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Best Boat Cooler for Your Next Boating Trip

If you love to go on fishing trips and have some fun among nature, you know how nice it is to grab a cold drink while dropping a line in the water. But you need a marine cooler to keep your fish cold while on your trip.  Likewise if you are going to spend a day on the lake skiing or swimming you will also need one of the best boat coolers to keep your stuff ice cold.  Boat coolers come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.  We try to give you examples of all types of options.

So, without any further delay, let’s take a look at some of the best boat coolers available on the market.  In these reviews we steer clean of the cheap marine coolers and focus on quality.  That isn't to say the ones below are expensive.  If you are looking for the best marine cooler you have come to the right place!

Boat Cooler Comparison Chart

Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler

Igloo Marine Ultra


11.5 lbs


68 Liters


30 x 16 x 16

Igloo BMX 25 Quart Cooler

Igloo BMX


10 lbs


23 Literss


19 x 13 x 15

What is the difference between a cooler and marine cooler

The terms boat cooler and marine cooler can be used interchangeably.  Regardless of which term you use, these coolers are made to withstand the conditions on a boat.  This means they are typically more rust resistant.  These coolers typically will have better UV Protections.  These boat coolers typically will have more insulation as well. If you are looking for something a little more fun you can find many boat shaped coolers.

What size cooler do I need for boating?

The size of the cooler you need for fishing depends on several factors. These include the number of people on board, the Length of your boating trips, and the amount of food and drinks you plan to carry. Here are some general guidelines to help you determine the appropriate size:

  1. Consider the number of people: Estimate the number of people who will be fishing on the boat. As a rough guideline, allocate around 2 to 3 gallons (7.6 to 11.4 liters) of cooler space per person.
  2. Trip duration: Determine the typical duration of your fishing trips. If you usually take day trips, a smaller cooler may be sufficient. However, for longer outings or overnight trips, you will need a larger cooler to accommodate food, fish, and ice for a longer period.
  3. Food and drinks: Calculate the amount of food and beverages you plan to carry. Consider the types of items you typically bring and their sizes, such as canns or bottles, food containers, and ice packs. This will give you an idea of the storage capacity you'll need.
  4. Ice retention: Consider the length of time you want to keep your items cool. Coolers vary in their ability to retain ice, so if you need longer ice retention, look for models with thicker insulation or advanced cooling technologies.
  5. Available space on the boat: Assess the available space on your boat where you intend to place the cooler. Ensure that the cooler's dimensions fit the designated area without obstructing movement or access to other important equipment.

It's worth noting that there isn't a specific "correct" size for a boating cooler. It ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. Additionally, you may want to consider purchasing a cooler that is designed for marine use, as they often have additional features like UV resistance and non-skid surfaces to withstand the boating environment.

What is the best Yeti size for a boat?

Yeti Coolers has a vast product offering.  Some of which are ideal to store you catch from your next fishing trip.  When considering the best Yeti cooler size for a boat, several factors come into play. If you have a small boat or limited space onboard, the compact Yeti Roadie 24 with its 24-quart capacity may be a suitable choice. It can comfortably hold around 18 cans of beverages with a 2:1 ice-to-contents ratio.

For day trips and small to medium-sized boats, the versatile Yeti Tundra 45 is a popular option. With a 45-quart capacity, it strikes a good balance between size and storage capacity. It can accommodate approximately 26 cans of beverages with a 2:1 ice-to-contents ratio, providing ample space for your needs.

If you plan on longer boating trips or have a larger group onboard, the Yeti Tundra 65 may be more appropriate. With a 65-quart capacity, it offers additional storage space and can hold around 39 cans of beverages with a 2:1 ice-to-contents ratio.

For those embarking on extended trips or hosting larger gatherings, the extra-large Yeti Tundra 110 may be the ideal choice. With a 110-quart capacity, it provides ample room for storage. It can hold approximately 65 cans of beverages with a 2:1 ice-to-contents ratio, making it suitable for bigger boats with sufficient space.

Ultimately, the best Yeti cooler size for a boat depends on your specific needs, the size of your boat, the number of people onboard, and the duration of your trips. Assessing these factors and considering available space, portability, and budget will help you make an informed decision about the right Yeti cooler size for your boating adventures.

