Many campers and overlanders are looking for coolers like YETI, but perhaps a bit cheaper. Not spending too much on an ice chest also makes sense if an overland rig is already equipped with a 12 Volt portable fridge-freezer, so the cooler would merely be a secondary way to keep drinks cold and perishables fresh.
The Ozark Trail Coolers are on many buyers’ radar. However, does the much lower price still come with great qualities? How do Ozark Trail Coolers compare versus YETI? Let’s find out in this review post!
Is the Ozark Trail Cooler as good as YETI?
YETI is good for those that don’t mind spending a couple of extra bucks on a good product – as long as they have the assurance that it will work properly. But if you are on a tighter budget, the Ozark Trail Cooler might also cut it as it is a very good cooler – but the ice may not resist as much as in the case of YETI. Having said that, it’s about half of the price of an equivalent YETI Cooler. Now that’s a lot of money you can spend on other gear you need.
Quick Comparison Table:
Ozark Trail vs. YETI Tundra
Ozark Trail Cooler vs. YETI – which is the winner? There are many camping cooler brands that are mainly aiming to compete with YETI’s market dominance.
Some may be better for people on a budget while others may be more appropriate for those who want value for their money.
The YETI Tundra is the leader on the market – which is why it is also a little hard on the budget.
Here are some features that might interest you regarding the YETI:
- Fatwall Design that offers two inches of ice insulation
- Permafrost Insulation made from foam that ensures the ice will not melt
- Rotomolded Construction that drastically increases its durability
Furthermore, the Tundra Coolers have some additional features that users find useful. For example, the T-Rex lid latches ensure the cooler stays completely sealed and that it will not pop off, exposing the ice.
Furthermore, the LipGrip handles makes it very easy to carry around without bumping into the cooler at every step.
You also have the advantage of the Doublehaul handles that were made from durable military-grade polyester rope.
- Portable enough for 1 person to haul
- 3 inch of permafrost insulation & fat wall design
- Built to be bear resistant
- 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
- 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 rigors of the journey
The unit is leakproof and rugged. It’s equipped with a drain plug system designed for easy and quick draining. The drain system is threaded as well.
Also, considering that the ice can last for as long as 8 days, the chances are that you’ll return home with the ice intact.
In the event that you go on a camping weekend, this is the perfect tool for you.
Mostly, people are pretty happy about its ability to retain a cold temperature. Even when the ice melts, the water will still remain cold – which gives you a few extra days.
The only item that buyers had complaints about were the price tag.
- Solid and durable construction
- It can keep the ice from melting for an extended time
- It is easy to carry around if you grab it by the handles
- The price tag is rather high
Opposite of this end, we have the Ozark Trail coolers, the brand that every budget savvy person goes for.
The design is similar to the YETI – the only difference being the materials and construction. If you are after a list of the features, here’s what you might want to keep in mind:
- Premium insulation that ensures your ice resists for up to 9 days
- Rotomolded construction without any seams that is resistant to UV lights
- Locking plate that was made with industrial stainless steel
- Heavy-duty handles that are easy to grip
Considering that this product received a bear-resistant certificate from the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, you know for sure that your food will stay safe as you’re camping. This means there’s no chance Yogi will steal your food.
The Ozark also features four cup holders, which means it also doubles as a table. Furthermore, the latches are secure, so the risk of them popping off is very low; the food will remain insulated for as long as you leave it there.
The handles have a similar design as the ones on YETI Tundras – the only difference being that this item doesn’t feature the same sturdy military-grade rope. It’s thinner – like the kind you would normally see on a backpack.
For this reason, the handles feel rather insecure and more prone to wear and tear. There are, however, customers that say they are sturdier than they look.
Some customers complain that it cannot hold the ice for more than two days, but there are also those who claim it can easily hold up ice for more than a week.
Perhaps it has to do with the way you latch it or how often you open the cooler.
- It can hold ice for up to a week
- The handles are comfortable to hold
- Sturdy construction
- Strong hinges
- Occasionally customers complain about short ice retention
- Carry handles are not as sturdy as YETI’s
Bottom Line: the conclusion to this Ozark Trail Cooler vs. YETI comparison is the following – both coolers can hold ice for a decent amount of time, but YETI seems to have longer ice retention capabilities.
