Pelican Coolers vs Yeti Coolers

Pelican Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: We’ve Found the Winner!

Pelican Coolers vs Yeti Coolers:
We’ve found the winner!

If you’re looking for the best of the best, good! You came to the right place. The purpose of reviewing “Pelican Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: We’ve Found the Winner” is to help find you the best cooler for doing what you love most.

After reading our detailed comparison of these two robust ice coolers, you’ll have the detailed information you need to make an informed decision.

So sit back, relax, and see how these rugged ice chests compare.

Pelican Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: Ice Retention

In order to determine if one cooler holds ice longer than the other, we studied several different ice test challenges between Pelican Coolers and Yeti Coolers.

In both videos, you’ll see more than just an ice test comparison. You’ll also get to see how the cooler operates and the basic construction and features.

Video Demo #1: Pelican ProGear Elite 45 vs Yeti Tundra 45

5 Day Ice Challenge Results for the Yeti Tundra 45:

  • A small amount of ice left on day 5.
  • Conclusion: the Yeti Tundra 45 probably holds ice for 5-7 days (with moderate use)

5 Day Ice Chest Challenge Results for the Pelican ProGear Elite 45

  • Much more ice remaining on day 5
  • Conclusion: the Pelican ProGear Elite 45 probably can hold ice for 7-8 days (with moderate use)

As you can see, the Pelican ProGear Elite Cooler held ice longer in this specific comparison.

Video Demo #2: Pelican 35 Quart vs Yeti Tundra 35 Eight Day Ice Challenge

Yeti Cooler Results: After 8 days, this mighty ice chest still held ice.
Pelican Cooler Results: After 8 days, the Pelican had no ice remaining. 

  • While the Yeti Tundra 35 won this challenge, it’s important to realize that the numbers attached to Yeti Tundra names don’t refer to capacity. Instead, they refer to the “Series Number.”
  • Undoubtedly, this gave the smaller Yeti Tundra 35 an advantage over the Pelican 35 Quart.
  • Another interesting fact is that this test was performed in the middle of summer with an average temperature of 88 degrees.

Pelican Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: Construction

Pelican Coolers vs Yeti Coolers
(The Yeti Tundra 50. Follow the link for Pictures/Discounts)

Similarities in Construction

These similarities in construction are most important because they show how both coolers are built exceptionally well.

Pelican Coolers Unique Features:

Pelican Coolers vs Yeti Coolers
Here’s a perfect example of how colorful Pelican Coolers can be.
  • Lock hasp with built-in bottle openers
  • Stainless steel hardware
  • Molded-in drink holders
  • Attached drain plug leash
  • Extra wide TPE handles
  • ABS latches that unlatch with the push of a button
  • Integrated fish ruler on lid
  • Dual handle systems
Pelican Coolers vs Yeti Coolers
Yeti’s signature T Rex latches are cheap and easy to replace.

Yeti Coolers Unique Features:

  • Military grade rope handles*
  • Removable dry goods basket included in price of cooler
  • Detachable drain plug
  • Recessed Handles
  • “T-Rex” Rubber Latches

*The Yeti Roadie does not have a dry goods basket or rope handles.


Pelican Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: Durability

Although some features vary, both coolers are practically indestructible. Not even an angry bear throwing one of them at a tree would phase these tough-as-nails coolers.

As you can see, their roto-molded, tough plastic bodies aren’t phased by anything… even a slingshot.

As discussed above, both coolers are rotationally molded and crafted from the toughest plastic available. To say they’re “tough cookies” would be a huge understatement!

Pelican Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: Ease of Use

Always remember to consider ease of use, or “usability!”  Although every cooler has unique quirks, some are more cumbersome than others.

Pelican vs Yeti
The Pelican 5 lb Ice Pack chills contents faster & stays cold longer.

Pelican vs Yeti: Lids

  • Occasionally, Yeti Coolers’ lids close randomly. This is disconcerting for parents of young children, that’s for sure!
  • But the Pelican Coolers’ lids work just fine.

Pelican vs Yeti: Draining

The pros and cons of draining a Yeti Cooler:

  • Yeti Coolers’ handles dangle at the exact level of the drain plug, which is a hassle for some people.
  • Another downside is that it’s easier to lose its detachable plug.
  • On the upside, the Yeti drain plugs’ versatility is very convenient. The hole in the plug allows you to control the speed of draining.

