Yes, there are decent alternatives to YETI!

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So, a lot of my listeners are into fitness, outdoor activities and most importantly, the consumption of liquids. I know, I know, that's kind of a generalization that can be made about all humans... I'll give you that. How about I further sub-categorize my listeners as people who consume fluids, on the go? That's better. 

I rarely recommend a product unless I have given it a true shakedown cruise. (if you don't know what that is, you probably have never served in the military, so just google it and thank a vet). In this case, I have only put the main character to the test - my 30 ounce Yeti stainless steel coffee mug. My assistant bought it for me about 3 years ago and it has been a solid addition to my EDC. I've filled this thing with coffee in the wee hours of the morning and it can still be found, steaming hot, mid-afternoon. Yeah, it's really that good. The only downfall is that Yetis tend to be pricey but you are spending money on a quality-made kick ass product.

If you've never owned a Yeti or don't want to drop the cash on one, I've researched some decent competitors that may give you the same quality at a fraction of the cost.

1. Orca Coolers 

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Orca takes the top spot on my list because they are MADE IN THE USA! I think they are a true Yeti killer as that little nugget has earned them a following of loyal customers. They come in a bunch of sizes and colors and have great customer reviews over at Amazon. When it is time to part ways with my Yeti (which has built up a formidable coffee-colored stain over the past 3 years) I may have to go with Orca because... 'Merica! Amirite ;-)

 

 

2. RTIC

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I used to have an RTIC tumbler back in the day but I left it at the gym and never saw it again. I probably would have bought another but then I was gifted my current Yeti. The RTIC slogan is: "Half the Price; Double the Ice" which is a nice dig at Yeti and may be true! So true in fact, it led to a court dispute that Yeti ended up winning. As a result, RTIC had to revamp their product and dropped a whole new line of coolers. If you're looking for quality and really don't care about that brand name stamp then this one is for you. 

3. Pelican

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In the performance category, we come up with this little gem from Pelican. Pelican has a cult-like following of outdoorsmen who swear about their superiority to all competitors. As a result, you probably won't save much money buying one but you'll definitely win some street-cred... er... woods-cred(?)... from your fellow outdoor enthusiasts.

 

4. Grizzly

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Grizzly Coolers are the grandfather of high efficiency coolers... well maybe the cool uncle, who used to be in special forces, and lives in the woods, and can rock a pair of ranger panties with pride (again, military joke here... look it up civilian!).  They've been around since I was a wee tot and their claim to fame is that they are indestructible! They back up that claim with a life-long warranty. So, if that cool uncle left you his Grizzly from 1983, it should work as good as new or they'll fork over another one (maybe... better ask them first).

5. Meadowcraft

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This is a sleeper brand and it is well worth checking out all their products. My friend has one of their coolers and after messing around with it during a fishing trip, I'd be hard-pressed to tell you the difference of feel and performance between this and a Yeti. It had a cool feature - a pressure relief valve that assisted in opening the cooler when there was a pressure differential due to temperature differences inside and outside. I am not sure about the quality of their tumblers but if it is anything like the cooler and priced just as low, it is worth checking out.

So there you have it! If you feel like you need to keep your fluids chilled or warm over extended periods of time or just want to make it look like you are transporting radioactive plutonium to and from the driving range, then check out the aforementioned coffee rigs. 

If you are all about bio-hacking, living life to the fullest, contemplating our existence or just plain curious at what makes us tick, then check out the Wait What If Podcast Episode Archive.