Top 10 Best Kayak Fishing Coolers

As any avid fisherman knows, it is very rare that you spend less than an hour on the water. The best fishing experiences start early and last hours while you cast your line and commune with nature. But if you want to keep your catches it is crucial that you have a way to keep them fresh. Hours in the sun can quickly cause fish to spoil and you can see your dinner lost. You can also see yourself having to cut you trip short early to get back to shore and get your fish in an appropriate container.

A cooler is the best way to prevent your catch from spoiling. But not all coolers are ideal for fishing. Choosing the wrong cooler can lead to your fish tasting off as well as bacteria growth and contamination. If you plan on cooking and eating the fish you catch it is crucial that you have a proper cooler for them.

ImageProduct 
AO Coolers Sportsman Vinyl Soft Cooler With High Density InsulationAO Coolers Sportsman Vinyl Soft Cooler With High Density InsulationCheck Price
Igloo Ice Cube Marine Breeze Ultra Roller CoolerIgloo Ice Cube Marine Breeze Ultra Roller CoolerCheck Price
Coleman Performance Portable Cooler, 48 QuartColeman Performance Portable Cooler, 48 QuartCheck Price
Elkton Insulated Fish Cooler Bag With Premium ZipperElkton Insulated Fish Cooler Bag With Premium ZipperCheck Price
Igloo Quick and Cool CoolerIgloo Quick and Cool CoolerCheck Price
Engel USA DeepBlue Series High Performance ENG65 CoolerEngel USA DeepBlue Series High Performance ENG65 CoolerCheck Price
Canyon Insulated Fish Cooler BagsCanyon Insulated Fish Cooler BagsCheck Price
Coleman Coastal Xtreme Series 5 Marine Portable Cooler 100 QuartColeman Coastal Xtreme Series 5 Marine Portable Cooler 100 QuartCheck Price
Igloo Super Tough STX CoolerIgloo Super Tough STX CoolerCheck Price
Pelican Products ProGear Elite Marine Cooler 35 QuartPelican Products ProGear Elite Marine Cooler 35 QuartCheck Price

Things To Consider In A Fishing Cooler

There are many different models of fishing cooler that you can choose from. In order to guarantee that you pick the best cooler for your needs it is important to consider certain features.

Shell

One of the first decisions you will need to make when buying a fishing cooler is the type of shell you want. Hard shell coolers are the traditional cooler you see at any barbeque. They come in a wide range of sizes and shapes and can double as a table, seat or step stool depending on how much weight it can hold. Their hard exterior allows you to keep things colder for longer periods of time and can keep ice intact for days.

Soft shell coolers are designed to be more flexible than the hard shell model. They look like a messenger bag or backpack with stiff walls and are perfect for one person. The soft shell cooler is much easier to store and transport, but lacks the ability to keep its contents fresh past a single day.

Insulation

The amount of insulation your cooler has is key in how long it will keep its contents cold and fresh. Hard shell coolers have more insulation over soft shell coolers because of their thicker material. It is also crucial that you have a lid with a lot of insulation as well because the sun will be beating down on it for hours. The lid takes the vast majority of the heat so that is where the majority of the insulation needs to be.

Durability

Whether it is the transporting of your cooler from one spot to the next, or a more feisty fish trying to find its way out, your cooler needs to be durable enough to handle what is thrown at it. Look for thick materials, strong hinges, consistent seams and air tight closures. If the cooler is not made well it will not last.

Air Tight and Leak Proof

Whether you start with ice or water in your cooler, it is important to make sure that it is both waterproof and leak proof. Not only can water leak out of your cooler if it isn’t air tight, but other things can get in. You do not want bugs or debris getting into your cooler while you are out on the water and contaminating your catch.

Drainage

Large coolers can become extremely heavy when full. This is why it is important to look for coolers with drains that can remove the stagnant water inside without requiring you to try to lift or tip your cooler. This also prevents any possible damage that may occur when tipping the heavy cooler.

Capacity

The size of the cooler you need depends on three factors. The first factor is how many people will be using the cooler. If there are several people looking to share one cooler it will require you to have a much larger cooler ready than if it was just you. You then need to consider how long you will be out on the water. If you plan on spending several hours out on the water it can be necessary to have water in the cooler and allow the fish to stay alive inside until you can get back to shore. Lastly, you need to consider the size of the fish you will be catching. Larger types of fish will require a larger cooler to accommodate them.

Portability

Coolers can be awkward to carry, even when they are empty, depending on the size of it. And the cooler will only get heavier when you add fish to them. That is why it is important to consider how you will get the cooler from one location to the other. To make your cooler more portable it is helpful to consider models with handles and wheels to prevent dropping or spilling it.

