Orca Vs Pelican Cooler 2023: What Is The Best For You

Orca Vs Pelican Cooler 2023 What Is The Best For You
  • Paul Kahan

The great debate of Orca Vs Pelican Cooler has surfaced again. However, this time we are not focusing on the differences between each company but how they compare in terms of features and benefits.

Our goal is to provide some insight into which model may be best for you and your needs. We will take a look at what makes each brand unique, as well as the pros and cons that come with either option.

It’s time to find out which company offers the best overall value when it comes to its products!

You might have heard about these two brands before. There are plenty of reviews online about them so let’s dive right in!

Orca Cooler Overview: The Good and Bad


Orca is an excellent brand by Arctic Products. It can withstand rough conditions for many years. The cooler is waterproof and keeps ice frozen for over three days with its heavy-duty polyurethane insulation foam (R-6 to R-10). As it comes from one of the best cooler brands in America, you can expect the interior (foam) to be very sturdy and reliable.

The latches are the best among its class with no rubber gasket, so they will never leak even when exposed to extreme weather conditions like heavy rain or snow.

They also work flawlessly in keeping out dust, sand, and other foreign objects from entering. While most cooler brands use synthetic rope for the handles, Orca uses nylon lines. They are super solid and durable.

The only downside of an Orca is its weight, due to which it can be hard to handle when carrying around. Most of them weigh over 100 pounds empty, and the larger ones can even go up to 140 lbs (60 kg).

In general, Orca is a more rigid and durable cooler than other brands in its class. It has better insulation and performs well even at high altitudes.

After recommending them from friends or family, some people who have bought Orca coolers claim they are worth every penny because of their durability and quality. However, some users complained about the lack of availability of replacement parts and the high price.

Other than that, Orca users have no complaints about their coolers. If you are looking for a more excellent to use on your boat trip or camping, Orca is worth considering.


The first disadvantage of an Orca cooler is its weight. If you are looking for a lifestyle, lifetime warranty, backpacking, or short trip cooler, then this is not your type of choice.

Most Orca coolers weigh up to 100 lbs which can be very heavy to carry around and difficult to store in a vehicle due to limited space. An Orca is only suitable for extended trips like a yacht, houseboat, or at the campsite.

They are not ideal for everyday use either because of their weight, dimensions, and price tag. Another problem is that they don’t have any space between the body and lid area, which prevents you from putting any food items inside.

One more disadvantage is that it does not have any drainage hole at the bottom of its body. The problem here is that if you are going on a boat trip, the water will start to collect inside the body of your cooler.

Pelican Cooler Overview: The Good and Bad

Pelican Cooler Overview


If you need a heavy-duty cooler that can be used in the harshest conditions, Pelican is your best choice. It can withstand cold and hot temperatures for a long time.

The Pelican coolers are 100% waterproof and airtight due to their advanced design with O-ring seals on the lid and gaskets around its lid. You don’t have to worry about outside contaminants spoiling your food items.

Pelican coolers are heavy-duty and carry up to 450 pounds of ice, more significant than the average weight limit of other brands in their class. Its resistance to corrosion makes it very durable for long-term use.

The cooler can be submerged into water up to 6 feet deep without affecting its function or structure. Pelican is also one of the most demanding more excellent brands in the world.

The latches are made of stainless steel and won’t wear out or get rusty even after years of exposure to outside elements. They also use a unique flex mechanism which makes it easier for you to open and close the lid without using any tools. The handles are designed in a way to keep your hands away from touching the lid.

This prevents you from getting burned by the high heat. The handles are solid, and they won’t snap or break even under heavy loads up to 450 pounds of ice.

The weight is another advantage that makes Pelican cooler better than other models in its class. While most coolers come up to 100 pounds, Pelican can weigh up to 150 lbs.

The dimension of a Pelican cooler is more significant than other brands in its class. You get a large storage capacity and less space between the body and lid, making it easier for you to store food items inside it.

The insulation system is designed in such a way that the cold air does not escape from it. The advantage of this is that you can store ice inside your cooler even after storing food items over a more extended period. You won’t have to worry about refilling the ice in your cooler every day on long trips or campings.

