Skip to Content

RTIC 45 vs 65 Cooler: Which Is Better?

RTIC 45 vs 65 Cooler: Which Is Better?

If you’re thinking of picking up a new cooler, our RTIC 45 vs RTIC 65 comparison will show you the pros and cons of these two models.

Ensuring you have a cooler big enough and sturdy enough for your outdoor pursuits is vital. It helps to keep drinks cold, store food, and can be the difference between a great trip and a poorly planned one.

In this comparison, we’ll look at the main features of the RTIC 45 and 65 cooler, what their differences are, and if there are any alternative coolers out there.

Portable and Compact
RTIC 45 Hard Cooler | Amazon
$249.99

The RTIC 45 cooler is by far the most popular cooler, likely due to its versatile size. It’s large enough for most uses: your lunches, drinks, and room for ice, thanksgiving leftovers, a drink bin at a party, or tailgating. It’s also big enough to hold your catch of the day if you use it for fishing. 

Buy at Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
05/22/2022 12:21 am GMT

Larger Capacity
RTIC 65 Hard Cooler | Amazon

This cooler has everything the other more expensive brands of cooler have: the indestructible rotomolded construction, marine-grade rope handles, and heavy-duty rubber latches and components. It also has what some of those brands don’t: more than 9 days of ice retention, and at a lower price. The RTIC 65 has the size to serve you in any situation: from hunting to picnics.

Buy at Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Main Differences Between RTIC 45 vs 65 Coolers

The main differences between the RTIC 45 and 65 Coolers are:

  • The RTIC 45 cooler has a capacity for 40 lb of ice, whereas the RTIC 65 cooler has a capacity for 70 lb of ice
  • The RTIC 45 cooler only has capacity for an overnight trip, whereas the RTIC 65 cooler is made for several days away in the great outdoors
  • The RTIC 45 cooler is slightly cheaper due to its smaller size, whereas the RTIC 65 cooler is a bit more expensive
  • The RTIC 45 cooler can be carried by one person, whereas the RTIC 65 cooler needs two people to carry it

Exploring RTIC 45 and 65 features

The RTIC 45 and RTIC 65 are both manufactured by the same company. We’ll explore some of the differences in each below; however, they do have many similarities in their build and design.

Roto-moulded construction

Buying a cooler should be a fairly long term investment. You don’t want something flimsy that needs to be replaced after a few camping trips. Coolers tend to end up being dropped or banged about in the back of a car or truck. So, it needs to be durable and long-lasting.

Luckily both the RTIC 45 and RTIC 65 coolers are made from roto-moulded construction.

This is a really hard wearing and strong plastic that should be able to handle pretty much anything you throw at it. We wouldn’t go as far to say that it is completely indestructible but it isn’t far off.

Roto-moulded plastic can be quite expensive however RTIC is very much aimed at the everyday outdoor enthusiasts so it doesn’t actually add that much to the price.

If durability is high on your list for a cooler – and it should be – then these two coolers from RTIC provide just that.

3″ Thick Walls

RTIC 65

Both the RTIC 45 and RTIC 65 coolers come with 3” thick walls and insulation technology to keep ice cold.

Ice retention is something that should always be looked at as a key feature of any cooler. Ensuring you can keep food and drink cold when you are on trips over a few days is important however some do this better than others.

Luckily, with these two RTIC coolers, you can keep cold for days at a time. Results can vary depending on the climate.

However, as a general rule, you should expect to keep ice cold in both these coolers for up to 4 days in the shade or colder climates and for 2 days in the sun and warmer climates.

Some people do find that ice can last for longer in both of these coolers and we’ve seen reports of retaining ice for up to a week. The roto-moulded construction and thick insulation ensures that the contents of your cooler are kept well insulated without any breaks in the seal.

Non-slip feet

A really good feature of both these coolers is the rubber non-slip feet that they have.

This makes sure that your cooler stays grounded and in one place, especially if you just put it in the back of your truck or car. While many plastic constructed coolers are durable, a lot of damage can come from the cooler bouncing around while you are driving over uneven terrain.

The rubber feet on the RTIC 45 and 65 is a really good feature. It helps protect your cooler from unwanted damage and even if you are setting it down outdoors, it ensures it won’t slide or fall away.

Heavy-duty rope handles

Another good feature of the RTIC 45 and 65 is the marine grade heavy-duty rope handles that you find on both sides of the cooler.

If you’ve ever had the misfortune of carrying a cooler in the great outdoors only for the handle to snap or break, you know how much of a headache this can be.

Hauling a heavy cooler around with one handle or even just carrying it underneath is a pain especially if you have a ton of other gear like tents or backpacks to carry too.

