13 Premium Coolers (Similar to YETI) Ranked by Ice Retention, Performance, and Price

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13 Premium Coolers (Similar to YETI) Ranked by Ice Retention, Performance, and Price

Premium ice coolers such as those made by Yeti and Grizzly have become popular in recent years due to their durability and ability to retain ice for 10 days or longer. In the Midwest and South where these high-end coolers are most popular, they are actually seen as status symbols.

If you're on the market to invest in a hard-sided cooler, there are a few features you should be looking out for. Brands create these different features to match your lifestyle. Here's a look at the most important criteria:

  • Insulation Performance: You’re buying the cooler to keep your perishables fresh. So, make sure you do adequate research on the product’s insulation because the brands overpromise when it comes to ice retention time. The average ice retention is between 4-6 days.
  • Size: Cooler sizes range from personal (<16-qt) to massive coolers that can hold a week's worth of drinks (>150-qt). The size people normally look at purchasing is either a 35-50-qt cooler or a 55-70-qt cooler. Based on the sizes offered by brands, we're going to be looking at coolers between 53-qt and 75-qt. Also, these puppies are heavy, so make sure you're looking at how much it weighs when its empty.
  • Unique Features: Brands intend different coolers for different customers' needs. It's important to understand what your needs will be to decide on necessary features. For example, you may want superb draining performance or interior organization.

Here's a closer look at the 13 premium coolers dominating the market today.

Under $300

Vibe Element 75

Joshua Thomas and John Ewald founded Vibe as a kayak and gear brand in 2013. Since then, they began making coolers too. While a lot of the features are similar to other cooler brands, the reasonable price makes it unique in the premium cooler industry.

The cooler is equipped with a heavy-duty handle, built-in bottle openers, and a pressure-sealed lid. Vibe calls its cooler 'Wooly Mammoth Proof,' so you could say that it'll survive a bear (however, the cooler is not IGBC certified). It is also a one-piece rotomolded construction with 3" insulated walls. The Vibe Element is simple and practical – all that you really need out of a cooler. 

  • Insulation Performance (Ice Retention): 5-7 days (above average among premium coolers)
  • Size: This cooler weighs 32lbs and holds 75-qt.
  • Durability: Canyon offers a limited lifetime warranty. The rotomolded cooler keeps up with its competitors when it comes to strength and durability.
  • Price: $199.00
  • Where You Can Buy It: Vibe Kayaks (Check out Dealspotr deals here.)

Canyon Outfitter 55

Canyon Coolers stands for adventure, but doesn't think it should come at a ghastly price. The founders built the premium ice chest to keep food and drink cold on a 27-day Grand Canyon rafting trip. Basically, they believe that your adventures should be the status symbol, not the cooler itself (I see you, Canyon Coolers).

Canyon makes the Outfitter 55 from eco-friendly pressure-injected HUNTX foam insulation. The airtight seal and rotomolded construction allow for higher ice retention levels for all sizes. The design of the cooler is lackluster, but its lower price tag allows for some wiggle room in criticism. This cooler is a terrific option for those who want to invest in a life-long cooler without paying for a name.

  • Insulation Performance (Ice Retention): 7-9+ days (excellent among premium coolers)
  • Size: This cooler weighs 25lbs and holds 55-qt.
  • Durability: Canyon offers a lifetime warranty, no questions asked. Thick walls and strong latches mean the cooler will last through anything.
  • Price: $229.00
  • Where You Can Buy It: Canyon Coolers (Check out Dealspotr deals here.)

nICE 75

nICE designed their cooling products to survive the outdoors through innovation and durability. Their range of products – tumblers to heavy-duty coolers – are perfect for any outdoor scenario. nICE offers three different sized coolers for different customer needs. The nICE 75 is the largest offered and has the best ice retention due to its size.

This rotomolded cooler features double walled insulation, a quick drain system, integrated lockable lid, built-in cup holders, and heavy duty carrying handles. The walls are 2" thick, which is average in comparison with other coolers. This cooler is manufactured in China, which helps to keep the costs lower compared to its American-made competitors. 

  • Insulation Performance (Ice Retention): 4-6 days (average among premium coolers)
  • Size: This cooler weighs 35lbs and holds 75-qt.
  • Durability: nICE products all carry a 5-year limited warranty. A large part of the marketing of these coolers is the bear-resistant label from IGBC.
  • Price: $249.99
  • Where You Can Buy It: nICE Tumblers (Check out Dealspotr deals here.)

Grizzly 60 Cooler

Grizzly has been engineering and testing coolers since 2002 with your adventures in mind. They designed these coolers to withstand your hunting, fishing, tailgating, and camping expeditions. Grizzly envisions, engineers, tests, and produces the coolers in Decorah, Iowa.

Like other designs, the Grizzly features rotomolded construction, non-slip feet, and heavy duty handles. Unlike other coolers, the Grizzly has eco-friendly insulation and its special BearClaw™ Latches. And, of course, the Grizzly is bear-proof.

