Pelican and YETI are two of the world’s most reliable cooler manufacturers. Both companies use only high-quality materials for the construction of their products, and the resulting coolers keep your food fresh for a very long time. Moreover, their products always offer special features that make them more efficient than those developed by their competitors, and they’re also very durable.
Now, it’s clear that both Pelican and YETI develop top-notch products, but you might be curious to find out which of them makes the best.
In the following article, we take a closer look at the best Pelican and YETI coolers and examine their performances.
Without further ado, let’s see who comes on top when we compare the Pelican coolers VS YETI coolers
Pelican VS YETI Coolers Comparison Chart
Pelican Elite 30-Quart
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YETI Tundra 35
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Pelican VS YETI Coolers
1. Pelican Elite 30-Quart VS YETI Tundra 35
The Pelican Elite 30-quart cooler is popular among fishers and hunters alike. This model is spacious enough to hold up to 24 – 30 cans along with 10 – 20 lbs of ice to keep them cold for a while.
We were impressed by the Pelican’s construction. The 3” locking latches have an awesome design that makes them both secure and durable, and the lid comes with a high-quality gasket for a better insulation. And last but not least, the cooler uses built-in molded handles that provide a very comfortable grip.
The cooler’s lid features 4 molded self-draining cup holders and there’s a stainless steel bottle opener right underneath it.
And as an added bonus, the Pelican comes with a lifetime guarantee. If the cooler breaks, the manufacturer will replace it.
Another popular model, the YETI Tundra 35 has a storage capacity of 20 cans if you follow the manufacturer’s 2:1 ice to content ratio.
What we liked about this model is that it was built to last. The cooler might seem somewhat bulky, but it features a 3” insulation on each of its walls, and it comes with an insulated lid. The lid closes securely on the cooler with the help of 2 T-shaped latches. The latches are made out of heavy-duty rubber, and they’re very durable.
The cooler comes with a small dry-storage basket that will allow you to store some items away from the ice. The basket will also give you the possibility to arrange your provisions. This model comes with two nylon rope side handles. The handles have rubber grips that make them easier to hold.
- Storage – Even though the YETI is advertised as a 35-quart model and the Pelican is a 30-quart model, both coolers will offer similar storage capacities. You will probably be able to fit up to 30 cans in each of them if you’re willing to give up on some of the ice you pack.
- Cooling Capacity – Both of these models can keep your drinks cold for a very long time. If you follow the manufacturers’ instructions and respect the ice to content ratio, both models could keep your drinks cold for up to 10 days, depending on the ambient temperature and how much ice you pack.
- Portability – The YETI cooler comes with nylon rope handles, whereas the Pelican comes with built-in molded ones. Both types of handles are sturdy and comfortable, but the molded ones are superior.
- Security – Even though the patented T-latches of the YETI cooler are very strong, the Pelican’s latches seem sturdier and more durable. Both latches are secure, but we liked the push-button model better.
Both the Pelican Elite 30-quart and the YETI Tundra 35 are top-notch coolers that will amaze you with their performances, but in our opinion, the Pelican is the winner, especially if you factor in the price difference alongside the performances
2. Pelican Elite 70 VS YETI Tundra 65
Pelican Elite 70
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YETI Tundra 65
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The Pelican Elite 70-quart cooler is a great model for campers and mariners who are looking for a cooler capable of keeping their food fresh and their drinks cold for a long time. This model has high-quality rotomolded construction, and it will keep ice from melting for up to 10 days if you pack it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
One of the things we liked about this model is that it’s strong and built to last and that it comes with high-quality latches. The cooler sits on non-scratch rubber feet that will prevent it from moving around in the back of your car or on a watercraft.
As far as the cooler’s storage capacity is concerned, this model will hold about 160 cans of drinks alongside the ice it needs to keep them cool.
The YETI Tundra 65 is one of the most popular cooler models in its category. This model was specially designed for those who like spending time outdoors and need a large cooler to store their provisions.
What impressed us the most about the Tundra 65 was the cooler’s effectiveness. This model comes with 3-inch thick insulation on each of its walls and a high-quality lid that will keep the cold air from exiting the cooling compartment. If you pack the Tundra properly, the cooler can keep your drinks cold for 10 days or more, depending on the ambient temperature.
Thanks to the Tundra’s sturdy and robust construction, the cooler can easily double as a chair or even a bench of two people. As for storage space, this model will hold about 150 cans when you pack it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Storage – Both of these coolers offer good storage capacities. It’s difficult to say how many cans they will hold because that depends on how much ice you pack to keep the cans cool. However, it’s safe to say that both of these coolers will hold enough provisions to last for several days
- Cooling Capacity – Both coolers can keep your food fresh for up to 10 days without changing the ice. The only things you should take into account when you want to preserve the ice’s lifetime is to pack enough of it and to bleed out the accumulated water once in a while.
- Drain Plugs – Both the Pelican and the YETI come with drain plugs, so you can drain them instead of tipping them over when you have to empty them. However, the Pelican’s drain plug seems to be one of its weak spots. There are actually informative articles on the manufacturer’s website on how to fix a leaking drain. This cooler is not exactly cheap, so you shouldn’t receive a defective model in the first place.
The YETI Tundra 65 is the clear winner of this bout. Even though the specs of the coolers are somewhat similar, the risk of receiving a defective Pelican Elite 70 is pretty high, so it’s better to avoid it altogether.
3. Pelican Elite 150 VS YETI Tundra 160
Pelican Elite 150
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Yeti Tundra 160
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The Pelican Elite 150 is a very large cooler, suitable for hunters that want to keep their game fresh or for boat fishers who want to keep the fish they catch from spoiling until they get home.
