Best Yeti Alternative. Coolers for RV Off-Roading Adventures

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RV refrigerators just can’t compare to residential models when it comes down to space. If you want to enjoy cold beverages and be able to stock up on fresh produce for more than a couple of days, you’ll want to invest in the best Yeti alternative for your next RV trip.

Campers and pop-up trailers without fridges, or anyone going boondocking, can also benefit from using the best Yeti alternative instead of a refrigerator when RVing. So make sure you check out the best models for ice-cold drinks when you’re off-grid or simply traveling without a fridge.

Best Yeti Alternative

We’ve rounded up the very best Yeti alternatives on the market. Find the ideal model for your needs at the right price, right here in our top-rated selection of coolers for RVing.

Best Overall Yeti Alternative

RTIC Hard Cooler Ice Chest

RTIC Hard Ice Chest Cooler

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An excellent option to supplement your RV refrigerator for cool drinks on the road, thanks to its three-inch-thick insulated sides, the RTIC Hard Cooler Ice Chest can also be used as a camper refrigerator substitute on short trips. It has a good 45-quart capacity, giving you enough space for approximately 36 cans, measuring 26.5 inches long for a 16.5-inch width.

Thanks to its tough rotomolded construction, this Yeti alternative can easily live up to life on the road, being virtually indestructible. In fact, you can also use it as a bench, stepping stool, or tabletop – making it a good choice for small trailers, motorhomes, and campers. Thanks to its molded tie-down slots you can easily fix it down in your trailer, just be aware that it is pretty heavy when full, weighing 29 pounds when empty.

The heavy-duty rubber T-latches are durable and easy to open, although the freezer-style gasket lid can make opening it up a little tricky. However, this goes to show that it’s a good seal to help keep your items chilled for longer.

Complete with no-fail full-length interlocking hinges and a drain spout for easy cleaning, RTIC makes popular Yeti alternative coolers that are renowned for their performance, style, and durability.

Pros – Things we liked
45 quart/36 can capacity
Freezer-style lid gasket
Tough rotomolded construction
Molded tie-down slots
3-inch thick insulation
Cons – Things we didn’t like
Heavy – 29lbs empty
Top can be hard to open
Best Premium Yeti Alternative

Engel High Performance Cooler

Engel High Performance Cooler

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Engel, original creators of the first rotationally-molded coolers, are a premium brand with a focus on quality, durability, and performance. The ENG50 cooler is even IGBC certified Bear Resistant – so even if you’re not heading off into bear country camping, you can be sure that it will live up to RV life.

With its 48-quart capacity, for comparison, this unit can hold up to 60 cans. Provided you pre-chill, do not regularly open, and use a high ice to contents ratio of 70/30, this cooler can retain the cold for up to 10 days. This is down to its two-inch-thick all-round closed-cell foam insulation, compression latches, and silicone airtight gasket. If you are looking for a Yeti alternative for your next RV adventure, the ENG50 makes an excellent choice.

Thanks to its tough, non-slip lid, you can use this cooler as a step or table, while its tapered interior and drain make it easy to clean out at the end of your trip or to drain off any excess water while you’re on the road. While the rope handles are good and strong, they can be pretty noisy rattling down the freeway, so you may want to tape them down or cover them with a soft cloth.

Durable, this high-performance cooler is a top Yeti alternative that’s ideal for your next motorhome adventure. Plus Engel coolers come complete with an impressive 10-year warranty, so you can be sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

Pros – Things we liked
48 quart/60 can capacity
IGBC certified bear-resistant container
Silicone airtight gasket with compression latches
Tapered interior for quick draining
10-year warranty
Cons – Things we didn’t like
Rope handles can rattle on the road
Best Yeti Alternative for RV Off-Roading

Pelican 30 Quart Elite Cooler

Pelican Elite Cooler

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If you need a tough cooler to accompany you on your outdoor adventures RV off-roading, the Pelican Elite Cooler is going to be your best Yeti alternative. Made in the USA and complete with a lifetime guarantee, these hard-sided coolers are made to last and withstand the toughest conditions.

With its 30-quart capacity, this robust cooler can accommodate up to 22 cans with a 2:1 ice ratio, while the two-inch polyurethane insulation can keep your food and beverages chilled for up to six days. The 360-degree freezer-grade gasket ensures an air-tight seal for longer lasting coolness, while the durable stainless hardware means you won’t have to worry about driving roughly over uneven terrain.

The heavy-duty lid features four self-draining cupholders, plus easy to use press and pull latches. Thanks to its sloped drain with a tethered drain cap, it’s easy to clean out after use when your adventure’s over.

