Coolers

Cooler fans will recognize the name- YETI’s biggest competitor in terms of sales. They have lived up to their slogan “Half the price… Holds more ice.” There’s no doubt that these coolers are successful in attracting crowds that shy away from YETI’s atrocious prices

RTIC coolers hold more ice than its arch rival’s coolers and cost 50 percent less in the bargain. Also, they come in different sizes-20, 45, and 60 quarts, make them still more attractive.A hitch in the form of a design issue with YETI means that there has been a temporary setback. RTIC has been involved in a legal tangle over its design, settled a lawsuit with YETI and has had to stop production of its earlier models. But, RTIC is still ticking- it has changed the original design a little but kept the heavy duty latches, non-skid feet, bear resistance and the 3” insulated walls. Get hold of the new RTIC coolers- they’re likely to sell like hotcakes and is a true Yeti alternative.

3. ORCA Coolers

ORCA (Outdoor Recreation Company of America) coolers give YETI’s roto-molded coolers a run for their money. ORCA holds its own well when it comes to ice-retention and beats its counterparts hands down. These coolers perform much better than even YETI coolers and even after 5 days, the ice is not drained. Even in the middle of peak summer (when temperatures hit 100 plus), ORCA 58 defeated its rivals by keeping ice when all the other coolers ran out.Available in a variety of sizes- 20 quarts to 140 quarts and a horde of colors, they stand apart from the rest. If you’re keen on collegiate patterns and color schemes, then ORCA is for you. These coolers are as rugged and sturdy as they come- almost indestructible and able to hold up against nature’s onslaughts and extreme weather conditions. They come with a lifetime guarantee and are stated to be bear proof too. And while ORCA coolers are made in the USA, the bulk of Yeti coolers are made overseas- Philippines, China while some are made in the USA

4. Grizzly Cooler

With that kind of name, it’s obvious that Grizzly is bear proof and all of them come with the IGBC Bear resistance rating. They have been around for some time, but they became popular only when the YETI craze took off in a big way.The EPA- friendly polyurethane foam is not heavy but still affords great insulation. As the lid and entire shell have this foam, your food and drinks are protected more than adequately against the elements. With molded hinges that use stainless steel pins and user-friendly mold-in brass inserts for its latches, the Grizzly cooler lasts longer and performs better. Extra accessories such as jumbo molded handles alongside flexible rope handles offer a good grip. The large drain speeds up drainage- in fact, the Grizzly cooler seems to have thought of everything.Well known for their hard-sided coolers, Grizzly coolers use rotationally molded plastic- that means there’s just a single, seamless piece of plastic used during manufacturing. The thick rubber gasket seals the cold in. All this eliminates weak points and potential leak paths through which cold air can escape. The coolers come in rather stylish and eye-catching colors and the variety of size options give them an edge over their main rivals.With an ice chest that professes to be indestructible, a lifetime guarantee and a price that’s affordable and attractive, Grizzly coolers have a big following of outdoor enthusiasts.

5. ENGEL Cooler

The Engel cooler with the IGBC Bear Resistant Certification is just as good as a Yeti. It mimics the latter when it comes to offering UV resistance, appearance, and longer-lasting color. Its marine grade latches compare well with Yeti’s T-Rex lid latches auguring for an air-tight fit. The ice containers have 2” of insulation and the coolers themselves have a silicone gasket that minimizes the loss of cold air with the passage of time. Engel Coolers’ indestructible coolers are available in varied colors and sizes ranging from 13-quart and above. They offer an ice-retention period which is longer than that offered by a Yeti cooler and are cheaper too. These coolers can withstand the rough and tough that hikers and trekkers subject them to and remain loyal to their owners by keeping drinks and food fresh and cold. It comes with a 10-year warranty too.

6. Palm Coolers

Maybe you haven’t heard of them- you’re forgiven as they are not as popular as the top 5. These coolers have received rave reviews and they toe the RTIC line when it comes to price. They are stated to be about 50 percent less expensive than the biggies. Palm Coolers have 3” thick high-density foam for insulation (a little more than some others) and promises to keep ice for a week (though 5 days may be more realistic). Available in five sizes and three different colors, all of them are equipped with stainless steel hardware, a single piece hinge system, one-piece molded padlock for safe storage, a great gasket and strong rope handles. These coolers are amazing as far as durability and portability go. They stand up well to challenges and extreme weather conditions and strap well to moving vehicles. They come with a bottle opener, non-slip pads, a Palm Koozie and other accessories. With a 10 year warranty on its hard-sided coolers, this small time brand with its low profile is a great YETI alternative.

7. nICE Cooler

If you’re not looking at the top brand, then this one is to own. Side by side, the YETI, and nICE models look pretty much similar. They are not only affordable but reliable too with the double-walled insulation, negative pressure seal gasket, and a pressure-relief button to break the seal when the cooler has been closed for a long time. An integrated lockable lid with T-locks and reinforced hinges together ensure a tight close.These coolers are bear resistant have sturdy carrying handles with soft rubber grips for easy mobility. They are available in 3 sizes (20 quarts, 45 quarts, and 75 quarts) and five colors that are very pleasing. They come with built-in bottle openers and besides a built-in measuring ruler, the lid has built-in cup holders too. Anti-skid pads at the bottom ensure that the cooler remains in place even on wet surfaces.

8. Orion Coolers

These don’t need any validation and this top brand wallows in style, durability, and performance. They are pricey but you can crow over their ice retention abilities. In 6 sizes and a variety of colors, all of them are provided with four aluminum bottle openers and six tie-down points. This handsome cooler is bear resistant and can be locked tightly. A huge plus point is that the latches sit flush to the front making it easy to push the cooler into tight spaces. The cooler comes with a 5-year warranty, although the hinges have a lifetime warranty.Though none of these are YETIs, they are just as good- find one that works for you and you’ll forget the YETI.

Holidays are fun and they bring with it the whiff of the outdoors, the breath of the sea and the views of white beaches, sand, and surf. So, what makes an outing a success? Good company is a big part of it but so is the food and drink. That’s the cue for coolers- without them, your drinks and food will not be heaven. Chances are you will want to go in for the best cooler, but a look at the price could be a dampener. Whoa! Hold it though- it’s not the end of the world- you can always settle for an alternative that’s just as good. Does it matter if you can’t own the much-coveted YETI?  

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