RovR vs. Yeti vs. Pelican: A Three-Way Comparison
Yeti and yeti type coolers Wheeled Elite Cooler
Compare RovR vs. Yeti vs. Pelican. We respect the heck out of our competition. The problem is, we don’t have much. Yeti makes some fine coolers, and Pelican makes what is known as a wheeled Yeti type coolers. So we’re going to take a look at RovR vs. Yeti vs. Pelican, and how their most comparable models stack up.
Which Models Are We Comparing?
For RovR, we’re looking at the our flagship, the RovR RollR 80 Campsite Edition. And it’s going up against Yeti’s Tundra 75 Hard Cooler and the Pelican 80 Quart Wheeled Elite Cooler. These are among the best coolers on the market and have a lot of features in common. The biggest difference among them is that the RovR and the Pelican coolers come with wheels while the Yeti does not. Consumers looking for a Yeti-type wheeled cooler have been disappointed until now. All three coolers are rotomolded, a molding process that makes sturdier, longer-lasting coolers and ice chests. The models are neck-and-neck when it comes to insulation and gaskets, also, meaning all three will serve your chilled goods well. Dry goods were another matter, with RovR gaining a distinct edge and Yeti not far behind. Both Pelican and RovR excelled Yeti in ice retention, though not by much. The Yeti nosed ahead of both Pelican and RovR in locking and security for its included two-inch padlock, while RovR was tops in a number of categories, including capacity, dry storage, handle system, cooler drain system, wheels, and available accessories. Pelican won at being expensive. Yay, Pelican!
Both the Yeti Tundra 75 Hard Cooler and the RovR Roller 80 Campsite Edition retail for $449. The Pelican 80 Quart Wheeled Elite Cooler is a full hundred dollars more, at $549. So a tie for Yeti and RovR. Kind of. You have to consider that RovR’s price includes wheels.
This category can get tricky. Yeti claims sixty-six pounds of ice as this cooler’s capacity, which sounds great, but that’s only ice, nothing else. And ice-to-contents ratios mean how many pounds of ice per pound of goods, which is a weight ratio, not necessarily a volume ratio. RovR is very clear here: 120 cans or can-sized goods and twenty pounds of ice, beating Yeti handily. Pelican is a good second in this category, boasting seventy cans with a 2:1 ice-to-goods ratio. Advantage RovR.
All three coolers excel here, utilizing the design flexibility of rotomolded construction to fill their coolers’ walls with two inches of foam insulation. No advantage.
A tie. As noted above, all three coolers use state-of-the-art rotational molding to manufacture tough coolers that are ready for anything and will last. No advantage.
Dry Goods Storage
Pelican really falls behind here. They offer no standard inserts, bins, or dividers for this cooler, only an optional aluminum Dry Rack Basket for a hefty $56.00 more. Yeti charges extra for internal dividers, as well, but not quite as much. The RovR RollR 80 cooler comes with a full height, closed-bottom insert. Big advantage to RovR.
Locks and Lock Points
All three coolers come with lock points–Pelican has a hasp: the steel bracket and hinge you find on sheds, and basement storage units–but only Yeti includes the lock: a two-inch padlock. So they have that going for them, which is nice. Yeti promises to be secure against bears and other yeti type coolers raiders. Advantage Yeti.
Sticking with the wildlife theme, Pelican calls their gasket a seal. All three coolers have airtight refrigerator-grade gaskets. Or seals. We told you: all of these high-end coolers will keep your goods good. No advantage.
Both the Yeti Tundra 75 and the RovR RollR 80 include anchor points around their exteriors for fixing accessories in place, or for securing the cooler in place. The Pelican has molded-in tie-down points for fixing the cooler in place, but no anchor points for accessories. They don’t offer any external accessories, anyway. Advantage Yeti and RovR.
It’s tough to evaluate Yeti on this one, as none of their models are wheeled coolers, so their handles are only for lifting and lugging. Pelican and the RovR are wheeled coolers and include a handle for pulling. The Yeti comes with a nylon rope fixed in an anchor point, and molded-in handles, the Pelican with the molded-in handles and a very short hinged handle. The RovR RollR 80 comes with a sturdy aluminum pull-beside handle, padded for comfort, and offset so you’re not pulling the cooler straight into your heels. Big advantage to RovR here.
All three cooler manufacturers have figured out that we’re going to lose the drain plug if its not attached. So all three have tethered plugs. Yeti coolers features a standard, nothing-to-see-here drain system, and Pelican has a threaded plug. The RovR RollR 80 features a hollow-hole fast-flow drain plug and a streamlined interior for natural drain flow. Advantage RovR.
Hate to beat a dead mythological primate, but here it goes again: the Yeti doesn’t come with wheels. Pelican features “heavy duty” wheels. We’re not sure what that means. They should boast something more specific, like “high performance,” or, better yet, “all terrain,” or, more specific still, “puncture-resistant.” Even more specific would be “eight-inch rubber tires on five-spoke nylon hubs like the ones on the RovR RollR 80.” Clear advantage RovR.
With rotomolded bodies, airtight refrigerator-grade gaskets, and two-inches of thick foam insulation, it’s no surprise that all three coolers do very well at retaining ice. The Pelican cooler can retain ice for up to nine or ten days, the RovR for up to ten. Yeti makes no concrete claims about how long their cooler will retain ice, which we think is probably just an over-cautious pre-emptive strike against litigation. Still, we have to give the advantage to RovR and Pelican.
Pelican offers three accessories for the 80 Quart Wheeled Elite Cooler: an ice pack, the Dry Rack, and a tie-down kit. And the standard cooler is pretty bare-bones: there’s a fish-scaler attached. Yeti does better, offering internal dividers, a bottle opener, a cup holder, and locks, all standard on the Tundra 75. The RovR RollR 80 Campsite Edition comes with a wagon bin for additional storage, dual cup holders, a prepping board, and the dry bin. Also available with the RovR are a bicycle hitch, a JBL Pulse bluetooth speaker and nightlight, and a stash bag. Advantage RovR.
There’s no advantage to be had here, but no comparison is complete with considering the best uses of each cooler. The Pelican, given the name and the fact that it has a fish-scaler attached to it, is geared toward fishing, as well as hunting and camping. Yeti, with their prominent boasts of being “bear-resistant,” is also a sportsman’s cooler, ideal for hunting, fishing, camping, and boating. The RovR is designed to be more versatile, great for outdoor sports and leisure activities at home and in the wild, as well as tailgating, sporting events, outdoor concerts, festivals, and hiking.
The RovR RollR 80, the Yeti Tundra 75, and yeti type coolers the Pelican 80 Quart Wheeled Elite Cooler are great high-end coolers that will serve you well depending on your needs. The feature-rich RovR wins on points thanks to uncompromising touches like all-terrain wheels and an offset handle, as well as intuitive design choices like a closed, full-height internal dry bin. And it’s hard to overlook how much more expensive the Pelican is, as well as the Yeti’s lack of wheels. I wouldn’t want to haul sixty pounds of ice in a fifty pound cooler without some wheels and a good handle. And I’d rather not pay a hundred dollars more for the wheels and the handle. So if you’re searching for a Yeti, type “coolers by RovR” in the search field instead. Advantage RovR.