Best Cooler for The Money in 2021 Reviewed

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Expensive but practically bomb proof!

Yeti gets a lot of flack for being expensive but the saying goes “you get what you pay for” and when it comes to this cooler it’s so true. We have a stack of grocery store coolers outside and no one wants them.

When it comes to a Yeti cooler like the Roadie 20, those never spend a day on the porch because someone is always taking them. We have several now and they’re phenomenal.  

The design is a rotomolded box which is almost indestructible, it’s solid and armored so you can do practically anything to it. It’s certified to be bear-proof which is great for camping. The best feature has to be how heavy duty this thing is, it can stand up to anything.

The latches are rubber so they stretch and twist so they will never snap, and you can just pop on a new one if you do actually manage that or if they degrade. The hinges are designed with a NeverFail system so that they have two pins so they can’t break. The handles are military grade so they’re very durable.

There’s a lot of hype about how long this keeps things cool and it does what it says. The gasket is freezer grade all around the lid and it has two inches of insulation around the entire cooler.

The insulation is pressure injected Perma-frost commercial grade polyeurethane foam to protect against external heat and to keep cool in. It also has an InterLock lid design which is form fitting which helps trap air and keep the contents cool longer.

There’s a lot of cool extra camping features on the outside of the cooler too, small things that just add convenience especially for camping like being bear-resistant and having a leakproof drain that is also pretty quick. The tie-down slots are molded in so you don’t have to worry about them snapping off or having to attach anything yourself.

There’s also double handles to make carrying it easier and a LipGrip design so you can also carry it by the lid itself . The feet are non-slip too and designed so that the cooler can’t be dragged which keeps bears or other animals from dragging it.

Best Cooler for The Money – Yeti Roadie 20

Features and Specifications

  • The exterior dimensions are 15”x12”x19.5” and the interior dimensions are 13.5”x9.5”x10”.
  • It weighs 7.25kg or 13.2lb.
  • It will hold 14 cans and has a total capacity of 20 quarts. It will hold approximately 12 beer bottles. The recommended ice ratio is 2:1.
  • The exterior has two rubber latches to keep it closed.
  • It has 2” of Permafrost insulation to keep contents cool.
  • It comes in several colors including Blue, Tan and White.
  • The cooler is made in the USA.
  • It is rated to keep ice for 2 days and will keep items cool even without ice for hours.
  • It’s super tough and bear proof.
  • The exterior is Rotomolded for hardness and toughness.
  • The handles are milspec rope and the lip also has a handle built in.
  • The lid is cut out to fit exactly with a gasket for a sealed atmospheric lock.

What Customers Are Saying

The cooler is super tough, it’s rugged and built like a tank. It’s perfect for quick trips and just for keeping drinks cold. It will work even longer to keep things cold if you use dry ice but this should be done with caution if you’re using food/liquids that aren’t frozen.

It is small, especially for the price. Yeti is known as a very expensive brand and with reason. This is a drinks cooler, you can’t really put food in it because it’s really quite tiny inside, not much bigger than a lunch box, once you put ice in. If you want a size that can be used for food you will be paying hundreds of dollars.

The problem with this is that you’re getting one of the most indestructible coolers on the market which you will likely never have to replace unless you lose it.

Consider that a lifetime’s cost of coolers. If you have to spend $40 a year on coolers at the store because one breaks each trip or the food in it had to be thrown away then within a few years you’ve equaled the cost of a YETI, and more than paid for a small one like the Roadie 20.  

Who wouldn’t recommend something that is unbreakable!

Who Should Buy This Product

This is ideal for campers, soccer moms/dads, tailgaters, beachgoers, roadtrippers, just about anyone who needs a small cooler just for their drinks. The convenience of having the drinks separate means you don’t have to dig in the food and nothing gets contaminated.

It’s also great if you want the kid’s drinks or the alcohol in a separate cooler since this one can be locked. This is also perfect for campers since it’s bear-proof and rugged enough to stand up to tough terrain (or just people tough on their coolers).

Who Shouldn’t Buy This Product

If you’re not looking to spend a fortune on a cooler avoid anything that says YETI. Even the tumblers are double figures and you won’t get change from three if you want a hard walled cooler.

This is also not good if you want a food/picnic sized cooler or a lunchbox as it’s too bulky to be a lunchbox and too small to carry food for a family. It’s also much too rugged to be necessary for most families who just need a cooler to head to the store and back.


The Yeti Roadie 20 is a boxy beast, and it’s a durable and solid. This is perfect for just about every occasion where you need a little drinks cooler – traveling, camping.

It’s tough and it can take a beating, even if that beating is from a bear wandering through, as well as having neat features like rubber clasps instead of snaps so you don’t have to worry about them breaking. This is an indestructible cooler, so it’s worth the price if you never have to replace it. All in one, this is the best cooler for the money.

Bringing a cooler on your camping trip is an essential! Check out our top 3 recommended coolers for your trip. 

Soft coolers are great to bring with you on a picnic. Read about our favorite one here.

Need a wheeled cooler to bring with you on trips? Learn about the best one we recommend here.

Meet the Author

'Mountain Man' John

'Mountain Man' John is a Survival and Preparedness enthusiast who loves everything outdoors. He has a passion for learning anything and everything to help sustain his and his families way of life post SHTF. He frequently shares his knowledge on a variety of topics from his hands on DIY projects, learning new skills such as hunting and trapping along with reviews on his Survival related purchases - Prepping has been in his family for generations, it's in his blood.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Lita Watson Jul 21, 2017, 12:29 am

    I see that Yeti cooler can last longer than the Coleman Xtreme cooler. Although it’s a bit expensive, I see it’s good at all.