7 Best Boat Coolers – (Reviews & Ultimate Buying Guide 2020)

Boat coolers can be very useful while you’re fishing and sailing because they allow you to store your provisions. Usually, these coolers are very spacious, giving you enough room for what you need to take with you.

How do the best boat coolers help you aside from the storage, though? Basically, they have the ability to cool your provisions, whether they’re foods or drinks. They will stay at a low temperature, away from the sun – thus, they will be ready to be consumed at any time.

In this post, you will find out what goes into choosing the best cooler for your boat – including what features you should look for while shopping for such an item. But before we get to that, we’ll start with the reviews for 7 of the best coolers that you can purchase right now.

PRODUCT DETAILS
YETI Tundra 45 Cooler

YETI Tundra 45 Cooler

  • Price: $$$$
  • Ice Retention: 3 to 4 days 
  • Capacity: 45 Quart
  • Dimensions: 25.5 x 16 x 15.5″
  • Weight: 15 pounds
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RTIC Cooler

RTIC Cooler

  • Price: $$$$
  • Ice Retention: 3 to 5 days 
  • Capacity: 45 Quart
  • Dimensions: 26.5 x 16.5 x 16″
  • Weight: up to 30 pounds
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Coleman Coastal Xtreme Series Marine Portable Cooler

Coleman Coastal Xtreme Series Marine Portable Cooler

  • Price: $-$$
  • Ice Retention: up to 3 days 
  • Capacity: 28 Quart
  • Dimensions: 24.1 x 12.0 x 13.0″
  • Weight: 13.4 pounds
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Pelican Products Progear Elite Cooler

Pelican Products Progear Elite Cooler

  • Price: $$$$$
  • Ice Retention: 7 to 10 Day
  • Capacity: 45 Quart
  • Dimensions: 29.7 x 20 x 19.2″
  • Weight: 35.9 pounds
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Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler

Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler

  • Price: $
  • Ice Retention: up to 5 days
  • Capacity: 36 Quart
  • Dimensions: 24 x 13.56 x 13″
  • Weight: 4 pounds
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ENGEL ENG35 High Performance Hard Cooler and Icebox

ENGEL ENG35 High Performance Hard Cooler and Icebox

  • Price: $$$
  • Ice Retention: Up to 10 days 
  • Capacity: 35 Quart
  • Dimensions: 10 x 19 3/4 x 9 1/2″
  • Weight: 25 Pounds
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Orca Hard Sided Classic Cooler

Orca Hard Sided Classic Cooler

  • Price: $$$$$
  • Ice Retention: up to 10 days
  • Capacity: 58 Quart
  • Dimensions: 27.2 x 19.57 x 18.75″
  • Weight: 34 pounds
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Best Boat Coolers Reviews (Recommended Picks)

1. YETI Tundra 45 Cooler

YETI Tundra 45 CoolerSturdiness and durability are two traits that shouldn’t be overlooked with any product, and even more with boat coolers. You never know what conditions you will have while on the boat, so it’s crucial to search for a boat cooler that won’t fail you. Luckily, this YETI Tundra cooler might be just what you’re looking for. It is armored to the core, and the construction is very sturdy, being able to resist the journey’s conditions. It is pretty much indestructible.

Aside from its strong build, the cooler is versatile as well. It has the ability to store up to 26 cans, and it has a 2:3 ice-to-contents ratio. Also, there is permafrost insulation to ensure the proper functioning of the cooler. With that being said, your cooler’s ice will stay intact and thus cool the contents at all times. The walls and lid of the cooler will make this possible.

Pros

  • Amazing ability to maintain the ice
  • Can hold up to 26 cans
  • It is very sturdy and virtually indestructible
  • Great quality for the price

Cons

  • Ice may not last for as much as you want it to

2. RTIC Cooler

RTIC CoolerWith coolers, it’s very important to get something that keeps the ice intact, in the way that it can maintain the cooling ability for a long time. This RTIC cooler has this ability. It’s especially amazing that it has this because some people might need this cooler for longer trips, in which case you need to make sure the ice lasts long enough. Thankfully, this cooler has amazing ice retention that makes this possible.

