Yeti Cooler Bag Alternatives for Less
Hip2Save may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you via trusted partners and affiliate links in this post. Prices and availability are accurate as of time posted. Read our full disclosure policy here.
If you have your heart set on a Yeti cooler bag but don’t want to pay the high price tag, consider one of these budget friendly alternatives!
Don’t want to break the bank on a Yeti cooler bag? We don’t blame you.
A Yeti cooler bag is one of the most coveted items today. It has a lightweight design, a waterproof zipper, a mildew-resistant outer fabric, and a 3-year warranty. It also has over 1 inch of closed cell rubber foam insulation that can keep ice for 1-3 days!
The brand has become a household name known for superior ice retention, durability, easy carrying, and unfortunately, a hefty price tag. The popular Yeti soft cooler will run you between $200 and $350 dollars depending on which size you choose. If your jaw just dropped, you’re not alone! That’s a pretty wild amount to pay on a cooler.
Fortunately, there are several great alternative brands on the market that cost much less. Some of them even offer coolers that retain ice for longer or include special features the Yeti cooler bag does not. We compiled a list of the best soft coolers available. If you have your heart set on a stellar product, give our list a look to see if one of these Yeti alternatives fits the bill!
10 best Yeti cooler bag alternatives:
1. The Engel HD30 outperforms a YETI and it’s available for under $200.
Engel HD30 Heavy Duty Soft-Sided Cooler Bag – $199.99 (regularly $239)
If you’re truly looking for a cooler bag that performs, skip Yeti and snag an Engel HD30. It’s one of the more expensive coolers on our list, but it often outperforms the Yeti when it comes to ice retention. The Engle HD30 uses closed foam insulation and a patent-pending vacuum valve technology which allows this cooler bag to retain ice for up to 4 days.
Plus, it can hold up to 48 cans and 35 pounds of ice! That’s more cans than even the biggest Yeti soft cooler which holds 42 cans, 32 pounds of ice, and costs $350! Unlike the Yeti models, the Engel has external pockets and a bottle opener, both of which are handy when you’re out and about. It’s also made of durable material and comes with a waterproof and air-resistant zipper. If someone was interested in backcountry camping or rafting, they can’t go wrong with an Engel HD30.
This is a truly impressive cooler. Its only disadvantage is that its warranty is only for 1 year unlike Yeti’s which is 3 years.
“The Engel HD30 is an excellent cooler for all-around use! Have been field testing these coolers for over 3 seasons now, ice and drinks always stay cold. Have used it during whitewater adventures, hunting/ fishing trips and family outings. Easy to carry and manage. Great versatile cooler for your next adventure!”
2. The RTIC Cooler Bag is a great value buy! The brand claims it is 64% cheaper than its competitors.
RTIC Soft Cooler Bag – Multiple Sizes – $89.99 – $149.99
It’s hard to find a better deal on a cooler. The RTIC Soft Cooler bag is a high-quality bag with super thick insulation and excellent ice retention. These coolers can hold either 10, 20, 30, or 40 cans and each size is cheaper than the Yeti. The RTIC cooler bag is 100% leak free and you can even float it in water as the outside is made of heavy-duty nylon. It also includes a small external pocket where you can stash your phone or keys.
We love the fun colors that this cooler comes in including seafoam green and coral. We also appreciate that RTIC Outdoors offers 10% discounts to active military personnel, military spouses, and first responders. Verify your status on ID.me to claim the offer. Plus, any order over $35 ships free!
Unfortunately, the RTIC Soft Cooler Bag only comes with a 1-Year warranty. Also, the heavy-duty nylon is good quality but word on the street is that it is slightly less durable than the material that Yeti uses. However, for such a great price, we think these cons are excusable!
“I recently took my 20 can Soft pack cooler on a white water rafting trip, it held up great and was easily able to strap down on our raft. The next very day I did a tubing trek on a different section of the river and floated it next to my tube, it held up throughout the entire float for about 4hrs and even endured a handful of rapids. The Ice retention held up for each of the trips. Great cooler, especially if you love doing water activities”
3. Hip2Save’s Lina was impressed with the affordable DEROOS 72-hour Soft Cooler Bag.
DEROOS Soft Cooler Bag 27-Can Capacity – $109.99
This budget-friendly cooler has an IPX7 waterproof rating which means you can submerge it in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. It easily floats in water and the company states it can even be used as a temporary life-saving device.