Furthermore, YETI is proportionally more lightweight, making it the better option to take with you when you’re camping. YETI will be the better cooler in the long run.
Ozark Trail Coolers vs YETI – Comparison Tables
Ozark Trail Premium Backpack vs. YETI Hopper BackFlip Cooler
If you decided to pitch your tent at a location inaccessible with your vehicle, you’ll have to carry some of your camping equipment to the campsite.
The same goes for surfing spots or similar activities where you just can’t drive right to the place where your gear needs to be unloaded from the vehicle. This is where a backpack cooler is very useful.
They may look slightly different, but their function is the same: to keep your food and drinks cool during a trip and at the same time, make it easy to carry them around.
Ozark Trail Backpack Cooler
The Ozark cooler backpack, for instance, is the one you go for when you are on a budget.
Being 13 inches wide, 8.5 inches thick, and 19 inches tall, it’s big enough to carry food and drinks for a couple of days – making it the perfect option if you want to go on a weekend getaway. Here are the features that should interest you:
- Made from 600D coated fabric
- Cushioned straps that are adjustable
- The interior can fit 20 cans, plus the ice
Made from 600D coated polyester, this backpack is not only durable, but also leakproof.
Granted, it may not be as indestructible as a plastic carry cooler, but it’s certainly very good at doing its job.
You may adjust the straps to fit your own comfort and height level. Plus, considering they are generously cushioned, you may carry this backpack for a prolonged time without feeling uncomfortable.
The weight will balance over your back, and will, therefore, prevent bad back posture.
Technically, the Ozark Trail backpack cooler can fit 20 cans of drinks or food; however, this also depends on how much ice you plan on adding.
If it’s little ice, you can fit around 18 to 20 cans – but the ice will only hold for about one or two days.
On the other hand, if you increase the ice intake, you can carry it for a longer time – but you’ll only be able to carry 12-15 cans.
The ice may have melted by the 3rd day, but it will still remain relatively cool – at least, cooler than the temperature outside.
The backpack is zipper-closed, meaning that it’s very easy to operate. However, people complained that there might be leaks through the teeth of the zipper – therefore causing the ice to melt sooner than it should.
- It is easy to carry
- The material is durable
- It holds the cold inside
- Leakproof when standing
- The zipper is weak
- It might not hold the ice cool for as long as it should
YETI Hopper BackFlip Cooler
On the more “premium” side, we have the YETI Hopper BackFlip Cooler. It’s a bit more expensive than the Ozark, but most customers claim that it’s worth the price – since it can hold the ice for a longer time and it is very durable.
Here are its main features:
- DryHide Shell made from high-density nylon fabric
- ColdCell Insulation using rubber foam
- Hydro lock zipper to prevent leaks
- It can fit up to 12 cans of beverage
At 12 inches wide, 6 inches thick, and 15 inches tall, it’s a bit smaller than the Ozark cooler – but at the same time, it features superior ColdCell Insulation.
With this in mind, the cooler can carry 20 cans of beverage and 25 pounds of ice without any issues.
According to users, the zipper is actually fairly sturdy, and it is also leakproof. They had no problems carrying the beverage through hot temperatures, and the ice can hold for as long as 24 hours before it shows signs of melting.
- Compact form
- Durable material
- Advanced insulation
- Leakproof zipper
- It might need a bit more shoulder paddingLimited compatibility
Bottom Line: the YETI backpack cooler may be a bit more expensive, but it has a zipper that insulates much better – keeping your drinks cooler for longer.
YETI vs. Ozark Trail Overall Features Comparison
From the above review and discussion, you can see that the Ozark Trailer Cooler lineup is a real contender to be a great alternative to Yeti coolers. Now, in this section, we will compare the YETI vs. Ozark Trail in terms of some premium and standard features. So, let’s start…
Portability is a crucial factor to consider when you are buying a new cooler. Now the Ozark Trail coolers come with a couple of different types of handles. For instance, the Ozark Trail 26-Quart cooler comes with an overhead handle made of stainless steel.