Best Boat Coolers 

Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler

The Igloo 54-qt Marine Ultra Cooler is engineered with a purpose in mind. This is the reason it is capable of withstanding the wrath of Mother Nature. Since it’s a marine cooler, you don’t have to worry about the toughest aquatic environment.  

Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler Review

igloo marine cooler

This particular cooler by Igloo belongs to one of the most popular series. It is built in a way to suit unique and harsh marine environments.

The most astonishing feature of this Marine Cooler is its UV-protected outer shell. It prevents the fading of the outer layer when exposed to the sunlight for longer periods.

Another advantage of this protective shell is its resilient behavior against mold. Moreover, cleaning this cooler is a breeze, with your regular soaps or other cleaning agents.

In addition, carrying this cooler isn’t that hard, with the handy provision of an ergonomically designed comfort grip handle that allows you to carry it for long distances.

All the hardware attached to this cooler is made with stainless steel. This feature provides extended lifespan to the hardware even in an excessively moist and humid environment.

While these fantastic features add more value to this marine cooler, there are a few downsides too. The first one relates to the fact that its lid isn’t insulated. Moreover, the tires could be slightly bigger for better rolling.


Igloo offers a limited warranty on all their coolers.  Their hard and soft coolers have a 1 year warranty.  this includes Igloo boat coolers.  This warranty does not apply to damage via abuse or accidents.


  • Ideal boat cooler for the aquatic environment, as this cooler is capable of withstanding extreme moisture and heat
  • Affordable and less expensive boat cooler
  • The hardware is made of stainless steel material, which leaves the screws, hinged latch, and lid strap indestructible
  • Easy to transport marine cooler, as its handle is comfortable and sturdy
  • The color of this marine cooler won’t fade as it is protected with a UV protection shield
  • The provision of Ultratherm insulation prevents ice from melting for up to 5 days
  • A built-in fish-measuring ruler allows you to decide whether you should keep the fish or throw it back


  • Lid not insulated
  • Tires are too small and made of inferior materialno bottle opener

Coleman Coastal Xtreme Series Marine Portable Cooler

Coleman Xtreme

If you need a tough and hard to break cooler, just take a look at the Coleman Coastal Xtreme Marine Cooler. The outer shell is made with highly durable materials, and the UV additive prevents yellowing or weakening when exposed to the sun.

The Patent ThermOZONE Insulation is free from HFCs, CFCs, and HCFCs. It can hold ice for longer than the expected period. The cooler is spacious enough to accommodate plenty of fish.

Coleman boat cooler Review

The Coleman Coastal Xtreme Marine Cooler is a sturdy and efficient product, which helps you to make your fishing trip more enjoyable. When out there on a boat and facing the blazing sun, enjoying a chilled can of soda is pure luxury.

With this marine cooler close to you, you can retain ice with you for more than 3 days. This is possible as the walls and lid of this cooler are thoroughly insulated. Nearly every Coleman cooler comes with thick, insulated walls.

Furthermore, you can store a lot of foodstuffs or fish within this cooler. The hinged lid prevents the chilled air from leaking. The availability of a comfortable bail handle allows you to hold it for a longer period.

There is an antimicrobial liner that prevents the growth of bacteria or mold, which also helps to keep the cooler in good shape. Another outstanding feature of this cooler is its leak-resistant drain hole.

The lid is strong enough to support the weight of an average person. This suggests you can sit on the lid without any fear of damaging it. The provision of embedded cup holders in the lid is a noteworthy feature.

An overhead handle comes with a comfort-grip bail, which makes it possible to hold it for a longer time. The stainless steel hardware and UVGuard material are some of the additional features that add more strength and durability to this cooler.

These features assist this marine cooler in handling the harsh environment in a much better way. However, along with these features, there are some drawbacks.

There are no wheels, so you have to carry it all the way to the boat. Also, this marine cooler doesn’t have an appealing layout or design.  Check out a full review of Coleman Xtreme Coolers.

Coleman Cooler Warranty

Coleman offers a limited lifetime guarantee on all there beverages products.  This includes coolers.  Any defects in materials or workmanship are covered.  Normal wear and tear issues are not covered.


