YETI vs Hydro Flask Review
Table of Contents
The stories of why both YETI and Hydro Flask were created are pretty similar. Both sprung out from a need for something that wasn’t on the market, although the items that each founder searched for varied slightly.
YETI, brought to life in 2006, began with the mission to “build the cooler you’d use every day if it existed.” Brothers Roy and Ryan Seiders dreamed up the brand after running into issues with current cooler options made with flimsy features and non-sturdy construction.
And thus, the YETI cooler was born, and it turned into a must-have outdoor accessory almost overnight. With time, the brand branched out into insulated drinkware, travel-proof bags, and even apparel, becoming more of a lifestyle company than just one that sold trendy coolers.
About Hydro Flask
The selection at Hydro Flask is similar, although it includes everything from insulated bottles and cups to outdoor kitchen utensils; its coolers are all soft, not one hard one in sight.
Based in Oregon, Hydro Flask was drummed up by Travis Rosbach and Cindy Weber in 2009. Both loved the outdoors but couldn’t find anything that fit their drinking needs while exploring. Motivated to inspire people to move, the brand believes that life is an adventure and creates gear to make your time outside more enjoyable.
We’ll take a shot in the dark and guess that you’re reading this YETI vs Hydro Flask review because you’re looking for some quality insulated gear. We’d even go so far as to say that you’ve heard of both these brands and want to know how they stack up. If so, you’ve come to the right place.
Ahead, you can expect to find details on a few of each brand’s top-selling gear, comparisons between quality, price, and value, and we’ll even get into the nitty-gritty of it, filling you in on what customers think and what their shipping and returns processes are like.
What to Consider
Even though two brands may look alike from afar, after picking apart the details like we will in this YETI vs Hydro Flask review, you’ll come to learn that there are subtle nuances that may influence you towards one rather than the other.
Keeping a keen eye out for details is pertinent in identifying your perfect brand. While reading, you may even find that certain products from either fit your bill, rather than choosing just one brand to shop with.
In the coming sections, we’ll provide all the important details to make your life a little easier (that’s what we’re here for!). In the end, all you need to do is make an informed decision.
When browsing through the stats for each brand and its products, consider who its customer base is. Are they designed for easy family getaways or were they made for the rough and tough?
With brands like these, both are geared towards those who love to get outside, but you may find that certain products translate to indoor use as well or that one fits a specific lifestyle better.
With that in mind, what’s each brand’s product range like? If you’re looking for a wide selection, is there one that offers greater variety? Maybe one company doesn’t even offer what you’re looking for but you prefer its ethics. Do you compromise?
Though two products may look the same at first glance, ahead, you’ll find every single last feature included with their products and see the difference clearly.
Since we’re talking insulated gear here, one may outshine the other in how long it keeps drinks cold, or maybe the other can be carried multiple ways while its competitor only has a simple handle.
Now that you know what you’re looking for, how do you go about getting it? Different brands ship to different locations, and if you’re not an online shopper, perhaps picking your product up in-store is the option you’re looking for. Ask yourself how accessible each brand is and how easy it is to shop with them.
Though we know we probably don’t need to say this one, finally, consider the cost of each item. If both are comparable, consider the value. Now that you know what to look out for, let’s get this YETI vs Hydro Flask review on the road.
YETI Rambler 20 oz Tumbler with Magslider Lid vs Hydro Flask 32 oz Wide Mouth Review
We’ll be honest here, there are a million and one reusable drink bottles on the market, and surprisingly, the majority of them have small mouths. Now, if you’ve ever owned one of those bottles, then you’ve probably experienced how difficult it was to clean.
Wide mouth bottles allow for easier filling and cleaning, but that’s not the only thing that sets quality brands like these apart from others, nor are these two bottles even the same.
To see how they stack up, let’s jump into the details for both the YETI Rambler 20 oz Tumbler with Magslider Lid and the Hydro Flask 32 oz Wide Mouth.
YETI has a reputation for being tough. Its Rambler 20 oz Tumbler with Magslider Lid is made from 18/8 stainless steel which is kitchen-grade, puncture-proof, and rust-resistant. Made with double-wall vacuum insulation, this one promises to keep your drinks cold or warm until the very last drop.
Equipped with a magslider lid, this magnetic seal prevents heat from escaping and makes reattaching it really simple. In addition to being helpful, the lid is shatter-resistant so you won’t need to coddle it in fear of it breaking. This durable adventurer is $30.
