8 Best Kayak Cooler: Definitive Guide (2023)
Share this article:
TopNotch Outdoor is independent – we research, test, and rate the top products to help you make the right buying choice. We sometimes use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on your purchase. Learn more…
Kayaking offers many great opportunities for you and your family to enjoy. Whether you just wanna relax, or would rather have a wild adventure, kayaking is one of the best recreational activities to do during the summer season.
Having a cooler for your kayak means you’ll enjoy cold and refreshing sodas, drinks and snacks during your time on the water.
Not sure which kayak cooler to go for?
We’ve reviewed 8 best of the best kayak coolers on the market for 2023
And we’re here to share our experience with you.
Wanna know the result?
In this comprehensive review, we’ll cover:
- 8 best of the best kayak coolers to use in kayak fishing;
- Our personal experience with each product;
- Pros and cons of each cooler;
- Lots more…
- Best Marine Grade Kayak Cooler
- Best Kayak Cooler on Price
- Best PolarLayerd Kayak Cooler
- Best Kayak Coolers with High Density
- Best Floating Kayak Cooler
- Best Capacity Kayak Cooler
- Best Durable Kayak Cooler
- Best Kayak Cooler For Sports
- Our Analysis, Comparisons & Test Results
- 1. Value for Money
- 2. Cold Retention
- 3. Durability
- 4. Features
- 5. Waterproof Features
- Our Final Verdict: Best Kayak Cooler
- Conclusion: Best Kayak Cooler
So if you’re looking for the best kayak coolers for your leisure or fishing fun, join me and see what’s going to work best for your next outdoor adventure!
Best Marine Grade Kayak Cooler
1 – Engel Cooler/Dry Box 19 Qt
[amazon fields=”B001OTEXFO” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_alt=”Engel Cooler/Dry Box 19 Qt ” image=”1″ image_align=”center” link_id=”8672″]
- Manufacturer: Engel
- Dimensions: 16.6 x 11 x 13 inches
- Weight: 3.5 pounds
- Capacity: 19-quart capacity
- Material: Plastic
Bottom Line : We loved this award-winning kayak cooler for its handy modern features!
- Unique airtight EVA gasket around the lid
- Easy to clean
- Odor Resistant
- Spacious capacity
- Can feel bulky
- Ice doesn’t stay solid for the whole day
If you want all-out features for a kayak cooler, then Engel USA Cooler Dry Box is the one for you!
No wonder we awarded this our Editor’s Choice.
This kayak fish cooler can store many different foods and drinks and is perfect for a whole day stay in the kayak with its 19-quart cooler capacity!
We filled it with beer bottles (nothing else) and can report that it’ll hold 24 bottles and still had space for our catch – except we didn’t need it that day. Sadface.
Although this came with many color options (7 colors in total), I personally preferred the white – it was super easy to clean.
Wanna know more?
This bad boy right here has a unique EVA gasket around the lid, which works wonders.
Thanks to this feature, the cooler is incredibly leakproof and watertight; it’s never going to spill.
We found the polystyrene foam insulation gave us excellent ice retention levels too.
I also love its stain and odor resistant features – we all understand how smelly fish life can get. Gladly, the smell didn’t linger in the cooler – making it fine for us to store other foods.
What’s even better?
It’s actually suitable for 2 people, so I was also able to bring extra food for my buddy.
However – the ice and drinks we bought didn’t last for 8 hours.
It’s also kinda bulky for one person alone – perfect for two or more people.
If you ask me, I’d still recommend this because it’s not only affordable but it’s also gonna be long-lasting, too.
Durability-wise, it has a well built, sturdy strap and a very compact design that’s made for heavy-duty use.
