Nobody wants to go camping or overlanding only to see that within a day all his/her food has gone bad while out hiking, thanks to a faulty or non-quality cooler. There are several different types and brands of coolers out there. With the large selection of coolers in the market, you need a cooler that will keep your food, ice, and cans fresh and cold for longer. The RTIC cooler is one such cooler that has excellent features that give you high efficiency and value. In the below RTIC Cooler Review we go through each feature and highlight any good as well as bad points.

It might be a good choice for those who would like to invest small in a cooler that gives you one of the best cooling experiences on the market right now.

With this RTIC cooler review, we are focusing on the 20/45/65 quarts models and later below we're also reviewing the soft bag versions, the RTIC Softpack Coolers.

Detailed Review Of the RTIC 20, 45 And 65

Click on images to see more color options

Features of RTIC Coolers

The RTIC Coolers are equipped with stylish silicone T-latches: the T-latch grips the cooler body locking it efficiently and making its cooling efficient, but due to its great grip, it's easy to open the ice chest. 

The other plus side of using silicone instead of metal is that you will not end up with corroded latches over time.

It has a freezer grade gasket around the cooler lid that is a quarter inch wide and a quarter inch thick to seal the cooler. This keeps the cooler’s contents cold and prevents leakage.

The molded tie-down slots prevent it from bouncing around, therefore, the ice chest can be easily secured to your truck.

rtic cooler review

The cooler features a two to three-inch commercial grade insulation acquired by injecting polyurethane foam that makes it great for retaining low temperatures so keeping your food or drinks ice cold.

It is designed to be bear resistant, so you do not have to worry about bears keeping you hungry over your camping period.

This cooler also comes with a built-in locking system. On both of the front corners, you will notice two small holes.

These are there actually for two reasons — locking down the cooler or using as tie-downs. You can use any long shank padlock to lock the cooler for additional security.

It would be better if the RTIC coolers came with wheels. However, this cooler features feet/stands instead. Once again, the feet also do two jobs here.

These are anti-slip feet, so your cooler won’t slip accidentally while you have put it down on any types of surface, but especially useful when it comes to placing it in a truck bed or in the trunk of your rig.

On the other hand, these feet slightly lift the cooler which prevents it from contacting with any warm surfaces. For that reason, the heat won’t transfer from the ground or the surface you have put the cooler on and so your RTIC won't heat up easily. 

PROS:

  • Multi-purpose: cooler, bench, tabletop, stool
  • Simple and effective cooling system
  • It keeps items fresh for up to ten days
  • Robust build with rotomolding technology
  • Great value compared to competitors
  • Easy draining and cleaning

CONS:

  • It is heavy thus hard to carry over long distances when filled with food and ice
  • The cooler has only thirty days of warranty 

Build Quality of RTIC Coolers

The RTIC coolers are made using rotomolding technology that makes them strong and durable. This technique uses molten plastic that hardens ensuring that no heat can get through into the cooler.

The body is injected with polyethylene foam that hardens the inside of the cooler enhancing the lid and body of the cooler. The hinges of this ice chest are made of rubber, plastic, and silicone making them durable and able to withstand any pressure.

overlanders meal

Ease of Use - RTIC Cooler Review

The RTIC cooler is easy to carry around due to its firm grip and heavy duty rope handles.  

The cooler is also easy to clean since it has a drain spout to ensure that the melted water drips out of the cooler keeping it fresh and clean. It is equipped with two type of handles to suit different carrying needs: if the rope handles are not comfortable due to a fully loaded cooler, the molded handles can be used.

With most customers opting for the 20, 45, or 65 Quarts size models, here is how their capacity compares:



How does RTIC compare to competing products YETI and Orca?

The build and the design for the three brands of coolers are very similar. 

For its similar sizes, the RTIC can hold more cans and more ice than the YETI and Orca coolers since it is larger in relation to other similar sizes from these other two manufacturers. 

It is also way cheaper than both of those cooler types. Orca and YETI are pioneers in the cooler business, which implies that many people know about them as compared to the RTIC coolers.

You can read more reviews also about YETI and Ozark Trail Coolers here.

How long they hold ice? The YETI coolers are the winners when it comes to ice retention, I'm afraid.

What Previous Buyers Said? - RTIC Coolers

Weight 

Most buyers complain about the weight of the cooler. The cooler is very efficient but this efficiency is brought about by the material from which it is made.

Its weight is determined by the specs of the cooler meaning that the material is responsible for the cooling as well as the cooler’s additional weight.

Warranty 

Some users have mentioned in the reviews that they find the warranty period to be a bit short. According to them, the only thirty days period is saying that the manufacturers do not stand behind their products. 

However, you might say that ten days of premium cooling is all you need to test out the reliability and efficacy of the product.

As such, thirty days are enough if you ask us. It covers against defects and shoddy workmanship. In other words, you will find out about ice retention capabilities in hot weather much sooner than 30 days.

Cold drinks at the campsite

Quality & Price

Many customers praise its quality and value for money. One happy buyer said it is great value as compared to name brand competitors.

