RTIC Outdoors is a well known brand in the coolers industry that has blown up with the popularity of rotomolded coolers over the past 10 years or so. They were founded by twin brothers, John and Jim Jacobsen, in 2015 and are headquartered in Houston, Texas. Today, they make everything from hard-side coolers to soft coolers, cooler bags, drinkware, accessories, and more – but is any of it made in the USA? We dug in to find out, our verdict is below.
Verdict: Are RTIC Coolers Made in the USA?
No, zero RTIC coolers are made in the USA. They have a few fulfillment centers in the U.S., but pretty much all of their coolers are made in China, which they are not shy about – they say it front and center on their FAQ page.
While this isn’t necessarily surprising (many other rotomolded cooler brands are made overseas), what I find quite laughable is their reasoning behind it. This quote is straight from their website:
“…made in China in order to provide the best quality at the lowest price to you…”
Quality? If you’ve watched any of our YouTube videos, you know that Chinese quality standards and testing procedures for plastic and foam manufacturing is pretty much non-existent. In fact, several studies have been performed on Chinese foam and found toxic chemicals like lead and arsenic that is going into consumer products like these coolers. In the United States, we have the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) that helps manufacturers develop testing procedures and actual quality materials.
Not only are they not shy about their “quality” materials from China, apparently RTIC likes to rip off competitors as well. Now, we don’t love YETI, but this lawsuit that they filed against RTIC starting in 2015 is worth mentioning.
Essentially, RTIC ripped off the design of YETI coolers, so YETI called misappropriation of intellectual property, according to the case text. RTIC even started a site in 2014 that had slightly edited images of YETI coolers that they tried to pass off as RTIC coolers. RTIC eventually settled with YETI in 2017.
So, let’s recap: 1) made in China, 2) likes to rip off competitors – all in the name of “quality” materials that is “Overbuilt. Not Overpriced.” (their slogan) for you. I don’t know about y’all, but I will pass. Check out our made in USA alternatives below.
Popular American Made RTIC Coolers
Popular RTIC Coolers Not Made in the USA
- Original Hard Cooler – China
- Soft Pack Cooler – China
- Compact Hard Cooler – China
- Tumbler – China
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