Fishing is an enjoyable activity for many, and having a reliable cooler makes the experience even better. A good cooler for fishing not only keeps your catch fresh but also your food and drinks cold during a long day out on the water. With various options available in the market, choosing the perfect cooler for your fishing trips requires careful consideration.
What’s the best fishing cooler?
The best cooler for fishing mostly depends on your size needs, but the Igloo BMX 52 Quart Cooler and the Engel UC30 30qt Leak-Proof Fishing Drybox Cooler received positive reviews for their durability, insulation performance, and convenience. These coolers offer excellent ice retention, sturdy construction, and additional features like built-in rod holders.
Coolers have come a long way since the simple insulated boxes of the past. Today’s coolers are engineered for efficiency and durability, with features like strong latches, leak-proof seals, and efficient insulation. For fishing enthusiasts, having a specialized cooler that can withstand the marine environment and maintain optimal temperatures for your catch is essential.
When selecting the best cooler for fishing, there are a few critical aspects to consider. The size and capacity of the cooler are crucial factors, as they determine how much fish and other supplies you can store. The type of insulation and construction will affect the cooler’s ability to retain ice and maintain temperatures. Additionally, features like built-in fish rulers, non-slip feet, and easy-to-drain spouts can enhance the overall usability and convenience of the cooler during a fishing trip.
With countless options available, finding the best cooler for boating and fishing adventures can be a daunting task. To make your decision easier, we’ve researched and tested various coolers, evaluating them based on capacity, insulation, durability, and user-friendly features. Our top picks are designed to keep your catch fresh and your other provisions cold, ensuring an enjoyable fishing experience every time.
Best Coolers for Fishing
We have gathered a list of the best coolers to keep your catch cold while enjoying your fishing adventures. Check out our top recommendations below.
We highly recommend this soft-sided cooler for its impressive insulation and portability, perfect for keeping your catch fresh during fishing trips.
- Excellent insulation for preserving catches
- Built-in external ruler for easy measuring
- Compact and portable design with carrying straps
- Zipper may leak slightly if not positioned properly
- On the larger side, might not suit all boat sizes
- No additional pockets or compartments
While using the Calcutta Outdoors Pack Fish Cooler on a recent fishing trip, we couldn’t help but appreciate its sturdy construction and efficient performance. The cooler’s thick insulation and waterproof inner liner effectively kept our catch fresh even in the hot sun.
The built-in ruler on the cooler’s exterior allowed us to measure our catch effortlessly, making it an excellent feature for avid anglers. Additionally, its nylon carrying straps and fold-up design made it easy to transport and store on our boat or at home between trips.
One area of improvement for this cooler could be its zipper; we noticed a small amount of leakage when it was not positioned correctly.
However, despite this minor setback, the Calcutta Outdoors Pack Fish Cooler has been an invaluable addition to our fishing excursions, providing both practicality and convenience in preserving our catches.
We found the Buffalo Gear Fish Cooler Bag to be a fantastic option for keeping fish fresh during long fishing trips.
- Excellent insulation for ice retention
- Portable and lightweight design
- Easy to clean with leak-resistant construction
- Drain plug may require tightening
- May be too large for smaller fishing trips
- Basic zipper style
We recently took the Buffalo Gear Fish Cooler Bag out for a fishing trip and found its insulation to be top-notch, keeping our catch cold and fresh for over 48 hours. The bag is both portable and lightweight, making it a breeze to carry and pack on our boat. The bag’s thick walls, durable zipper, and strong strap made it capable of handling even the most energetic fish.
Cleaning the Buffalo Gear Fish Cooler Bag was a simple process. The heavy-duty, fiber-interlaced skin construction made it leak-resistant, which meant no mess for our boat. Rinsing the interior with soap and water was all it took, and leaving it out to dry readied it for another day on the water.
However, we did encounter a few minor drawbacks. The drain plug needed to be tightened with pliers to prevent leaking, and the 40×18 inch size may be too large for more casual fishing outings. Additionally, the basic zipper style might not suit everyone, but it did not affect the bag’s overall performance.
If you’re an angler in search of a top-notch live bait cooler, the ENGEL 30qt Live Bait Cooler Box won’t disappoint.