These handles are incredibly durable, so breaking them is going to be a real challenge. Even after frequent and heavy-duty use, the rope handles are strong and durable.

rtic

Rapid V-Drain System

Draining your cooler at the end of a long trip can be a bit of a pain.

However, with the rapid v-drain system, which is found on both the RTIC 45 and 65 cooler, this job is made a whole lot easier.

There is a two-step process for draining both these coolers, and it is really easy. The recessed v-drain ensures that the whole contents of the cooler can be drained very quickly. When you do this, you also hear the air escape, which is a good sign that these coolers are insulated properly.

Protection against bears

Bear proofing your cooler is really important. It is one of those things that you really hope you don’t need to see in action but is very useful to have.

Bears and other curious wildlife can smell food from quite a distance, even in a fully sealed and insulated cooler.

The RTIC 45 and 65 coolers both have bear-resistant construction. So, not only are they very durable and can withstand pretty much anything you throw at it – including a bear! – but its design means the wildlife will have a really hard time opening the cooler.

These two coolers feature a strong locking system. When camping or hiking in the great outdoors, make sure to store your cooler away from where you are sleeping – preferable up a tree. This means that even if a curious bear comes across it, the cooler itself isn’t in your immediate vicinity.

Traction Lid

The last feature to have a look at in both the RTIC 45 and 65 coolers is the traction lid.

This actually greatly extends the overall functionality of the cooler. While it is a strong and durable lid for the cooler itself, its non-slip surface means it can be used for other purposes too.

It is ideal as a casting platform when fishing or even to just use as a stool if you need to grab something at height. You can even use it as a makeshift seat as well.

The all-round durable nature of RTIC coolers further ensures that you can actually use this cooler for other purposes aside from keeping your drinks and food cold.

RTIC 45 and 65 size difference

The core features of the RTIC 45 and 65 are the same. They are both made by RTIC and share the same features aside from the actual size.

The RTIC 45 cooler has the capacity to store 36 cans, 40 lb of ice, or 45 quarts of water. The actual dimensions of the cooler is 15.8” x 26.5” x 16.5”. It can easily be carried by one person. This cooler is ideal for day hikes, overnight trips, and weekend getaways when you need some extra cool storage.

The RTIC 65 cooler is bigger. It can store 64 cans, 70 lbs of ices, or 65 quarts of water. The dimensions of the RTIC 65 cooler is 17.1” x 32.5“ x 18.5”. It may take more than one person to haul this cooler around, especially when full.

While one physically strong person could carry it short distances, it will more than likely need two people. This cooler is ideal for weekend camping trips when you are away for a few days at a time.

Comparing RTIC 45 and 65 pricing

As the difference between these two coolers is the size and how much each one can store, this is the main thing to think about when looking at the cost.

There isn’t actually a huge difference in the pricing between the RTIC 45 and 65 coolers.

What you need to consider is do you need the extra capacity? If you’re just using a cooler for a short hiking trip and perhaps one night away at a time, you could get away with buying the smaller and cheaper model.

However, if you do regularly go away for a few nights at a time or need a cooler to accommodate food, ice, and drinks for several people, spending the extra money on the RTIC 65 is more sensible.

Pros and Cons

RTIC

RTIC 45 cooler

Pros

  • It can be carried by one person
  • Strong and durable with rotomoulded construction
  • Non-slip feet for stability
  • The lid can be used for various purposes
  • Well insulated and keeps contents cool for several days
  • Bear and wildlife proof

Cons

  • It could be too small for a trip over several days
  • No leashes on the drain plugs

Portable and Compact
RTIC 45 Hard Cooler | Amazon
$249.99

The RTIC 45 cooler is by far the most popular cooler, likely due to its versatile size. It’s large enough for most uses: your lunches, drinks, and room for ice, thanksgiving leftovers, a drink bin at a party, or tailgating. It’s also big enough to hold your catch of the day if you use it for fishing. 

Buy at Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
05/22/2022 12:21 am GMT

RTIC 65 cooler

Pros

  • Strong and durable with rotomoulded construction
  • Non-slip feet for stability
  • The lid can be used for various purposes
  • Well insulated and keeps contents cool for several days
  • Bear and wildlife proof
  • Ideal for outdoor trips over a few days

Cons

  • It needs more than one person to carry
  • No leashes on the drain plugs

Larger Capacity
RTIC 65 Hard Cooler | Amazon

This cooler has everything the other more expensive brands of cooler have: the indestructible rotomolded construction, marine-grade rope handles, and heavy-duty rubber latches and components. It also has what some of those brands don’t: more than 9 days of ice retention, and at a lower price. The RTIC 65 has the size to serve you in any situation: from hunting to picnics.

Buy at Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Are there any alternatives?

Otterbox cooler

Otterbox cooler

Otterbox is a well-known brand for producing a range of durable products for the great outdoors.

