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Best Marine Coolers For 2019 Reviewed
Does it even really count as a day on the water without a cooler full of cold beverages? You can probably guess what our vote is on that matter.
Before you hit the water, step number one is making sure your beverages and food will stay cold. And if you are planning on keeping a few fish, a cooler full of ice is going to maintain the amazing fresh flavor of that catch when the time comes to make a meal of it.
Getting the most out of your cooler when you are boating is going to mean comparing your options and deciding on the best marine cooler for your needs.
That’s why Rowing One brings you our take on the best marine coolers.
Your average bargain basement cooler isn’t going to get the job done. After a long day in the sun, your ice will be completely melted. Not to mention, cheap coolers slide all over creation in a boat and it doesn’t take much impact to crack a corner, or break a hinge.
If you enjoy your boat with any frequency, its well worth it to invest in a high quality marine cooler. With that said, getting the right boating cooler for your needs is going to depend on how you want to use it.
A week long rafting trip down a remote river is going to require a substantially larger marine cooler than a few days out in the bay. And the quality of the insulation makes all the difference when you really need to keep perishable goods cold for extended periods of time.
It’s worth considering a handful of details before investing in a quality cooler for boating. Your budget is likely to be a big influence on which cooler strikes a good balance for your money. Our reviews hit on a good spread of pricing, so finding a marine cooler that checks all the boxes shouldn’t be a problem.
Top Marine Coolers Features To Consider
- Portability – Evan a smaller marine cooler will feel pretty heavy when it’s fully loaded with ice. That gets further amplified with large coolers to the point that lifting and loading can require more than one person. Moving around any boat cooler is much easier with the addition of a towing arm and wheels. While some of the best coolers for boating come standard with wheels, others might require the installation of after market wheel kits.
- Durable – When it comes to boating, a rugged cooler is vital. As previously mentioned, fully loaded boat coolers can be quite heavy, so thumps and bangs can be fairly jostling on a cooler’s plastic housing. Without a durable design, premature failure is bound to occur from sliding around in your vehicle or boat.
- Capacity – It goes without saying that you want your marine cooler to fit all of your goodies, but over-doing it can be a big mistake. If you are the type that enjoys a solo outing, a monster cooler for boating might not be the best to handle on your own. On the other hand, if you are catching big fish and need to put them on ice, then a big papa cooler might be truly indispensable. Your capacity requirements are worth considering so you don’t over do it, or under do it.
- Stability – A cooler with good non-skid feet will really shine when you are doing some maneuvering or facing rough waters. A good example would be a day of water skiing or tubing. You really can’t have your loaded cooler slamming from side-to-side every time you make a turn.
Top Marine Coolers Comparison Chart
Best Marine Coolers
When we look at coolers, there is one name that has to be first on the list, and that is, of course, Yeti.
Yeti has released some incredible coolers over the years, but the YETI tundra haul portable wheeled boat cooler has to be their most exceptional release to date. The Tundra Haul was not only Yeti’s first-ever wheeled cooler, but it is also one of their most durable products to date.
If there is one thing that the Tundra line of coolers has a reputation for, it’s their robustness and incredible insulation. You can tell that a lot of thought and design went into the YETI tundra haul portable wheeled boat cooler, and at first touch, you can feel that this cooler is really the top of its class.
When we look at the dimensions of the Tundra Haul, it measures in at 28.2 x 18.6 x 19.5 inches and weighs in at 32 pounds. While 32 pounds may sound heavy, you have to remember that this cooler is one tough cookie, and it’s tough to get quality of insulation without weight.
The capacity of the cooler itself is rather impressive too. The cooler can comfortably hold around 55lbs of ice or up to 45 cans. When it comes to features, this little monster doesn’t let you down. The Tundra Haul is home to the trademarked Fatwall Design, and that gives extra thick walls for the very best in insulation.
To top off everything, this fantastic cooler is also produced with the NewFail hinge system, and this pretty much guarantees that the hinge system will never break or let you down.
When it comes to durable, portable, and high-quality coolers, the YETI tundra haul portable wheeled boat cooler could be the perfect option for you.
Here is an in-depth video on the Yeti Tundra Haul Cooler:
When we look at coolers, some names have more popularity than some, and one that generally goes overlooked is the Pelican Products ProGear Elite Wheeled Marine Cooler.
While Pelican may not be the top of the names when it comes to coolers in general, the ProGear could actually be quite a game-changer. The first thing we should announce is that this cooler is packed with features, and also it has one secret weapon, but we will come to that later.
The Pelican Products ProGear Elite Wheeled Marine Cooler measures in at 26.41 x 20 x 18.75 and has a weight of 32.28 pounds. When it comes to weight, a lot of people see this as a negative, but the truth is, when it comes to quality with coolers, you have to expect an increased weight.
The capacity of the Pelican is only slightly smaller than the Yeti, and it could easily hold around 53 pounds of ice.
