The 10 Best Kayak Cooler in 2023 – The Definitive Review

Last Updated on March 1, 2023

Best Kayak Cooler

Before going on kayaking for a long time, you have to ensure your safety. And on a sunny day, cold drinks or ice cream is a must. But on the water, it is a bit tough to manage them.

A good cooler can be a super solution to this problem. There are many kayak coolers available in the market. From those coolers, we have given some reviews upon those. We hope, these will be helpful enough for you to find out and buy the best kayak cooler.

Quick Answer – Top10 Best Kayak Cooler

1. YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler

2. Engel Coolers HD30 Cooler Bag

3. Polar Bear Soft Cooler

4. IceMule Classic Cooler Bag

5. RTIC Soft Pack 30

6. RTIC Cooler 20 qt

7. Polar Bear Coolers

8. AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler 

9. ENGEL USA Cooler/Dry Box

10. Stanley Adventure Cooler

Reviews of the Best Kayak Cooler

To make your next kayaking or outdoor trip more enjoyable, you can add a premium cooler in your accessories list. A good quality kayak cooler keeps your snacks, beverage and other necessary food items fresh for an extended period. Or, it will also keep your fish fresh for long hours.

So, why not take a kayak cooler that fits your storage space and budget? If you are looking for the best kayak cooler, this review will help you to buy the best kayak cooler and stay cold on the water on the hot and sunny day.

1. YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler

Best Kayak CoolerPeople who like to go for an adventure with grabbing all of their gears, The YETI Hopper is made for them. The cooler is an original entirely leak-proof portable ice-for-days cooler.

Its sizing is completely fit for any adventure. For its some super features, the cooler can hold and keep your drinks or ice cream cold for a long time.

The YETI Hopper is designed to carry much food or beverage items with you and keep them cold. And you can use this for a larger group of tour mates.

The YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler features DryHide shell which made this cooler waterproof, mildew, and puncture resistant.

Its abrasion will hold items kept into this when you’ll face hazard situation. The cooler also has a 100% leak-proof Hydrolok zipper. Its wide opening allows you great accessibility and visibility to the contents kept in this.

Its insulation is also excellent. Closed cell foam in this cooler holds superior colds of items than other coolers. Its dimension is 15.8 x 10.2 x 12.6 inches and the cooler weighs only 3.1 pounds.


  • Waterproof high-density fabric
  • Designed to carry more items for the larger team
  • Waterproof and puncture resistant DryHide shell
  • Abrasion saves things in a hazard situation
  • 100% leak-proof hydro lock zipper
  • Closed cell foam for superior insulation


  • Price is a bit high
  • Zippers may break


2. Engel Coolers HD30 Waterproof Soft-Sided Cooler Bag

Best Kayak CoolerA best kayak cooler must have some features to keep your items cold. A good insulation system, prevent air from passing through, thermal range, etc. are needed for a good cooler.

The Engel HD30 cooler has all of these features. This cooler is designed to carry 32Qts at a time by a single hand. The cooler has some other features to provide the best performance for you.

This is a soft-sided cooler with delivering high performance. It can hold ice for up to 4 days. The Engel HD30 has a full-length zipper which is waterproof and allows you easy access.

There is a pocket to carry accessories in the front. To improve insulation performance of this cooler it has vacuum valve technology (patent is pending).

This valve is to draw excess air from the inner side of the cooler. Its outer wall is made of rugged TPU. A padded shoulder strap is there in the cooler so that you can easily carry your cooler.

The dimension of this cooler is 20 inches x 16 inches x 10 inches. The cooler weighs 5.25 pounds. An integrated bottle opener is provided with all HD30 coolers.


  • Vacuum valve technology for improved insulation performance
  • Rugged TPU outer wall construction
  • Can hold ice up to 4 days
  • Waterproof full-length zipper
  • Padded shoulder strap to carry
  • Integrated bottle opener


  • Side webbing stitching is not good
  • Can’t hold ice for a long time


3. Polar Bear Coolers the Original Performance Soft Cooler

Polar BearYou may find many soft coolers look alike. But the similarities will end here in this cooler. You must have to count the Polar Bears Solar Bear cooler for its some impressive features.

Its patent-pending design and other essential features made this to provide longevity and proper performing soft cooler. Its best quality and high-density foam insulation system will hold ice for 24 hours even in 100-degree heat.

Anti-Microbial FDA food grade TPU double coated Nylon used to make the interior liner of the cooler. This is the most durable and long lasting liner that ever used into a soft cooler.

