rtic cooler with a lot of cold drinks

When you are camping, or on a road trip, you need to keep your food and beverages cold for the longest time possible. That’s what  RTIC coolers have been doing for their customers since 2015, ensuring you get fresh food and thirst-quenching drinks while you're away from home.

To the fisherman, a good cooler could mean the difference between fresh fillets or a wasted catch. At a picnic or tailgating party, it means cold drinks instead of warm swill. For the happy camper, a good cooler ensures his food is chilled and protected despite the nearest refrigerator being days back out of the woods.

Are you looking for a new cooler? Is it time to replace the old one, or has your family grown beyond its capacity? Coolers are an essential part of any outdoor enthusiast's equipment. The right one for you will suit your needs, so let's see if RTIC is that brand.

RTIC Coolers

friends having a picnic using their rtic cooler

RTIC is a leading retailer of premium rotomolded coolers. The brand leverages technology, direct marketing, and its national network of fulfillment centers to offer only the best in affordable and quality coolers.

Compared to other brands, RTIC coolers may be affordable or expensive, depending on your budget. But an excellent cooler can last a lifetime. It may not be as crucial as some major decisions like buying a major home appliance or a car, but you may have it longer, so you owe it to yourself to select one wisely. The bottom line is you have to be prepared to spend a few bucks to get the cooler that suits your needs.

How To Choose The Right Cooler

The single most important factor in deciding which of the RTIC coolers will fit your needs is where you're going to be using it the most.

If the cooler is too big to take with you on a camping trip or picnic, or even a tailgate party, it is virtually useless. Similarly, if it cannot retain ice well enough to ensure your food and drinks are fresh during an extended stay out in the woods, the same thing -- it's useless. If you only need a cooler for conveniently chilling your beverages in your backyard during barbecues or cookouts, this will influence how much you need to pay for one.

Something else to consider is what you intend to keep cold in the cooler, and how much of it. Knowing this helps when judging the cooler's capacity. Almost all coolers list their quart size explicitly, many even stating the can capacity.

Finally, remember to note the overall size of the cooler because some may be larger on the outside than they are inside.

How We Reviewed

RTIC coolers on a pickup car

We researched RTIC coolers for you to learn what makes them the best among other coolers in this niche. We evaluated features such as the construction of the RTIC coolers including the exterior material, interior insulation, capacity, size, weight, durability and ice retention among other crucial factors. Finally, we went to real user reviews, to find out what they say about RTIC coolers.

Pricing

RTIC coolers retail between $ and $$ depending on which model you pick and whether you decide to buy it from the brand website or another retailer, such as Amazon.

RTIC cooler on a pickup car

RTIC Cooler Models

Here's a rundown of the four different models of RTIC coolers available. This will help you with comparisons as we review the features, materials, performance, and pricing of each of these ice chests, and their competitor brands. 

The rotomolded RTIC coolers are designed with a variety of functional features and come available in different quart sizes: 20, 45, and 65.

1.) RTIC 20, White

RTIC 20, White
  • Roto-Molded Construction, Heavy Duty T-Latches, Freezer Grade Gasket, Molded Tie Down Slots
  • Up to 3" of Insulated Walls, Non-Slip Feet, Integrated Locking System, Bear Resistant
  • Rapid V-Drain System, No Fail Hinges, No Sweat Exterior, Cool Lift Design, Molded Side Handles

For personal use, the RTIC 20-quart size is easy to carry around with you. It keeps food and beverages colder for longer and has a 24-can capacity, plus ice. This cooler is equipped with a heavy-duty stainless steel handle that locks upright, and this makes it easier to carry with one hand.

It’s not too big, and weighs a paltry 17.5 lbs., with a capacity of 5.5 gallons. It can hold 25 pounds of ice, which it keeps up to 10 days. It also has three-inch commercial-grade insulated foam walls, with full interlocking hinges, and a rapid V-drain system that allows for quick draining.

The pricing for the RTIC 20 quarts ranges between $ and $$ on Amazon, and it has a rating of 4.0 out of 5 stars.

2.) RTIC 20, White

RTIC Cooler, 45 qt
  • Roto-Molded Construction, Heavy Duty T-Latches, Freezer Grade Gasket, Molded Tie Down Slots.
  • Up to 3" of Insulated Walls, Non-Slip Feet, Integrated Locking System, Bear Resistant.
  • Rapid V-Drain System, No Fail Hinges, No Sweat Exterior, Cool Lift Design, Molded Side Handles.

On Amazon, the Rotomolded 45 quart RTIC cooler sells between $ and $$. It has an impressive 4.5 out of 5-star rating. The majority of those who have bought and used the cooler had nothing but praises based on its price, durability and ice retention.

Delighted users report that this cooler keeps food cold, even during the extreme heat of a Texas summer, for three days or more.

