GEARCHASE.COM RTIC COOLER REVIEW
RTIC 45 and RTIC 22 Cooler Review
We have been reviewing a lot of coolers lately. The RTIC 45 and RTIC 22 have been a great combination of coolers that meet most family or individual needs. Much like Yeti or Blue Coolers that are also rotomolded, the RTIC coolers are extremely durable built. As promised they keep items cold for days with the proper use. While these are not my favorite coolers for every situation, there are many reasons I reach for the RTIC cooler over my YETI 45, keep reading to find out why, or look at our YouTube short to see the quick difference between Yeti 45 and RTIC 45 cooler.
RTIC 45 Cooler Review
|Great Value||Drain plug not attached to the cooler|
|Simple Design||T-straps can break after extended use|
|Drain Plugs on both sides||Knotted handles that can slip|
Rtic Cooler Review Overview
I have been personally using the RTIC 20 and RTIC 45 Coolers for the last couple of months to give you an honest review of how I think RTIC Coolers stand up against some of the other big names in the cooler market. RTIC coolers are manufactured with the same rotomolded process that YETI uses. The coolers are also insulated the same way with injected insulation and have similar handles attached to the sides. As well as injected insulated foam, and have similar molded and carrying handles. They also have locking holes, are “bear-proof” and have about the same rating.
There are at least a dozen videos on YouTube showing the ice retention of RTIC coolers, which you can watch here. I am going to focus more on the real-world application of the RTIC coolers I used. Rotomolded coolers are pretty simple products; they are insulated boxes designed to keep cold things cold as long as possible and in some cases warm things warm. They are designed to be bear-resistant with a lock. The various sizes and costs make RTIC and other rotomolded coolers a great all-around option for car camping, or a week at Lake Powell, Utah in the United States.
I have used the RTIC 45 on a few camps and car trips. It’s great to keep in the bed of a truck and with the rubber feet, I didn’t feel like I was ever on any roads that I needed to tie it down. However, if you need to there are built-in tie-down holes under the lid near the handles to run a cooler tiedown strap. One downside to most rotomolded coolers with the “T” style closure is the difficulty of opening the cooler when packed into a truck bed. I usually have my truck bed packed side to side, and unless the cooler handles are at the end of my bed where I can lower the tailgate to access them, it usually requires some unpacking to access the latches.
The RTIC 45 is my go-to cooler size. It’s still manageable by one person but can support a week-long camp trip for myself and a friend. RTIC currently does not make a cooler with wheels. If you are looking for a cooler with wheels, check out our review of the BLUE Cooler 55.
The RTIC 45 Cooler can fit up to 36 cans with ice in its 45-quart chest. I do like using the separator and dry basket inside the cooler when I have a little extra room in the cooler. If I’m going to be packing the cooler full, I like to include a couple of RTIC Ice Packs in addition to bagged ice to help the ice chest stay colder longer. Another trick to keep your cooler colder longer is to pre-chill the cooler with ice-cold water for a few hours prior to filling the cooler with food, drinks, and fresh ice.
I did have a couple of issues, first, the rope handles are knotted in and I found that a couple of the knots were loosely done and started to slip out when carrying a heavy load. Other coolers use a continuous rope to prevent this from happening. Second, the feet on the bottom of the cooler seem to just be popped in and when sliding around a heavy cooler these might pop out.
One of the biggest complaints is that the knots can slip out when carrying heavyweight in the cooler. Be sure to check them regularly.
You should buy this cooler if you are looking for a perfect-sized all-around cooler that can support a couple of people for a few days, a single person for over a week, or a family on a tailgate or overnighter. The current retail price is about $200 for a 45-quart cooler. In terms of value (getting what you pay for), it’s really hard to beat RTIC Coolers. Click the button below to check for any deals and pricing for current RTIC Coolers.
The accessory pack with the divider that can also be used as a cutting board as well as the wire basket are some nice to have added features. However, if you are going on a longer trip or really trying to pack stuff into the cooler you will notice the convenience of the cooler accessories just seem to get in the way and you can fit more in the cooler without them.