The outer shell of this cooler is made using rugged UV resistant 840 Denier TPE Luggage Grade nylon. It also contains double Hemmed seams and anchor stitches.

Rustproof super heavy duty YKK #10 weatherized zippers used in this cooler. It is a patent-pending zipper design that keeps the zipper from ripping out.

There are also side zipper pockets in the Soft Bear cooler. You can use your company logo or monogram on the zipper pocket area for personalization.

Its bottom saddle is stapled with the polar bear brand. It provides much durability and great support to follow the sturdiness.


  • A high-density foam insulation system
  • Can hold ice in 100-degree temperature for 24 hours
  • Anti-Microbial FDA Food-Grade TPU double coated Nylon interior liner
  • Heavy-duty YKK 10 weatherized zipper
  • High-Density 10-Gauge Open-Cell Foam
  • Aluminum bottle opener


  • Zippers may leak if tipped
  • Handles are a bit weak


4. IceMule Classic Insulated Backpack Cooler Bag

IceMule ClassicYou may find coolers that work fine, but it is difficult to find another one like MuleSkinET’sIceMule classic insulated cooler bag. This is a combination of portability of a backpack and excellent performance of a hard cooler.

For this reason, you can carry this everywhere. It is a well-constructed cooler to keep foods, beverages, and ice cream cold for a longer period. It is one of the coldest coolers of the world.

Most portable and high performance engineered soft sided cooler is available in various sizes. Sturdy exterior fabric and a tough interior layer made this cooler perfect for ice retention.

This cooler can keep your cold-drinks and ice-cream cold for a day-long period. It is a backpack style cooler. It has double padded and ventilated shoulder straps to carry easily by keeping your hands free.

The cooler is collapsible. You can use this to store your accessories when not in use. Thus you can save your space. Another main priority to choose a cooler is its insulation system and water resistance.

This cooler has IM AirValve that allows releasing air. It is a zipper and seamless cooler that made this cooler waterproof. So, there is no fear of leakage. Available in 3 sizes and 5 colors.


  • Sturdy, tough interior and exterior fabric
  • Unique PolarLayer Insulation foam
  • Equipped with a padded strap
  • Completely waterproof
  • Combination of a backpack with the performance of a cooler
  • Available in 3 sizes and 5 amazing colors


  • Not so comfortable
  • Not fully leakproof


5. RTIC Soft Pack 30

Best Kayak CoolerThe RTIC soft pack 30 is a midsize cooler that can be used a multipurpose cooler.  This cooler has enough large space to carry up to 30 cans of beverage and ice.

Even this cooler can hold your ice up to 5 days. This heavy-duty cooler is lightweight and easy to transport. It has some other features that made this cooler one of the best.

RTIC soft pack 30 is wrapped using the heavy-duty vinyl shell in outer. The shell made this cooler much stronger than any other soft-sided coolers. It is tear resistant and UV-resistant too.

In the inner side, it has 2-inch thick closed cell foam insulation system to keep your drinks or ice cream cold. It has an exterior pocket to carry dry items while you are on a trip.

The cooler is 100% leak-proof and puncture resistant. To ensure you about water resistance it has no leak zippers with lubricating gel.

To carry this lightweight cooler easily, it has well-cushioned shoulder straps. Its seams are welded and strong enough. The exterior will never sweat.


  • Made with sturdy, laminated fabric
  • Wrapped in a heavy duty vinyl shell
  • 2 inches closed-cell foam insulation
  • Tear resistant and UV protected
  • Keeps ice for up to 5 days
  • Exterior pocket for dry items


  • Seams may come apart after couple time use
  • Zipper is hard


6. RTIC Cooler 20 qt

RTICIf you are looking for a cooler which is practical for everyday use and easily portable, then you can choice RTIC 20 qt (Blue). You can take this anywhere when you are at work, camping, hunting or fishing.

It will keep your food and drinks cold and fresh perfectly for 24 hours.   This heavy cooler is made using Roto-Molted construction. The cooler also contains heavy-duty T-latches, freezer grade gasket, and molded tie-down slots.

Its wall is thick about 3 inches and provides a better insulation system to hold ice very well for this period. Nonslip feet, integrated locking system, and bear resistance are also available in this cooler.

A heavy duty stainless steel made handle is available in the cooler that can lock upright and provide easy one-handed carrying. The cooler also contains a rapid V-drain system, no fail hinges, cool lift design, and molded side handles.