Whereas the 52/73 quart coolers come with high-performance side handles. The side handles also feature cushioned grips.
At the same time, the smaller models from YETI also features similar overhead stainless steel handle. The bigger models are also equipped with cushioned grip side handles for carrying these easily.
We also see that booth the Ozark Trail and YETI feature anti-skid rubber feet on most of their top-of-the-line coolers. Due to that, you can place these coolers on any type of surface without any issues.
Build Quality and Durability
These coolers (especially YETI) are not that cheap. Also, you will not buy a cooler every other day. Thus, when you are purchasing a new cooler, you will want to get one that will last a long time.
For that reason, you have to be concerned about the durability and the build quality of the cooler you are going to buy.
Now, when it comes to the build quality, the YETI coolers blow the Ozark Trail out of the water. Both these coolers come with rotomolded construction, stainless steel handle, and a rugged body. However, still, from our experience, we can tell you that the Yeti is the best option when it comes to the built quality.
That doesn’t mean that the Ozark Cooler is a bad choice, though.
As you already know that like the YETI coolers, the Ozark Trail coolers also got the bear-resistant certification from the IGBC (Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee).
This is possible only because the Ozark Trail cooler is actually a ruggedly build cooler lineup, nevertheless.
Ice Retention/ Insulation Capability
We know that the YETI is the best when it comes to ice retention capability. Some YETI can hold ice up to 10-12 days under certain conditions. However, do you need that much longer to retain the ice on the cooler?
From our experience, we can tell that it is pretty good if your cooler can retain ice for about 3 days. Of course, the more the merrier in this case.
From that perspective, both the YETI and the Ozark Trail Cooler are good enough. As the Ozark Trail Cooler series can also retain ice for up to 10 days depending on the models and the external conditions.
Both of these cooler brands offer T-Rex lid latches, easy-to-use threaded drain plug, rotomolded construction, industry-standard gasket, and premium insulation on their coolers.
Added to that, the drain plug available in the Ozark Trail cooler is oversized. So, you can drain the water pretty fast and effortlessly.
Thus, in terms of the ice retention ability and the water drainage system, we think the Ozark Trail Cooler is almost as good as the YETI coolers.
Both the Ozark Trail and the YETI come with some well-designed coolers. O review this feature, we noticed that these coolers almost look similar.
However, the Ozark Trail comes with concave edges, pretty-looking T-latches, glass holders, and a colored grip on the handle. All of these features make the Ozark Trail Cooler brand eye candy.
Similarly, the YETI coolers also have the same form factor as the Ozark Trail Coolers. But they come with black-colored handles and latches.
The design is also aesthetically pleasing. In our opinion, when it comes to the design, the choice between these two brands will depend on the personal preference of the user.
YETI is known for providing premium coolers. But at the same time, this cooler is also sold at a hefty amount of price.
On the other hand, the Ozark Trail brand is a cost-effective option. So, if you are in a budget constraint and a high-performance cooler with a lot of beneficial features, you would like the Ozark Trail Cooler. But, if budget is not an issue for you, you should go with the YETI coolers.
Both the YETI and the Ozark Trail come with some exclusive features as well. Let’s talk about some of these in this part of the review.
On the other hand, there are a lot of third party accessories that you can buy for each of these brands.
On top of the most Ozark Trail Coolers, you will see 4 drink holders. So you can safely put water or any similar item, while you are camping outdoor. Unfortunately, the YETI doesn’t offer such features.
But, as the top of the YETI coolers is flat, you still can use that as a table. However, it will not be as reliable as drink holders for safely keeping the water and the drinks.
Another cool feature of the Ozark Trail standard Cooler is that most of them come with a fish ruler on top of the lid. This is not available on the YETI coolers.
This fish ruler can come in handy for measuring the fish quickly to see whether the size is legal or not.
Once again, another pretty cool feature from the Ozark Trail Premium Jumbo soft cooler is the integration of ‘Bottle Openers’. It comes with a couple of bottle openers.
