Best Kayak Cooler 2021 – 10 Awesome Choices Worth Checking Out

Let’s face it; you need food and beverages whether you will be out in the water for a few hours or the entire day. Of course, you can carry your own food but there are many different ways for things to go left. From the food going bad, to it spilling into the water.

What you need then is reliable storage for your food and drinks to keep you going. Worry not as we take you through the process of getting the best kayak cooler. But first, let’s provide with some quick insights before we delve deeper into the detailed reviews.

Best Kayak Cooler

Top-Rated Kayak Cooler in 2021 – Comparison Table

Here’s a list that comprises some of the best-made coolers we came across during our research. Our editors have done all they can to ensure this list is helpful for you.

RankingNameColorWeight
1Polar Nylon Line Bear CoolersRed3.3 pounds
2ARCTIC TRAILS Waterproof Dry Bag BackpackBeige20.3 pounds
3Intex Mega Chill II, Inflatable Floating CoolerBlue7.65 pounds
4RTIC 20 Grey Soft Pack5.2 pounds
5AO Coolers Original Soft CoolerRed3.8 pounds
6RTIC Soft Pack 30, GreyBlue/Grey6 pounds
7Engel 19 quart leak-proof air-tight drybox/cooler8 pounds
8Icemule Pro Insulated Highly Cooler Bag4.92 pounds
9Seattle Sports Kayak Insulated Deck CoolerSilver2.3 pounds
10K2 Coolers Summit 20 Cooler, GrayGray16.6 pounds

1. Polar Nylon Line Bear Coolers

Polar is among the few companies that exclusively focus on soft, lightweight coolers.  They specifically offer drinkware, backpack, medical coolers, and soft coolers. The Polar Nylon Line Bear Coolers has excellent features that make it an ideal choice.

Product Description 

This cooler is available in three different sizes and six different colors. The sizes are 48 packs, 12 packs, and 24 packs. So you have multiple options and can choose the one that best suits you. Also, each bag has an attached bottle opener, so in case you forget your opener; this can come in handy. 

The zipper has an out pending design which prevents it from ripping off of the cooler. The inner liner is made with double coated nylon.

Features and Benefits

The first notable feature is that when this bag is filled with ice, it can maintain your stuff cold for two to four days. This depends on the outside temperature and how full the bag is. This puts this product in a similar category with coolers that cost 3 to 4 times as more.

What’s more, this bag features handles and a shoulder strap, which means you can select what you feel comfortable to carry with. What’s more, the cooler bottom side is made with a strong and sturdy fabric that enhances its sturdiness. 

Pros

  • Durable
  • Strong material
  • Leek proof interior
  • Great insulation

Cons

  • A bit pricy

2. Creekkooler Insulated Floating Outdoor Cooler

The thing that makes this Creekkooler Insulated Floating Outdoor Cooler unique is that it does not sit on the deck like most coolers. Instead, this cooler floats behind the kayak.  Let’s do a brief review to give you a better understanding of this cooler.

Product Description

The Creekkooler Insulated Floating Outdoor Cooler has a thirty-quart capacity and is just above three feet long. It has a vague reminiscent elongated shape, and the design is meant for keeping it on top and well over the water always. 

The O-ring design and locking lid design makes it useful for dry storage. The good thing is that this cooler can hold about 15 drinking cans and ice as well and it can keep your drinks cool till you arrive at your destination. This product is available in 5 vibrant and unique colors.

Features and Benefits

This cooler has a flat bottom which balances it on a surface making t suitable for use even out of water. Besides that, it features a pair of handles that you can use to carry, or you can attach ropes to it for external features. Further, the watertight lid makes sure that it is well locked, which keeps your staff safe.

This cooler is quite easy to ride on the water, unlike most coolers. It has a boat-like design which reduces the drag to the kayak and only very rough water can tip it over. Although this cooler is more pricy than most floating coolers, its high durability and handling make it worth the price.

Pros

  • Different colors
  • Foamed insulation
  • Easy to tow
  • Durable and sturdy

Cons

  • Cannot hold too much ice

Also read: 10 Best Kayak Paddle (Tried & Tested): Our Unbiased Reviews

3. Intex Inflatable Floating Mega Chill Cooler

Do you prefer tubing than kayaking? Or does your group lean toward loosening up days on quiet water? If this is your situation, or in case you’re merely searching for a lightweight, reasonable cooler to float alongside you on the water—at that point, the Intex Mega Chill II might be the choice for you. 

Product Description

When this cooler is inflated, this Mega Chill II is 4 feet long and nearly as wide, making for some extensive limit. It may hold 48 quarts or, on reasonable terms, 72 standard size jars. Outwardly, it contains six cup holders for simple access to opened drinks

This cooler features a block of removable ice and three air chambers regardless of whether you spring a release, it won’t sink. This product is well priced; it’s not too cheap and not too pricy. In any case, considering the value built in this product, the price is ideal.