On the downside, while this is a highly durable model with a relatively lightweight design, given its robust construction you don’t get as much space inside as with other models of similar dimensions.

Pros – Things we liked
30 quart/22 can capacity
2 inch polyurethane insulation
360-degree freezer-grade gasket
Durable stainless steel hardware
Lifetime guarantee
Cons – Things we didn’t like
Small interior for size
Best Yeti Alternative With Wheels

Coleman 100 Quart Xtreme 5 Wheeled Cooler

Coleman Xtreme Wheeled Cooler

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Whether you’re RVing as a family or just like to be well stocked up, the Quart Xtreme 5 by Coleman makes a great high-capacity Yeti alternative with wheels.

Made in the USA, thanks to its generous 100-quart capacity, this model can keep up to 160 cans cool – giving you plenty of space for all of your extra items that won’t fit inside your RV refrigerator.

Thanks to its robust construction with insulated sides, this family-sized cooler can also be used as a seat, capable of supporting up to 250 pounds, meaning you can also pack other items on top of it while you’re en route to your destination. Use it as a drinks table with its molded cup holders, the integrated two-way side handles help to save space and make it easier to get in and out of your RV.

Two large wheels and a long tow handle make it easy to move this cooler across your campground, even over grass or bumpy terrain. The channel drain allows for tilt-free draining and an easy clean-up. However, as you would expect, this cooler is very heavy when full given its high capacity.

It is also not the most durable, with its handles and hinges susceptible to breaking. However, for the money, it’s a good choice for keeping your family and friends refreshed with cool beverages this summer camping trip.

Pros – Things we liked
100 quart/160 can capacity
Tow handle & 2 large wheels
Lid supports up to 250 lbs
Channel drain for tilt-free water removal
2-way side handles for lifting
Cons – Things we didn’t like
Not the most durable
Very heavy when full
Best Soft-Sided Yeti Alternative

RTIC Soft Cooler Insulated Bag

RTIC Soft Cooler Insulated Bag

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For cold food and beverages in your tow vehicle or as a lightweight, portable Yeti alternative to get chilled items to your camper fridge, the RTIC Soft Cooler Insulated Bag is a popular choice.

It has a good 22-quart capacity, capable of accommodating up to 30 cans, so you could even use it in your camper for short trips, as well as for picnics and day trips out away from your RV.

Thanks to its two-inch-thick insulation, this portable Yeti alternative will keep your beverages chilled while you reach your destination, plus the antimicrobial liner helps to keep it hygienically clean – ideal when using it several times on one trip.

The strong nylon shell stays dry, while the zipper is waterproof to keep your vehicle and clothing leak-free. Just be aware that the zipper can be prone to sticking, so be sure to lubricate it well and avoid forcing it to prevent failure.

Weighing just four pounds when empty, complete with a long shoulder strap and two shorter carry handles, this soft-sided cooler is easy to carry and very useful to have in your RV. It also has a handy front zippered pocket for your small essentials and is available in a wide range of vibrant colors.

All in all, a great option if you are looking for a Yeti Hopper alternative for your next RV trip.

Pros – Things we liked
22 quart/30 can capacity
2-inch insulation
Antimicrobial liner
Waterproof zipper
Lightweight and durable
Cons – Things we didn’t like
Zipper prone to sticking
Best Backpack Yeti Alternative

TOURIT Leak-Proof Soft-Sided Cooler Backpack

Tourit Soft Sided Cooler Backpack

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The Tourit Soft-Sided Cooler Backpack features three-layers of insulation to keep your groceries chilled when stocking up your RV or your lunch and beverages cool when visiting local beauty spots at your camping destination. Its 17-quart capacity can hold up to 36 cans, which gives you plenty of space for your chilled essentials.

Thanks to its tough waterproof shell complete with two side pockets for your dry goods, this Yeti alternative backpack cooler is a highly practical choice for any visit to the great outdoors. It also has two webbing straps with multiple attachment points for carrying extra accessories, such as your picnic blanket, and comes with a bottle opener.

Air-tight and waterproof, the zipper helps to keep the contents chilled for longer, although it does require some careful manipulation and plenty of lubrication as it is a little fragile. The padded shoulder straps and adjustable chest strap make this color easy to carry, although given its boxy shape for extra capacity, it is not the most comfortable model to carry on your back when it’s full.

If you are looking for a Yeti alternative for your RV that you can also use to carry picnic lunches without tying up your hands, this model makes a good choice.

