Gear Up: {RTIC Coolers}

See why the RTIC cooler is the perfect fit for your next family adventure.

Gear Up
By Joanna Lee
Gear Up Ambassador

What is it?

RTIC Coolers are durable, well-built, functional and affordable. In my mind, they are a must-have for camping and traveling. They come in all shapes and sizes, meaning there is always a perfect fit for your next adventure.

(Photo: Joanna Lee)

What sets it apart?

RTIC’s slogan is  “overbuilt not overpriced,” which I think sums it up perfectly. The company makes a wide variety of products, from coolers to water bottles to duffel bags and much more, but this review will focus on its Ultra-Light Cooler and Soft Pack Cooler. Both coolers are made with durability and function in mind. They are designed to keep your food and drinks cold and safe throughout your trip. They are also priced reasonably compared to their competitors.

The Ultra-Light Cooler is a new addition to the product lineup. It is a hard-sided cooler that was transformed into a lightweight model using injected molding design technology, making it 30% lighter than the same size cooler made with roto-molding. It comes in a 52-quart size, which is enough space for a family weekend trip but is light enough to be carried by one person, weighing in at 21 pounds. It is important to note, the conversion to a lightweight model did not compromise the durability or the ice-retention capability. It still has RTIC’s custom rubber latches and tie-down slots that keep your cooler secure and safe, no matter what wildlife would like to snack on your supplies. It also comes with a removable divider and storage basket to keep food dry.

The Soft Pack Cooler from RTIC comes in four different sizes and many color options. The sizes range from personal-size to family-size. They are made from a heavy-duty nylon shell, making them durable but extremely lightweight, ranging from 2 to 6 pounds, depending on capacity. They seal with an extraordinarily strong zipper to prevent spills and leaks. They are rated to keep drinks cold for 24 hours and, fun fact, they float!

How do I use it?

A high-quality cooler is a must-have for family trips and outings. Whether you are heading into the wilderness to camp, going to the local park for a picnic or anything in between, you want to be sure that your food and drinks stay chilled and secure. The great part about RTIC is that its variety of products means that no matter how big your group is and how extreme your outing is, there is a cooler that fits your needs. Simply fill it with ice and whatever items you want to bring with you and head out on your adventure. I personally prefer to use a combination of cooler packs and ice for maximum temperature control.

How much?

Ultra-Light Cooler: $199.99

Soft Pack Cooler: $89.99 – $149.99

(Photo: Joanna Lee)

Joanna’s insight:

I think RTIC coolers, in general, are worth every penny of the price, which I find very reasonable compared to competing brands. The 52-quart Ultra-Light Cooler is our new favorite cooler for weekend camping trips. It has more than enough space for food for six people for a weekend. We also have the regular, hard-sided cooler, which we purchased prior to the new model. In comparison, they keep food and drinks cold for the same amount of time, but the weight difference is significant. I cannot lift the original model alone when it is packed, but I can lift the Ultra-Light model, even when it is full to the brim. We put the Ultra-Light Cooler to the test over a weeklong trip and didn’t have any issues with our food and drinks staying cold; even when the ice had melted after a few days, the water stayed cold enough to insulate the contents. The Soft Pack Cooler has become my favorite cooler for shorter adventures. I have taken it on sunset hikes, paddleboarding outings and quick overnight trips. It is so lightweight and easy to carry that it is perfect for when I don’t need a lot of space. In addition, when we camp, we usually use the hard-sided cooler for food and the soft-sided cooler for drinks. With plenty of loose ice, it has no problem keeping drinks cold for a whole weekend. I personally have too many RTIC coolers in my garage, but I believe they all serve a different purpose, and serve that purpose well. I can’t recommend their coolers enough and also love their water bottles, can coolers and dog bowls!

More information:

Ultra-Light Cooler

Soft Pack Cooler

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