Ultimate Review of Engel Coolers for Sale

Bison Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: This One Was a Nail Biter!

Bison Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: Overview

Yeti Coolers were the King of all Coolers when they came out in 2006. They were all the rave, with their unbelievable durability and capability of holding ice for days on end. But with all due respect to Yeti’s, we just can’t keep from comparing them to other high-end coolers. Today we’re tackling the subject of Bison Coolers vs Yeti Coolers.

The recent relaunch of the Brute Box made this cooler an even stronger contender against the Yeti. Brute Box Coolers are now officially called Bison Coolers, but we still think of them as Brutes. So if we slip up, both names refer to the same cooler.

We want the best for our customers, so we’re here to give our take on the two coolers. We’ll fill you in on these coolers’ ice retention, durability, features, and ease of use. This compilation is our gift to you, because we want you to save time looking all over the web and more time to spend adventuring outdoors. (Plus, we love coolers and enjoy comparing them!)

Brute Box Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: Ice Retention

“I love my cooler. It doesn’t hold ice well but it’s great” – said NO ONE ever! The entire reason we buy coolers is to keep our stuff cold.

We know by now that the number of days your cooler will hold ice is dependent on if you precool before packing it, and for how long you let it chill. There are reports of Yeti Coolers holding ice from as low as five days to as high as twelve. Both are pressure-injected for maximum ice retention, but is one better than the other?

Field & Stream was just as curious as we are. They looked at ice retention of high-end coolers, including a Yeti and a Brute. Of the 12 brands of coolers they examined, neither coolers won in terms of ice retention, but the Yeti held ice longer.

If you’re going to be outdoors for longer than a couple days, consider buying a Yeti over a Brute. Your meat may start to go bad more quickly, as it can jump to 32° Fahrenheit well before five days. Your beer and pop trail right behind, as Brute Box Coolers’ temperatures jump to to 40° Fahrenheit.

In fact, Brutes/Bisons are only advertised as able to hold ice for five days, much less than others. Usually, companies inflate this number. Yikes, doesn’t give us much confidence. Yeti doesn’t claim any number of days, but most results have shown them to hold ice a minimum of five days.

Since ice retention is so important, two points for Yeti in our Brute Box Coolers vs Yeti Coolers showdown.

Bison Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: Durability

Most reports say that both coolers can whether any storm or beating, but Yeti Coolers usually come out on top. One great example is from a Texas Based Forum, which is especially relevant, as Brute Box Coolers originated in Texas.

These Texans aren’t playing favorites in their honest reviews when they favor the Yeti. There are a mix of reviews all over the web, but more outdoors people say their Yeti Coolers are more resilient, as compared to either their own Brute Box or a friends’ Brute Box. One person even wrote that he exchanged all three of his Brute Box Coolers for Yeti Coolers.

Our impression is that Yeti Coolers are more resilient than Brute Box Coolers. The company selling Brute Coolers emphasizes many qualities, but durability isn’t their strongest-supported quality.

Don’t get us wrong – Brutes are sturdy and robust; Yeti’s are just more sturdy and robust.

Durability is another one of those factors that is more important than others, which is why we’re giving double points for Yeti as we look at Brute Box Coolers vs Yeti Coolers.

Brute Box Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: Features

We always make sure to examine features when comparing Brute Box Coolers vs Yeti Coolers.

  • Drain Plugs: Brutes feature two drain plugs, one on each side of the cooler. This is a plus, as compared to Yeti’s single drain plug. However, Brutes drain quite slowly. Yeti’s can be fast and unpredictable if you remove the entire drain plug. You can partially remove it to prevent the water from spurting out and getting everyone wet. We like Yeti Coolers’ drain plugs because you can choose between extremely fast (albeit messy) and slower draining speeds.
  • Latches: Brute Coolers feature two rubber latches with a cantilever hinge system. Yeti Coolers use a riveted pin system to hold their T-shaped rubber latches in place. From many reviewers’ experiences, the pin system does a better job of keeping the latches in place.
  • Handles: Both coolers have plastic handles as well as larger rope handles for carrying with two people. Brutes (or Bison Coolers as they’re called now) have an advantage over the Yeti, as their handles don’t drop at the exact level as the drain plug. The Yeti counters this with their grooved handles that some find easier to grip. (Others find the grooves to be uncomfortable.)
  • Lids: Bison Coolers have a built-in ruler, which Yeti Coolers lack. Otherwise, the lids are quite alike, with both brands offering customized logos for an additional price.
  • Accessories Included: As mentioned above, Brute’s have built-in rulers. Yeti includes a dry goods basket for all Tundra models.

We really like Yeti Coolers’ T-shaped latches, riveted pin system, and dry goods basket. Brute Coolers’ ruler is a plus for fishermen, though.

The features are all about what will make you happy. There are pros and cons to both coolers’ drain systems, handles, and included accessories. Just choose what you prefer in a cooler.

It’s a tie; there isn’t a winner in this portion of our Brute Box Coolers vs Yeti Coolers showdown.

Brute Box Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: Ease of Use

Who takes the cake in the ‘Ease of Use’ unit of our ease of use segment of our Brute Box Coolers vs Yeti Coolers comparison? It may not be obvious right away, so we’ll look at the individual coolers’ benefits as compared to the other.

Advantages of Brute Box Coolers in Ease of Use

  • Brute Box Coolers have a drain plug on both ends of the cooler, rather than the Yeti’s single drain, making them more convenient to drain.
  • No metal is a plus. So if you’re a marine outdoorsperson, this rust-resistent cooler is something you should really take into account. You won’t have to worry about drying off your cooler.
  • Brutes have rulers right in their lid. Yet another benefit for fishermen/women.
  • It’s just plain easier to transport Brute Box Coolers.

Advantages of Yeti’s in Ease of Use: Sorry, Yeti’s, but you don’t have much going for you in terms of ease of use. We like the included dry goods basket. Sure, some people might prefer Yeti’s handles, single drain, and T-shaped latches, but those are all subjective.

The Winner:  Brute Box Coolers have finally scored a point. Yeti’s dried good baskets are great, but that’s where their convenience stops. Brutes Coolers are easier to drain and carry. They’re especially marine-friendly, with their rulers and metal-free construction.

Brute Box Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: Price & Warranty

Yeti’s are costlier than Brutes (Bisons). You’re probably thinking, “well duh, Chuggie.” But just how much more expensive are they? Keep in mind that Yeti’s numbers aren’t meant to reflect capacity.


Both Bison Coolers and Yeti Coolers have five year warranties.

Considering the relatively small differences in price and the exact same warranty, there’s no overall winner in this Brute Box Coolers vs Yeti Coolers comparison. Yeti Coolers are more expensive, but they’re also better at holding ice and more durable. It’s a tie!

Bison Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: Conclusion

This was a tough call to make.

Bison Coolers are easier to use. They’re extra marine-friendly, with their no-metal construction and built-in ruler. If you have a lower budget, you won’t be disappointed with your Bison. It falls only a fraction behind the Yeti.

Yeti Coolers are more durable and better at holding ice, which are the most important factors when considering which cooler to purchase. You can use them for both short trips and week-long expeditions. (Tip: for maximum ice retention, pre-cool 24 hours before packing.)

Yeti’s are the highest quality cooler of the two. If your budget calls for a Bison Cooler, we promise it’ll still be an excellent cooler. Relax, and get out there doing what you love!

And now, we’ll make our official declaration: Yeti’s are the winners of our Bison Coolers vs Yeti Coolers comparison.

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