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Best Boat Cooler – Be The Coolest Mariner On The Water

Best Boat Coolers

Finding the best marine boat cooler to keep your drinks and snacks cold and fresh can be a challenge. Our guide make the decision easy.

There is a variety of makes and models to choose from. The technology for keeping things cool and fresh has improved radically in the past few years. This guide will help you make the best choice for your boat and your pocket.

Read next: Check out our review of the best marine VHF radiomarine GPS, and underwater boat lights

Please note: This article contains affiliate links. If you buy something through the links on this page you won't pay anything, but we'll get a small commission.

Best Boat Coolers - (Comparison Table)

Best Overall
Pelican 45Q-MC Elite Cooler (White)
ORCA 75 quart Cooler, With Extendable flex-grip handles for comfortable solo or tandem portage, White
igloo IGLOO Marine Ultra Square 24 Cooler
YETI Tundra 45 Cooler, Desert Tan
Best Budget
Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler, 54 Quart, Black
Brand & Model
Pelican Progear Elite
ORCA 75
Igloo Marine Ultra
YETI Tundra 45
Coleman Cooler Steel-Belted
Length
67.1 cm (26.41 in)
80 cm (31.5 in)
57.1 cm (22.4 in)
65.5 cm (25.75 in)
61 cm (24 in)
Width
50.8 cm (20 in)
39.5 cm (15.5 in)
25.4 cm (10 in)
41 cm (16.12 in)
40.5 (16 in)
Height
47.6 cm (18.75 in)
47 cm (18.5 in)
25.4 cm (10 in)
39.1 cm (15.4 in)
42 (16.5 in)
Weight
14.64 kg (32.28 lbs)
18.1 kg (40 lbs)
953 g (2.10 lbs)
10.43 kg (23 lbs)
9.24 (20.4 lbs)
Volume
38.52 l (40.70 qt)
71 l (75 qt)
11.35 l (12 qt)
32.9 l (34.7 qt)
51.1 l (54 qt)
Best Overall
Pelican 45Q-MC Elite Cooler (White)
Brand & Model
Pelican Progear Elite
Length
67.1 cm (26.41 in)
Width
50.8 cm (20 in)
Height
47.6 cm (18.75 in)
Weight
14.64 kg (32.28 lbs)
Volume
38.52 l (40.70 qt)
ORCA 75 quart Cooler, With Extendable flex-grip handles for comfortable solo or tandem portage, White
Brand & Model
ORCA 75
Length
80 cm (31.5 in)
Width
39.5 cm (15.5 in)
Height
47 cm (18.5 in)
Weight
18.1 kg (40 lbs)
Volume
71 l (75 qt)
igloo IGLOO Marine Ultra Square 24 Cooler
Brand & Model
Igloo Marine Ultra
Length
57.1 cm (22.4 in)
Width
25.4 cm (10 in)
Height
25.4 cm (10 in)
Weight
953 g (2.10 lbs)
Volume
11.35 l (12 qt)
YETI Tundra 45 Cooler, Desert Tan
Brand & Model
YETI Tundra 45
Length
65.5 cm (25.75 in)
Width
41 cm (16.12 in)
Height
39.1 cm (15.4 in)
Weight
10.43 kg (23 lbs)
Volume
32.9 l (34.7 qt)
Best Budget
Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler, 54 Quart, Black
Brand & Model
Coleman Cooler Steel-Belted
Length
61 cm (24 in)
Width
40.5 (16 in)
Height
42 (16.5 in)
Weight
9.24 (20.4 lbs)
Volume
51.1 l (54 qt)

Boat Cooler - (Video Review)

Top Marine Boat Coolers

Best Marine Boat Cooler Overall 

Pelican 45Q-MC Elite Cooler (White)

When it comes to boat coolers, the Pelican Progear Elite is in a class of its own. At a temperature of 32 celcius (90 degrees farenheight), it can keep items cool for up to 10 days!

The cooler has been fitted with freezer quality parts and gaskets to ensure it stays cooler for longer.
Pelican Progear Elite Cooler is available in multiple colours and sizes ranging from 35 to 150 quarts

With its unique latch system, the lid is securely sealed at all times, whiles still begin easily operated, even with gloves on.

When its time to drain the cooler, no tipping or tilting is needed. Remove the drain plugs and wait.

  • Length: 67.1 cm (26.41 in)
  • Width: 50.8 cm (20 in)
  • Height: 47.6 cm (18.75 in)
  • Weight: 14.64 kg (32.28 lbs)
  • Volume: 38.52 L(40.70 qt)

What we like

  • Extremely good insulation
  • Well made parts and seals
  • Good handle system

What we don't like

  • Quite heavy and bulky
  • At the higher end of the price scale

Best Large Marine Boat Cooler

ORCA 75

With a retro moulded design this cooler is built for heavy-duty marine use.
This unit is capable of maintaining things cool for up to 10 days, making it perfect for long distance trips with friends and family.

