When comparing Orca coolers vs Yeti coolers we discovered that the two coolers are comparable in features and price but Orca coolers had better ice retention, a longer warranty and are made in America.
If you’re trying to decide between these two coolers then let me first say you are comparing two of the best coolers on the market.Yeti is the pioneer in the cooler industry, creating the first roto-moulded cooler back in 2006. It’s brand is extremely well known and recognized with hundreds of thousands of happy customers. Orca (stands for Outdoor Recreation Company of America) is newer to the market, first selling it’s coolers in 2012. Orca coolers are all American made, provide the best ice retention and have the best warranty of all coolers I have ever reviewed.
Most coolers similar to Yeti have opted to make their coolers cheaper, generally by about $50-$100 or more depending on the size.
Orca haven’t done this, choosing to price their coolers almost exactly the same as Yeti. Below is a price comparison of Orca vs Yeti across all sizes available.
|Quart Size (Orca/Yeti)
As you can see Orca coolers are marginally cheaper than Yeti coolers by about $10-$20. Also by purchasing your Orca cooler through Amazon (click here for Orca coolers on Amazon) you can generally save a further $10-$20 off the list price plus get free shipping.
So when it comes to price both of the coolers are fairly similar. You’re not going to save $100 or more, you’ll save $20 or maybe you’ll pay the same price.
When comparing Orca vs Yeti price doesn’t really come into it. What’s $10 difference when you’re already spending $300-$400? The small saving you get with the Orca should not factor into your decision process.
If saving some money is extremely important to you then I would recommend these cheaper coolers instead.
There are two main reasons you spend hundreds of dollars on a cooler. Those are ice retention and durability, with ice retention seeming to be the main priority.
Yeti coolers made a name for themselves by being able to keep ice for up to 5 days instead of the standard 1 day you would get in a regular cooler.
Orca however consistently outperform Yeti when it comes to ice retention tests. In fact Orca coolers outperform all other cooler brands in ice retention with best in class performance, tied with Engel and Canyon (more tests required to prove a true leader).
Orca coolers will hold ice a full 2 days longer than Yeti coolers. Likely keeping ice for at least 7 days in warmer climates and even longer in cooler settings.
Why does Orca perform so much better than Yeti and other brands when it comes to ice retention?
While I can’t be 100% certain my best guess is the extra insulation Orca packs into the walls of it’s coolers.
While Yeti coolers have 2 inch thick walls and a 3 inch thick lid, Orca has gone even further and provided 3 inch thick walls as well as a 3 inch thick roof. This provides an extra inch of thickness all around the cooler and is likely what causes the improved ice retention.
The good news is that this doesn’t make the cooler significantly heavier.
The Yeti 45 (37-Quarts) weighs in at 23 lbs while the Orca 40-Quart weighs in at 24 lbs, just 1 lbs more of weight for an extra inch of insulation all around and a slightly large capacity.
By looking at the extra insulation it becomes clear why Orca seems to consistently outperform Yeti when it comes to ice retention.
If premium ice retention is important to you then the Orca is definitely the best model to purchase
Orca has a decent range with 6 different sizes from 20-Quart all the way up to 140-Quart. But Yeti takes the cake with this one. Their range of sizes is GINORMOUS!
Yeti have 13 different sizes, starting with a 22-Quart cooler and ranging all the way up to their 350 Model which is likely has a 300-Quart capacity of more (Yeti don’t provide capacity numbers but instead choose to market their products with misleading model numbers that don’t actually represent capacity).
Given that the majority of the market will purchase a cooler around the 20 to 75-Quart mark the extra range options for the Yeti won’t mean much to most people. However, if you require a cooler larger than 140-Quart then Orca isn’t going to be the brand for you.
Yeti supplies their coolers in 3 different colors. White, desert tan and ice blue. They all look really nice.
Orca coolers have 4 standard color options. White, Pink, Tan and Green. However, purchasing through Amazon.com (Click here to see Orca listing) you get a further 5 color options. Orange, Burnt Orange, Dark Maroon, Purple and Navy.
While most people will be happy with the basic colors like white and tan, those of you who are more adventurous and want a bright pink cooler or a navy cooler with an orange lid then the Orca is going to be the best cooler for you.
Remember, when you’re spending hundreds of dollars on a cooler you’re not just buying a cooler, you’re making a statement about who you are. So choose a cooler that suits you.
Where To Buy
One of the great things about Yeti is that they have dealers all over the country selling their coolers. Changes are there are a lot of dealers/shops near you that sell Yeti coolers.
For Yeti coolers I recommend buying one from a dealer if that’s convenient for you or through their website. You’ll quickly learn that Yeti don’t discount their coolers and that Yeti coolers on Amazon sell at a premium compared to the Yeti website or dealerships.
When it comes to Orca coolers it’s going to be more difficult to find a local dealer stocking these coolers. See Orca’s dealer locator to see if there are any dealers near you if that’s the way you want to go.
However, I actually recommend buying your Orca cooler online. You’ll get a slight discount over buying the cooler in person, you’ll have more color and size options and you can get free shipping if you buy from the right place. See latest price on Amazon
Design and Features
Generally when I’m reviewing 2 coolers I have a fair amount to talk about in terms of the different features of the two coolers. This is not the case with Orca as it is almost an exact replica of the Yeti cooler with some slight design changes.
Both are almost identical in shape and design. Everything from the logo on the front and inside the lid to the latches and the rope handles.
