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jrvs23

Soft sided coolers

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jrvs23

My brother has offered to buy me a new cooler for helping him out a bunch over the past several months. I'm looking for a soft sided cooler that will go on afternoon/day trips that could take the place of my igloo 50qt. when desired.  I want to be able to take 12+ variety sized drinks and a couple cold snacks. I'm thinking yeti 30 hopper 2 or RTIC 30. Reading the reviews only makes it more confusing. Is the yeti worth double the cost? It has a  5 year warranty where the RTIC only has a 30 day.  Any others I should look at?  What have you folks real world experience been with these?

Edited by jrvs23

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alpensurf23
7 minutes ago, jrvs23 said:

My brother has offered to buy me a new cooler for helping him out a bunch over the past several months. I'm looking for a soft sided cooler that will go on afternoon/day trips that could take the place of my igloo 50qt. when desired.  I want to be able to take 12+ variety sized drinks and a couple cold snacks. I'm thinking yeti 30 hopper 2 or RTIC 30. Reading the reviews only makes it more confusing. Is the yeti worth double the cost? It has a  5 year warranty where the RTIC only has a 30 day.  Any others I should look at?  What have you folks real world experience been with these?

Last year someone here recommended AO  Softsided coolers so I jumped on a deal from west marine and was blown away by their performance minus a zipper like the yeti. For the price of one Yeti hopper you can get 3 AO coolers of different sizes. 48, 32, 24. I tested all of these @ Lake Powell in 100 Deg temps in my LSV and camping and was blown away. Huge hit all summer no issues a heavy use and abuse... I will go with the carbon series when these wear out but that may be a while. I also like how they store within one another, are rectangular like the igloo they replace unlike hopper, and hold more cans and ice. Great insulation! Work Killer!!

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RyanB

I have heard really good things about the AO cooler.  They are probably worth a look.

That said, I really don't think you can go wrong with a Yeti.  There is a reason everything else is referred to as a "cooler", but a Yeti is a Yeti.  The less expensive ones may hold cold as long initially, but I think one of the biggest differences is that a Yeti (or similar style) will do that long term.  I have worn out other soft sided coolers, and a ton of Coleman type plastic coolers.  But the Yeti style will last a lifetime.

If I were buying something today, I would probably give the Rtic a look.  But I am happy with the Yeti's I have (3 of them now, plus tumblers and coozies).  And if someone else was buying it for me, it would certainly be a Yeti.

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alpensurf23
12 minutes ago, RyanB said:

I have heard really good things about the AO cooler.  They are probably worth a look.

That said, I really don't think you can go wrong with a Yeti.  There is a reason everything else is referred to as a "cooler", but a Yeti is a Yeti.  The less expensive ones may hold cold as long initially, but I think one of the biggest differences is that a Yeti (or similar style) will do that long term.  I have worn out other soft sided coolers, and a ton of Coleman type plastic coolers.  But the Yeti style will last a lifetime.

If I were buying something today, I would probably give the Rtic a look.  But I am happy with the Yeti's I have (3 of them now, plus tumblers and coozies).  And if someone else was buying it for me, it would certainly be a Yeti.

I agree that Yeti are great coolers. I have years of running southwest whitewater and northwest rivers with them and they are durable. I have owned several for years as well. Where an AO does a better jobs is fit. I believe it maximizes the use of space and is way easier even for a child to get into. The hopper zippers are harder to open. The hopper shape doesn't maximize the under seat space. I also like the 3 for 1 option. We are also talking about what I had also initially purchased as just day coolers. It's surprisingly more but yes not the armor plated Yeti that my opinion  is over kill for day trips... 

Edited by alpensurf23

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ndahlberg12

We have a hard sided and soft sided RTIC and we love both. We have found with the soft sided one if you throw it in the fridge and "pre-cool" it performs awesome and ice last's a lot longer. We have 6 of the tumblers as well. They all perform just as well as my buddies YETI and I have $200 into both coolers. 

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hethj7

For day trips, we love our AO.  It is what we keep on the boat.  

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wdr

I have the Yeti 30 which was a gift (always said I would never personally spend that kind of money on a cooler) and I love it. Alpensurf23 hit the downsides of the Yeti that I experienced as well. I also have the 12/36/48 AO's and all have suffered weird pin hole leaks in the non exposed portion of the seams. I can send them back for repair, but the cost of the shipping wasn't worth the effort IMO so I just used Marine Goo to seal them up. The AO's were really nice especially having one for food, ice and drinks but then they started leaking on me and I would be hard pressed to recommend them to anyone. If I remember correctly the Yeti will hand dry ice also.

Edited by wdr

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RyanB
3 hours ago, alpensurf23 said:

I agree that Yeti are great coolers. I have years of running southwest whitewater and northwest rivers with them and they are durable. I have owned several for years as well. Where an AO does a better jobs is fit. I believe it maximizes the use of space and is way easier even for a child to get into. The hopper zippers are harder to open. The hopper shape doesn't maximize the under seat space. I also like the 3 for 1 option. We are also talking about what I had also initially purchased as just day coolers. It's surprisingly more but yes not the armor plated Yeti that my opinion  is over kill for day trips... 

I don't think I can argue on any of that.  The Hopper zipper is a PITA.  But that is probably one of the reasons it holds ice so well, and doesn't leak.  We don't have kids, so not an issue.