YETI Rambler 20 oz Tumbler with Magslider Lid
- 3 ½” mouth opening
- Dishwasher safe
- Magnetic lid
- Compatible with car cup holders
- Available in 11 colors
- Can customize the design
- 5-year warranty
The Hydro Flask 32 oz Wide Mouth is a similar design, and if you didn’t notice, one of the biggest differences between the two is in size. Holding 12 more ounces of liquid, it’s made from professional-grade stainless steel—the same one YETI’s is, 18/8.
Using a technology called TempShield, this brand says its bottle will keep your liquids ice cold for 24 hours or super hot for 12. Does it outperform its competitor? We’ll get into those details a little further down in this YETI vs Hydro Flask review.
Guaranteed not to transfer flavors, you can put any liquid you like in without worrying that your bottle will have an off taste for the rest of its existence. This insulating superstar is $45.
Hydro Flask 32 oz Wide Mouth
- 2.26” mouth opening
- Dishwasher safe
- 13 colors or design your own
- Color Last™ powder coating
- BPA & phthalate-free
- Lifetime warranty
Even though they’re made of the same materials and come in a wide variety of colors, there are still a few big differences between them. Looking for a wider mouth? YETI seems to excel in that area. Interested in a longer warranty? Hydro Flask is your best bet.
In terms of price, since Hydro Flask holds more, its price is understood. Though both are solid options, Hydro Flask does stand out more in terms of what it offers, though we love the wide mouth on YETI’s option.
YETI Roadie 24 Hard Cooler vs Hydro Flask 20L Day Escape Soft Cooler Pack Review
Heading out for a day of adventure? Maybe a picnic at the beach? Coolers are a must-have to keep food cold on hot days, but some are more travel-friendly than others.
The Roadie 24 Hard Cooler is your tough, durable pick for short trips. It’s ideal for loading in and out of the car and karting around when your destination is close by. With its NeverFail Hinge System and HeftyHauler Handle, this cooler is tough and comfortable to carry.
10% lighter than the brand’s previous model with 20% more space, this cooler keeps food cold for 30% longer too with Permafrost™ Insulation. Its design is smart—tall enough to fit wine bottles, but compact enough to go behind the seat of your car. The Roadie 24 Hard Cooler is $200.
YETI Roadie 24 Hard Cooler
- 6 colors
- Virtually indestructible
- Comfortable handle grips
- Multiple ways to carry
- Compactor but roomy
- 5-year warranty
On the other hand, the Hydro Flask 20 L Day Escape Soft Cooler Pack was built for the trail. It’s carried as a backpack and is squishy for comfort. Available in two colors, this pack will keep your food and drinks cold for up to 36 hours.
Boasting a light and leak-proof design, pack the Day Escape up with your favorite snacks and take it to the top of a mountain. Padded shoulder straps ensure an easy journey while the TRU® Zip zipper is easy to open and silent. This adventure necessity is $200.
Hydro Flask 20L Day Escape Soft Cooler Pack
- 36 hours of cold
- Watertight & leakproof
- Travel-friendly & easy to carry
- Multiple ways to carry
- FDA food-grade
- 5-year warranty
Both of these coolers are the same price, but they’re designed for different purposes. Hydro Flask is great for day-tripping when heading back to the car for lunch isn’t in the plan. The YETI cooler is perfect for carrying from your car down to the river for an afternoon of fishing.
Because of the way these coolers are built, it’s hard to say which one has better features as we could see how useful both would be in many different situations.
YETI Daytrip Lunch Box vs Hydro Flask 8L Lunch Tote Review
Not every situation calls for a cooler, but your lunch still deserves to stay fresh. Traditional lunch boxes are fine, but that’s about where their description stops. They’re ok at keeping food cold, but not great.
The YETI Daytrip Lunch Box is a simple tool that takes keeping your food cold, fresh, and safe seriously. Made with Coldcell Flex Insulation to ensure your sandwich stays at fridge temperature, this lightweight lunch box is perfect for work storing in backpacks.
This lunch box is rock-solid and water-resistant too, so no spilled liquids will make their way in to ruin your snacks. This everyday staple is $80.
YETI Daytrip Lunch Box
- Keeps food fresh for hours
- Magnetic snap closure
- Good for both hot or cold foods
- Multiple ways to carry
- Easy to clean
- 5-year warranty
The Hydro Flask 8L Lunch Tote is a little more packable. Lightweight and made from a waterproof coated fabric, its interior is lined for easy cleaning and promises 4+ hours of chilling. Available in four colors and soft, the tote is comfortable to carry and stands on its own. This one is $45.
