Pelican Elite Portable Hard Cooler

Last updated date: July 26, 2021

DWYM Score

9.2

Pelican Elite Portable Hard Cooler

Why Trust DWYM?

DWYM is your trusted product review source. Along with our in-house experts, our team analyzes thousands of product reviews from the most trusted websites. We then create one easy-to-understand review. Learn more.

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval
Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in the category.
Show Contents

We looked at the top Hard Coolers and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Hard Cooler you should buy.

Update as July 26, 2021:
Checkout The Best Hard Cooler for a detailed review of all the top hard coolers.

Overall Take

Featuring thoughtful reinforced construction, this cooler includes an anti-shear hinge system, molded tie-down slots, a reinforced lockable clasp, non-skid rubber feet and an over-molded carry handle. At an easily portable 20-quart capacity, this cooler can hold 15 cans or three wine bottles.


In our analysis, the Pelican Pelican Elite Portable Hard Cooler placed 5th when we looked at the top 6 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Summer may be hot, but your Pelican Elite Cooler will stay cold. Durable construction and a continuous layer of insulation mean these coolers are fit for every adventure and will always deliver amazing performance. Features like molded-in cup holders and a built-in bottle opener mean that your Pelican Elite Cooler is always party-ready. The 20Qt Pelican Elite Coolers were designed to be versatile and easy to use. The over-molded handle has a rubber grip, and there’s an ergonomic groove along the back to make it more comfortable to carry. The 20QT Pelican Elite Cooler is true to capacity, which means it can hold 15 cans or 4 wine bottles and still have plenty of room to follow the 2:1 ice ratio. This cooler has also been engineered injection-molded cooler to be up to 20% lighter than rotomolded coolers of a similar size without sacrificing durability or performance.

Overall Product Rankings

An Overview On Hard Coolers

Coolers are an essential item for trips to the beach, camping, fishing, sporting events, tailgates and other excursions. There are a wide variety of hard coolers on the market, so choosing one comes down to identifying your specific needs as well as taking into account some general considerations.

First, you’ll want to think about the size or capacity and insulation abilities of the cooler. With size, it’s important to look at both internal and external size, as well as what part of that volume is insulated. Insulation commonly takes up a fair amount of room between the external and internal walls of the cooler, so a cooler that’s medium-sized on the outside (making it easier to store and transport) might not have sufficient capacity on the inside for your needs.

The insulation itself needs to be evaluated on how long it will keep items cool and is usually measured in the number of days it can protect ice. This can be essential for longer trips, but maybe less important for tailgating or making sure your child’s sports team has cold drinks at the end of the game.

In addition, consider how heavy the cooler is, how it will be transported and additional features, such as dry storage or cupholders. To get the cooler where you need it to go, will you carry it with handles on either side, a central lid handle or shoulder strap? Does the cooler also have wheels?

Many coolers feature cupholders or can double as seating. There are even some coolers that have a built-in ruler for measuring fish.

The Hard Cooler Buying Guide

  • When considering cooler size and capacity, don’t forget to take into account the shape or how it’s distributed. While a 6-quart cooler may sound sufficient for a bottle of wine, if it’s cube-shaped rather than rectangular or tall, it might not be able to accommodate a long object, either horizontally or vertically.
  • Materials that make up coolers can often be less than eco-friendly. However, more and more coolers on the market are being made from greener materials. If this is a priority for you, look for this to be called out in the cooler description.
  • Surprisingly, not all hard coolers are waterproof. Pay attention to the lid seals and drainage features, which are also helpful for cleaning your cooler.