There’s more to it than the ice retention ability, though. For example, what we liked was the durability of this product. It was made from high-quality materials, to ensure that even in more extreme conditions, you won’t have to worry that it will get damaged. Your cooler, as well as the contents inside, will be safe.

Another very impressive thing was that the cooler can also work as a bench or nonslip step stool. It’s basically very versatile, and it could be a great thing to own if you want the item to be as practical as possible.

Pros

  • It can be carried by a single person
  • Very durable – will resist even in harsher conditions
  • Amazing ice retention
  • Versatile – can be used for multiple things aside from cooling food and drinks

Cons

  • Some people got it without the large drain plug
  • Doesn’t have the longest warranty

3. Coleman Coastal Xtreme Series Marine Portable Cooler

Coleman Coastal Xtreme Series Marine Portable CoolerSometimes a white, simple cooler will be enough to make sure your drink and food will stay in the best condition while you’re traveling by boat. You will be impressed by this cooler’s ability if you end up purchasing it. One of the most amazing things is the fact that it can keep ice for up to 6 days, making it perfect for longer trips by boat. Even if you keep the cooler in the sun, it will still be enough to keep the contents cool. In addition, even when the ice melts after a few days, it may still be enough to keep your food cool.

It’s a well-built cooler that will not fail to stay intact and keep the inside safe, no matter what. Considering how important construction is when it comes to a cooler, it’s amazing to see how well-constructed this one is. You can rest assured that nothing will happen to it.

Pros

  • Can keep the contents cool for long periods of time, even in the sun
  • Will retain ice in the proper state for enough time
  • Sturdy construction
  • Cheaper than a lot of other similar products, yet still gets the job done properly

Cons

  • Maybe a little heavy
  • Doesn’t have wheels

4. Pelican Products Progear Elite Cooler

Pelican Products Progear Elite CoolerPelican is a brand that works hard to give you some of the most amazing products, and this particular cooler is one of them. Basically, it comes for a better price compared to many other products from the competitors, yet it is just as good as the others. So, it gives you the opportunity to enjoy great benefits, but for a smaller price.

The one feature that shines above others is its ability to not only cool your drinks and foods but also keep them like that for long periods. Even if you need to keep the inside cool for multiple days, you will not be disappointed. Besides, despite the ice starting to melt at one point, the mix that results from this – respectively the water-ice mix – is cold enough to maintain the products.

Since it’s super heavy duty, it will also resist harsher conditions, thus being durable enough to take with you on a boating trip. The one downside would be the fact that this also makes it heavier.

Pros

  • Cheaper than many similar coolers
  • Sturdy and durable enough
  • Will keep the contents cool even after the ice starts melting
  • Heavy duty
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • May be quite heavy
  • Drain plug may leak

5. Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler

Igloo Marine Ultra CoolerIgloo is a brand that always makes sure to bring you some of the best products, especially when it comes to coolers. This Marine Ultra Cooler is one of them, and it has one feature that made us like it: being odor and stain-resistant. Since many coolers have a tendency to get odors due to the things you store inside, it would make it annoying to use them, since the last thing you want is getting hit with that bad smell. Luckily, this model won’t let you “suffer” – odors will be kept away.

It won’t get stained either. It has a stain-resistant liner that makes this possible. As such, the boat cooler will be much easier to maintain. Add that to the fact that there are also UV inhibitors to protect the product against sun damage. You never know what weather conditions you are going to deal with while on your boat, so this is a great addition.

With the reinforced comfort grip handles, the cooler is much easier to be carried by two people.

Pros

  • Easier to carry thanks to the handles
  • It has an ultra-therm insulated body
  • Stain and odor resistant
  • Will be protected against sun damage

Cons

  • The lid is not insulated

6. ENGEL ENG35 High-Performance Hard Cooler and Icebox

ENGEL ENG35 High Performance Hard Cooler and IceboxAre you going on a long boat trip? In that case, this ENGEL boat cooler might be just what could help you keep the right temperature for your foods and drinks. It has the power to retain ice for up to 10 days, which means that you don’t have to worry about it losing its cooling ability too soon. This is amazing for anyone who wants to make sure their products are safe inside.

