Skip to Content

Coolers Like YETI but Cheaper (13 Great Alternatives)

YETI sure makes an amazing cooler, but boy, does it come with a big price tag! Here are coolers like YETI but at a more affordable price...

YETI makes a great cooler, but the brand sells some of the most expensive coolers on the market. Instead of paying an arm and a leg for a cooler, you can consider high-end coolers that make excellent, affordable alternatives.

Cheaper options can still do a great job keeping your items cold for long periods of time.

The following is my list of excellent coolers, but for a smaller price point than YETI and what to look for when picking out your cooler.

We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases at no added cost to you. Thank you for your support. You can read our full affiliate disclosure here.

We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases at no added cost to you. Thank you for your support. You can read our full affiliate disclosure here.

What to Look for in a Good Cooler

coolers like yeti
So many types of coolers.

There are certain features that you should pay attention to when shopping for a quality cooler. Sometimes it's the little things that make all the difference!

Cooling Capability

When it comes to ice chests, the most important thing to think about is ice retention. In other words, how long does it keep things cold?

If you're shopping for coolers like YETI, then you're definitely looking for something with maximum cooling capability. In some cases, YETI coolers can keep things cold for days, and so can some YETI alternatives!

Bottle Opener

Some coolers come complete with bottle openers, which can come in handy when you are camping. It makes sense since your cooler is likely going to be holding drinks! It is also one of those overlooked items people forget to pack.

Waterproof Zipper

If you opt for a soft cooler, then look for one that has a waterproof zipper. That way it won't leak if it accidentally topples over. It can also help to maintain the internal temperature of the cooler more efficiently.

Shoulder Strap vs. Handles vs. Wheels

Many coolers come with a shoulder strap, rope handles, or metal handles. You may think a handle is a handle until you're lugging a fully loaded cooler around. So, be sure to consider which handles you think will be most comfortable.

Larger coolers often come with wheels, but you can look for that feature in smaller carriers, too. Even a small cooler loaded up can be quite heavy. So, wheels are always a nice option.

Official mugs, tumblers, glassware – celebrating the RV Lifestyle!

Coolers Like YETI but Cheaper (13 Great Alternatives) 1
These stylish mugs, tumblers, and glassware capture the spirit of exploration and wanderlust that defines the RV lifestyle. Many color variations are available – durable and safe.


Coolers, of course, come in many different sizes, but don't stop at looking at the exterior! If you've ever opened a YETI, you'd be surprised at how much smaller the inside is than the outside. That's because they have a thick layer of insulation.

So, be sure to look at the interior size of a cooler.

Also, be sure to consider the weight. YETIs and coolers like YETI tend to be heavy! Again, it's because of the extra insulation. You'll have to decide if the extra cooling capacity is worth the heft of the cooler (in many cases, it is).


I imagine that finding a lower-priced cooler is why you are looking for a YETI alternative. There are many affordable alternatives to choose from. And an affordable price does not mean good quality!

Cup Holders

Cup holders are a nice feature that can come in handy. I'm sure it's pretty obvious why, so I'll leave it at that!

Drain Plug

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to drain your ice chest without a drain plug. You have to try and tip the ice chest on its side to let out the water without disturbing the ice and food. It is always a good idea to look for a cooler that comes with a drain plug.

Why Are YETI Coolers So Expensive?

Coolers Like YETI but Cheaper (13 Great Alternatives) 2

Before we jump into the YETI alternatives, we thought it'd be helpful to first answer the big question, “Why are YETI coolers so expensive?”

YETI coolers are so expensive for two reasons: they live up to their promise and have great marketing. YETI coolers really are great at keeping things cold for a looong time and the company successfully marketed their improved technology.

Their smart marketing and effective technology have convinced people to invest in their brand. And, it is arguably a good investment. You do get a premium cooler that will last many years (if not decades).

However, you can also argue that you can get comparable quality in less popular brands for much less money. We're going to list those brands out for you now.

15 Coolers Like YETI But Cheaper!

The following is a list of excellent cooler brands to look at when trying to find an affordable alternative to YETI brand coolers. I start with two of the best and then proceed in no particular order.