Similarly, another satisfied RTIC user said he kept it in the bed of his truck in direct sunlight and the RTIC cooler was able to keep ice from Sunday until Friday.

With hundreds of positive reviews on Amazon, we are more than happy and confident to recommend this product.

Performance of RTIC Coolers

According to RTIC’s official claim, the RTIC Coolers can retain ice for up to 10 days. Now, you should already know that it depends on a lot of factors.

For instance, if you open and close the lid of the cooler frequently, or use a low amount of ice, or keep the lid open for a long time, then the performance would not be that good.

Honestly, if you follow the good practices like pre-cooling, using good quality and enough amount of ice, then it can retain the ice for up to about 5 days in real life condition.

And, under optimum condition, this can also serve you for up to 10 days. In that regard, we really liked the real life performance of the RTIC Coolers.

Detailed Review of the RTIC Soft Pack

Now, that you know about the RTIC Coolers. Let’s learn about the lighter and more portable alternative, RTIC Soft Pack Cooler Bags.

Features To Look For

This soft pack cooler bags from RTIC come with a lot of cool features. For instance, these ones have no-leak zipper which is also waterproof.

Typically, due to condensation, the exterior of many coolers tend to sweat. But not in the case of RTIC Soft Pack 20/30/40.

It also comes with about 2 inch closed-cell insulation which is made with foam. For that reason, the outside temperature won’t impact the inner temperature of the cooler.

The thick insulation locks the cold inside the cooler for a long time. It also features anti-microbial liner which helps to resist mold.

On each side of the RTIC Soft Pack 20/30/40, you will find conveniently placed carrying straps.

Those straps allow the user to carry the bags as they like. Along with that, you will also find a long, sturdy yet comfortable shoulder strap on the bag. The length of the straps also can be customized according to your needs. 

It also has tie-down straps on both sides of the cooler so that you can tie it down to your overlanding rig for more security.

PROS:

  • Very lightweight and portable
  • Comes with a cushioned shoulder strap
  • Leak-proof and puncture-resistant
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Comes with extra pockets for storing your valuables
  • Comes with heavy-duty nylon outer shell

CONS:

  • One-way zipper system

Capacity, Size, and Weight

As the name suggests, the RTIC Soft Pack 30 can typically store 30 cans of average size on it. Likewise, the RTIC Soft Pack 20 can accommodate about 20 cans of the same size. However, depending on the size of the cans and the amount of ice, the capacity of these portable cooling bags might vary.

The dimension of the inner side of the RTIC Soft Pack 30 is 13” (L) x 9.5” (W) x 9” (H). And, on the outside, it has a dimension of 15.5” (L) x 11.5” (W) x 12.75” (H). And, it weighs about 4 pounds.

Whereas, in the case of the RTIC Soft Pack 20, the inner dimension is 11.5” (L) x 7” (W) x 10” (H) and the outer dimension is 13.5” (L) x 9.5” (W) x 13.75” (H). The weight of this cooler is about 3 pounds.

Build Quality, Design, and Ease of Use

One thing we can say with confidence that these cooler bags from RTIC is not cheaply made. The outer shell is made of Stay Dry premium Nylon.

That makes it 100% waterproof, tear and puncture resistant. The seams are welded and the zipper is also leak-proof.

These come with a robust build quality. Even then, these are very lightweight.

You can easily carry it around with the help of all the straps and handles. The lid uses the flip-top mechanism.

So you can easily get access to the foods and drinks by just unzipping it. On the outside, you will also get extra pockets to keep dry items on the cooler bags.

Performance

As it is a cooler bag, you cannot expect that it will perform similar to the RTIC coolers. So, these cannot keep your foods and drinks cold up to 10 days.

But, these can serve you perfectly for about 3 days.

However, all of these also depend on many external factors like pre-cooling, ice type and amount, and the frequency of opening and closing the lid, etc.

But, overall, this can be used as a lunchbox regularly, or for short camping trips, or even for a quick sports session.

What Previous Buyers Said? - RTIC Softpack

From the statements of the current owners, it is clear that they are very happy about it. One of the previous buyers said that he is using an RTIC Soft Pack 20 for 3 years. 

Still, it is serving him great without any type of issues related to the zipper, cooling capacity, or anything.

Another person stated that he used this particular cooler in a number of summer camp trips. And, it worked great.

Matter of fact, the ice was intact for over 3 days even under 100 degrees heat. As a result, he is pleased with the RTIC Soft Pack 30.

Conclusion - RTIC Cooler Review

The RTIC cooler is perfect for a family camping trip, a game with the boys, a fishing trip, or a hunting trip and of course a short overlanding trip, if you decided you don't need a 12V fridge.

With its rotomolded technology to enhance its durability, cooling technology, and sleek design, you are guaranteed of continued cooling for ten days. 

The RTIC is a long-term cooler that's not going to break the bank. With great features like the ones reviewed above, it makes a grand bargain. So, if you need a great icebox, check out the different color options for RTIC Coolers on Amazon.

You can also read our detailed article on RTIC Softpack Coolers and also a comparison with the famous YETI ice chests.