We were lucky enough to get our hands on the new Pelican IM Elite Model cooler to run it through its’ paces. The new line of coolers are up to 30% lighter than older style Pelican coolers and they look slightly more aggressive as well. The question is; do they measure up? Surprisingly. the new model holds ice up to 10 Full Days! See our (video tests & results below).
WATCH: Is 10 Day Ice Retention Really Possible??
Features of the Pelican IM Elite
The new Pelican IM Elite cooler is designed to look as rugged as it functions. These coolers have built in handles which is quite different from the original model. They are considered among the toughest handles in the cooler industry. The new models use stainless steel hardware ensuring locks and closures do not become damaged, regardless of what you throw at it (literally). The Elite IM is made with two inches of insulation in the cooler body and utilizes a freezer grade seal that wraps the entire lid, ensuring that warm air is kept out.
Pelican IM Ice Retention Ability
When it comes to ice retention our testing has revealed that these coolers can hold ice among the best. Most high-end coolers have similar ice retention ratings and our video reviews show the variation is usually +/- 2 days. However, if you watched the video above, you’ll see this new style holds ice for up to 10 Full Days. This is the longest we have ever had a cooler hold ice. See the table below to compare how Pelican matches up against Yeti. We also have a full write up of how Pelican lasted 10 Full Days here.
|Manufactured: USA & Philippines||Manufactured: USA|
|Most Expensive Brand||Cheaper than Yeti|
|Cost: $$$$||Cost: $$$|
|Roto-Molded, One Piece||Roto-Molded Shell/Stainless Hardware|
|Certified Bear Proof||Certified Bear Proof|
|Tundra Models 20-125||ProGear Sizes 20-250Q|
|Warranty: Five Year||Warranty: Lifetime|
|Ice Retention: 5-7 Day||Ice Retention: Up To 10 Day|
Note: Model numbers are not reflective of size with Yeti Coolers
Note: Pelican cooler models and sizes are same
|Read Full Review||Read Full Review|
How Does IM Elite Compare To Older Pelican Coolers?
The newest IM Elite has a style that is unmatched by other coolers. It looks ultra heavy duty (yet fairly lightweight) and it is available in a variety of colors . There is also the fact that it has a lifetime warranty where other coolers give you only a few years.
In regards to ice retention. Pelican is known to be one of the best coolers for keeping ice and that has not changed with the IM Elite. Luckily, price has not increased by extremes. The reason people love the new Pelican IM Elite is because of the new rugged yet lightweight look. The lip where the freezer gasket sits is more noticeable than the older Pelican cooler styles. The handles are modeled in and more robust.
New Style Pelican Cooler Sizes
Below are short reviews of the most popular IM Elite sizes available. Keep in mind that many of these sizes are available with or without wheels as well. The new wheel design is a significant improvement from the original design. As with the original designed Pelicans, these come in a variety of color choices.
The 30qt cooler is available in the largest variety of colors of all the new sizes. It holds ice extremely well and it has the ability to handle most drops without sustaining real damage. The 30qt weighs 21.67 pounds when empty and measures in at 26 x 20 x 19 inches. The volume is actually 32.95 QT, which is slightly larger than the advised size. The lid of the cooler features not only an inch AND centimeter ruler but also 4 self-draining cup holders. The non-skid rubber feet allow for this cooler to sit in the back of a truck or the deck of a boat without worry of sliding about. See Color Schemes⇒
This is the same size/model that you’ll see in our videos on YouTube. The 50qt cooler has stainless steel hardware and wide press-and-pull latches. This style latch system is one of a kind. These are unique to Pelican and drastically different from the common T-Latches. In fact, Pelican’s style latches are the only latches that actually prevented a bear from gaining access to the cooler in a test by Popular Mechanics.
As you’ll see from our testing, the 50qt can hold ice for up to 10 days. It measures in at 31 x 21 x 21 inches. It weighs only 26.39 pounds. It has a total volume of 52.87QT which we find is the perfect size for a several day damping trip. However, we will note that this cooler sites taller than other 50 qt coolers. We were not able to close the tonneau cover on the back of our truck with the Pelican 50qt but was able to with a Engel 50. ______________________________
The Elite 70qt has a total volume of 72.42QT yet weighs only 33.29 pounds when empty. The dimensions of this cooler are 37 x 22 x 21 inches. As with the smaller sizes, this offers two inches of insulation and the same Press & Push latches. The best feature of the Pelican 70 is the price. For a larger cooler, this is fairly priced especially if you were to compare this to a similar sized Yeti. Lastly, the Lifetime Warranty offered makes investing in this cooler much more tolerable.
Prefer The Older Style Pelican Cooler?
The older style cooler is very similar and offers comparable ice retention to the new style. Where this cooler fails, though, is the added weight. It weighs 35.95 pounds, which is heavier than the larger cooler above. For some, the weight is a major issue. Picking this cooler up (the model with wheels) can be cumbersome when lifting the cooler alone. When full with ice and beverage, lifting by yourself can be especially difficult. However, this style Pelican offers wide handles which makes carrying with a friend easier than many other comparable sizes.