Features and Benefits

To begin with, the Plastic handles make it super easy to deal with or to tie-down ropes to. This inflatable drifting cooler to a great extent saves you the time of figuring out how to pack it in your vehicle or store it at home.

Whether you’re unwinding in your pool or paddling down an extraordinary stream, there’s no reason to escape the pool or off the water to get pleasant reviving refreshment when you have an Intex Mega Chill The best thing is that this product is built from suitable materials and is meant to last. 

Pros

  • Easy to store
  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Well balances, high capacity

Cons

  • Poor insulation

4. RTIC 20 Grey Soft Pack

The RTIC Grey Soft Pack is a great option for a one-individual outing. You can place in this cooler all beverages and nourishment that you will require during the entire day and find them fresh and cold at whatever point you need to taste a sandwich or sip a lemonade.

Product Description

A smaller rendition of the logo shows up at the front of the sack. It has dull blue sewing that accentuates this pack and brings contrast against the dim colored material. Just beneath the front logo is a little compartment that can small item like openers, plastic twisting straws, etc.

Because of such little size, this cooler is quite lightweight and is anything but difficult to carry around when filled. Also, this cooler has stainless steel and light-weighted handles that make it easy to transport. 

Features and benefits

Inside, you’ll see that there’s thick protection foam that lines the pack. According to the estimates, the insulation is around two creeps in thickness. This ensures this delicate cooler is free from holes from within. The cooler is outfitted with handy materials that are mildew resistant.

Besides that, the interior is made with an antimicrobial fabric, so it doesn’t build up any terrible smell. This will also keep your nourishment and beverages chilled in a perfect and clean space. The outside is additionally built using cut-resistant material. This will ensure that your delicate cooler will go along with you on more adventures and trips in future.

Pros

  • Odor resistant
  • No leak zipper
  • Good look
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Only two compartments

5. OA Coolers High-Density Original Soft Cooler

With this OA Coolers High-Density Original Soft Cooler, you can preserve cold drink temperature for quite a long time. This cooler has soft, delicate sides with removable shoulder ties; you won’t need to stress over twisting or this cooler sack losing shape even after using it the entire day.

Product Description

What makes this pack a great option is the 3/4-inch protection and the solid outside covering, regardless of whether you pick the woven vinyl model or the canvas, vinyl. This item is built with 600 diminish polyester canvas, with sturdy construction. This offers a cool inside even when the exterior has been presented to direct sunlight.

This cooler truly performs in a hot climate. You can even keep ice in it for as long as 24 hours in a 120-degree environment. It can contain up to 24 cans and is anything but difficult to carry and manage.

Features and Benefits

The ties are adjustable, and the pack can easily carry up to 36 cans because the lash is padded. Some customers recommend this product since it can hold ice for one day even in 120-degree climate.

You can take the AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler sack outside for angling, sailing, chasing, games, picnics and excursions.  In addition, it has double the protection layer of other delicate coolers, so it’s ensured to preserve your drinks and food for quite a while.

Pros

  • Made with soft canvas
  • Hold up to 36 cans
  • Side pockets
  • Waterproof and leak-proof
  • Hold ice up to 24 hours

Cons

  • Too small

6. RTIC 30 Soft Pack

The RTIC 30 Soft Pack is an ideal midsize soft pack for two people. It can hold up to 20 cans of beverages and 30 pounds of ice. It is well insulated with 2-inch closed-cell foam insulation. This cooler can preserve your food and drinks up to 5 days.

Product Description 

The insulation layer is super thick, so it prevents the ice from melting even when the bag is exposed to direct sunlight. The cooler is outfitted with handy materials that are mildew resistant. By the way, this pack is available in different designs so you can choose one that best suits your style.

This bag has a shoulder strap that makes it easy for you to carry and handle. The inner lining is odour and mildew resistant and is also easy to clean.

Features and Benefits

The inside features protection foam that lines the pack. According to measurements, the insulation is around two creeps in thickness. This ensures this soft cooler is free from holes from within. The cooler is outfitted with handy materials that are mildew resistant.

Moreover, this cooler is constructed with a vinyl shell, which makes it is stronger compared to other soft bags. More importantly, it is UV rays resistant.  This bag has multiple outer compartments where you can put your small items like cards, earphones, keys and similar items.

