When it comes to premium coolers, travel mugs, and insulated tumblers, Austin-based Yeti is probably the most well-known name in the game. Ozark Trail, on the other hand, is a Walmart-owned brand under which the company sells similar products, although at much lower prices.
However, even though there’s a significant difference between these two brands when it comes to affordability, both earn rave reviews from owners. How is that possible? Are Ozark Trail coolers and tumblers as good as Yeti coolers and tumblers?
To help you out, I’ve decided to take a closer look at the most popular products from Ozark Trail and Yeti and see how they compare to one another. As an outdoor enthusiast, I have already used some Yeti mugs and tumblers in the past, so I was very keen to find out if these now have a worthy rival in the form of products from the Ozark Trail lineup.
Here’s what I found:
Ozark Trail vs Yeti – The Tumblers
Yeti Rambler 20 oz Tumbler
I’ve been using this particular tumbler for quite some time now and I absolutely love it. I didn’t care that much about classy alternatives to simple water bottles until one of my fellow outdoor enthusiasts started raving about his Yeti Rambler, so I decided to get one for myself and see what all the fuss is about. Needless to say, that was a good decision.
The simplicity of this tumbler is one of the greatest things about it. It is as convenient and easy to use as it gets. The Duracoat coating, the MagSlider lid, and the weight of just 11 ounces all make using Yeti Rambler 20 oz effortless. What is more, this product is also surprisingly easy to clean – even though it’s dishwasher-safe, I just rinse it out by hand.
Besides the fact that it was built to last (just like all other Yeti products) the Rambler also features high-quality double-walled insulation. In my experience, it performs extremely well when it comes to keeping the drinks cold, but it can also keep beverages hot for a long time. I have reviewed Yeti before in these other posts: Polar Camel vs Yeti, Yeti or Hydro Flask, Under Armour vs Yeti and Takeya vs Yeti Water Bottles.
Ozark Trail 30 oz Tumbler
The budget-friendly alternative to Yeti’s popular Rambler tumbler is called Ozark Trail 30 oz. Due to its lower price, I expected this tumbler to sport poorer construction quality and performance, and…I was wrong. Ozark Trail 30 oz is actually a genuinely worthwhile competitor and a phenomenal choice for those on a budget.
This tumbler is vacuum-sealed and made out of double-walled, high-grade stainless steel – in terms of construction quality, it is just as well-made as Yeti Rambler. But what about the performance? For this, I did a bit of testing – I filled both this tumbler and the one made by Yeti with the same amount of cubed ice and left them on my kitchen counter for about 10 hours.
The results? There was a similar amount of ice remaining in both tumblers when I came to check them in the morning. However, there was more melted water in the Ozark Trail tumbler.
Even though the ice melts faster in the Ozark tumbler, this is an insignificant difference in my opinion and certainly not something that should stop you from choosing Ozark’s tumbler over Yeti’s.
Ozark Tumblers vs Yeti Tumblers
Yeti Rambler 26 oz Bottle
Equally capable of keeping cold water icy and hot liquids steamy, Yeti’s ultra-popular Rambler 26 oz bottle is held in high regard by many outdoor enthusiasts all over the world – myself included. It’s a durable and versatile product that easily outperforms most of the competition.
Obviously, the best thing about bottles made by Yeti is their superior thermoregulatory capabilities, and this model is no exception. The dual-vacuum technology and the 18/8 stainless steel construction of this bottle work together to keep the cold beverages cold and the hot beverages hot. The model is particularly good at maintaining the temperatures of cold drinks, just as I expected.
During drop-testing, Yeti Rambler 26 oz ended up with only a couple of dents on the bottom of its body. In other words, this is a very sturdy and well-made hiking water bottle, and I’ve expected nothing less from Yeti. The final feature of this phenomenal bottle is its wide mouth – it makes cleaning easy and allows you to throw as much ice into it as you want.
In the realm of insulated water bottles, discussions around Yeti and Hydrapeak often surface, highlighting the meticulous engineering and design philosophies of both brands. Hydrapeak, much like Yeti, emphasizes a blend of durability and optimal thermal regulation, ensuring that your beverages maintain their temperatures during your adventures, thereby offering a reliable hydration companion in various settings.
