What Is The Best Marine Cooler?
If you need a large cooler ready to keep your drinks and catch cold for up to 6 days, the Coleman 120 Quart Coastal Xtreme will be the best marine cooler for your needs. For a very reasonable price it will resist sun damage, the build-up of odors, and even offers an extra place to sit on the deck.
If you are looking for a way to keep your food cold during a day on the lake, at the beach, or even at a sporting event, then you have probably relied on coolers. At the same time, not all coolers are created equal. Some coolers simply cause the food to turn soggy, are poorly insulated, and break down even with routine wear and tear. This is why many people are turning to marine coolers.
When looking for boat coolers, there are plenty of options from which to choose. How can you find the right one to meet your needs? We have done the research for you and come up with the top marine coolers on the market.
- Best Boat Coolers Comparisons
- 10 Best Boat Coolers
- How To Choose The Best Marine Cooler?
- What Is The Difference Between A Normal And Marine Cooler?
- Our Recommendation
10 Best Boat Coolers Comparisons
1. Coleman 120 Quart Coastal Xtreme Marine Cooler (Best Overall)
This Coleman Coastal Xtreme Series Marine Portable Cooler is a mammoth-sized portable ice chest made from high-grade commercial plastic which is good for cooling your beverages for a long time.
|Read Our Review|
2. Igloo Marine Contour Cooler, 25 Quart 23 L (Best Budget)
This Igloo Marine Contour Cooler is a 25-quart marine cooler that carries everything you need for a day out on the water, featuring boat-ready features like UV protection and rust-proof stainless steel screws that withstand harsh marine environments.
|Read Our Review|
This Coleman 200-Quart Xtreme 7-Day Offshore Pro Series Marine Cooler is ideal for your extended fishing and boating expeditions, offering plenty of room for food and beverages as well as the day’s catch.
|Read Our Review|
This Igloo Marine Ultra Square Coolers is made from marine-grade puncture-resistant plastic with UV protection, built to withstand harsh, wet conditions and keeps your drinks and snacks cold and fresh.
|Read Our Review|
This Igloo Marine Breeze Roller Cooler features a push button and locking telescoping handle for easy transport, non-marking translucent soft-side sport rally wheels and Cool Riser Technology design that improves cooling performance.
|Read Our Review|
This Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler is made from high-grade commercial plastic with indestructible rust-resistant stainless-steel screws, lid strap and hinged latch. Built to withstand the harsh, wet environments of your life.
|Read Our Review|
This Igloo Marine Cooler offers an elevated design to promote airflow underneath for improved cooling performance and UV resistant exterior and odor resistant interior to withstand the harsh, wet environments of life.
|Read Our Review|
This Coleman Xtreme 5 Marine Cooler uses an insulated lid and extra insulation in the walls to keep your items cold for up to 5 days. It also features swing handles for easy carrying.
|Read Our Review|
This ENGEL ENG25 High Performance Cooler is roto-molded for toughness & durability. It’s filled with a full 2-inches of insulation in the lid, sides and bottom, helping to retain its cool and your ice for up to 10 days.
|Read Our Review|
This Coleman 28-Quart Cooler holds 36 twelve-ounce cans, and is tall enough to store 2-liter bottles upright. It features a convenient hinged lid and large bail handle for comfortable carrying.
|Read Our Review|
10 Best Marine Coolers
Not all coolers are built to the same rigid standards that the best boat coolers are constructed. Read on and find the one that will keep your catch cold all week long.
Now, Coleman has put a huge cooler out there that actually stands up to the test of time.
It is rated to keep your food or fish cold for six days even when it is 90F outside, which is simply outstanding.
If you own a small boat, you might need an extra place to sit and this cooler can support up to 250 lbs. with an optional seat cushion available.
There is an easy-drain channel inside with a plug, so no tipping over to empty the melted ice.
User reports this as the best marine cooler & hands down for long weekend expeditions or for camping trips with the entire family.
It does not include a fish measuring mark on the lid, but if that is the only drawback, that is a small sacrifice and your portable scale probably has one anyway.
The one thing that fans wish for is that this oversized cooler come with wheels, as when fully loaded it can be a challenge to lift.
Good price. Excellent perks. Great buy.
- Extra insulation keeps drinks cold for 6 days
- Works as an extra seat
- Anti-microbial application resists fish smells
- No fish-keeper markings
- Users wish for wheels
Best for versatility
At first glance, the Igloo Marine Ultra seems to come with all the features you are looking for in the best boat coolers, but sometimes the devil is in the details.
The largest sizes, 72-quarts and up, do have an insulated lid which helps extend its ability to maintain cold temperatures for long periods of time.
However! The smaller coolers lack this crucial feature and are priced accordingly, so be careful when buying based on the name.
Otherwise, you will find it is UV protected, has stainless steel hinges, an easy-grip handle, and a non-slip base.
Users either sing its praises or voice their frustration when they get a size that lacks all the best features.
