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Complete Cordova vs. YETI Hard Cooler Comparison

We are happy to give credit to our competitors when and where it’s due. Does YETI make a hard cooler that holds ice longer than the one your parents had while you were growing up (if you’re over 25)? YES. Yes, they do.

But please consider the next question: Does Cordova make a “better” hard cooler than YETI, in America, at a much more reasonable price point? YES. Yes, we do.

We know Cordova, or any cooler brand, vs. YETI is a hot topic. How? The Instagram post where we put our coolers head-to-head in an ice retention test is our most-viewed Reel ever at 3.7MM views as of this writing. Spoiler alert: in a fair contest, Cordova’s ice retention proved superior to YETI’s.

Sure, ice retention is one thing, but what about durability? Once again, the Reels don’t lie. We dropped both hard coolers, fully loaded with ice, from the roof of our manufacturing facility in Idaho, (we would have used YETI’s facility, but theirs is in the Philippines and that’s a long way to go to drop, or make, a cooler). Spoiler alert: from the same height, similarly loaded, Cordova’s hard cooler absorbs the shock with no deformation, and our T-latches stretch to hold the lid in place. YETI, well, you can see the cooler drop for yourself: Click here if preview doesn't load 

Sometimes tables help with side-by-side product comparisons. Here’s a by no means all-inclusive, but still useful list of some key Cordova vs. YETI features:

A few points of contrast between Cordova and YETI bear further consideration:

1. Cordova’s hard coolers are made in America, YETI’s are made in the Philippines: Why does that matter?

Look, the world is one big marketplace, especially for a publicly traded company like YETI. For Cordova, at the end of the day, it’s about community. We find it fulfilling to have built an American manufacturing company where people who learn our trade can earn a living wage and responsibly make top-quality cooler products that are designed and built to last. The upstream effects are important too. We source components and raw materials domestically, even locally, and rely on other skilled tradespeople to maintain our facilities and equipment.

2. Hard Cooler Customization Options: What can we create?

Try us! We have several “Collections” of wrapped coolers featuring designs by local artists (case in point: Cordova’s National Parks Collection just dropped). If you’re looking for a truly unique custom hard cooler, one to commemorate a milestone (they make AWESOME wedding gifts) or to become an heirloom, contact us at We love working with our customers to create truly personalized and functional art.

3. Cooler Value vs. Price: Is there a significant difference?

Value is what you get for what you pay. We did the math on what a quart of storage capacity costs for Cordova’s Basecamp Class 48 qt hard cooler vs. YETI’s Tundra 45 hard cooler. You may be surprised, we were, to learn that YETI’s Tundra 45 actually has an interior capacity of only 31 quarts. The dimensions are on their website. Feel free to run the numbers and check. Our 48 qt cooler has a capacity of, drumroll, 48 quarts (with the lid closed). That works out to YETI charging $9.68 per quart of storage capacity while Cordova’s cost is $5.21 per quart: 46% less. We think that’s significant.

The Cordova Hard Cooler Quality Commitment

Again, we need to give credit where it’s due. You won’t find Max Verstappen, or anyone else who drives for Formula 1 pictured with a Cordova. There’s no Formula 1 Grand Prix in Boise, and we don’t have the budget to give our product to European multi-millionaires or pay for vanity shots from places as varied as Austin and Azerbaijan. Those drivers are amazing, the way they fly around the world and around the track, it’s just not how Cordova rolls.

We’re about Good People Making Great Coolers. About providing you with hard coolers you can count on—no matter the conditions you’re facing. From sport to commercial fishing from the Gulf of Mexico to the Gulf of Alaska, for tailgaters from Arrowhead to Lambeau, we offer well-priced gear that will perform as expected when needed.

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