Pelican Vs. Yeti Coolers – Settling the Debate

Pelican Vs YETIIn the world of cooling; different brands and companies compete to produce the best portable coolers that’ll serve you in the best way possible in different environments, with minimum inconveniences, and for long periods of time.

The thing about portable coolers is that they’re pretty handy and functional when it comes to outdoors use, road trips, camping, or even for when there is a power shortage in the house or area.

Today, we’re going to run a little comparison between two monster brands that are known for being the pioneers of coolers’ industry; Pelican Vs. Yeti. Both brands consider portable coolers to be their best product line with some high end production quality.

To know more about the two brands, we’ll break it down to you in this Pelican Vs Yeti guide in an attempt to help you pick your best cooler.

Pelican Vs. Yeti: What They Can Offer

Pelican Coolers

“Pelican’s products are depended on by professionals in the most demanding markets including fire/safety, law enforcement, life sciences, defense/military, aerospace, entertainment, industrial and consumer. Pelican products are designed and built to last a lifetime.” This is a thing that represents how trusted this name is.

Pelican is an American brand that was founded in 1976 by Dave and Arline Parker who lunched the Pelican line with the legendary SabreLite™ flashlight which was their first product. I know that this is like some kind of a side story, but every killer brand like the Pelican has a history of dedication, hard work and sacrifice that’s worth acknowledging.

Another awesome thing about Pelican is that they make these indestructible high performance Vault cases which can be customized according to any machine gun. It’s just too awesome I had to mention it.

Now, Pelican introduced their portable coolers in 2012 which was a very smart and strategic move to enlarge their production lines. Given their reputation; it wasn’t hard at all for them to become a global leader in this industry as well.

With a wide range of portable coolers that are meant to answer the needs of all different users, Pelican was able to satisfy everyone thanks to their coolers’ rugged and professional designs, high end quality and durability.

CoolersVolumeInsulation ThicknessWeightDimensions
(L X W X D)
(17.98 liters)
(2 cm)
12.52 lbs
(5.7 kg)
• Inside:
12.00" x 6.70" x 14.10"
• Outside:
18.80" x 12.60" x 17.70"
(31.18 liters)
(5.3 cm)
21.67 lbs
(9.8 kg)
• Inside:
12.00" x 6.70" x 14.10"
• Outside:
25.30" x 19.00" x 18.50"
(42.59 liters)
(5.1 cm)
37.25 lbs
(16.9 kg)
• Inside:
19.00" x 12.00" x 12.00"
• Outside:
29.66" x 20.00" x 19.25"
(50.03 liters)
(5.1 cm)
26.39 lbs
(12 kg)
• Inside:
17.50" x 11.00" x 13.70"
• Outside:
30.00" x 20.30" x 20.40"
(52.05 liters)
(5.1 cm)
46.25 lbs
(21 kg)
• Inside:
20.00" x 12.00" x 14.25"
• Outside:
29.25" x 20.18" x 20.19"
(68.53 liters)
(5.1 cm)
33.29 lbs
(15.1 kg)
• Inside:
23.50" x 11.00" x 14.30"
• Outside:
36.00" x 20.30" x 21.00"
80.00QT (75.71 liters)2.00"
(5.1 cm)
49.50 lbs
(22.5 kg)
• Inside:
29.00" x 13.00" x 13.00"
• Outside:
42.88" x 20.75" x 20.25"
95.00QT (89.9 liters)2.00"
(5.1 cm)
51.00 lbs
(23.1 kg)
• Inside:
27.34" x 12.00" x 17.62"
• Outside:
37.75" x 20.00" x 24.88"
150.00QT (141.95 liters)2.00"
(5.1 cm)
66.00 lbs
(29.9 kg)
• Inside:
34.00" x 17.00" x 15.75"
• Outside:
44.88" x 25.00" x 24.38"
250.00QT (236.59 liters)2.00"
(5.1 cm)
92.00 lbs
(41.7 kg)
• Inside:
50.25" x 17.00" x 17.50"
• Outside:
61.13" x 27.50" x 27.50"

The Elite Pelican hard coolers’ line consists of ten different coolers that vary in size starting with the 20 QT cooler all the way to the 250 QT one. There is also a line for soft coolers with three different sizes that come really handy in all different environments and situations.

To have a closer look at Pelican coolers, we’ll dig through some of the most prominent features and specifications that Pelican is known for.

The first thing anyone notices looking at a cooler is the color; most of the Elite coolers come in two different colors, while three specific sizes (30QT, 50QT, 70QT) come in more than five colors which is a plus for a lot of us who appreciate the color choice availability.

All of these coolers are made using Roto-molded construction that’s meant to keep the coolers functional and undamaged for a life time. Also, the Press & Pull latches make sure the lid is perfectly sealed when done using the cooler; they’re so smooth and easy to use. Not only that, the lid is featured with a gasket that’ll prevent heat or smell from going in or out of the cooler.

Another feature that’s related to the lid is the molded-in lock hasp with a stainless steel plate where you can place any lock you have as long as it fits.

Concerning the outer design of the coolers; most of them if not all come with molded handles that are virtually indestructible. The Elite 45 QT cooler is wheeled for smooth and fast transportation with a rigid built-in trolley handle. You’ll also find these nice non-skid & non-marking raised feet not to damage any soft surfaces.

In addition to all of that, there are four integrated cup holders on the lid that can be used all the time to prevent your drinks from being spelled. Moreover, this very same lid can be used as a seat for how strong and rigid it is.

Last but not least, there is a draining hole that’s so practical to make sure any water that’s left inside the cooler slides out through the hole with minimum effort.