It has extendable handles with Flexi grip, making it easy to carry solo with two people. It also has an added cargo net for additional storage.

With a non-slip coating and holes where straps can be put through, keeping the cooler in place in rougher weather is simple and safe.

  • Length: 80 cm (31.5 in)
  • Width: 39.5 cm (15.5 in)
  • Height: 47 cm (18.5 in)
  • Weight: 18.1 kg (40 lbs)
  • Volume: 71 l (75 qt)

What we like

  • Ample storage for long trips
  • Cargo net attachment for extra storage
  • Quality construction with good seals and materials
  • Excellent insulation

What we don't like

  • This unit is quite heavy
  • Its fairly expensive but you do get what you pay for.

Best Marine Boat Cooler Bag

Igloo Marine Ultra

This is a decent-sized, yet compact cooler bag from Igloo. It is capable of carrying 24 cans of beer or cool drinks. It has additional pockets for maps, sunglasses, plates napkins and other sundries too.

The cooler features an antimildue finish and is leak-resistant, it can also stand up to harsh sunlight and has anti-slip feet so won’t slide about if the deck gets wet.

The cooler bag is capable of keeping items cool for up to 14 hours, perfect for kayaking or fishing expeditions.

  • Length: 57.1 cm (22.4 in)
  • Width: 25.4 cm (10 in)
  • Height: 25.4 cm (10 in)
  • Weight: 953 g (2.10 lbs)
  • Volume: 11.35 l (12 quarts)

What we like

  • Compact to store when not in use
  • Good insulation
  • Can accommodate accessories
  • Other sizes are available

What we don't like

  • The bag is soft and not very durable.

Best Value Boat Cooler

YETI Tundra 45

YETI is a reliable brand and put some good thought into their products. The Tundra 45 is no exception.

This cooler is made with adventure in mind and is practically indestructible. Perfect for use in motorboats where the bumps and waves make the adventure even better

It’s Rotomolded polyethylene design give it 3 inches of insulation, (1 inch more than usual). This adds to its overall performance and durability.

  • Length: 65.5 cm (25.75 in)​​
  • Width: 41 cm (16.12 in)
  • Height: 39.1 cm (15.4 in)
  • Weight: 10.43 kg (23 lbs)
  • Volume: 32.9 l (34.7 qt)

What we like

  • Extremely durable
  • Good performance and can keep ice for days.
  • Comes in different colours

What we don't like

  • It is bulky and does not have a great deal of storage space.

  • Rope handles make it difficult to carry.

Best Budget Boat Cooler

Coleman Steel-Belted Cooler

This is a superb low cost, quality cooler, perfect for day trips on and off the water.

The cooler has excellent insulation and seals giving its its superb ice rating of 4 days.

Its steel body means it is durable and able to withstand the occasional bump, scrape and tumble that can come as a result of being on the water.

The cooler can also be used as an additional seat, being able to support a weight of up to 250 lbs

  • Length:  61 cm (24 in)
  • Width: 40.5 (16 in)
  • Height: 42 (16.5 in)
  • Weight: 9.24 kg (20.4 lbs)
  • Volume: 51.1 l (54 qt)

What we like

  • Good ice retention
  • Can be used as a seat
  • Durable construction with good insulation

What we don't like

  • Not suitable for long trips
  • Some parts are plastic and prone to break with excessive use
  • The cooler is quite heavy for its size.

Buyer's Guide for Best Marine Cooler

Not all marine boat coolers are created equal You need to make sure the cooler you buy is suited not only to your needs but those of your boat.

Storage

Decide what capacity your cooler needs to be. If you are mainly going to use it for day trips and the storage of cold drink, getting a massive cooler is a waster of space and money.

If you want to use it to store fish you catch on your trip, you will need to make sure you have a separate cooler for food and drinks. Keeping the two together is not a good idea.

If you are expecting to do multi day, adventures then I would suggest you decide what you need for one day and triple the storage space. An alternative is to only buy one cooler for single-day trips and then buy a second cooler for the extra days when you need it.

Lids and seals

Pay close attention to the quality of the cooler’s lid and its seals, not so much on the price. Just because a cooler cost more doesn’t mean that the extra money is going on the quality of its most important parts.

The seals and lid are what will keep the cold air in and ensure the inside of your box remains cooler for longer. YOu can have the best insulation in the world inside, but if the ambient air is allowed to get in and the cold air escapes, you are losing an expensive battle.

Insulation

The better a cooler is insulated the longer it will remain cool for. Technology has progressed a long way in this reset and some coolers can keep cool for more than five days. Bare in mind that this is where a large portion of the cost of a cooler goes. The rule of thumb is, the longer a cooler can keep cool the more expensive it usually is. 

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About the Author Brad Pickering-Dunn

Hey, I'm Brad - the founder and editor of Watercraft Watch. My love for boating is what prompted me to start WatercraftWatch.com – helping people find the right equipment and supplies so they can enjoy their time on the water. I hope you find the articles on the site useful, and share in my love for boating.

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