- Excellent aeration system to keep bait alive
- Portable and lightweight for easy transport
- Durable and well-constructed
- Noisy operation on some units reported
- Not suitable for larger bait species
- Higher price point compared to other bait coolers
Recently, we had the opportunity to use the ENGEL 30qt Live Bait Cooler Box during a fishing trip. We were pleasantly surprised by the effectiveness of the 2-Speed Pump in maintaining bait health. The airtight EVA Gasket Seal made sure there was an ideal environment for our bait, allowing us to focus on enjoying our fishing expedition.
What sets this cooler apart from others is its versatility. It can double as a standard cooler when the pump and hose are removed, providing ample space for food, drinks, or any other items that need to be chilled. We were also pleased with its lightweight design, making it easy to carry around.
However, we did notice that the pump could be a bit noisy at times, which might be a concern for some anglers.
Additionally, the cooler may not be suitable for larger bait species, as the interior dimensions and capacity of 30 quarts limit the number of bigger fish that can fit comfortably.
Despite these minor drawbacks, we believe the ENGEL 30qt Live Bait Cooler Box is an exceptional investment for any angler looking to keep their live bait in prime condition during a fishing trip.
The Elkton Outdoors Insulated Fish Cooler Bag offers a fresh and portable solution to keep your fish fresh during fishing trips.
- Keeps fish fresh for longer
- Compact and convenient design
- Durable and puncture-resistant material
- Zipper might be hard to open
- Bottom not flat, reducing width for larger catches
- Leakage issues for some users
We recently took the Elkton Outdoors Insulated Fish Cooler Bag on a fishing trip, and it was a fantastic addition. The double wall premium insulation and leak-proof design kept our fish fresh even after a long day by the lake. Not only that, the bag is available in two sizes (40” x 20” and 60” x 20”) and features a 3-point folding system for effortless storage. Ideal for keeping on a kayak or a fishing boat.
What impressed us the most the premium-quality material used in the construction of the bag.
The heavy-duty exterior is puncture-resistant and boasts reinforced heat welded seams, ensuring that the bag remains leak-proof and durable for years.
However, some users reported having trouble with the zipper, which could be hard to open and close at times. Make sure to apply some lubricant on the zipper if it gets stuck.
One thing to note is that the bag doesn’t have a completely flat bottom, which might limit the width of larger catches like halibut.
Nevertheless, the Elkton Outdoors Insulated Fish Cooler Bag is an excellent choice for those in need of a highly portable, durable, and effective cooler to keep their catch fresh on fishing trips.
We highly recommend this cooler for avid fishermen seeking a durable and efficient option for their trips.
- Heavy-duty and durable construction
- Excellent ice retention (4-5 days)
- Built-in features for convenience
- Slightly bulky design
- No drain plug
- Limited color options
Recently, we took the Igloo Heavy-Duty 25 Qt BMX Ice Chest Cooler on a fishing excursion and were impressed by its performance. The heavy-duty construction, combined with reinforced base, made it a sturdy companion for long days on the water.
Despite its size, the cooler was surprisingly lightweight and easy to transport with its comfortable 3-point-grab handle.
The advanced cooling performance and thick foam insulation of the MaxCold body allowed the cooler to retain ice for up to 4 days in scorching temperatures. The Cool Riser Technology elevated the cooler away from hot surfaces, further enhancing its cooling performance.
And when it came to our catch, the integrated ruler on the lid made it simple to estimate the size of our freshly-caught fish.
While we loved the performance and built-in features, there were a few minor drawbacks. The bulky design made it challenging to fit in smaller spaces, and the lack of a drain plug meant a bit more hassle when emptying melted ice.
Additionally, some users may desire more color options to suit personal preferences. Regardless, this Igloo Heavy-Duty 25 Qt BMX Ice Chest Cooler proved to be a reliable and valuable investment for our fishing adventures.
We highly recommend the Igloo BMX 52 Quart Cooler for fishing enthusiasts, as it offers durable construction and impressive cooling performance.