  • This spacious marine cooler can hold up to 36 cans
  • Serves the job well by retaining ice for 3 days
  • User-friendly cooler with two molded cup holders
  • The sturdy lid allows you to sit on it
  • Easy to wash outer shell helps to keep this cooler in good shape through its regular cleaning


  • Doesn’t have wheels
  • Scores less when it comes to aesthetics and overall appearance

Yeti Tundra 45 

Yeti Tundra

The Yeti Tundra cooler is known for its durability and excellent ice retention, making it a popular choice for outdoor activities, including boating. It is constructed with a rotomolded design, which makes it incredibly sturdy and resistant to harsh conditions, including being on a boat. It has thick insulation that helps keep ice frozen for an extended period, making it ideal for keeping your beverages and perishable items cool during your boating trips. The cooler also has a pressure-injected commercial-grade polyurethane foam in the walls and lid, which contributes to its excellent ice retention capabilities.

Furthermore, the Yeti Tundra cooler features a secure rubber gasket that creates a tight seal to prevent any warm air from entering and cold air from escaping. This feature is particularly important on a boat where the cooler may be exposed to sun, wind, and water splashes. Additionally, it has durable latches to ensure a tight closure and reinforced handles for easy transport.

Yeti Tundra Haul

Tundra Haul

The Yeti Tundra Haul is a highly regarded cooler known for its ruggedness and exceptional performance, making it an excellent choice for use as a boat cooler. Its durable construction, combined with its convenient features, makes it well-suited to handle the challenges of boating and other outdoor activities.

The Tundra Haul's rotomolded construction ensures it can withstand rough handling and endure impacts, making it a reliable companion on boating trips. The thick walls and PermaFrost™ Insulation provide outstanding ice retention, allowing you to keep drinks and food cold for extended periods, even during long days on the water. This feature is crucial for boating enthusiasts who need a dependable cooler to keep their supplies fresh and chilled during their excursions.

Transporting the cooler on a boat is made effortless with the sturdy, puncture-resistant wheels and the adjustable towing handle. The wheels are designed to navigate various terrains, including boat decks, while the towing handle provides convenient mobility, enabling easy movement from one spot to another on the vessel. This feature is especially valuable when you need to reposition the cooler to access other areas on the boat without straining or lifting.

Another advantage of the Yeti Tundra Haul as a boat cooler is its reliable sealing system. The "NeverFail Hinge System" and "T-Rex Lid Latches" work together to create a secure closure, minimizing the risk of water leakage and ensuring that the cold air remains trapped inside. This sealing mechanism also helps prevent any unwanted spills that could occur during boat movements or when the cooler is not standing upright.

For added safety, the cooler is equipped with non-slip feet, ensuring that it stays stable on the boat deck even in choppy waters or when the boat is in motion. This feature reduces the chances of accidents caused by the cooler sliding or tipping over, providing peace of mind during your boating adventures.

The Yeti Tundra Haul comes in various size options, allowing boaters to choose one that best suits their storage needs and available space on the boat. Whether you need a smaller cooler for a day trip or a larger one for an extended boating excursion, the Tundra Haul provides flexibility to cater to different requirements.

The Yeti Tundra Haul stands out as an exceptional boat cooler due to its durability, insulation capabilities, portability, and other convenient features. Its sturdy construction and innovative design make it well-equipped to handle the demands of boating, providing cold refreshments and food throughout your adventures on the water. While it may be on the higher end of the price range, the Tundra Haul's performance and longevity justify its reputation as one of the best boat coolers available on the market.

Engel Drybox Cooler

Best fishing cooler for boats


The Engel Drybox is a reliable and sturdy storage container designed to keep your belongings protected from water, dust, and impact. It is constructed with high-quality materials and features a robust latching system to ensure a tight seal. The box is known for its excellent waterproof performance, allowing you to confidently use it in various outdoor environments and water-based activities.

 It is built to withstand harsh conditions, making it suitable for outdoor adventures like camping, boating, and fishing. The box is often praised for its ability to resist impact and keep its contents safe and dry.

The Engel Drybox comes in different sizes, providing options to suit various storage needs. It is typically compact and lightweight, making it easy to transport and carry around. The box also features a convenient carrying handle, enhancing its portability.

Users often appreciate the versatility of the Engel Drybox. It can be used to store a wide range of items, including electronics, documents, fishing gear, and personal belongings. Some models may also have additional compartments or dividers to help organize your items effectively.  Check out the review of the entire engel line of coolers.