The pros and cons of draining a Pelican Cooler:

  • Pelican Coolers’ drain plug leashes are also double-edged swords.
  • One one hand, the drain plug leash tends to wear down over time. (Although it’s cheap to replace.)
  • On the other hand though, they’re garden hose-friendly.

Pelican vs Yeti: Packing

Well, both coolers are a bit difficult to squeeze in the back of your trunk or in other tight places. Their external hardware sticks out.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-pack ice chest, Canyon Outfitter Coolers have recessed hardware, making them much easier to pack.

Pelican Coolers vs Yeti Coolers
The Pelican ProGear Elite 45 Quart with wheels.

Pelican vs Yeti: Wheels

Sometimes, it’s just easier to roll a cooler. Especially when it’s a hefty, chunky ice box like a Yeti or Pelican. Unfortunately, Yeti does not offer a model with wheels. (Although you can make Yeti wheels happen, if you’re a little creative.)

Pelican Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: Price

Pelican Coolers are less expensive than their Yeti counterparts. Of course it’s natural to gravitate toward less expensive equipment. And then you discover if less expensive means “low quality” or just a “good deal.” In this case, you’ve found a damn good deal.

Pelican Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: Warranty

Pelican vs Yeti Cooler Comparison

Pelican Coolers Warranty: Limited Lifetime

Obviously, Pelican Coolers blow Yeti Coolers out of the water in this section of Pelican Coolers vs Yeti Coolers.

For the first three months, everything on a Pelican everything is covered. After that, you have a lifetime protection of only the roto-molded body of the cooler.

Yeti Cooler Warranty

Yeti Coolers Warranty: 5 Years

Unsurprisingly, Yeti offers a five-year warranty. Why? Because those lucky bastards have quite a loyal following. They do what they want.

Luckily, there are plenty of discounted replacement parts for Yeti Tundra Coolers on Amazon.

Pelican Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: Colors

Yeti Cooler Colors: White, Desert Tan, or Ice Blue

In addition to these classic colors, Yeti offers an astounding collegiate series, logs, and more.

Pelican Cooler Colors: There are 21 colors to choose from. Talk about variety!

(Golden Yellow, Navy Blue, Red, Aqua Green, Burnt Orange, Burgundy, Deep Blue, Deep Purple, Forest `Green, Midnight Blue, Teal Green, Light Blue, Maroon, Light Orange, Light Purple, Dark Blue, and Gray.)

Pelican Coolers vs Yeti Coolers:
Which is better?

It’s a tough call to make, since these coolers are neck-in-neck. In truth, no matter what we conclude, the “best” one for you could be either one. Ultimately, it boils down to your own preferences.

Pelican Coolers vs Yeti Coolers
The Yeti Rambler Colster is the perfect finishing touch for your brand new Yeti Tundra.

Pelican Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: Pelican Coolers Pros

  • Pelican ProGear Elite Coolers’ long ice retention makes them the best choice for outdoors people who spend a week or more in the backcountry.
  • And Pelican Coolers are practically begging to go on a fishing trip. The fish ruler and drink holders are perfect for a relaxing day on the water.
  • And don’t forget the huge variety of available colors. After laying eyes on a purple Pelican, a tan Yeti just isn’t going to impress you. (If you’re into that kind of thing.)

Pelican Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: Yeti Cooler Advantages

  • To be fair, Yetis are much better looking. Their sleek design and finish plays just as much a role as Pelican Coolers Color does.
  • Also, Yeti Coolers are just as  strong and well-constructed as Pelicans, so you’re definitely not wasting your money.
  • For those of you who love the status symbol of Yeti Coolers, rock on. So if a high price tag doesn’t phase you, go for it. Just remember how short Yeti Coolers’ Ice Retention can be.

Pelican Coolers vs Yeti Coolers:
And the winner is…

Overall, Pelican ProGear Elite Coolers are the best coolers for the money. They have multiple built-in features, and their ice retention is best. Plus, Pelican Coolers cost and warranty is extremely better than Yeti’s. However, this was a close call. If you go with a Yeti, we salute that decision. That’s also a fantastic choice.


Readers who enjoyed Pelican Coolers vs Yeti Coolers also read:
Yeti vs Ozark Trail Tumblers & Coolers Review
Engel Coolers vs Yeti Coolers, a Worthy Pair of Competitors

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