- Paul Kahan
Whether you’re going out of town, going camping, or need a convenient drink holder on a hike, a pelican cooler review is a great way to keep your drinks cool and refreshing. From a lightweight, compact cooler to a large pelican cooler that keeps melted ice for days, you can find an option that suits your needs.
Pelican has been making incredibly high-quality outdoor equipment for decades, and their new line of food storage is no exception. Pelican just announced that they have teamed up with First Gear to produce some of the best gear they’ve ever made, and we’re excited to share the new line with you!
Pelican Cooler Lineup
Pelican’s hard-sided coolers are known as the Elite Series. The soft-sided coolers come in a variety of sizes, from the mobile 20-quart to the huge 250-quart. You will find options for 20 quarts to 30 quarts and 50 quarts as well as 70 quarts to 250 quarts.
You will immediately notice differences in the sizes. The 20-quart has an overhead handle, while the rest of the sizes have side handles. The latch design also changes when you go up to the 95-quart size. The inset grooves increase from 2 to 3 for the 150-quart Pelican Elite models. In the next section, we will discuss these and other features in greater detail.
|Pelican 70QT Elite Cooler (Pacific Blue/Grey)||$349.95||Buy on Amazon|
|Pelican Elite 20 QT Cooler (White/Gray)||$149.95||Buy on Amazon|
|Pelican Elite 70 Quart Cooler (Tan/Orange)||$349.95||Buy on Amazon|
|Pelican Elite 45 Quart Wheeled Cooler (White)||$390.95||Buy on Amazon|
|Pelican 30Q-1-DKGRYEGRN Elite 30 Quart Cooler (Dark Grey/Green)||$229.95||Buy on Amazon|
A brand must stand out in a highly competitive premium cooler market to be successful. Pelican’s track records are a strong indicator that they have found a recipe that works. This starts with a unique and diverse set of features.
Walls are the foundation of any soft-sided cooler that is successful. Pelican is a great example of this. It uses rotomolded coolers construction, made from quality polypropylene in all Elite non-wheeled coolers. The wheeled coolers are made of polyethylene.
Pelican’s walls are thicker than most premium coolers. The thickness of walls will vary depending on which model you’re looking at and where it is located.
These walls are the thickest we’ve ever seen in any premium cooler. It’s important to note that the maximum wall thickness doesn’t always apply across the entire body. The average thickness of most body parts is closer to 2 inches, which is still quite acceptable. It is still reassuring to find thicker areas. We are sure that it provides a slight “boost in ice-life.”
Without a quality seal between body and lid, thick walls will not be worth much. Pelican excels in this area. Pelican Elite Cooler uses a thick freezer-grade gasket, similar to other premium cooler models. This is combined with the embossed lip at the top of the base to give you a lot more squeeze and lock in the air.
A robust latching system is the final piece of the ice retention puzzle. This is our favorite component of all. Pelican uses their Press and Pull latches, which are more common than the rubber T-latch designs of other cooler brands. These latches are not only highly durable but also provide a lot of locking force. This allows you to push the rubber gasket out, which will increase ice retention.
These thick components are great for ice, but they won’t be the only ones who appreciate it. Pelican Cooler has been certified grizzly bear-friendly by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee. Pelican offers a limited lifetime warranty that covers any damage to its products. All of these models are proudly manufactured in the USA.
Pelican knows how to make a rugged cooler. What about usability? There are quite a few that are worth mentioning.
The convenient bottle opener is located in the middle of the base lid. This clever design allows the bottle opener to “blend in” to the standard cooler body. The bottle opener is made from high-quality steel so that it won’t rust.
Next, you’ll find molded tie-down slots. These are great for attaching your Pelican Ice Chest to the back of a truck, boat, or another vehicle. They are also molded directly into the body, so you can be sure they will benefit from the rugged rotomolded construction.
