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Yeti Cooler Vs The Coleman Xtreme

Yeti Cooler Vs The Coleman Xtreme


In the past 5 years or so it seems as though a cooler war has begun.

Coleman is the trusted brand that has been around forever. They make a good product for a fair price, nobody can deny that.

Yeti is the new kid on the block. Yeti has successfully disrupted the market and changed the way that consumers view their coolers with aggressive marketing and extremely high-quality products.

We have seen people start to think of their cooler as an investment that will last a lifetime rather than a few years. It has also become an expectation that your cooler should keep your food cold and ice frozen not just for one day but for at least a solid week.

Other high-end coolers are becoming more popular as well, such as Engel Coolers, Grizzly Coolers, Igloo Yukon Coolers and Coleman Xtreme Coolers. While each of these coolers has subtle differences, they are all high-end solid coolers that will keep your food cold much longer than a standard cooler.

Today, I wanted to test the cheaper everyman cooler, the Coleman Xtreme and see how it compared to the rest. You see, the Yeti, Engel, IRP, and Yukon are all great coolers, but they are all quite expensive, from $200-$500. These coolers are solid, bear-proof and boast of abilities to keep food cold for 5-10 days.

But the Coleman Xtreme is a bit different, Coleman went for a cooler with high-end cooling capabilities without the price to match the other big boys.

In theory, the Coleman Xtreme is meant to compete on the cooling side of the equation while still maintaining an incredibly affordable price. The 100 qt Coleman Xtreme is available from Amazon for well under $100 and the 52 Qt Coleman Xtreme is well under $50. Both also have 4+ star ratings on Amazon.

What you don’t get with the Coleman Xtreme is the durability of the other coolers mentioned (but you also don’t have the extra added weight either!). This includes being bear proof. So, if you are looking for a cooler that will keep things cold for a long time at a great price, the Coleman Xtreme should be a good option. If you are looking for something that will last a lifetime as well, then one of the other coolers is probably a better fit.

Does The Coleman Xtreme Really Last 5 Days

I decided to do my own test of the Coleman Xtreme and put it against my personal favorite cooler, my 50 qt Yeti.

For this test, I placed each cooler so they would be in direct sunlight for approximately half of each day and in shade for the other half. This is typical of what you might run into if you have a cooler with you out camping.

I then packed each cooler with 20 lbs. of ice and 1 drink (so you can better see where the ice is at).

NOTE: Yes, I do realize that both coolers are slightly different size. This is not a 100% perfect scientific test, it is a practical, real-world test of how people use similar coolers.

Xtreme vs Yeti

Each cooler was opened only once per day to photograph where the ice level was at and how well each cooler was doing.

Note: If you are looking to get maximum results, all coolers recommend that you pre-chill the cooler before packing it with ice and food. This will prevent the loss of cold due to initially cooling down the cooler. Potentially this could get you an extra day out of your ice. I chose not to pre-cool our cooler because we have found that most people do not actually do this and I wanted to best represent what a typical family would experience. Also, every cooler manufacturer recommends filling your cooler to the top with ice in order to get the longest cold time.

Check Out Our Complete Guide To Camp Cooking Here

After 1 Day

After the first 24 hours, each cooler was doing great. Each had a little bit of water in the bottom of the cooler and experienced a bit of melt due to cooling down the room temperature coolers. The temperature on day one reached roughly 75 degrees.

Yeti vs Coleman Xtreme

Both coolers doing well

After 2 Days

Day three experienced more of the same, a little bit more melt, but still lots of ice. High Temp: 74 degrees.

Yeti Vs Coleman

Coleman Xtreme and Yeti after 2 days.

After 3 Days

After the third day, the water and ice were getting pretty low in the Coleman Xtreme. It definitely was looking like the Yeti was starting to outpace the Coleman. High Temp: 72 degrees.

The Coleman Xtreme is starting to fall behind.

The Coleman Xtreme is starting to fall behind.

After 4 Days

After the 4th day, the Coleman was about 90% water and 10% ice but still very cold. The Yeti, on the other hand, was roughly 70% water and 30% ice. High Temp: 68 degrees.