It’s insulated with high-density foam, is 100% leakproof, and has a 48 – 72 hour cooling time. Like the Yeti, it comes with adjustable straps for easy carrying. Plus, it has a bottle opener on the side!
This cooler only has a 1-year warranty, but it comes highly recommended by our very own Lina:
“Wow, what a high-quality cooler! You can tell this is very well made and waterproof inside. It’s still very lightweight though and easy to carry. I will be getting lots of use out of this at my kid’s ballgames and hiking. It’s a great cooler for road trips and holds a lot of drinks/snacks. It even has a bottle opener on the side!”
4. Unlike Yeti soft coolers, AO Coolers come with a lifetime guarantee.
AO Cooler Bag 12-Pack Capacity – starting at $74.95
This super affordable cooler comes with a limited lifetime warranty, something you just won’t get from many other brands. The drawback is that it only holds ice for up to 24 hours (but for many people that time frame is perfectly adequate). The outside zipper is also not waterproof, so this bag shouldn’t be flipped upside-down. If you plan to use the cooler on a vehicle and are worried about leaking, the company provides 4 eye hooks that can be used to secure it.
The inside liner IS waterproof and the cooler also has quite a bit of insulation. In fact, it can keep your items cold or warm! It also has an exterior pocket for carrying small items and the strap is removable.
One plus side to this cooler is that you can customize it with a logo or design for an extra $9.95. You also can score a discount if you buy 4 or more, so keep that in mind if you plan to buy Christmas presents or gifts for your coworkers. To get that discount, just contact the company prior to ordering.
If this pack is too small for your needs, consider springing for their 18-pack which comes in a backpack style and has the same lifetime warranty. You can also often find AO Coolers for a cheaper price on Amazon, though you won’t be able to personalize them and the color selection may be limited.
“Beats the competition. This has really thick insulation. A lot better than other name brands. Will buy this brand in the future.”
5. The Grizzly Drifter has excellent ice retention and comes with plenty of pockets.
The Grizzly Drifter 20 – $174.99
If you’re looking for a heavy-duty cooler, the Grizzly Drifter is made of a waterproof ballistic polyester shell. It also has about 1.5″ of EVA foam insulation (not quite as good as the rubber foam in the Yeti soft coolers, but still high-quality).
The cooler includes a removable liner that is 100% waterproof, but the heavy-duty zipper is not waterproof so you’ll want to keep this cooler upright. It holds 20 quarts and should perform similarly to the Yeti soft coolers as far as ice retention goes.
One area this cooler stands out is that it has multiple pockets, including drinkware pockets. Plus, it has padded handles and a padded shoulder strap so you’re comfortable when lugging it around. If this size is too big for you, it also comes in a 12-quart size that includes a removable beverage opener. Both sizes of the Grizzly soft coolers come with a 2-year warranty which is a little better than some of the other Yeti alternatives on our list!
“I’ve had this cooler for 2 years and it’s well worth the money. I work outside as an Arborist and a Forester and also take it long distances and camping trips. Lots of great pockets and options. Can keep drinks and food cold for two or three days. Y’all this color is the real deal!!”
6. Save money with a HydroFlask cooler, the stylish alternative to a Yeti cooler bag.
Hydroflask 20L Carry Out Soft Cooler – $89.95
Hydroflask makes a TON of soft coolers and they all come in fun, bold colors that show off your personality. One of our favorites is the 20L Carry Out Soft Cooler, which reviewers have described as “chic.”
This cooler bag is best for a day trip as it only keeps items cold for 24 hours. What makes it nice is that it’s extremely light. It only weighs 2.52 pounds when empty (one of the lightest on our list). Even so, it’s BIG! Without ice, it can hold 38 cans!
It includes a BPA-free liner, lightweight insulation, an exterior stash pocket, a removable crossbody strap, and convenient loops that can be used to attach other Hydroflask accessories. It’s water resistant, but not waterproof. This isn’t a cooler to float in the water or take fly fishing. It’s best for camping, a day hike, or taking on a picnic.
If you’re still interested, head on over to the Hydroflask website. Right now, if you subscribe to emails, you’ll snag 15% off your first order plus any order over $30 gets FREE shipping!
“Awesome cooler! The zipper is much easier to open than Yeti and has better inside space. Super lightweight and looks amazing. Quality manufacturing stays cold, the outside pouch holds cell phone and key. It’s perfect to take some groceries up to the cabin or take cold beer to the pool. You won’t be disappointed with this cooler.”