Pros – Things we liked
17 quart/36 can capacity
3-layer insulation
Waterproof zipper
2 side pockets
Padded shoulder straps
Cons – Things we didn’t like
Boxy shape
Weak zipper
Best Value Yeti Alternative

Igloo BMX Cooler

Igloo BMX Cooler

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The Igloo BMX Cooler is our best value pick, a good choice if you are looking for a high performance Yeti alternative without paying out a load of cash. While it’s not perfect, the BMX is a good buy for the money and is sure to be a great supplement to your RV refrigerator on hot summer camping trips.

With its 25 quart capacity, this cooler can keep up to 37 cans chilled at a time giving you plenty of space for chilled food items and beverages. This lightweight model weighs just 11.29lbs when empty, so it’s easy to get in and out of your RV ready for loading up.

The rubberized T-grip latches are very easy to use and hold the lid tightly shut. However, this cooler does not have a lid gasket, although you could easily add one yourself upon purchase to greatly extend its ice retention.

The large triple-point grab handle has a comfortable grip and is of a good size for easy portability even when fully loaded. Four tie-down points on the lid make it easy to securely fasten down this cooler inside your RV when you’re on the move. On the downside, the hinge screws are not the most durable although they can easily be replaced.

If you’re a little bit handy and want to save yourself a considerable amount of cash on a Yeti cooler, the Igloo BMX will make a good alternative for you.

Pros – Things we liked
25 quart/37 can capacity
Large triple-point grab handle
Rubberized T-grip latch system
Lightweight – 11.29lbs
4 tie-down points
Cons – Things we didn’t like
No lid gasket
Hinge screws may need replacing
Best Budget Yeti Alternative

Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Hardbody Cooler

Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Cooler

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If you are looking for a budget option to keep your beverages or lunch chilled while you’re on the road in your tow vehicle, the Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Cooler is a handy Yeti alternative to have around.

Bear in mind that it is not very well insulated, so it won’t keep your items chilled for hours on end. However, if you need a cheap, compact cooler for your next RV trip and are only needing to use it for hours at a time, this model could save you a lot of cash.

With its 16 can capacity, you’ll have enough space for refreshments on your drive or for picking up chilled groceries to transfer to your RV fridge. Unlike other inexpensive models that often fail with the zipper, this Yeti alternative cooler has a patented flip-open lid for easy access and improved durability. The interior lining is easy to clean and the radiant heat barrier helps to keep the contents cooler.

This model has a hard body liner and smart shelf to protect fragile items from getting crushed. Use the zippered front item to keep your small items and serviettes to hand. If you are going to be using this RV cooler for picnics or grocery shopping, you’ll find it easy to carry with the included shoulder strap complete with anti-slip pad.

For a quick lunch on the road or picnicking, this budget-priced Yeti alternative makes a good bargain.

Pros – Things we liked
16 can capacity
Durable wipe-clean exterior
Zippered front pocket & flip-open lid
Shoulder strap with anti-slip pad
Hard body liner with removable shelf
Cons – Things we didn’t like
Not very well insulated

Compare the Best Yeti Alternative Coolers

Table Comparing the Top 8 Yeti Alternatives
Image Title Price Rating Buy
OpenRTIC Hard Ice Chest Cooler Compare RTIC Hard Cooler Ice Chest
$$$$
94
Buy on Amazon
OpenEngel High Performance Cooler Compare Engel High Performance Cooler
$$$$
90
Buy on Amazon
OpenPelican Elite Cooler Compare Pelican 30 Quart Elite Cooler
$$$$$
92
Buy on Amazon
OpenColeman Xtreme Wheeled Cooler Compare Coleman 100 Quart Xtreme 5 Wheeled Cooler
$$$
94
Buy on Amazon
OpenRTIC Soft Cooler Insulated Bag Compare RTIC Soft Cooler Insulated Bag
$$$
90
Buy on Amazon
OpenTourit Soft Sided Cooler Backpack Compare TOURIT Leak-Proof Soft-Sided Cooler Backpack
$$$
94
Buy on Amazon
OpenIgloo BMX Cooler Compare Igloo BMX Cooler
$$
92
Buy on Amazon
OpenArctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Cooler Compare Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Hardbody Cooler
$
92
Buy on Amazon

Buyer’s Guide to Buying Cheaper Yeti Alternatives

If you are looking for a cheaper Yeti alternative for your next RV trip make sure that you consult our buyer’s guide. We’ve covered all of the essential features to help you to decide which is the right cooler for your motorhome.

