Yeti vs. Rtic

Cullen Lowder

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It’s the ultimate showdown. These two companies have spilled blood, sweat and tears promoting their products to the everyday consumer. They have both revolutionized the cooler industry, but who was the first to claim the fame and who will maintain it?

Yeti was founded by the Seiders Brothers in 2006 in Austin. The brothers started the company because they were frustrated with the cheap, poor quality portable coolers that were available for outdoor recreation (hunting, fishing, camping, etc.). They designed a very durable cooler using rotomolded technology that can retain ice for up to two weeks if properly stored. This product came at a time when there were no affordable products like this.

Rtic, on the other hand, was created in late 2014. This company’s entire marketing strategy is that these coolers are “half the price of Yeti and hold more ice.” The coolers and other products they offer are almost identical in aesthetics to Yeti products besides the logo.

Financially, both companies make a great deal of money. Yeti, having been around longer, has had more time to build the structure of their company which has helped them be more successful. In 2009,  Yeti grossed around five million dollars. In 2015, the company had a net gain of 250 million dollars. Since Rtic is a newer company, their strategy has been different from that of Yeti’s. Their strategy has been to take advantage of the two weaknesses of Yeti’s coolers: the volume of the coolers and the price.

For example, the Rtic 20 holds 22 quarts while the Yeti Roadie 20 holds exactly 20 quarts. The most desirable factor above anything else is that the Rtic coolers are half the price of the Yeti coolers. Rtic is able to make the majority of their profits for these reasons.

No doubt Yeti is a phenomenal company, but Rtic makes the best cooler for the best price. Rtic charges significantly less for their coolers and they hold larger volumes. With this being said, it should be kept in mind that Rtic’s coolers are back ordered for up to 6 months in some instances. Even though Yeti offers a wider variety of products, Rtic understands that not every consumer can drop $300 on a cooler.

Recently, news got out that Yeti is in fact suing Rtic on the grounds of Patent Infringement, Trade Dress Infringement and Unfair Competition. After contacting these companies, neither wanted to give information about the lawsuit for legal reasons.

My heart goes out to Yeti for being such an awesome with such a great story behind it, but I would definitely buy an Rtic product over a Yeti product.

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3 Responses to “Yeti vs. Rtic”

  1. Michael Rigato on January 26th, 2017 2:30 pm

    I will not buy another RTIC product!!!! I bought 3 spill proof tops and all 3 the plastic tabs broke from simply cleaning!!!! I contacted RTIC and was told that my tops were over 30 days old and they could not replace them because that’s how they keep their price cheap!!!! What does the tab on the top cost a whole quarter????? I will spend more money on Yeti because they back their products!!!!!!!

  2. David on June 25th, 2018 2:55 pm

    Have Yeti and Rtic and I can’t tell much difference in quality. I don’t pack my coolers to the brim so capacity means nothing to me. Price difference is Huge and that does make a difference.

  3. Jason on October 10th, 2018 2:05 pm

    This article fails to address one very key point…where the coolers are made. Most of Yeti’s gear is made right here in the good ole USA! Rtic? Forget about it!
    There’s also something to be said for a company like Yeti that completely reinvents an entire category of gear, whereas Rtic simply waited until Yeti’s got popular and copied them. Hence the lawsuit Yeti has against Rtic.
    So where would Rtic be without someone else to do all the work for them? They literally wouldn’t be in existence. Support the innovators, reject the imitators who make their stuff in China.

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Yeti vs. Rtic