Pelican Coolers FAQ – Adventure Ready


My drain plug is leaking. What can I do?

All of our coolers are visually inspected before they leave our warehouse. Unfortunately, a visual inspection is not always able to catch something like a drain plug that isn’t tight enough. The good news is that tightening your drain plug is pretty simple.

You'll need a T20 Torx screwdriver, a flat head screwdriver and a hammer.

1. Remove the anti-rotation screw using the T20 Torx screwdriver.

2. Tighten drain plug assembly:

2a. Insert flat head screwdriver into one of the notches in the drain collar.

2b. Tap screwdriver with hammer to turn drain collar in a clockwise direction.
2c. Ensure the drain gasket is tight against the interior of the cooler (it should appear to bulge a little from the pressure), the drain collar is snug against the outside of the cooler, and the ring of the drain cap is able to move freely.
3. Check that drain plug assembly is correctly installed. Fill cooler with water high enough to cover entire drain plug assembly. Tilt cooler up and leave for fifteen minutes. If a leak occurs, tighten drain plug assembly and retest. 
4. Install anti-rotation screw—the alignment of the anti-rotation screw with the existing screw hole may not be possible after installation of new drain plug assembly. Take care not to over-tighten screw, which could strip the screw hole and impact screw retention.

If this does not help with your drain plug's leak or you have other concerns about the leak, please reach out to us at

How do I make a warranty claim?

You can start the warranty process at Please fill out the claim form as fully and accurately as possible to ensure a speedy resolution for your warranty claim.

When you file the claim, you'll be asked to attach a copy of the receipt for your cooler. Don't worry if you do not have your receipt, either because you've misplaced it over the course of a lifetime or because your cooler was a gift or prize. You can attach a picture of the cooler (or other product) in place of the receipt. We recommend including a picture of the issue the claim is regarding to help Pelican assess your claim.

Pelican will collect your credit card information to cover any shipping costs. During the filing process, it may sound like Pelican wants you to send in the whole cooler, however, they will review your claim and then determine the best course of action. Then they will let you know how they are going to proceed before charging you for any applicable shipping costs.

Once you have filed your claim online you can contact the warranty department by calling 1-800-472-5422 [ext. 5] or emailing Please have your claim number available for the warranty department to reference when you call in.

What materials are a Pelican™ Elite Coolers made out of?

The world-class chill factor of the Elite Cooler is the result of two-inch thick, continuous layer of polyurethane insulation.* No thin-wall sections, no cut-outs. Just one solid, molded, a thermal protective layer that’s sealed tight with a freezer-grade, 360-degree rubber gasket. Tough press & pull latches are easier to use and longer lasting than other rubber latches. The strength of stainless steel hardware stands up to corrosion better than aluminum. This hardware will be able to fight off salt, sand, and sun exposure for the life of your cooler.

*20QT Elite Coolers have a one-inch thick, continuous layer of polyurethane insulation.

Where are the Pelican™ Elite Coolers designed and manufactured?

We are proud to say all hard-sided Pelican Elite Coolers are designed and made in the USA. These coolers are manufactured in South Deerfield, MA.

Pelican 1050 and 1060 Micro Cases are designed and made in the USA. These cases are manufactured in Torrance, CA.

Pelican 14QT Personal Elite Coolers, soft-sided Elite & Dayventure Coolers, drinkware, backpacks & duffels, and Personal Utility Cases are designed in the USA and manufactured overseas.

How long will a Pelican™ Elite Cooler keep ice?

Using the 2:1 ice ratio 

Dayventure Backpack Soft Cooler 24 hours
Dayventure Sling Soft Cooler 24 hours
12-Can Elite Soft Cooler 24 hours
24-Can Elite Soft Cooler 48 hours
48-Can Elite Soft Cooler 72 hours
14QT Personal Cooler 36 hours
20QT Elite Cooler Up to 2 days
30QT Elite Cooler 6 days
45QT Elite Wheeled Cooler 7-8 days
50QT Elite Cooler 8 days
70QT Elite Cooler 9 days
80QT Elite Wheeled Cooler 9-10 days
95QT Elite Cooler 10+ days
150QT Elite Cooler 10+ days
250QT Elite Cooler 10+ days
The performance will vary by model size and external user conditions, including sun exposure, wind, ice type, the frequency of opening, etc. Please read below about how to maximize your ice retention. 

What can I do to help my Pelican™ Elite Cooler to retain ice longer?