With a storage capacity of 150 quarts, this rotomolded cooler is massive. The cooler weighs about 80 lbs when it’s empty and it will get a lot heavier when full. In fact, the cooler will get so heavy when you fill it to its maximum capacity, you will probably need a forklift to transport it without emptying it out beforehand.
As far as the cooler’s effectiveness is concerned, this model comes with 2-inch insulated walls and a high-quality gasket on its lid that will keep the warm air from entering the insulated compartment. The Elite 150 uses 3 3-inch locking latches to secure the lid on the cooler, and the latches produce a positive click that lets you know they are closed.
The YETI Tundra 160 is a heavy-duty rotomolded cooler that’s capable of holding a lot of provisions and of keeping them cool for a very long time, which makes it perfect for hunters, fishers, and mariners.
One of the things we liked about this model is that it manages to be lighter than other models of its capacity. And even though this model is lighter than its competitors, it still uses one of the thickest insulations on the market.
The Tundra 160 incorporates everything you need from a large ice chest. It comes with reliable handles, it uses a high-quality gasket that will keep the ice from melting, and it has a non-leak drain plug. The cooler is strong and durable, and it will double as a chair or a bench without any complains, so it won’t take up space without being useful.
- Storage Capacity – Both coolers offer large storage capacities. You can fit a large game in both of these models, or you can store the fish you caught without any problems. The YETI’s interior actually has a capacity of 146.5 quarts, so it’s smaller than the Pelican. However, a 146.5-quart cooler is still quite large.
- Cooling Capacity – Both coolers are highly effective, and they will keep your provisions fresh for a very long time. Depending on how much ice you pack, how often you open the cooler’s lid, and the ambient temperature, the coolers will keep your food fresh for up to 7 – 10 days.
- Empty Weight – Both models are heavy, but that’s to be expected from a cooler of this size. However, the YETI weighs 54 lbs, whereas the Pelican weighs an astonishing 80 lbs. Even though both models are heavy, the extra weight of the Pelican makes it less portable than the YETI.
These models offer similar performances, and it’s difficult to differentiate between them. On one hand, the YETI is more expensive. On the other, the Pelican is noticeably heavier. We can’t really say which of these models is better, so we’re going to scratch this up as a tie.
Pelican Coolers VS YETI Coolers. Pros And Cons
Both Pelican and YETI coolers are top-notch models suitable for many scenarios. But what makes them so popular? What pros and cons to each of these brands offer? Let’s take a quick look.
1. Pelican Pros
- Good Latches – The Pelican coolers come with high-quality latches that are secure and easy to use.
- Strong Construction – Pelican coolers are sturdy and durable. These coolers will handle everything you throw at them without any problems.
- Good Gasket – Each Pelican cooler comes with a gasket. The gasket’s role is to keep the warm ambient air to enter the cooling compartment, so it’s rather important. The gaskets used by Pelican are very good, and they will improve the cooler’s performance.
- Great Handles – Small to medium-sized Pelican coolers use built-in molded coolers that make them comfortable to carry. Large models come with extendable handles made out of plastic which is also comfortable.
- Lifetime Warranty – Pelican coolers come with lifetime warranties, so you’ll get to use them for a long time. If you somehow manage to break the cooler, you can simply contact the customer support service and ask for a replacement.
2. Pelican Cons
- Faulty Products – It’s not unheard of to receive a faulty Pelican cooler. In fact, some models like the Pelican Elite 70 are often delivered with one or multiple problems you’ll have to fix. These products are not cheap by all means, so receiving a faulty product is unacceptable.
- Leaky Drains – Pelican coolers often feature leaky drains. The leaky drains will interfere with the coolers’ performance, so you will either have to fix them on your own, or you will have to wait until the manufacturer send you another unit.
3. YETI Pros
- Incredible Cooling Capacity – YETI is world-renowned for its cooling capacity, and even if Pelican comes really close to matching it, it rarely succeeds. This is why YETI coolers are often the go-to models for fishers who want to keep fish fresh.
- Lightweight – One of the main advantages rotomolded models have over metal coolers is their lighter weight. This feature is obvious in each YETI cooler that manages to be lighter than their competitors even though they most often use thicker insulation.
- Dry Storage Basket – Every YETI rotomolded cooler comes with a small wire basket for dry storage. While the basket is not extremely large, not even in huge models like the YETI Tundra 160, it will still give you the possibility to organize your provisions.
- Good Drain Plugs – Thanks to their high-quality drain plugs, YETI coolers are easy to empty and clean. This makes them some of the most popular marine coolers currently available on the market.
4. YETI Cons
- Expensive – There is no such thing as a cheap top-notch cooler, but somehow all of YETI’s competitors manage to sell their products at a cheaper price.
- Handles Could Be Better – All the rotomolded coolers produced by YETI come with nylon rope handles. The handles use rubber grips for increased comfort when you carry them, but they are still not very comfortable, especially when the cooler has a large capacity and it’s heavy.
As you could see in the Pelican coolers VS YETI coolers bouts we presented, Pelican models can hold their own when it comes to effectiveness and storage capacity. Most of the times, these models will match the performances of the YETI models, and they can even outperform them sometimes.
However, it’s safe to say that there are noticeable differences between the two brands. Even though they offer similar performances, Pelican coolers are often heavier than their YETI counterparts.
One of the things that stands out about Pelican coolers when compared to YETI is their improved portability, but unfortunately, what these models win in portability they sometimes lose in quality. Pelican coolers often feature small defects. Even though most of these defects are quick and easy to fix, they shouldn’t be present at all, especially if you consider the coolers’ price.
If you don’t think that a Pelican model is a good fit for your needs, make sure to check our other comparison articles below.