- Heavy-duty construction and UV protection
- 4-5 day ice retention at 90°F
- Comfortable swing-up handles for easy carrying
- A bit on the heavier side
- Threaded drain plug may require a garden hose adapter
- Rubberized T-grip latches may take some getting used to
Our recent fishing trip was made even better with the Igloo BMX 52 Quart Cooler. The heavy-duty blow-molded construction and reinforced base ensured that our cooler withstood the harsh environment while fishing. We also appreciated the UV inhibitors, which protected the cooler against sun damage and extended its life.
The advanced cooling performance of this cooler, thanks to its MaxCold body and thicker foam insulation, kept our catch fresh with ice retention up to 5 days. With the Cool Riser Technology, the elevated molded base improved cooling by keeping the cooler away from hot surfaces.
Carrying this cooler was a breeze, as the swing-up comfort grip handles allowed us to easily carry it with both our hands. The built-in tie-down loops also made it convenient to secure the cooler during transport.
Overall, the Igloo BMX 52 Quart Cooler is an excellent investment for fishing enthusiasts looking for durability and performance.
If you’re looking for a cooler to keep your catch fresh during a fishing trip, the Seattle Sports Roll Catch Cooler is a reliable and efficient option to consider.
- Keeps catch fresh with dual layer insulation
- Easy to clean removable liner
- Efficient heat reflective exterior
- Zipper quality could be improved
- Insulation thickness is limited
- Not easy to attach to kayaks without front bungee
Recently, we took the Seattle Sports Roll Catch Cooler on a day-long fishing excursion and found that it effectively kept our catch fresh. The dual layer insulation and heat reflective vinyl exterior maintained temperature and ensured our catch stayed cool throughout the day.
Cleaning the cooler after a long day of fishing was a breeze, thanks to the 3 roll closure system and removable dual layer internal liner.
However, we did notice that the zipper on the foil-insulated liner was less durable than we hoped, as it broke after just one use. While the cooler does have attachment points for kayaks and stand up paddleboards, it doesn’t easily attach to kayaks without a front bungee. With a bit of ingenuity and additional accessories, this issue can be resolved.
Overall, the Seattle Sports Roll Catch Cooler is a good value for the money, but could benefit from some improvements in design and build quality.
If you’re an avid fisher seeking a functional and portable cooler, the Engel UC19 is an excellent choice with its unbeatable value and convenience
- Compact and lightweight design
- Built-in rod holders
- Leak-proof and airtight seal
- 19-quart capacity may be limiting for some
- Plastic hinges could be more durable
- Not optimal for multi-day ice retention
We recently took the Engel UC19 19qt fishing drybox cooler for a spin, and we appreciated its portability and built-in fishing rod holders. Its compact design made it effortlessly easy to carry and stow away, proving to be a reliable companion for day trips and camping excursions.
Moreover, the cooler’s leak-proof and airtight build did a fantastic job retaining the cold and protecting our items from outside influences. In the midst of the action, we found the additional rod holders quite useful for storing our gear and switching between different fishing rods.
However, we think it’s essential to note that the 19-quart capacity may not suffice for all users. For those planning extended fishing trips, a larger cooler might be more suitable. Furthermore, while the plastic hinges served their purpose, we found them less robust than expected, prompting us to be cautious when handling the cooler.
This Engel UC30 30qt Drybox Cooler is a versatile and compact choice for fishing enthusiasts, offering great insulation and convenient rod holders.
- Impressive insulation performance
- Functional as a cooler and drybox
- Built-in fishing rod holders
- Thin lid hinge mounting
- Rod holder placement may be inconvenient for some users
- Walls could be thicker for better insulation
We recently took the Engel UC30 drybox cooler on a fishing trip and were quite pleased with its performance. The high-grade polystyrene foam insulation kept our food and drinks cold throughout the day, and the airtight EVA gasket seal ensured no leakages. While we didn’t fully test it as a dry box on this trip, the construction seemed reliable enough to protect our electronics, emergency kits, and cameras from moisture or dust next time.
The lightweight and compact design, combined with the ABS carry handles and integrated shoulder strap, made transporting the cooler a breeze. It was easy to include in our gear and find a suitable spot on the boat. The versatile functionality of the Engel UC30 was evident during the trip, as we utilized the built-in rod holders for hands-free fishing.
Despite its many benefits, we noticed that the cooler’s lid hinge mounting seemed a bit thin and could be an issue in the long term. Additionally, some users may find the placement of the rod holders inconvenient if they need to reposition themselves frequently.