Simple thermodynamics: Coolers do not make cold; they only retain it. The thick layer of polyurethane insulation in a hard-sided Pelican Elite Cooler stores the thermal energy of its surroundings. If it has been stored in a hot garage, that means the insulation is holding the temperature of a hot garage. In fact, the insulation in a Pelican Elite Cooler is so powerful, that if the cooler has not been properly conditioned before use, the ice you put in it could melt more quickly than it would in a cooler with thinner insulation. So it is necessary to plan well and prepare your Pelican Elite Cooler in order to get the best ice retention from it.

Pre-chill first: To lower a 40lb cooler from 70°F to 30°F you must sacrifice 20lbs of ice. You should always pre-chill your cooler before use by bringing it indoors 24–12 hours before use and add at least 10lbs of sacrificial ice inside the cooler. Close the lid and secure the latches while pre-chilling to keep as much of the cold inside your cooler as possible. When you are ready to start packing the cooler, you may add new ice in with the remaining ice/water within the cooler, drain the meltwater from your cooler and add fresh ice, dump out the remaining ice/water and start fresh. 

Ice 101: The kind of ice you fill your cooler with will have a big impact on its performance. Block ice will melt as a slower rate and perform best for long-term temperature maintenance. But ice cubes will pre-chill your cooler faster and fill in the gaps between items better. So why not use both? Place a layer of block ice at the bottom of your cooler—or maybe even use Pelican Ice packs—and then use cubed ice as you fill the cooler with your goods. 

2:1 ice ratio: To get the best ice retention from your Pelican Elite Cooler you should use twice the amount of ice to the goods you’re keeping in the cooler. Last, but not least, don’t forget to fill your cooler up as much as possible. The less air you have inside the cooler, the longer your cooler will retain the cold.

Pack cold: Refrigerate or freeze the food and beverages that will go into the cooler. Warm or room temperature food and drinks warm up your cooler and cause the ice to melt faster. Remember: coolers are made to help keep food and drinks cool, not to cool them down.

Cut down on airflow: The more air there is in your cooler, the faster your ice will melt. So do everything you can to cut down on airflow. Keep the lid closed and latched when you aren’t using the cooler. Don’t drain the meltwater inside your cooler. Because the meltwater is so much closer to the temperature of the ice in your cooler than air is, it is better at keeping your cooler insulated and retaining ice for longer. 

Please note: Ice retention is NOT affected by bowing. A “gap” is cosmetic only, not a functional failure. The gasket is the seal, and it is about two inches inside the outer rim of the cooler. We propped the lid open 1/8 inch and it still kept ice for 7 days in our test.

How do I clean my cooler?

Cleaning your cooler before and after every use will help you get the best performance from your cooler. Warm water and regular dish detergent are all you need to clean your cooler, and thanks to the built-in drain on most Elite Coolers (the 20QT Elite Cooler does not feature a drain) it is easy to empty your cooler while you are cleaning it. In an extreme case, you can use a solution of bleach and water to clean out your cooler, but we don't recommend you exceed a solution of 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water. If you are concerned about lingering odors, put a few drops of vanilla extract on a paper towel and give your cooler a quick wipe. Now that your cooler is clean, don't forget to let it fully dry before storing it away until the next time you need it.

My cooler doesn’t come with a bottle opener. Can I install one?

The replacement bottle openers we sell on our site are not intended to be used on the first-generation rotomolded coolers. Please bear in mind that the warranty on your cooler will be voided if your cooler is altered, damaged or in any way physically changed.

Can I lock up a Pelican™ Elite Cooler?

Yes! With both molded-in hasp and stainless steel plates, you can leave your Elite Cooler on the boat, at the base camp or in the truck with total confidence. A molded-in lock hasp secures the lid firmly while a steel plate prevents prying. You can secure your cooler using a marine cable lock through the lock hasp or the molded-in tie down slots on your cooler.

What kind of warranty does Pelican™ provide for their products?

Pelican's products are set apart from others thank in part to their superior warranty.

  • Hard-sided Elite Coolers, drinkware, and injection molded cases have a lifetime warranty against breakage or defects in workmanship.
  • Backpacks & duffels and Pelican Ice have a lifetime guarantee against defects in materials and workmanship.
  • 14QT Personal Coolers and Elite Soft Coolers have a three-year guarantee against defects in materials and workmanship.

For the details of your product's warranty, please visit this page:

What is the return and refund policy?

