Keeping food and beverages cool when you’re fishing, camping, or tailgating is expensive — or at least it seems that way when you’re shopping for high-end coolers. Topping many wish lists is the high-quality and very expensive YETI brand. Fortunately, it’s easy to find many of the best YETI alternatives that are similar in their features but way more affordable. In fact, finding a top-tier YETI cooler alternative that is cheaper is easier than you may think.
It’s hard to argue with the fact that YETI essentially set the standard in cooler tech and quality when the company launched in 2006. The YETI Hopper Flip, YETI Roadie and other beloved YETI models are some of the best-selling portable coolers on the market. Since then, many other brands have risen to the challenge, offering comparable products, often at more affordable prices.
We’ve gathered a list of a few YETI cooler alternatives that offer similar performance at a lower overall cost. If you’re ready to start shopping for knock-off Yeti cooler deals, read on.
Do Yeti Coolers Go On Sale for Black Friday?
Yes, Yeti coolers will occasionally run a Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale for Yeti coolers by offering a free gift with your purchase, such as a free pack of Yeti Ice or a free rambler bottle. There are usually never percentage discounts from Yeti.com.
Although rare, you might find markdowns for Yeti coolers and drinkware from stores such as Dick’s Sporting Goods and Ace Hardware. These discounts historically have ranged from 5%-10% of the original price. While not a huge amount, any discount is a win considering these hardly go on sale. However, if Yeti’s pricetag is a turnoff, there are numerous worthy and more affordable Yeti alternatives you can explore.
How Much Do YETI Coolers Cost Normally?
For a YETI cooler, don’t expect to spend less than $150 — and really, that would be a steal. One of the more popular offerings from this cult-favorite brand, the YETI Roadie 24 (a replacement for the now-discontinued Roadie 20) regularly costs $250. Larger YETI ice chests, like the YETI Tundra 45, will generally run you a cool $325.
Convinced bigger is better? Be prepared to put down some serious cash for the YETI Tundra 75, which goes for a whopping $450 on Amazon.
In the past, the Slickdeals community has spotted a few worthy deals for cheap YETI coolers (cheap being a relative term), such as the Tundra 45 for $224.89 at REI. The pickings, though, seem pretty slim when it comes to buying affordable YETI coolers. So let’s take a closer look at YETI cooler alternatives.
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The Best (Affordable) YETI Cooler Alternatives
1. RTIC Coolers
RTIC Coolers have certainly caused some fretting over at YETI corporate since the company first took off (which even resulted in a now-settled lawsuit). These coolers intentionally market themselves as a YETI knockoff cooler at a much better price. In fact, most tests show that RTIC performs about the same or better than YETI when comparing the ice life of each cooler.
YETI coolers do tend to be a bit lighter and offer higher quality latch and handle construction. But with RTIC rotomolded coolers offered at much lower prices, they’re definitely worth a look. Gaskets, lid seals and other parts from YETI are often cross-compatible with RTIC.
In March 2020, Slickdealer inkee spotted a pretty major RTIC sale featuring 25% to 45% off coolers sitewide, which includes other coolers like the RTIC Softpak and the RTIC 20. The company also gave shoppers a coupon for 10% off sitewide in December 2022. That brought the price of a 45-quart RTIC cooler down to $197.99 (reg. $219.99) and a 65-quart model to $224.99 (reg. $249.99).
Even without a deal, RTIC coolers are roughly half the price of YETI coolers, which can save you a ton of cool cash. These coolers are also known to hold more ice (the RTIC 65, for example, holds 13 pounds more ice than the YETI Tundra 65 according to one comparison), and they come with a one-year warranty.
2. Igloo BMX with Cool Riser Technology
When it comes to affordable coolers like YETI, the Igloo BMX with Cool Riser Technology is another stellar option.
This YETI-like cooler boasts excellent reviews thanks to its heavy-duty construction and lightweight build, which can be carried with ease using its flex-grip handles. Powerful T-latches ensure long-term ice retention, plus this YETI alternative features UV inhibitors in the lid and walls that protect the cooler against sun damage and can keep drinks icy cold for up to five days at 90°F. Its molded base keeps the cooler elevated from hot surfaces, therefore boosting its cooling performance.
The 25-quart Igloo BMX is currently $99.99, or go big and opt for the BMX 72-quart cooler at just $199.
3. Grizzly Coolers
Widely considered the hunter’s cooler brand of choice, Grizzly Coolers are made in America and come with limited lifetime warranties and larger overall dimensions. Plus, the brand’s normal prices are already more affordable than YETI ice chest alternatives, with 15-quart Grizzly coolers starting at $159.99.
We’ve seen Grizzly coolers discounted on Amazon, but you can currently score big savings on select models at Northern Tool + Equipment.
4. Pelican Elite Coolers
Of all the YETI alternative coolers on the market today, most people would probably agree that the Pelican Elite line is one of the closest.
This Pelican cooler strives to be a higher-quality product than YETI, which, admittedly, doesn’t always lend itself to a lower price. But many reviewers actually report that the Pelican Elite keeps ice cooler for longer periods of time than YETI models — with some claiming their ice stayed cold for an impressive nine days. These Pelican coolers are a bit heavy and bulky, but it’s a small price to pay for a high-end freezer-grade gasket. This YETI alternative come with a lifetime warranty that makes them even more enticing.
Additionally, there are deals to be found if you decide to go with a Pelican Elite. Slickdealer crbphd spotted the Pelican 50-Quart Elite Cooler on sale at Home Depot for just $166.39 (reg. $299.99) around the Fourth of July. Plus, the Pelican store discounted its coolers for Black Friday, which brought the price of the 20-quart Elite Cooler down to $130 (reg. $149.95).