Pros

  • Odor and mildew resistant
  • Come in multiple designs
  • Easy to carry and handle
  • Outside does not sweat
  • Waterproof Zipper

Cons

  • Zipper may be too tough

7. Engel with Dry Box Rod Cooler

At times you need to keep things cold or dry, and now and then you need both. Engel has delivered the Engel with Dry Box Rod Cooler to be insulated, airtight and lightweight, making them essential bits of apparatus for a wide range of outside adventures.

Product Description

The boxes are available in four different colors and three different sizes, 30, 19, 13-quart sizes. The non-absorbent surface prevents stains, odor and any other foreign materials away from getting into the box. This is quite helpful, especially for sensitive items like organs and medications.

This cooler box is made from stainless steel, rubber and plastic. The product has a robust and sturdy body. When it comes to visuals, this box is relatively attractive because it has a modern look unlike most coolers with a traditional look.

Features and Benefits

Unlike most coolers that have standard rubber gaskets, the Engel with Dry Box Rod Cooler has an EVA gasket that features a tight seal which makes it waterproof to 3 feet deep. The water tightness makes this box float as well if it tips over from the vessel into the lake.

However, this cooler does not have side handle, but the handle the lid gets the job done. Besides, it has shoulder straps that you can turn into a tote in a short time. What’s more, this cooler is quite small, which makes it easy to carry without any difficulty.

Overall, this cooler has impressive features and has a smart look.

Pros

  • Ergonomic handle
  • Watertight and airtight
  • Keeps col and hot at the time
  •  High-quality polystyrene insulation

Cons

  • May not retain ice for a long time

8. Icemule Pro Insulated Highly Portable Backpack Cooler Bag

The Icemule Pro Insulated Highly Portable Backpack Cooler Bag is not only waterproof but also portable and floats. This makes this cooler bag a great option for travelling with you don’t have to worry about what happens in case it falls or where to put it. 

Product Description

Icemule is a new brand when it comes to making cooler bags. The main aim of the company is to manufacture nonconventional coolers that users can comfortably carry. The bag comes in 3 different sizes which include: Large at 23 liters limit, X at 33 liters limit and XX at 40 liters limit.

This compares to 30, 24, or 18 cans, and ice. Also, it is available in five unique colors, including a fresh leaf design. This makes it easy to select the most suitable bag for you. This material lines the interior and outside, therefore, shielding the pack from the climate, water, salt, sand and other natural elements.

Features and Benefits

This bag has a cylindrical shape design and features a chest strap and double padded backstraps. You can wear this cooler bag pretty much the way you wear a back, so your arms are left free to carry your kayak or surfboard easily.

Each seam is well welded, which means there’s no sewing that can let in water. It’s built with a material Icemule called the Muleskin. Also, it has a polar protection froth layer that lies between the Muleskin layers preserves the items cold.

If you need more insulation, or to give it a floating capacity, you need to add air to the central layer, through the IM Air valve. Another advantage of this valve is that you can discharge all the air and roll the cooler when it’s done with.

Pros

  • Easy to carry
  • Ice remains cold for a day
  • Easy to pack
  • Ideal for outdoor activities

Cons

  • Straps are a bit weak

9. Seattle sports Insulated Deck Kayak Top Cooler

The Seattle sports Insulated Deck Kayak Top Cooler is uniquely designed to fit well in most kayaks, and it’s thermally productive, keeping your beverages cold and food fresh for the entire day.

Because of its size and structure, this cooler is quite ideal for the individuals who love kayak angling, and it will preserve their catches until they return home.

Product Description

It is made for thermal effectiveness and most extreme insulation. It has a capacity of 1140ci/18L, and the extensive inside can hold fish as large as 24-inch redfish. Also, the straps are super easy to adjust which makes it easy to carry cleaning it is simple as you the fish bag is removable

Features and Benefits

One feature we liked about this product is that it can preserve the fish fresh but does not retain the smell. In addition, it is made for thermal effectiveness and most extreme insulation. The inside features zippered protection chamber, including shut cell froth insulation while the outer material reflects heat as opposed to letting it through.

This keeps your bait catch and drinks fresh and chilled for a whole day even in the extraordinary summer heat.

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to store
  • Lightweight
  • Convenient shape and design

Cons

  • Small storage capacity

10. K2 Coolers 20 Summit Cooler

The last but by no means the least cooler on our Best kayak cooler ranking is the K2 Coolers 20 Summit Cooler. This cooler has a neoprene seal great dense insulation. It is ideal if you are planning a camping, party or any other outdoor activity.

Product Description 

It is built with food-grade plastic, which can deal with dry ice. The good thing about this cooler is that it is UV-resistant so it can withstand and divert warmth originating from the sun.