It does have a fish-measuring tool stamped into the lid to help you determine whether to keep the catch or throw it back.
- UV protection
- Stainless steel hinges
- Fish-keeper tool
- Smaller sizes lack an insulated lid
- Misleading product descriptions
- Many frustrated users
Best for large capacity
For your supersized fishing adventure, you might want to check out this 200-quart unit from Coleman.
When you are taking along a full crew it is the most reliable marine cooler for packing up plenty of food and keeping it cold for up to 6 days, even when the temperatures soar up to 90F.
Along with all the standard UVGuard, rust-resistant hinges, and extra insulation, it also doubles as an extra seat. Purchase the cargo kit and strap down extra gear on top.
Inside, there is a spring that prevents the lid from flying open and helps it to close when your hands are full.
Cup holders in the lid offer an easy spot for your beverages while kicking back and waiting for a bite. Of course, you are going to pay through the nose for this giant cooler.
It takes two to manhandle onto the boat and the handles have a tendency to break when you have it filled up with supplies.
More than one user decided they would prefer to have two smaller coolers that are easier to handle.
- Extra-large 200-quart size with extra tray inside
- All the top marine cooler features
- Id springs help to keep it closed and cold
- Requires 2 people to move it
- Handles are cheaply made
- Overpay for the extra space
Best for ease
Perhaps you might want a cooler that is more portable, Igloo offers up their Marine Ultra Square which is available in a carry case or backpack, which could make it one of the best boat coolers for you day-trip on the lake.
Unlike its big brothers, it is only rated to last 2 days before melting the ice and the largest unit holds only 36 cans.
The Marine title seems to be for the purpose of generating buys, not because it has all the features that you need when out at sea.
The nylon carry case wears out quickly, with users reporting it did not last the season. When loaded with cold drinks, the cooler sweats which soak the nylon case–not the most comfortable thing when hiking.
There is no mention of UV-protection and it is recommended to be placed in the shade for the best performance.
At its low price, it can be tempting, but it is not a true marine cooler.
- Portable carry case or backpack included
- Low price
- Only keeps stuff cold for a day or two
- Lacks UV protection
- No real marine performance
Best wheeled boat cooler
Once again, Igloo put out a cooler marketed to the boating audience but lacks any serious upgrades over their regular Island Breeze cooler that is priced much lower.
So, you will pay less for this unit compared to other marine coolers, but without the benefits of the best boat coolers.
It is white, comes with wheels for improved portability and it received an extra application of UV-protection during the manufacturing process – that’s it.
It does not have better insulation and will keep your beverages cold only for a day or two. It’s a day-tripper cooler, not a true marine product.
Inside it is formed to hold a hard-pack of blue ice and offers an extra tray to keep small items separate and easy to reach.
The smaller coolers lack a plug in the drainage system, so you will be tipping it to empty out the water. Overall, you pay a lot but don’t get the performance you need.
- Wheels and extending handle for good mobility
- Holds hardpacks of blue ice in place
- Lacks true marine-grade insulation
- No drain plug on smaller units
Related reading: Best Wheeled Coolers
The Igloo 25 Quart Marine Contour is perfect for you if you are looking for a cooler with plenty of space. This is a multi-purpose icebox that is useful for camping, fishing, festivals, days out, parties, and much more.
The Igloo 25 Quart Marine Contour is perfect for keeping both food and beverages nice and cool. It even comes with UV protection to prevent the sun from damaging it over time.
Some of the key features of the Igloo 25 Quart Marine Contour include:
- There is UV protection built into the cooler for added durability
- It is well-insulated with Ultratherm to keep its contents cold for a longer period of time
- Despite its roomy interior, it is compact enough for boating and comes with tie-downs
- This is a durable marine cooler
- The handles swing up instead of out, keeping it compact
- The elevated cooler design leads to improved cooling performance
- Some people might find this cooler a bit heavy
- The lid may slide off during transport
Best for durability
These Marine Coolers feature a full range of marine-grade features. This includes rust-proof, solid steel hardware, a drain plug, and UV protection.
Designed perfectly for those who would like to fish, this compartment is 94 quarts in volume and will protect its contents masterfully against the wet, harsh environment of a boat. It will keep drinks and snacks cold and fresh.
With this indestructible ice retention product, everyone can rest easy knowing that this resistant option features the best insulation available, even for the yeti tundra.
Some of the key features include:
- These Marine Coolers come with UV protection that guards against the sun
- This cooler is built with rust-resistant, stainless-steel screws and latches
- The hardware is designed to stand up to both salt and freshwater environments
- The handles are textured to prevent them from slipping
- Ice will remain frozen up to 5 days thanks to the insulation
- There is a threaded plug that makes it easier to drain
- The handles can get stuck from time to time
- The large size of this cooler makes it a challenge to store
Best for ice retention
If you are looking for a large cooler that will fit just about anything, then you need the Coleman Xtreme 5 Marine Cooler, 150 Quart. This cooler is one of the most durable, insulated, and roomy marine coolers available.
