Grizzly vs Yeti Coolers – Review & Comparison – Who Comes Out on Top?

by John Wren
Grizzly-vs-Yeti-Cooler
Arguably one of the most popular cooler brand comparisons has to be the Grizzly vs Yeti debate. In this article we take a deep dive in both of these excellent companies, review their product line and compare them side-by-side to see who has the best ice retention, how their prices compare, and who comes out on top overall.
So if you’re stuck choosing between ad Grizzly and a Yeti cooler, let this guide help you with your buying decision. We also compare many others like the RTIC vs Yeti coolers too! If these are too pricey, find a great cooler like a Yeti, but probably cheaper.

A Closer Look At The Companies

About Grizzly

All Grizzly coolers are made in the USA (Decorah, Iowa), so if you prefer to support homegrown businesses then the Grizzly has the upper hand here.
The Grizzly brand name is owned by Rotocast Plastics, Inc. which has been in business for over 30 years. When they launched the Grizzly brand, their hard-sided coolers quickly became one of the top coolers on the market thanks to their clever marketing videos showing just how tough their products were.

About Yeti

Yeti products are manufactured in the US and the Philippines, so you ”could’ be getting a cooler made in the great US of A, but you won’t know for sure.
That aside, Yeti has been around since 2006 and are the most popular brand on the cooler market. Their products are high-regarded across the board, across many different outdoor pursuits and hobbies and they’re at the front of everyone’s minds when decided which cooler to purchase.

Grizzly vs Yeti – The Good & The Bad

Grizzly – The Good

  • Lifetime Warranty – A lifetime warranty is provided with the Grizzly rotomolded coolers.
  • Quart Sizes – The quart sizing is accurate, a Grizzly 40 = a 40qt cooler. Unlike Yeti where sizing is inaccurate.
  • Cooler Weight – Despite similar dimensions, Grizzly coolers are much lighter than their Yeti counterparts.
  • Larger Drain Holes – These coolers drain much faster thanks to their superior drain channel and larger drain holes.

Grizzly – The Bad

  • Ice Retention – Not as good retention of the ice as similar Yeti models, over a 5-7 day window.

Yeti – The Good

  • Trusted Brand – This brand has been around since 2006 and is known for the quality and durability of its products.
  • Customer Service – Acting on the warranty is simple and you can get help from their customer service department or any of their stockists as they have an excellent program in place.

Yeti – The Bad

  • Inaccurate Size – The model number or size of the Tundra range is not an accurate correlation to the quart size. E.g the Tundra 45 comes in at 37 quarts.
  • Higher Priced – When compared to like-for-like Grizzly products, you will pay more for a Yeti

Grizzly Cooler vs Yeti Cooler Product Line

In some cases these coolers do have like-for-like comparisons, however, in most cases their model names and sizes do differ. So it can be difficult to compare then equally and avoid biases.
With that being said, below are the model numbers available for all roto-molded coolers for each brand, and we then dig into the details on those that we can compare accurately.

Grizzly

Whilst Grizzly don’t have as many size options than Yeti, they are continually launching new models to keep up with customer demand.
One of which is the new Grizzly Kenai range. For now, we will stick to the standard grizzly ‘G’ range.