But overall, the Engel UC30 30qt Leak-Proof Fishing Drybox Cooler is a solid choice for those seeking a functional and portable cooler for their fishing adventures.
If you’re looking for a durable, reliable and convenient solution for keeping your catch fresh during fishing trips, the MORXPLOR Insulated Fish Cooler Bag is an excellent choice for you.
- Leak-proof design keeps your surroundings clean
- Compact and convenient with fold-up design
- Keeps your catch fresh for at least 48 hours
- Zipper requires lubrication before use
- May not be as long as advertised
- Bottom is not flat, making storage tricky
We recently used the MORXPLOR Insulated Fish Cooler Bag on our kayak fishing trip and found it to be incredibly convenient. The fold-up design allowed us to store it easily in the kayak, while the leak-proof airtight zipper ensured that no fish blood or water spilled out. This truly kept our fishing gear and kayak clean throughout the day.
It did an amazing job of keeping our catch fresh for more than 48 hours, which is quite impressive. The thick double-wall insulation, heavy-duty PVC material, and airtight leak-proof zipper all contributed to this excellent performance. However, we found that the zipper needed lubrication before use, as it was initially difficult to open and close.
One thing that could be improved is the length of the bag; it appeared to be shorter than the advertised length. Additionally, the bottom of the cooler bag is not flat, which made it more challenging to store our catch neatly.
Despite these minor shortcomings, the MORXPLOR Insulated Fish Cooler Bag still performed admirably during our fishing trip, and we highly recommend it to any angler looking for a reliable way to keep their catch fresh.
We recommend the COHO 165QT Ice Chest Hard Cooler for those seeking a high-performance, durable cooler for their fishing trips.
- Impressive insulation leading to extended ice retention
- High capacity to hold up to 90 cans
- Convenient 2-in-1 drain system
- Could be too heavy for smaller boats when fully loaded
- Screw-in cup holders may wear out over time
- Not equipped with wheels for easier transportation
We recently had the chance to test out the COHO 165QT Ice Chest Hard Cooler on a fishing trip, and we were quite impressed with its performance. The commercial grade insulation combined with ColdSeal Latches kept our catch, beverages, and ice packs cold for days.
The high capacity of this cooler is perfect for any outdoor activity, whether it be picnics, road trips, camping, or fishing. We managed to fit up to 90 cans with a 2:1 ice-to-can ratio, ensuring that we had a cold drink within reach throughout our trip.
One unique feature we found particularly helpful was the 2-in-1 drain system. The oversized portion allowed for fast draining of ice and water, while the threaded hole portion permitted a more controlled drainage.
We were even able to attach a garden hose for longer draining situations. However, it would have been more convenient if the cooler had wheels for easier transportation, especially when fully loaded.
This Buffalo Gear Fish Cooler Bag is an excellent investment for keeping your catch cold and fresh during long fishing trips.
- Double wall premium insulation retains cold and freshness
- Heavy-duty materials for durability and puncture resistance
- Convenient waterproof zipper and strong straps
- May develop small leaks over time
- No flat bottom for easy storage
- Screw-on drain plug can be messy if mishandled
Having recently used the Buffalo Gear Fish Cooler Bag, we were pleasantly surprised by its performance. The double wall premium insulation did an excellent job of keeping our catch cold and fresh even after hours on the water. Its compact size made it easy to pack and store on our boat, leaving more space for other gear.
Although the heavy-duty materials and puncture-resistant design make the cooler durable, we noticed a small pin-sized hole developing in the corner after several uses, leading to minor leaks. To avoid this issue, we’d recommend handling the cooler gently and not overfilling it.
Cleaning the Buffalo Gear Fish Cooler Bag was a breeze – the heavy-duty polyester tarpaulin lining could be hosed down, and the bag dries quickly when inverted.
The screw-on drain plug was designed to prevent spills, but we found that it could be a bit messy if not handled carefully.
Overall, the Buffalo Gear Fish Cooler Bag is a great catch for any fishing enthusiast seeking an efficient and durable solution to keep their catch cold and fresh.
We highly recommend the Chill-N-Reel Fishing Can Cooler for anglers who want to enjoy a cold beverage while fishing.
