oldmanskiThe search bar worked for me on this topic.
Decisions, decisions. I have thought the same as others in this post, why the hell would you pay so much for a cooler? Just for the cool factor, because your buddy has one, looks, so on. I want a good one to hold my food and beverages safely while keeping items fresh. I do have the inexpensive coolers already that I use for day or weekend use but we go out for a few weeks at a time each year so a good cooler is needed. I have been shopping the Yeti, Pelican, Cabelas, RTCI, along with a few others, I am pushing more towards the Pelican because of the lifetime warranty, made in USA, optional wheels, color options and they have a 30% off offer going on until July 7th. If they didnt have the offer off I would push towards the Cabelas or RTCI.
Ice retention and durability combined with warranty are some of the main factors. Yeah I've got a $4 igloo I bought from Goodwill but it's not gonna hold ice much longer than a day or so. YouTube whatever cooler you're looking for and include ice retention in the query. Also do some Google searches. Consider small things such as the carry handles, latches, and weight as they might make or break it for some people. The main difference I have noticed between your economy and premium coolers is the thickness of the walls inside. Also the latches, hinges, and overall feeling screams durability.
I didn't buy a yeti because the cost is wayyyyyy inflated and you can get better or equivalent cooler performance for half the cost. I love my pelican 70qt. It's a tank and was actually the cheapest in class of similar sized premium coolers last summer because it was discounted heavily on Amazon Prime Day.
If you're going on long trips where keeping something cold for a week without refilling ice is a priority, then a high end cooler is probably worth it. If you're looking for a cooler to take for a half day on a boat or to the beach, then any old cooler will do.
Only negative to the pelican I have is people have complained about its drain spout and leaking issues out of the box. It is very cheap feeling compared to the rest of the cooler but I've had no issues. If you get this cooler, definitely fill it with water and let it sit for a few hours to make sure no leaks.