On top of that, the boat cooler is able to stay intact, no matter the conditions. It has a durable seamless rotationally-molded construction. ENGEL wanted to make something durable and they succeeded – so, if you care about durability, then this is not something to overlook.

It has tie-down points that help you secure it to the boat, making sure it won’t slip as you are traveling. Overall, this boat cooler has many things that could come in handy for you.

Pros

  • It uses stainless-steel materials for a secure closure
  • Very sturdy and durable cooler
  • Can be properly secured to the boat for peace of mind
  • Can retain the ice inside for up to 10 days

Cons

  • The first drain plug is not exactly watertight

7. Orca Hard Sided Classic Cooler

Orca Hard Sided Classic CoolerOrca didn’t play around when creating this cooler. It is a unit created with a lot of care. Since it’s very important to have a perfect seal, the product was given a lid gasket to make this possible. Without a lid gasket, it wouldn’t be properly sealed, and it would not be able to keep the contents cool. It also has integrated insulation to make sure ice lasts longer, thus being able to maintain your food and drinks for long periods. Your items can be maintained for up to 10 days.

Add that to the fact that you can carry it very easily too. It has extendable flex-grip handles that make it easy to transport. Therefore, you won’t really have difficulties trying to take it from a place to another.

Another thing that we liked and that shows the quality of the product is the warranty that comes with it, which is a lifetime one.

Pros

  • Comes with extendable flex-grip handles that make it easier to carry
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Comes with a lid gasket for proper seal
  • Can maintain your items for up to 10 days

Cons

  • It can be quite heavy

Looking for the Best Boat Cooler? Top Features to Keep in Mind

Best Boat CoolerBoat coolers can be amazing, but only if you pick the best one to take with you on your trip. Some coolers are not good enough and would only maintain your items for a few hours. You can’t afford that if you are going on longer trips and you need to make sure your drink and food are safe.

Coolers represent one of the boat accessories that could really make your life better. Pair them with a boat grill and some underwater boat lights and you’ll definitely have some great parties and gatherings on the boat.

So, in order to choose a proper cooler, you must know what traits to look for in one. Here are some of the features to consider before you spend your money on a new boat cooler.

  • Weight

Weight is one of the aspects to consider since you will have to carry the cooler around every now and then. Many boat coolers tend to be bulkier and heavier, which could seriously add a lot of strain if you don’t have anyone to help you carry it. This is why, in some cases, you need to look for a cooler that isn’t too heavy.

But if that’s not possible since you need something sturdy as well, you should at least search for something that makes transportation easier, even if the cooler is heavier. Some coolers come with wheels which is an instant advantage, while others come with side handles that allow you to carry it with someone else. Whichever option you choose, it needs to allow you to carry the unit as easier as possible.

  • Size

Size is one of the first aspects that you need to look at. Basically, you need a boat cooler that has enough storage space for all your food and drinks. Picking a small one will be disappointing, as you won’t have enough space to take all you need with you.

That being said, don’t forget to focus on the size of the cooler before you buy it if you want to be able to store everything.

Aside from storage, size also matters because the unit needs to fit your boat as well. Boats vary in size, just like coolers. So, ensure you find the right cooler.

  • Price

You will stumble upon boat coolers in all price ranges. Some will be way above $200, while others will be much cheaper and will surprise you with their quality. But unless you are very rich, you know you can’t buy just any cooler. Even still, if it’s more expensive, it doesn’t mean that the product is the best one you will ever find.

You have to keep in mind that price will usually depend on the type of cooler, brand, size, and what features it has to offer. If you’re going for a high-end roto-molded cooler, expect it to cost more than a simple cooler. All in all, when looking at the price, check the reviews to make sure the money will be spent on something that’s worth it.