- Combines fishing reel and drink holder
- Comes with accessories and an instruction card
- Compatible with standard 12oz cans and bottles
- Fishing line limited to 50 feet
- Not meant for larger drinks
- May not be suited for serious fishing
We recently tried out the Chill-N-Reel Fishing Can Cooler, and it brought a new level of fun and convenience to our fishing trips. The fishing reel attachment to the hard-shell drink holder allowed us to enjoy a cold beverage while waiting for a catch. We appreciated how the fishing reel came pre-wound with 50 feet of 8-pound test line, a hook, a sinker, and even an instruction card for guidance.
While the Chill-N-Reel’s design is a great concept, it is limited to standard 12-ounce cans and bottles, which might not be suitable for all anglers.
However, the foam insert sleeve can be replaced with your preferred cozy or coolie, allowing for some customization. It’s important to mention that this product is more for casual fishing moments and may not suit serious anglers.
In conclusion, the Chill-N-Reel Fishing Can Cooler is a unique and entertaining addition to your fishing gear, particularly if you enjoy a cold drink on your trips. While it is not ideal for professional fishing, it serves as a fun boating accessory and makes for an excellent gift for friends or family who love fishing and relaxation.
|Name||Size||Main Benefits||Main Drawbacks|
|Calcutta Outdoors Pack Fish Cooler 40” x 16”||40” x 16”||– Excellent insulation for preserving catches|
– Built-in external ruler for easy measuring
– Compact and portable design with carrying straps
|– Zipper may leak slightly if not positioned properly|
– On the larger side, might not suit all boat sizes
– No additional pockets or compartments
|Buffalo Gear Fish Cooler Bag 40×18 Inch Blue||40×18 Inch||– Excellent insulation for ice retention|
– Portable and lightweight design
– Easy to clean with leak-resistant construction
|– Drain plug may require tightening|
– May be too large for smaller fishing trips
– Basic zipper style
|ENGEL 30qt Live Bait Cooler Box||30qt||– Excellent aeration system to keep bait alive|
– Portable and lightweight for easy transport
– Durable and well-constructed
|– Noisy operation on some units reported|
– Not suitable for larger bait species
– Higher price point compared to other bait coolers
|Elkton Outdoors Insulated Fish Cooler Bag||40” x 20” or 60” x 20”||– Keeps fish fresh for longer|
– Compact and convenient design
– Durable and puncture-resistant material
|– Zipper might be hard to open|
– Bottom not flat, reducing width for larger catches
– Leakage issues for some users
|Igloo Heavy-Duty 25 Qt BMX Ice Chest Cooler||25 Qt||– Heavy-duty and durable construction|
– Excellent ice retention (4-5 days)
– Built-in features for convenience
|– Slightly bulky design|
– No drain plug
– Limited color options
|Igloo BMX 52 Quart Cooler with Cool Riser Technology||52 Quart||– Heavy-duty construction and UV protection|
– 4-5 day ice retention at 90°F
– Comfortable swing-up handles for easy carrying
|– A bit on the heavier side|
– Threaded drain plug may require a garden hose adapter
– Rubberized T-grip latches may take some getting used to
|Seattle Sports Roll Catch Cooler||32″||– Keeps catch fresh with dual layer insulation|
– Easy to clean removable liner
– Efficient heat reflective exterior
|– Zipper quality could be improved|
– Insulation thickness is limited
– Not easy to attach to kayaks without front bungee
|Engel UC19 19qt Leak-Proof Fishing Drybox Cooler||19qt||– Compact and lightweight design|
– Built-in rod holders
– Leak-proof and airtight seal
|– 19-quart capacity may be limiting for some|
– Plastic hinges could be more durable
– Not optimal for multi-day ice retention
|Engel UC30 30qt Leak-Proof Fishing Drybox Cooler||30qt||– Impressive insulation performance|
– Functional as a cooler and drybox
– Built-in fishing rod holders
|– Thin lid hinge mounting|
– Rod holder placement may be inconvenient for some users
– Walls could be thicker for better insulation
|MORXPLOR Insulated Fish Cooler Bag||40” x 20”||– Leak-proof design keeps your surroundings clean|
– Compact and convenient with fold-up design
– Keeps your catch fresh for at least 48 hours
|– Zipper requires lubrication before use|
– May not be as long as advertised
– Bottom is not flat, making storage tricky
|COHO Ice Chest Hard Cooler||165QT||– Impressive insulation leading to extended ice retention|
– High capacity to hold up to 90 cans
– Convenient 2-in-1 drain system
|– Could be too heavy for smaller boats when fully loaded|
