Yeti and 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:


  1. Not really apples to apples comparison. The Coleman is much larger, which causes it to have more void space for air. Next time try using the same size (quarts) coolers.

  2. Coleman 25% larger. Much more heat gain/loss. Only 1 bag of ice hurts larger cooler much more. Besides the price!!!, what kills the Yeti for me is that it weighs as much empty as the Coleman w/ ice! For one man lifts w/ full cooler, if you care about your vertebra, it’s a big deal. Wait till you wreck your back. You will understand. The Coleman 52 weighs nothing. Your back is important. I can buy them on sale @ Kmart on sale for 40$…Several for the cost of a Yeti. And it can be left in the pickup bed while you run into the store for 5min!!! Your wallet is important. Just trying’ to be honest and helpful. Cheers.

  3. The Coleman Xtreme keeps cold for 4-5 days, weighs less, costs much less, and it’s MUCH less likely to get stolen over a Yeti.

  4. you need to fill the cooler with the same ratio of ice to total volume since these coolers are two different sizes. Of course the Coleman won’t last as long as it has a large volume. With the same amount of ice being used in both the yeti will have less air space. Everyone knows that air on of the primary causes of ice to melt. IMO the test in this comparison is flawed.

    • Jason, you are completely right. However, I never said, nor did I intend, for this to be a scientific test. It was purely meant to show exactly how a normal person would use both coolers, which was to buy a bag of ice and throw it in. if there was the same amount of air and all things equal with both coolers, the Coleman Extreme probably would have done even better.

  5. I wonder how the Coleman Extreme Marine Pro coolers would stack up against a Yeti? They are a little more than the regular Coleman Extremes, but they have much thicker walls than the one shown above — closer to the Yeti. But they still cost a fraction of a Yeti

  6. Nice comparison, Ryan. I too have found the Coleman Extreme to be a solid cooler, especially when factoring in price vs some of the other higher end competition. Yeti, Bison, & Pelican are all great coolers, no doubt. But I would venture to guess that most folks don’t want to spend that much on a cooler.

    • Good read. My Coleman Extreme does well in my situation. It keeps whatever i put in it cold while vacationing,hunting, and fishing along with picnics. I can’t see paying 400 dollars for a yeti just to last another day longer but hey? I can always get more ice. I assume that some outdoor trips last longer than five days and you may need a yeti but it’s just not in my budget.

  7. My hats off to Yeti. They sure do know how to make and extreme cooler. They also showed the world that the old cooler technology needed upgrading. I purchased a Coleman xtreme 5 100qt and I have to admit, for the price, it is the best money I have ever spent. At $49 at Walmart, it was the deal of the century considering the comparative factors. I like the new technology in the Coleman and Igloo brands for 1/10 the price. This comparison showed that the new technique for making these coolers, is working and the 5 day claims are very likely.

    Just 2 weeks ago my old fridge in the garage died, I have an old red Coleman 48 with the white non-insulated top and in our house at 73 degrees it could only hold the ice for 1 day!!!! The new one held the ice with 2 gallons of milk 1 gallon of cider, and 14 bottles of hard cider and after 2 days it still had ice and then the new refrigerator was delivered. I took out all of the items and left the ice and water and there was a few cubes of ice floating in there for 3 more days!!! As I said $49 vs ~$600 is kind of a no brain-er. Although, if I find myself needing an armored cooler (bears etc.) then I could see spending the money on a Yeti.

  8. Yeti coolers have become s status symbol. They are no doubt good coolers. But the prices are ridiculous. For 99% of the applications in which they are used. A Coleman xtreme would more than do the job. Like was said earlier. If the size had been exactly the same. The Coleman would have stayed with the yeti. Your paying for that name. But I have to admit. They have done a wonderful job at marketing. They sale like crazy. Just not to me.


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