This feature can come in handy at any time. Remember, this not available on any YETI soft cooler.
In this case, the winner is the YETI coolers. For us, this was the easiest decision to make in this review. YETI is sold with about 8 to 10 pretty attractive colors in their soft cooler and standard cooler lineup.
Some of the colors are white, seafoam, black, river green, and coral, etc. By contrast, the Ozark Trail offers only about 3 colors including black and white as the primary options.
If you are picky about colors, then you should go with the YETI coolers.
You should always go with a reputed company that is known for its great after-sale services. Interestingly, both the Ozark Trail Cooler and the YETI cooler brand offers 5 years of warranty.
So, if anything is wrong with your cooler, you will be able to get free services from either of these brands within 5 years.
Frequently Asked Questions—YETI vs. Ozark Trail Cooler
Is Ozark Trail cooler as good as YETI?
The short answer to this question is NO. In our opinion, the YETI coolers are far better than the Ozark Trail coolers. It is true that the Ozark Trail cooler comes with some similar features to the YETI coolers.
But most of the Ozark cooler models fall short in terms of quality.
However, the Ozark Trail coolers have the upper hand when it comes to pricing. In that regard, you should go with any Yeti cooler models if you are looking for quality.
On the other hand, as the price of the Ozark trailer coolers is cheaper, this can be a great budget-friendly alternative to a YETI cooler.
Are Ozark Trail and YETI the same?
No, they are different brands and, therefore, different products. For your information, YETI is an Austin, Texas-based outdoor and lifestyle products manufacturer.
They have been in this industry for over 14 years since 2006. Yeti is widely known for its models of premium coolers and drink-ware items.
On the other hand, the Ozark Trail is also an outdoor equipment and lifestyle products manufacturer from Arkansas, USA.
At the moment, they are owned by Walmart, Inc. They are also commonly known for supplying soft/hard-sided high-performance cooler, and drink-ware.
So, even though Ozark Trail and YETI are not the same company, they sold similar types of products and items all over the world for a long time.
What Cooler is Equal to a YETI?
The market is saturated with a lot of types of coolers. For instance, you can have a Canyon cooler, an Engel cooler, a Pelican cooler, RTIC cooler or a K2 cooler. But most of these coolers are not equal to a YETI cooler in terms of quality and features.
Some users claim that there are few other brands that can compete with a YETI cooler in terms of quality and features. And, those are Techni Ice, Siberian, and Orca coolers.
You can check some of the models from these cooler brands out for more information. Also, there are a lot of coolers that are cheaper than a YETI ice chest.
How Long Does Ice Last In An Ozark Trail Cooler?
You know that Ozark Trail has a lot of cooler models in the market. And the ice retention capability of these particular models varies from one to another.
For instance, the Ozark Trail 73 cooler can retain ice for up to 9 days. However, the Ozark Trail 52 has an ice retention ability for up to 7 days.
So, in that sense, the Ozark Trail Cooler can hold ice ranging from 12 hours to 10 days depending on the model of the cooler.
Now, from our experience, we can say that the real ice retention capability also varies depending on a lot of external factors. For instance, it will depend on the environment and the frequency of opening and closing the cooler, etc.
Is Ozark Trail Cooler the Best Cooler for the Money?
This is a tricky question to answer as there are a whole lot of coolers out there from different brands.
However, in our opinion, most of the models from the Ozark Trail are worth the money you would need to spend.
Because these coolers come with some premium features and have some pretty affordable price tags.
Final Thoughts and Advice
It is not easy to purchase the best cooler for a camping trip. Sometimes, a regular cooler such as the Ozark Trail might be sufficient for you.
If you think your campsite is most of the time right next to your vehicle or you plan on tailgating only, go for an ice chest, not a backpack.
On the other hand, if you’re actually after a backpack, choose the YETI Hopper BackFlip cooler. It will be a better choice than the Ozark Trail equivalent in the long run.
YETI is good for those that don’t mind spending a couple of extra bucks on a good product – as long as they have the assurance that it will work properly.
Perhaps something in between Ozark Trail coolers and YETI would be a better choice if you don’t want to spend YETI-price.