The Best Cooler on the Market Reviewed 2021

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The Best Cooler on the Market

When I do long camping trips, it really kills the mood if someone has run out halfway through and go get more ice. It’s like, I thought we were getting away from it all but, no we’re just popping over to supermarkets, willy nilly.

If you don’t have time to hang around right now, check out my favorite cooler at Amazon.

I require the full illusion that when I’m camping the rest of the world is far, far, inaccessible, far away and that’s why I want the best cooler on the market.

That means I need a cooler that will keep ice and food and most importantly, beer, very cold for a very long time. The best cooler out there right now is the Pelican Elite Cooler in the 45 quart size. It’s got what it takes to make camping provisions last, plus a host of other features that make it one of the coolest coolers on the market.

The Best Cooler on the Market

Ice Retention

Maybe you’ve heard of Pelican. They make cell phone cases, underwater flashlights, insulated bottles as well as coolers. But did you know that they are the “largest temperature controlled case manufacturer in the world”? Meaning, they make cases that labs and stuff use to transplant biomaterials. That could mean a human heart or something, right?

I mean if they’re good enough to make that kind of cooler, I feel like my cold cuts are in pretty good hands. The 2 inches of insulation and a freezer-grade gasket going all around the rim can make your ice last up to 10 days. I heart that.

Serious Guarantee

The Pelican Elite is guaranteed FOR LIFE. This isn’t one of those guarantees that protects against “defects in the manufacturing, blah, blah…”  well, it does do that. Also, it guarantees against breakage. Meaning if you break it, they’ll replace it.

Not saying that you can sit in it and try to sled down a mountain slope. This is meant to protect against regular wear and tear use, not abuse. But say ten years from now you go to open it and a hinge breaks, according to their guarantee, they’ll replace it.


Bears? Yes! This cooler actually has a certification from the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee. It means they tested it for impact and penetration using captive grizzly bears to see if they could get inside. They could not. So, yeah. I’d say the Pelican Elite counts as a durable cooler.

Why did they see if bears could get inside? Preventing bears from accessing coolers actually helps bears and people by preventing interactions. If the bears can’t get to the food, they don’t learn that humans carry tasty food around with them and thus, fewer bear/human interactions.

Click here to check out the Pelican elite Wheeled Cooler at Amazon.

Features and Specifications

  • Up to 10 days ice retention
  • 2″ polyurethane insulation
  • Stainless Steel Hardware
  • Non-Skid Feet
  • Quick Drain Plug
  • Heavy duty wheels
  • Built-in Bottle Opener
  • Made in USA
  • Interior: 19″ x 12″ x 12″
  • Exterior: 29.66″ x 20’” x 19.25″
  • Weight:  37.25 lbs

What people say about it

Not even a Grizzly Bear could break into the Pelican Cooler! So it’s pretty robust and does the job exceptionally well.

Pelican is always showing up on top ten lists, and for good reason. Everyone loves how heavy duty it is and how long it keeps stuff cold. It’s not cheap, but most people don’t mind paying for a product that actually does what it says, and does it well.

Field & Stream tested it and it seemed to win on all points except when they threw it out of a truck. Going 45 mph. My advice is don’t throw your cooler out of a truck. Follow that fairly basic rule and you should be pretty happy. I’ve also heard people say the ice retention isn’t the best.

Though I wonder if they are remembering to do the pre-chill. That means the night before you go on your trip you fill this bad boy with ice. The morning you head out, dump the ice and add fresh ice to the now cold cooler. Believe me, it makes all the difference.

The Pelican Elite has always been quality, rugged and dependable coolers. The new 45 quart cooler eliminates the one problem I could see with the old model. These coolers are HEAVY. 37 pounds unfilled. All that stainless steel and insulation and bear resistance add up in weight. Plus when you put your ice and your food and your beverages in there, that’s like carrying a small bear around. So the new model? Wheels. Problem solved.

Click here to check out the Pelican elite Wheeled Cooler at Amazon.

Who I Think Should Buy the Pelican Elite

Anyone who camps and takes it in any way seriously. Nobody likes discovering on day 2 of the camping trip that all the ice is water and the cheese is warm. It’s an investment for the price, but what you get is years of dependable use. Plus that guarantee makes it basically no-risk.

Who Shouldn’t Buy It?

If you only ever go out for little overnighters, I could see you saving some money and going with a cooler from the grocery store. Won’t have a built-in bottle opener. Won’t be constructed nearly as well as the Penguin Elite. Won’t protect your stuff from bears… but hey, you saved a few bucks.  


If you want the best cooler on the market to keep things actually cool, for longer than a day and a half, this is the cooler you want. With an awesome guarantee, and a case so strong a straight up bear attack can’t faze it, the Pelican Elite is the king of coolers. Next time you camp and  want to forget that a trip for more ice is even an option, Pelican has you covered.

Click here to check out the Pelican elite Wheeled Cooler at Amazon.

Wrap-up and keep warm on any outdoor adventure.  Check out my recommendations for the best down jackets to get the job done.

If you’re in the market for the best cooler for the money – look no further!  Check out my review of the Yeti Roadie Cooler.

Buying hiking boots is almost like getting married!  If you buy the wrong pair it’ll be nothing but pain and suffering!  Check out my recommendations for the 3 best hiking boot brands.

Meet the Author

'Mountain Man' John

'Mountain Man' John is a Survival and Preparedness enthusiast who loves everything outdoors. He has a passion for learning anything and everything to help sustain his and his families way of life post SHTF. He frequently shares his knowledge on a variety of topics from his hands on DIY projects, learning new skills such as hunting and trapping along with reviews on his Survival related purchases - Prepping has been in his family for generations, it's in his blood.