3.) RTIC 65, Tan

RTIC 65, Tan
  • Roto-Molded Construction, Heavy Duty T-Latches, Freezer Grade Gasket, Molded Tie Down Slots
  • Up to 3" of Insulated Walls, Non-Slip Feet, Integrated Locking System, Bear Resistant
  • Rapid V-Drain System, No Fail Hinges, No Sweat Exterior, Cool Lift Design, Molded Side Handles

This is the largest of the RTIC coolers. On Amazon, the RTIC 65 cooler sells between $ and $$, with users gave it a 4.3 out of a 5-star rating. Among the issues, users complained about were defects on the sides and gaps in the gasket causing it not to seal. Besides that, it's a great cooler.

4.) RTIC Soft Pack

RTIC Soft Pack 20 (Pink Camo)
  • Holds up to 20 Cans Plus Ice.
  • No Leak Zipper.
  • Exterior Does Not Sweat.

RTIC's SoftPak coolers are affordable and come in sizes including the Lunch Box, 20-cans, 30-cans, and 40-cans. Like the rotomolded RTIC coolers, the SoftPak is an excellent personal cooler and holds your favorite beverages plus ice. This lightweight cooler weighs only 3.0 pounds.

SoftPak RTIC coolers are 100 percent leakproof, puncture-resistant, and mildew-resistant due to its antimicrobial liner. It keeps food and beverages colder for longer thanks to its two-inch closed-cell foam insulation. Some of its functional features include 100 percent waterproof stay dry material, easy access full flip top lid, a puncture and tear resistant nylon shell, and sturdy, laminated fabric with welded seams.

The SoftPak coolers are priced between $ and $, and a 4.5 out of 5-star rating on Amazon. A hefty 77 percent of reviewers gave it five stars. One user, a college student, couldn’t hide his satisfaction when he said it works just as well as any super-expensive model, "It kept drinks cold for over ten hours at a college tailgate and football game with the temperature of 80 plus degrees.”

5.) RTIC Day Cooler

Day Cooler, 28 Can, Red
  • Plenty of room to store what you need to keep cool for up to 24 hours.
  • Two places to store water bottles, extra snacks and small gear-a zippered pocket in the front and two mesh pockets on...
  • Includes an adjustable shoulder strap for carrying comfort.

Day RTIC coolers are designed with plenty of room to store what you need to keep cold for up to 24 hours. The exterior is made of heavy-duty polyester, while the interior has high-density insulation, with two spaces for storing water bottles, extra snacks, and small gear.

It also has an adjustable shoulder strap and a soft liner inside made of an FDA-approved material that is safe for use and contact with food and drinks. To further protect your products, the cooler has antimicrobial, product-protecting properties built into its lining that resist bad odors, mold, and mildew. Its heat-welded seams also prevent liner leaks.

If you want a cooler for short outings, this is your best bet. The day cooler weighs only one pound and has a capacity of eight cans and six pounds of ice.

For an affordable price range on Amazon of $ to $, Day RTIC coolers serve their purpose just right. Users on Amazon have given it a lower rating though, compared to the Rotomolded and SoftPak RTIC coolers, at 3.5 out of 5 stars. However, that doesn't undermine its functionality and practicality. One user said, "This is the perfect lunch box keeps items cold, easy to carry, and outside pockets are handy for pens."

Back Pack RTIC Coolers

RTIC backpack coolers are probably the best you can take with you hiking or camping, as they're not only comfortable to carry around, but also hands-free, compact, and roomy. They're designed to outdo the competition at a more affordable price. These coolers are built with premium insulation and can hold 30 cans and a bag of ice to keep your beverages cold all day.

The cooler straps comfortably to your back, so your hands and arms are free to grab any other gear around you. Its roll-top design makes it easy to access whatever is in the cooler without the hassle of a zipper. They are waterproof as they're built with welded seams, and they float too.

They're currently not available on Amazon, but you can purchase them from the RTIC brand website. The prices for these RTIC coolers range between $ to $.

RTIC Coolers Vs. Competitor Brands

RTIC coolers came to the market to fill the gap that existed for premium coolers, with a lower price point than competitor brands. They stand out for their sturdy build and ruggedness, and affordability, but let’s see how stack up against the competition.

1.) YETI Tundra 65

YETI Tundra 65 Cooler
  • The YETI Tundra 65 is just as adept at keeping your catches cold in the field as it is storing the drinks and food for...
  • Ice stays ice thanks to up to 3 inches of PermaFrost Insulation and an extra thick FatWall design is certified...
  • The Rotomolded Construction makes the Tundra armored to the core and virtually indestructible so wherever you decide to...

