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Good coolers (Yeti and others)... worth the money?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by sean79, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. sean79

    sean79 Poster Extraordinaire

    I’ve never owned a good cooler. All of the bigger ones I’ve owned have broken (hinges, drain plugs, warping, etc.). I’m not wanting to spend Yeti money (they are very expensive), but does anyone have any experience with some of the other brands of quality coolers? I really want to get something durable - something that works well and something that should last for decades without falling apart.
  2. HappyHwy1owner

    HappyHwy1owner Tele-Meister

    Feb 7, 2011
    Independence, Mo
    I have a 25L Kysek that was gifted to me, and it does keep ice for days. No wonder though, when you open the lid there's no space inside! The insulation is twice as thick as a normal cooler.
    I do keep spare hinges and latches for my big Igloo and Coleman marine coolers. Those both have lasted 15-20 yrs other than the parts mentioned.
    sean79 likes this.
  3. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    I'd never pay Yeti money. I buy my pre-owned Igloo and such (lower-shelf name) coolers at second hand stores. and feel they are worth every penny
    jvin248, sean79, nojazzhere and 2 others like this.
  4. El Famoso

    El Famoso Tele-Meister

    Sep 16, 2016
    Monoprice actually has some halfway decent ones for about 1/5 the price of a yeti. Lots of reviews w criticisms of the handles, some of the hinges.

    They end up on sale a lot, and hinges and handles are cheap. Probably 2/3 the quality of a yeti at a much lower price point.

    Have a buddy who has another brand. Orca I think? He loves it. Takes it hunting and says it has held up well.
    sean79 likes this.
  5. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    My in laws have a yeti and it's really superior--way better constructed, better drain plug, stronger. It's also heavier. Keeps the ice for a really remarkable length of time. Also you get less space inside. might be worth it if you do long trips
    sean79 likes this.
  6. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

    Jun 7, 2017
    I have Colemans and a igloo some dating to the early 70's ( many hand me downs) never had much trouble w/ them but replacement parts are ready available for the Colemans. You can buy a lot of hinges etc. for what they are asking for the Yeti. If you need long term
    ( 5+days ice keeping) go into bear country or loose you cooler from a moving vehicle on a regular basis it might be worth it, but remember they do most of those keeping tests w/ deep chilled cooler and then pack it almost to the brim w/ ice, and just a bit pre cooled product. I have a Coleman Extreme that will do 3.5-4 days loaded 1/2 way w/ ice at room temp, and kept out of direct sun light under a blanket, less than 50 bucks.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
    studio1087, sean79 and nojazzhere like this.
  7. Blue333

    Blue333 TDPRI Member

    Dec 4, 2017
    Corpus Christi, TX
    I've taken my white Igloo Marine coolers camping on North Padre Island and the ones we keep food in keep block ice for three days. Granted, these only get opened a few times a day, and the drink cooler doesn't keep ice near that long because it is opened and closed every 10 minutes.
    sean79 likes this.
  8. Recce

    Recce Tele-Afflicted

    May 3, 2016
    Northern Alabama
    How I use a cooler is to keep things cold for a few hours while I go from point A to point B. Keeping ice for days doesn’t do me any good. I have a Coleman I have been using for twenty years that does this. So before you spend the money for a cooler that keeps ice for a long time be sure that really makes a difference to you,
    Paul in Colorado and sean79 like this.
  9. rickthescot

    rickthescot Tele-Meister

    Feb 14, 2011
    None of them are better than my refrigerator.....
    Mr. Neutron and sean79 like this.
  10. Johnkir64

    Johnkir64 TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

    Oct 23, 2018
    Northwest Arkansas
    Just buy a mid price Coleman. Less chance of it being stolen by some crackhead.
  11. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    My limited experience is with mostly Igloo and (I think) two Coleman's. I honestly believe Yeti's are like driving a Rolls Royce or wearing a Rolex.....the "performance" doesn't justify the price. Over many years, I have had a few latches and hinges break on Igloos, but online parts are cheap and easy to get. Status symbols (other than Fender) don't impress me. ;)
    sean79 likes this.
  12. loco gringo

    loco gringo Tele-Meister Platinum Supporter

    Jul 14, 2016
    The Altered State

    These are great. I have done 9 day wilderness floats with them and had ice at the end of the trip. That is the real purpose of having a cooler that will hold ice for a long time. There are other applications I'm sure, hunting for instance.