To make it easier to compare, we've included Amazon link boxes that show the current pricing for each brand's cooler that is closest to 40 quarts. (You can always click on the link to look at other sizes, too.)

Here's an Amazon link box for a 45 qt YETI cooler to compare the rest to:

Preview Product Price
YETI Tundra 45 qt. Cooler YETI Tundra 45 qt. Cooler $325.00Amazon Prime

1. Cordova Coolers

This is considered one of the best YETI alternatives you can find.

No longer using rope handles, this incredible cooler offers durable, metal ones. They have a sleek design and are easy to carry!

It is made from high-density foam enclosed in a hard-cell structure, almost three inches thick. The foam is also eco-friendly.

Not only are they made right here in the USA, but you can purchase them for about $5.41 per quart (at present time). YETI, on the other hand, costs about $7.55 per quart. That is a savings of about 20%!

They also come with a lifetime warranty.

2. RTIC Coolers

RTIC has been YETI's biggest competition since the beginning. They even like to claim that they are half the price, and hold more ice!

These coolers are well-known for their excellent ice retention, which is measured in days. You can expect ice to last for over one week for their medium coolers, and 10 days for their larger coolers!

RTIC uses over 2′ of insulation made of polyurethane foam which gets pressure-injected inside the hard mold of the body of the cooler. The result is dense insulation that can prevent ice from melting for more than a week.

RTIC also has a lightweight model that is 30% lighter than rotomolded coolers. If you've ever lifted a rotomolded cooler, you'll appreciate this lightweight alternative!

Quick List of More YETI Alternatives

However, being the most comparable to YETI, Cordova and RTIC coolers are still quite expensive. So, you might still want to consider more alternatives.

The following options basically have the same features that appeal to people looking for a long-cooling cooler. They are thickly insulated with a high cooling capacity that can last up to days. Their coolers also come in several sizes, colors, and styles.

Since the descriptions would mostly be the same, we'll simply provide quick descriptions with notable features from this point on…

3. Grizzly Coolers

Grizzly Coolers is a brand that stands out for delivering high-performance coolers designed to withstand the toughest outdoor conditions. They are equipped with Ecomate polyurethane foam with no global warming or ozone depletion potential.

They are made without VOCs and are IGBC Certified Bear-Resistant. Plus, they have a lifetime warranty.

Preview Product Price
Grizzly 40 Qt Cooler Grizzly 40 Qt Cooler $299.99

4. Orca Coolers

The most notable ORCA feature that differs from other brands is the cargo net for extra storage space. It is also certified bear proof and has a convenient drain spout.

It comes in several sizes, from 20 quart to 140 quart. It's pricing can be as expensive as YETI, depending on the cooler you get.

Preview Product Price
ORCA Cooler 40 Qt ORCA Cooler 40 Qt $356.00

5. Pelican Coolers

Pelican coolers do not have a 40-quart carried option (only a 30 or 50 qt). For the purposes of comparison, we've linked to the 30-quart below.

However, Pelican also has a line of coolers on wheels. That line includes a 45-quart wheeled cooler that's, of course, a bit pricier for its convenience.

Preview Product Price
Pelican Elite Cooler 30 Qt Pelican Elite Cooler 30 Qt $249.95Amazon Prime

6. ENGEL Coolers

ENGEL Coolers have more traditional latches compared to YETI. And, if you've every pinched your hand latching a YETI, you'll be grateful for that.

Like several on this list, ENGEL hard coolers are IGBC Certified Bear Resistant. It also boasts up to 10 days ice retention.

Preview Product Price
ENGEL Cooler 35 Qt. ENGEL Cooler 35 Qt. $240.79

7. Coleman

Coleman is one of the most well-known brands in the cooler industry. They mostly specialize in affordable options and easily made our list of the best coolers for camping.

They offer a couple of insulated coolers that can keep ice for up to 5 days, including the large 316 Series (62+ qt) and the Xtreme 50 qt.

They're one of the cheapest you'll find, which means you should carefully consider how flexible *up to* 5 days is. But hey, the price makes it worth considering.