  • Brand

Many people may be thinking that the brand doesn’t matter but in reality, it does. Even when it comes to boat coolers, there are certain brands that are more trustworthy than others. That is how you know you may potentially buy a cooler that was created with care. Some of the most trusted brands include Coleman, Moeller, Pelican, and Yeti.

  • Stability

It would be unsafe to purchase a cooler that isn’t stable enough. The instability could potentially make it slip and you might even lose it from the boat. Make sure you find a boat cooler that has non-slip rubber feet – thus, it will stay on the surface of the boat without any issues. Some coolers even come with certain parts that allow you to set them to the boat, which is even better.

  • UV Resistant

It’s hard to predict how the weather is going to treat you, especially if you’re going to be on the boat for many days to come. That’s why, for a good marine experience, you need to find a cooler that is UV resistant. A lot of bad coolers have a problem where the lid gets discolored and brittle. This means that even the inside of the cooler might be affected by the sun, and the ice would melt faster. Usually, cheaper models are the ones with this problem.

Look for a high-end cooler model if you want to make sure the sun won’t affect your unit. More often than not, these will have UV resistance, which makes them more resistant to the UV rays.

  • Low Maintenance

Spending too much time cleaning the cooler is not something to look forward to. You definitely need a model that requires low maintenance, especially if you won’t be using it strictly for foods and drinks. Some people use it for their catches as well, such as their fish. That being said, the interior could get very dirty, and it might be annoying to try to get rid of the stains and the smell.

Make sure you look for a steel or roto-molded model – this allows you to get rid of smells much easier and keeps stains away. They’re easy to clean as well.

  • Long Cooling Time

Particularly if you are planning a longer trip with your boat, you cannot settle for a cooler that doesn’t retain the ice for long enough to keep your items cold and safe. You will need something that does a great job of maintaining the insides.

A great boat cooler should be able to keep your drinks and foods cold and fresh for several days. Even if the ice starts melting, the cooler should still have the ability to keep the provisions cool using the mix of water and ice. It all comes down to the construction and insulation of the product.

  • Durability

You’re going on a boat trip, which means you never know what you’re going to deal with. Things can be very unpredictable – especially the weather conditions. For this reason, you need a durable boat cooler. Look for something made of good materials, one that is sturdy enough and won’t break apart, even when there’s harsher impact.

  • Warranty

A warranty will be there to offer you some benefits if the cooler doesn’t work as advertised, or if something breaks during the time of the warranty. It pretty much proves its durability too. Look for a long warranty – preferably a lifetime one.

Best Boat Coolers Comparison Chart

ProductPriceIce RetentionCapacityDimensionsWeight
YETI Tundra 45 Cooler$$$$3 to 4 days 45 Quart25.5 x 16 x 15.5″15 pounds
RTIC Cooler
$$$$3 to 5 days 45 Quart26.5 x 16.5 x 16″up to 30 pounds
Coleman Coastal Xtreme Series Marine Portable Cooler
$-$$up to 3 days 28 Quart24.1 x 12.0 x 13.0″13.4 pounds
Pelican Products Progear Elite Cooler
$$$$$7 to 10 Day45 Quart29.7 x 20 x 19.2″35.9 pounds
Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler
$up to 5 days36 Quart24 x 13.56 x 13″4 pounds
ENGEL ENG35 High Performance Hard Cooler and Icebox
$$$Up to 10 days 35 Quart10 x 19 3/4 x 9 1/2″25 Pounds
Orca Hard Sided Classic Cooler
$$$$$up to 10 days58 Quart27.2 x 19.57 x 18.75″34 pounds

Wrap Up

Since boat coolers can be so beneficial while you’re on a boat trip, you need to make sure to pick the best one. With the best boat cooler, you can always rest assured that your provisions are safe and won’t get ruined by the sun or the heath. We hope that this guide has shown you what you need to look for in the best boat coolers. Maybe you will even choose one of the suggestions we’ve prepared for you. This way, you can start your boating trip the right way.

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