Talking of trucks and boats, a heavy cooler sliding onto them can cause damage to the paint job. The non-skid, non-marking, raised feet of Pelican have you covered. These rubber feet will not scratch your paint. They also raise the cooler’s base off the ground, which gives you an extra boost in ice life.
A large, threaded drain plug and an internal channel are available to drain the water. Pelican coolers of larger size can hold large amounts of ice and are capable of displacing it rapidly.
The lid of the ice chest will have a fish scale. It displays both English (inches) and metric (centimeters). The lid can be used as an impromptu cutting board due to its durability. This product is ideal for outdoors people, fishers, and hunters who frequently need a scale or cutting board.
There are 4 cup holders embedded on small and medium-sized coolers (20QT to 30QT), 50QT to 70QT, and 70QT). This will allow you to store all your drinks at your outdoor event.
The Pelican cooler also has a unique handle system. The Dual Handle System is available for larger sizes (95QT to 150QT and 250QT). It includes both molded hinges and rotating hinged handles with rubber grips. Pelican offers many carrying options, which is why we love it.
Although the smaller sizes do not have the dual-handle system, they are typically lighter when complete. All sizes, except for the 20QT, which has an overhead handle, will have molded-in handles.
Pelican Wheeled Coolers come with rugged rubber wheels. These wheels will be found on one side of the 45QT and 80QT models. They are “tailgate-style,” with one wheel at each end of the 55QT.
You will also find molded-in handles and a telescopic handle to transport your wheeled coolers. These can be used to traditionally carry the cooler or use the wheels to pull or push the icebox.
Over the years, many cooler brands have had a similar aesthetic approach. The log displayed on the models would make it difficult to distinguish between them.
Pelican Cooler is different. These soft coolers are the most striking in their class, and they’re unrivaled on the market.
Their body shape is the most important thing. Pelican Coolers has very deep vertical ridges running parallel to the latches. The large, molded-in handles also reinforce the exterior. This ice chest is beautiful, thanks to the embedded logo on the lid and body.
As for color choices, it varies quite a bit. Some models may offer several color options, while other coolers might only have one or two coolers. Pelican progear elite may offer more colors in the more popular sizes, but this assumption is only an assumption.
The 20QT model is the ice chest with the most colors. There are seven different color options that we have tested and loved them all. There are seven color options: white/gray; green/tan; tan/orange; seafoam/gray; dark gray/green; Realtree edge and Realtree fish.
The 55QT Wheeled Tailgater Cooler is only available in white.
Pelican’s customization options are another great feature. You can not only get custom colors or emblems, but you can also create custom enclosures. Although this is unlikely to be within reach of most people, it can be done if you need a specific size, shape, or design. Pelican progear elite can provide this service in a way that few other cooler companies can.
Pelican Coolers are a leader in toughness, and their list is impressive. But what about their ability to retain ice?
These ice chests are perfect for long ice lives. These ice chests have thick walls and a large gasket. They also have potent latches that allow for a lot more squeeze. Pelican also stated that coolers could keep ice for up to 10 days. This is quite a feat!
It is best to try it yourself to find out. We filled our coolers with about 1/3 of ice and left them outside in the Texas heat. Then we opened them occasionally. This is a “real-life” test.
Ice life is diverse. The extensive range of sizes can explain this. Although all models have the same slightly thicker insulation, gasket, and latch system, a larger volume almost always means a longer ice life.
The performance was good for its size. Pelican can compete with almost every premium hard-sided cooler on the market when it comes to ice life.
It would help if you went with one of the larger models, such as the 150QT and 250QT. This will give you the best chance at maximum ice retention. Although we couldn’t achieve the promised ten days of ice retention, we were able to see ice last well for over a week.
This is a remarkable feat, especially when you consider all the conditions the coolers were exposed to. We are confident that the cooler would have lasted ten days if it had been filled with more ice and kept inside.
The Pelican Elite was one of the top performers in our insulation test. It was the penultimate model to break 40˚F in our insulation test, doing so just after the Yeti Tundra coolers and Engel, and about 24 hours prior to the top performing ORCA 58 Quart. This put it at the front of the tight pack of runners-up. It matched the best ice retention mark in our testing with an impressive 7 days.
