When choosing a new cooler for your outdoor excursions, you need one that will keep your food cold for long periods of time, withstand possible damage, and easily transportable from place to place. If you’re storing food and drinks for longer than just a couple of days, your regular old cooler won’t suffice. You’re much better off purchasing a premium, roto-molded plastic cooler that will keep all your perishable items safe and cold for a week or more.
After the Yeti cooler came out in 2006, premium coolers became super popular on the market. Now, many companies sell premium coolers that they claim are the best premium cooler yet. One such company is RTIC.
RTIC is a new cooler and outdoor gear company that started selling premium coolers in 2015. They claim to sell some of the best coolers on the market without the price tag of a big brand name company. Continue reading this review to learn if RTIC coolers truly are amazing coolers for a bargain or just cheap replicas.
What Is So Special About “Premium” Coolers?
On the other hand, premium coolers are made from roto-molded plastic shells that are then injected with foam insulation. The handles and latches are molded into the plastic, and some coolers have additional external handles added to make carrying the cooler easier. These coolers include freezer grade gaskets that help keep items inside fresh and cold. The product is a cooler that is virtually indestructible and so insulated that it can keep ice cold longer than a week.
RTIC Premium Hard Coolers
RTIC’s coolers are growing in popularity as customers claim these coolers beat the competition at both quality and price. If you are considering buying an RTIC cooler, it’s a good idea to learn what key features of these coolers make them one of the best on the market.
One of RTIC’s most notable features is its extreme durability due to its roto-molded plastic design. If you are purchasing this cooler for long camping, hunting, or fishing trips, you may need a cooler that can be tossed around, dropped, and scratched without falling apart. RTIC’s cooler can withstand all of this, and the company even claims that the coolers are bear proof.
RTIC coolers are also great at doing what they made for – keeping food cold for a long time. Most traditional coolers would be full of water rather than still contain ice when you are halfway through a long camping trip, but RTIC coolers can keep ice frozen for up to ten days. You can thank RTIC’s thick walls, three inches of polyurethane foam insulation, and freezer grade gasket for that.
Easy To Travel With
These coolers are also easy to take from place to place because of their smartly designed molded-in slots and multiple handles. The molded-in tie-down slots make packing RTIC coolers easy and safe. The coolers can be secured into moving cars or boats which prevent them from tumbling around. RTIC coolers also come with two different types of handles. The first are included molded-in handles that are used for lifting the cooler off the ground and carrying by yourself. The cooler also includes military-grade rope handles that offer an alternate grip and make it easier to hold when two people are lugging around the cooler. All of RTIC’s coolers can be handled by one person except for the extra-large 110- and 145-quart capacity coolers which need two people.
Easy To Drain
Another great feature all RTIC hard coolers have is easy flow drain spouts that make it simple to drain water that builds up in the cooler without having to tip the cooler over and accidentally drop ice from inside. Additionally, the coolers use a V-drain system that empties water from the cooler quickly and completely.
Easy To Open and Close
RTIC coolers are super easy to open and close, and they stay shut. Many traditional coolers depend on friction to close tightly, or they use some kind of internal mechanism. RTIC coolers use heavy-duty, silicon T-latches. These latches ensure the cooler will remain closed even if tipped over, and they are super simple to use.
It’s not very likely your RTIC cooler will tip over in the first place. RTIC hard coolers are equipped with non-slip feet that keep the cooler stable. You can rest your cooler on almost any surface without having to worry that it will slip. The non-slip feet also help keep the cooler even colder by elevating it off the ground which could potentially warm the bottom of the cooler.
RTIC didn’t want to just make a great cooler. They decided to make a cooler that can serve other purposes as well. The lid of the cooler has enough traction to serve as a nonslip step stool or bench. It can even be used as an extra tabletop or cutting board. Theses versatile coolers are valuable to have on any camping or hunting trip where space is limited.
RTIC Cooler Pricing
Although RTIC coolers are cheaper than many of their competitors, they are still high-grade coolers that cost more than your average brands. RTIC prices their coolers based on type and size. The hard coolers are their most popular coolers and range from being able to hold 20 quarts to 145 quarts. The prices for these units range from $134.99 to $409.99. The RTIC 65 cooler is one of RTIC’s bestselling coolers. It is a medium to large sized cooler that sells for $239.99.
