Photo of Yeti Cooler vs. Coleman

Yeti Cooler vs. Coleman Comparison

With spring around the corner, people are excited to spend as much time outdoors as they can. Picnics are a great way to enjoy some fresh air for an extended period. 

But what’s a picnic without an outdoor cooler to keep the food and beverages cool? That’s why we’ve decided to put the two most popular coolers to the test with the ultimate Yeti cooler vs. Coleman comparison.

The Yeti and the Coleman Xtreme are among the best outdoor coolers on the market. So which one is better?


Let’s start with the price point. After all, people love a bargain and, if they can get a quality cooler for less, they most likely do it.

Coleman Xtreme coolers come in a $40-$50 range, which isn’t a lot. The Yeti, on the other hand, tends to be over $300 even. Suffice to say, the Coleman is a much more convenient option, pocket-wise, but what about other features?

Ice Retention

After price, you’re looking at how good a job a cooler does. After all, ice retention is a cooler’s bread and butter. Although there have been some experiments where Coleman Xtreme could hold ice for more than 10 days, these are rare occasions and not in controlled conditions.

In reality, the Yeti will consistently outperform the Coleman, particularly in warmer weather. After all, it’s in the warmer weather where a cooler can truly shine, and the Yeti takes the cake here, as it should, given the price difference.

Still, the Coleman does a good job; yes, the Yeti can retain ice for five to seven days, but Coleman Xtreme’s three to six days are also pretty good.

If you’re looking to spend two or three days outside, ice retention is not a reason to get the Yeti over the Coleman.


This is where the Yeti is expected to shine – and it indeed does. The Yeti is made using rotomolding, which gives it a solid and thick structure. Then, it’s filled with pressure-injected insulation.

Throw a Yeti around, jump on it, run over it with your truck, even give it to a bear to have some fun. Exterior scratches are the worst that can happen.

On the other hand, while decently resilient, the Coleman wouldn’t be able to take the punch that the Yeti can. Coleman Xtreme is made out of thinner plastic, making it much easier to break. Still, they do have a more-than-decent build for the money and are UV-resistant.

Now, if you take care of your cooler, it’s not likely to break. If you keep dropping it, the Coleman may give way, whereas the Yeti won’t.

But you need to ask yourself how likely you are to drop a cooler? After all, it’s mostly going to stay on the ground. Plus, if a bear comes knocking, the cooler is the least of your problems.

The Drainage Plug

The drainage plug on the Yeti is pretty much a 1-inch screw plug. To drain out the water, you can plug it out without removing it. It’s a quality plug that won’t leak.

The Coleman, on the other hand, has a pop-off plug, which doesn’t instill confidence. It won’t pop off on its own, but someone might accidentally knock it loose, which will result in accidental draining. However, although the drainage plug on the Coleman Xtreme is not perfect, this is unlikely.


It’s true – the Yeti doesn’t have the best latches on the market. They are decent, they do a good job, but you can find better options. Yeti’s latches are rubber pull-down models and are capable of keeping the lid shut tight.

However, the Coleman doesn’t have latches, to begin with. The only thing keeping its lid in place is the friction from the plastic of the body and the lid.

If you want a secure seal, which is particularly important in bumpy road situations, you’ll want to get the Yeti.


Finally, the ball is in Coleman’s court. Coleman Xtreme features somewhat thick plastic wheels that can go across most terrains and a retractable T-handle, which allows you to tow the cooler like a carry-on suitcase. This is a fantastic feature that not all coolers have.

For example, even though it’s significantly more expensive, the Yeti doesn’t feature wheels. Fully loaded Yetis tend to be quite heavy, so a pair of wheels would’ve been nice in place of back-breaking legwork.

This is one area where Coleman truly shines (in addition to its low price).


If you’re looking for a wheeled cooler, the Yeti is not an option, as most of these don’t have wheels. Although the Coleman has wheels for ease of transport, it lacks a majority of other features.

Still, if you’re looking for a $50 cooler that can keep the contents cool for a few days, Coleman Xtreme is a good choice.

With the Yeti, you get a cooler of much better build quality. It’s more expensive, but it can take a punch, and it will last you for years to come, even if frequently dropped.

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