Bestseller No. 1
Grizzly 20 Cooler | 20 qt Ice Chest Durable Rotomolded Insulated | Made in USA | Warranty for Life | For Beach Boat Camping Fishing Hunting | G20 | Sandstone
  • ROTOMOLDED - If the walls of a cooler aren’t uniform in thickness, the strength and durability of that cooler is questionable at best. Our coolers are built with rotationally-molded LLDPE plastic to...
  • ECOMATE INSULATION - We want to protect the Outdoors for all of us to enjoy. Grizzly Coolers use Ecomate for optimal cooling. We also use it because this unique insulation has no global warming...
  • LID GASKET - A cooler isn't cool if it doesn't keep things cold. Grizzly Cooler lids seal for optimal insulation even in hot temperatures with a rubber gasket to keep cold air trapped inside to extend...
  • LATCHES - The Bearclaw latches are a Grizzly exclusive design. Easy to use, interchangeable, and retain a bear grip on the lid
  • MADE IN THE USA with a LIFETIME WARRANTY Customer Service - If you have an issue with your order please send us a message, we will respond promptly
Bestseller No. 2
Grizzly 100 Cooler | 100 qt Ice Chest Durable Rotomolded Insulated | Made in USA | Warranty for Life | for Beach Boat Camping Fishing Hunting | G100 | Lunar Green
  • ROTOMOLDED: Our coolers are made from rotationally-molded LLDPE plastic and are designed to achieve even wall thicknesses for optimal durability
  • THERMAL PROPERTIES: All hard-sided coolers are pressure injected with up to two inches of Ecomate polyurethane foam for optimal cooling. This unique insulation has no global warming potential, no...
  • LID GASKET - A cooler isn't cool if it doesn't keep things cold. Grizzly Cooler lids seal for optimal insulation even in hot temperatures with a rubber gasket to keep cold air trapped inside to extend...
  • Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) Certified: All Grizzly hardside coolers are IGBC Certified Bear-Resistant. Each hardside cooler also comes with two lock holes to keep your cooler secure and...
  • MADE IN THE USA with a LIFETIME WARRANTY Customer Service - If you have an issue with your order please send us a message, we will respond promptly
Bestseller No. 3
Grizzly 15 Cooler | 15 qt Ice Chest Durable Rotomolded Insulated | Made in USA | Warranty for Life | For Beach Boat Camping Fishing Hunting | G15 | Tan
  • Rotomolded: Our coolers are made from rotationally-molded LLDPE plastic and are designed to achieve even wall thicknesses for optimal durability
  • Thermal Properties: All hard-sided coolers are pressure injected with up to two inches of Ecomate polyurethane foam for optimal cooling, no global warming potential, no ozone depletion potential, and...
  • Lid Gasket: Our lids seal with a rubber gasket to keep cold air trapped extending the longevity of your ice; Dry goods tray sold separately
  • Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) Certified: All Grizzly hardside coolers are IGBC Certified Bear-Resistant with two lock holes to keep your cooler secure and your contents safe
  • MADE IN THE USA with a LIFETIME WARRANTY | Imported Shoulder Strap | Customer Service - If you have an issue with your order please send us a message, we will respond promptly
Bestseller No. 4
Grizzly 40 Cooler, Orange, G40, 40 QT
  • Rotomolded: Our coolers are made from rotationally-molded LLDPE plastic and are designed to achieve even wall thicknesses for optimal durability
  • Thermal Properties: All hard-sided coolers are pressure injected with up to two inches of Ecomate polyurethane foam for optimal cooling. This unique insulation has no global warming potential, no...