Where the Pelican outdoes itself is, of course, with its features. This durable cooler comes with incredibly robust wheels, a drain and tethered plug with an attachment for hose, sturdy latches, and, of course, the previously mentioned secret weapon.
The Pelican’s secret weapon is the ice retention time. The Pelican can retain ice for ten days. As far as coolers go, ten days is incredible, and if you are looking for a cooler that will last you if you are spending a couple of days out on the water, then the Pelican Products ProGear Elite Wheeled Marine Cooler is going to be the perfect choice for you.
The MILEE–Heavy Duty Wheeled Marine Cooler 70QT is an incredibly popular choice when it comes to coolers, and with their range of size options and incredible reputation Milee has really come up with some great here.
The 70QT doesn’t size up too badly to the competition, and its dimensions are 17.6 x 17.2 x 33.3 inches, and surprisingly the cooler only weighs in at 23.2 pounds now, while we know that the more substantial, the better, this surprisingly light wheeled cooler still holds up against the best of them.
While the MILEE–Heavy Duty Wheeled Marine Cooler 70QT may not have the ten-day ice retention of the Pelican, it still has a retention of 6 days, which is still incredible.
One of the best things about the Milee is the rotomolded thermoplastic construction. Milee certainly hasn’t disappointed with this, and the cooler can withstand almost any damage from the outside while keeping its content nice and safe.
The Milee also comes equipped with anti-skid feet, just in case you have a little mishap. The feet are strong and durable, so it matters not if you drop this cooler on the grass or tarmac, you can guarantee a nice safe landing.
The MILEE–Heavy Duty Wheeled Marine Cooler 70QT also has an LDPE 4 food-grade level so you can be sure that when you are carrying food, whether it’s in a car or if you are running with the cooler, your food will stay intact.
For the price, this cooler is a fantastic choice for a marine cooler. Whether you are going for a gentle jaunt across the water or facing something choppy, this strong and reliable cooler is an amazing choice.
When it comes to coolers that are made to stand up against everything, the RTIC 45Q Boating Cooler is the one to watch.
The RTIC 45Q Boating Cooler is the Mr can-do when it comes to coolers, and its plain exterior should not fool you. While the 45Q may look simple from the outside, it’s clear that the concentrated efforts were spent making this cooler perform to the highest of standards.
Let’s start by taking a look at the size; the RTIC comes in with dimensions of 26.5 x 15.7 x 11.7 inches and weighs in at only 25 pounds. In comparison to some of the coolers on our list, yes, it’s a tad smaller, but the functionality of this little beast makes up for that.
When it comes to capacity, this RTIC can easily hold around 40 pounds of ice or 36 cans, and when it comes to ice retention well, this could be the best option on the list.
The RTIC 45Q Boating Cooler can easily keep your ice for ten days, but there are some claims out there that say it may last up to 15 days. Storage like this is made possible by the amount of technology and know-how that has gone into the design of this cooler, and it’s sure never to disappoint.
So if you are looking for a marine cooling solution that comes equipped with molded tie-down slots, heavy-duty handles, non-slip feet, heavy-duty latches, and boasts complete resistance against bears, you really couldn’t find a better solution.
As we have seen previously, if you get a nice simple design on the outside, you are more than likely to be uber impressed with the performance of your cooler. Yet again, we have not been left disappointed with the Vibe Kayaks Vibe Element 45Q Marine Cooler.
The 45Q is a simple looking cooler that also holds some fantastic features, and as far as personal coolers go for boating, this is one that could really shock you.
As always, we shall look at the dimensions first of all, and the Vibe comes in at 26.7 x 16.6 x 16.3 and is the lightest option on the list weighing in at only 23 pounds. A cooler of this size can easily hold 36 pounds of ice or around 28 cans.
The Vibe Kayaks Vibe Element 45Q Marine Cooler also packs a lot of punch when it comes to durability, and taking into account it’s one of the cheaper options on the list; it really doesn’t disappoint. The Vibe still has a rotomolded interior; it’s incredibly durable, the handles are super strong, and providing you follow the instructions put forward by Vibe, it has a great ice retention time too.
The ice retention times for the Vibe are debatable, but it can handle five days with ease, and you can push to 8 if you use the right ice and don’t open the drain valve.
Overall, the Vibe Kayaks Vibe Element 45Q Marine Cooler is an incredible cooler for the all-rounder, and if you need something small, light, and compact, then this could be one of the best coolers on the list.
In comparison to the rest of the coolers on this list, it may not appear like the best option, but in all honesty, it still has its appeal over some of the other options.
- Durable, one piece roto molded construction with up to 3 inch insulated walls with freezer style lid gasket, and heavy duty rubber T-latches
- 45 Quart Volume: Based on half drink/half ice ratio: Fits 28 cans
- Features integrated pressure release button, rapid flow drain spout, heavy duty padded handle, and non-skid rubber feet to keep cooler off hot surfaces
- Features two built in bottle openers, molded tie down slots, and integrated locking system
- Lid features a measuring board in centimeters and inches