And on the maximizing space, I really am less concerned about that as well.  Our coolers always stay out.  If they are under a seat, that is the seat someone always is sitting on and has to move to get into the cooler.  And it doesn't matter where they are sitting.  So on the floor it stays.

We use the Hopper (I think it is the 40) for day trips with up to 4-6 people.  Maybe overkill, but it will last forever.

When we have more people, we put our 65 on the floor of the boat.  People can sit on it (or walk across it), and it doesn't hurt it.  And I look at the weight as extra ballast.

Just buying a Yeti for it's ice holding ability is probably the wrong thing to do for most people.  But having one cooler for the rest of my boating days is nice.

Which reminds me.  I need to order a new handle for my big Igloo.....

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hethj7

We also have started using these for most trips. Keeps food from getting soggy as ice melts and I have seen them freeze drinks just as they claim,

http://www.coolershock.com/

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Falko

We have a small Yeti, the semi rigid rectangular one, and an AO cooler. The AO is nice as it is designed for the boat. But for performance, the Yeti blows it out of the water. Also have an Igloo bag type, again for its function it does nicely, but the Yeti (albeit a different design) is much better. The zipper is fairly stiff, but comes with a grease which makes it much better. I don't have anything RTIC to compare. But I've heard they are just as good, just not paying the Yeti nameplate.

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G Spot

Last summer I bought into the Yeti hype and purchased a Yeti Hopper. Hated it. Returned it immediately. The zipper was really stiff, so no one else could really open it. In addition, I like having stuff nicely organized in the cooler. I found the Yeti to be more of a bag where you just dump stuff in, but then it's pretty hard to find what you're looking for. Maybe just my experience.

I replaced it with a RTIC soft side which had just come out. Love that thing!! I haven't checked RTIC's offerings yet this year, but the one thing I really liked about Yeti was all the accessories (I.e., side bags) which RTIC didn't yet have out.

More recently Yeti released their cube type of soft side, which may be worth looking at, however the cost/value of the RTIC is hard to beat IMHO.

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Sixer

I have an RTIC Soft Pack 30 and a Yeti Hopper 30.  Used the Yeti for a couple of years, the RTIC for only a couple of months.  So far they seem very similar as far as keeping ice frozen and drinks cold.  Yeti is so stiff it's a pain to get your hand in and out IMO.  RTIC has been great so far, but I need to put it to the test a bit more this summer.

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jrvs23

Great stuff so far crew, thanks!

I've really been looking at the RTIC 30 soft side. Looks great and is what I think I'm want. I just can't get past the 30 warranty. That really screams we don't stand buy our quality to me. If yeti made a bigger hooper flip 12 I might jump to that. I like a cooler to be organized so the regular hopper, along with the difficulty of opening for kids is causing me to lean away. Still up in the air.

 

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Nitrousbird

You want the AO Cooler, get the Vinyl series.  I have the 24, 36 and 48 pack. 

If you are set on RTIC vs Yeti...RTIC is pretty much a direct copy of the Yeti stuff (well, slightly improved for the hard coolers), so RTIC is the easy winner here.

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chris4x4gill2

I've been using the Ozark Trail Premium Jumbo from Walmart one during hunting season and been impressed. I haven't used it on the boat during summer yet to give you an honest review there, but compared side by side with a new Yeti of the same design I cant find a difference. And it was $50. I also have the AO for the boat. I have been happy with it as well.

 

86740b5c-30b5-4c45-b515-637122d19080_1.8

 

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jb 156

No love for me for AO just threw out 4 of them due to leaking issues.  Want to pick up an Orca Pod.  Have a friend who has one and they are very nice.  

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Roush611
2 hours ago, jb 156 said:

No love for me for AO just threw out 4 of them due to leaking issues.  Want to pick up an Orca Pod.  Have a friend who has one and they are very nice.  

That is pretty sick! 

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Swellwakesurf

I have a few RTIC soft sides and love them, zippers suck to open, but same with the yeti's. I like the RTIC better than the yeti, more open design and don't have to scrape the hell out of your arm to grab a beer like the yeti. 

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Lees23

I have 3 Polar Bear brand coolers and have been impressed so far.  I believe one is a 24 pack H20 series and the other 2 are 18 pack Solar Bear backpack coolers(they were 2 for one over Christmas). They seem very well built and have a ton of insulation.  I have found buying a big soft sided cooler can be a pain because they are too heavy when loaded full to carry easily.  I am pretty excited about using the back pack coolers this summer. 

 

http://www.polarbearcoolers.com/

 

 

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ctvandy23

Been doing some research on soft coolers and  the H20 series looks solid!  I also like the Techniice but I think they will be a bit too tall to fit under the seat.  Was sold on the AO, but now leaning toward the Polar Bear or NorChill.  

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Lees23
13 hours ago, ctvandy23 said:

Been doing some research on soft coolers and  the H20 series looks solid!  I also like the Techniice but I think they will be a bit too tall to fit under the seat.  Was sold on the AO, but now leaning toward the Polar Bear or NorChill.  

Customer service with Polar Bear has been top notch, very responsive and accommodating.  

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LS1boarder

I just want a Yeti that will fit in place of the Igloo that came with the boat and a soft sided for the opposite side of the boat. Perfect! Any clue which Yeti fits if any?

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jammer

EricZ28 -- thanks for the RTIC tip -- that is a solid buy -- just picked up a 40!

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