  • Lid Gasket: Our lids seal with a rubber gasket to keep cold air trapped extending the longevity of your ice.
  • Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) Certified: All Grizzly hardside coolers are IGBC Certified Bear-Resistant. Each hardside cooler also comes with two lock holes to keep your cooler secure and...
  • Made in USA
Bestseller No. 5
Grizzly 60 Cooler | 60 qt Ice Chest Durable Rotomolded Insulated | Made in USA | Warranty for Life | for Beach Boat Camping Fishing Hunting | G60 | Light Blue
  • ROTOMOLDED: Our coolers are made from rotationally-molded LLDPE plastic and are designed to achieve even wall thicknesses for optimal durability
  • THERMAL PROPERTIES: All hard-sided coolers are pressure injected with up to two inches of Ecomate polyurethane foam for optimal cooling. This unique insulation has no global warming potential, no...
  • LID GASKET: Our lids seal with a rubber gasket to keep cold air trapped extending the longevity of your ice. Dry goods tray sold separately
  • IGBC CERTIFIED: All Grizzly hardside coolers are IGBC Certified Bear-Resistant. Each hardside cooler also comes with two lock holes to keep your cooler secure and your contents safe.
  • MADE IN THE USA with a LIFETIME WARRANTY Customer Service - If you have an issue with your order please send us a message, we will respond promptly.
Bestseller No. 6
Grizzly Drifter 6-Pack | Flip-top Soft Cooler Bag | Ice Chest for Beach Boat Camping Car Fishing Golf Hiking Hunting Lunch Picnic | Lightweight Portable Insulated Waterproof | Blackout
  • With a 4-quart capacity perfect for short trips, quick hikes, or anytime you need your drinks chilled on the move
  • Heavy Duty Zipper – Provides a secure and durable closure. Enhances the cooler’s insulation properties, ensuring contents remain cold and protected from external temperatures
  • Waterproof 1680D Polyester Shell – Offers robust protection against water and wear. Keeps contents dry and safe, even in wet conditions, and extends the cooler’s durability for long-lasting use
  • Additional storage pocket inside the lid for keys, wallet or bottle opener
  • Insulated non-skid EVA bottom; Molle attachment system; Removeable shoulder strap
Bestseller No. 7
Grizzly Drifter 12 Soft Sided Cooler |12 qt Flip-Top Cooler | Ice Chest for Beach Boat Camping Car Fishing Golf Hiking Hunting Lunch Picnic | Lightweight Portable Insulated Waterproof | Blackout
  • HEAVY-DUTY ZIPPER: Say goodbye to annoying snags! Our zipper ensures a firm seal, keeping the cold in and the heat out.
  • WATERPROOF 1680D POLYESTER SHELL: Ready for any adventure, this robust shell will brave the elements, keeping your contents dry.
  • DRINKWARE POCKETS: Dual pockets for your beverage needs. Stay hydrated, folks!
  • GENEROUS STORAGE OPTIONS: Two large exterior storage pockets to keep your essentials within reach, along with an additional pocket inside the lid for those nifty items.
  • INSULATED NON-SKID EVA BOTTOM: Your cooler stays where you place it, thanks to the non-skid bottom. No more sliding around in your trunk or boat!
Bestseller No. 8
Grizzly Drifter 20 Soft Sided Cooler | 20 qt Flip-Top Cooler Bag | Ice Chest for Beach Boat Camping Fishing Hiking Hunting Picnic | Lightweight Portable Insulated Waterproof | Lunar Green
  • 20-quart capacity
  • Waterproof ballistic polyester shell
  • Easy opening heavy duty zippers
  • Integrated drinkware pocket
  • Molded EVA lid and base