  • Insulation Performance (Ice Retention): 5-7 days (above average among premium coolers)
  • Size: This cooler weighs 30lbs and holds 60-qt.
  • Durability: Grizzly offers a lifetime warranty. The cooler is bear-proof, rotomolded, and has secure latches. 
  • Price: $249.99
  • Where You Can Buy It: Grizzly Coolers (Check out Dealspotr deals here.)

Cabela's Polar Cap Equalizer Cooler

Dick Cabela created Cabela's in 1961 as an outfitter of hunting, fishing, and outdoor gear. He placed ads in newspapers to sell fishing flies and his company has grown to over 75 national stores. Field and Stream ranks the cooler as the Best of the Test in 2016 and Cabela's makes it in the USA. There are five different sizes of the coolers to best fit your needs.

The Polar Cap Cooler keeps ice cold for 12 days, is bear-resistant, and has an air-tight seal. The cooler keeps closed via heavy-duty rubberized latches with integrated bottle openers. The cooler is one of the cheaper options on the market for its size and quality.

  • Insulation Performance (Ice Retention): 7 days (above average among premium coolers)
  • Size: This cooler weighs 30.1lbs and holds 60-qt.
  • Durability: Cabela's says its cooler is tougher than any bear and proven to keep ice frozen for up to 12 days (for the 80-qt. and 100-qt. size). If you buy the Cabela's cooler, you'll receive a lifetime warranty on the product.
  • Price: $299.99 - Cabela's usually has coupons on their website.
  • Where You Can Buy It: Cabela's (Check out Dealspotr deals here.)

Orca 58-qt Cooler

Orca doesn't only stand for the majestic killer whale, it stands for Outdoor Recreation Company of America. Outdoor enthusiasts founded the company in 2012 to design a cooler that could beat out all the rest. The Nashville-based brand creates American-made, rotomolded coolers that they designed for enjoyment.

This cooler features rotomolded construction, integrated insulation, a lid gasket, and flex-grip handles. It comes with a cargo net for added storage and the brand offers tons of cool accessories. Its best feature: the bright color selection. Many coolers only come in neutral colors, so the bright seafoam and blaze orange shades were refreshing.

  • Insulation Performance (Ice Retention): 10 days (excellent among premium coolers)
  • Size: This cooler weighs 36lbs and holds 58-qt.
  • Durability: Orca offers a lifetime warranty. The Orca Cooler has a durable, rotomolded construction.
  • Price: $299.99
  • Where You Can Buy It: Orca Coolers (Check out Dealspotr deals here.)

Pelican 70-qt Elite Cooler

Pelican Coolers makes coolers 'elite' with their durable designs and unique features. This Richmond-based brand says its coolers are ideal for traveling across the country, week-long camping trips, the big game, hosting events, boating, fishing, and food transportation. The Elite cooler comes in seven different sizes, ranging from 20-qt to 250-qt.

The Elite Cooler has a built-in bottle opener, press and pull latches, non-skid rubber feet, and molded-in can holders. Like other coolers on the market, it's certified bear proof. Pelican makes the body of the cooler with polypropylene, ABS plastic, and stainless steel.

  • Insulation Performance (Ice Retention): 9 days (excellent among premium coolers)
  • Size: This cooler weighs 33.3lbs and holds 70-qt.
  • Durability: Pelican offers a lifetime warranty. The Elite cooler has secure latches and is certified bear proof.
  • Price: $349.99 – currently on sale for $299.99
  • Where You Can Buy It:  Pelican (Check out Dealspotr deals here.)

Mammoth Ranger 65

Mammoth Coolers have been producing coolers since 2006 and offers two cooler lineups: Cruiser and Ranger. The Cruiser Series is for personal-size coolers and the Ranger Series is for larger coolers. Mammoth let go of the bells and whistles and keeps to a straightforward design. There's no need to invest in all the extras if your chest can't keep things cold.

The cooler has the usual rotomolded construction, but they took it up a notch. Mammoth makes their rotomolded walls double-sided. This leads to an impressive ice retention rate. All the materials used in the coolers are made to last a lifetime of falls, scrapes, and spills.

  • Insulation Performance (Ice Retention): 5-8 days (above average among premium coolers)
  • Size: The cooler weighs 29lbs and holds 65-qt.
  • Durability: Mammoth offers a limited warranty. The double-layer rotomold cooler is extremely durable and has excellent ice retention. 
  • Price: $299.99
  • Where You Can Buy It: Mammoth Cooler (Check out Dealspotr deals here.)

Under $500

Igloo Yukon 70

The Igloo story began back in 1947 with redefining how we live, work, and play. Igloo created the first cooler in the 1950s and has since been a leader in cooling innovation. They sell over 500 different products, making them the leading global cooler manufacturer. The brand continues to work for the original goal: create products that enable the pursuit of happiness.

The Yukon has similar specs in comparison with other coolers. It has a rotomold construction, anti-skid feet, and an oversized drain plug. Fan of fishing? The Yukon does come with an integrated fish ruler on the lid. The Igloo coolers do not come with any accessories, but the lower price point makes room for an extra or two.

