YETI tumbler put to the test against similar models

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YETI is a popular brand for coolers and cups, but, does the price make it superior?

Popular YETI Coolers are known for keeping items cold for days and hot for hours. The brand launched in Texas 2006 with two brothers on a mission to make a cooler that held up for an outdoor enthusiast.

Fast forward to today, and YETI Coolers -- and now tumblers -- dominate the market, with the company recenlty filing for a July IPO with sales increasing to $468.9 million from $147.7 million the year before.

Part of the sales increase came from the YETI tumblers hitting the market, and a Christmas shortage only drove the demand even higher.

The brand is so popular that police in Hickory, NC say thieves hit sports stores in April targeting YETI coolers which can cost anywhere from $250-$800 dollars.

WTVD-TV, abc13's sister station, decided to do an unscientific product test and see if paying top dollar for the premium YETI brand yielded any difference in performance when it comes to the 30-ounce tumbler.

Very similar items are now on the market, including RTIC, which advertises their product as 'Half the price of a YETI.' RTIC's 30 ounce tumbler runs about $20.

Walmart also has a similar product, an Ozark Trail brand, for about $10 bucks.

We filled all three with ice cubes, covered them with lids and let them sit in an air conditioned room. 25 hours later, the melting was equal, so the products were moved onto a table in the mid-day sun. 29 hours later, the same results -- all three with equal melting. At 33 hours, the YETI and Ozark Trail are tied for first place with RTIC just a trail behind showing little less ice left behind.

Next up, hot liquids. All three were filled with equal amounts of water at 180 degrees and left with the covers on for 1 hour.

Here's how they stacked up:

YETI and Ozark Trail tied for first again at 140 degrees

RTIC a close second with a reading of 138 degrees

Showing for hot or cold performance, there is little to no difference in the three products, but, there is a big difference in price.

YETI has filed several pending patent infringement lawsuits against the makers of products similar to their coolers and drinkware.
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