Price

When deciding how much to spend on your campervan cooler, you’ll need to consider how often you are going to be using it and how long you’ll need to keep items chilled in it.

You can pick up a cheap Yeti alternative for under $50. These budget-priced coolers are not that effective at keeping food chilled for long periods. However, they are useful to have for picking up groceries and keeping drinks and snacks cool while you’re on the road.

Mid-range Yeti alternatives will perform somewhat better and tend to be priced between $50-$100. Once again, you won’t get outstanding performance, but they are useful to have and most models should be capable of keeping your provisions cold for one day at least. Mid-range models should also be more durable than cheap Yeti alternatives, making them a better value for money buy.

Higher priced Yeti alternatives vary from $100 up to and over $250. In some cases they are similar in price to Yeti coolers, however, their dimensions or extra features may be better suited to your RV. If you are going to be paying top dollar, your cooler should be capable of keeping your food chilled for several days.

For premium models, look for long warranties that go some way to justify the high price tag.

Intended Use

Are you looking for a Yeti alternative cooler as an RV refrigerator substitute or to supplement your refrigerator?

If you are only looking for a cooler to keep extra beverages chilled, then you won’t need to be as exacting in your requirements as when you are looking for a cooler to keep your dairy products and raw meats chilled.

Similarly, if your cooler is going to stay on board your RV all trip long, you’ll more likely want a hard-sided chest model, compared to a soft-sided portable model if you are looking for a cooler you can also take out on picnics when you’re parked up.

Basically, your intended use is a decisive factor when choosing a Yeti alternative for RVing. So make sure that you first and foremost consider your needs, before focusing on other features.

Capacity & Size

Choosing the right size Yeti alternative for your RV requires some careful thought.

Consider where your cooler is going to be located within your RV and make sure that any models you are considering have the necessary dimensions for a neat fit. Don’t forget to factor in any protruding handles or designs that taper up and outwards from the base.

You’ll also need to focus on how much capacity you will need. This will be dependent on your intended use, how many of you are on board, and how long you are going to be using your cooler. Remember to allow for ice in your calculations, a ratio of at least 2:1 is recommended.

You should take the manufacturer’s capacity guidelines, usually listed as how many cans you can accommodate as a best-case scenario rather than a real-life figure. Some overestimate massively to boost sales, although others give a reasonable figure including ice. The best way is to consult the internal dimensions and measure them out to get a real-life idea of just how big your cooler will actually be inside.

Insulation and Ice Retention

Your RV cooler will need to have sufficient insulation to keep the heat out and the cold in. It’s not uncommon to find models with several inches of insulation to ensure long-lasting cooling.

Foam is a common cooler insulator with closed-cell foam being one of the best varieties to look out for as the individual bubbles of air prevent heat from effectively passing through the insulation and into your cooler interior.

It is important to verify that your cooler is also insulated on the top and bottom, as well as the sides to ensure its insulation is completely effective. The better your cooler’s insulation, the longer it will be able to retain ice and keep your items chilled.

Manufacturer’s ice retention figures are based on 100% ice capacity and often ideal conditions, such as mild temperatures and no openings. These figures are, therefore, best taken with a pinch of salt.

While it is unrealistic, in most standard cases, to expect your ice to last for 8-10 days for example, coolers with higher ice retention figures should keep your item cooler for longer than those with lower ones – although in both cases this is still likely to be considerably less than implied.

Straps, Zippers, Bungee Cord, and Buckles

Any straps and buckles on soft-sided models will need to be well attached to your cooler.

Bungee cord is a good choice for portable coolers that you’ll be carrying out to picnic with as you can easily attach any extra bulky items, such as a blanket or light jacket.

Zippers should be waterproof to prevent any melted ice from dripping out and wetting your RV interior or clothing. Waterproof zippers can be prone to sticking, so lubrication may be necessary.

You should also consider looking for models without a zipper if you want extra durability as the zipper is often the first point of failure with Yeti alternatives.

Dry Bins and Dividers

Dry bins and dividers are often sold as extra accessories, allowing you to better organize your cooler contents and to project softer items.

While you may be loath to pay out extra dollars, the fact that your cooler manufacturer sells extra accessories is generally a good sign that they are committed to their product. If you are looking for a high capacity cooler, you can probably get away with using standard tupperware to protect items and ensure they stay dry.

Base Drain

If you are looking for a high-capacity chest-style Yeti alternative, you’ll probably want to choose a model with a base drain.

Base drains don’t only make for easier cleaning when your RV trip is over, they are also a great way to remove excess melted ice when topping up with fresh ice for keeping food cold for longer periods.