Yeti

The Yeti Thundra range offers a wide range of cooler sizes from 20-quarts all the way to 350 quarts.
It’s important to note here that the model names are not an exact size correlation to the number of quarts you are getting. For example, the YETI Tundra 45, is actually 37.6 quarts.

Bestseller No. 1
YETI Tundra 45 Cooler, Navy
  • The YETI Tundra 45 combines versatility with durability with a capacity of up to 26 cans with a recommended 2:1 ice-to-contents ratio
  • Ice stays ice thanks to up to 3 inches of PermaFrost Insulation and an extra thick FatWall design is certified Bear-Resistant
  • The Rotomolded Construction makes the Tundra armored to the core and virtually indestructible so wherever you decide to take it, this portable cooler’s sturdy construction will stand up to the...
  • All Tundra coolers feature T-Rex Lid Latches constructed of heavy-duty rubber so you’ll never see another busted latch and has patented keeper technology
  • The Tundra 45 dimensions are 25 1/2 in long x 16 in wide x 15 ½ in high with an empty weight of 23 lbs NOTE: All Tundra models come standard with one dry goods basket.
Bestseller No. 2
Yeti Roadie 24 Hard Cooler White
  • Made for the road and ready to go – The Roadie 24 Hard Cooler packs more while taking up less space. It’s built tall to accommodate critical bottles of wine and slim enough to squeeze behind the...
  • HEFTYHAULER HANDLE - Designed for easy hauling and comfortable carrying
  • ROTOMOLDED CONSTRUCTION - Evolved to be thinner and lighter-weight for easier transport, while still incredibly tough
  • QUICKLATCH - Flexible, simple, and built for quick, one-handed cooler access
  • The Roadie 24 holds 18 cans with a 2:1 ice-to-can ratio or 24 lbs of just ice. It measures 16 1/2” L × 14 1/2”W × 17 1/2” H
Bestseller No. 3
YETI Tundra 65 Cooler, Navy
  • Neverfail Hinge System - An interlocking two-pin design that prevents breaking.
  • Interlock Lid System Creates a form-fitting barrier against extreme temps and a freezer-quality gasket that blocks out the heat and locks in the cold.
  • Bearfoot Non-Slip Feet Prevent sliding on the boat or in the backseat.
  • This premium cooler is infused with that legendary YETI toughness — a durable rotomoulded construction
  • Vortex Drain System - Leakproof, rugged, and designed for quick and easy draining
Bestseller No. 4
YETI Tundra 35 Cooler, Desert Tan
  • The YETI Tundra 35 is portable enough for one person to haul while still having an impressive carrying capacity of up to 20 cans with a recommended 2:1 ice-to-contents ratio
  • Ice stays ice thanks to up to 3 inches of PermaFrost Insulation and an extra thick FatWall design is certified Bear-Resistant
  • The Rotomolded Construction makes the Tundra armored to the core and virtually indestructible so wherever you decide to take it, this portable cooler’s sturdy construction will stand up to the...
  • All Tundra coolers feature T-Rex Lid Latches constructed of heavy-duty rubber so you’ll never see another busted latch and has patented keeper technology
  • The Tundra 35 dimensions are 21 3/8 in long x 16 1/8 in wide x 15 3/4 in high with an empty weight of 20 lbs NOTE: All Tundra models come standard with one dry goods basket
Bestseller No. 5
YETI Hopper Flip 8 Portable Cooler, Big Wave Blue
  • The Hopper Flip 8 has ColdCell Insulation, a closed-cell foam that offers superior cold-holding to ordinary soft coolers, with a capacity of up to 6 cans plus ice
  • Features a 100% leakproof HydroLok Zipper and high-density fabric that withstands punctures and UV rays
  • The DryHide Shell is waterproof and resistant to punctures, and abrasions so it will hold its own when faced with the hazards of the wild
  • The only personal cooler that’s game for full days in the tree stand, early mornings in the duck boat, or afternoons on the water
  • The Hopper Flip 8 dimensions are 11 1/2 in long x 8 in wide x 10 ½ in high and an empty weight of 2.8 lbs.
Bestseller No. 6
YETI Hopper Flip 18 Portable Cooler, Big Wave Blue
  • The Hopper Flip 18 has ColdCell Insulation, a closed-cell foam that offers superior cold-holding to ordinary soft coolers, with a capacity of up to 16 cans plus ice
  • Features a 100% leakproof HydroLok Zipper and high-density fabric that withstands punctures and UV rays
  • The DryHide Shell is waterproof and resistant punctures, and abrasions so it will hold its own when faced with the hazards of the wild
  • The only personal cooler that’s game for full days in the tree stand, early mornings in the duck boat, or afternoons on the water
  • The Hopper Flip 18 dimensions are 15 2/3 in long x 10 1/5 in wide x 12 3/5 in high and an empty weight of 5.1 lbs.
Bestseller No. 7
YETI Hopper M12 Backpack Soft Sided Cooler with MagShield Access, Navy
  • Carry up to 20 cans of your favorite beverage (or 12 pounds of ice) while keeping your hands free
  • MAGSHIELD ACCESS - Durable and powerful magnets create an ultra leak-resistant shield that stays open when you need it and snaps closed with a gentle push
  • COLDCELL INSULATION - Closed-cell foam offers impressive cold-holding capabilities, helping keep your frosty goods ice cold
  • DRYHIDE SHELL - High-density fabric withstands punctures and UV rays
  • KANGAROO POCKET - A pocketon the exterior holds a phone, keys, wallet, or a little bit of hot sauce. Easily access all your must haves
Bestseller No. 8
YETI Hopper M30 Portable Soft Cooler with MagShield Access, Charcoal
  • YETI’s tough-as-nails Hopper M30 Soft Cooler has a major update. With the 2.0 Version, their signature wide-mouth opening has been re-engineered to stay open with ease and close tight with a gentle...
  • MAGSHIELD ACCESS: Powerful magnets create an ultra leak-resistant shield that stays open when you need it and seals closed with a gentle push.
  • COLDCELL INSULATION: Closed-cell foam offers impressive cold-holding capabilities, helping keep your frosty goods ice cold.
  • DRYHIDE SHELL: High-density fabric withstands punctures and UV rays.
  • HITCHPOINT GRID: Securely attach your SideKick Dry Gear Case or load it up with zingers, nippers, bottle openers, and multitools.