5. ORCA Coolers
Similar to the Pelican Elite line, ORCA Coolers compete readily with YETI’s quality and warranty. That does mean, unfortunately, that you won’t see the wickedly slashed prices typical of YETI cooler alternatives like you might on an RTIC 20 or other coolers from RTIC, Engel Coolers and other YETI alternative coolers.
Regardless, ORCA coolers are an excellent YETI cooler alternative, not only because we’ve seen more impressive prices from them, but also because they’ve committed themselves to manufacturing only in the U.S. YETI, on the other hand, does not make that guarantee. ORCA coolers also come with a lifetime guarantee and cargo nets for extra storage space. Plus, these air-tight coolers are excellent at trapping cold air and they can keep ice from melting for up to 10 days.
You can score a 20-quart ORCA cooler for under $200. Plus, Amazon also has some great deals with comparable pricing to ORCA.
6. Canyon Coolers
Perhaps not as well-known as ORCA, Pelican or Grizzly (or as cheap as RTIC), Canyon Coolers nonetheless make this list for their superb reviews and cheaper-than-YETI prices.
Though mostly absent from the Slickdeals archives, Canyon Coolers are a plausible YETI cooler alternative that can keep ice cool for up to eight days. Plus, the company backs its coolers with hassle-free lifetime warranties.
Smaller models start at $125, but you can usually find some discounts that will bring it down to $100. A 75-gallon cooler will generally set you back $365. We’ve even seen those large models for as low as $269.99 on Amazon, whereas the YETI Tundra 75 Hard Cooler costs around $450 in comparison.
7. KONG Coolers
KONG Coolers are American-made and assembled right here in the USA. Furthermore, their quality is on par with YETI at lower price points. The best discount we’ve seen on Kong Coolers is around 15% off, with 25-quart coolers going for $186.15 and 70-quarts on sale for $262.65.
8. Coleman 50-Quart Xtreme Heavy-Duty Cooler with Wheels
This budget-friendly YETI cooler alternative can’t provide the superior insulation of a YETI, but its affordable price makes it worth considering. In fact, this particular 50-quart model is $59.99. And while our community collectively agrees that it falls short of its claim to retain ice for up to five days even in hot temperatures, it can handle up to a few days just fine. For the price point, that makes it a decent option for the occasional camping getaway or road trip.
9. Hydro Flask Soft Coolers
If a hard-sided case and latched lid aren’t priorities in your search for the perfect insulated cooler, check out this compact soft-sided cooler instead. While still relatively pricey at $197, the Hydro Flask 18-Liter Unbound Series Soft Cooler Tote is almost half the price of the similarly sized $298.99 YETI Hooper Flip 18 Soft Cooler.
10. OtterBox Coolers
OtterBox also makes comparable coolers with similar ice life (even though they’re considered “the nice coolers with the bad handle design,” as Slickdealer itsarectangle points out). Maybe it’s just tactical — check out that YETI knockoff Desert Tan and handy attached bottle opener!
You can also find high-quality designs at A4C such as the OtterBox Venture Series 25 Quart Cooler for $229.95.
11. REI Co-op Cool Haul 12 Soft Cooler
REI’s Cool Haul 12 Soft Cooler has a modest size that’s more appropriate for a weekend road trip. This soft-sided cooler comes with a bottle opener and impressive insulation, chilling up to 12 cans and eight pounds of ice for up to 65 hours. At $69.93, it’s also a more reasonable YETI cooler alternative for shorter getaways.
12. Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Premium Ice Chest
At $175, this YETI cooler alternative ice chest is a solid choice thanks to its Microban antimicrobial protection, which prevents the build-up of bacterial odors and stains (and makes the cooler easier to clean). This rotomolded cooler is ultra-durable even compared to similar hard-sided coolers. The Arctic Freeze Titan Deep Freeze Premium Ice Chest is certified bear-proof and corrosion-resistant latches that keep your ice cold and insulated with the added benefit of peace of mind.
13. Camp-Zero Coolers
Camp-Zero coolers are a solid and affordable alternative to YETI coolers, especially when you’re looking at the smaller models. 10-quart coolers start at $125, but springing for a 20-quart model will only cost you an extra $25. The larger models are definitely a little pricier though. The 80-quart model starts at $429.99, which is comparable in price to similarly-sized YETI coolers.
14. Dometic Coolers
Dometic specializes in making quality products for mobile living, and they offer lots of choices for coolers. While most of their offerings are for pricey electric coolers, they do carry traditional ice chests that don’t require a power supply. Their smallest model, the Dometic Patrol 20, starts at $169.99, while the Patrol 35 will cost you $229.99.
Be sure to browse the Slickdeals Sporting Goods category to uncover excellent deals on YETI cooler alternatives. Even if you’re brand loyal and dead-set on a YETI Hopper, YETI Rambler, Tundra or another high-end ice chest, don’t let the price tag scare you from trying to find a great deal. Be sure to set a Deal Alert for portable coolers to get first dibs on the best markdowns.
Frequently Asked Questions
Any of the cooler brands mentioned in this article are definitely among the best. While YETI has earned a well-deserved reputation for its outstanding coolers, several cheaper alternatives are far more budget-friendly.
The RTIC coolers perform exceptionally well at ice retention. Ice kept in the RTIC cooler was found to last for a full nine days.
Features like outstanding insulation and solid handles for easy transport make a great cooler. Also, coolers that come with a strong warranty policy means they’re more durable and likely to last you a long time, as the company will stand behind their product’s longevity.
In general, a 25-quart cooler will work if you’re camping solo for a weekend. A medium cooler of up to 45 quarts is great for a camping trip lasting up to four days, and a large cooler up to 70 quarts will be great if you’re camping for a week. Of course, if you have other people joining you, adjust the size accordingly.