Pelican Ice Chest Vs. Yeti Ice Chest: Ultimate Comparison

If you love outdoor activities like camping, going on road trips, and camping, an ice cooler box will definitely be very useful. With this amazing tool, you will be able to take your favorite drinks with you and enjoy them cool.

Now, while looking for the best ice cooler in the market, you might come across two well-known brands – Pelican and Yeti. Both have lots of benefits, but how do you know which one fits you perfectly?

We tested models belonging to both brands, and in this article, we will help you make the right choice by outlining the main differences between their features.

To start with, let’s view a little bit of general info about each of these coolers.

The Pelican Cooler

Back in the 70s, a man who was into scuba diving ventured into the production of insulators, and the Pelican company was born.

Ease of handling and drainage are some of the aspects that Pelican ice boxes are best known for, but they are also recognized for their large capacities.

Though Pelican coolers are a bit more expensive than the average cooler chests, you have more piece of mind knowing that they will keep the ice in its current state for an extended duration, something that the average cooler is unlikely to achieve.

And tell you what? With a Pelican cooler, you get to enjoy a lifetime warranty. The fact that the manufacturer is ready to offer that means the cooler is durable and can withstand whatever is thrown its way.

The Yeti Cooler

Founded in 2006, the Yeti brand is around 3 decades younger than the Pelican brand. Nonetheless, it is clear that this brand is here to compete against other brands and thrive, with all the exciting functionalities it offers. 

And do you know something interesting?

A big number of reviewers often compare a new ice chest to a Yeti model. You will often see something like Engel Vs. Yeti, Grizzly Vs. Yeti, and so on. Yep, Yeti is fast becoming the industry standard.

And now, let’s look at the differences between the features of the two coolers.

1. Cooling ability

It is worth to note that both boxes are amazing coolers, and effective for anyone who needs their drinks to remain cool after a couple of days. But, if you’re looking for the most effective cooling system, then your best choice will be the Pelican. When we tested the Pelican ProGear Elite 45Q against the Yeti Tundra, we found that the former had more ice remaining than the latter after five days.

The Pelican brand adverts say their cooler has a 10-day ice retention rate and judging from our test, that would be very much possible. Yeti, on the other hand, might not be able to retain the ice for 10 days; perhaps it can do it for seven or eight days.

2. Size

This aspect will be very important if you don’t have much space on your truck or boat. Physically, the Pelican is bigger than the Yeti and thus requires more space. If you’re looking for the more lightweight option, your better option between the two would be the Yeti, which might be up to 10 pounds lighter than a Pelican cooler of a comparable class.

But, if you can go for the Pelican IM Elite, which is a new Pelican model, that too would be a nice selection as its weight is comparable to that of the Yeti Tundra.

3. Latch system

This is one area where there’s a notable difference. The Yeti cooler normally uses a ball and notch system, where you pull the latch and insert it into a notch. On the other hand, the Pelican latch is made of a button-like system, where you press and push a switch to lock or unlock the lid.

Both latch systems are effective, but we believe the Pelican latch is more secure.

4. Handle

The Pelican cooler typically has pivoted handles on both sides that can move up and out. In the up and out position, the handles are fixed, meaning two people can carry the chest without knocking the chest on their legs. This design is very convenient as it prevents the chest from swinging while being carried.

The Yeti ice cooler, on the other hand, has a suspended handle on either side, which is composed of a cord and a holder. That means that as you carry it, there’s a chance it will swing, making the transportation not very convenient.

We’d say go with the Pelican cooler.

Final Word

Based on the results from our test, it is clear that the Pelican ice chest is a slightly better than the Yeti ice chest. The Pelican cooler is cheaper than the Yeti cooler, and again, it has better features than the latter. For instance, the design of its handle is more convenient, and most importantly, it can keep your items cooler for longer than then Yeti ice chest. And by the way, there’s one more aspect to take into account – the warranty. While the Yeti ice chest offers you a 5-year warranty, the Pelican cooler box offers you a lifetime warranty.

But as we always recommend, it is important to scrutinize the features and figure out what really works for you. Perhaps the larger size of the Pelican makes it unsuitable, and you find Yeti’s size fits you better.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Why buy a cooler?

Assuming you’re out camping or mountain hiking or even sailing, and you badly need a cold soda or beer. You open your bag enthusiastically to remove the bottles you placed in there when you left the house. Unfortunately, they’re no longer cold; they’re warm.

A cooler helps you avoid such a scenario. With an ice cooler box, you can enjoy a cold drink up to 10 days after leaving home, even with no access to a refrigerator.

2. What coolers are comparable to Yeti?

The following coolers are a lot like Yeti, only cheaper:

  • Pelican Elite
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You will often find reviewers comparing coolers to Yeti because Yeti coolers have what most regular buyers look for in a cooler. That includes a convenient size and weight, a good latch system, a good drainage system for the water, good handles, and the ability to maintain the ice for a few days.

3. Should I add salt into the ice to boost the box’s capability to preserve the ice?

That would be a bad move. Salt lowers the freezing point of ice, and therefore, if you added salt to ice, the ice would turn to liquid faster.

4. Where are the Yeti coolers made? What about the Pelican coolers?

The Yeti coolers are manufactured in various places in the USA, the Philippines, and China. In the US, the manufacturing facilities are located in Wisconsin and Minnesota. On the other hand, the Pelican coolers are made only in the US.

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