Best Kayak Cooler on Price
2 – Day trips YETI Hopper Flip Portable Soft Cooler
[amazon fields=”B073XDC8N6″ value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_alt=”Day trips YETI Hopper Flip Portable Soft Cooler” image=”1″ image_align=”center” link_id=”8655″]
- Manufacturer: Yeti
- Dimensions: 15.75 x 10.25 x 12.63 inches
- Weight: 2.8 Pounds
- Capacity: 18 quart capacity
- Material: Foam
Bottom Line : Great affordability that comes with great features and benefits
- Adjustable straps with multiple rings
- HydroLok Zipper
Just like you, I find a great price is hard to resist.
Thankfully, this YETI Hopper Flip Soft Cooler made it to my ‘best -steal -outdoor -goods’ collection.
We gave this our Best Value Award too.
Well- this is very durable and high quality at the price point. Usually, you’ll only get average features at this price but not with the Yeti.
Its DryHide Shell feature means it’s waterproof and resistant to bumps or abrasions. Perfect for if your trip gets a bit wild.
It’s also 100% leak proof because of its HydroLok Zipper.
This comes with multiple accessories as well.
What are they???
So yes, this YETI does live up to the hype.
I loved it.
This literally kept my lunch and drink beautifully cool well into the trip.
Nice insulation indeed.
Perfect for your longer than average fishing trip.
But wait, just beware to leave a good amount of space in your kayak – it’s a little bulky.
Read Full Review: YETI Hopper Flip Portable Soft Cooler
Best PolarLayerd Kayak Cooler
3 – IceMule Classic Cooler
[amazon fields=”B00IYJ7NK4″ value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_alt=”IceMule Classic Cooler” image=”1″ image_align=”center” link_id=”8641″]
- Manufacturer: Ice Mule
- Dimensions: 5.91 x 6.3 x 15.75 inches
- Weight: 1.7 Pounds
- Capacity: 10- quart capacity
- Material: Vinyl/ Nylon
Bottom Line : Your go-to kayak cooler that suits any type of kayak adventures!
- Leak proof and waterproof
- Easy to carry
- Can retain ice for up to 24 hours
- With high quality shoulder strap
- Less durable
- Less storage space
If you prefer a hand-carried cooler, the IceMule Cooler Bag is for you!
This got the Top Pick award because of its many features.
It’s definitely easy to carry because it’s lightweight.
It’s 1.7 pound weight and high-quality backpack straps made it dead easy to carry over my shoulder.
Of all kayak coolers on the list, I can say that this is the most handy.
The best part is…
You don’t need to allot more space for this bad boy because of his size.
Despite being different in physical appearance to the other ice chests on the list, it still performs super well.
The welded seams and zipper make it leak proof and waterproof.
The ice retention impressed me the most thanks to its Ultra-tough Muleskin Exterior and PolarLayer Insulation on the inside.
I bought mine just a few months ago.
And I love its roll-top design that made it easy for me to open and close.
It’s sturdily made which is easily seen in the buckle and chain.
Because of its 10 quart capacity, it can only hold around 6 or 7 cans.
But it’s perfect for around 2-3 people at the end of the day.
I highly recommend the Ice Mule! Try it and see!
IceMule Classic Cooler: Definitive Review (2021)
Best Kayak Coolers with High Density
4 – Polar Bear Coolers 12 Pack Original Nylon Soft Cooler
[amazon fields=”B000BNGUPK” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_alt=”Polar Bear Coolers 12 Pack Original Nylon Soft Cooler” image=”1″ image_align=”center” link_id=”8684″]
- Manufacturer: Polar Bear
- Dimensions: 14″Lx7″ Wx12 inches
- Weight: 2 pounds
- Capacity: 12- quart capacity
- Material: Nylon
Bottom Line : Heavy Duty Ice Cooler for a longer stay in the sea!
- Easy to clean
- With full coverage foam insulation
- Excellent ice retention
- Extremely durable
True to its name, Polar Bear Cooler will definitely make the items inside stay super cold, whether it may be ice, soda, water, or snacks, name it!
This is perfect for day trips or kayak fishing with friends because you can store many items here with its 12-quart capacity size.
Really one of the best cooler bags on the market and the company that’s behind them.
These coolers actually shocked me the first time I used them on a vacation trip in the Bahamas.
