7 Best Fishing Coolers for 2022

If you are shopping for a cooler to keep your fish fresh on your next outing, you don’t need just any cooler. You need one with the rugged design and powerful insulation to preserve your catch for hours or even days. In fact, a high-quality fishing cooler may also include extra features just for fishers like anti-slip design or integrated rod holders.

How do you choose the fishing cooler that is right for you? In this guide, we will share top products with you. We also will introduce you to key considerations when shopping for a fish and cooler.

Our Top Recommendations for Fishing Coolers

Below, you can discover the pros, cons and features of each of these recommended products. Following the products, you can find our buying guide, which tells you what to look for in a fishing cooler.

1. Best Fishing Cooler for High-Capacity Storage

Coleman Company 120-Quart Cooler

In the market for a high-capacity cooler that will let you store a lot of fish? The Coleman Company 120-Quart Cooler may be just what you are after. A lot of coolers only offer around a 30- to 70-quart capacity. You will not find as many options that offer 120 quarts. This cooler features high-quality construction and offers great performance, making it a s solid buy all around.

Good

  • The insulation in the walls and lid of this product are sufficient to cool fish and other contents for up to 6 days.
  • There is so much space in this cooler that you should be able to store your catches as well as refreshments.
  • The product features a special “Have-a-Seat” lid. There are cup holders built into it. That way, you can use it as a surface for eating and drinking.

Bad

  • It is possible to damage the hinges or handles if you are not careful, as they are both made of plastic. Indeed, you may not want to use the handles when lifting the cooler if it is full. If it is empty, however, it should be okay.

2. Best Fishing Cooler for Rugged Construction

Cascade Mountain Tech Rotomolded Cooler

If you want a rugged product that can stand up to whatever you throw at it, we recommend the Cascade Mountain Tech Rotomolded Cooler. This heavy-duty cooler is advertised as being “bear proof” and “virtually indestructible.” It features high-quality materials and construction along with other great features. There are some compatible accessories as well that you can purchase separately if you choose. While we selected it as the most rugged fishing cooler, we could also have picked it as the most secure.

Good

  • What makes this such a solid cooler? Some relevant features include molded lock planes, rubber latches and nylon rope handles.
  • This cooler won’t leak thanks to its special no-leak drain plug.
  • Non-slip feet keep your cooler firmly in place on the deck of your vessel (its weight might help with that as well).
  • The Grizzly Bear Committee has certified this product as being bear-resistant. You do need to buy Cascade Mountain Tech locks for your cooler to meet this standard, however, so keep that in mind.

Bad

  • While this cooler is heavy-duty, it is also on the heavier side. So, it may be awkward to lug around at times.
  • Given its weight and dimensions, you might expect this cooler to have a higher capacity than it does (45 quarts).

3. Best Fishing Cooler for Organization

KONG Coolers 70 Quart Rotomolded Extended Ice Retention Cooler

The KONG Coolers 70 Quart Rotomolded Extended Ice Retention Cooler is a high-quality product with a lot going for it. But what we like most about this cooler is the set of storage dividers it comes with. These can help you to organize the contents of your cooler. But you can also use them as shelves or cutting boards. Moreover, with the kicker, you can turn them into a side table. If you want, you can purchase other accessories for your KONG cooler as well, such as Cut’N Tray, Bottle Biter and Krush Guards.

Good

  • The 70-quart capacity gives you a lot of space for your catches and for refreshments.
  • This product won’t slip on deck as you are fishing thanks to its silicone rubber feet. It also features a “stay-put” lid.
  • The dividers that come with the product serve multiple functions.
  • You can keep the contents of your cooler fresh for an incredibly long time. You can expect ice retention for up to 6-10 days.
  • A lot of the parts are replaceable, such as the gasket or handle.
  • This cooler is manufactured in the USA.

Bad

  • The latches on this product may not be as long-lasting as those on some competing products.
  • There is no way to transfer the warranty (which would only be an issue if you wanted to buy the cooler for someone else).