Preview Product Price
Coleman Xtreme 50 Qt on Wheels Coleman Xtreme 50 Qt on Wheels $54.46Amazon Prime

8. Canyon Coolers

The Canyon Cooler is a small business brand that boasts 6-18 days of retention for its rotomolded coolers. It has a recessed cam latch and no-lose drain plug.

It comes with a lifetime warranty and is also IGBC Grizzly Resistant Certified.

Preview Product Price
Canyon Outfitter Cooler 35 Qt. Canyon Outfitter Cooler 35 Qt. $250.00

9. K2 Coolers

The K2 Cooler has excellent reviews as a YETI alternative. Its main features include an ICE vault lid gasket and POSITRAC latches.

Its warranty isn't as good as other brands that offer lifetime, but it does have a 7-year warranty.

Preview Product Price
K2 Coolers Summit 30 Qt K2 Coolers Summit 30 Qt $229.99Amazon Prime

10. Siberian Cooler

Depending on which cooler you get, Siberian coolers can be as expensive as YETI. However, they're worth considering for their nifty accessories.

This Alpha Pro Series 45 qt, for instance, comes with a divider, cup holder, and wire basket. Plus, reversible E/Z slide or non-slip rubber feet.

Preview Product Price
Siberian Alpha Pro Cooler 45 Qt Siberian Alpha Pro Cooler 45 Qt $349.99

11. Igloo

Igloo is certainly one of the most well-known cooler brands, with a huge range of coolers. That range includes IMX injection-molded coolers.

There is a 24 Qt option, but we decided to list the 70 Qt option. Why? Because it's half-again the size of our comparison YETI and still cheaper!

The Ultratherm insulation provides up to 7 days of ice retention and weighs 40% less than coolers with similar performance.

Preview Product Price
Igloo IMX Cooler 70 Qt. Igloo IMX Cooler 70 Qt. $249.99Amazon Prime

12. Hydro Flask

We're going to stray from the hard coolers with this one. We wanted to provide a unique alternative that can still stay cold up to 36 hours.

This Hydro Flask 20 liter soft cooler backpack does just that. And, instead of awkwardly lugging around a hard cooler, you can comfortably carry this on your back.

Granted, it's not as big or can stay as cold as long as the other options. But we thought it's worth including for its convenience and smart, effective design.

Preview Product Price
Hydro Flask Soft Cooler 20 L Hydro Flask Soft Cooler 20 L $198.95Amazon Prime

13. A Used YETI Cooler

coolers like yeti - yeti cooler
Or maybe a YETI?

If you are not convinced about getting an alternative brand, you could always get a used YETI. There are usually plenty listed on Facebook Marketplace and eBay.

But you can also check out my other list of the Best Coolers for Camping. It lists 5 great coolers that serve different purposes and budgets.

Mike and Jennifer's Favorite Places in Florida – all 3 ebooks!

Coolers Like YETI but Cheaper (13 Great Alternatives) 3

We RVers may wander far and wide but it’s true for most of us that we end up with some favorite “Go-To” places – places that draw us back again and again.

Florida is one of those places for us. And we know it is for many RVers looking to get away and explore during the winter. 

That's why we've created three guides, covering Florida's Atlantic Coast, the Gulf Coast, and the Keys. 

Each of these guides is a seven-day guided exploration of one of the coasts. And each stop is a curated view of the best things that we’ve enjoyed on this trip and want you to experience.

Altogether these guides are over 300 pages of content! 

FAQ's about Florida Gulf Coast beaches of interest to RVers

What is the weather like along Florida's Gulf Coast?

The weather along Florida's Gulf Coast can vary depending on the time of year and the specific location. In general, the area experiences hot, humid summers and mild, pleasant winters.
The Panhandle region can be quite cool in January. It is seldom below freezing, but daytime highs are typically in the 50s. It warms up about 10 degrees each month.
You can also generally add about 10 degrees for every 150 miles you travel south down the Florida peninsula.
By the time you hit Naples, daytime highs in January are in the comfortable 70s.

Did Hurricane Ian destroy many beach campgrounds on the Gulf Coast?