Their coolers have strong roto-moulded construction and also come with good ice retention for up to 10 days in some cases. The metal hinges provide an added layer of protection and durability, and they are also bear and wildlife proof.

The Otterbox range of coolers has room for several attachments as well, such as bottle openers or even cup holders.

You can find the Otterbox Venture cooler in both 45 and 65 sizes, so this is the same as the RTIC models.

Overall, Otterbox is a great brand for durable but practical outdoor products, and their coolers are favored by many people for this reason.

Yeti Coolers

Yeti Coolers

Another big name for outdoor coolers is Yeti.

They offer much the same features as Otterbox, with some overlap with RTIC coolers as well. This includes strong roto-moulded construction, wildlife protection, good insulation, and ice retention, and strong metal hinges.

One thing that are unique to Yeti coolers is the fact that they are often available in a wider selection of colors (if having an aesthetically pleasing cooler is your thing).

Like the RTIC cooler designs, they feature T-rex latches (the Otterbox coolers have rubber latches that pull up from the bottom).

Yeti’s Tundra range of coolers are available in both 45 quarts, and 65 quarts sizes too. One thing to note is that Yeti coolers do tend to be a bit more on the expensive side.

If you want to find out more about our two alternatives and how they match up with each other, read our Otterbox vs Yeti Coolers Comparison.

Frequently Asked Questions about RTIC Coolers

Question: Are these coolers bear and wildlife proof?

Answer: Yes. Both the RTIC 45 and 65 coolers are strong and durable that will keep them protected from bears and other wildlife. You should always keep your cooler away from your campsite when staying outdoors overnight (preferable up a tree).

Question: For how long will RTIC coolers retain ice?

Answer: Both the RTIC 45 and RTIC 65 coolers can keep the contents cold for several days at a time. This does depend on the climate you are in. For most cases, it can keep ice for up to 5 days in colder climates and slightly less than that in warmer climates. Although, there have been reports of ice being retained for longer in both coolers.

Question: Do RTIC coolers have a warranty?

Answer: Yes. Both the RTIC 45 and RTIC 65 coolers come with a 1 year warranty period.

Question: Are RTIC coolers available in different colors?

Answer: Yes. You can find these coolers in different colors such as grey, seafoam green, blue, tan, and white.

Question: Where are RTIC coolers manufactured?

Answer: RTIC coolers are manufactured in China. The company itself is based in Texas, USA.

Question: What is the capacity of the RTIC 45 cooler?

Answer: The RTIC 45 cooler has the capacity to store 36 cans, 40 lb of ice, or 45 quarts of water. Its dimensions are 15.8” x 26.5” x 16.5” and can be carried by one person.

Question: What is the capacity of the RTIC 65 cooler?

Answer: The RTIC 65 cooler can store 64 cans, 70 lbs of ices, or 65 quarts of water. The dimensions of the RTIC 65 cooler is 17.1” x 32.5“ x 18.5” and will take two people to carry over any significant distance.

Our Verdict: RTIC 45 v 65 – go with the larger model if you need a cooler to use for several days

Both the RTIC 45 cooler and the RTIC 65 cooler share many of the same features.

This includes a strong roto-moulded construction, 3” thick walls for added insulation to keep ice and the contents cool, non-slip feed, bear and wildlife proofing as well as an easy drain system.

When deciding which one to go for, the real difference is in the size. The RTIC 45 cooler is ideal for day trips or perhaps just a one night camping trip. It can be carried by one person fairly easily.

However, if you need a cooler to last you more than one night away or if you need to store a lot of food and drink for several people, go with the RTIC 65 cooler. It has a much larger capacity.

The downside is that it will take more than one person to move it around.

That being said, both of these coolers are strong, durable, and actually not that expensive. If you can spare a few more dollars for the larger model, you’ll be thankful for the extra storage space, even if it is a bit more cumbersome to carry.

Portable and Compact
RTIC 45 Hard Cooler | Amazon
$249.99

The RTIC 45 cooler is by far the most popular cooler, likely due to its versatile size. It’s large enough for most uses: your lunches, drinks, and room for ice, thanksgiving leftovers, a drink bin at a party, or tailgating. It’s also big enough to hold your catch of the day if you use it for fishing. 

Buy at Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
05/22/2022 12:21 am GMT

Larger Capacity
RTIC 65 Hard Cooler | Amazon

This cooler has everything the other more expensive brands of cooler have: the indestructible rotomolded construction, marine-grade rope handles, and heavy-duty rubber latches and components. It also has what some of those brands don’t: more than 9 days of ice retention, and at a lower price. The RTIC 65 has the size to serve you in any situation: from hunting to picnics.

Buy at Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.