Not only that…
This kayak cooler bag has full coverage foam insulation that’s why it’s perfect during the day!
This is also a cooler for a kayak that’s easy to use and easy to store as it doesn’t require a lot of space.
If you want to customize this cooler, you can add name and embroidery in the side zipper pocket too as it’s intentionally made for personalization.
Going back with our Bahamas fishing trip, my buddies filled them with flash-frozen fillets, and you guys! The items inside actually endured a 24 hour travel time back to our home.
It’s durable and abrasion-resistant. Thanks to its Rugged 840 D LUGGAGE GRADE Nylon Outer Shell and rust-proof zipper.
But here’s the thing…
This kayak cooler is a bit expensive.
But nah- I still recommend it, though. Just look at all the features and how heavy-duty this is!
You can never go wrong!
Best Floating Kayak Cooler
5 – CreekKooler Floating Cooler
[amazon fields=”B01LY0HPE2″ value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_alt=”CreekKooler Floating Cooler
” image=”1″ image_align=”center” link_id=”8699″]
- Manufacturer: Creekkooler
- Dimensions: 39.5 x 21 x 12 inches
- Weight: 17 pounds
- Capacity: 30 quart capacity
- Material: Synthetic
Bottom Line : Leverage the design of your ice cooler with Kreekooler
- Can float in the sea
- O-ring design
- Have lots to store
- Has 4 cup holders
- Great for secure storage
- Very expensive
- Extremely bulky
Ever thought of a floating cooler? Witty right?
Yes- we have it here—the Creekkooler that’s ideally made for fishing trips and kayaking.
I didn’t expect it to be that big.
You have lots to store in it! With its 30 quarts carrying capacity size, you can store items that are good for the whole day.
It has four cup holders too.
The insulation material is just injected inside, but it still performed well.
I remember how I brought this kayak cooler inTexas, where it’s scorching hot, and I took a 22 mile trip with it loaded with 25lbs of ice and plenty of water.
Voila! The water is still ice cold, and the ice was able to retain its state!
One of the best kayak coolers when it comes to being handy!
Since it’s made of synthetic, it weighs about 17 pounds.
It will not occupy space from your kayak, too, because it’s purposely placed in water.
It’s a kayak deck cooler that can be stored easily too.
It’s just that, it’s a little expensive.
I was really skeptical about buying it at first because I don’t want to splurge a lot of money on a cooler
Thankfully, it didn’t go that way. And obviously, I’m quite happy with this purchase ‘coz I can use this in either water or snow!
Best Capacity Kayak Cooler
6 – YETI Roadie 20 Cooler, Iceblue
[amazon fields=”B004YIBWNS” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_alt=”YETI Roadie 20 Cooler, Iceblue” image=”1″ image_align=”center” link_id=”8700″]
- Manufacturer: Yeti
- Dimensions: 20 x 13.5 x 14.5 inches
- Weight: 15 pounds
- Capacity: 20 quart capacity
- Material: Polyurethane Foam
Bottom Line : Maximize your outdoor adventure with refreshing foods with the help of Yeti Roadie!
- Can keep your food and drinks cold for up to 2 days
- UV Resistant
- Multi- purpose
- Vortex drain system
- Expensive than other ice coolers
Another Yeti! But with a different model.
Ice stays Ice!
Thanks to its excellent feature called Permafrost insulation that maximizes ice retention and storage volume.
This badass right here has cool features like its drain plug system.
With its full-packed techy features, you can bring this kayak cooler wherever you go and whatever the circumstances.
It seals well, and is incredibly sturdy, but it’s a little bit heavy.
It’s UV resistant as well, so expect your food and water to still be ice cold despite the ice chest being drenched under the sun.
It’s a pretty useful little cooler, and it matches my pontoon too!
Just ready your pockets because it sure will burn them a little bit.
But if you have your money to splurge on, then why not? I’m sure you’ll love this.