While it severely damaged almost two dozen RV parks and campgrounds, about 8-10 campgrounds in the Naples-Ft. Myers area were completely destroyed. Most of the damaged campgrounds have been repaired and reopened.
Check with the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds if you have questions or concerns.

Are there any websites that can help me get a reservation for a Florida beach campground?

One of the best resources we can recommend is called Campnab. This service monitors parks for cancelations and sends you an alert when an opening matches your criteria. That said, it isn’t magic. The app doesn’t create availabilities. 
The service works – but it is not free.
Campnab offers two ways to use the service. The first is individual pay-per-use scans. These watch for vacancies at a specific park for a specific date. These work well if you know exactly when and where you intend to camp. Pay-per-use scans cost $10 – $20, depending on how frequently you want them to check availability.
The second way to use the service is through a membership. These typically run monthly and are tailored to those who camp more frequently or are looking to maximize their chance of finding a site. Membership allows you to scan multiple parks and/or dates simultaneously. With memberships, you pay a monthly recurring fee ($10, $20, $30, or $50), depending on your needs.

Are there places in Florida where you can literally camp on the beach for free?

Not many. And they are very pricey. If you want to sleep directly on the sand in an RV, you'll have to stay at a developed commercial campground like Camp Gulf on the Emerald Coast or an RV resort like Big Pine Key Resort in the keys. Some state parks like the Gamble Rogers State Memorial Recreation Area in the Atlantic Coast or  Bahia Honda State Park in the keys or Fort Desto State Park near St. Petersburg have beachside sites, too.

But are there free, unrestricted RV beach camping spots in Florida?

Sorry, none that I know of that would work for RVs.
There is unrestricted camping on wild beaches on a couple of islands, but you need a boat to get there, and it is for tent camping only. If you want to sleep directly on the sand, there is Anclote Key offshore Tarpon Springs, and Shell Key in Pinellas County. Another favorite is Keewaydin Island between Naples and Marco Island but that area remains pretty devasted from Hurricane Ian.

Rate this post

Last update on 2023-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Mike Wendland

Published on 2021-12-29

Mike Wendland is an Emmy award-winning journalist, traveler, and producer of RV Podcast, the RV Lifestyle travel blog, and the RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube. Mike, traveling with his wife Jennifer and their Norwegian Elkhound, Bo, has vast experience and a great passion for exploring North America, previously working as a long-time NBC-TV News Channel Technology Correspondent and now sharing his love for the RV lifestyle with millions. Mike is not only an adept RV life enthusiast but also a skillful storyteller, bringing to his channels stories from the road that perfectly capture the magic and hardships of this lifestyle.

4 Responses to “Coolers Like YETI but Cheaper (13 Great Alternatives)”

December 30, 2021at10:45 am, Pam Shook said:

To drain a cooler without a drain, simply go the the hardware and buy a clear hose that is 1/4 to 1/2″ diameter (the bigger the diamenter the more space it will take up however it will drain faster) the length is from the cooler to outside the door plus the out side height and inside depth of the cooler. Stetch the hose out. Put the hose in the cooler and close the lid, then suck until you see the water in the hose and lower it to drain. I pull my cooler to the the door so have a shorter length of hose. Discovered this when I hurt my back and couldn’t lift the cooler. Besure to leave about 6″ water in cooler to keep it to keep it cold. Also the items in the cooler are not disturbed. Then store the hose inside the cooler so you always know where it is. Also always keep a frozen quart jug in the cooler and switch it with the one in the freezer after draining the cooler.


December 30, 2021at8:35 am, Tina Penney said:

Great article with lots of good information! I wanted to add one more to your list. We recently bought a Lifetime brand cooler as an alternative to the expensive Yeti. It is made in the USA and keeps ice frozen for days. It kept our moose meat frozen for the 5 hour ride back from the butcher. We are new to RVing and expect this to come along on our trips. Thanks for all you do! I’ve found it very helpful as we prepare for our RV adventures in 2022!


December 30, 2021at7:58 am, Shirley Watkins said:

I purchased a YAKA cooler from Scheels this past summer ! $150 bottle opener and drain !! Keeps ice up to 10 days


December 30, 2021at7:45 am, Randy Brunk said:

Another great alternate for a cooler is ICER.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top