Ozark Trail 24 oz Bottle
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Not everybody has the money to buy the most premium hiking water bottle out there. If you’re on a budget, you may want to consider going with one of the least expensive alternatives to Yeti Rambler 26 oz – the Ozark Trail 24 oz, which is a far more affordable solution to one’s hiking-on-the-go needs.
Walmart’s answer to Yeti’s popular product is a bottle that has many similarities with the aforementioned model – it also features an easy-to-carry handle and an overall sweat-free design. In addition, it is made out of BPA-free materials and comes with double-walled insulation whose job is to maintain the temperature of one’s drinks.
But can its performance match that of the much more expensive Rambler bottle? Yes, it can. The model is just as functional and practical as its costly rival and is very good at keeping the cold water cold and hot tea hot. Therefore, I actually find it very hard to recommend Yeti Rambler 26 oz over Ozark Trail 24 oz, as the latter bottle matches the performance of the former bottle but comes at a significantly lower price.
Ozark Trail vs Yeti – The Mugs
Yeti Rambler 14 oz Mug
Just like the other Yeti products I have analyzed in this comparison, the Rambler Mug also sports a very clean, modern, and appealing design. What is more, it is available in 20 different colors, so it’s pretty safe to say that there’s a color variant for everyone. One particular thing I have to point out about this model is that, out of all the travel mugs I ever reviewed, this one has a shape that is most similar to a regular coffee mug.
Manufactured from thick 18/8 stainless steel, this mug is also very rugged and capable of withstanding a lot of wear and tear. The tight fit is ensured by the plastic lid with a rubber gasket, and one feature I especially liked is the handle – it is extra wide, which, although it prevents the mug from fitting into a regular automobile cup holder, greatly reduces hand fatigue.
Unfortunately, this is not the most well-performing mug in terms of temperature retention. I filled it with hot coffee at 2:00 PM and by 3:30 PM, the beverage was barely lukewarm. But still, the solid build and the appealing design of this mug definitely turn it into a worthwhile purchase.
Ozark Trail 12 oz Mug
The biggest advantage that this mug has over the one offered by Yeti is pretty obvious – the price. For the amount of money you’d have to fork out to get the Yeti Rambler 14 oz mug, you are able to buy four Ozark Trail 12 oz mugs. Pretty neat, wouldn’t you say?
Obviously, the performance of this significantly more affordable travel mug is not as good as that of its rival. While Ozark Trail 12 oz mug does feature double-walled vacuum insulation, it is not capable of maintaining the temperature of the beverage for a very long time. Still, it will prevent your coffee from becoming ice-cold in a matter of minutes – just don’t expect too much from its performance.
In terms of build quality, this is a BPA-free mug made out of high-grade 18/8 stainless steel, so you won’t really have to worry about its durability. Unfortunately, it is available in a single color – burnished stainless steel – but hey, it’s four times cheaper than the Yeti Rambler 14 oz mug.
Ozark Coolers vs Yeti Coolers
Yeti Tundra 35 Cooler
One of the best-selling premium coolers on the market, this Yeti cooler is a fantastic accessory and one whose high price is completely justified by its build quality and many features that make it very functional and practical.
First of all, this Yeti cooler features the so-called rotomolded construction, which makes it very durable. The proprietary Permafrost insulation of this Yeti cooler, on the other hand, helps with ice retention, while the Fatwall (another proprietary technology) design provides 2” of ice insulation.
Moreover, this Yeti cooler comes with a couple of extra features that make it even more useful and convenient. One of these features I particularly liked is the presence of LipGrip handles – carrying this thing around is as easy as it gets. I also liked the model’s T-Rex lid latches, as these keep the Yeti cooler completely sealed at all times and ensure that the lid doesn’t pop off.
I was also impressed by how much ice this premium cooler can hold.
All of these features combined turn the Yeti Cooler into one of the most rugged, leakproof, and easy-to-carry coolers you can get for your money. Personally, I think the Yeti cooler is the best product of this type on the market, better than the Ozar Trail Cooler, although some may not like its hefty price tag.
