Are Pelican Coolers Dry Ice Compatible?

Are Pelican coolers dry ice compatible? The answer is yes, you can use dry ice in the Pelican ProGear Elite series, but you need to use the cooler a little bit differently.

What Is Dry Ice And Why Use It?

In case you aren't already aware dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide.

How Do I Know The Pelican Cooler Is Dry Ice Compatible?

Pelican coolers are made to be tough. The interior and exterior is coated in strong roto-moulded plastic that can easily handle the cool temperatures of dry ice.

But to be prudent I wanted to prove this to you once and for all.

Pelican Themselves State That Their Cooler Is Dry Ice Compatible

You won't find it on their website for some reason however in one of their brochures which I found here they do state that the cooler is dry ice compatible. See image below for proof.

Pelican Cooler Brochure States "Dry Ice Compatible"

Many People Have Used Dry Ice In Their Pelican Coolers Without Issue

I have found many users online talking about how they have used dry ice in their Pelican coolers without issue.

Here's a quote from Texas Bowhunter Forum answering the question “Has anyone ever used dry ice in their Pelican cooler? If so, everything work ok?”:

Yes, it works perfect and kept things frozen just like they were when we took them out of the freezer before we left for our archery elk hunt.

Here's a report from this Amazon question on dry ice compatibility:

On the large placard attached to the top of the cooler it says it IS dry ice compatible but the dry ice must be wrapped to protect the interior of the cooler. Dry ice is as destructive as it is a good cooling agent, but it must not touch anything you don't want to turn brittle or freeze rock solid – in a very short time. If you allow some water to accumulate in the cooler and drain it a little when you add ice (i.e., always keeping a few inches of water in with the ice), you will go several days without needing to add ice, certainly as long as dry ice would last. Just use freezer bags to keep your contents dry, and keep ice on the top of the contents and a little water for the ice cubes or chunks to float in, and this cooler will amaze you by its cooling efficiency. I have three Pelican coolers; remember that when you buy the very best, you are only disappointed once!

But You Have To Use Your Cooler Slightly Differently

Concerns About Using Dry Ice In A High End Cooler

Not everyone agrees that dry ice should be used in a roto-moulded cooler like the Pelican which has a commercial grade gasket, sealing the air in.

Here are some concerns from the same Texas Bowhunter forum previously mentioned:

I always put a piece of corrugated cardboard between the dry ice and the bottom (or top) of any cooler I've put it in. Even placing it in a paper sack is better than letting it come in direct contact with the plastic inside of the cooler. For the high end coolers that actually seal with an air (gas)tight gasket, if you don't loosen your drain plug to vent pressure you are indeed in danger of damaging the cooler… dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide gas… as it “melts” it flashes the CO2 into gas.

Not sure but dry ice could damage the freezer seals on high end coolers. It emits co2 and gases have to go somewhere.

Don't let it touch water and it should be fine. I've blown up plenty of bottles with dry ice and water

If you use dry ice you need to remember that it freezes the plastic material the cooler is made out of also. If you drop the cooler it is very prone to breakage as it is if you drop something into the cooler once it has had dry ice in it for a while.

The Solution

I always just leave my drain plug off.

How To Use Dry Ice In Your Pelican Cooler


Cooler explosion

Plastic Bottle Explosion – create GIF out of this.