Best Kayak Cooler of 2018 & Buying Guide

Whether you are a fan of kayak fishing or simply want to bring beverages along for cruising down the river, a kayak cooler is the perfect solution. This type of cooler will be a great addition to your fishing adventures as you can spend more time in the water without being concerned with your catch going bad.

There are several different uses for a kayak cooler, all of which will add to your convenience when spending the day exploring in your boat.Deciding on the best kayak cooler may seem far from an easy task if you are spending hours searching the web for the perfect choice.

We aim to make the buying process as simple as possible by presenting you with the top 5 picks for kayak coolers along with a guide that will empower you to find the ideal fit for your adventures.

Product

Ranking

Our Rating

Price

Seattle Sports Kayak Catch Cooler 20

Best Overall

Intex Mega Chill II Float Cooler

2nd Choice

CreekKooler Floating Cooler

3rd Choice

THURSO SURF Deck Bag Cooler

4th Choice

32″ Deluxe Yakcatch Cooler

5th Choice

Buying Guide

Using a Kayak Cooler

  • Store Your Fresh Catch– A kayak cooler will enhance your fishing experience and make it easier to carry around your catch. Instead of worrying about filling a giant plastic tub up with loads of ice, you can slide the fish inside the cooler for insulation. When you are out on the water fishing, the cooler allows you to preserve fish all day and makes it a breeze to carry them around.
Seattle Sports Kayak Catch Cooler 20

Seattle Sports Kayak Catch Cooler 20

  • River Parties or Relaxation– If you want to be able to bring along plenty of beverages and snacks, a kayak cooler can be a great addition to your water adventures. This product is great for keeping cans and food cold while you are out in the sun with your friends or simply relaxing by yourself.

How Do I Choose a Kayak Cooler?

Intex Mega Chill II Float Cooler

Intex Mega Chill II Float Cooler

When deciding on which kayak cooler will be good for your fishing or exploration, it is important to find one that will serve as a worthy companion for your kayak. Here some initial considerations to think about when searching for the best kayak cooler:

  • Size and Intended Use– The first thing you want to take into account is the capacity of the cooler and it’s overall dimensions. You want it to be something that will fit on your kayak while being able to hold all of the items you need to carry. If you plan on using it for a large amount of fish or beverage, look into larger options that have more capacity. In contrast, if you only want to be able to carry a sandwich and a few drinks, you can think about smaller, more compact options.
  • Material – The cooler material can influence how long you are able to keep your drinks cold, especially on a hot summer day. Some options have heat resistant material with heavy-duty insulation that is particularly useful for keeping your catch fresh all day long. You also want to make sure that the material is strong and durable enough that it won’t be easily puncture if you happen to snag it on something sharp.
  • Portability– When it comes to portability, since you will be in motion with the kayak cooler it is helpful to find a lightweight model. Some models have attached handles or towing gear that makes it easier to transport from the water. If carrying comfort is important, you can look for a kayak cooler with padded handles.
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What Features Should I Look For?

Once you think about the basic elements of kayak coolers, you want to find one that will be provide additional convenience for your fishing trips. Here are some helpful features that will add to your overall kayaking experience:

  • Separate Compartments– If you intend on using the kayak cooler for your catch as well as drinks or food, you will want a model that has a separate pull out compartment for the fish. You certainly do not want to contaminate your food with bacteria and germs so this may be a critical feature if you need a dual-use cooler.
CreekKooler Floating Cooler

CreekKooler Floating Cooler

THURSO SURF Deck Bag Cooler

THURSO SURF Deck Bag Cooler

  • Easy Access– If you want to have quick access to your beverages or food, it is helpful to find a kayak cooler with convenient features that allow you to easy reach what you want to grab. Cup holders are great for holding cans while you are floating down the river in your boat. Some models have zippered pockets on the outside of the cooler that are great for storing things that you want to grab without having to open up the full cooler.
  • Hull Skids– When you have a cooler full of drinks or fish, it can be hard to carry it especially if you don’t have any help. Hull skids on the bottom of the cooler allow you to easily drag it or tow it along when you are traveling to and from your vehicle to get to the kayak.