Hydro Flask 8L Lunch Tote
- Flexible and easy to pack
- Stands on its own
- Outer pocket for easy access to dry snacks
- Packs a lot, room for bulky items
- 5-year warranty
With a less complicated construction, Hydro Flask’s lunch box is more approachable and costs less, but it comes with a shorter insulation time and, we’ll be honest, doesn’t look as cool.
Both will keep your lunch cold, but with Hydro Flask, it looks like you’ll be able to pack more. Will it keep your sandwich free from being squished? No, so if you tend to be rough with your things, YETI’s hard lunch box may be your best bet.
YETI vs Hydro Flask: Quality
You’ve come to this YETI vs Hydro Flask review looking for something superior to your average cooler or drink bottle, so of course, quality is going to matter. Though the aim of YETI and Hydro Flask products are similar, the way they’re built is different, meaning the results will be different too.
To get the full scoop, we did a little digging on how each brand makes its products in hopes of sussing out whether or not one is inherently better than the other. Let’s start with YETI.
YETI coolers are known for being hard, but what is it that makes them so tough? Turns out the brand makes its coolers out of roto-molded polyethylene plastic. Thick and strong on the outside, the interior of the coolers are injected with polyurethane foam which, when dry, makes it even stronger and great at insulating.
YETI compares the process to the one that kayaks are made from. Its products are sturdy, resilient, and pretty much indestructible. The brand’s website says it manufactures its products in the USA and the Philippines.
On the other hand, Hydro Flask’s products are all made in China. The brand guarantees that its facilities measure up to American standards of quality, and says that its team visits them yearly to ensure fair labor practices are being met.
Its stainless steel bottles are welded together to ensure no temperature leaks, then are fitted with a vacuum insulated layer between the two layers of steel. The final step is using a sealant called TempShield that makes Hydro Flask bottles able to offer long periods of coolness and heat retention.
In terms of construction, both brands employ a similar manufacturing process that involves a hard outer and inner layer plus an additional middle layer of insulation. With that in mind, one isn’t necessarily better than the other, so it may come down to the standards of each manufacturing plant.
YETI vs Hydro Flask: Price & Value
To determine the value of something, we’ve got to look at the price compared to what an item offers. We know that the product comparisons above in this YETI vs Hydro Flask review look at very different products, but we can still look at each of their prices and compare them in terms of value.
YETI has created quite the image for itself. Its coolers exude an impenetrable strength. And as for Hydro Flask, the brand claims to be the superior insulating bottle on the market. Are these claims true? Do these products really hold such value?
In this section, we’ll check out each brand’s pricing, value, and materials, then compare them to what customers have to say.
The price of YETI and Hydro Flask products are about the same…most of the time. Hydro Flask did beat out YETI with its lunch tote in regards to cost, but since the construction of each is completely different, we determined that they’re both equal in terms of value.
Hydro Flask talks the talk with its stainless steel water bottles that supposedly don’t absorb flavors, but so does YETI with its seemingly indestructible design. In reality, customers report that both will dent if you drop them on their sides when full of water.
Both bottles are going to keep your drink cold all day, and are made from the same materials, so both are of good value. Picking which one is better suited to you depends on whether you like a wider or more narrow mouth.
As for its coolers and lunch boxes, Hydro Flasks are all soft. Now, while soft doesn’t mean less value, there is a confidence that comes with having a hard shell to protect food or a bottle inside. For these items, we believe YETI coolers to have higher value, even though the convenience factor of its competitor can’t be ignored.
YETI vs Hydro Flask: What do Customers Think?
We could talk all day about the features that each of these brands has and the claims they make about their products. But at the end of the day, what really matters is what customers think.
YETI is undeniably the more popular brand, you see it on TV shows, used by YouTube chefs, and the like…but we’re not sure if that has to do with its superior marketing plan or if its insulated gear is just plain better. Let’s take a look at what customers have to say about it.
Outdoor Gear Lab gave the YETI 20 oz Rambler a 4.8/5 star score. These guys put the bottle to the test in weeks of use and durability assessments, so this score really speaks volumes. CNET also gave the brand’s gear high ratings, such as an 8/10 for the Tundra 45 Cooler.
