Skip to content

Pelican Elite Cooler Ice Retention

 The Pelican Elite Cooler is built to last and keep ice cold longer - even in extreme temperatures.

With up to 10 days of ice retention - you'll be able to do what you love longer.



<< Key steps for increasing ice retention >> 

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.