You also might want to check out other Yeti coolers, such as the Yeti Soft Cooler or the Yeti Hopper Backflip Cooler. However, I don’t think these Yeti coolers come even close to the Yeti Tundra.
Ozark Trail Cooler
What does Walmart’s answer to Yeti’s superb cooler look like? Its name is Ozark Trail 52-Quart (one of the most popular Ozark Trail coolers) and, as it turns out, it isn’t as half as bad as one may think upon seeing its price – The Ozark Trail cooler is more affordable than the Yeti cooler, but it’s also very well-made and provides impressive performance.
The first thing I noticed on the Ozark Trail cooler was the handles – these are heavy-duty handles that are easy to grip. Another very durable part of this Ozark Trail cooler is its locking plate, which was manufactured from industrial stainless steel.
Furthermore, the Ozark Trail cooler also features a rotomolded construction, just like Yeti Coolers. The Ozark Trail cooler is resistant to UV lights and has no seams in its design. However, the best thing about this affordable Ozark Trail cooler is the fact that it can hold ice for more than a week.
While it’s not as good as Yeti Tundra in this department, the Ozark Trail cooler undoubtedly offers a performance that is very impressive once we take its price into account. I think it’s pretty safe to say that this Ozark Trail cooler is a great choice if you’re looking for a cheaper cooler.
If you think it might be too big or too small, do know that there are Ozark Trail coolers of other sizes.
Ozark Trail Lowballs vs Yeti Lowballs
Yeti Rambler 10 oz Lowball
Called “an ideal drinking companion” by Yeti and a product that you can use both at home and around the campsite, the Yeti Rambler 10 oz lowball is yet another great offering from this renowned company. Seeing as not many outdoor enthusiasts actually buy and use these things, my analysis of this (and Ozark Trail’s) lowball will be brief.
Just like most of the other Yeti products in this comparison, this one is also made out of 18/8 stainless steel. In other words, you won’t have to worry about the model’s durability – it will hold up in the wilderness. The construction is also BPA-free and features the so-called no-sweat design that keeps the user’s fingers dry.
Finally, the Yeti Rambler 10 oz lowball sports double-walled vacuum insulation whose job is to maintain the temperature of your drinks. As expected, the performance in this department is above average – this is, after all, a Yeti product.
Ozark Trail 10 oz Lowball
This plain-Jane lowball made by Walmart and sold under the Ozark Trail brand name is actually a pretty good alternative to the model described above. For almost $20 dollars less, you’ll be getting a product that is rust-proof, sweat-free, and well-insulated.
Weighing 8.8 ounces, this lightweight lowball is made out of stainless steel and is available in only one color – silver. It is rust-resistant and very durable, while its lid deserves special words of praise – it is dishwasher-safe and sports a shatterproof design.
The double-walled vacuum insulation of this model can and will keep your drinks hot or cold. However, don’t expect spectacular results – it is, after all, a lot cheaper than Yeti’s offering.
In the broader context of affordable alternatives, the Stanley versus Yeti debate also offers some insights. Stanley, a brand with a rich history in outdoor gear, has its own range of lowball tumblers that strike a balance between affordability and performance. While the Ozark Trail lowball from Walmart presents a budget-friendly option, Stanley’s version, often priced between the Ozark and Yeti, brings with it the brand’s reputation for durability and effective insulation, making it another worthy contender for those seeking quality without the Yeti price tag.”
While it’s true that Ozark Trail offers some pretty good alternatives to Yeti’s products (like the Ozark Trail 24 oz bottle, for example, and the Ozark Cooler), I still think that you should go with this budget-oriented brand only if you’re really looking to save some money.
This is because Yeti coolers, tumblers, and mugs, and other products typically have a better construction quality and can keep beverages hot or cold for longer. After all, this brand is not a favorite of millions of outdoor enthusiasts all over the world for no reason.
I love hiking, backpacking, and camping. From the Camino de Santiago to the West Highland Way in Scotland or simply a great day hike on the weekend. Hiking refreshes me, my mind, and keeps my body reasonably fit. So far I have walked three Camino routes and many other long distance hikes in the UK, Canada, and around the rest of Europe. One of the best was my hike up Ben Nevis.