Unused and in original condition items are returnable within 45 days of purchase. To initiate a return, please fill out the request form on our Returns Center. Our returns specialist will review your request and reach out to you to coordinate the return of your items. Requests will be reviewed within two business days after they are received. Depending on the nature of the return, pictures of the product(s) may be required.
All non-warranty related returns will be subject to a restocking fee. This restocking fee is intended to recoup shipping costs to you and back to our warehouse. Soft coolers, backpacks, and duffels are subject to a restocking fee of up to 10%. Hard-sided coolers, accessories, drinkware, and dry boxes are subject to a restocking fee of up to 20%. Once your return arrives at our warehouse, you will be issued a refund for your order minus the restocking fee.
Your returning items must be in transit back to us within 14 calendar days of when your return request is approved. After this period your return request will need to be re-approved and additional fees may be applied to your return.
Returning products should be shipped back to us in the box they arrived in. If you do not have the original box, please locate or purchase a box that is no bigger than 1 inch on each side of the product. If you cannot locate a box that is the correct size for your product, please cut a box down to no larger than 1 inch on each side of it. Failure to correctly package a returning product will result in additional fees.
Items purchased during a BOGO promotion or as part of a bundle package are only eligible for return if all items are returned together, unused and in original condition.
Refurbished coolers are not eligible for return.
Please note: Refusal of any shipment will incur a 50% restocking fee.
Policy effective as of 8/18/17. Updated 10/26/20.
If you have received a refund notification email, but have not yet received your refund, please wait 24 hours. Occasionally it will take a business day, or even two, for the transaction to clear at the bank. If after this period you have still not received your refund, contact your credit card company or bank. If they are not able to let you know what the status of your refund is, please reach out to us at

Do we ship to PO boxes?

We are not able to ship to PO boxes. The USPS has size limits for what can be mailed to a PO box, and most of our products exceed these limits.

Do we ship internationally?

We are not able to ship internationally at this time. We feel that our customers deserve a cost effective and expeditious experience, and due to shipping costs and the customs process we are not able to deliver this kind of experience for international customers.

Will my Pelican™ Elite Cooler keep my hot items hot?

Yes! The two inches of insulation that do such an amazing job retaining ice will do just as good a job retaining heat. We've seen Pelican Elite Coolers used to hold boiled peanuts or to rest large cuts of barbeque. We've even seen someone set up their immersion circulator in their cooler in order to sous vide a huge tomahawk ribeye.

Just exercise care that the contents in your cooler don't exceed 250°F. You don't want to accidentally melt your cooler.

Can I use dry ice inside my Pelican™ Elite cooler?

Yes! You can use dry ice to turn your cooler into the ultimate deep freeze. All of the hard-sided Pelican Elite Coolers are designed with a cap in the gasket that acts as a pressure release. This makes your cooler easier to open, and also allow the carbon dioxide gas to escape the cooler as the dry ice sublimates. It is important to keep the dry ice from direct contact with the cooler in order to prevent damage to the cooler itself. A folded towel, layer of cardboard, or even a few paper grocery bags should be enough to protect your cooler and give you the best performance. 

Remember to use dry ice safely!

  • Do not handle dry ice directly. Use protective gloves or oven mitts when handling dry ice.
  • Ventilation is a must! Roll down your car windows to avoid a dangerous buildup of carbon dioxide gas.
  • Most importantly, DO NOT use dry ice in Pelican soft coolers. These coolers are designed to be leakproof and the buildup of gas inside them could cause an explosion. 

Why does my cooler leak when it tips over? 

Pelican Elite Coolers are designed with a freezer grade gasket to keep the cold in your cooler for as long as possible. However, these gaskets are not designed to be airtight or watertight, which is why your cooler will leak if it is tipped over.

The lid to my cooler has a wider gap than others. Will this affect ice retention or should I be worried?

The great news is no, and this variation is normal in the manufacturing process of rotomolded polyethylene products. In fact, that gap was accounted for by the engineers that designed the coolers and the gasket and seal is also designed to accommodate for the variations in production. We use a gasket that has a low compression force with a high recess, which means that the gasket is still coming into contact with the base of the cooler.
You can test that for yourself using the following method: Place a light inside the cooler and close the lid and lock the latches in a dark room. The light should not be visible until the latches are released and the lid raised a light amount (about 1/8 inch). If the light isn’t escaping, air isn’t escaping either.

Don't see your question(s)? Find more FAQs on our Help Center. Or contact us directly at and we will be happy to help you.