Hinges on the RTIC Coolers are attached with a riveted pole. They have been very durable from opening and tipping the cooler back, even lasted through many camping trips with kids. They aren’t indestructible, for example, if you have your cooler upsidedown to dry out after washing and a kid was to climb on it, they could be damaged.
Overall, I have been very impressed with the RTIC Cooler. You might have seen another great cooler we reviewed The Blue Cooler and coming soon a closer look at some of Yeti’s coolers. RTIC Coolers are simple, durable, and just work. RTIC is one of the fastest-growing cooler brands and edging on YETI for users that don’t want to pay a brand name premium.
RTIC 20 Cooler Review
The RTIC 20 cooler is a great size for one person to manage even when the cooler is full of food, drinks, and ice. It is the perfect size to fit inside a vehicle yet still provides the long ice retention of the larger coolers. The RTIC 20 can hold about 24 cans with ice and will last around 7 days if the cooler is properly prepped, and used.
The RTIC 20 uses the same “T” style closures but the handle is different. Instead of rope handles on the side, the RTIC 20 has a rigid metal handle across the top. It semi locks into place when in the up position. The diameter of the handle is about the same size as the YETI with the padding. However, it feels a little small in my hands and when the cooler is full it feels like it should be a larger diameter.
The cooler is the same rotomolded design, rubber seal, and drains. It also has the same accessories available; a divider inside the cooler as well as its own sized dry food basket for the top. It’s worth noting during our use I thought I’d like to use the divider and basket more than I actually did. It takes up more room and makes it more difficult to pack the cooler so I ended up leaving it out most of the time.
You should buy this cooler if you are looking to keep things cold for one or two people for a few days or want to keep a hard cooler inside your vehicle. Keep in mind you will likely run out of food and drinks before you run out of ice in a cooler like the RTIC 20, so a better option might be the smaller more portable soft cooler for short trips.
Much like the big brother coolers, the RTIC 20 also has drain plugs on both sides of the cooler. The drain plug is simple and easy to open even with gloves on.
RTIC Coolers have a handful of helpful accessories like the cooler basket, also cooler tie-downs, and Ice Packs.
The rubber feet on the cooler are nearly identical to the competitors like Yeti. They are pressed into the bottom of the cooler. I was a little afraid of dragging the cooler across the bed of a truck or boat would pull the rubber feet out, but have not had a single issue with them so far.
Other RTIC Coolers not Tested:
I didn’t get to test the following coolers from RTIC but wanted my readers to know that there are even more options. Below are a list of the rest of RTIC hard coolers currently offered.
RTIC Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is RTIC really as good as Yeti?
Are RTIC coolers worth it?
Is RTIC owned by Yeti?
What Cooler is better than a Yeti?
What does RTIC Cooler Stand For?
Is RTIC Coolers going out of business?
What size RTIC Cooler should I buy?
Why is my RTIC cooler not holding ice?
Do RTIC coolers go on sale?
Does RTIC do promo codes?
Do any stores carry RTIC coolers?
Is RTIC a Walmart brand?
Does Walmart sell RTIC coolers?
Are RTIC Coolers made in the USA?
Where are RTIC Coolers made?
Does RTIC offer free returns?
How long to Rtic coolers keep ice?
What is RTIC Cooler warranty or does RTIC offer a lifetime warranty?
Do RTIC coolers float?
How do you clean an RTIC cooler?
How do you store an RTIC cooler?
RTIC Cooler Review Conclusion
It is hard to find a better value cooler than the RTIC hard cooler. Regardless of the size you choose, the rotomolded design paired with tough handles and rubber for feet and closures makes this a great step up from the old Colman cooler you might have been using. Ideally, owning a few sizes makes using the larger rotomolded coolers easier. It allows you to select the size based on the adventure. There are more and more rotomolded coolers hitting stores every year, RTIC has been around for a long time and stands behind their products and there is some added value in that vs. a new cooler just being introduced to the market.