Last Updated : May 2018
There’s no doubt about it – RTIC coolers are certainly some of the best coolers on the market. But they also come with a matching price tag.
For a lot of people, spending several hundred dollars on a cooler is really hard to justify. to make matters worse, the RTIC coolers only have a 30-day warranty.
The good news is that there are several coolers like RTIC that are quite a lot cheaper. They may not have all the bells and whistles, but they certainly perform as well – if not better – than the expensive RTIC models.
All of these coolers have similar performance and cooling abilities as the RTIC cooler. However, they’re all cheaper than the equivalent RTIC cooler.
|Coleman Xtreme||70qt||$54.99||View on Amazon|
|Canyon||22qt||$99.99||View on Amazon|
|K2||20qt||$159.00||View on Amazon|
|Engel||35qt||$199.99||View on Amazon|
|ORCA||20qt||from $179.99||View on Amazon|
**Below, you’ll find our more detailed reviews; you can also click the links above to check prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
With a capacity of 70 quarts, it can hold about 100 cans (four cases of soda) or 30 to 50 bottles of water. The cooler is large enough to hold 2-liter bottles standing upright.
The environmentally friendly case contains no CFCs, HFCs or HCFCs and has an extremely solid lid that can be used as a seat which can support up to 250lbs (113kg). The hinged lid has four molded cup holders.
The cooler doesn’t have any wheels. This can be a problem as it takes two people to move it when the chest is full of drinks and ice. However, the cooler has sturdy handles that make it easy to carry.
From a performance point of view, the cooler is capable of keeping ice for 2 or 3 days and is an ideal choice for multi-day trips.
The 22-quart cooler is built to be super tough and bear-resistant. Having passed the IGBC Bear Resistant Certification, it is not guaranteed to keep grizzly bears out – but it will certainly do a better job than many other models.
One of the things we really like about the Canyon Cooler range is that the cooler is highly streamlined. The latches and hinges are recessed within the body of the cooler. This means you can easily slide the cooler into tight spaces without worrying about hinges or latches catching on nearby items. Once the cooler is packed up, the cooler is a clean streamlined solid box.
Unlike other coolers, the latches are made of a hard rubber and can be easily replaced. The lid also has a gasket that ensures an airtight seal inside the cooler.
While the RTCI coolers only come with a 30-day warranty, the Canyon Cooler comes with a lifetime warranty. Note: This was recently changed from a 4 year warranty period, so some of the old stock has a 4-year label stuck on the cooler body.
From a performance point of view, the cooler can keep ice for several days. While a 2-liter bottle needs to be laid on its side, you can easily stand a gallon of milk upright. The cooler will hold a dozen beer bottles or 14 x 12-ounce cans with room for ice.
Unlike the RTIC coolers, the K2 Cooler Summit range come with a seven-year warranty.
The 35-quart cooler can hold 24 cans and can also hold beer bottles standing upright.
Depending on the outside temperature, Engel coolers can hold ice for 6 or 7 days. In the 5-day ice challenge, the Engel 50 held ice for 7 days and we would expect similar performance for the 35-quart model.
As the cooler of choice for EMS (Emergency Medical Services) personnel, they are well respected in the medical arena.
The cooler is certified for grizzly bear resistance and is listed in the ICBC approved list of coolers.
The warranty period is 3 years – not as long as some of the other options, but definitely better than the RTIC 30 day warranty.
With a capacity of 24 cans, the cooler also includes a cargo net that allows you to store food etc above the waterline of melted ice.
When it comes to the 5-day ice challenge, the ORCA 20 was able to hold ice for just over 6 full days when it was left in direct sunlight (at about 110 degrees during the day)
While the cooler is not listed as an ICBC resistant cooler, holes are provided on the body to allow a lock to be used to make the container grizzly resistant.
ORCA offers a lifetime warranty on their coolers. This includes the latches that are made of strong rubber. Long-term users have reported that the rubber latches stand up well to abuse and show no sign of failing after several years.
All of the coolers shown on our list are able to hold ice for 3 to 7 days.
If you’re looking for a low-cost alternative to the RTIC or YETI coolers, you can’t look past the Coleman Xtreme. With savings of more than $150 over the equivalent RTIC size, the fact it can’t hold ice as long as the others may not be important to you.
If you want an American made cooler, the ORCA is well made and can hold ice for almost a week. When you take into account the lifetime warranty and local manufacturing, paying a little bit extra means you should never need to replace it.
If you need an ICBC resistant cooler, the Canyon cooler is Grizzly resistant and has a streamlined box design that ensures it doesn’t catch on other items when you are packing into the car, boat or RV.
It doesn’t matter which option you choose in the end. They all have similar performance to the RTIC range, and often at a much lower price.
Image credits: Amazon.com