I'm in the market for a bomb proof ice chest. I am looking for an ice chest for both cook outs, beach days, weekend camping trips, AND for hurricane preparedness. After Hurricane Iniki here in 1992 (It was Sept 11 btw...) Kauai didn't have electricity totally reestablished for 3 months. It wasn't fun. Having a good ice chest is key. I want one that is large, and that will survive lets just call them...rigorous conditions.
Yeti is really the gold standard for high end ice chests, they are built like the proverbial brick outhouse. But them come at a cost, they are not cheap.
Pelican is new to the high end ice chest market, but makes some nice ones. I've used their plastic cases for years, and use one for luggage on repeated trips to the 3rd world. Pelican cases simply WORK. Their ice chests are nice, but bulky and heavy. I don't know enough about their ice holding characteristics to comment on them. They are cheaper than the Yeti's and I have even seen them for sale at Costco.
Brute Box.. US made, not as heavy as the Yeti's and a bit cheaper in price. I read some reviews, but don't have or don't know anyone with real world experience with them.
I lean towards the Yeti's and have a Yeti Roadie chest already. It is their smaller car/6pack sized ice chest. I REALLY like it, and in an informal test at home here, it kept ice in it for 7 days. That's pretty impressive. One of the things that I would think of as a disaster scenario is the loss of electricity for an extended period of time, and preserving the food in my fridge and freezer for as long as I can. After Hurricane Iniki, the daily routine was going to the grocery store, buying a bag of ice, drinks and food...daily or every other day. Trust me, it wasn't fun. So you can see my desire for a well built ice chest.
Anyone have experience with these brands and can compare them?