Ice Retention

Ok, this section is an important one and is what many of us use as the yardstick for which to measure how ‘good’ a cooler is in comparison to another. So let’s get straight to it.
Over a 5-7 day window, the Grizzly cooler maxed out at around 5-days with there being very little to no ice remaining in the cooler.
The Yeti, on the other hand, had enough ice left to continue cooling for another 1-2 days max.
In short, when it comes to the mid-sized coolers (40-65 quarts), Yeti wins on ice retention. Now when we look at the smaller 20-quart sized coolers, the Grizzly’s actually came out on top.
So the takeaway here is that whilst ice retention is important, when it comes to testing there are many factors that can influence the result, such as the cooler color, as darker shades absorb more heat than say white.
To wrap this section up, if your main concern is going a full-week with your cooler then the Yeti is the better choice. For shorter trips, I’d go with the Grizzly. This is pretty important, especially if you’re looking for a the best marine cooler.

Build Quality

Latch System

One of the biggest difference between these two cooler brands is their latch systems.
For Yeti we have the T-Rex ball latch system that is widely known through the industry and is very durable and secure.
I really like how the Yeti latches are ‘tight’, meaning that when you raise the cooler lid, they don’t drop down and prevent you from closing the lid again without moving them manually. (This is an issue we found with RTIC in our RTIC vs Yeti article and was one of the main drawbacks.)
Grizzly, on the other hand, have what is called a ‘bear claw’ latch system, which comprises of a rectangular shaped piece of rubber which wraps around the molded-plastic peg system of the cooler base.
If I have to compare the two systems, I have a slight preference for the Yeti ball-latch system for its simplicity and ease of use.

Durability & Security

In this video from Grizzly coolers named “Grizzly Coolers Torture Test”, you can see how a Grizzly 16 stands up against an 11,000 lbs John Deere tractor…impressive to say the least!

If you stow your cooler in your truck bed, for example, both coolers offer the ability to lock them closed using a padlock inserter between the small holes on the lid and base of the cooler.
I would say this is a nice to have but not a game changer for me personally. If someone wanted to get into the cooler…there’s not much you can do to stop them. Still, this could deter any opportunists that may be passing by.

Bear Proof

Both Grizzly and Yeti coolers are certified as bear-proof, which, depending on how and where you will use your cooler may or may not matter to you. Personally, if a bear wants to take my cooler he can have it whilst I make a swift exit!
With that being said, there aren’t many Yeti competitors that can display the bear-proof logo, which has given Yeti that “indestructible” reputation over the years.
Many of the lower priced competitors choose not to get certified to cut down on costs, which can then be passed onto you the consumer, in the form of a cheaper end product.

Price Comparison

If we take the middle of the road cooler from each brand, in this case, the Grizzly 40 and the Yeti Tundra 45, we can compare them on price and see how they differ.
You will find that you will be paying around $50 MORE for the Yeti, and that’s for a similar product and 3-quarts less than you get with the Grizzly.
When we step up to the larger coolers, taking the Grizzly 75 vs Yeti Tundra 75, we can see there is a $100+ price difference between these two like-for-like coolers.

Grizzly vs Yeti – The Final Verdict

So, is it worth paying the extra money for a Yeti cooler?
If you’re brand conscious and want to show people you have the money for the best gear, then sure, go ahead and buy the Yeti.
If, however, you’d rather save yourself the $100, perhaps spend it on beers for your buddies or other gear, then there is no reason not to choose the Grizzly.
They are both equally as durable, can stand up to a tonne of abuse and are likely to last you for many many years as some of the top cooler brands. With that said, what swayed my decision, in the end, was the lifetime warranty provided by Grizzly, in favor of just a 5-year warranty with Yeti.
My personal choice – go with the Grizzly.

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