All Pelican Cooler Reviews

This is a listing of all Pelican Coolers for sale that have been reviewed and we also list what we think are the best Pelican Coolers with our internal ranking system. Pelican is a premium brand that offers superior performance due to great materials and premium manufacturing.  They don’t have a huge variety of products and are typically intended for larger excursions, often outdoors, that will potentially necessitate days of cooling requirements as well as extreme conditions.  However, they do offer some smaller choices that might suffice for a shorter outing.  While pricey, these products are extremely well-made and are a great investment, so we encourage you to check them out!  If you are in the market for a premium cooler, we also recommend that you check out our other reviews of Engel Coolers, Grizzly Coolers, K2 Coolers, Mammoth Coolers, and Yeti Coolers.

Our Top Rated Pelican Coolers

 Pelican Elite WheeledPelican Elite
pelican elite wheeled thumbnailpelican elite thumbnail
Our Rating4.5 star4 star
Price by Volume (Amazon)$$$$$$$$$$
Ice Life7-8 days7-8 days
Our Full ReviewLinkLink

A Unique Background

Pelican coolers are unique in that they come from a company that historically specializes in other types of products.  Specifically, Pelican is primarily known for their protective cases used for those who want to keep contents inside safe and secure.  This gives them a rather atypical view on how to approach a cooler, and you can definitely see this in their products.  What is obvious is that they are used to building products that can handle a beating and this design approach is seen in their cooler as well.

Tough as They Come

Pelican knows tough.  They offer some of the toughest protective cases in the world and many of those attributes they carried over to their coolers.  Because of this, you know that when you go with a Pelican Cooler you are going with something that can stand up to the harshest conditions and won’t bend or break when dropped, hit, and stepped on.  You can see this in a lot of the design features that they implement in all of their coolers.  We will go over a few below.

Extra Thick Polyethylene

pelican cooler thick walls

These coolers come equipped with 2” thick polyethylene.  Polyethylene is a tough material that can handle impact loads, cuts, penetrations, and anything else you can throw at it.  And at 2” thick it is some of the thickest in the entire industry.  It is also a big reason why all Pelican Coolers are Bear-Proof by successfully passing IGBC testing.  However, it is still relatively light compared to other tough materials which make even a large and bulky cooler like a Pelican reasonable to handle.

Stainless Steel Hardware

All of the metal parts found on these coolers are made of stainless steel.  This means that you don’t have to worry about weak plastic components cracking and breaking or corrosion that can be common in other types of metal.  In addition, the metal gives off a much more professional and high-end look.

Single Piece Hinge with Built-In Channel

A cooler’s hinge is one of the most important components on it and one that has a direct effect on its ice performance and survivability.  When a hinge fails, the lid won’t close properly (or sometimes at all) and the cooler becomes nothing more than an expensive plastic box!  Pelican coolers come with a single-piece stainless steel rod that is inserted into a molded channel in the polyurethane.  This not only provides a covered and secure place for the hinge to rest but also helps to keep it aligned and reduces the likelihood of it popping out or bending if the cooler is dropped or something runs into it.  In addition, going with a single rod vs. multiple rods allows for a more robust design that can handle the elements of the great outdoors much better.

Oversized Press and Pull Latches

pelican cooler latches

Another common weak point of low-quality coolers is in the latches.  These can undergo quite a bit of stress as they are the components that are responsible for keeping the lid tight and shut against the base of the cooler.  Over time, these can fail, particularly if they are small and made of low-quality plastic.  When one of these begins to fail or fails it jeopardizes the ability to tightly close the lid, meaning loss cold air and a ruined cooler.  The large latches used in Pelican products can handle this task for long periods of time, even if they are dropped on or scraped.

Fantastic Ice Retention

Pelican proudly exclaims that they have some of the best ice retention in the industry, which is a pretty big claim considering some of their tough competition.  According to their website, their coolers are capable of up to 10 days of ice life in optimal settings, with our actual results not being too far off that.  So how do they achieve such a lengthy time duration?  They incorporate a number of features and manufacturing components into their design to assist with this.

Extra Thick Insulation

As mentioned above, Pelican uses extremely thick 2” walls on their coolers.  Not only does that have a positive effect on the toughness of their coolers but it also greatly assists in ice life.  In thinner coolers, cold air can easily escape right through the walls, even if there is a good seal between the lid and the base.  By using a very thick wall on all sides, Pelican ensures that the bare minimum of cold air will escape across the walls while still making for a cooler that is capable of being transported and carried.

High-Quality Gasket

pelican cooler gasket

A gasket is an extremely important component on a cooler, as it creates the necessary seal between the lid and the body.  Without a good seal, cold air can easily escape between the gap, robbing your cooler of ice life.  Pelican uses an oversized, high-quality rubber gasket that is inserted into a molded-in groove on the underside of the lid.  Using the press and pull latches, this creates a lot of squeeze on the top of the base, resulting in a tight seal that stays that way for many years.  The fact that they use such a large gasket also means that the occasional cut or tear from constant use isn’t going to jeopardize the performance of the gasket.

Plenty of Helpful Accessories

The performance aside, there are plenty of helpful additions that makes handling these large cooler much easier.  A full-size cooler that is filled to the brim with ice and contents can be quite burdensome to carry so it is greatly appreciated that they have this in mind in their design.  For example, a unique attribute on many of Pelican’s larger coolers is the incorporation of two different sets of handles.  This includes a molded-in set on the cooler itself as well as a set of rotating plastic handles.  This assists in carrying for both individuals as well as partners.  In addition, some Pelican coolers in certain sizes also come with molded cup holders.  This is a small feature but a welcome one as a large cooler can take up quite a bit of space and potentially make it hard to work around storing it somewhere.  By including cup holders you can essentially make the cooler a new “table”.  Other cool features include integrated fish scales, sloped drain and tethered drain plug, and molded-in tie downs.

Mobile Options Available

For those that struggle carrying a conventional cooler, Pelican has a solution.  Certain sizes come with specialized carrying methods including wheeled configurations and overhead handles.  Many of the premium cooler brands don’t offer this, so it is a welcome surprise.

General Product Information

Products reviewed: Pelican Elite Wheeled Cooler, Pelican Elite Cooler

Range of storage sizes: 20 to 250 quarts

Range of estimated ice life: 7 to 8 days

Materials used: Plastic, metal, and rubber

Price range: Premium

Wheeled options? Yes

Company Website:

Pelican Elite Wheeled

pelican elite wheeled cooler reviewOur Rating: 4.5 star

We love the combination of the proven performance of the Pelican Elite with the mobility of including wheels.  You will pay a bit extra for the wheeled feature but it is worth it as it makes moving this behemoth cooler much easier.  Plus, we really dig the recent re-design.

Pros: Incredible ice life, more mobile-friendly, extremely durable

ConsExpensive, still quite bulky

Read Our Review of Pelican Elite Wheeled Cooler

Pelican Elite

pelican elite cooler reviewOur Rating: 4 star

This cooler will give you extremely long ice life and it is backed by proven construction and high-quality components.  Plus, the aggressive look helps to make it stand out.  But it does come at a very high asking price (even with the premium cooler sector).

Pros: Incredible cooling life, very durable, rugged look

ConsVery heavy and difficult to move, expensive

Read Our Review of Pelican Elite Cooler

TheCoolerZone tests and reviews various coolers to find the best products for you. When readers buy our reviewed picks, we earn affiliate commissions that help to support the site.

Subscribe To Newsletter!

Be the first to know about our upcoming sweepstakes and giveaways in addition to our thorough cooler reviews!

You have Successfully Subscribed!