4. Best Compact Fishing Cooler

Engel Cooler/Dry Box 30 Qt

Not everyone needs a huge cooler. If you are okay with a smaller capacity, you can save space in your boat by going with the Engel Cooler/Dry Box 30 Qt model. Measuring 19.5 x 12.5 x 14.5 inches and weighing just 6 pounds when empty, it is the small, portable option you need if you are just catching a few small fish, and/or just want a way to keep refreshments cool while you are out on the water.

Good

  • This product not only insulates your fish and/or refreshments, but it also keeps out moisture and dust. That means you can use it as a dry box as well if you prefer. The EVA gasket around the lid is airtight and waterproof.
  • The compact design includes a recessed carry handle. There is also a shoulder strap you can use when carrying the cooler to and from your fishing spot. This strap is adjustable for the right fit.
  • With self-stopping rear hinges, stainless steel screws, and stainless steel front latches, this cooler features a sturdy, rugged design.
  • You can choose from a variety of different colors. Most coolers don’t come with so many color options, so this one is a good option aesthetically as well.

Bad

  • The plastic live hinges are not of the highest quality.
  • This is not a highly-insulated cooler that can retain ice for many days. Its intended use is as a day cooler, so it is only suitable for shorter outings.

5. Best Fishing Cooler for Long Outings

Igloo Yukon Cold Locker Cooler

If you are going on a longer outing and want a product that can keep contents cool for many days, the Igloo Yukon Cold Locker Cooler may be worth it. This cooler’s lid features 3 inches of polyurethane insulation, and the walls include 2 inches of the same high-quality insulation. In conjunction with Cool Riser Technology for keeping surface contact to a minimum, this insulation does a great job protecting the cooler’s contents.

Good

  • Buyers say that this product can keep contents cool for anywhere from 5-10 days.
  • The rotational-molded polyethylene this cooler is made from is super sturdy, and can hold up to lots of wear and tear.
  • The tethered drain plug is large. That not only facilitates draining, but also makes it easier to clean.
  • This product features a textured lid with dual locks, ensuring it stays shut. But the coolest thing about the lid is its integrated fish keeper scale. This is a nice extra tool that most competing products do not include.

Bad

  • Compared to a lot of other fishing coolers, this one is pretty expensive. But if you can swing it, you are getting a high-quality product for your money, making it a good value.
  • Not surprising considering its high-capacity and heavy-duty construction, this is a pretty heavy cooler to lug around.

6. Best Wearable Fishing Cooler

SEEHONOR Insulated Cooler Backpack Leakproof Soft Cooler Bag Lightweight Backpack with Cooler

Not looking for a ton of storage space, just something small and lightweight you can easily move from place to place? Consider the SEEHONOR Insulated Cooler Backpack Leakproof Soft Cooler Bag Lightweight Backpack with Cooler. This is a wearable cooler you can use to keep your hands free, perfect if you plan on doing a bit of hiking to reach your fishing site.

Good

  • The peva liner is leak-proof. This does not make the entire backpack leak-proof (see “Bad”) below, but it does help.
  • The nylon fabric is rugged and resists scratches and tears.
  • With its padded adjustable straps, it is a comfortable way to carry your cooler and refreshments and/or gear.
  • It is easy to stay organized when using this portable cooler. It features 1 main compartment, 2 large front zipper pockets, 2 mesh side pockets, 1 zipper pocket on the lid, and an extra mesh pocket on the strap. A beer opener is integrated into the design as well.

Bad

  • Obviously, this product has a pretty small capacity. So, you are limited in what you can use it for on your fishing trips.
  • The zipper is not waterproof, even though it looks like it is, and the hinge isn’t either. So, leaking is possible if you don’t keep it vertical.
  • This is an item suitable for single-day trips only, not for multi-day outings.