Features and Benefits

This cooler features a one of a kind 3-D shape, which helps in limiting the amount of room it occupies at the back of your truck. In addition, the cover has a roto-formed hinge with durable locks that keeps all your items fresh and frozen

Pros

  • UV resistant
  • Durable
  • Keeps items fresh

Cons

  • Not properly sealed

Buying Guide for Best Kayak Cooler

Now that you have established that a cooler is what you need to keep your food fresh while you are out paddling, let us look at what you need to consider before buying one.

Type of Kayak

You need to consider the kind of kayak you are using. You will have a hard time trying to fit a hard shell ice chest if you own a narrow sea kayak. This is because the hatch openings will be too tiny to fit a cooler. Any attempt to strap it to the deck will have your lunch balancing in the water after several minutes of paddling.

On the other hand, if you have a spacious kayak, you will be able to fit a large cooler comfortably. If you are lucky enough, your kayak will have additional space explicitly for a cooler.

Regardless, of the kayak you own, ensure that you pick a reputable cooler brand that has the storage capacity you will require. It should be portable and durable so that it can endure any rocky escapades.

Narrow Kayaks

Find a soft case cooler bag. This is because these are flexible bags that can easily cram into the interior of your kayak or even sit on top. Many sea kayaks will come furnished with deck lines and bungee cords that can effortlessly secure a compressed cooler bag on your kayak’s surface.

If you want to access your cooler easily without having to open your kayak’s hatches, go for flat and long designs or coolers with sloppy sides that can be locked under bungee cords.

Get a cooler bag that will fit into your kayak’s hatches if you want more security and stability. We recommend soft shell cooler bags for such.

Recreational Kayak 

If you have a recreational kayak, you can definitely fit a cooler into it. There is plenty of deck space and wide casings that can accommodate ice chests and cooler bags of any style.

If you will be out in the water all day, you will need more food. That means that a cooler bag will probably not be enough. Get a chest with enough storage capacity and one that will comfortably fit in your kayak without obstructing you.

How to Care For Your Kayak Cooler

You want optimum performance out of your kayak cooler don’t you? Then there are some things you need to do to ensure that.

Cooler Performance Recommendations

Always pre-chill your food and drinks prior to placing them in the cooler. Ice cubes are ideal.

  • Cold air always travels down. What this means is that you need to load your cooler with food and drinks first and then place the ice on top.
  • Keep your cooler away from humid places such as the trunk of your car or the garage. If you are unable to avoid this, keep the cooler in a cool place a few hours before use or place a towel beneath the cooler it will be on top of a hot surface such as the back of an open truck.
  • Use either block ice or ice cubes, as this will rapidly cool your food and drinks. Block ice lasts longer.
  • When the ice has melted, do not drain the water. You do not want empty spaces in your cooler.
  • Do not leave the lid open for too long as it allows cold air to escape.
  • Put perishable foods such as milk and meat in sealed containers and directly on ice. This keeps them dry and protected.

Cleaning Your Cooler

  • Clean both theinterior and exterior after each use. Use warm water and mild detergent for the interior and exclusively hand wash.
  • Use a diluted solution of water and chlorine to eliminate any foul smells.
  • Open the lid after washing the cooler and leave it to air dry to prevent mildew and mold growth.

Benefits of Kayak Coolers

You could be out in the water for serious business or recreational purposes. Regardless, a good cooler will always come in handy. Here are some benefits of having a kayak cooler.

  • If you are fishing, a cooler can keep your harvest fresh and ensure that there are no bad odors in your kayak. 
  • It keeps your food and drinks fresh until you are ready to eat. You do not want to have a stomach upset in the middle of your paddling adventure because of eating rotten food or do you?
  • You get to have chilled drinks when you are out in the water. This is especially important if you go out on a hot day. The last thing you want is a bottle of water that has already been warmed by the sun. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

There are some common questions when it comes to kayak coolers. We hope you have some of yours answered here.

What does RTIC stand for?

RTIC is a cooler brand name. It is not an acronym but simply a play on “Arctic”. This means that you simply pronounce it as that.Nevertheless, they do manufacture some outstanding products.

Are RTIC soft coolers waterproof?

Most people believe that soft coolers will not keep stuff frozen for long but that is far from the truth. With two inches of closed cell insulation and a waterproof zipper to lock in the cold, this cooler is able to keep ice for up to five days. Do RTIC soft coolers leak?

What’s The Best Kayak Cooler Example?

We are frugal shoppers and, therefore, when it came to choosing the winning cooler, we settled for none other than the Intex Mega Chill II. It’s an inflatable cooler which is light and easy to carry around. Most importantly, it’s quite cheap since it goes for well under $30.

Final Thoughts

If you want to have cold drinks and fresh food when you are out in the water, a cooler is necessary. Now we know picking the right one for your kayak may prove to be a challenge but with this guide, you will be able to get the best kayak cooler to suit your needs.

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