The Coleman Xtreme After 4 Days

The Coleman Xtreme After 4 Days

Yeti Cooler After 4 Days

Yeti Cooler After 4 Days

After 5 Days

The Coleman Xtreme was officially done on the 5th day (this included the start day). No ice was left but the water was still very cold. It would definitely be time to pack in some more ice or wrap up your camping trip. The Yeti wasn’t too far behind either, it had roughly 10% of its ice left in the cooler. High Temp: 70 degrees.

Yeti vs Coleman After 5 Days.

After 6 Days

After the 6th day the Yeti joined the Coleman Xtreme and was all out of ice as well.

I expected the Yeti to go at least one more day, but I wasn’t really disappointed as I know that their claim of 7 days is with a pre-cooled cooler that is full to the top with ice, so 6 days was pretty good.

Yeti After 6 Days

Yeti After 6 Days


In the end, if the price isn’t your deciding factor, the Yeti Cooler is still an amazing cooler. It will keep your food cold for an incredible amount of time, last a lifetime and is safe to bring on any camping trip. You can purchase the Yeti Tundra 45 below:

On the other hand, the Coleman Xtreme is an incredible cooler for the price. For roughly $30-90 you can have a cooler that will keep your food cold for an entire camping trip. While it may not last a lifetime, it also doesn’t come across as cheaply made, it is definitely a solid cooler. You can purchase the Coleman Xtreme below:

Check out our 9 Best Coolers For Camping here.

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Sunday 23rd of August 2020

How the hell do you stare at two beers, for six days, and not drink them?

The Yeti looks like a bank vault!

We have the Coleman, it’s a good cooler, opt for the white top, blue bottom, and why anyone would want this black top, black bottom, is beyond me.


Friday 7th of August 2020

Allow me to mention a couple things that none of the previous comments note. First, because cold air is heavier than warm air it is possible to open your cooler without losing much cold if you open it fairly slowly. If you yank it open the swirl of air does displace the cold air with warm. Same thing if you open it in a windy location. Second, if you confine your ice in a container, such as a milk jug or even better soda bottles, the inside of your cooler doesn't become awash in melt water, and the ice will keep quite a bit longer because it doesn't have physical contact with the cooler wall which slows thermal conduction. Using these techniques I kept ice into the 8th day on a long canoe trip down the Green River in Utah. One other thing I did to prolong the ice was to drape a white towel on top of the cooler and flip river water up on it occasionally to keep it damp. Evaporation no doubt kept the surface temp down considerably. The cooler was sitting in full sun all day every day in the middle of my canoe.


Friday 7th of August 2020

Forget to mention that the cooler was a Coleman 5-day Xtreme


Saturday 14th of March 2020

The only way to perform tests on coolers is to precool the chest, then freeze 1 gallon jugs of water to solid ice, then use a couple those to ice down the cooler followed by either crushed ice or cubes over the food before sealing. Using just crushed ice is a poor test since it melts much faster than block ice. One nice trick I use out in the desert to cool bottled water is to bring a small cooler, leave all my bottled water cases out at night under the truck, early morning I add some of these cooled by the night air each day to a cooler with no ice in it, but keep it shaded, I got cool water all day every day in desert without having to add warm bottles to the main ice chest.

Bo Vandenberg

Saturday 19th of October 2019

Thank you for the comparison but I think your personal preference shows though too much.

The Yeti had 10% ice on the 6th day.

The reality is that you'd add ice to these coolers at the same time. The Yeti is smaller, heavier, and way more expensive. You obscured these Yeti negatives.

With any sort of budget, this is a Coleman win.

Mark C.

Thursday 8th of August 2019

I use an "old" Coleman eXtreme (silver and white) with 20lb block ice for $7.00. I don't pre-cool, and stay in 8o-90 degree day temps, and 70-80 degree evening temps. I can get a solid 7 days, disposing a 1/2 to 1lb chunk of ice when done. The latch is broken, so I tie it from handle to handle across the top to keep the lid shut tight. I do not go in and out of the cooler, and keep open times to a minimum. I think that's the trick. I also shade the cooler and block the sun with tarps (silver side out to reflect the rays away from the cooler). This is also a good way to preserve the longevity of the ice. Good test on this subject. I hope someone can use the tips I also provided.