    Driving to your local mule jump with a 12 pack of Natty Lite doesn't require 7 days of ice.
    sean79 likes this.
  13. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    Short answer is no, the co$t-to-value ratio is way too poor.
    nojazzhere and sean79 like this.
  14. getbent

    getbent Telefied Ad Free Member

    if you use it often, totally worth it. the premium ones are all super good. go for it.
    sean79 likes this.
  15. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    I have not used a cooler since I was young, skinny and hairy headed, circa 1978.
    40 years.
    Nope, guess they ain’t worth it, to me.
    sean79 likes this.
  16. 1293

    1293 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 18, 2006
    They have so little interior volume. What's the point of keeping ice for days if it only holds a day's worth of food? They're probably great for transporting transplant organs.
  17. Lawdawg

    Lawdawg Tele-Meister

    Mar 13, 2018
    I bought a Yeti knock-off "RTIC" to use for beach trips. Works great for what I want which is keeping everything cool on ice for 10-12 hours on a hot beach. Also works great for road trips. It is significantly better than the Colemans I previously used, but still less than 1/2 the price of a Yeti. I have no doubt it's not nearly as good as a Yeti, but I don't need as cooler that can keep ice frozen for 3-5+ days.
    Nubs and sean79 like this.
  18. Junkyard Dog

    Junkyard Dog Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 7, 2016
    Not sure if an Igloo qualifies as good or not for you, but I camped for a week on Cumberland Island in August (hotter than a mother the whole time) with two big ass Igloo coolers. Ferried in on a boat with both coolers, ice, rations, gear, etc. That was 20 years ago. I still use both of them, but never quite to the test they were put to that week
    sean79 likes this.
  19. Stubee

    Stubee Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Jan 22, 2007
    My dear wife bought me a Yeti knockoff last year. It was a sweet thought but I already have four bigger coolers that I use + smaller ones, and after looking it over I sent it back. Why?

    1) It held less than any of my other coolers of the same size. A lot less due to the heavy insulation.
    2) It weighed 37 pounds empty, so filled with 60# of venison it would have been a drag to lift into my truck compared to my other coolers that weigh about 1/2 as much (and much less).
    3) It cost about what my other five coolers cost, combined.

    I have two ancient Coleman steel coolers that see yeoman’s duty, a big Igloo (?) cooler only for deer season, a Coleman ‘beach’ cooler with wheels for saltwater fishing and a host of smaller ones. I can keep fish ice cold all day on the beach, meat frozen for days, whatever, so I just don’t have a need for a super insulated high $$ cooler.

    All the fishing guides use Yeti or similar in FL and I guess there the durability of hinges or whatever might be an advantage. But my 40+ year old Coleman steel cooler is still going strong albeit with a crack in the bottom I’ve taped up til I get serious. I’m happy and I have a cooler in my truck all year around.

    I’ll admit to being a bit turned off by the Yeti $30 coffee mug. Maybe I’m just biased.
    william tele and sean79 like this.
  20. sean79

    sean79 Poster Extraordinaire

    Thanks everyone. I’m not as interested in the ability to hold ice for 5+ days (although performance is a good thing) as I am in overall durability. I’ve had a couple plastic coolers over the years. The hinges broke on one, and the other one is warped/swollen with a broken/lost drain. Neither of them lasted more than two or three years before breaking. I’d like to buy something that will last for a very long time. I’ll look into some of the coolers mentioned here. I appreciate all the replies.
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