Are There Any Prerequisites?

  • Towing or Attachment Method– Before you come to a final decision, you will want to make sure the kayak cooler you plan on buying will be compatible with your kayak. This simply means that you will need to have a way to attach it to the kayak or tow it behind while you are in the water. Some kayaks will even give you the option to put the cooler on top of the surface if it is a more compact model.
32″ Deluxe Yakcatch Cooler

32″ Deluxe Yakcatch Cooler

Top 5 Picks for Kayak Coolers

1. 32″ Deluxe Yakcatch Cooler Review

The TOPCHOICE 32” Deluxe Yakcatch Cooler is the ultimate kayak cooler for floating along the river. This white cooler features thick insulation to keep your food and drinks cold while you are spending time in the water, whether you are out with the family catching fish or just coasting along and enjoying the scenery.

Kayak fisherman and other professionals enjoy this model because it can also be used to store their fish with it’s heavy-duty insulated storage system. Constructed from 600D/PU polyester, this cooler is the real deal when it comes to keeping your catch fresh.

It has clips on the top to hold your accessories as well as tie it down to sit on the edge of your kayak.The inside is lined with silver thermal material that is designed to outlast standard coolers and provide a secure environment for any fish that you encounter.

It is also padded with closed-cell foam for a fully cushioned solution. The cooler measures 12 x 32 x 7.2 inches and comes included with a 0.2mm PEVA dry tube. For easy access to the inside of the cooler, it has a large center opening that you can easily up-zip to open it up.

On the large end of the cooler, it includes a zipper and velcro seal so you can get into the bag when it is positioned in front of your kayak. There is a convenient carrying handle which makes it easy to transport the 2.2 pound cooler from place to place. For those who value comfort, the handle is padded to minimize the stress on your hand while the cooler is full.

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Pros

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    Lightweight
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    Cushioned carrying handle
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    Secure material to keep fish fresh

Cons

  • Bulky size
  • White color requires frequent cleaning

2. CreekKooler Floating Cooler Review

If you want quick access to your beverages while floating in your kayak, the CreekKooler Floating Cooler is the perfect solution. This cooler is one of a kind with 4 built-in drink holders on the exterior of the container.

You will have multiple color options to choose from to match the cooler to your boat or simply choose your favorite. This model comes in bold options including cardinal red, royal blue, grey and white.

Measuring at 21 x 11.5 x 39.5 inches, it can has 30 quarts of storage capacity. You can place 20 pounds of ice along with 30, 12 ounce cans of any beverage you choose. This floating cooler is great for canoe and kayak events where you need a way to keep the brews cold.

This 17 pound cooler is full of mobility as you can tow it using the two attached handles which will help to reduce the burden of carrying it when packed full of beverages. On the bottom of the cooler are 3 hull skids to allow for easy towing across any type of surface.

When you are camping, you can simply drag it around by attaching a rope or another pulley system to the handle. In the water, you can easily anchor the cooler to your kayak or canoe.

It is constructed of durable plastic that is insulated with heavy duty foam to keep food and drinks cool for extended periods of time. If you need to use it for dry storage instead, the 1/8 turn lid creates a watertight seal to accommodate that type of use. Not only is this a versatile cooler but it will last for many camping and canoe trips.

Pros

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    Long lasting insulation
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    Great for towing
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    Can be used for dry storage

Cons

  • No dedicated hole for rope tethering
  • Limited size

3. Seattle Sports Kayak Catch Cooler 20 Review

The Seattle Sports Kayak Catch Cooler 20 is a popular option if you are looking for a cooler designed specifically for storing your catch. This thermally efficient cooler is a dream for kayak fisherman desire convenient access to their storage.