7. Enjoy a hands-free cooler when you buy an IceMule.
If you’re looking for a simple, hands-free cooler, look no further than the ICEMULE Classic 15L. This soft cooler straps to your back which makes it perfect for those on the go. It’s similar to the Saturna cooler bag but almost half the price and 99% of reviewers say they would recommend it to others.
What makes ICEMULE stand out is it’s portability. Not only can you easily carry it on your back, but when you’re done, you can roll it up and throw it in your luggage. It can keep your food and beverages cold for 24+ hours and it’s also water resistant. It has a roll-down top so you won’t have to worry about a zipper breaking, but if you do have any issues, we hear the customer service is outstanding!
Grab this size which holds 12 standard cans or try the Pro which can carry up to 18!
“Gotta say, found it to keep my cold beverages cold way better and way longer, BOTH, than any of the soft-sided Yeti coolers I have. Have already gifted one and will continue gifting.”
8. This Igloo cooler bag is rated 4.8 stars and is available at Walmart for under $50.
This good-looking cooler has some pretty great features for the price. It comes with several external pockets, adjustable padded straps, and ample Advanced MaxCold insulation. It’s the perfect tote for the beach since the exterior is dirt, sand, and water-resistant. Plus, the easy-access lid keeps your drinks at your fingertips! It can hold a staggering 30 cans so you’ll have a full day of refreshments.
“I was impressed with this cooler right out of the box. It is very well made and has a lot of space. The light green color is also very nice. The shoulder strap reduces the strain on your shoulder when the cooler is full. I also like the quick-access door in the top of the cooler. The zippers are also very well made. I would definitely recommend this to anyone needing a quality cooler.”
9. Need to keep it really cheap? This Walmart cooler bag from Ozark Trail is under $20! Ozark Trail 24-Can Soft Cooler – $17.94
*currently out of stock but we are keeping an eye out for its return.
If you don’t need a cooler that lasts for 72 hours, it might be wise to skip the Yeti soft coolers. Buy something more cost-effective instead. This little cooler will give you a lot for your money. It’s a perfect day cooler that can hold 24 cans with ice and comes with adjustable, padded straps. It has a front zipper pocket for small items and the top compartment can expand up to 3″ to hold utensils or snacks. For under $20, it’s a great buy!
“Awesome mini cooler. I love this Ozark 24-can cooler. It’s so versatile and it is the best soft cooler, I have ever owned. It fits 24 Soda can size cans, in it. The hardliner is removable. I love using it for picnics. There are side mesh pouches for easy access to snacks or anything else that you want to put in the side pouches. The top opens to a ‘dry’ storage area. It has a really nice carrying strap that is adjustable and padded.”
10. The popular Costco cooler bag, The Titan Deep Freeze backpack, costs less than $50.
*currently out of stock but we are keeping an eye out for its return.
This easy-to-carry backpack holds 26 cans. It’s heavily insulated with SuperFoam® insulation that can keep ice for up to 2 days. The bag includes several pockets so there is ample room to tote along your phone, keys, sunscreen, and snacks. Plus, all 5 insulated compartments contain Microban® which protects against bacterial odors and stains.
Though there is a leakproof liner in the main compartment, the zipper is not waterproof. Many reviewers mentioned the zipper broke so keep that in mind when deciding to purchase. If you experience issues, let Costco know as they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee policy.
Despite the zipper issue, Costco customers rate this Yeti cooler bag alternative a whopping 4.8 stars. One reviewer even mentioned giving it away as a gift along with a bottle of wine and a picnic blanket! Considering Yeti soft coolers can cost hundreds of dollars, this bag is a steal! The blue color seems to be out of stock for now but the black and gray are still available!
“Such an awesome and sturdy pack that i’ve been able to take out on 5 outings. I was pleasantly surprised at how roomy this pack is. It has so many storage pockets which is great for snacks and various items. It comes with two ice packs that slide in from the side and stay put without leaking water/condensation. This thing can hold lots of cans btw. I took plenty of beer and water on a recent outing for over 16 hours in the sun. At the end of the day when i reached in to check the temperature of the cans and water they were still plenty cold. All zippers and stretch pockets also feel very sturdy and durable. This was such a great purchase and a great price to match.”
We compared YETI to other water bottles. See the results!