If you are looking for a high performance cooler you may be shocked at how much they cost. I never realized a cooler could run you over $1,000. Some of my favorite coolers are made by Yeti but did I ever get sticker shock when comparing the different models. This lead me to look for alternatives that had many of the same features. I found four that I really liked and we put together our coolers like Yeti but cheaper review article. I hope it helps you find a great cooler and save some money at the same time.
Maybe a YETI knockoff but these YETI like coolers are more affordable yet still perform well
Coolers Like Yeti But Cheaper – 4 Reviewed Under $300
|Pelican ProGear Elite|
I have reviewed the Pelican ProGear Elite on the main page of my site so you know I think it is one of the best coolers on the market. It offers up to 10 days of ice retention making this cooler perfect for minimizing trips to buy ice and maximizing your time enjoying life! The Pelican ProGear Elite uses two inches of polyurethane insulation to keep your ice frozen as long as possible. It also is equipped with a freezer grade gasket to ensure the air inside your cooler stays there and does not leak out or allow warm air in.
Easy to Transport…Even on a Boat
The cooler can be carried by using the dual handles that are attached using a strong hinge system. The handles are molded into the body ensuring they won’t break or rust over time. The cooler can be opened using Press and Pull latches that are wide enough to be used with gloves and ensures that if you drop it your items will stay in the cooler and not spill. This cooler has feet that will not leave any skid marks! This is great for use on a boat or truck as your cooler will remain firmly in place. The ProGear Elite has a sloped drain that also has a threaded plug. You can attach a garden hose to this cooler making for fast and easy clean up.
Spend Less and Get More
The best part is if you are looking for a Yeti cooler but don’t want to spend the money this is a less expensive option. In general you can expect to save over $150 on the same size Yeti cooler and get a lot of the same features. Or you can spend the same amount but get a much larger cooler. Either way it is a win win in my opinion.
The Engel Roto-Molded Cooler is very durable and costs much less than a Yeti. The Engel is made using rotational molded plastic that is the same process used to manufacture whitewater kayaks. This allows for a seamless finish that is good-looking, sturdy, and extremely durable. Engel also utilizes a TruHold lid coupled with a stainless steel Unity latch system. With this two-step approach you can be rest assured your lid will not come off even if you drop the cooler.
Great Insulation and Ice Retention
We noticed this cooler is on the heavy side but realized it is due to the amount of polyurethane insulation to keep your food and beverages ice-cold! It has two inches of insulation in the body and lid. With such top notch insulation your ice will stay frozen for up to ten days! Your new cooler comes equipped with airtight gaskets, a UV-resistant outer shell, and marine grade compression latches giving the best protection against all elements.
Super Rugged and Bear Resistant
This cooler is great for the outdoors! In fact, this cooler is IGBC certified to be bear resistant. Having a bear resistant cooler is essential anytime you may be camping or hunting. In fact this cooler is so strong that you can stand or sit on the lid! This gives you a great platform to fish from or use as a bench for resting. With an easy to use drain you can quickly empty your cooler. To finish it off this cooler has cornerstone feet that keep your cooler in place and do not scratch or mark surfaces. This is great for use on boats where the waves may be rough at times. You don’t want your boat scuffed up or your cooler to slide all over and hurt someone.
Cooler Like Yeti But Cheaper
This cooler has many features of Yeti but comes in at a lower price point. You get great insulation, it is made using the rotational molding process for strength, and has top-notch finishes. If you are an avid hunter it even is bear resistant. With all that being said you can’t go wrong with the Engel brand coolers.
The K2 Summit Cooler is so well-built it comes with a seven-year warranty so you are covered if anything happens. This cooler weighs 26 pounds which is on the heavy side but it is made to be heavy-duty and has great features that negate it being slightly heavier.
Built Extra Sturdy and Won’t Break
The coolers rotational molded one piece construction is so sturdy that you can stand on it without fear of the cooler breaking. To better protect your cooler for many years of use K2 has made this cooler UV resistant. With ENDURA™ technology this coolers hinge system keeps your lid firmly attached to the body of the cooler at all times. This is a great feature to have because too many coolers become difficult to use when the lid breaks away from the body. To keep your cooler and its contents safe from theft and tampering K2 has manufactured this cooler with padlock holes so you can secure the lid to the body.
Another Cooler with Great Insulation
The insulation on this cooler keeps your items a constant cold temperature by utilizing K2’s one of a kind Snowblown™ technology. K2 knows that the quickest way for a cooler to compromise the inside temperature is through the lid. The way K2 solves this issue is by creating the ICEvault™ gasket that seals in your ice-cold or piping hot contents and keeps them that way. One great feature of this cooler is that it is dry ice compatible. Dry ice will cool your favorite beverages and food to colder temperatures than traditional ice will. This cooler is very easy to drain and can be drained with a single half turn of the drainage plug.
