“Get ready for your next RV camping trip with our comprehensive guide to the best rotomolded coolers on the market. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or new to the RV lifestyle, our guide will help you find the perfect cooler for all your needs. With so many brands and models to choose from, this guide makes it easy for you to decide which one is right for you.”
Rotomolded coolers are known for their durability, ability to keep food and drinks cold for days, and even doubling as a seat or table. But with so many brands and models available, it can be challenging to decide which one is the best for you.
Our guide simplifies the process by comparing different options and providing expert recommendations, making it easy for you to find the perfect rotomolded cooler for your needs.
While Yeti are probably the most well-known rotomolded coolers on the market, there are several other cheaper rotomolded coolers that offer the same, and sometimes better, quality than a Yeti.
Skip the reviews and go straight to our #1 choice for the best rotomolded cooler on the market.
What is a Rotomolded Cooler?
Rotomolding is a process by which a powdered polymer is poured into a hollow mold which is then heated and rotated around two axes as the polymer melts and coats the inside of the mold.
Sometimes referred to as rotational molding or roto casting, it is a manufacturing process that has been around since the Egyptian times when they used a rotational molding process to create ceramics.
View The Rotomolding Process
In the 1940s and 50’s, it came into use in the United States for a small number of plastics manufacturers, including some doll manufacturers. However, at the time, it was considered a slow process and didn’t gain much popularity until the late 70’s and early 80’s, when the process became more streamlined.
By 1984, rotomolding became the manufacturing process of choice for whitewater and sea kayaks. Today, rotomolding is used in everything from military and law enforcement applications to the outdoor industry to travel mugs.
Utilizing this method to make coolers ensures that every aspect of the cooler wall is even, highly durable, and extremely insulated. That is why these coolers are often the last cooler you will ever need to purchase.
By the way, I am forever forgetting something for the RV. Aren’t you? Leave it to me to buy a nice rotomolded cooler and forget to pack it. That won’t happen now that I created these RV Packing lists.
Advantages Of Rotomolded Coolers
Rotomolded coolers have many similarities to soft-sided coolers, but there are also outstanding differences between them. Rotomolded coolers offer some features that are more advantageous than its counterpart.
Read our guide on the Best Soft Sided Coolers
Rotomolded coolers are built using durable materials that can take a beating. The process from which they are made is called “rotational molding/rotomolding”.
Unlike soft-sided coolers that tend to have a limited capacity which is why they’re very portable, rotomolded coolers offer larger storage space.
Aside from storing ice and beverages, they can also be used to store food like meats, so they stay frozen/fresh until consumption.
Better Ice Retention
Because they are made of heavy-duty materials and constructed to offer maximum insulation, they tend to have better ice retention than their soft-sided counterparts. Ice tends to melt slower, and you’ll be able to keep your drinks and food chilled for longer periods, even in hot weather.
What Cooler is Better than YETI?
Like it or not, YETI is the cooler brand that has been able to “steal the stage,” you might say when it comes to name recognition. Sometimes in marketing, a brand that makes it to the top becomes its own verb. Much like the brand, Xerox is now a verb used when someone makes a copy of something on a printer, YETI, which has become, as they put it, “the yardstick” for all other coolers.
Now, let’s take a look at several other “YETI like” coolers to see how they stack up and which one is truly the best rotomolded cooler for the money. After reading several reviews, we decided to look at ORCA, ORION, RTIC, PELICAN, and GRIZZLY brands compared to YETI.
Here’s our ranking for cooler brands better than Yeti.
- PELICAN – In the final analysis, we chose Pelican Coolers as our #1 Best Cooler for the money compared to YETI for their length in the industry, their customer service, and their superior latching system.
- ORCA – We have a soft spot for ORCA coolers as it is manufactured not only in the USA but in our home state of Tennessee. Our only reasons for giving ORCA the second position were that they are newer on the market and the Pelican latching system outweighed the reviews between the two cooler brands. However, if you are into personalizing your cooler with a college team and want a cooler comparable to YETI but slightly less expensive, the ORCA cooler is your best bet.
- ORION & GRIZZLY – We placed them at the bottom of the list because Orion is no less expensive than Yeti and doesn’t offer plenty of benefits over Yeti unless you desire the cool colors or being Made in the USA is a deal breaker. Grizzly fell to the bottom primarily for complaints about weight.
- RTIC– RTIC came in last primarily because it is manufactured outside of the USA, and there are fewer color and collegiate options. Beyond that, it is an equivalent option to YETI, so if money is an issue, RTIC may be a good choice for you. It is, however, the only cooler not on the Certified Bear-Resistant Product list* by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, so we do not recommend RTIC for camping.
*Disclaimer: While these coolers are tested and verified by the IGBC as being Grizzly Bear resistant, they do require additional bolts or pad-locks to be truly resistant. You can read more about their testing process and product recommendations at the IGBC official site.
Be sure to check out our buying guide below for the best rotomolded coolers for the money.
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If you have decided to hop on your pontoon boat for a trip, you might also want to check out the best coolers for boating to keep your drinks cold on a hot summer’s day!
If you’re in the process of packing for your trip, be sure to check this camera gear checklist, so you’ll take only the best photos for a more memorable vacation.