– Screw-in cup holders may wear out over time
– Not equipped with wheels for easier transportation
|Buffalo Gear Fish Cooler Bag Watertight White||40 x 18 in||– Double wall premium insulation retains cold and freshness|
– Heavy-duty materials for durability and puncture resistance
– Convenient waterproof zipper and strong straps
|– May develop small leaks over time|
– No flat bottom for easy storage
– Screw-on drain plug can be messy if mishandled
|Chill-N-Reel Fishing Can Cooler||12 Oz||– Combines fishing reel and drink holder|
– Comes with accessories and an instruction card
– Compatible with standard 12oz cans and bottles
|– Fishing line limited to 50 feet|
– Not meant for larger drinks
– May not be suited for serious fishing
When choosing the best cooler for fishing, there are several factors to consider. By examining the key features and understanding your specific needs, you’ll ensure you make an informed decision that best suits your fishing adventures.
Insulation is paramount in keeping your catch fresh and drinks cold. Look for coolers with excellent insulation properties. Thick walls and quality materials result in longer ice retention times, ensuring your items stay chilled throughout your fishing trip.
Size and Capacity
Consider the size and capacity of the cooler based on your individual requirements. Think about the space you have available on your boat or vehicle, as well as the amount of catch and supplies you plan on taking with you. Coolers come in various sizes, some of which may be more suitable for your needs than others.
Durability is essential when investing in a quality cooler. Look for materials like heavy-duty plastics, UV-resistant exteriors, and rust-resistant hardware. These features will help ensure your cooler lasts for years to come and performs well under the harsh conditions associated with fishing trips.
When considering coolers for fishing, portability is crucial. Look for features such as comfortable handles, sturdy wheels, and lightweight designs to make transporting your cooler from your vehicle or boat to the fishing spot more manageable.
Some coolers come with additional features that can improve your overall fishing experience. For example, a built-in cutting board, cup holders, or even rod holders might be valuable for your specific needs.
|Insulation||Keeps catch fresh and drinks cold|
|Size and Capacity||Matches your catch and supplies|
|Durability||Ensures lasting performance|
|Portability||Makes transport more manageable|
|Additional Features||Enhances overall fishing experience|
By taking all these factors into account, you’ll be well-equipped to select the ideal fishing cooler to meet your needs and enhance your enjoyment of your favorite outdoor pastime.
In conclusion, having a reliable cooler is essential for any fishing enthusiast. The best fishing coolers offer excellent insulation, durability, and convenient features that enhance the overall fishing experience. After careful consideration and evaluation, we have identified several top picks for fishing coolers.
The Igloo BMX 52 Quart Cooler and the Engel UC30 30qt Leak-Proof Fishing Drybox Cooler have received positive reviews for their durability, insulation performance, and convenience. These coolers provide excellent ice retention, sturdy construction, and additional features like built-in rod holders.
When selecting the best cooler for fishing, it is important to consider factors such as size and capacity, insulation and construction, and user-friendly features. The size and capacity determine how much fish and supplies the cooler can hold, while insulation and construction affect its ability to retain ice and maintain temperatures. Features like built-in rulers, non-slip feet, and easy-to-drain spouts enhance usability and convenience.
With numerous options available in the market, choosing the right cooler for fishing can be overwhelming. However, our research and testing have narrowed down the choices to these top picks. Whether you prefer a soft-sided cooler like the Calcutta Outdoors Pack Fish Cooler or a hard-sided option like the Igloo Heavy-Duty 25 Qt BMX Ice Chest Cooler, these coolers are designed to keep your catch fresh and your provisions cold, ensuring an enjoyable fishing experience every time.
In the end, finding the best fishing cooler depends on your specific needs and preferences. Consider the size, insulation, durability, and features that matter most to you, and you’ll be well on your way to selecting the perfect cooler for your fishing adventures.