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The Best Kayak Coolers Reviewed

The Best Kayak Coolers Reviewed

Kayak coolers are essential if you are interested in keeping your drinks and whatever you catch cold. Finding a suitable cooler for your kayak will not be so easy, though. That is because there is an abundance of options you can pick from! Fortunately, this article can help you narrow your options down.

We understand how difficult it may be to pick a suitable kayak cooler to accommodate your needs. That is why we have written this article. It contains a comprehensive list of kayak coolers that are available right now. By following this list, you won’t have to spend as much time researching gear. That time would be better spent in your kayak!
We will also go over some of the fundamentals of picking a kayak cooler, as well as answer some frequently asked questions pertaining to this type of gear.

The Best Kayak Cooler Bags

Polar Bear Kayak Coolers – 12 Pack Nylon Series

Polar Bear recently created a simple-to-carry kayak cooler that resembles a shoulder bag. It isn’t very bulky or too big, and includes carry handles, convenient exterior pockets, and a shoulder strap that can be adjusted.
The bag measures in at 7 inches by 14 inches by 12 inches. It has insulated sides that are semi-rigid. It contains water-resistant material that is quite durable.
This kayak cooler bag can fit into many kayaks very easily. Unfortunately, the exterior is susceptible to wetness. The sides are somewhat rigid, which makes it hard to store inside your boat.
This model doesn’t come with a lot of storage capacity. However, Polar Bear offers bigger sizes to choose from instead. Some customers have claimed that the bottom areas of coolers have leaked after 1 or 2 years of use.


  • Prevents ice from melting for as long as 24 hours.
  • Stylish look with an outer pocket for additional storage.
  • Simple to stow and carry.
  • Durable.


  • Leakage might happen after 1 or 2 years.
  • Ice won’t remain frozen unless the cooler is completely full.
  • Material is rigid and thick, which makes it hard to remove and add items.

Yeti Hopper 2 Portable Cooler

The brand “Yeti” is popular for a specific reason. This portable cooler is quite durable, and can accommodate a fair amount of items (for instance, 20 pounds worth of ice or 18 cans) inside a slim design.

Everything in this cooler – including its waterproof liner and zippers – was built to last. It is a fairly heavy kayak cooler weighing in at approximately 6 pounds, but that won’t be an issue if you are only using it for paddling. Its flat shape simplifies the process of strapping the bag onto your kayak’s deck and/or fitting it right behind the seat.
Many customers say the ice doesn’t always last for as long as they need it to. Nonetheless, this kayak cooler goes above and beyond, as far as design and quality go.


  • Multiple loops and rings to strap things down with.
  • Simple to carry.
  • Adjustable straps.
  • Extra storage pocket.
  • Remarkable shape.
  • Durable.


  • Ice doesn’t always last for as long as it is expected to.
  • Zippers are difficult to close and open (zipper lubrication is included).
  • Heavy.
  • Price tag is hefty in comparison to its counterparts.


RTIC 20 Soft Pack

You will get a lot of storage space with this RTIC soft-sided kayak cooler. It measures in at 15 inches by 14 inches by 11 inches, and is capable of holding as much as 20 cans (and ice). It contains foam insulation (2 inches’ worth) and can hold ice for as many as five days. The cooler also comes with a couple of outer storage pockets. Its interior liner happens to be both antimicrobial and mildew-resistant.

Further, the cooler has a pair of carry handles, in addition to a detachable shoulder strap. It’s narrow, which simplifies the process of storing it inside of a kayak. Many customers have claimed that the straps break easily, though.


  • Retains the coolness of contents for as many as five days.
  • Exterior will not sweat (condensation).
  • Plenty of storage.


  • Does not keep ice completely frozen for five entire days.
  • Fairly heavy by itself (5 pounds).
  • Fixtures and straps are not durable.

IceMule Pro Coolers

The design of these kayak cooler bags is quite sleek. It also has backpack straps, which makes carrying it around easier. The design resembles the dry bags of a kayak. They are simple to store inside of hatches (assuming its hatches are large enough). This bag measures in at 17” x 14” x 11”. Its capacity is 20 L.

You can fit 18 cans inside of the bag, along with some ice, if need be. The bag’s cylindrical shape makes it perfect to stow away inside a kayak.

As long as the cooler isn’t packed too full, it will be easy to stow on the deck of your kayak using bungee cords. Sadly, many customers claim that those straps easily break after three months or so of wear.
Others have complained that this bag’s exterior gets wet due to condensation. This will not be an issue if you are kayaking, however, it can end up becoming an annoyance when the bag is used elsewhere.


  • Storage space.
  • Carrying is easy, thanks to the backpack’s style.
  • Packable design.
  • Waterproof seal.


  • Straps wear-out very easily.
  • Bag could get wet because of condensation.
  • Large size prevents it from fitting inside some kayaks.

The Best Ice Chest Kayak Coolers

K2 Coolers Summit 20 Cooler

With this solid cooler, whatever you put in it will remain cold for long periods of time. The cooler’s durability is dependable. It comes with shoulder straps that are padded, making it simple to carry around, in spite of weighing as much as 14 pounds empty.

The size is perfect for a dozen cans with ice. Unfortunately, some customers claim that the gasket is capable of leaking if the kayak cooler isn’t placed on a leveled surface.


Rubber feet prevent it from moving around.
Ice is kept frozen for lengthy durations.
Spacious capacity.
Convenient shoulder strap.
Durable design.