Another advantage of using Pelican coolers is that they are cheaper than other brands in its class. The price is about half of the high-end models available on the market like the Yeti roadie and ORCA.

The Pelican ProGear Elite 45 quart cooler is the heaviest of all the coolers tested but is the only one that offers wheels and a sturdy handle so it can be rolled around. It features a bottle opener and ruler on the lid, which is very useful for anglers.

I prefer the patented latches on this cooler. They are very easy to use. Sometimes all you need is a styrofoam cooler. They are very light and hold ice pretty well. Most can be bought for less than $15.


The only disadvantage is that it doesn’t have a drainage hole at the bottom of its body. But this problem can be easily solved by placing your cooler on an angle that will drain the water from inside the body and into another container like a sink or bucket.

Orca vs. Pelican Cooler: What Are The Differences?

When choosing between an Orca cooler vs. a Pelican cooler, you will need to consider several factors – from size to weight to features, and lastly, aesthetics.

If we look at these two coolers head-to-head and lifetime warranty, we can see that they both have many similarities and some notable differences that you need to know about.

The cooler/ice chest market has exploded in recent years with companies offering premium coolers that claim to hold ice for over a week. Names like The Yeti coolers, Orca, Pelican, and others are joining more familiar names like Igloo and Coleman in the cooler marketplace.

First of all, whether this is the YETI Roadie or the ORCA coolers, the ice retention times will depend on the cooler size and many external factors as well. As for the former, the bigger the cooler, the longer it’s capable of keeping ice ice-cold.

Therefore, don’t expect the small The YETI Roadie 20 to keep the ice frozen for the same amount of days as the 110-quart version. That just won’t happen. The same goes for Orca, of course, and all the other cooler brands out there too.

Quality And Longevity

When it comes to quality standards when shopping for coolers, just a few brands stand out, and Orca Coolers is one of them. The brand has been around since 2003 and produces high-quality coolers that have great features, long lasts ice retention capabilities, and excellent overall construction qualities.

Pelican cooler is also a top-quality cooler but not quite like the Orca cooler. While both are constructed to last, the Pelican coolers are also more expensive than the Orca cooler. Froze 2 1 gallon jugs of water and kept ‘the food cooler’ cold for 5 days of camping and both of the gallons of water were only half melted at the end of the 5th day.

Moreover, once the ice was in the coolers, six cold, canned soft drinks were placed on top of the ice, and the lids were closed and latched. All of the coolers were then placed on concrete and left to the elements. The coolers were opened every 24 hours until the ice had melted to a critical stage.

The ice was weighed in order to get the exact amount in each cooler. This amount of ice filled the coolers roughly halfway. Once the ice was in the coolers, six cold, canned soft drinks were placed on top of the ice, and the lids were closed and latched. All of the coolers were then placed on concrete and left to the elements. The coolers were opened every 24 hours until the ice had melted to a critical stage.

Orca vs. Pelican Cooler What Are The Differences

Design Flexibility

Pelican Coolers have more flexibility in their designs. This is mainly due to its extra insulation layer on the interior walls, which provides better protection for food and other stuff kept inside.

If you are looking for flexibility with your cooler, the Pelican is one of the best choices as it comes with many different options, including a built-in seat and wheels.

Orca’s design is excellent, but you will not get as much flexibility in your cooler design without the extra layer of insulation on the interior walls.


When it comes to the number of features, both brands have many similarities and a few notable differences. Both coolers come in numerous sizes, from small personal cup holders to extra large party coolers that hold over 100 cans! Thus you will get plenty of options depending on your needs and budget.

Another thing these coolers have in common because they are both made with roto-molded construction, ensuring that the product will last for many years. Roto-molded coolers have become one of the most popular today among outdoor enthusiasts due to their heavy-duty construction compared to other types of coolers.

Now, if you use a cooler once or twice a year at the ball game it probably isn’t worth the price but if you’re in the outdoors often you won’t be disappointed. This will pay for itself in ice and durability. I even went and bought a 20qt that fits perfectly in the boat. The yeti tundra has been in the closet since I bought this and will soon be sold.


