What is the Best Boat Cooler?
For years now, marine sailing has continued to be a popular leisure activity in contrast to the past, where only fishers enjoyed the thrill of long voyages. It’s no longer an unusual occurrence for families and friends to sail out in the sea for days to have a good time.
The key to any sailing experience rests on having a reliable marine cooler to keep your provisions and catches fresh and cold until you return ashore. Running out of fresh provision in the sea can cut short your expedition and it can also endanger your life.
Most standard marine coolers are large to offer you enough space to store your provision and whatever fish you might have caught on your voyage. Thanks to their sizes, they can accommodate even large fish species.
It is for these reasons that it is advisable to carry along a good marine cooler on any fishing or sailing trip. Lucky for you, there are plenty of marine cooler brands and models that you can choose from.
However, the challenge lies in finding a suitable product for your needs. Let’s look at some of the best marine coolers in the market.
Top Marine Coolers List
|① Tundra 110 -TOP PICK|
|② Mammoth Ranger MR125W|
|③ Grizzly 75 QT Cooler|
|④ Pelican Pro-gear Cooler|
|⑤ Coleman Pro-series Cooler|
① Tundra 110
The first cooler on our list is the Tundra 110 cooler by YETI. This sturdy rotomolded cooler is built to handle any rough waters and bumpy off-road trips without enduring a single bump. For this reason, this product is popular among rafting enthusiasts and rough water sailors.
Its ingenious design allows it to fit perfectly and anchor on most rafts, reducing the risk of falling overboard when water gets rough. I love this feature as not worrying about your provisions being carried away by waves gives you plenty of time to enjoy your rafting experience.
The product is also very popular for its ability to keep ice for a long time, even up to 10 days, depending on the ambient temperatures. With this cooler, you can sail for days without worrying about restocking, your food going bad or having to dock to restock ice.
Other great features this product is known for include heavy-duty rubber latches that won’t tear easily. The same materials are used on the handles, making them durable. The product also has a basket for dry storage where you can keep supplies moisture-free.
- Keeps ice for days
- Has plenty of storage
- Keeps food frost free
- Has no bottle opener
② Mammoth Ranger MR125W
The Ranger MR125W cooler by Mammoth Coolers is one of those coolers that can meet all your needs in any sailing or fishing expedition, whether for a few hours or several days. This product is fortified to handle extreme turbulence without breaking down.
The product has double walls made of durable rotomolded material that can endure a lifetime of prolonged use. The walls are stuffed with top-quality insulating foam, which prevents cold air in the cooler from escaping to the outside environment, therefore, keeping your provisions cold for days.
To eliminate airflow, the product has an efficient rubber gasket lid that tightly binds to the rim, ensuring that no air from the surroundings enters the cooler. This, together with its onboard interlocking hinges ensure your provisions don’t go bad or accidentally fall out of the cooler.
What I like about this product is its drainage system. The cooler has integrated threaded holes at the bottom, which allow for fast draining if need be. You will also love its enhanced grip feet, which restrict it from sliding when dealing with a bumpy terrain or rough waters.
- Has a perfectly sealing lid
- Drains water efficiently
- Can keep ice for ten days
- Lid latch is slightly out of place
- Heavier than most coolers
③ Grizzly 75 QT Cooler
The grizzly cooler is another great marine cooler that can enrich your sailing experience. This heavy-duty product is made of durable plastic that can withstand many years of use. To improve its durability, the product is made of evenly thick walls.
The product’s ability to keep ice for many days is remarkable. This is made possible by the two-inch high pressure fitted foam that acts as an insulator between the two walls ensuring that your items in the cooler remain cold for days.
To maximize its cooling capabilities, the product features a durable rubber lid gasket, minimizing airflow, therefore, keeping your cooler contents cold. The lid also has interlocking hinges that work well all times.
For the safety of your items, the product has two lockable holes that you can use to lock away your items from intruders. Unlike other products, this cooler is bear-resistant. It, therefore, offers protection to your items against bears and other stray curious animals.
- It can keep ice for days
- Costs less compared to other products
- It has a stylish appearance.
- Has no drainage system in place
- It is bulky
④ Pelican Pro-gear Cooler
Coming fourth on our list is the pro-gear cooler manufacture by Pelican Coolers. For its many features and reliable functionality, this product can be said to be underpriced. It is an ideal cooler for large families that have a limited budget.
Like most high-end coolers, this product has an amazing capability to keep your ice-cold for over a week. This feature is made possible by the high-quality polyurethane form filled between its walls. This foam acts as an insulating material preventing your ice from melting.