7. Best Fishing Cooler With Wheels

Igloo 110 Qt Glide Pro Portable Large Ice Chest Wheeled Cooler

Finally, another option for a portable high-quality cooler for fishing is the Igloo 110 Qt Glide Pro Portable Large Ice Chest Wheeled Cooler. While the backpack cooler we recommended above may be great for some outings, sometimes you just need a higher capacity. Plus, you might find it more comfortable to pull a cooler behind you than you would to carry it on your back. This product features soft-ride wheels and a comfortable cushion-grip telescoping handle that minimizes the lifting effort required.

Good

  • This cooler stays safe from the sun thanks to a combination of infrared technology and UV inhibitors.
  • The hinges are made of stainless steel, and are quite sturdy.
  • It is easy to move this cooler from place to place.
  • With its 110-quart capacity, this cooler can easily accommodate your catches and refreshments.

Bad

  • Despite the fact that this item supposedly features “MaxCold 5 Day” performance, in actuality, it often cannot retain ice for more than a day. So, we recommend it for short trips only, not for multi-day excursions.

Considerations for Choosing a Fishing Cooler

Now that you have been able to compare the features, pros and cons of some top products, let’s talk about what to look for when choosing a fishing cooler.

1. Dimensions and capacity

Your first consideration should be the size of the fishing cooler. You will need to think both about the external dimensions and the internal capacity. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

How much room do you have on your boat?
What types of fish do you expect to catch? How big are they? How many?
What refreshments do you want to bring?
How long will your outing be?

Answering those questions can guide you in choosing a fishing cooler that is the right size for your needs.

2. Weight

If you will be carrying your fishing cooler a lot, you may want to look for a relatively lightweight model.

3. Construction

As an outdoor supply, a fishing cooler should be made from rugged materials and feature sturdy, durable construction. Just keep in mind that the more heavy-duty a fishing cooler is, the heavier it will also usually be.

4. Security

There are a few considerations with respect to security. You want a fishing cooler that is going to stay put on a wet, slippery deck and keep its contents safely contained. Useful features to look for include:

Durable latches and locks for the lid.
Skid-free feet.

Some fishing coolers are even designed to keep out bears.

5. Leak-proof features

You do not want splashes of water leaking into your cooler, but you also do not want water leaking out of your cooler when the ice starts to melt. So, check for waterproof seals and other features that help to prevent leaks.

6. Portability

You may need to haul a fishing cooler some distance between your vehicle and fishing spot. Should that be the case, you want to look for a portable model that will be easy to transport.

If you only need a small capacity, a compact backpack-style cooler may suffice. You will also find larger fishing coolers on wheels with handles that you can pull like luggage. Even if you do not pick a wheeled or backpack model, you should at the very least try to choose a cooler that includes comfortable and sturdy carrying handles.

7. Organization

Depending on how many different types of items you want to be able to keep in your cooler, you might want to consider a model that includes organizational features such as dividers.

8. Insulation

One of the most important aspects of fishing cooler design is insulation. The type and thickness of insulation used in manufacturing a cooler’s lid and sides will determine how good a job it does at retaining ice.

You will need to think about how long you plan on going out. Do you usually just fish for a couple of hours and then go immediately home? Or do you like to head out for days at a time?

You can buy fishing coolers that retain ice for just a few hours that are ideal for short day outings, or you can purchase marine coolers that can retain ice for many days that are suitable for long trips.

9. Extra features

Finally, a wide range of extra features might be available for some fishing coolers. Some examples include rod holders, beer openers, fish keeper scale measuring tools, and more. You will need to decide which of these extra features are important to you, if any. They may be included with your purchase or available to buy separately.

Get the Fishing Cooler You Need to Keep Your Catches Fresh

No matter what your needs are in terms of capacity, insulation, portability, and other features, your ideal fishing cooler is waiting for you. To get the cooler you need now to keep your fish fresh on your next outing, click on any of the links in this article.

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