RTIC is open about how they keep their costs lower than most of their competitors. RTIC doesn’t sell their products through big chain retailers like Walmart and Costco. Similarly, they do not rely on outside marketing and instead advertise through word of mouth and social media. They also manufacture their products in China to keep the price of their coolers as low as possible.
RTIC only sells their coolers online. If you purchase the cooler from RTIC’s website, they offer free shipping on all orders over $35. They only ship to street addresses and can’t ship to P.O. boxes so plan accordingly if that applies to you. They currently only ship to the United States excluding Hawaii and Alaska. Another option is to buy an RTIC cooler from Amazon.
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How RTIC Coolers Compare To Other Premium Cooler Brands
With so many other premium cooler brands on the market, you are probably wondering how RTIC measures up to their competition as far as price and quality go. Continue reading to see how the RTIC compares to other top brands of coolers so you can determine if RTIC is the best premium cooler you can choose. To make it easy for you to compare the price of different brands, we have reviewed the costs for the 65 to 70-quart coolers.
Yeti Hard Coolers
Yeti premium coolers are the most popular, trusted brand of cooler. They are the original designers of the premium cooler and set the standard for other companies like RTIC. Yeti Tundra coolers are almost identical to RTIC’s hard coolers, but they are significantly more expensive. Additionally, RTIC’s coolers seem to have the capacity to hold exactly what they claim, whereas YETI actually holds less. For example, the RTIC 65 holds 65 quarts. Yeti’s Tundra 65 holds less than 65 quarts. Unlike RTIC, Yeti also has more than one design for their hard coolers. Apart from the Tundra cooler, Yeti has Tanks and Silo coolers. Tank coolers are circular and designed to be the ultimate party cooler. The Silo is durable water cooler with a spout. They even have a Tundra cooler called the Tundra Haul which is a 45-quart cooler set on wheels that has an attached easy-to-pull handle. Yeti also has eleven size options whereas RTIC only has five.
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Pelican Elite Coolers
The Pelican Elite Cooler has many of the same great features that RTIC and Yeti coolers have and even a few extras – including a lifetime warranty. These coolers have four molded-in cup holders on the top of the cooler and use press-and-pull latches to add even more security. Pelican put their bear resistant claim to the test, and the cooler was actually able to withstand being handled by a grizzly bear. These coolers can keep ice cold up to nine days, compared to RTIC’s 10. Also, the Pelican Elite Cooler is a lot bulkier and heavier than the RTIC coolers with only two inches of insulation compared to RTIC’s three inches. RTIC’s coolers also seem to have more container space than Pelican coolers. RTIC’s 65 cooler can hold up to 64 cans including ice. On the other hand, Pelican’s 70 cooler can only hold 45 cans including ice.
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The Igloo Sportsman is another premium, roto-molded cooler that has many of the great features customers love from Yeti coolers but for a more affordable price. When it comes to ice retention, the Igloo Sportsman seems to do a great job keeping ice cold and can keep water frozen for up to seven days, so it seems to perform just as well as the Yeti coolers in this aspect. The Igloo Sportsman has a few extra features like a raised non-slip cutting board section and fish ruler on the lid, a chain that connects the drain plug to the cooler to prevent it from being lost, and larger latches for a stronger hold.
There are a few features of the Igloo Sportsman that customers often complain about. Unlike RTIC and Yeti’s rope handles, Igloo uses extra plastic handles that have more potential to break and have less flexibility. The Igloo Sportsman also has a larger drain hole than the other brands that ice can easily slip through. It also uses a different style of hinge that customers say are more likely to break. The Igloo also appears to have worse overall insulation that is thinner with some gaps throughout the cooler.
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RTIC Pros and Cons
The Verdict: The RTIC Cooler Is the Premium Cooler
From the coolers examined in this guide, RTIC’s coolers offer the best quality and the lowest price. Who doesn’t like to spend less money on a better product? If you are planning on buying a premium cooler for your next camping trip or any other long outdoor excursion, the RTIC Cooler is a great choice. Although RTIC doesn’t offer as many cooler sizes or types as the Yeti brand, RTIC has a good range of sizes to choose from to meet your needs.