The cooler also has a freezer like a gasket lid, which restricts warm air from the surrounding from finding its way into the cooler, thereby keeping your provisions cold. With its large size, you can use it to keep your catch for several days until you cook it.
This product is perhaps one of the most portable coolers. It has both molded and hinged handles, making it easier for you to carry with or without a partner. It also has latches wide enough for your hand to fit in with gloves on.
- It can keep ice up to 10 days
- It is affordable
- It is bear proof
- It leaks fluids at its feet
- Some people find it to have an unattractive appearance.
⑤ Coleman Pro-series Cooler
Lastly, we have the pro-series cooler by Coleman coolers. I love this product for its durability. Its manufacturers put a lot of features into place to make it resistant to dents, rust, odor, and fungi. It is an excellent product for fishing or sailing in saline waters.
A feature that sets this product apart from its competition is its specially treated liner. The liner is treated to resist the growth of mold and fungi, which are toxic when ingested. It also does not absorb odor from fish, making it easy to clean.
This cooler can keep your provisions cold for up to 7 days. This, together with its large storage capacity, makes it ideal for large family retreats. You can stuff over 300 cans in there and still have plenty of space to store your catch.
- Has plenty of space
- Can keep ice for a week
- Has a durable lid spring
- Handles tend to break off underweight
- Its drain plug does not fit well.
Factors to Consider While Purchasing Marine Coolers
As you already know, the market is filled with all kinds of marine coolers, and this has made it difficult for many folks to choose the best ice chest their money can afford. Although it may look like it, buying marine ice chests is not an easy task.
It would help if you looked into several things before making a purchase, many of which people tend to ignore. If you are here reading this review, then you are likely one of the responsible and careful folks.
It is always recommendable to do some research before buying any product to avoid buying items that won’t meet your expectations or serve you well. In this review, we have prepared some guidelines that will help settle on the best marine cooler.
When it comes to storage space, they are two size metrics to look into; storage capacity and overall size of the cooler. To get the best cooler, you need to consider both the two size metrics carefully.
Storage capacity is the amount or quantity of items an ice chest can hold. It would be best if you were careful, as many people tend to get confused in this area. Storage capacity may include insulated and non-insulated regions.
For instance, if a marine cooler is listed to accommodate 70q storage volume, that does not necessarily mean that the cooler has to take in items equal to 70q. It may take less space because the original stated volume capacity may have included the volume of the insulated region.
Now the cooler size means the total space that the cooler occupies. Marine coolers are larger than many other types of cooler in the market. And in the category of the marine cooler, we also have some that are massive than others.
When choosing a marine ice chest, always consider the benefits and drawbacks that it comes with. For instance, substantial marine coolers always have a challenge of storage as they tend to take up too much space. Also, the transportation of such coolers has proven to be difficult.
On the other hand, they have one upside of providing extra room storage for you to store all the drinks and foodstuff you need for your long trip into the waters.
Also, it is vital to take into account the amount of space taken by ice. It is pretty much obvious that once you have filed your cooler with ice packs, the volume is going to reduce. Therefore knowing the space occupied by ice will help you better determine the storage capacity of the cooler.
When still focusing on storage capacity, it would be smart to consider the inside space’s compartmentalization. Some coolers have compartments for chilled foodstuffs and non-chilled foodstuffs.
The material used in making the product is another crucial thing to keep in mind. The material will determine the durability, weight, and even efficiency of the ice chest. It is, therefore, imperative to always consider the fabric.
A marine cooler can be manufactured using various materials, including plastic, metal, and rubber. Each material has its ups and downs; you need to weigh and go with the one you can live with.
Ice chest made using plastic are light in weight, sturdy, and water repellant. Given that you will be spending much of your deep in the water, it may be salty sometimes, having a water-resistant cooler is advised.
Furthermore, plastic marine coolers are often manufactured using a process called roto-molding. This process eliminates all the joints in a cooler, thereby addressing leakages and weak joints. Product manufactured using the process mentioned above is always durable.
If you are looking for a product that you can easily carry and transport, I suggest you buy one made using plastics. Coolers made using metals are highly-priced because they are hard to come by and process compared to other materials.
Also, cooler manufactured using metals are heavy, and you may need an extra hand to carry it. Talking about marine ice chest made using rubber, you need to know the following. The rubber components are usually fitted in specific components.
I am yet to see a cooler that is entirely made using rubber that is not possible yet. Rubber materials are used in making the following components wheels, handles, and seals.