Price

It is important to consider the features first when searching for a cooler rather than looking at the price first. While it is important to budget your finances and make sure you don’t exceed your means, you should also never just buy the cheapest option. Look for quality and consider everything you are getting with the cooler in order to make sure you are getting your money’s worth.

How To Clean Your Fishing Cooler

If you want to store fish in your cooler, even if it is for a short time, it is important to make sure it is properly cleaned after every use. Fish won’t just make your cooler stink, but can cause bacteria to build up and contaminate fish you store in future trips. To properly clean your fishing cooler you will need to first thoroughly rinse your cooler to rid it of any water or debris left over from the last use. You should then use a tablespoon of non-toxic detergent like dish soap or castile soap and half a cup of baking soda to scrub the interior and exterior. This can be done with a brush or a sponge. You should then spray your cooler with bleach and let it sit for a few minutes. The cooler needs to be rinsed thoroughly and left open and in an area where it can dry. Make sure it is thoroughly dry before putting it away to prevent mildew from growing.

The Ten Best Kayak Fishing Coolers

AO Coolers Sportsman Vinyl Soft Cooler With High Density Insulation

Top 10 Best Kayak Fishing Coolers 1

Check Price on Amazon

If you are looking for a great one day fishing cooler then look no further. The double layered insulation and vinyl exterior allow you to keep ice solid for up to 24 hours in 120 degree heat. The AO cooler is waterproof and leak proof so everything stays inside where it should and can be used for anything from fishing, to hunting to camping and everything in between. There are also side pockets for extra storage as well as two handles and a removable shoulder strap for easy portability.

Pros
  • Four different sizes
  • Waterproof
  • Keeps ice solid for up to 24 hours in up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Removable shoulder strap and handles
  • Side pockets
  • Leak proof liner
  • Double layer of insulation
  • Three different color
Cons
  • For one day use

Check Price on Amazon

Igloo Ice Cube Marine Breeze Ultra Roller Cooler

Top 10 Best Kayak Fishing Coolers 2

Check Price on Amazon

The Igloo Marine Breeze Roller cooler is a perfect example of a fishing cooler that can be used by anyone. There are molded side handles to easily carry your cooler from place to place and a locking telescope handle for you to pull your cooler on the durable wheels. This cooler also comes with a drain plug so you don’t need to worry about tipping your cooler to dump out the contents. Igloo has also included two detachable fishing rod holders so you can roll your cooler like luggage and keep everything organized and easy to transport.

Pros
  • Durable wheels
  • Locking telescope handle
  • Cool Riser technology
  • Molded side handles
  • Drain plug
  • UV resistant
  • Two detachable fishing rod holders
Cons
  • Smaller capacity

Check Price on Amazon

Coleman Performance Portable Cooler, 48 Quart

Top 10 Best Kayak Fishing Coolers 3

Check Price on Amazon

Coleman’s 48 quart cooler is designed to provide you with an affordable option for a wide variety of uses. This cooler is deep enough to comfortably fit a two liter bottle of soda in an upright position and still close. The heavy duty design is leak resistant and rust proof and includes a drain plug to prevent you from needing to tip the cooler. You can also choose between three colors to either blend in with your environment, or stand out to be easy to spot.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Heavy duty
  • Leak resistant
  • Rust proof
  • Built in drain
  • Two way handles
  • Available in three colors
Cons
  • Not for kayaks

Check Price on Amazon

Elkton Insulated Fish Cooler Bag With Premium Zipper

Top 10 Best Kayak Fishing Coolers 4

Check Price on Amazon

If you want to fish in a smaller boat like a kayak, or just don’t want to lug a heavy cooler if you may not need it, then a cooler bag is a fantastic alternative. Elkton’s cooler bag has a non-stick interior with double wall installation making it easy to clean and can keep your catch fresh for up to a day. The bag is also puncture resistant with reinforced stitching and durable zipper, while also being extremely lightweight and easy to fold. A shoulder strap makes it easy and comfortable to transport your cooler when full and there is a drainage plug to release any water without having to try to tip it out.

Pros
  • Double walled insulation
  • Three point folding system
  • Durable zipper
  • Shoulder strap
  • Non-stick interior
  • Easy to clean
  • Puncture resistant
  • Reinforced stitching
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Only for a day long use

Check Price on Amazon

Igloo Quick and Cool Cooler

Top 10 Best Kayak Fishing Coolers 5

Check Price on Amazon

Made of highly insulating polyethylene, the Igloo Quick and Cool cooler can keep ice solid for up to seven days in 90 degree heat. The lid is also insulated with Ultratherm to keep your catch fresh as the heat beats down and a quick access hatch is included to protect the cold air from escaping while you add or remove contents. This cooler features a stain and odor resistant liner to help keep it clean and a drain plug is included to prevent any need to tip the cooler. Swing up handles and snap fit latches are features to make it easy to transport without worrying about spillage.

