Pelican Coolers vs Yeti

There are a lot of coolers out there that all claim to be the best cooler. Two of the most popular brands are Pelican and Yeti, but do you know why one is more favorable over the other? Here is the true breakdown in the battle of which is best, Pelican vs Yeti. Performance results from our Five Day Ice Challenge right below comparison table.

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Most Popular

Lower Cost

Manufactured: USA & PhilippinesManufactured: USA
Most Expensive BrandCheaper than Yeti
Roto-Molded, One PieceRoto-Molded Shell/Stainless Hardware
Certified Bear ProofCertified Bear Proof
Tundra Models 20-125 ProGear Sizes 20-250Q
Warranty: Five YearWarranty: Lifetime
Ice Retention: 5-7 DayIce Retention: Up To 10 Day

Note: Model numbers are not reflective of size with Yeti Coolers

Note: Pelican cooler models and sizes are same

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Pelican Vs Yeti Performance- Five Day Ice Challenge Results

Yeti Tundra 45 Vs Pelican ProGear Elite 45 After Five Day Ice Challenge, Water Drained

Yeti Tundra 45 Vs Pelican ProGear Elite 45 After Five Day Ice Challenge, Water Drained

In our Five Day Ice Challenge (video below) the Pelican ProGear Elite 45 Q cooler outperformed the Yeti Tundra 45. After five days the Pelican had significantly more ice remaining than the Yeti Tundra. However, it is worth noting that the Pelican is quite heavier/bulkier than the Yeti Tundra. One of the biggest differences you’ll see between the two coolers is the latch system. The Pelican uses a press and push latch system whereas Yeti uses T-Rex latches. In a Popular Mechanics test, the Pelican cooler (because of its latch system) was the only cooler to actually prevent a Grizzly Bear from being able to open the cooler. Pelican advertises 10 day ice retention and after our test, we can definitely see this as possible.

Pelican Coolers

Pelican Coolers Vs YetiPelican ranks very high according to most sportsmen who seek a solid cooler that will last many years. This product line was developed in 1976, by a man who loved scuba diving and recognized a need for durable products. Pelican originally created a variety of products to keep important things dry in extreme conditions. Is it any wonder that their coolers are able to keep the cold air in?

Pelican ice chests are commonly known to be easy to handle, large capacity coolers, that will drain easy when the ice is no longer needed. They are more costly than your average big box retailer cooler, but with that extra price you get a cooler that can maintain ice in 90 degree temperatures over extended periods of time. The larger Pelican coolers also have larger sized handles which pivot up and out to enable you to carry without banging your knees against the cooler. Also they will fold out of the way when you are not using them.

In the end, Pelican promises to be a solid cooler that will be able to handle anything that you throw its way. If it does not live up to your expectations, there is a lifetime warranty available on most Pelican brand coolers. This can help you handle the price and feel more secure with your purchase. Read Our Full Pelican ProGear Review⇒

Pelican Vs Yeti Video Review With Ice Challenge Results

Yeti Coolers

Yeti Coolers Vs PelicanYeti was founded in 2006 and has proven that it is for the serious outdoor enthusiasts. In fact, when most are looking for a high end cooler, they often compare it to a Yeti. For example, we have already written and article on Grizzly vs Yeti, as many potential buyers have asked this question. These coolers have lid latches, hinges, permafrost insulation, and other features that are designed with sportsmen in mind. Furthermore, most yeti coolers are certified bear proof. This leads to an average price per cooler slightly more than the Pelican brand.

If you consider all of the five star ratings for the Yeti brand coolers, you will see that these are definitely a favorite for most people. They are able to hold ice in extreme weather conditions, they are easy to drain, and easy to carry. People rave that they are the ideal cooler regardless of whether they are hunting, fishing, camping, or tailgating. Some people use their Yeti coolers on a daily basis and almost all feel that it is well worth the price that they had to pay for it. Read Our Full Yeti Reviews⇒

Overall Yeti Vs Pelican Cooler

As far as dimensions and weight go, the two are nearly the same with comparable sizes being almost equal. The Yeti is lighter though by an average of 6-9 pounds on the larger sized 35 and 45 coolers. Other specific differences include:

  • Pelican uses stainless steel hardware and Yeti uses aluminum.
  • Pelican uses 3” Press & Pull latches and Yeti uses rubber latches.
  • Pelican is made in the USA and Yeti is made in both the Philippines and USA.
  • Both Pelican and Yeti features 2.00” to 2.75” insulation on their coolers.

For some people, there will certainly be a favorite cooler brand in the battle between Pelican coolers vs Yeti. However, if you want a solid cooler that has a lifetime warranty for a cheaper price, you may choose the Pelican brand cooler. If your preference includes spending slightly more for a little more rugged and durable cooler design, you may prefer the Yeti.

One great example of a Pelican cooler is the Pelican ProGear Elite. Perhaps this will help you to make up your mind about which one is better for you and your family.

Pelican ProGear Elite Marine Deluxe Cooler 45 Quart

This cooler is filled with two inches of insulation and rated for extreme temperatures. It is made of Polyethylene plastic and around the lid features a freezer grade gasket to ensure it is leak proof. It has a molded in lock hasp and handles.Pelican Pro Gear 45 Vs Yeti

The dimensions are 29.6×21.3×20.6 inches and 30 pounds. It has stainless steel hardware, raised nonskid rubber feet, and even dual handles that are extra-large for gloved hands. On the top of the lid, there is also a ruler to make measuring of fish a breeze.


The Pelican line of coolers seem to be capable holding ice longer than the Yeti Tundra line of coolers. Having said that, Pelican coolers are definitely bulkier than Yeti Tundra coolers, but then again are cheaper than Yetis. If you are someone not concerned with the bulkiness of a cooler and looking for value, the Pelican is your choice. If you are someone concerned with weight and want that Yeti name brand cooler, the Tundra Series of cooler is certainly capable of five days of ice retention and a solid made cooler