Reviews on YETI’s website are extremely high too, and we’ve compiled a list for you to take a look at below:
- Rambler 20 oz Tumbler with MagSlider Lid: 4.7/5 stars from 44,711 reviews
- Roadie 24 Hard Cooler: 4.6/5 stars from 3,366 reviews
- Day Trip Lunch Box: 4.4/5 stars from 632 reviews
Described as a “top performer” by Outdoor Gear Lab, in general, customers say that YETI products are:
- More durable than the competition
- Has superior cold retention 6+ hours to 3 days
- Looks awesome
On the other hand, Hydro Flask has also received a 4.8/5 star score from Outdoor Gear Lab for its 32 oz Wide Mouth Bottle. The review site loved the stylish colors available and confirmed it was resistant to flavors.
The brand’s Facebook page showed an overall score of 4/5 stars from 2,038 shoppers and below, you’ll also find the scores for each of the products we reviewed above:
- 32 oz Tumbler: 4.6/5 stars from 1,946 reviews
- Day Escape Soft Cooler Pack: 4.6/5 stars from 11 reviews
- 8 L Lunch Tote: 4.5/5 stars from 203 reviews
In general, we found that customers are pleased with the Hydro Flask’s performance and say the following about the company and its products:
- Great customer service
- Bottles keep water cold for over 24 hours
- Products are durable and convenient
- Users love the customization aspect
We’ll be honest here and tell you that neither of these brands comes with sterling feedback. We found reports for both that say they ding up easily and are quite expensive.
The real matter is with how well of a job they still do regardless, and if there has been a case that they don’t perform well, it looks like customer service for each company is stellar in handling warranty claims. Both brands check out, and for us, even though YETI has more reviews, the types of reviews and ratings are the same.
YETI vs Hydro Flask: Promotions & Discounts
With great quality comes higher prices. Since these two brands are pretty much on par in terms of price, what it may come down to is the promotions and discounts each one offers. Coming up, this YETI vs Hydro Flask review will give you a rundown of the deals each company offers compiled into a handy little list for easy scanning.
What it offers:
- Special pricing for Military & First Responders
- Free US ground shipping on orders over $20
- Free returns
What it offers:
- Free shipping on orders over $30
- Sale section
- Refer a friend deal
Each brand gives something different in terms of discounts. Both have some really great offers but neither seems to run promotions on their site. We always appreciate a good sale section, especially with brands like this whose products are all of the same caliber (no pitiful sale space with socks and bandanas).
With Hydro Flask’s sale section, you’ll get its top-notch insulated bottles—just usually in colors that don’t sell as well as others.
Also, while we respect our heroes and believe they deserve a discount, not everyone is one (in the regard that YETI accepts for discounts), and appreciate that Hydro Flask has a refer a friend promo that’s attainable for anyone.
YETI vs Hydro Flask: Shipping & Returns
If you’ve ever ordered anything online, then you know that a brand’s shipping and returns policies are just as important as the products themselves.
This YETI vs Hydro Flask review wouldn’t be complete without filling you in on all the hard details, so we’ll compare each brand’s policies below and take a look at what customers have to say about their experiences.
- YETI ships via UPS, offering free shipping for orders over $20 for the contiguous US
- Has expedited options for US locations
- Ships to select international destinations (8 locations)
- You have 30 days to make a return
- Returns are free
- Only unused, like-new items are valid
- Ships from the US, shorter shipping times
- Hydro Flask ships via FedEx, offering free shipping for orders over $30
- Offers expedited shipping
- Ships to a larger list of international locations than YETI
- You have 30 days to start the return process
- You are responsible for all return costs
- Items must be unused and in brand new condition
No brand is ever perfect when it comes to shipping, and it’s important to take customer reviews with a grain of salt as they’re more likely to complain than they are to compliment.
When looking at the policies head-to-head, YETI offers free shipping for much less, as well as free returns, whereas Hydro Flask does not. In the same breath, Hydro Flask ships to more locations, so really, depending on where you live may influence your decision on this one.
Who Will You Shop With?
We hope that this YETI vs Hydro Flask review has made your decision a little easier, or at least, that you feel more informed about what you’ll get with each one. As you saw, the brands, though similar in mission, are pretty dissimilar when it comes down to it.
With major differences like materials, insulation time, and durability, for us, one brand pulls ahead of the crowd—YETI. On the other hand, if you’re looking for convenience, ease-of-use, and a lifetime warranty, Hydro Flask products definitely outshine their competitors.
Check out some of our other comparison reviews: