Boaters spend most of their boating time fishing. Boat coolers are arguably the handiest equipment that any modern boater should possess.
Boat coolers ensure a steady supply of food and beverages. Getting a good cooler is an investment that is worth consideration. A good cooler should be able to perform above and beyond. Before investing in one, conduct an overall quality assessment to evaluate its performance.
The best coolers are Yeti Tundra 45 Cooler, Pelican IM Elite Cooler, and Engel Waterproof Cooler. Among the attributes that the best boat coolers display are; hefty thick wall construction that enables ice-retention, a roto-molded design that makes them armored and durability.
A good boat cooler should aim at enhancing the overall enjoyment of your boating adventures. It should withstand countless hours of exposure to the harsh elements of the marine environment. Additionally, award-winning boat coolers should have a massive capacity yet be lightweight.
The pre-departure checklist of most boaters includes a boat cooler. Recently, a wide range of options has been available at relatively affordable prices. All you need to do is choose the right design, aesthetics, and size to fit your boating needs.
10 Best Boat Coolers
A good boat cooler has several desirable attributes. Following reviews and countless experiences, the ten best boat coolers from different manufacturers are below.
1. Yeti Tundra 45 Cooler
As the name suggests, the Yeti Tundra 45 Cooler holds 45 quarts. This cooler features the best boat coolers for its hefty insulation, enabling excellent ice-keeping performance.
This boat cooler has hefty insulation that features a 2 inches wall. The extra-thick walls enable it to keep ice for days. With its excellent ice retention ability, the Yeti Tundra 45 cooler is ideal for road trips and fishing.
Additionally, the cooler walls are injected with pressure from polyurethane foam to keep the ice fresh, ensuring consumers' safety. This cooler stands on a non-slip bottom that is made from rubber. Therefore, it resists sliding even when your boat floor is wet.
With its combined durability and versatility, the Yeti boat cooler can hold a large foodstuff capacity. The cooler has a CordLock gasket that keeps the lid ultimately locked. This minimizes air exchange from the outside, improving the cooler's ice-retention ability.
- A freezer-grade lock on the lid ensures the safety of food and top-notch ice retention.
- The cooler comes with a standard dry goods basket compatible with dry ice.
- A Roto-molded, shock-resistant plastic casing protects it.
- Highly durable and versatile.
- Due to its standard size, it can hold quite a large food capacity (2-3 people). The cooler's dimensions are 25 ½ inches long, 15 ½ inches high, and 16 inches wide.
- Tundra coolers are virtually indestructible because their construction is armored.
- The hefty fat-wall design is highly bear-resistant.
2. Pelican IM Elite Cooler
The Pelican IM Elite Cooler is designed to fit its functions. This high-end cooler features among the best boat coolers because it has an ice-retention ability of up to 10 days. That is the longest any cooler has ever held ice, hence the high market demand.
The Pelican IM Elite coolers are made from high-end materials that guarantee durability, and you can tell that at first glance. This cooler can withstand pressure from bumps, no matter the surface, without any damage.
With its great handles, you can transport items comfortably. The dual handles are molded in and have hinge handles that make them user-friendly. The carefully enclosed and insulated seals ensure that the foodstuff kept inside stays refrigerated.
Pelican coolers are highly versatile, and they are roto-molded. Therefore, it is guaranteed that they can withstand harsh weather and physical conditions. Although Pelican Elite coolers are expensive, they have long-term benefits that outlast the cheaper options.
- Pelican Elite cooler has long-term benefits as it is highly durable and versatile.
- It has paramount insulation that retains ice up to ten days long.
- Pelican coolers come in a wide variety, and you can choose one that fits your needs.
- It has excellent handles that ease transportation.
3. Engel Waterproof Cooler
Considering its superb ice-retention ability, the Engel Waterproof Cooler features among the industry leaders. This heavy-duty boat cooler offers up to four or more days of ice retention, making it much more practical for marine activities.
Surprisingly, the Engel cooler can hold up to 48 cans of soda. Although this cooler has a massive capacity making it seem bulky, it is remarkably lightweight. The cooler features a removable shoulder strap and a set of tote-style handles that ease transportation.
Water-resistant outer pockets make it easy to carry additional small items. The Engel HD30 is the best soft-sided cooler on the market as it offers an unmatched ability to freeze ice in the vacuum seal technology.
The vacuum technology is ideal as heat cannot move through when you leave a vacuum in the cooler, making it hard for the ice to melt.
- Given that the Engel HD30 is a soft-sided cooler, it is relatively affordable.
- It offers four or more days of ice retention.
- The cooler has a large capacity, yet it is lightweight.
- It uses vacuum seal technology which removes any air in the interior layers.
- This cooler is durable as it uses hefty layers of closed-cell foam insulation.
- It is waterproof and hence safe in the water.
4. Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler
If you are looking for a boat cooler with outstanding features and great looks, go for the Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler. This boat cooler is suitable for boating as it can withstand all the harsh elements of the marine environment.
You can choose your ideal size, as these coolers come in various sizes and shapes. Choose from the 30-quart, 36-quart, 48-quart, 54-quart, 72-quart, and 94-quart versions. These coolers can retain ice for up to seven days.
This cooler has a UV-protected outermost shell. This shell protects the cooler from damage caused by the sun. Additionally, the protective cover keeps away mold and mildew buildup. The cooler is easy to clean as its materials do not react to cleaning reagents.
The cooler is easy to carry around as it has side comfort grip handles. The other prominent feature is the stainless steel hardware which is less prone to rust. This cooler has the Cooler Riser Technology, A design that elevates the cooler's base off the ground.
- These coolers have wheeled options.
- It has Cooler Riser Technology.
- The Igloo cooler is equipped with the Ultratherm Insulation that keeps ice for up to seven days.
- It has stainless steel hardware that makes it rust-free.
- The comfort overhead and side handles guarantee comfort.
- It is easy to clean.
5. RTIC 52QT Cooler
The RTIC 52QT cooler is equipped with attributes that are ideal for boating. These decent coolers are premium, durable, and yet cheaper than the other well-performing coolers. It has an ice life of four days.
Founded by John and Jim Jacobsen and established RTIC in 2015, the RTIC cooler aims to deliver quality with its roto molded design. This cooler has an excellent construction that features comfortable stainless steel carrying straps.
This cooler is soft-sided, and it comes with a magnetic closure. It has a big enough capacity to hold up to 40 cans. It is, however, easily portable. Additionally, the cooler has a waterproof zipper, a mold-resistant liner, and a StayDry material.
- It has quality construction as it is made with quality materials.
- RTIC offers a wide range of coolers.
- They are highly affordable.
- The cooler offers a 5-year warranty for the roto-molded version and a 3-year warranty for the soft-sided version.
6. ORCA Walker Cooler
The ORCA Walker Cooler is ideal for all marine activities. This soft-sided cooler is perfect for boating as it keeps food and beverages cold all day long. It is made using FDA food grade and anti-microbial casing hence safe for foodstuff.
The inner walls of this cooler are deftly insulated with a 28mm rigid polymer. The ORCA Walker cooler can maintain its ice retention for two days with proper ice packing. The cooler's durability is also guaranteed by the outer textile made of SPEC-OPS 840 Denier double TPU.
- Magnetic split handles that are easy to lock and open.
- Safe for food as it is made using food-grade materials.
- It is highly durable and versatile as it comes in different sizes.
- It is lightweight and hence portable.
- It features a waterproof zipper.
7. CreekKooler Floating Cooler
The CreekKooler Floating Cooler is a patented cooler that features a patented design. This cooler has a dual-wall construction backed up by its top-notch insulation—the design results in its superior ice retention ability.
This cooler is versatile enough to serve as both a cooler and boat-safe storage. It features tow points that allow boaters to tie it on their boats as it floats within a short distance. Although this cooler seems small, it can hold up to 30 cans for every adventure.
The CreekKooler floating cooler features a large lid that is watertight to keep your products safe all along. It also has built-in drink holders that keep your drinks safe on the water.
- It is towable. You can tow it behind small watercraft like canoes.
- It has an insulated design that gives it an ice-retention ability of up to two days.
- This cooler features a waterproof lock design, ensuring safety in the water.
- It has a dual-wall, blow-molded construction that features built-in drink holders.
8. Cubix Marine Cooler
The Cubix Marine Cooler is a roto molded ice cooler that retains ice for up to three days. This cooler has a highly versatile and handy design equipped with functional built-ins. It features two cup holders, one bottle opener, and a ruler.
This cooler is solidly engineered with ferromagnetic latches that seal the lid for safety. The construction of this cooler is highly durable as it is made using the indestructible roto molded design.
Whether you are out fishing or for adventure, this cooler fits all your needs, it has a thermalock freeze gasket that prolongs ice retention. With the 3" insulation, this boat cooler is ideal for boating activities.
- It features a roto molded construction that is indestructible.
- It has ferromagnetic latches and a thermalock freeze gasket that keeps the cold for a long time.
- It is equipped with functional built-ins that are extremely handy.
- This cooler is relatively affordable.
- It has a high ice-retention ability.
9. Camco Currituck Heavy Duty Cooler
With its functional and durable exterior, the Camco Currituck Heavy Duty Cooler has an ice-retention ability of up to ten days. This cooler features an interior with a freezer-grade seal that retains ice for a long time.
The freezer features an ultra-durable design with additional stainless steel hardware. The technique combines with polyurethane foam to form a thick, uniform wall. The cooler comes with a dry basket that keeps foodstuffs dry and cold.
This cooler has unique accessories that enhance its convenience and functionality. It has a UV-resistant cutting board attachment, a dry basket, cooler dividers for an organized space, and cup holders to create holding spots for bottles and cans.
- The presence of easy grip handles with tie-down straps ensures an ergonomic grip for safety.
- It has additional unique accessories that enhance its convenience, versatility, and functionality.
- It features a functional and durable design.
- It can hold a capacity of up to 28 cans.
- This cooler has an ice-retention ability of up to 10 days.
10. Coleman Xtreme Marine Cooler
The Coleman Xtreme Marine Cooler combines all the ideal cooling qualities for the marine environment. This cooler keeps your products cold for up to five days. This cooler is UV-resistant and features reflective colors to prevent discoloration caused by the sun.
This cooler has an insulated lid that helps in ice retention. Its materials are capable of withstanding the extra demands of the boating environment. It also has a leak-resistant channel that makes it easy to drain water.
This cooler has comfortable handles and built-in cup holders for extra convenience and versatility.
- It has solid handles for easy portability.
- It is made using high-quality materials and is hence durable.
- It features UV reflective color additives that keep it safe from discoloration.
- It has an ice-retention ability of five days.
How to Choose the Best Boat Coolers
Every boater should have the luxury of enjoying a steady flow of food and beverages, whether they are fishing or enjoying a marine outing. Marine coolers should be able to keep the foodstuff cold for quite a long time.
However, choosing the best boat cooler depends on several factors. Below are factors you should consider when selecting a boat cooler:
A good boat cooler should have superior insulation that will enable it to retain ice for longer. 2-3 inches of insulation are hefty enough to allow excellent ice retention.
Besides the insulation design, additional features like sealing gaskets on the cooler lid and the safety latch mechanisms also determine how long a boat cooler can retain ice. Always go for a boat cooler with superior engineering mechanisms for maximum convenience.
Other boaters get boat coolers for different purposes. If your boating is majorly focused on fishing, you should get a boat cooler that is ideal for fish storage. The cooler should be large enough to store the fish appropriately.
Alternatively, if you are boating for recreational purposes, you should get a boat cooler that is appropriate for your needs. Aim at choosing the right size and one with durable properties.
About THE AUTHOR
I have a deep love of houseboating and the life-changing experiences houseboating has brought into my life. I’ve been going to Lake Powell on our family’s houseboat for over 30 years and have made many great memories, first as a child and now as a parent. My family has a passion for helping others have similar fun, safe experiences on their houseboat.Read More About Brian Samson