If can hold more than 250 cans while still providing room for the fresh catch of the day! It even comes with an antimicrobial liner that will resist the growth of mold and mildew.
With rust-resistant solid steel hardware, this cooler can stand up to even the most challenging conditions out on the lake or on the ocean.
Some of the key features of the Coleman Xtreme 5 150 Quart Marine Cooler include:
- This is a heavy duty, high end cooler that excels at ice retention
- The antimicrobial liner will ensure that any fresh fish remains fresh
- It features UV Guard material for added durability
- The wall insulation is exceptional, ensuring that all ice remains frozen
- Ice remains frozen for close to a week even at 90 degrees F
- The dual-swing handles make the cooler easy to carry even when filled
- This is one of the most expensive coolers on the market
- The handles tend to slip when they get wet
Best for dry ice
The is a roto-molded marine cooler that comes with added toughness and durability. It features a full two inches of insulation on the lid, on the sides, and at the bottom. Ice will stay frozen for up to 10 days.
Furthermore this resistant ice retention device is even capable of handling dry ice. With compression latches that add to an airtight seal, this cooler has been designed with quality in mind. For those looking for the perfect marine cooler, this might be the answer.
Some of the top features of the ENGEL ENG25 High Performance Cooler include:
- The gaskets are made out of silicon, which add to the durability of the cooler
- The interior has been tapered, making the cooler easier to drain when the trip is finished
- The lid has been designed with a non-slip material, allowing fishermen to use it as a casting station
- The ENGEL ENG25 High Performance Cooler features some of the top insulation on the market
- The cooler can handle dry ice and is even bear resistant
- The cooler comes in a variety of sleek, stylish colors
- Some people might find this cooler to be a bit small for their needs
- This is one of the most expensive coolers available
Best for hand carry
Anyone who is looking for a straightforward, basic cooler that will do the job well is going to like the familiarity of the Coleman 28-Quart Cooler With Bail Handle.
This cooler will hold 36 cans and is tall enough to hold 2L bottles as well. The large bail handle makes it easy to carry. It contains Thermozone insulation that will keep items fresh for several hours.
Some of the key features of the Coleman 28-Quart Cooler With Bail Handle include:
- The cooler comes with a full handle that can slide over the shoulder
- This cooler is large enough to fit a wide variety of food and drinks
- This cooler has been made with environmentally-friendly materials
- It can fit 36 cans or multiple 2L bottles, even when stood upright
- This is one of the least-expensive coolers on the market
- Its small size means that it is easy to store
- This cooler does not come with any cup holders
- The handle is not that durable and will fall off easily
How to Choose The Best Marine Cooler?
Before you decide on the which of the best boat coolers is right for you, make sure that it will meet all your demands with this quick checklist.
- Fishing Trip Duration: If you head out to sea for the whole week, make sure your cooler is rated to maintain temperature for that length of time.
- Stable Design: The boat is going to be rocking and rolling, your cooler should be short and squat to avoid tipping during rough seas.
- White: This color helps to reflect the sun’s heat while dark colors will absorb heat, making the cooler work harder.
- More Insulation: Make sure that the lid is insulated, too, so it can keep that ice frozen longer.
- Measurements Marked on Lid: You want to know how big that fish is, right? A handy ruler imprinted on the lid will never get lost.
What Features Are Found On The Best Boat Coolers?
When shopping for a new cooler to load up with drinks and then bring home your catch, you will want to make sure the cooler includes:
- UV Protection: Your cooler is going to be sitting out on the desk. Plastic can degrade in the sun unless it is treated with a UV-blocker which is found on most premium coolers.
- Anti-Rust Components: The liner and hinges on marine coolers are often made out of metal to withstand the extreme conditions of fishing. Look for materials that are corrosion resistant resist corrosion due to water and salt for the longest performance.
- Non-slip Construction: If you will slide across the deck, so will your cooler. Make sure your marine cooler comes with non-skid feet and textured handles.
What Is The Difference Between A Normal And Marine Cooler?
Basically, a marine cooler does everything your standard camper cooler does but does it better. They are rated to keep ice frozen for up to 5 days even in warm weather, resist the build-up of odors and feature heavy-duty construction.
They are heavier and not meant to be super portable. Marine coolers are designed to sit in one place and keep drinks and fish cold for long periods of time.
Read next: Best Fridge for Beverages
Our Recommendation For The Best Marine Cooler
These are just a few of the numerous options that are available for coolers. Whether you are looking for a heavy duty boat cooler with seat or a cooler that excels at ice retention, there are plenty of ways for you to keep ice cold.
Think about some of these boat coolers and use them to make sure that your food and drinks remain cold during the next trip.
If you need to go bigger, check out the Coleman 120 Quart Coastal Xtreme Marine and never run out of room for the big one that didn’t get away.
We hope our product reviews and buying guide for marine coolers were able to help you find the unit you need for your next great fishing trip.
If you have experience with any of these products, please share your thoughts on social media or in the section below.