Gasket is capable of leaking if the cooler isn’t positioned on a balanced surface.
Bulky and heavy.

Yeti Roadie 20 Kayak Cooler

As long as the suggested ice ratio is followed, the Yeti Roadie will hold as many as 14 cans, and they will remain cold for long periods of time. It is built durable, which means it can endure being lugged from one place to another outdoors. In fact, the cooler is just about indestructible.

With that said, the cooler is also quite bulky and heavy. It measures in at 15” x 14” x 19”. The cooler is way too large to store inside the dry hatches of many kayaks. However, it can be stowed in the back area of large kayaks. Rubber feet will keep it in position as you move around. The drain plug simplifies the process of purging excess water.


  • Built to last.
  • Thoroughly insulated.
  • Durable construction.


  • Lack of storage capacity.
  • Upward carrying handle, which is rigid.
  • Bulky and heavy.

Best Fishing Kayak Coolers

Engle USA Dry Box/Cooler

This will be the perfect cooler if you are looking for something to put on a kayak that has a hard shell. The cooler is designed to store food and beverages, more so than fish. With that said, the shape is boxy and square, making it capable of carrying both.

The Engle USA Kayak Cooler has a quartet of rod holders, allowing you to store fishing poles, an umbrella, a net, and safety flags.

The kayak cooler’s capacity is 19 quarts. It includes a tray that is fitted in order to separate your items and keep them that way. You will be able to store beverages and ice below the tray. Your smartphone can be kept on top of it without getting damaged.

With that said, many customers have claimed that the ice doesn’t remain frozen for any longer than one day.


  • Lightweight design.
  • Plenty of storage space.
  • Gaskets are leakproof.
  • Detachable pole holders.


  • Ice doesn’t remain frozen for any longer than one day.
  • Attachable shoulder strap is uncomfortable.
  • Difficult to carry and bulky.
  • Hinges aren’t very durable.

Seattle Sports Kayak Catch Cooler 20

This kayak cooler was purposely developed to store fish. The interior bag can be removed to simplify cleaning. You can store fish inside the interior bag. The exterior bag can be filled up with ice in order to keep the fish cool.

The cooler has a flat design, allowing you to store it above the kayak or inside of it. The bag includes bungee cords that you can place on the top. You also have the option to store items above the cooler.

The cooler’s material is waterproof and heat reflective, keeping your drinks, lunch, and fish cool all day long. Although this is ideal when storing fish, you won’t have a lot of leftover room for extra items. Some customers have complained that the kayak cooler can sometimes leak, to boot.


  • Can be packed flat for storage purposes.
  • Simple to clean.
  • Transportation is simplified because it’s lightweight.
  • Convenient design and shape.


  • Bag occasionally leaks.
  • Fixtures and zippers are not particularly durable.
  • Storage capacity is small.

The Cooler We Love the Most

All of the cooler bags and ice chests you have just read about are worth considering. Each of them offer outstanding cooling abilities. They are designed for you to take out on water. This begs the question – out of all these selections, which of them do we love the most?

The Yeti Hopper 2 Portable Cooler

For a number of reasons, this is our favorite cooler. Its sleek design simplifies the carrying process. It contains top-notch craftsmanship to ensure that the contents remain cold for many days. The cooler is leakproof. It also is simple to store inside of a kayak.

The bag’s flat design allows you to store it on the kayak’s deck, inside its hatches, or behind its seat. Each of these great features makes the Yeti Hopper worth taking out when it’s time to hit the water.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Go About Choosing an Ideal Kayak Cooler?

The kayak cooler that you choose should be based on what your requirements are. In theory, the kayak cooler must have the ability to retain the coolness of your drinks and food for anywhere from 1 to 3 days. Some coolers are capable of retaining the coolness of items for as many as five days, making them perfect for long trips.

Further, those who go running or hiking and require a cooler along the journey will appreciate cooler bags. You can also fix an ice chest onto the kayak (assuming there is room). Some people prefer floating coolers, as they don’t take up a lot of room on the kayak. They also keep items handy and cold.

If you intend to go out for some kind of day trip on your kayak, look for a portable kayak cooler (10 quarts) that gives you sufficient room for food and drinks. If you are taking the kayak out for fishing trips, a larger cooler will be necessary – ideally one that doubles as a fish bag, since you will need to put your catches away somewhere. Large kayak coolers will be necessary to store enough drinks/food if you plan on going out for several days.

How Does the Cooler Get Attached to the Kayak?

The cooler can be secured to a kayak using bungee cords or rope. A lot of coolers include hooks or loops that straps can be run through. Velcro straps can be used to fasten this cooler onto a kayak safely.

Before a cooler is attached, ensure it is suitable for the kayak you plan on riding in. There are different-sized kayak coolers are there, so make sure that the one you choose fits well with it. You can attach a suitably-sized ice chest to the kayak if there is room as well. The larger the kayak, the bigger the kayak cooler you’ll need. Some kayaks are developed to have space designated for coolers. Other things can sometimes be stored behind your seat with it.

How Long Will Things Inside the Kayak Cooler Remain Cold For?

The answer is contingent on the type of cooler involved, in addition to the amount of ice inside of it. If the cooler is packed properly with ice, then your drinks and food can remain cold for as long as five days.

Robert Johnson

I'm Robert Johnson the guy behind I went to my first kayaking trips with my father as a little boy and immediately fell in love with it. It is still my favorite hobby today. I love to go on kayaking trips with friends and family and I wanted to share my passion and knowledge around this wonderful outdoor activity with this website.

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