  • Insulation Performance (Ice Retention): 7 days (above average among premium coolers)
  • Size: This cooler weighs 33.6lbs and holds 70-qt.
  • Durability: Igloo offers a 5-year warranty. The cooler is certified bear-resistant by the IGBC and is made of the indestructible rotomold material.
  • Price: $326.99
  • Where You Can Buy It: Igloo (Check out Dealspotr deals here.)

Yeti Tundra 65

In the cooler world, the Yeti Tundra is a classic Cadillac. The elegant design and infamous name can excite even the cooler-hater. Roy and Ryan Seiders founded Yeti in 2006 with a simple mission: build the cooler you'd use every day. They found that none of the current coolers on the market were durable or innovative enough. Yeti is ready for any excursion, whether it's an Alaskan fishing trip or beers in the backyard.

Yeti keeps its cool with 3 inches of PermaFrost™ Insulation and the ColdLock™ Gasket. It's designed with rotomolded construction to make it pretty much indestructible. Rotomolded, also known as rotational molding, is a high-temperature, low-pressure plastic-forming process. It uses heat to produce hollow, one-piece parts – aka what makes the cooler a one-piece construction.

  • Insulation Performance (Ice Retention): 4-7 days (above average among premium coolers)
  • Size: This cooler weighs 29lbs and holds 65-qt.
  • Durability: Yeti says it's the most durable cooler on the market. It's bear-resistant, loaded with three inches of insulation, and boasts a rotomolded construction. If you buy a Yeti Tundra, you'll receive a five-year warranty on the product.
  • Price: $349.99 – Yeti says it dropped the price by $50 recently.
  • Where You Can Buy It: Yeti (Check out Dealspotr deals here.)

K2 Summit 60

K2 strives to elevate the standards against which all other cooler brands are measured. Their trademarked technology and durable designs make for a solid line of coolers. K2 designs coolers for every user in mind, whether its a fisherman or a tailgater.

Like other models, the K2 is also designed with roto-molded material and has 1/4 inch of durable, UV stabilized polyethylene protecting it. It also has the ICEVAULT™gasket, which is like your refrigerator seal at home to keep your items cool. The POSITRAC™ rubber latches create a positive seal to make a perfect closure every time. Bottom line: no matter what you're doing, the K2 cooler will continue to perform.

  • Insulation Performance (Ice Retention): 6-8 days (above average among premium coolers)
  • Size: This cooler weighs 30lbs and holds 60-qt.
  • Durability: K2 offers a seven-year warranty. The cooler boasts 3.5" walls – some of the thickest in the industry.
  • Price: $359.00
  • Where You Can Buy It: K2 Coolers (Check out Dealspotr deals here.)

Kysek 50L Ice Chest

John Gutierrez founded Kysek based on his own dissatisfaction with the coolers on the market. Even the new rotomolded coolers did not have all of the features he wanted in one product. With help of his engineers, he created the Ultimate Ice Chest™. 

These coolers are tough. The rotomold material is also combined with thick walls (4 inches!) to make up its DuroCold™ construction. The material is tough enough to be used as a cutting board on your adventures. Strong latches, a freezer-grade gasket, integrated bottle openers, and heavy-duty handles all work together to make this cooler a superstar. The best feature, however, is Cold Blue. It's a temperature sensor you place inside and via Bluetooth connection it will let you know when to change the ice and what the internal temperature is. 

  • Insulation Performance (Ice Retention): 4-6 days (average among premium coolers)
  • Size: The 50L chest is equivalent to around 53-qt. The cooler weighs 42lbs. 
  • Durability: Kysek offers a 5-year limited warranty. The rotomolded cooler keeps up with its competitors with strong materials.
  • Price: $379.00
  • Where You Can Buy It: Kysek (Check out Dealspotr deals here.)

Orion 65

The Orion behind the Greek legend is what inspired the name of Orion Coolers. People called him "Great Hunter" because he was a master of beasts and the seas. Orion's strength, dominance, skill, and timelessness are all traits of Orion Coolers. There are six different sizes of the coolers and Orion designed each to fit specific needs.

This cooler is more expensive than the Yeti, but it comes with all the bells and whistles. Yet, the Orion cooler may be a better value for your money. It's higher price point comes with standard accessories that come at an extra cost for the Yeti. The Orion 55 (Yeti's hold less than their advertised size) is $80 more than the Yeti, but has $110 in extra features. Whether this is of value to you depends on your individual needs. Some of the standard Orion features are the bottle openers, non-slip rubber lid mat, and metal gear track for attachments.

  • Insulation Performance (Ice Retention): 10 days (excellent among premium coolers)
  • Size: This cooler weighs 36lbs and holds 65-qt.
  • Durability: Orion offers a 10-year limited lifetime warranty against defects. The Orion has similar specs to other models, like a bear-proof lid, rubber non-slip feet, and nylon rope handles.
  • Price: $499.99
  • Where You Can Buy It: Orion (Check out Dealspotr deals here.)

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This guide was published on July 16, 2018, and last modified on July 16, 2018.

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