Yeti has positioned itself as one of the top brands when it comes to coolers, and it’s easy to see why. These things are tough, like really tough. They can take a hit, go through a blizzard, travel through heat and still keep your cans and food nice and cold. If you’re looking for unmatched quality and durability, then you can always shell out the money for a Yeti Tundra cooler. However, most of us don’t want to spend $200 on a small cooler, or over $1,000 for a big one. If you’re looking for similar quality, but at a lower price, then here are some recommended products from trusted brands that have coolers like Yeti but cheaper.
Standing for Outdoor Recreational Company of America, ORCA coolers are proudly made in the USA, a claim which Yeti cannot make. Many people say that ORCAs are even better than Yeti with enhanced construction and extreme durability, plus the price is somewhat cheaper.
There are several dozen colors to choose from, and the locks are made to look like orca whale tails, which is a neat little detail that adds an interesting element to your cooler. You can easily toss and throw this cooler around without cracking it, so expect it to stand up to the most punishing trips and conditions. This brand offers fewer sizes than others, but there’s still a lot of variety.
All of their coolers come with a stainless-steel handle that makes it easy to carry around. Not only that, but since it’s made from steel, you can expect the handle to weather even the worst conditions.
Pelican Elite doesn’t just give you a cooler that’s somewhat cheaper than Yeti, it’s also superior in many ways. With a laundry list of features and notable users, from military to medical, it’s clean that this brand offers some of the world’s best coolers.
First of all, you should know that these coolers can store ice for up to 10 days. They are able to do this with a 2-inch thick slab of polyurethane that provides extreme insulation. There’s also their 360 degree gasket that ensures the cold stays in and the heat out, which gives you amazing performance even on hot days.
Molded handles are set to both sides, and there are four cup holders on the top with self-draining grooves to keep liquid from collecting on the lid. While its usefulness may be questioned, there are measuring lines in both inches and centimeters on the lid. Lastly, you get thick locks that guaranteed to keep the cooler shut no matter what.
Palm Coolers is considered one of the best cooler brands because it delivers quality ice retention at an affordable price. Made in a complete range of sizes and made from quality materials, each Palm Cooler is roto constructed from a single piece, ensuring that you don’t have little pieces here and there that may fall off from use.
The handles are flexible rope straps with cushioned sections for your hands, making this cooler easy to carry. The plastic locks are nice and thick, keeping the lid secure as you walk around, and it has superior durability in terms of shocks and drops. It’ll take a very hard hit to knock this cooler open or break its lid, so it’s perfect for rough trips.
Ice retention should be about 7-10 days under ideal conditions. While it isn’t quite as effective as other brands on this list, it still offers superior performance to other coolers and at a very good price.
Engel is a bit of an under-the-radar brand, which is surprising since it offers amazing ice retention that even exceeds Yeti by a full two days (making it one of the best on this list). Much like with Pelican, this is accomplished with a 2-inch barrier of polyurethane providing amazing insulation from the elements, even in less-than-ideal conditions.
If you live around bears or are going hiking in the forest, you’ll be happy to know that this is IGBC certified to be resistant to bears, making it one of the best coolers in this regard. The gaskets are silicone and airtight, and the seamless design keeps the cooler in one piece even if it takes a hard hit. Latches are made to resist marine compression, so it’s even fine for deep water.
Perhaps the only place where Engel suffers is the handles. While they aren’t terrible, they aren’t great either. They are nylon ropes with molded grips. They aren’t anything special, but they get the job done and you should have no problem lugging the cooler from point A to point B.
The word “grizzly” invokes many thoughts about ruggedness, durability, and strength. It should also make you think about grizzly bears. If so, you’re on the right track, because this brand is famous for being certified to resist bears, making it one of the best coolers in terms of durability.
A patented bear claw latch system ensures the cooler stays nice and secure without any additional hardware, and the 2-inch drain plug helps you drain the cooler to keep it dry. Roto rotational construction is used to make this both durable and resistant to heat. You’ll find that Grizzly coolers come in many colors and sizes, so you’ll have no problem finding the perfect fit for your needs.
Molded rope handles on the sides are used to carry the cooler from one place to another, and there’s a grip to make it a little more comfortable. This brand has been around since the 1980s and still has a very loyal following.
If you’re looking for the best cooler, then you might be thinking of a Yeti, but there are plenty of other brands that are both cheaper, and in some cases, even superior in terms of performance, durability and ice retention. All five of these brands are trusted by their audience and people love them for how well they function.