The only major differences are the thickness of the walls, with Orca having thicker walls than the Yeti, and the handles with Orca having recessed side handles in addition to the nylon rope handles.
Accessories is where Orca ice chest is leading the charge. They have more and better accessories than almost every other cooler brand combined.
Yeti has some great accessories for their coolers. Bottle opener, cutting board dividers, rod holders and beverage holders to name a few. But Orca take it to the extreme with their molle wrap.
For $49.99 you can buy a molle wrap that goes around your cooler. You can then add everything from pouches to cup holders to phone and flashlight holders. There are 15 different accessories to choose from and they are constantly adding new ones.
My favorite accessory of them all is the hybrid solar pack which comes with a solar panel and detachable rechargeable battery that can be used for charging your devices and has an inbuilt LED light.
For me my phone is basically an extra limb and the battery lasts less than a day, so having a solar power bank is an amazing addition to my cooler.
If you want to make your cooler your own and if you want accessories that you can move around or add and remove at will then the Orca cooler with the molle wrap is going to be perfect for you.
This is another area that separates the two coolers and makes your decision more obvious.
Yeti offers a 5 year warranty. While this is great it generally only applies to the structure of the cooler itself and doesn’t include items with the t-rex latches and the non-slip feet, which if broken you’ll need to buy replacements
Orca is so far THE ONLY cooler company to offer a lifetime warranty not just on the cooler structure itself but ALL the components. If a rubber latch breaks, they’ll send you a new one. If one of the feet cracks, they’ll replace it at no extra cost to you.
The warranty offered by Orca is far and beyond the be warranty in the industry and they are to be commended for it. You can buy an Orca cooler and have peace of mind that this cooler will literally last you a lifetime.
Check out this forum post about a guy who bought a Yeti cooler back in 2008 (when they only had a 3 year warranty). What did Yeti do when he contacted them about a fault in his cooler? They basically told him, bad luck it’s not under warranty anymore, but we can give you some money towards a new cooler if you want?
Stuff like that won’t happen with Orca as your cooler will always be under warranty. Just make sure you keep your receipt as proof of purchase 🙂
While Yeti manufacture their coolers primarily in the Philippines, with some coolers being made locally (I did a full writeup on that here), Orca coolers are made in the USA and created using components also made in the USA.
This is a great feature as it continues to provide manufacturing jobs for Americans. The only cooler that is more American than the Orca is the Icehole cooler that have an almost unreasonable dedication to making absolutely everything in the USA.
While you can source American made Yeti coolers by contact them through their website and specifically requesting one, I do like that Orca coolers are just all made in America. So wherever you buy one you know you’re getting a quality all American product.
Orca vs Yeti – Which One Should You Buy And Why?
In my honest opinion (that’s all I can offer you) I would recommend the Orca cooler over the Yeti for most people but not everyone, let me explain.
Orca coolers have better ice retention with more insulation. This is a huge plus in my books. They are all made in America and are slightly cheaper than Yeti coolers. Their lifetime warranty is like that of no other cooler in this industry so you can purchase an Orca with confidence that it is going to last you a lifetime.
Orca also have loads of accessories so in the future you can expand the functionality of your cooler indefinitely. This is a big plus for me as life changes and our needs change, but with Orca we can change our cooler with new accessories.
So in my opinion Orca is a better cooler with a better warranty and better accessories. So I highly recommend it for most people.
If you’re keen to see the current pricing click the amazon link below. Remember Amazon generally offers these coolers at a slight discount and with free shipping so it’s generally the best place to buy Orca coolers.See latest price for Orca coolers
NOTE: This is an affiliate link and if you buy through this it help fund this site (at no extra cost to you) and it’s ever growing list of helpful articles, so thank you.
Wait, But Who Should Buy A Yeti (If Anyone)?
There are two instances where I believe it can be a good idea to buy a Yeti cooler.
Yeti is the most recognised cooler brand on the market. Chances are you know someone with a Yeti cooler, heck maybe all your friends have Yeti coolers.
Buying a Yeti cooler to be like the people you enjoy hanging out with is a legitimate reason to buy a Yeti cooler. Not everyone wants to be the person who bought an unknown brand of cooler when all their friends have a Yeti.
This can make for awkward conversations where friends want to defend their Yeti and thus insult your cooler choice. No one wants that and if that’s your group of people by all means buy a Yeti, it’s still an amazing cooler and you’re going to be really happy with it.
Yeti coolers are a well known brand and buying an expensive roto-moulded cooler makes a statement about who you are. Because the Yeti brand is recognised and appreciated you can be proud to show it off to your friends without having to convince them why it’s so good, because they already know. You don’t get that effect with Orcas.
The 2nd reason is if a spouse or significant other needs convincing that yes it’s worth spending hundreds of dollars on a plastic box. Maybe they have heard of the Yeti name and it makes it easier for you to convince them that your purchasing decision is a good one. If that’s the case go with Yeti.
Orca Coolers vs Yeti: What’s Your Decision?
Well there you have my complete review/analysis on Orca coolers vs Yeti coolers. Both are great coolers with one performing slightly better than the other and with the other having a more desirable brand name.
It’s now up to you to choose which cooler is right for you. Are you going to be an Orca owner or a Yeti owner? I wish you the best of luck in your purchase and I truely hope you are happy with your cooler.
To purchase an Orca cooler – Click here to buy from Amazon
To purchase a Yeti cooler – Click here to buy from Yeti