So is a Yeti worth a $100 more or is a Canyon Cooler the way to go? Here is our $0.02.
Several years ago the cooler market got an upgrade. A company called Yeti created a new niche in the cooler business. The high end cooler market was born. Through an early developer advantage and very very good marketing, Yeti set the bar for coolers. Their brand has massive appeal to the fishing, hunting and BBQ crowd. Some people consider them a status symbol. Regardless, Yeti makes a great product (I still own 2).
With the success of the roto-molded cooler, others have jumped in the game. Companies like Grizzly, Pelican, Engel, and Orion (made by Jackson Kayaks) just to name a few all entered the market. Googling review and comparisons, you can find all sorts of testing on these and others. Here at Campman we did the same when we decided we wanted to add a cooler line to the business.
After doing our due diligence, we found a company out of Flagstaff that was making some noise in these cooler comparison reviews. Canyon Coolers was beating most if not all the other brands in ice retention. While there are other aspects of a cooler to consider, most will look to which holds ice the longest as the most important aspect. Canyon Coolers is made by people who run the Grand Canyon in rafts. If you aren't sure the relevance of that, then look it up. Without a motor, the trip takes 3 weeks. That's a long time to need ice.
As we delved into reviews, we noticed the Canyon Coolers hold ice longer because they have more insulation than most of the other brands. Makes sense. The other nice aspect of the cooler is that they don't taper at the bottom like Yeti coolers so you get more space in your cooler. Comparing the Yeti 35 to the Canyon Cooler 35 you see a drastic difference. The Yeti has a 26 quart capacity versus the 40 quart capacity of the Canyon Cooler. Pretty big difference for supposedly the same size cooler.
The next aspect we liked was the recessed latches. We take a cooler on our drift boat when fly fishing. If you're in the back with the Yeti cooler, then it's not uncommon to have your fly line tangle around the Yeti latch. This isn't an issue with the Canyon Coolers. The recessed latches don't have anything for the fly line to snag on. For us this just removed one more excuse of why we didn't land that fish.
Another plus for the Canyon Cooler is the attached drain plug. You can't lose it because it's attached to the cooler. The Yeti plug isn't. Not a huge deal. I've yet to lose any of my drain plugs in my Yeti cooler but I'm sure some people do.
We could post our own comparison of coolers side by side but since we don't sell Yeti and we do sell Canyon Coolers, people might think we're biased. At the end of the day, most of the coolers are very comparable for most people's use. The best part about Canyon Coolers is you're not paying for the big marketing budgets of Yeti. You'll pay $100 or so less for a similar sized cooler that holds more ice for longer. Don't take our word on the performance. Just look at the scores of independent reviews online and make the decision for yourself.
Check out our selection here Campman Coolers.