The ease of transporting your cooler should be on top of the list in your buying guide. Generally, marine coolers are massive in size and thus weigh more than other types of coolers. As a result, you need to caution while buying one, not to get one that will give you a hard time to transport.
Some marine coolers have an extended length; this makes it difficult for one person to carry it. Such items are fitted with side handles, which could either be built-in or hinged to enable two people to carry it on the sides.
If you are planning to carry the cooler by yourself, there are plenty of coolers with lid handle, which is located on the top lid or cover of the cooler. Also, note that the lid handle mainly fits in a smaller cooler because they are not that strong.
More so, you are likely to find a marine ice chest that is fitted with shoulder straps. Shoulder straps that are padded are the best; they are comfy and won’t strain your shoulder muscle much.
The good thing with shoulder straps is that all your hands will be free, and you can carry additional things with your hands whenever you are transporting the cooler around. Some manufacturers are appreciating the idea that marine coolers are heavy and are fitting their products with wheels.
This is a great deal in coolers since you can always manage to transport it; however, heavy it is as no lifting will be required; all you need is little energy to push or pull it.
You never leave aside the product life of an item you want to buy in your buying guide list. How long are you planning to use the cooler? Most of the time, we buy products that we plan to use for long periods.
Several factors, like the material and techniques used in the manufacturing process, determine the durability of a cooler. As mentioned above, coolers made using roto-molding techniques are highly durable.
Reason being that they are no weak joints, as you would expect. Coolers made using metals are also durable, but they came with a price, which is quite heavy, thus hindering smooth transportation.
You need to know about durable products because they are usually high-priced, and their long product life can justify this. Do not purchase cheaper products to save on money; you will always spend more on maintenance costs.
This is also another important factor you need to keep in mind. The main purpose of a cooler is to offer refrigerators the services, and that is to keep things cold and fresh where refrigerators can’t be used.
Marine coolers can retain ice for a longer period of up to ten days, and that is why they are preferred by many. But do you know the magic behind that all?
Marine coolers are meant for those who like spending up to a week in waters because that is how long they can keep your drinks and food fresh.
One feature that makes it possible for marine coolers to hold for that long is the unique insulation techniques. They have thick insulation walls of more than two inches; this is enough to do the trick.
One downside of the thick insulation is that it increases the weight and size of the product. But given that the cooler has added features like wheels and handle to ease transportation, that shouldn’t be a problem.
The smart move here will be to buy a cooler that suits your adventures if you are looking for something to keep your drinks colds for a day or so, go for products with less ice holding duration, and vice-versa.
In your voyage across the water or even if you have a long land trip in the woods, many unplanned things could happen, and the environment may be harsh sometimes.
Therefore kindly buy a cooler that will need little maintenance to enable you to have a fun time without worrying about repairing. Cooler with low maintenance are cheap to keep and always buy those.
Ease of access
You have your beverages and snacks inside a cooler; you better have an easier way of accessing them anytime you feel. Marine coolers with the small opening panel are the best since you won’t have to open the entire top lid.
By just opening the small access panel, you use your hand to reach your essentials. Apart from offering easy access, such openings also help a lot keep the cooler’s internal temperatures constant since little air from the atmosphere enters the panel.
This will, in turn, increase the ice retention capabilities of the cooler.
This may not be a crucial factor to consider, but it won’t hurt going an extra step to ensure you have a marine cooler that attracts your attention. If you are a simple person, you can always buy one of those plain coolers.
On the other hand, if you like to match your items, you could decide to buy a cooler that rhymes with the surrounding environment or your boat.
Remember, the cooler will be among the things that you will be staring at for more than a week in the waters; therefore, you should get something that you will like looking at.
A marine cooler is a must-have equipment for any memorable voyaging experience. However, with so many products at your disposal, it is difficult for you to select the best, and the fact that each of them comes with many promises makes it even harder.
For maximum value for your money and nice sailing experience, I recommend the Tundra 110 cooler by YETI. This is the most popular product among seasoned sailors because of its ability to keep items cold and last for years, even when regularly exposed to extreme weather conditions.
Its thick walls filled with top-quality insulating materials ensure that your catch can stay fresh for days until you complete your voyage. It also has plenty of space for dry storage where you can keep your items free from moisture.
The product also has heavy-duty rubber latches built to function properly, even under a lot of weight. Its handles are also strong enough to carry the weight of the cooler when full. Additionally, the product is verified and certified as bear-proof. Your items can’t be any safer!
Even though the Tundra Cooler costs a little more than its competition, you may find it to be worth every single cent! This is the secret to a great sailing experience.