Pros
  • Keeps ice solid for up to 7 days
  • Quick access hatch
  • Ultratherm insulated lid and body
  • Handles
  • Snap fit latches
  • Stain and odor resistant liner
  • Drain plug
  • 150 quart capacity
Cons
  • No wheels

Check Price on Amazon

Engel USA DeepBlue Series High Performance ENG65 Cooler

Top 10 Best Kayak Fishing Coolers 6

Check Price on Amazon

There are few coolers as durable and as effective as the Engel ENG65 cooler. The heavy duty plastic exterior is combined with two inch thick polyurethane insulation on the inside. This cooler is UV resistant with air tight silicone gaskets that can keep ice solid up to ten days in 90 degree heat. If you life in an area with bears you can rest easy knowing that your catch is safe because this cooler is completely bear resistant and leak proof.

Pros
  • Keeps ice solid for up to 10 days
  • Two inches of polyurethane insulation
  • Bear resistant
  • Durable
  • Leak proof
  • Handles
  • UV resistant
  • Air tight silicone gaskets
  • Marine grade compression latches
Cons
  • Price

Check Price on Amazon

Canyon Insulated Fish Cooler Bags

Top 10 Best Kayak Fishing Coolers 7

Check Price on Amazon

Voted “Gear of the Year”, the Canyon Insulated Fish Cooler Bag is designed to provide you with a lightweight bag with the ability to take on heavy duty cargo. These bags come in several size options and can hold up to 200 or 300 pounds depending on which size you choose. The handles and straps are made to be comfortable, yet strong enough to handle all the weight of the bag and you can easily roll it into a compact size for storage. The bag is leak proof and comes with a drain that allows you to easily clean your bag of its contents. And of course, there is a lifetime warranty on every bag.

Pros
  • Wide range of sizes available
  • Easily rolls into a compact size
  • Heavy duty handles
  • Stretch and store strap
  • Can be customized with your name or logo
  • Leak resistant
  • 200 to 300 pound capacity
  • Built in drain
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Price

Check Price on Amazon

Coleman Coastal Xtreme Series 5 Marine Portable Cooler 100 Quart

Top 10 Best Kayak Fishing Coolers 8

Check Price on Amazon

This Coleman Xtreme cooler has a 100 quart capacity and can keep your ice solid for up to five days in up to 90 degree heat. The cooler also features practical improvements that are perfect for fishing like an insulated lid, tray and cutting board and an antimicrobial additive to prevent odor and bacteria. UV ray protection prevent heat absorption and fading and the cooler is completely leak resistant. There are also heavy duty stainless steel hardware, all terrain wheels and two way side handles for added durability and portability.

Pros
  • 100 quart capacity
  • Insulated lid
  • Keeps ice solid for up to five days
  • UV ray protection
  • Leak resistant
  • Antimicrobial additive
  • Side handles
  • All terrain wheels
  • Tray and cutting board included
  • Stainless steel hardware
Cons
  • Shorter ice lifespan than other hard shell coolers
  • No drain plug

Check Price on Amazon

Igloo Super Tough STX Cooler

Top 10 Best Kayak Fishing Coolers 9

Check Price on Amazon

With tough right in the name, the Igloo Super Tough STX cooler is designed to be durable enough to handle any fishing, hunting or camping trip. The latches to secure the lid are stainless steel and the body is made to be 40 percent heavier to prevent flipping or tipping. This cooler has a fully foamed lid, UV ray inhibitors an Cool Riser technology that will keep your ice solid for up to seven days. There are also handles to easily transport your cooler as well as four cup holders built into their lid and a measuring ruler to measure fish.

Pros
  • Fully foamed lid
  • Cool Riser technology
  • Keeps ice solid for up to 7 days
  • Stainless steel lid straps
  • Four cup holders on lid
  • Fish measuring ruler on lid
  • UV ray inhibitors
  • Handles
Cons
  • Price

Check Price on Amazon

Pelican Products ProGear Elite Marine Cooler 35 Quart

Top 10 Best Kayak Fishing Coolers 10

Check Price on Amazon

With two inch thick polyurethane and freezer grade gaskets, this Pelican cooler can keep ice solid for up to ten full days. A sloped drain and tethered threaded plug allow you to drain your cooler’s contents without worrying about tipping and won’t leak unless opened. Press and pull latches guarantee it is easy to open, but also secured and dual handles with hinges make it easy to carry from one place to another.

Pros
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Keeps ice solid for up to 10 days
  • Press and pull latches
  • Freezer grade gasket
  • Sloped drain
  • Raised feet
  • Dual handles with hinges
Cons
  • 32 pounds
  • Price

Check Price on Amazon

Conclusion

There is no need to worry about you catch of the day being spoiled when you have the right cooler. So consider the different features of each model and weigh the pros and cons to find the best cooler for your needs.

Leave a Reply