RTIC 45 qt Cooler

Best budget boat cooler

RTIC Cooler

RTIC is known for its quality and performance. This particular cooler by RTIC offers the required durability and retains ice for a long period.

Furthermore, due to its impact-resistance construction, the outer shell stays in good condition even after extended use.

RTIC boat cooler Review

A good quality cooler is more than essential gear for campers, hikers, or outdoorsmen. This is a piece of equipment that is capable of keeping food items safe to eat for an extended period.

This midsize cooler tends to be an ideal option, which is easy to carry. It can also serve as a bench, tabletop, and cutting board.

During its construction, RTIC has ensured the use of the highest quality materials. The famous one-piece cut gives this cooler the desired strength and durability.

Moreover, the walls are thicker than average, which makes it possible to retain ice for an extended period. The walls are constructed by using the roto-molding technique.

Not only this, but the walls are also insulated with 2-inch thick polyurethane foam. Apart from all these impressive features, there are some drawbacks.

First of all, the drain plug isn’t chained, which suggests you have to be careful while moving it around. Furthermore, it requires two people to lift this ice chest/cooler.


  • Durable and lightweight Roto-Molded construction
  • The presence of heavy-duty T-Latches ensures the safety of the food and prevents opening of the lid accidentally
  • Comes with a freezer-grade gasket, which ensures maximum retention of the ice
  • For better security of the cooler, you can use the molded Tie-Down slots
  • The 3” Insulated lid provides extra strength for using it as a seat or bench
  • Its non-slip feet offers stability on all types of surfaces
  • Bear resistant and integrated locking mechanism for high-end safety
  • Provides a no sweat exterior and rapid V-Drain system for a hassle-free drain procedure


  • The drain plug isn’t chained, which may cause you to lose it when draining the water
  • Due to the presence of handles on each side, you need two people to carry this cooler

Igloo BMX 25 Quart Cooler

Igloo BMX

The Igloo BMX Cooler is engineered for extreme performance and sturdiness. The lightweight BMX is capable of withstanding the harshest conditions, and the durable construction and reinforced base offer the required protection and safety.


Talking about the features of this cooler, you would be amazed to know what this small cooler holds for you. The first thing to note is its sturdy construction. It is a strong and highly impressive cooler.

Even though the walls are thickly insulated, the weight of this ice chest is shockingly low. Moreover, it is available at a cost that makes it stand out among the rest. Hence, the Igloo BMX 25 Quart serves as your best companion.

Although it looks small, the inner compartment is surprisingly spacious. Additionally, the top handle makes it an easy to carry cooler. Nevertheless, it doesn’t come with an airtight seal.

Here are some reasons why the Igloo BMX 25 Quart Cooler might make a good boat cooler:

  1. Durability: The BMX series coolers are built with rugged construction, which can endure the rigors of boating and outdoor activities.

  2. Insulation: The cooler is designed to keep ice for an extended period, which is essential for keeping your drinks and food cold during your time on the boat.

  3. Non-Slip Feet: The cooler typically comes with non-slip feet, which can help keep it in place on the boat deck and prevent it from sliding around during movement.

  4. Tie-Down Points: Some models of the BMX cooler series may have tie-down points that allow you to secure the cooler to the boat, ensuring it stays put even in rough waters.

  5. Easy to Clean: The cooler's smooth, easy-to-clean surfaces make it convenient to maintain, especially if it gets splashed with saltwater or other liquids.

As a whole, if you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on an ice chest, this is the option to choose.  Another great Igloo option is the Igloo Sports Cooler.


  • Constructed with heavy-duty material while using the blow-molded technique
  • The base is reinforced to ensure required strength and protection
  • Lightweight ice chest, which you can carry with you without any extra effort
  • An affordable yet durable marine cooler
  • Capable of retaining ice for 4 to 5 days
  • UV inhibitors offer max protection against the heat and UV rays coming from the sun
  • The hardware used is rust-resistant, making it highly durable


  • It doesn’t have an airtight seal, which affects the overall insulation
  • Doesn’t have wheels
  • no bottle opener

Thermik High Performance RotoMolded Cooler


Thermik is another high-performance cooler/ice chest, which is capable of giving some tough time to its competitors. This particular model is designed to perform beyond your expectations.

