So you're wondering if the RTIC cooler series is worth the money?
Maybe you're wondering whether RTIC vs YETI is better, and comparing the two.
Either way, in this RTIC review, I share my experience with the cooler along with it's pros and cons compared to the competition.
Let's dive in!
RTIC Cooler Review Video
Don't care for reading? Here's a great review we found on YouTube you can check out:
Not convinced yet? Keep reading.
RTIC Cooler Specs
Let's break down everything you want to know about these hard-sided coolers.
Insulation & Ice Retention
In my experience with the RTIC 65 Quart hard-sided cooler, 10 pounds of ice with a full load lasted about 4-5 days at FDA-approved safe food temperatures of less than 40º F. Keep in mind, however, that I kept the cooler in my truck and opened it only when necessary.
With 20 pounds of ice, you could get a full 6 days at this temperature! And if you're only keeping things cool, like drinks, you can get nearly a full week at 50º F.
This was in summer months with an average temperature of 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit outside and it was on the west coast where humidity is low.
However, compared to similar coolers such as the YETI or Orca, it doesn't last quite as long. These coolers can go nearly 10 days at FDA-approved temperatures.
That said, the RTIC cooler is also more affordable than the competition. So it depends on what you value more!
The RTIC is a rotomolded cooler with a freezer-style gasket, and appears similar to many products certified by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.
But it is not bear certified and would not be effective in bear country!
The stretchy rubber clasps that keep the cooler closed feel like they would probably wear over time. However, I haven't had any issues with them in over a month of using the cooler and throwing it into and out of my pickup, which gives me hope!
Everything on this cooler is strong and airtight. It does scratch fairly easily (I scrapped the bottom of the cooler on my bed stiffeners), but it's not a big deal.
Overall, I think this cooler will last a long time, and I'm not worried about the durability of it. I haven't tested the soft coolers, however, so keep that in mind!
Weight, Ease-of-Use & Portability
I won't sugarcoat it — this thing feels heavy. It's only 34.9 lb, which sounds light, but once you get 20 lbs of ice and food and drinks, it can be hard to maneuver.
Compared to the similar YETI cooler, which is 31.9 lb, it is a bit heavier.
That said, any rotomolded cooler is going to be about the same weight, so this isn't a design flaw for RTIC but rather a reality of using these kinds of coolers.
That said, it is SUPER easy to use. There are rubber gaskets you can remove on either side of the cooler to let water out, and the rubber seals holding the cooler shut are easy to open and close.
It also has holes on either end if you want to lock the cooler for whatever reason.
Overall, as long as you're throwing it in a vehicle (and, preferably, filling it in the vehicle and leaving it there), it's portable. But I certainly wouldn't bring it on a backpacking trip!
Conclusion: Overall Value
The RTIC cooler isn't the absolute best cooler on the market. But it also isn't the most expensive. It can still compete with the big dogs like YETI and Orca, while coming it at almost a full $100 cheaper.
So unless you need the absolute longest possible cool time, I'd say the RTIC is worth the money savings!