Engel Coolers vs YETI – Which is the Best Cooler?

Last Updated on by Natalia Bicknell

While Engel and YETI are two of the top cooler manufacturers today, their coolers have distinct differences when it comes to everything from design and performance to price. In this article, we’re going to cover general differences between Engel and YETI coolers, and then go into comparisons of the different coolers the brands offer. Since it would be nearly impossible to compare every single Engel cooler to every single YETI cooler, we’ve opted to compare a handful of coolers, matching comparisons up by which coolers are most similar to one another.

Main Differences Between Engel Coolers vs YETI

The main differences between Engel Coolers vs YETI are:

  • Engel Coolers has a heavy construction, whereas YETI is very comfortable to handle.
  • Engel Coolers’ soft-sided models have a vacuum valve, whereas YETI is the number one in insulation for all their models. 
  • Engel Coolers offers less expensive models, whereas YETI has a better security system.
  • Engel Coolers latches might break, whereas YETI coolers are wearproof.

Overview of Engel Coolers vs. YETI Coolers

In this section, we’ll briefly cover the main differences between Engel and YETI coolers in four categories: durability, insulation, transportability, and price.

Durability

While Engel coolers have strong construction, their latches may not be as high-quality as YETI. Engel latches seem to break down from early on, and they get noisy as they do. YETI makes quality latches, and some coolers have the option to secure the latches, even more, using a padlock.

Both coolers are strong enough to support your weight, and if you won’t be beating on your cooler, an Engel may serve you just fine.

Insulation

One thing that’s great about Engel coolers is that their soft-sided models have a vacuum valve for removing air from the interior lining. This can help keep your provisions colder for longer. Regarding the hard-sided coolers, though, they seem to perform similarly to YETI’s or even a little bit worse (though the difference is negligible). YETI is considered a luxury cooler brand and insulation is one of the things they do best – which makes sense because that’s possibly the most important feature of a cooler.

Transportability

Engel coolers tend to be on the heavy size – they’re sturdy, which is a plus, but that can make them difficult or awkward to carry. The top handle isn’t very comfortable to grab because it doesn’t have grooves to help with grip. YETI coolers are easy to transport and comfortable to carry, whether you use the handle or the padded shoulder strap.

Price

Engel coolers are considerably less expensive than YETI coolers, so if you’re not going to use the cooler too often, you may be happy to save the cash. On the other hand, YETI coolers can last a lifetime, so the expense may be worth the longevity you get out of it.

Something else to consider is what you’ll be using the cooler for. If you’ll be storing bait, freshly caught fish or game meat, you may want a less expensive cooler because you plan on replacing it every couple of years.

Engel 80 Roto-Molded Cooler vs. YETI Tundra 75

The Engel 80 and the YETI Tundra 75 are two of the largest coolers that these brands carry. Before we get into details, here’s a quick glance comparison chart:

Make and Model

Engel 80 Roto-Molded Cooler

YETI Tundra 75

Construction

Roto-molded SingleForm HardShell

Roto-molded

Capacity

80 quarts / 60 beers + ice

50 cans

Holds Ice For

10 days

10 days

Dimensions in Inches

28.5 x 11.5 x 12.75

18 x 33 x 18

Weight

38 pounds

42 pounds

Price

$299.99

$449.99

Engel 80 Roto-Molded Cooler Overview

The large-capacity Engel 80 is definitely a winner when it comes to price, coming in at $150 less than the Tundra. While it’s advertised for a storage capacity of 80 quarts (or 60 beers with ice), it actually holds a bit less, closer to 75 quarts. If you pack in enough ice, it’ll keep your drinks cold for up to 10 days. Another excellent feature of the Engel 80 is its hinges, which keep the cooler lid upright when opened so you can easily get in and out without it shutting on you. Additionally, the Engel 80 has four tie-down points in case you need it to stay put as your truck or boat bounces around.

YETI Tundra 75 Overview

The Tundra 75 isn’t YETI’s largest cooler, but it’s definitely considered a large cooler in the industry. It can hold a bit less than the Engel – around 72 quarts, or 50 drink cans instead of 60, plus the ice to keep them all cold for up to 10 days. The Tundra’s insulation is excellent thanks to the thick walls and the T-shaped latches that ensure the lid stays shut snugly. There are also padlock holes in case you want to lock the lid. Aside from the cooler’s capacity and insulation, it makes for a great addition at tailgating and camping sites, as it’s strong enough for you to use it as a makeshift table or seat.

Final Verdict

The capacities of the Engel 80 and the YETI Tundra 75 are so close that the difference is barely noticeable. If you have a specific need to squeeze ten more drink cans into the cooler, go with the Engel 80; otherwise, don’t make this decision based on capacity.

The main difference between the coolers is security. YETI is well-known for making high-quality, secure cooler latches. The Engel 80’s latches aren’t nearly as high-quality or secure. If you can spare the extra $150, the YETI Tundra 75 is the better cooler.

Learn more about the Engel 80 Roto-Molded Cooler here. Learn more about the YETI Tundra 75 here.

