The 14QT Personal Cooler by Pelican was initially introduced in 2021 as an entry level for those seeking something to keep the refreshments cold for the day’s work. Since then it has grown in popularity to become one of Pelican’s most popular small-sized coolers.
With its overall body made from molded Polyethylene, the 14QT Personal Cooler has an suitable level of storage space that can accommodate a variety of cold items. It has an overall exterior measurement of 18” (H) x 11.5” (L) x 13.00” (D), with a double 1.5” thick wall (with polyurethane insulation) and freezer-grade gasket, giving the cooler all-day ice retention.
On the front of the 14QT Personal Cooler are a number of features built to make the storage and transport easier and more ergonomic for its user. This includes a magnetic zone to capture bottlecaps, and a bottlecap opener just above (and integrated into) the upper lip of the cooler.
Attached to both sides of the cooler is a rotational carry handle that semi-locks into position at the upper range-of-motion, but falls freely at the side positions.
The lid features a dry-item storage space whereby the lid is opened via Press & Pull™ Latches. The top of this lid also includes two integrated cup holders for the preferred party drink.
The back of the cooler has a scalloped edge to prevent incidental contact with the thigh while being carried, along with stainless steel hinges for added strength.
To prevent any excess movement, the bottom of the 14QT Personal Cooler has four molded feet that help ensure the cooler remains in place on some improved surfaces.
The interior of the 14QT Personal Cooler has a single, 12.75” (H) x 7.25” (L) x 8.75” (D) open-space without any drainplug. On the underside of the lid is a removable silicone webbing that allows for retention of items, or threading such items through the slotting.
The cooler itself also includes a dry goods basket that rides on the lip on the upper edge, and keeps said goods free from ice melt. As such the cooler has an overall storage capacity of 14 quarts.
The 14QT Personal Cooler is available in Dark Grey/Green (featured), White/Dark Grey, and three other color combinations.
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Excellent (5/5): With an MSRP of $119.95, the 14QT Personal Cooler makes for a good, single-day sized cooler that is capable of storing food, supplies, ice, drinks, or any other innumerable things needed for a day on the range or in the field. The quantity of material, hardware, and ability to provide for sustained insulation gave the personal cooler a distinct advantage in transport and function, while maintaining an excellent overall price point. In contrast, Yeti’s Hopper Flip 12QT ($250.00) or Rtic’s 20QT ($199.99) are closest in capacity, material, and design—but both lack many of the associating design aspects for drinks or organization. Thus, while Pelican’s Personal cooler is one of the more inexpensive hard-body coolers in cost, that cost also includes Pelican’s longstanding legacy that add to the product.
- Comfort – Good (4/5): From a comfort aspect, the 14QT Personal Cooler was very easy to maneuver/transport (despite its size even when full) with a wide handle that allowed for easy lifting. By allotting for a movable handle that could counterbalance excess movement in the cooler, it felt very secure when transporting and allowed for easy range in motion to ensure the cooler didn’t contact the legs while walking. Perhaps the only recommendation for Pelican to improve on the personal cooler’s comfort, would be to give the handles some means of rubberized grip texture (similar to the handles in its Protector series) to aid in tactile feel in the hand, as well as comfort on the handle’s angles. This issue of grip comfort became exacerbated as more items, particularly liquids, were added to the cooler and its overall weight increased.
- Durability – Good (4/5): Like all other Pelican products, the 14QT Personal Cooler was formed from Polyethylene (a type of high-density plastic similar to the high-density polyethylene used in a lot of daily things). This made the shell of the personal cooler (and indeed almost all of Pelican’s hard cases) amazingly durable, and resistant to shock or stain. With its size, the personal cooler was loaded up with ice and necessities, then transported (loosely) in the back of a pickup truck on several trips to the range. It wasn’t until all the ice had melted that during a roll test, there was some small level (slow drip) of moisture noted escaping the main storage space (likely due to the freezer-grade gasket having a small gap at the bottom where the material ran short). The gasket was removed, inspected, and reinserted to eliminate the gap and subsequently eliminated the leakage. One notable recommendation to Pelican for improvement would be to add the non-skid feet similar to Pelican’s Elite coolers that ensure the cooler doesn’t move during transport and avoids damage. Throughout it, the personal cooler itself only ever showed signs of menial surface marring and gouging, none of which ever compromised the thickness of the material or damaged the associated hardware. If it ever came to that, the personal cooler series does come with Pelican’s 3-Year Warranty covers damage to the unit.
- Functionality – Good (4/5): Functionally, the 14QT Personal Cooler had an excellent performance in its primary role of storing food/drinks and maintaining a consistent internal temperature to prevent spoilage. To this aim, the cooler did this in spades, keeping ice and food stable for up to 56 hours duration with a typical transference rate of ice from its solid state, into liquid. Pelican maintains its 14QT Personal series coolers can retain the presence of ice for an entire day, however this performance is also influenced by the overall mass of ice at the beginning, and how often the lid is opened resulting in a temporary loss of cold air barrier. In an environmentally stable setting at 78ºF, and using a 7 lb. bag of ice, the cooler was able to maintain an ice presence consistently up until the 3rd day of testing. But likely the ambient temperatures, loss of internal temperature seal from regular opening and closing, and the volume of drinks in the internal space drawing upon the ice to keep it cool, resulted in the cooler still far exceeding the stated thermal rating/time. Regardless, on the 3rd day the water was still in the mid-30s, and the drinks were still cold to the touch (and taste). The Press & Pull™ Latches provided clear audible and tactile indication when secured, and ensured the lid was sealed (thus engaging the wide freezer-grade rubber tube and seal on the interior of the lid) with no escape of air. The intergraded drink holders were a nice finishing detail that other coolers of similar size often lack.
- Weight – Average (3/5): While the Personal 14QT cooler was a decent 8.30 pounds (empty), it will be important for users to remember as more liquids are added (per volume) the cooler itself will become heavier depending on contents—thus a one-hand lift/carry can become tenuous if it is full of liquids. In contrast, Yeti’s Hopper Flip 12QT (3.1 pounds while empty) or Rtic’s 20QT (19 pounds while empty) are both on far opposite weights of the 14QT Personal Cooler, giving an appropriate (or of average) weight for its overall mass of materials, ability to maintain stable temperature, and all-inclusive design.
Overall Rating – Good (20/25)
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via High Ground Media, LLC, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.
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