Pelican Elite Ice Chests are a great choice. They are tough and durable, have great features, hold ice like a champ, and look fantastic. However, this comes at a price: the price.
Pelican coolers are in the premium price range. They are still not as costly as Yeti’s granddaddy, but they are pretty expensive. As you go up in size, this is especially true. Although you will have tons of storage and excellent ice retention, be prepared to spend a lot of money!
Pelican Cooler or Yeti Cooler
So where do you turn? To the Pelican or Yeti, that’s where. And since we know that many of you will ask the “ but which one is better? ” question, we’ve sat down and written down this Pelican vs Yeti coolers comparison – and we hope it will give you some good hints on which one to choose.
Pelican Coolers and Yeti Coolers are two examples of “old-school” cooler brands. Both have been around as long as high-end, roto-molded coolers. They are still around today, proving that they know their stuff cold when it comes to designing coolers.
Which is better, Yeti Coolers or Pelican Coolers?
Both models share a lot in common. Both models offer a wide range of sizes and products. There are soft coolers, wheeled and wheelless coolers, as well as drinkware. They also come with excellent customer service, accessories, customization options, and excellent customer support.
Both offer the same performance and features. We feel that Pelican may have the slightest edge in ice life, but both are Grizzly bear-proof. Both brands offer great customer support, excellent warranties, and are made in America.
Pelican has a slight advantage in terms of features. We are impressed by the innovative latch system, embedded bottle opener, and molded two-option handle. Pelican is also a leader in looks. We love the bold styling and cool color choices of Pelican. While still very expensive, Pelican can often be purchased for less than a Yeti cooler of a similar size.
We have to give our approval to Pelican because of these reasons. No matter what brand or model you choose, you’ll enjoy a great-all around cooler that will last many years.
The newer Pelican models are of similar weight. I’ll leave my final opinion for the end of this article after we have looked at each cooler in detail, but basically, when it comes to Pelican vs Yeti Tundra series, both Yeti coolers are great with the Yeti being more expensive and having a more premium finish and the Pelican being slightly cheaper and feeling (without being sexist) like a “Man’s man cooler”.
Related post: Pelican Cooler Vs Yeti Cooler
Are Pelican coolers good?
Pelican Ice chests are easy to use, large capacity coolers that drain quickly, and easy to clean. Although they are more expensive than the average big-box retailer cooler, you can get a cooler that can keep ice at 90 degrees for more extended periods.
Why are Pelican coolers so expensive?
Roto-molded coolers such as Yeti Tundra or Pelican can store ice for more extended periods than regular coolers. This is one of the reasons they are more expensive. It is essential to check each cooler’s ice retention ability before buying.
Do Pelican coolers leak?
Pelican Elite Coolers come with a freezer-grade gasket that will keep your cooler cool for as long as you can. These gaskets aren’t watertight and airtight, so your cooler may leak if it is tipped.
Are Pelican coolers bear-proof?
Pelican Elite coolers can withstand anything from a heated tailgate to a remote camping spot and are Grizzly bear certified. Pelican Elite coolers are grizzly bear certified to perform at extreme levels. They are more efficient than any ice-cold locker and more challenging than any icebox. We stand behind our lifetime guarantee.
Many people are convinced that the built-in handles make Pelican Coolers one of the best on the market. That may be, but other features make these coolers attractive to use in both the desert and the snow. Laptop-compatible buckles with rubber grips on the strap make it easier for users to carry their bags. As well, four molded handles make it easier to pick up the cooler.
And the wheels on this cooler are also made of thick and durable rubber latches.
Some even find Pelican Coolers to be lighter than similar coolers. If you’re one of those people, you’ll probably be excited to hear that it’s because Pelican uses much lighter aluminum for its drums and other internal components.
Last update on 2021-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API