Yeti Coolers

Now, YETI is admitted to be the number one quality brand by the majority of users. It’s worldwide known for making some of the toughest portable coolers with the highest end quality on the market.

No one can deny how famous and strong of brand YETI is; its consistent and serious hard work paid off really well that they made themselves one of the largest clients’ platform who use all of their products.

Speaking of portable coolers though, YETI as well made a large line of hard and soft coolers that gained the approval of most users and professionals thanks to their durability and high functionality.For your convenience, we’ve listed all current models here:

Coole ImageCooler NameTypeSize
Yeti TundraRotomolded35 - 420 QT
Yeti RoadieRotomolded20 QT Only
Yeti HopperSoft20 or 30 QT
Yeti TankRotomolded45 or 85 QT

We’ll start with the YETI Hopper Flip soft coolers that are highly appreciated for their size variety; they’re extremely versatile and practical. You can get a small sized soft cooler or get a large one where you can fit 24 pounds of ice and take off on any kind of trip or adventure or even go to work.

The same thing goes for the hard coolers; YETI offers four different lines witch all come in different sizes; yet, they’re constructed with the same built-quality and almost the same features.

YETI’s hard coolers are very rigid thanks to their Roto-molded outer body, firm handles and durable T-rex lid latches. Other additional features like the Anchorpoint™ tie-down slots, the Neverfail™ hinge system and the Bearfoot™ non-slip feet so that your cooler stays in place contribute to making YETI’s coolers extremely functional and suitable for all different occasions.

YETI Vs. Pelican: Which One Should You Choose?

We know that putting two big and strong brands together like this in a compression makes it a lot trickier for you to pick one. However; in this section, we’ll see how YETI and Pelican are similar, and where does each brand excel better. Still, choosing any product remains a personal matter that’s up to you alone based on what you like and need.

Design & Features

As I’m sure you’ve noticed; YETI and Pelican provide the same high end quality for their coolers; they are both Roto-molded which means that the outer shell of these coolers is virtually indestructible with extremely rigid molded handles.

Both are fully equipped with all necessary features and both are guaranteed to last a life time. It’s something to really appreciate about these two pioneering brands. However, the difference one can easily notice is that Pelican’s coolers are a lot bulkier compared to YETI’s which is said to add to its cooler’s insulation ability.

To start with, YETI’s products have always been known for being a little bit pricier compared to other brands that might be offering the same quality. Here, you might find that one of YETI’s coolers can cost you a 100 dollars more compared to a cooler of the same size made by Pelican.

Some users get comfortable with YETI’s designs and details, while others find that both Pelican and YETI offer the same quality and features; it’s somehow a personal matter. However, one must admit that both brands did their best to produce such rigid and professional portable coolers with highly functional features/details.

Ice retention Ability

In terms of insulation ability, you should know that the best insulation service provided by any global brand does not usually exceed 3-4 inches in thickness.

The walls and lids of YETI’s coolers here are “pressure-injected with commercial-grade polyurethane foam”. The same thing goes for Pelican actually; they used two inches of polyurethane foam in each of their portable hard coolers which proved to be enough when it comes to the required ice retention.

That being said; ice retention is honestly the most important aspect one needs to check before buying a portable cooler; because simply; what’s the point of getting an ice chest that can’t keep ice in its shape for the needed/expected time from it?

Running a 5 days experiment on both YETI’s and Pelican’s coolers in order to test how long they can retain ice inside led to a similar final result with the same amount of ice remaining in shape inside of both even though we think that Pelican was able to hold a little bit more ice than Yeti did.

However, it was unnoticeable for most us. Keep in mind that in order to run such a test we opened the lids of these cooler 3 to 4 times a day to check how it’s doing, yet, both brands performed really well.

After those 5 days, ice started to melt in both coolers but the temperature inside was still low and cool and it kept going up to 8 days where the drinks inside were still super cold and fresh.

The last thing we’d like to point in this guide is something concerning both brands’ sizes. The 45 QT cooler by YETI for example is actually only 37 QT; the 45 QT seem to be merely a model number.

Pelican on the other hand offers a real 45 QT for their wheeled cooler of the same size. Here, you would start to wonder about the fact that you are paying for more than what you’re actually getting with YETI; still, you know exactly that you’re getting the best quality and performance on the market. However, Pelican proved that they too can provide the same luxury with 100 dollars less.

Yeti Vs. Pelican Coolers: Final Thoughts

Pelican Vs. Yeti Coolers

Taking everything we’ve been through concerning YETI’s and Pelican’s hard portable coolers into consideration we can easily come down to one single result; both these brands are extremely strong and durable with one of the best insulation ability performances ever introduced.

However, YETI and Pelican are known to differ when it comes to design and pricing; Pelican’s coolers are a lot bigger and bulkier while YETI introduced most of their coolers in a slim fit shape that makes them look smoother and smaller.

The price gap is also an important aspect here; getting the same size cooler with mostly the same features and quality but a 100 dollars less or more is an absolute game changer for some users. Pelican seem to be a great competition to YETI offering their products with cheaper prices but same luxurious value.

All of that being stated; YETI remains one of the greatest names in the world of portable coolers, and so is Pelican for offering the best quality and durability for a lower price.

Now, choosing between these two pioneering brands (Pelican Vs. Yeti) is a matter of personal preference; are you going to buy the name? Or is it the performance that matters? Or maybe it’s a matter of looks and design?

It’s honestly not an easy choice to make; however, one thing is for sure though, you really can’t go wrong with these top of the line coolers because both are proved to be great, durable, and extremely functional.