Are Pelican Coolers Bear Proof?

Are Pelican coolers bear proof? Yes they are!

Pelican ProGear Elite coolers are certified bear proof by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee and are one of the only coolers who can handle a bear without padlocks.

In this short article we'll look more closely at the Pelican range of coolers and discover that tests have been done to assure that they are in fact bear proof.

Testing The Pelican Coolers Against Real Bears

A cooler can be designed to be bear proof as much as possible, but it takes handing the cooler to a bear and letting them go at it to truly prove whether or not it is bear proof.

Generally this involves putting desirable food items inside the cooler and even making the outside of the cooler smell inviting. You want the bear to give it a real go!

Check out this video below of a Pelican cooler suffering the wrath of a grizzly bear:

What Makes Pelican Coolers Better Against Bears Than Any Other Cooler

A lot of the roto-moulded coolers these days are bear-resistant but only if used with a bolt or lock. The Yeti, for example, requires 2 locks in each corner and the Pelican has one in the center.

Pelican Press and Pull LatchesThe thing that makes the Pelican truly remarkable is that even without bolts or locks it is bear-resistant. This is due to their unique push and pull metal latches that are dead simple for humans to open, but really difficult for bears.

Popular Mechanics put the Pelican, Yeti and Yukon to the test, as shown in this article, and found that the Pelican was the only cooler the bear lost interest in and could not open.

For the Yeti they wrote:

It took Ondar [their bear] 9 minutes 23 seconds to figure out that he could open the rubber latches with his teeth

Ondar then used the same method to open the Yukon in 11 minutes 7 seconds. However with the Pelican they wrote:

Press-and-pull latches bested our bear. He lost interest and walked away after 14 minutes and 32 seconds.

SO while Pelican coolers are likely only certified to be used with locks or bolts, it's good to know that if you go to sleep without locking your cooler it's highly unlikely a grizzly will be able to get inside.

Pelican Coolers IGBC Bear-Resistant Certification

Pelican IGBC Bear Resistant CertificationThe entire range of Pelican ProGear elite coolers is IGBC-Approved Bear-Resistant. Here are their certification codes from their current list:

  • ProGear Elite 20-qt Cooler, model# 20QT/32-20QT-MC-WHT:IGBC Certification No. 3756
  • ProGear Elite 35-qt Cooler, model# 35QT/32-35QT-MC-WHT:IGBC Certification No. 3366
  • ProGear Elite 45-qt Cooler, model# 45QT/32-45QT-MC-WHT:IGBC Certification No. 3373
  • ProGear Elite 45-qt Wheeled Cooler, model# 45qw Wheeled Cooler:IGBC Cert. No. 5030(approved 5-27-16)
  • ProGear Elite 65-qt Cooler, model# 65QT/32-65QT-MC-WHT:IGBC Certification No. 3374
  • ProGear Elite 80-qt Wheeled Cooler, model# 80qt Wheeled Cooler:IGBCCert. No. 5031(approved 5-27-16)
  • ProGear Elite 95-qt Cooler, model# 95QT/32-95QT-MC-WHT:IGBC Certification No. 3375
  • ProGear Elite 150-qt Cooler, model# 150QT/32-150QT-MC-WHT:IGBC Cert.No. 3376
  • ProGear Elite 250-qt Cooler, model# 250QT/32-250QT-MC-WHT:IGBC Cert.No. 3365413-665-2163 ext 2319

Why Having A Bear Proof Cooler Is Important

If a bear finds or gets access to a single scrap of food it encourages them to linger longer in your campsite and even to tear through everything you own looking for more food.

By having a bear proof cooler deters bears from entering and lingering around your camp. This makes it less likely for you to have a run in with a bear and in the occasion that a bear does come visiting they are more likely to leave without incident.

So always pick up your food scraps and always lock your cooler before going to bed.

If A Bear Does Attack Your Pelican Cooler

If a bear attacks your cooler it is likely to do a lot of damage in the 10 or so minutes before it gives up and moves on.

Most coolers with rubber handles will be destroyed beyond further use and this is likely to happen to your Pelican also. Expect lots of scratches and gouges in the exterior of your cooler and some decreased ice retention as a result.

Chances are if I bear attacks your cooler you'll need to buy another one.

Need A Bear Proof Cooler? I Suggest Getting A Pelican

Pelican Best Cooler For The Money

If you're hunting, camping or fishing in areas where you may encounter a grizzly and thus need a bear-proof cooler then you can't go wrong with the Pelican.

It keeps ice for 7+ days, is tough as hell and is the only cooler that is going to handle a bear without padlocks.

The best place I have found to buy them is through Amazon as you can get a discount on the retail price and get free shipping also.

I love my Pelican cooler and I'm sure you'll love yours also. See the latest price on Pelican Coolers