Ice Chest Coolers – RTIC Ice Chest Review

If you’re reading this, you’re interested in a cooler, possibly for camping, maybe for hiking, or even boating. It could be all of the above. Today I’m going to review the RTIC ice chest coolers. I’ll also talk about some of the other stuff that RTIC sells, besides coolers.

RTIC Ice Chest Coolers – The Nitty Gritty

RTIC Cooler

One of the best things about the RTIC is when they ship it, it’s shipped ready to go. You take it out of the box and there is no assembly required. The t-latches, foot pads, and rope handles are all installed. Just wash it out (I do that with anything new) with a mild detergent, fill with ice, and you’ll be keeping food cold for days!

The RTIC is built using a method called “Roto-molding” which basically means it’s all one cut. No seams to leak cold air through. This is extremely important when it comes to coolers. This method provides two important levels of quality when it comes to a high quality cooler

  1. Maximizes the cold air retention inside the cooler, which makes the ice last longer.
  2. Rugged outer shell meaning it can withstand a high level of abuse, and still last.

Because of the way it is built, using the Roto-molding, it allows for 2″ of polyurethane foam insulation, and the lids with up to 3″ of insulation.

The number one question asked, “How long with the RTIC keep ice?”
That’s a hard one to answer because there are so many variables. How often do you open it? What is the ambient air temperature? Is it in the shade or direct sunlight? Is your ice in big blocks, or smaller cubes? Because of this, you can’t narrow down a specific time that it will hold ice, but some testimonials have said they had theirs hold ice for up to 14 days! Talk about a portable freezer.

Features And Accessories

A good review wouldn’t be complete without a breakdown of some key features and accessories. There are some features that make some coolers more attractive than others. Here are some that differentiate RTIC from other brands.

  • T-Latches – Made of a strong silicone and “T” shape design, make sure that the lid stays closed to the top, and makes it easier to grip the handle in order to unlock it.
  • Freezer Grade Gasket – It’s useless how great your cooler is if it can’t keep the cold air in and hot air out. Around the lid of the cooler you will find a freezer grade gasket measuring ¼ inch wide and ¼ inch thick, that not only seals off the cooler to keep contents colder for longer periods of time, but also prevents leakage.
  • Easy Lift Handle – Do you have a cooler that has a lid that is flush with the cooler? Ever try to open it and end up snapping your fingers? Well the RTIC has a lid that extends 1/2″ beyond the cooler, making it easier to open without using the T-Latches, so the latches will last longer.
  • Molded Tie Downs – Whether you are venturing off-road in your ATV, or out on the lake for a day of fishing, you want your cooler to be secured so you don’t lose it and all it’s contents. RTIC molds in tie downs so you aren’t trying to tie off the handles, which could end up breaking.
  • Carrying Handles – RTIC provides two different types of handles, depending on the size of the cooler. One handle is molded right into the side of the cooler, the other is a rope handle.
  • Full-Length Hinge System – This feature cannot be stated enough. One of the things that will make me hate a cooler more than anything else, is a hinge breaking and the top becoming separated from the bottom.
  • Use It As A Step Stool – Because the RTIC is built with such durability, they put a non-slip surface on the top of the cooler, so you can even stand on it to get to hard-to reach areas.
  • Dry Ice Compatible – This is one feature that really makes these coolers stand out from the rest. Should the need arise, you can put dry ice in this cooler, and it’s perfectly safe.
  • Get Rid Of Old Water – The RTIC has a “v-drain” system so that every amount of water is drained from the cooler, to help prevent against mold and odors.
  • Cooling Foot Pads – Foot pads that were designed specifically to keep the cooler up off hot surfaces and the ground, to better retain cold air inside, and keep hot air outside.
  • Keep The Critters Out – Another bonus for the rugged build quality, is it keeps animals out of it, including BEARS!

RTIC also offers a variety of accessories to go with your new cooler. Make 2 coolers in one! For the RTIC 45 and RTIC 65 they offer dividers (here and here) that can go inside your cooler, and basically make 2 out of 1. If you’re on a fishing trip and you need space to store your fish away from the rest of the food, put a divider in, and you’re all set.

They also offer baskets (here and here) that allow you to keep food and such suspended.

Who Wants One?

The RTIC 20 is ideal as a personal cooler. If you are working at a job site or just off golfing with a few friends, then this will be perfect for you. It will also function well for a weekend trip or if you plan on camping by yourself or with another person.RTIC 20 Cooler

The RTIC 45, as big as it is can still be carried by one person. This mid-size cooler is ideal for a fishing trip, if you are camping or even tailgating at the next big game. Speaking of game, this cooler also functions well should you decide to hunt small game and need to store it.

The RTIC 65, as large as it is can also be carried and handled by one person, though you may want to get an extra hand. This cooler will be an excellent marine cooler, will work great on a hunting trip or even for longer camping trips. You can use it potentially as a backup refrigerator, for parties or even when hunting bigger game.

What’s the truth?

One user says:

“Best cooler ever! I purchased the RTIC 65 Tan online, it arrived in under a week! I added some warm beverages on Friday, it still had ice the following Sunday! All with constant opening and varying temperatures between 70 and 90 during the week, under the patio in the back yard!

For those who say it needs wheels, I purchased a rolling cart from Sams Club to make moving it much easier!”

Another one:

“I own a Yeti 65 and now this RTIC 65. The RTIC is every bit as well-made as my Yeti and keeps ice just as long. My RTIC actually holds more and the price was much better. If you’re thinking about a Yeti I’d look at this RTIC first.”


I would 100% recommend this product to anyone who is serious about camping. One of the most important aspects of camping, is keeping your perishables from well, perishing. These RTIC coolers will keep anything you need cold, for just about any length camping trip.


Do you have questions about any of the products mentioned here? Drop me a line below and I’ll be happy to answer!






2 Comments on “Ice Chest Coolers – RTIC Ice Chest Review”

  1. Hi Todd, thanks for the information! I’m not really a camper or a hunter, but I’ve been considering getting a cooler for the purpose of brining turkeys and other large cuts of meat, like multiple pork shoulders or beef briskets. Smoking meats is a new hobby for me, but brining these things takes up a large portion of space in my fridge. Do you think the RTIC 45 would be a sufficient size for brining a large turkey overnight?

    1. Hi Josh, depending on how big you consider a large turkey to be (20-25lbs), it would probably fit. The RTIC 45 dimensions are 26.5″ high x 17.5″ wide x 16.6″ tall with 2″ of insulation. As long as it’s not more than a foot in any direction you should be able to fit it fine, and even then you could probably squeeze it in.

      Hope that helps!

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