RTIC 65 QT Hard Cooler

8.2 score
[Editors rating (8.2)] = (Gearweare.net) score (8.2)/10

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Editor rating: 8.2 / 10
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Editor’s Conclusion
Cold beer on the fishing pier? A glass of wine to have you feeling fine? A refreshing cola to go with your granola? All of this is possible with the Rtic 65 Quart Hard-Sided Cooler. Yes, 65 quarts is quite large, but it’s a great size for family outings, multi-day trips, or barbecues.

Rtic has been nipping at Yeti’s heels since 2015. I can’t say this is a bad thing. They create products that are close to or equally as great as Yeti. If you are looking for a high quality cooler at a fraction of the price, Rtic is the way to go.
RTIC 65 QT Hard Cooler Review Facts
Editor's Pros & Cons

Textured foam grips on handles

Great capacity

Bear resistant

Easy to drain

Textured exterior lid


Heavy, especially when loaded

No wheels

Non slip feet can come out of place occasionally

No space to keep something dry/out of the ice

Key Features


Considering how large and potentially heavy this item is, it’s as portable as it can be. Empty (36 pounds), one person can handle it. Filled, you’ll need two strong people to transport it. There are molded side handles on each side and there are also incredibly strong and durable rope handles on each side. The rope handles have a textured foam grip that makes the cooler more comfortable to carry. Additionally, the exterior doesn’t sweat. If you need to push it or pick it up a different way, you’ll appreciate this.

At its widest point, it is 32 ¼ inches, 18.5 inches in depth, and 17 ⅛ inches tall. It is very important to be sure you have enough space for this cooler. Even though the dimensions are listed, many people who have measured their space before investing realized this product is too big for the dedicated space. I recommend having at least an extra two inches all around.


Starting with the size, this bad boy holds 65 quarts. That translates to 64 cans with an adequate amount of ice. You can definitely pack bottles, food, or anything else in here, but there is no organization. Anything you put in here is likely to get wet.

Under specific conditions, this cooler can keep ice for up to 10 days. Ten days under laboratory conditions. In real life, we care more about our food being held at a safe temperature and our drinks being cold. In that case, food stays at safe-to-eat temperatures for about 6 days and drinks stay cold for about 8 days. Of course, this varies depending on the outdoor temperature, how often it’s opened, your ice to contents ratio, and more. It is also dry ice compatible.

At its most insulated point, there are three inches of insulation in the walls. The cooler is also slightly lifted off the ground to prevent heat transfer. The gasket is freezer-grade which provides great suction and keeps the cool air from seeping out.

For camping, this cooler is bear-resistant. Perhaps once Rtic can change this to “bear-proof” instead of “resistant” we will see it listed on the International Grizzly Bear Committee’s list of coolers. Anyways, there is a built-in locking system. You can use a long shank padlock to lock the cooler closed.

If you want to use the cooler on a boat or in the bed of a truck, you can make use of the integrated tie-down slots. One major advantage the Rtic has over some other coolers is that you can still access the contents of the Rtic cooler when it is tied down. There are also non-skid feet on the bottom to keep it from sliding around.


The Rtic features a rotomolded construction. Rotomolded coolers are known for being more durable, more reliable, and just better in general. To add to its durability, the rope handles are marine grade and, as I said, the cooler is bear resistant.

The rubber T latches are quite stretchy but seem to be strong. The non-skid feet can sometimes become unattached, which is frustrating, but luckily they are easy to put back in place. One other possibly concerning fact is that the lid may warp if you leave in direct sunlight for too long. However, it usually cools down once you take it home and returns to its original shape.

Ease of Use

The stretchy T latches make it very easy to open and close this cooler. When your day (or week) is done, it’s also very easy to drain and clean this item. The V draining system gets the water out quickly. Unless there was something rancid inside, a simple wipe down and dry should make the cooler good as new and ready for your next adventure.

If you really get creative, the lid can be used in many different ways. First of all, it is textured so that things are less likely to slip or slide off of it. You can use it as a table, a cutting board, a seat, or a step stool.


Compared to other coolers of this size, durability, and insulation, the Rtic is priced extremely well. However, the price seems to change often at different online realtors. I recommend keeping an eye on it for a couple of weeks before investing.

Rtic says that they are able to keep their prices so low because they use a unique form of distribution and rely on word-of-mouth and social media for marketing. Because they do not spend money on those things, they are able to offer their products to you at a lower price.

This cooler comes with a one-year warranty. I am a little perplexed about why Rtic only chose to back their product for one year. Many other companies offer a two or three warranty for their coolers. Either way, it’s better than nothing and I don’t expect you to run into any major issues.

Comparison to Similar Coolers

Another rotomolded 65-quart cooler is the Yeti Tundra. It also has up to three inches of insulation, tie down slots, and a great draining system. There are also molded handles and military grade polyester handles with a foam grip.

So what are the differences? Empty, the Yeti weighs only 29 pounds. It also comes with a dry goods basket. This offers great organization and allows you to keep some food away from the ice. And of course, the price. You can get about one and a half Rtic coolers for the price of Yeti Tundra.

Bringing you an even more affordable option, the Igloo MaxCold 70 quart cooler holds ice for up to five days. It weighs only 11.4 pounds and holds up to 114 twelve-ounce cans. It has tie down holes, a drain plug, and two handles. However, the handles are made from plastic and nowhere near as comfortable as the Yeti or Rtic.

While the Igloo doesn’t bring the same WOW factor as the Rtic, it’s an incredibly affordable option. If you don’t use a cooler often, this may be a better (and smaller) investment for you.


If you often have big gatherings or multi-day trips (where you don’t need to carry the cooler to a far away destination), the Rtic 65 Hard Sided Cooler is a reliable, affordable, and durable option. It is available in five great colors and is easy to use, drain, and clean.

While I do wish the warranty period was longer, I don’t foresee any issues arising. Rtic is known for having great customer service. Also, if you’re interested in this cooler but would prefer a different size, you’ll be happy to know that it is available in multiple sizes starting at 20 quarts and up to 110 quarts.