YETI brand coolers are perhaps the top rated of all coolers. This particular model is a hard cooler that is well insulated. Because of its build and quality, it is much more expensive than other coolers listed here, but this shouldn't dissuade you. It is also heavier, but portable enough to move in and out of your vehicle.

It features a certified FatWall design that is bear-resistant, three inches of permafrost insulation, and rotomolded construction that's virtually indestructible. All YETI Tundra coolers have T-Rex lid latches made of heavy-duty rubber and patented technology meaning it won't break.

Users have rated it highly on Amazon, giving it 4.3 out of 5 stars, which means its pretty good at its job. One user said that while the cooler is, "heavy as hell" it's also "super efficient." Customers say it can double as a step up into high vehicles or a seat because the construction is so sturdy. Of course, they also comment on the exorbitant price tag.

However, while most user reviews are positive, a select few think the YETI cooler is too expensive, but overall, user reviews give it a high score on its design, ice retention, and sturdy build.

PROS

  • Keeps things cold
  • You can count on its durability
  • Thick design and sides mean better insulation

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Isn't easy to travel with

2.) ORCA BW058ORCORCA

ORCA BW058ORCORCA Cooler, White, 58-Quart
  • ORCA root-molded cooler, 58 qtr. capacity, up to 10 days ice retention, premium insulation, 27
  • SELECT propellants that deliver consistent accuracy and performance
  • The product is manufactured in United States

An ORCA cooler is just as good as a YETI, but not everyone finds that ORCA work for them. It is a sturdy and well-made cooler and a great investment for camping enthusiasts. It features a lid gasket for perfect sealing, flex grip handles for comfortable carrying and a cargo net attachment for extra storage.

This cooler scored a 4.2 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon. While it gets marks for ice retention and its variety of color choices, some users don't think its the best of the pack. One user says it was poorly packaged, the knobs break and fall out, and the materials and workmanship didn't exceed that of the YETI cooler.

PROS

  • 100 percent USA-made
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Maximum ice retention
  • Properly insulated
  • Can use additions and accessories to customize interior storage

CONS

  • Expensive
  • May need regular ice refills

3.) Coleman Xtreme

Coleman Wheeled Cooler | Xtreme Cooler Keeps Ice Up to 5 Days |...
  • Well-insulated portable cooler ideal for camping, barbeques, and road trips
  • 70-quart capacity holds up to 100 cans
  • Insulated lid and walls provide 5 full days of ice retention at temperatures up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit

Coleman coolers are known for their sturdy products and affordability. They feature a stylish outer casing, cup holders, hinged lid, and can hold 100 cans. The Coleman Xtreme cooler has unique features such as the No-Crush Comfort handles for easy, pinch-free carrying, and the Have-A-Seat™ Lid that supports up to 250 lbs when you want to sit and rest.

Its retextured EZ-Clean top is good for easy cleaning, while the Xtreme® 5 Technology keeps ice for up to 5 days in hot temperatures. Its ThermOZONE™ Insulation doesn't have CFCs, HFCs or HCFCs, which deplete the ozone, making it environmentally friendly too.

Coleman has received excellent reviews from users who rated it on Amazon, giving it 4.4 out of 5 stars, which is quite high considering the other strong brands mentioned here. Even users who had purchased Yetis commented that this cooler would do the job, and do it well.

But not all users agree with everything about the Coleman Xtreme, as some have complained about the handles appearing as if they're ready to snap in half. Sometimes the lid gets in the way, and the walls aren't as thick as YETI cooler walls.

PROS

  • Large and spacious
  • Handy lid with cup holders
  • Affordable

CONS

  • No wheels
  • The seal isn't the best
  • May not prevent warming as other coolers do

Pros And Cons Of RTIC Coolers

One small white rtic cooler and a big white rtic cooler on top of each other

Below are the overall pros and cons of RTIC ice chests:

PROS

  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Rock solid build, resistant to damage
  • Bear-proof
  • Easy to drain
  • Can retain ice up to 10 days

CONS

  • Lacks wheels
  • Can be painful to haul around when full
  • 30-day no questions asked return policy, shorter than competitors
  • Doesn't have a rich history or experience of competitor brands

Our Verdict

people having a picnic during sunset

The most important feature of a top-level cooler is how long it keeps ice. Some brands hide behind claims that many factors change how long their coolers retain ice. RTIC coolers, however, don't hide that information behind such claims.

After much consideration of the different competitor brands, their pros, and cons, we concluded that the best cooler for camping is the ORCA cooler, while the best for the beach is the Coleman Xtreme cooler. YETI takes the crown for best quality and performance. But the overall winner in this battle is the RTIC cooler. The features are almost identical to those of other coolers, but they cost much less.

What are your thoughts on these RTIC coolers? Have you used any before? Share your comment in the box below. We'd love to hear from you.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Pricing
Cooling performance
Portability
Warranty
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