Both the Yeti coolers, the Orca, and Pelican coolers come in various sizes – from personal coolers to large ice chests. The smallest Orca cooler is the 10 Quart Soft Cooler, and it can hold up to 6 cans/bottles, while for Pelican, the smallest size you will get is the 26-Quart Slim Ice Chest. Both coolers are great for personal use and will fit in most car trunks and backseats.

The Orca coolers come in a wider variety of sizes, with the more excellent ranging from small personal coolers to large bulk party coolers, while for Pelican, they only have two size options – small and large. The giant Orca Cooler is the 62-quart soft cooler that can hold 160 cans/bottles and fit nicely in an RV.

The Orca Coolers are also known for creating several other coolers that provide more versatile options. The series 30 mule features wheels and a handle that make it easier to pull around and carry heavy loads.

Size-wise, the Pelican cooler also comes in more sizes, but like the Orca coolers, they have limited options for their designs. The largest Pelican Cooler is the 52-quart Elite, which was able to hold up to 72 cans/bottles and will fit most backseats and some storage compartments of many RVs.

The coolers range from 40 quarts to 54 quarts. All of the coolers were chilled with bags of ice overnight before test day. That ice was then discarded and fresh ice was placed in the coolers. I used 20 pounds of ice in each cooler. The ice was weighed in order to get the exact amount in each cooler. This amount of ice filled the coolers roughly halfway.


Another advantage of choosing the Orca coolers are that they provide a more relaxed with excellent ice retention capabilities but a lighter weight package. The lightest small Pelican Cooler can hold up to 8 cans/bottles and weighs roughly 14 lbs. The lightest Large Pelican Ice Chest can hold up to 50 cans/bottles and weighs almost 39 lbs.

Weight-wise, the Pelican cooler is heavier than its Orca counterpart. Because of this, if you are looking for a large cooler that can hold lots of stuff, then Orca coolers may be a better choice as they are lighter in weight compared to their Pelican counterparts.


The price of both brands is similar, and you will have no problem finding one that fits your budget. Some personal coolers from The Pelican Orca coolers are sold for as low as $30, while the larger bulk party coolers can cost over $600.

Orca provides more affordable options with more excellent prices that range from around $35 to $400, which are more than enough for most outdoor enthusiasts and preppers. On the other hand, Pelican has more expensive coolers that can go as high as $550.

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Is Orca a good cooler brand?

Yes, Orca is a perfect cooler brand. They are known for creating a range of coolers to fit your needs, from small personal ones to large on-the-road bulk coolers. Their products are durable and lightweight, and their prices are more than reasonable considering the high quality of the product.

Is Pelican as good as the Yeti Tundra?

Overall, yes, Pelican is as good as the Yeti Tundra at a much more affordable price. Both brands offer products that will last you many years and keep your drinks cold for long periods. The only difference between the two is the range of coolers they have in their catalog. The Orca coolers provide a broader range of party coolers, while Pelican offers more compact options.

Is a Pelican cooler worth it?

Yes, Pelican is worth it! Unlike the Yeti coolers, there are much more affordable choices for many outdoor enthusiasts, from preppers to people who want to enjoy camping or tailgating in style.

Is Orca cooler bear proof?

Yes, both brands are bear-proof, so you can rest assured that your food and drinks will be safe from bears. The only difference is that Orca coolers offer a wider variety of sizes to fit in an RV, whereas Pelican has more compact cooler options.

For comfortable camping, you will need to have the right gear. An air bed can be beneficial too since you can save money on accommodation if sleeping outdoors.


We hope this article has helped you in your quest for the best cooler. The Pelican vs the Orca coolers is just one of many choices you need to make when selecting a cool beverage container. Many other factors can contribute to what’s right for you, like size, weight, and personal preferences on appearance, etc.

If all these considerations have left you feeling overwhelmed with options, we recommend checking out our blog post entitled Orca Vs Yeti Cooler For Your Trip. It should help provide some guidance and show off the wide range of products available from Anker!

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