Engel HD30 Waterproof Soft-Sided Cooler vs. YETI Hopper Two 30

The Engel HD30 and theYETI Hopper Two 30 are both soft-sided coolers. Here’s a quick glance comparison chart:

Make and Model

Engel HD30

YETI Hopper Two 30

Construction

Rugged TPU

FDA-approved food-grade material

Capacity

24 drink cans + 10 lbs ice

24 drink cans + 10 lbs ice

Holds Ice For

4 days

3 days

Dimensions in Inches

20 x 16 x 10

25 x 12 x 18

Weight

5.25 pounds

5.5 pounds

Price

$199.99

$299.99

Engel HD30 Overview

The Engel HD30 is appealing because it has a compact appearance while still fitting up to 24 drinks and 10 pounds of ice. The high-quality zipper ensures that warm air doesn’t enter the insulated compartment, and the vacuum valve gets rid of excess air from inside – together, both features keep your drinks cold for four days. The cooler’s design makes it easy and convenient to take with you, and we think it’s a perfect cooler for a day fishing or lounging on the beach. There are a few different ways to carry the Engel HD30 – there’s a padded shoulder strap, top handles and side handles.

YETI Hopper Two 30 Overview

The YETI Hopper Two 30 is a versatile, transportable cooler that you can bring with you for a day on the golf course or as a daily cooler that you take to work. So long as you pack two pounds of ice for every pound of perishable items, your drinks will stay cold for three days. The bag’s exterior is waterproof.

Final Verdict

The YETI Hopper Two 30 keeps drinks cold for three days, not four like the Engel HD30, which has better insulating properties because of its vacuum valve. However, since these coolers are on the small size, you may not expect what you pack to last you for that extra day anyway. Since they have the same capacity, you won’t be able to pack more into one or the other, so the only difference is how long your drinks will stay cold for.

While the Engel HD30 may be better insulation-wise, the YETI Hopper Two 30 is more convenient to use. The high-quality zipper and the large opening making it easier to access your drinks even if you’re on-the-go.  

If you regularly plan four-day excursions, you’ll need the Engel HD30. Otherwise, it might be worth it to spend the extra $100 for the YETI Hopper Two – it has many of the same features as the Engel HD30, but with easier access to your food and drinks.

Note that neither the YETI Hopper Two 30 or the Engel HD30 has a dry storage pocket, so if you have any accessories, gadgets or dry food to store, you’ll need an extra bag.

Learn more about the Engel HD30 here. Learn more about the YETI Hopper Two 30 here.

Engel 13QT Live Bait Dry Box / Cooler vs. YETI Hopper Flip 12

The Engel 13QT Live Bait Dry Box/ Cooler and the YETI Hopper Flip 12are two of the brands’ smaller coolers. Here’s a quick glance comparison chart:

Make and Model

Engel 13QT

YETI Hopper Flip 12

Construction

Polypropylene

Closed-cell foam

Capacity

12 cans

12 cans

Holds Ice For

10 hours

2 days

Dimensions in Inches

15 x 10 x 11

12.6 x 10 x 11.5

Weight

5 pounds

3.5 pounds

Price

$79.99

$249.99

Engel 13QT Overview

The Engel 13QT can hold up to 12 drink cans, but it’s also designed for live bait storage. This is a great, compact cooler if you’re going to be out for a long afternoon – it’ll be able to fit 1-2 meals plus a few drinks. Your provisions will stay cold for up to 10 hours, but you can extend that period by adding more ice. The lid shuts securely and the latches click so you know they’re sealed. There’s also a plastic tray that you can use to hold small items separate from the ice.

YETI Hopper Flip 12 Overview

Like the Engel 13QT, the YETI Hopper Flip 12 can also hold 12 drink cans, but it will keep them cold for as long as two days. The leak-proof interior lining makes it a breeze to clean. While the Engel 13QT is hard-sided, the YETI Hopper Flip 12 is soft-sided. There’s a padded shoulder strap to make it easy to carry with you. If you need to hold small items away from the cold compartment, use the MOLLE attachments on the front.

Final Verdict

While they both have the same capacity, there are a lot of differences between the Engel 13QT and the YETI Hopper Flip 12. The soft-sided YETI Hopper Flip 12 is better suited to an urban environment, while the Engel 13QT is best if you need a more rugged cooler for a day out in the wilderness. Because of its softer sides, the YETI is more comfortable to transport. Unless cost is an issue for you (the Engel is $170 less than the YETI), you’ll want to go with the YETI – it’ll keep your drinks cold for two days versus Engel’s 10 hours.

Learn more about the Engel 13QT here. Learn more about the YETI Hopper Flip 12 here.

Wrapping Up

If you need a large, hard-sided cooler, go with the YETI Tundra 75. The price is considerably higher than the Engel 80, but it’s more likely to last you for longer – you may never have to replace it because YETIs are built so tough. The capacity difference is probably too small for you to even notice.

When it comes to medium-sized soft-sided coolers, the length of your trips is what will matter most. If you’re going to be out for more than three days, you’ll have to go with the Engel HD30 – and you’ll save a $100 when compared to the YETI Hopper Two 30, too. However, if you’ll be using the cooler in your car and you’ll need to reach in to grab food and drinks while you’re driving, spend a bit more on the YETI – it won’t keep your provisions cold as long, but they’ll be easier to grab thanks to the large opening at the top.

In terms of the smaller coolers, the clear winner is the YETI Hopper Flip 12 (assuming you want to store drinks and food in the cooler instead of live bait). While it’s more expensive than the Engel 13QT, it’ll keep your provisions cold for a whole extra day.

Wondering why YETI coolers are so expensive? We answer that question in this blog post.

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