Measuring at 21 x 14 x 2 inches, it is has an elongated shape that is great for lugging from the boat to your vehicle. If you are exploring the vast waters in the hot summer weather, the cooler will keep the contents chilled with it’s heat reflective exterior material. It features multiple clasping straps to secure it to your canoe or kayak.

The cooler bag is tough enough to withstand puncture which makes it a long lasting solution for your traveling in the water. The pull-out fish bag keeps your catch separate from the rest of the cooler which makes it extremely easy to clean.

If you want to bring along drinks and snacks, you can place them in the outer chamber while still having enough room for your catch in the removable inside bag. Pack the cooler with a light lunch and a few beverages and you will be ready to spend hours on the lake or river.

Whether you are using it attached to your kayak or placing it on the deck of your paddler, this cooler will stay cool all day long and provide plenty of convenience for your water travels.

Pros

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    Easy to clean
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    Heat reflective material
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    Removable fish bag

Cons

  • Not crushproof
  • Doesn’t hold its shape

4. THURSO SURF Deck Bag Cooler Review

For those who are in search of a compact cooler for kayaking, the THURSO SURF Deck Bag Cooler attaches directly to your kayak’s surface. It comes included with 4 strong suction cups and bungee hooks that are used to install the cooler on top of the deck.

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You won’t have to worry about the cooler drifting through the water or getting caught on obstacles as it will stay secure for plenty of water adventures. Even if the cooler happens to get wet, it features a water resistant material that will protect anything you have inside.

While you are padding along the river, you will have the added peace of mind that your food and drinks are secure. The thick insulation is an added bonus for helping to keep the contents cool.

This cooler has enough room for 10 standard-sized cans and has a mesh top that can be used for dry goods. You can zip up your chips and snacks in the top and throw in your favorite beverages to stay ice cold for hours.

If you need to store any other valuables inside, you can be assured that they will stay safe while you are paddling through the water. The package even come included with a waterproof carrying case that is great for holding your phone or other small accessories.

This model weighs a mere 1.6 pounds which is ideal if you desire a cooler that is ready to grab and go. This deck bag cooler is great for smaller kayaks and for people who prefer not to lug around a huge cooler bag.

Pros

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    Extremely portable
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    Sits on the kayak deck
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    Water resistant material

Cons

  • No carrying strap
  • Small capacity

5. Intex Mega Chill II Float Cooler Review

The Intex Mega Chill II Float Cooler is an inflatable cooler that is perfect for river parties to store fresh beverages for all of your friends. This model can hold up to 72 standard cans with ice which is more than enough for a full day of water fun.

Whether you choose to use the base as its own cooler or place a 48 quart cooler on top of the base, this is a great place to store drinks while you are floating along in your kayak. It has three air chambers that fill up when inflated and features a durable material for outdoor use.

If the material does happen to puncture, this model comes included with a repair patch that can provide an easy fix for small tears or punctures.Keeping beverages within arms reach will not be a problem with this kayak cooler as it has 6 cup holders around the outside of the base.

The cooler itself measures at 48 x 38 x 24 inches and weighs a mere 7.4 pounds. When you are not reaching outside, the inflatable lid is placed on top to keep your drinks safe and cool.

With 4 durable grab handles, it will be effortless to pull the cooler in and out of the water. You can easily attach it to your kayak or simply grab onto the handle as you drift along.

If you want to introduce some variety to your floating experience, instead of attaching it to your kayak you can Connect n’ Float with other Intex items such as the River Run tubes. This cooler is an ideal fit if you prefer something simple that will float around with your kayak.

Pros

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    Huge capacity
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    Durable surface
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    Attached handles

Cons

  • Bulky size
  • Requires inflation

Conclusion

If you want a versatile kayak cooler that can be used for both beverages and fish, the Seattle Sports Kayak Catch Cooler is the clear winner. This model is surprisingly compact and holds your catch separately in a puncture resistant bag. It can be towed along in the water or attached to your kayak’s deck while giving you easy access to your beverages. With this kayak cooler, you will be able to spend all day in the heat without worrying about the insides spoiling as it features a heat reflective material.