Anyone who’s ever had a tumbler cup or cooler knows the value of it. Try keeping your coffee piping hot, your water ice cold for more than an hour, or your food from spoiling while boating….it’s pretty much impossible without them. After losing the very first tumbler we ever had, a gift from our car dealership, we were on the hunt for a new one that we could possibly love even more. Little did we know our search would lead us to one place where we can find useful gifts for everyone on our list.
All research pointed to the Yeti- a company promising the most durable products, rumored to be bullet proof, built to keep your food and drinks as cool as the snow monster it’s named after.
They created the high end ice chest and tumbler market.
A bullet proof tumbler? Sign us up. But while the Yeti is considered the absolute top of the line in durable temperature control containers, it also has a top of the line price: $49.99 for a tumbler.
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While we mulled it over someone urged us to check out another company called RTIC whose products are virtually identical to the Yeti’s but half the price. He was right on the money.
RTIC vs Yeti
Inspired by the Yeti’s success but disheartened by their price tag, twin brother (GO TWINS) RTIC creators saw an opportunity to make an arguably better product but sell it for cheaper.
Apparently their product was so similar that Yeti sued them for infringement and they ended up settling out of court. As a result, RTIC products now look SLIGHTLY different than Yeti’s, but still perform the same way at the same low price!
Yeti also has since lowered their prices but they’re still NOWHERE NEAR RTIC’s price points. It’s every entrepreneur’s worst nightmare for the Yeti owners but a dream come true for consumers.
The wide array of drinkware, coolers, and even temperature controlled backpacks in a variety of colors make RTIC an excellent gift for both adults and kids for more than just camping. There are a lot of DIY tutorials on Pinterest for customizing RTIC and Yeti drinkware with anything from glitter to paint OR you can order customized RTIC and Yeti drinkware on etsy.
Many are using the nearly indestructible water bottles and Day Cooler 6 bags for kids‘ lunches at school since they are effective yet cheap enough to replace if lost.
They even rolled out a line of wine bottles available in 2 sizes, 375 ml and 750 ml.
Don’t forget about Dads and Grads.
A friend of ours who loves to fish in the summer was about to buy a Yeti cooler when we told him about RTIC, he was THRILLED.
Where To Buy It
The best place to purchase RTIC and Yeti is on Amazon since they offer the best deal on the drinkware, more inventory of coolers and soft Day coolers, and better free shipping offers even if you’re not a Prime Member. If you need the product in less than 2 days or want the latest product roll outs call or visit your local sporting goods store.
Yeti vs. RTIC
Below we did a comparison of the price range and quality of Yeti’s drinkware and coolers vs. RTIC’s as well as their money back guarantees.
Prices may vary slightly and can go up or down depending on where you purchase the products and at the company’s discretion but below are the average ranges for both RTIC and Yeti.
RTIC $9.99 – $34.99
Yeti $19.99 – $129.99
RTIC and Yeti’s drinkware are dishwasher and puncture safe as well as rust proof. They’re also nearly bullet proof (people have actually tried shooting them).
Since the lawsuit RTIC and Yeti tumblers may now vary slightly in design and shape but they hold the same amount of liquid and perform the same way.
RTIC actually has foam on the lids of their tumblers and easy grip cupholder friendly bases as opposed to the Yeti.
Both companies offer a nice array of colors and designs however we would highly suggest checking reviews first before getting certain finishes with RTIC tumblers such as translucent (pictured below) since they may be prone to peeling.
RTIC Coolers- Better Performance, Bigger Size
Yeti $199.00 – $1,299.99
RTIC’s coolers are larger than the comparable Yeti models yet many claim they perform just as well and in some cases better.
For instance, the RTIC 45 hard-sided cooler holds 5 pounds more ice and in some reviewer tests preserves it for 1/2 a day to 1 full day longer than the Yeti Tundra 45. RTIC 65 Hard-sided cooler model holds 13 pounds more ice and lasts 1 to 1 1/2 days longer than the Yeti Tundra 65.
RTIC’s soft sided coolers perform the same as Yeti’s and hold equal amounts of ice, but you can fit in more drink cans.
While most people love the soft sided coolers there have been some mixed reviews on whether or not they will hold up in the long run, but then again there have also been mixed reviews on whether or not the Yeti’s soft coolers are worth the hefty price. RTIC also makes a smaller soft sided cooler bag called Day Cooler 6 that can hold 6 cans or lunch.
Warranties and Customer Service
The one noticeable way RTIC cuts corners is in its warranties and customer service. However depending on what product you get, this may not be a big deal. While the Yeti boasts a whopping 5 year warranty for nearly all products, RTIC warranties range from 90 days for drinkware and accessories, 1 year for coolers, and a limited lifetime warranty for Hard Cases. One other thing worth noting is that after 30 days you are responsible for the return shipping costs on all product warranties. Warranties do NOT cover wear and tear.
Are you still afraid RTIC won’t perform as great as they say it will? They got you covered with an ice retention warranty in the event your RTIC product does not retain ice for as long as advertised. To redeem it you have to follow their directions for use and they MAY require video or photos. We would strongly advise giving the product a test run when you get it so you can be sure it works before the 30 day shipping warranty expires.
In conclusion, if you’re thinking of forking over the big bucks for a Yeti we suggest you start with RTIC first. It’s one of those unicorn products you don’t think exists that performs equal to if not better than the luxury brand for sometimes even a quarter of the price. We really can’t justify buying a Yeti for any other reason than the label. RTIC tumblers are our go to gift idea for every holiday (and even to ourselves) when we’re completely clueless about what to get someone and want something extremely useful.