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Pelican Elite Cooler 50-Qt
RTIC Hard Cooler 45
See Top Ranked Hard Coolers

Pelican Elite Cooler vs RTIC Hard Cooler

Analysis:

Both options make for good, if unremarkable, Hard Coolers at the $300 budget range. While they should serve reasonably well, you might want to look into some other options at that price point.

If you're still interested in learning more about the Pelican Elite Cooler 50-Qt and RTIC Hard Cooler 45, however, we wrote-up what we know about them:

The Pelican Elite Cooler 50-Qt was loved by reviewers at Tom's Guide, a highly trusted source that performs reliable in-depth testing. It did great in its "The best coolers in 2020" roundup where it was named its "The best cooler for outdoorsy types", which, in itself, makes it a product worth considering.

Taking a look at the RTIC Hard Cooler 45, it got featured in roundups from two reliable sources that conduct their own testing - Switchback Travel and Reviewed - but it fell short of earning a top spot in either.

As a last step, we wanted to do a head-to-head Pelican Elite Cooler 50-Qt vs. RTIC Hard Cooler 45 comparison of their review performance but, unfortunately, weren't able to find any review ratings on either product.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
Tom's Guide
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Your Best Digs
rizknows.com
Reviewed
Switchback Travel
Digitaltrends
Tech. Specs Comparison
Pelican Elite Cooler 50-Qt
$299
RTIC Hard Cooler 45
$349
Capacity
-
45 (qt)
Ice Retention
-
10 (days)
Weight
-
25 (lb)
Recommended by trusted experts
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best cooler for outdoorsy types
in “The best coolers in 2020” 
Last updated: 20 Aug 2020
Your Best Digs
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best Coolers” 
Last updated: 19 Mar 2020
rizknows.com
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Coolers Like YETI – 7 YETI Competitors That Are Cheaper” 
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #5 out of 15
in “The Best Coolers of 2020” 
Last updated: 5 Jul 2020
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Coolers” 
Last updated: 27 Apr 2020
Recommended by trusted experts
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #6 out of 15
in “The Best Coolers of 2020” 
Last updated: 5 Jul 2020
Switchback Travel
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #7 out of 17
in “Best Coolers and Ice Chests of 2020” 
Last updated: 4 Jun 2020

Key things to consider when buying Hard Cooler

Our super simple Buying Guide

Graphic logicFam
  • Design (Shape, wheels, handles, locks)
  • Material (E.g., rigid plastic versus more brittle, rubber latches vs plastic)
  • Insulation (Most importantly, open vs closed cell foams)
Prod
  • Capacity (I.e., a lot of size variation of the same model here like 24 vs 48-can coolers. Not a config bc notable impact on price and user experience)

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