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, Ultimate Ice Challenge & Pelican Ice Challenge right below comparison table. [Our Video Tests below].

Jump To> Pelican vs Yeti Conclusion


Most Popular

Lower Cost

Manufactured: USA & PhilippinesManufactured: USA
Most Expensive BrandCheaper than Yeti
Cost: $$$$Cost: $$$
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 original Pelican is quite heavier/bulkier than the Yeti Tundra. The new Pelican IM Elite is up to 30% lighter than its predecessor making it comparable to the Yeti. 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 saw this is possible.

Check out the Pelican Ice Challenge below:

More Videos⇒

As you’ll see from the video above, a Pelican can hold ice for 10 days. But what about in the middle of the summer, in humid Florida? We tested the same original ProGear Elite 45 against a Yeti tundra 45 during the peak of summer which revealed similar results. For the full breakdown, check out the results from our Ultimate Ice Challenge.

Pelican Coolers

Pelican Coolers Vs YetiThe Pelican 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 items dry in extreme conditions. Pelican ice chests are commonly known to be easy to handle, large capacity coolers, that drain easy. They can be 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 carrying without banging your knees against the cooler. Also they will fold out of the way when you are not using them. These type of handles make carry the cooler with gloves on significantly easier.

Pelican promises to be a solid cooler that will be able to handle anything that you throw its way. As a testament to this, 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.

Pelican Elite Most Durable Cooler

Pelican Elite: Most Durable Cooler

Read Our Full Pelican ProGear Review⇒

Read Our Full Pelican IM Elite (New Model) Review⇒

Pelican Vs Yeti Video Review With Ice Challenge Results

More Video Reviews⇒

Yeti Coolers

Yeti Coolers Vs PelicanYeti was founded in 2006 (a much newer company compared to Pelican) 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. We have already written articles on Grizzly vs Yeti, Engel Vs Yeti, K2 Vs Yeti as many potential buyers have asked this same question.

These coolers have lid latches, hinges, permafrost insulation, among other features that are designed with sportsmen in mind. Furthermore, most yeti coolers are certified bear proof. When taking this into consideration it 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 (in excess of five days as seen in our testing). Also, they are easy to drain, and easy to carry. Fans rave that they are the ideal cooler regardless of whether they are hunting, fishing, camping, or tailgating. Many 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 prestigious name, 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.


Both coolers are capable of holding ice for 5 days, even in the dead of summer. We have to give a slight advantage to the Pelican line of coolers in terms of ice retention after having seen the Pelican IM Elite hold ice for 10 days+.  Having said that, Pelican coolers are definitely bulkier than Yeti Tundra coolers. This is unless you consider the Pelican IM Elite which is on par with the Tundra in terms of weight/size. Lastly, the Pelican line of coolers is the more affordable option.