Quick Overview

Luxury Pick
-
Editors Choice
YETI Tundra 65 Cooler White
Ozark Trail 73-Quart High-Performance Cooler, Grey
Pelican Elite 70 Quart Cooler (White/Gray)
Name
YETI Tundra 65 Cooler White
Ozark Trail 73-Quart High-Performance Cooler, Grey
Pelican Elite 70 Quart Cooler (White/Gray)
Amazon Prime Status
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Our Rating
Features
Ice Retention
Warranty
Value
Check Current Price on Amazon
Luxury Pick
YETI Tundra 65 Cooler White
Name
YETI Tundra 65 Cooler White
Amazon Prime Status
Our Rating
Features
Ice Retention
Warranty
Value
Check Current Price on Amazon
-
Ozark Trail 73-Quart High-Performance Cooler, Grey
Name
Ozark Trail 73-Quart High-Performance Cooler, Grey
Amazon Prime Status
-
Our Rating
Features
Ice Retention
Warranty
Value
Check Current Price on Amazon
Editors Choice
Pelican Elite 70 Quart Cooler (White/Gray)
Name
Pelican Elite 70 Quart Cooler (White/Gray)
Amazon Prime Status
Our Rating
Features
Ice Retention
Warranty
Value
Check Current Price on Amazon

Yeti Tundra 65 Cooler

Features: Durable, and great user experience.

Ice Retention: Plenty of ice, kept our beverages ice cold after a week on the road.

Warranty: Five Years. Feels durable enough to last.

Value: Expensive, but well worth the money in my opinion. Keeps the meat nice and chilled in the cooler for days.

Ozark Trail 73 Cooler

Features: Enough, but nothing special.

Ice Retention: Lukewarm water after a week of use, could be good for short trips.

Warranty: Five Years. Similar to Yeti, feels a tad flimsy.

Value:  Cheap, a decent value, good for families on a budget.

Introduction

Ever since I purchased my Yeti, I have really begun to clue into the ongoing comparisons that others make with alternative brands while searching for the best coolers.

One rivalry that has been getting a lot of attention is the one between my chosen brand, which is certainly Yeti, the Trail coolers made by Ozark. Ozark coolers are sold exclusively by Wal-Mart (also available on Amazon as of 2017), and they have become acting as a sort of house brand for the retail giant.

A lot of friends of mine use Ozark Trail coolers, and they sure like to boast about how they did not have to pay as much as me and the other Yeti users. Needless to say, they end up patting their own backs and having a good laugh about the foolishness of Yeti cooler owners.

Yeti Tundra 65

I’m glad they’re happy, but I’d like to officially bring my point of view to the discussion: they’re also wrong. Ozark, the brand made by Wal-Mart, is a clone, its a knock-off, alternative– it is manufactured in a cheaper way, and it does not hold ice as long. These are just a few standout issues, which have good company among other inferiorities brought to the equation by Ozark.

Cooler enthusiasts have been becoming more aware of the prominence of Ozark models on the market. They are only available at Wal-Mart, as they have a specific deal with them. Like Yeti, and many other brands who manufactures premium quality coolers, the cooler is roto-molded and insulated. My initial impressions of these Ozark coolers were pretty strong.

I’ve got a friend with an Ozark Trail, so I took my Yeti over to his place, and his was agreeable enough to allow me to perform as ice test. He was aware that I had some issues with the brand, and definitely is not a fellow who lives and dies by the Ozark sword; he just liked the value for the dollar, which I think is totally fair.

Anyway, here are the formal results from the Ozark cooler vs. Yeti cooler test:

Appearance

They look a little bit alike, but the Ozark is considerably more awkward and cheap looking. Like RTIC and many other brands, I have to think twice before calling their coolers and products “knock offs” of Yeti products. It may be harsh wording, but I believe it to be true. As I mentioned before, the Ozark is practically a clone of a Yeti. As well as being a brand, Yeti has also become a style of cooler. Though there are things to be said for using the innovations of competitive products, I think there is something to be said for paying a bit extra to go for the model that everybody else is copying, rather than settling for a less expensive, more cheaply made “knock off.” Also, a product backed by Wal-Mart doesn’t necessarily inspire confidence as far as morality goes, in my opinion… Not that I have a huge problem with Wal-Mart, but they’re not exactly an innocent little Mom & Pop shop.

I think this is a clear decision for Yeti, who innovated their own product and created their own design… Rather than depending on a great company to come along with an idea to steal, Yeti entered the scene and set the standard, which many competitors borrow from. Though it’s simple, it’s slick and modern, and Yeti wins this by a long run.

Functionality

To put it simply, there is no way that Yeti is losing this battle to most coolers, perhaps most specifically that applies to the Ozark. The Yeti manages to fend off some pretty tough competition; I don’t think that the Ozark qualifies in that category. The Yeti won the ice test by at least a day.