If you will be using your Yeti alternative instead of an RV refrigerator when traveling for over 3-4 days, then topping up with ice and regularly draining can help you to keep your fresh produce at a safe temperature throughout your vacation.

Wheels, Mobility, Weight, and Portability

For moving large hard-sided coolers around your campground, wheeled versions are a good option to go for. Otherwise, if you need a portable cooler, soft-sided or backpack versions are generally lighter and easier to carry.

Hard-sided models tend to weigh the most and are also the least portable – you may struggle to remove your fully-loaded cooler from your RV single-handedly.

Durability, Materials, and Construction

More expensive Yeti alternatives tend to be more durable and are generally made with higher quality materials.

The best type of coolers are rotomolded as they are completely seamless in construction so once you have sealed them closed they will be completely air-tight for long lasting chilling. Pay close attention to the type of hinges and lid closure to make sure that you are investing in a high-quality model that will last.

Soft-sided coolers should be made with a durable tear-proof outer that will resist moisture seeping out from the inside. Exterior seams, straps, and fastenings should be well stitched as well as any zippers.

A long warranty is possibly the best indicator of your cooler’s durability, especially when you are playing out for a hard-sided Yeti alternative to use as a fridge in your RV.

If you are considering paying a premium for a high-performance, long-lasting cooler, it’s best to choose one with a substantial warranty period of at least several years to ensure that you get your money’s worth.

Types Of Yeti Cooler Alternatives

Here are the four main types of Yeti cooler alternatives to consider for RVing.

Wheeled Coolers

Wheeled coolers are ideal if you are planning on using your cooler at the campsite for large family meals or events. Thanks to their wheels you can easily pull them over into the shade or over to where the party is at.

However, they do tend to be rather large and maybe be oversized for small campers and couples.

Soft-Sided Coolers

Soft-sided coolers have the advantage of being easy to store and lightweight.

They are also more portable than hard-sided versions, so they are a good choice for using to transfer your groceries from the store to your RV refrigerator or to carry your lunch down to the beach or over to a picnic spot from your motorhome.

They are, however, less durable and not as high-performing as hard-sided models.

Hard-Sided Coolers

Hard-sided coolers are generally the best type of cooler for keeping your items chilled for periods of over two days. They tend to provide good ice retention rates and many versions have air-tight gaskets to ensure that your food stays cold for longer.

While they tend to be fairly heavy and bulky, they are the best alternative to an RV refrigerator, as well as being a highly practical supplement to one – simply open the lid to remove your chilled beverage rather than rummaging inside your refrigerator.

Backpack Coolers

Backpack coolers are growing in popularity and make a great choice if you like to combine your RVing trips with long hikes. It is important to select a good waterproof model that has supportive, padded shoulder straps.

While rectangular-shaped coolers make for easier packing, look out for models that resemble more of a classic backpack or else you may struggle to wear it for any amount of time when walking for miles in the great outdoors.

Is It Worth Buying a Fake Yeti Cooler?

No, you should definitely not buy a fake Yeti cooler.

Manufacturers of counterfeit items are only interested in producing look-a-like products and making a quick buck. Not only are fake Yeti coolers illegal, they won’t work as well as any of the Yeti alternatives that we’ve reviewed.

Plus if your fake Yeti cooler breaks, you are unlikely to be able to return it – companies who rip off another brand are highly unlikely to honor their customer’s rights.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a cooler for RVing can be a little overwhelming with so many options on the market. If you are looking for the best Yeti alternative for your next camping trip in your RV, you’re sure to find the best model for your needs in our top-rated RV cooler selection.

Need a rough and tough cooler that can live up to a lifetime of adventure and discovery in your RV? The Pelican Elite Cooler makes an excellent choice with its lifetime warranty. This robust Yeti alternative is made in the USA and features two-inch-thick polyurethane insulation for long-lasting ice retention on your trips out into the wilderness.

Alternatively, if you are on a budget but still want a good Yeti alternative that will keep your items chilled while RVing, the Igloo BMX Cooler is a great value for money option. Lightweight with easy-to-open rubberized T-grip latches, this model is not too far behind in terms of performance compared to many others that cost over twice its price, making it a great bargain buy.

About Brian Hamilton

Brian is an outdoors enthusiast and loves BBQing, camping, hiking, kayaking, and of course RVing. Brian runs his own site called OutdoorsmanToolkit.com and is about great gear for all types of outdoor activities. He uses this knowledge for many of our camping and cooking guides.