I think everyone has heard of YETI coolers, they are available almost everywhere and sponsor several BBQ teams and I’m sure they also sponsor other things as well.
Now there comes a competitor, RTIC, who claims they are just as good but at half the cost of a YETI. At least for now, RTIC is only available online.
Kristi has had a YETI 30oz tumbler for a while and really likes it so I had the idea to order some RTIC drinkware to see how it compares.
Shipping was quick, I had the items in less than 5 days after ordering. They came in a box containing the items I ordered, each in its own box. They were indeed half the cost of the YETI, we paid $39.99 plus tax at Cabelas for Kristi’s YETI tumbler and the RTIC was $19.99 plus shipping. There was no tax so it does still come out at half the cost for the RTIC.
They are very close in size, the RTIC is a tiny bit taller but has a slightly smaller diameter at the base. RTIC says this is so it can fit in more cupholders, but I’m not sure it’s enough to make a big difference. At least there was no noticeable difference in how they fit in the cupholders in my truck.
The YETI is noticeably heavier and it feels like it is mostly in the base. On the scale, the YETI weighs 13.9 ounces without the lid and 16.1 ounces with the lid on. The RTIC weighs 12.7 ounces and 14.3 ounces respectively. At least at the mouth of the tumblers they are even as the lids are interchangeable.
I added 14.5 ounces of ice to both cups, put the lids on and sat them on the kitchen counter.
The RTIC is full to the lid but the YETI has a little room left. Does the YETI hold more or is it the way the ice is shaped? We’ll find out later.
I just left the 2 tumblers sit on the kitchen counter to see how fast the ice would melt. The temperature in our house ranges between 65° and 75° depending on the time of day and the furnace. After 24 hours they looked really close, the photo below is after 36 hours and it’s still hard to see a difference.
The lids were removed for the photo, then put back on. Both of the companies advertise that their glasses don’t sweat, and neither of these have done so yet.
Speaking of lids, RTIC has available what they call a splash proof lid. It is available in 2 sizes, the small fits the 10oz lowball and the 20oz tumbler, the large fits the 30oz tumbler. Both also have a Koozie/Coldster for cans or bottles and both have handles available for the tumblers.
After 38.5 hours, I pulled out the remaining ice and let it drip off for a few seconds and then weighed it. The YETI still had 4.0 ounces of ice and the RTIC still had 3.4 ounces. By that measure, the YETI is more efficient. I did fill both with water to check the volume and the YETI does hold half an ounce more water. Both are advertised as holding 30 ounces, when filled to the lowest part of the lid, the YETI held 29.7 ounces and the RTIC held 29.3 ounces.
While none of this is by any means a definitive test, I think it does show that both are very good at doing what they are designed to do, keeping cold drinks cold and one would assume the results would be similar for keeping hot drinks hot.
Whether or not they are better than all other insulated mugs is a different story. I have no connection to either company and for my money, any future purchases will be based on value for my dollar, which means they will be RTIC.