Just Slide Your Cooler
The K2 Summit 50 has built-in rubber feet to keep your cooler firmly in place. What makes these rubber feet so great is that K2 also sells SMOOTHglide™ feet covers that allow you to slide your cooler around without leaving any marks. The foot covers are very easy to put on and remove from the cooler. This is a very nice feature if you have a bad back or other medical condition and can’t lift the cooler.
Final Thoughts on K2 Coolers
This is another great example of a great cooler that competes with the Yeti coolers. It has many of the same features and can generally be found for quite a bit less than the Yeti coolers. We personally really like the K2 line of coolers and would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone.
The Igloo Sportsman Cooler is well designed to compete with the Yeti. The Sportsman Cooler also uses the rotational molded construction making this cooler very sturdy and durable. To close the cooler simply use the T-Grip lid latches that keep your cooler sealed shut. To keep you cooler extra safe Igloo has put in a lockable lid that uses standard size locks. A big benefit of a lockable lid is that it allows you to wander away from your cooler knowing everything will be just as you’ve left it upon your return.
It’s All About the Insulation
This cooler keeps your contents cold by making efficient use of two-inch insulation in the lid and 15 to 20 inches of foam throughout the body. To carry your cooler you can use the handles on the side which are ergonomically designed to make carrying this cooler comfortable. One nice feature this cooler offers is a molded in fish ruler on the lid so you can leave yours at home. This cooler comes with anti-skid feet that won’t leave any marks on your boat or other surfaces.
Final Thoughts on the Igloo
Igloo is a well established brand that continues to innovate. This is a great cooler and competes very nicely with the Yeti. It has just as much insulation and is constructed in a similar fashion. We really enjoy this cooler and it is much cheaper than a Yeti. Get a bigger cooler or just save the money over the Yeti in our opinion.
Yeti brand coolers, koozies and tumblers have taken the world by storm over the last few years to the point where it seems like everyone and their mother has one. Every BBQ, picnic, and family party I’ve been to over the last couple years has included at least one Yeti product, which is kind of amazing considering I had never heard of them until a couple years ago.
If you’re unfamiliar with Yeti products, they are basically products designed to keep your beverages cold, or hot in some cases. The products range from large and small coolers for keeping food, soda, beer, and whatever else, cold for long periods of time, as well as koozies for keeping individual cans and bottles cold, and then finally, tumblers for keeping liquids hot or cold.
The secret to their cold keeping power is the fact that the products are all double-wall insulated. In the most basic terms, this means that there is an outer wall, which you see on the outside, and then an inner wall, which is what you see when you open it up. These two walls in the stainless steel koozies are separated by a ‘pocket’ of air (or maybe gas, I don’t know), that keeps them apart and allows the inner area to retain temperature more efficiently. The coolers are separated by Permafrost insulation that will definitely keep the temperature cold on the inside.
As I briefly mentioned, the koozies and tumblers are made of stainless steel, while the coolers are made of a hard plastic with spray foam insulation in between the double-walls. The coolers are extremely durable and supposedly are bear proof… which is nice to have if you’re just sitting out in the backyard with the family…
The problem that Yeti has encountered over the last year or so, is the amount of competitors that have sprung up and basically copied their idea and undercut the price.
Some of these competitors, actually a lot of them, are basically releasing almost the exact same product, just stamped with a different name. RTIC is probably the most prevalent one that you’ve seen around, but there are lots of them out there like Orca, Siberian, K2 and Grizzly, just to name a few.
There are so many competitors out there it’s almost impossible to list them all, but I’m going to give you a good rundown of other cooler, tumbler and koozie brands that you can pick up, outside of Yeti, that will do just as good of a job, for less cost.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love my Yeti Tumbler, I use it for water at my desk every day, but when it comes to koozies, I have RTIC brand koozies because they were half the cost and in the Yeti vs. RTIC test we did, they performed exactly the same over time.
Yeti Cooler Alternatives
When it comes to the Yeti Coolers, there are a lot of brands out there with the same idea, and even very similar looks and styles. And Yeti might not have been the first to do it either, I’m honestly not 100% sure, but I have to imagine that brands like Coleman, that have been around for years, were doing this way before Yeti even broke on the scene. But either way, Yeti has done a phenomenal job with their marketing and has built up a huge name for themselves, which obviously comes with knock-offs and copycats.
So lets take a look at the competition when it comes to double-wall insulated coolers.
So that’s it folks, if you’re looking to save a little money and purchase a Yeti competitor cooler, can cooler, or tumbler, then these are the brands we would suggest. There are tons of other knock-off brands out there that you can find on amazon, and I’m sure they work just as well, we just don’t have the time to go through all of the smaller brand names to figure it out. So if you have one that works just as well as a Yeti, let us know in the comments.