The Ozark hardly lasted 4 days, while the Yeti had enough ice left in it at that point that it looked like it would last at least 2 more. And that was in quite a cool environment; because of the inferior insulation, I have heard Ozark Trail users complain about their ice melting between 8-12 hours, which is not at all acceptable for a product claiming to be a valid competitor to industry leaders. As far as coolers go, this is the definitive quality, in my opinion. I also think that the Yeti is generally made from higher quality materials and has a more organic, user friendly, and natural feel. The Ozark is made in China, and completed with unsatisfactory rubber latches which seem pretty feeble. Ozark hardly puts up a fight. This one goes to Yeti.

Value

What cooler you deem to be more valuable will ultimately depend on your priorities. If you are looking for a better cooler, and prioritize quality above other aspects, the Yeti’s high price also represents much higher value for your dollar. Yeti offers a great warranty, and is an industry leader in almost every quantitative field that applies to premium coolers.

If you are pinching pennies and looking for a cooler than can deliver admirable results for as low of a cost as possible, the Ozark is not a bad option. It is very functional, and offers many of the same positive features as the Yeti; it just brings nothing new or unique to the conversation at all, which is exactly why Yeti is such a remarkable brand in the first place. I believe that Yeti delivers more bang for your buck, but I realize not everybody is financially comfortable or secure enough to invest the extra money into their cooler. Again, if you’re looking for a cheap alternative, the Ozark is a fine choice…

Conclusion

Sale
YETI Tundra 65 Cooler White
  • The YETI Tundra 65 is just as adept at keeping your catches cold in the field as it is storing the drinks and food for your backyard barbecue, this ice chest is plenty roomy, holding a limit of redfish or your prized brisket
  • Ice stays ice thanks to up to 3 inches of PermaFrost Insulation and an extra thick FatWall design is certified Bear-Resistant
  • The Rotomolded Construction makes the Tundra armored to the core and virtually indestructible so wherever you decide to take it, this portable cooler's sturdy construction will stand up to the rigors of the journey

At the end of the day, you are comparing an original to a clone. What I can say about the Ozark Trail, though, is that it hardly even classifies as a clone. If you are looking for a Yeti knock off, there are better brands on the market. Still, I think that you would be better off making a conscious effort to save up a bit more money and invest in the real deal.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Ozark Cooler
Author Rating
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9 Comments Cooler Showdown: Yeti vs Ozark (Walmart’s Brand)

  1. Rodney Cleckley

    While Ozark may not be quite as good ,it does show that the Yeti brand could be sold for a considerable amount lower price. Yet they still gouge the price . I can buy a lot of ice with the 200$ price difference. RTIC has proven to be a tough competitor also and if I were to spend that much money on a cooler it would be RTIC or Ozark

    Reply
    1. Joe tech

      Well that’s a dumb answer
      4-5 bucks for a 20lb bag of ice last 2-3 days(I had a Walmart brand) I use mine 7 days a week for work I got tired of buying ice 3 times a week so that’s 15 bucks a week 60 bucks a month 720 bucks a year
      Yeti 1 20lb bag and a 10lb bag($2.50 for that) $7.50 a week 30 bucks a month 360 bucks a year
      How much ice are you actually going to get for what you save.

      Reply
  2. Timothy Dannenhoffer

    I don’t (haven’t yet) canoe camped in grizzly bear country but I have (do) in black bear country. I use a cheap cooler and pray bears don’t get it at night while camping in the backcountry. If the ice did not last in the Ozark Trails (a brand I normally hate and wouldn’t spend money on, but is so much cheaper in this case) as the Yeti but it kept the bears out of it I’d consider it a fair tradeoff for the cost. If the ice lasted 4 days it would last as long as my average canoe camping trip.

    Reply
  3. Foster

    Probably should have reviewed two coolers of the same size to get an actual comparison. A smaller cooler should not last as long as a larger volume cooler. Even YETI to YETI this would be the case.

    Reply
  4. Tim

    Not knocking this post, but it sounds like the comparison was written by a closed minded Yeti fanboy. I don’t have a dog in this fight, but if I were to pick one it would be the Ozark. There’s not enough of a difference between the lot to justify spending the extra money, unless you want to stick one of those trendy stickers on the back of your always shiny 4WD Chevy Silverado…you know, the one mommy and daddy bought that will never see a speck of mud?

    Yeti’s are fine and all, but their prices are too high. Ozark may be a little behind them in performance, but their price is also a lot more affordable. At the end of the day, we’re comparing devices that hold ice. Really nothing to get too excited over.

    Reply
  5. Tim

    The YETI is GREAT, and if you absolutely, positively must have 7 days of ice when there is no way to replenish, then YETI maybe the only choice.

    From a position as one who typically does 4, maybe 5 days in the high desert of California, where it is 95 to 105 degrees from late May thru Mid September, Ozark at 1/3 the cost of a YETI, is a FAR MORE reasonable purchase FOR ME!

    With either, start with about 10 # of dry ice on the bottom, under the water ice, and you will get a about 40 even 50% longer life from your water ice.
    Increase that when you wrap all sides, and the top with REFLECTIX. You will be rewarded with another 18 to 24 hours of frozen water ice.

    Reply

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