It has all the features that you might find in the most expensive and high-end coolers. So if you don’t want to spend an extra amount, this is the option to consider.


The Thermik marine cooler offers an exceptional ice retention feature, which renders it an excellent option for the marine environment. It can perform well even in the blazing sun and extra moist surroundings.

The walls are filled with 3” thick insulated material. This suggests that the outside heat won’t affect the overall ice retention period. Furthermore, the use of topnotch and durable materials offer extended strength.

Due to its roto-molded technology, you won’t find any weak point in its overall construction. The vacuum release valve is an innovative feature that you don’t see in other ice coolers.

This particular valve removes the vacuum created by the melting of the ice. It helps you to open the lid without any extra effort. Moreover, this cooler also comes with a large and freezer-grade gasket.

This prevents leakage of cold air out of the Thermik ice chest. In addition, this cooler also comes with built in bottle openers, allowing you to quench your thirst anywhere.

The stainless leash is attached to the drain cap, which means you don’t have to worry about losing this small yet highly essential part. You also get factory accessories with this cooler, and these include a cutting board separator, dry basket, and drink holder. So you are provided with almost everything that you may need while fishing.

Another most impressive feature of this cooler is the availability of the lever latch. The easy ring design of this latch allows you to open it even with wet hands.

Thermik coolers utilize the most commonly followed industry standards. The manufacturing methods employed by this brand make these coolers highly durable and sturdy.

Therefore, you can take this cooler anywhere with you irrespective of the weather or surrounding conditions. However, there are a few downsides.

One relates to the fact that carrying this cooler isn’t easy. It comes with two rope handles on each side, requiring two people to lift it. Unfortunately, it is quite expensive as compared to other options mentioned in the list.


  • It is constructed with a one-piece rotationally molded technique, which gives it a rugged feel
  • The top lid is textured to offer maximum grip when sitting on it
  • Comes with two soft and damage-proof latches
  • Thick and high-tech insulation makes it possible to retain ice up to 5 days
  • The freezer-grade gasket helps to perfectly seal the lid
  • Offers a durable and indestructible hinge
  • The rubber feet provide a solid grip on almost any kind of surface
  • The package comes with some additional items/accessories including dry basket, cutting board separator, and drink holder


  • Need two persons to lift this cooler, as it comes with two side handles
  • Relatively more expensive than other similar options available on the market

Best Boat Coolers FINAL VERDICT

The best marine coolers review above are suitable for all types of recreational activities, including camping, fishing, and hiking. If you are looking for the best boat cooler, it would be much easier for you to choose one among the options reviewed above.

The best boat cooler is characterized by a combination of essential features that make it suitable for use in boating and other outdoor activities. These features include:

  1. Durability: A top boat cooler is made with rugged materials and construction to withstand tough conditions and impacts.

  2. Insulation: Excellent insulation properties are crucial for keeping drinks and food cold during extended boating trips.

  3. Portability: The cooler should be designed with convenient carrying handles or wheels for easy transportation over various terrains.

  4. Water Resistance: A boat cooler should be designed to resist water and have a reliable sealing mechanism to prevent leaks, ensuring its contents stay dry.

  5. Secure Closure: A tight and secure closure helps maintain the cooler's insulation performance and prevents accidental spills.

  6. Non-Slip Features: Non-slip feet or materials help keep the cooler stable on the boat deck, ensuring safety during movement.

  7. Capacity: The cooler should come in different size options to accommodate various storage needs and fit the available space on the boat.

  8. UV Resistance: UV-resistant materials can help the cooler withstand prolonged exposure to sunlight without deteriorating.

  9. Easy to Clean: A boat cooler with smooth and easy-to-clean surfaces makes maintenance hassle-free, even after messy boating activities.

  10. Additional Features: Some boat coolers may offer extra features like tie-down points, integrated bottle openers, or accessory compartments for added convenience.

While the Yeti Tundra Haul is often regarded as a high-quality boat cooler, there are other reputable brands and models available. The best boat cooler for you will depend on your specific needs, preferences, and budget. Prioritize durability, insulation performance, and portability to ensure you get a reliable cooler that enhances your boating experience. Always check customer reviews and product specifications for the most up-to-date information before making a purchase.