Best Durable Kayak Cooler
7 – K2 Coolers Summit 20 Cooler
[amazon fields=”B00G6ROQMY” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_alt=”K2 Coolers Summit 20 Cooler” image=”1″ image_align=”center” link_id=”8656″]
- Manufacturer: K2 Coolers
- Dimensions: 16.9 x 15.6 x 12.6 inches
- Weight: 14 Pounds
- Capacity: 24 quart capacity
- Material: Food- grade material
Bottom Line : Savor non- soggy food and refreshing drinks while outdoors with K2 Coolers!
- Heavy duty insulation retains ice longer
- With ICE vault enabled lid gasket.
- With Roto molded polyethylene to ensure durability
- Has 7 year warranty
- With padded shoulder strap
- Others say that it’s prone to leakages
- Does not meet the expectation retain ice for up to 2.5 days
With K2 Summer Cooler, fishing in the summer will be the most refreshing!
This is the perfect cold storage if you plan to have your whole family out on an adventure
Let me tell you why.
This baddie right here has a 24-quart capacity size which means you can store at least 24 cans and 10 lbs. of ice.
Its ICE Vault lid gasket and heavy duty installation is designed and installed to lock in the cold and keep the heat out.
The ice retention is amazing as well.
It has a padded shoulder strap to keep your shoulders safe while carrying it.
This performed well in my case. However, some said that it’s prone to leakages, and the food inside doesn’t stay cold and fresh for up to 2 and a half days.
Nonetheless, this won’t be a problem if you only plan to go on day trips!
And the good thing is…
This ice chest has a 7-year warranty!
So stay calm and comfortable using this one because you can definitely bring this thing to a FREE repair.
Best Kayak Cooler For Sports
8 – Seattle Sports Kayak Catch Cooler
[amazon fields=”B001HYPGM0″ value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_alt=”Seattle Sports Kayak Catch Cooler” image=”1″ image_align=”center” link_id=”8646″]
- Manufacturer: Seattle Sports
- Dimensions: 20 x 17 x 2 inches
- Weight: 2.1 Pounds
- Capacity: 22 quart capacity
- Material: Plastic
Bottom Line : Keep your catch fresh and crisp with this Seattle Catch Cooler
- Convenient to clean because of its removable thermal liner
- Tie holders and bungee liners makes it easy to secure
- Water resistant
- Others say that the menu inside doesn;t stay cold when full packed
With a Seattle kayak cooler bag, you can easily store your newly caught fishies on your wild adventures on kayak.
This kayak fish cooler bag is perfect for paddling and wild adventures.
I use this as a cooler for food and drinks during kayak trips. It’s a compact cooler that can hold more than enough to keep me supplied all day long.
…This model is convenient to clean because it has a removable thermal liner.
Another great news is that, like any other kayak cooler bag, this is waterproof as well, so you don’t have to worry about seawater getting right into your food and beverages inside.
It’s very compact and a neat way for me to get my catch home. Indeed the best kayak cooler made for wild sports adventures!
I just noticed that reviewers who bought the same cooler said that some items inside didn’t stay cold when the bag was full – maybe because of some defects in its foam insulation.
Our Analysis, Comparisons & Test Results
1. Value for Money
2. Cold Retention
5. Waterproof Features
Our Final Verdict: Best Kayak Cooler
Conclusion: Best Kayak Cooler
There you go – all the coolers for kayaks are itemized here just for you.
What’s the best kayak cooler for you?
I hope that you’ll make the right decision in buying the real one that’ll suit all your needs!
Just remember all the tips and tricks we told you!
I guess it’s time for you to shine as you go through the choosing phase of these coolers and bags right here.
Just don’t forget these:
If you want an all- rounder cooler for kayak fishing, recreational, and wild activities, go grab the Engel USA Cooler Dry Box!
If you’re a little tight but don’t wanna compromise the quality, I think the YETI Hopper is the one for you.
If you have any other concerns, don’t be shy and slide into our social media pages and accounts!
Who knows? Maybe we can be best fishing and outdoor buddies too!