Its exterior is sweat proof. The dimension of this product is 20.6 inches x 15.9 inches x 15.8 inches. This cooler is too much heavy than other coolers. It weighs 21.4 pounds.


  • Roto-Molded Construction
  • Stainless steel handle
  • 3 inches thick insulated wall
  • Holds ice up to 24 hours
  • Integrated Locking System
  • Sweat protector exterior


  • Too much heavy
  • Inner space is small


7. Polar Bear Coolers

Polar BearIt may very easy to find out similar soft coolers, but all of the similarities should be ended when Polar Bear makes the cooler. This is an excellent quality cooler.

You can customize it to set or print your logo or monogram on it. It is unique for its longevity and proper functionality. The cooler is built stronger to serve a more extended period.

Its insulation system is super to keep your ice perfectly for 24 hours or more even in 100-degree heat. One inch thick 10 Gauge High-Density foam is used in its insulation.

Interior liner of this cooler is another reason that made this cooler great. Antimicrobial FDA food grad TPU double-coated nylon is used to build up this cooler to provide you safe and perishable storage.

The liner is the most durable and long lasting. The outer shell is made of rugged 1000D luggage-grade nylon, and all of the seams are double hemmed.

Anchor stitches also make its outer side much stronger. It has a side zipper pocket area. In that, you can add your company logo or monogram by embroidery. The cooler weighs only 3.3 pounds.


  • Anti-Microbial FDA Food-Grade TPU nylon interior liner
  • 1000D Nylon Outer Shell
  • Superb 10 gauge high-density insulation system
  • Heavy-Duty YKK 10 weatherized zipper
  • Holds ice for 24 hours or more
  • Double hemmed seams and anchor stitches


  • The leak may found in it
  • Ice may melt quickly


8. AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler High-Density Insulation

Best Kayak CoolerIf you are looking for a cooler which is perfect for boating, fishing, hunting, parties or other outdoor activities, you can undoubtedly choose AO Canvas soft coolers.

This is a great cooler to carry essential food or drink items for weekend adventures. This multipurpose cooler can be used to keep things warm as well. It is durable enough to take without scratching your boat interior.

This cooler has a leak-proof liner. Its insulation system is excellent. The cooler can hold ice in 120 degrees Fahrenheit temperature for 24 hours.

This is a soft-sided cooler which has removable shoulder straps included in it. The strap made the cooler very easy to carry. This cooler has much space inside it.

You can take 36 cans at a time in this cooler. There is a side pocket in this cooler. It is featured to carry dry items on a journey. The dimension of this soft cooler is 21 inches x 10 inches x 12 inches. This is a lightweight cooler. It weighs only 3.8 pounds. So you can take this cooler with you anywhere you go.


  • Durable soft canvas material
  • 1000 denier vinyl exterior material
  • Removable shoulder strap
  • Doesn’t scratch on boat interior
  • Can contain 36 cans at a time
  • Can hold ice in the 120F temperature up to 24 hours


  • Buckle is weak
  • Seams aren’t that much strong


9. ENGEL USA Cooler/Dry Box, 19 Quart

Best Kayak CoolerEngel USA cooler boxes can be the right choice for you if you want to keep your things dry, cold, hot or all of these. This is a lightweight, airtight insulated and can be the perfect companion for your upcoming adventure.

Its airtight gasket keeps hot air out and allows cold air to in. The cooler can keep your food and drinks fresh, and you’ll be able to store your sensitive equipment safely in it.

This cooler is entirely waterproof. Its latched will stay locked and won’t allow extra water to enter into the cooler. You can carry food items for two people in this cooler because it has enough large space inside.

Its insulation system is conducive to keep your things fresh. High grade molded polystyrene foam used in this cooler to keep the cold inside the cooler and the hot out.

Construction of this cooler is also excellent. It is made using marine grade stainless steel. It is designed using a recessed carry handle and integrated shoulder strap. That’s why; your hands will be free while carrying this cooler. Its tray size is 6 inches x 9 inches, and it is 2.5 inches deep.


  • Insulated with high-grade molded polystyrene foam
  • Non-Absorbent Surface
  • Marine grade stainless steel hardware
  • Waterproof up to a depth of 3ft
  • Carry handle, and integrated should strap


  • Hinges are not strong enough
  • May not hold ice well


10. Stanley Adventure Cooler

Best Kayak CoolerFor a legendary performance and durability on keeping your beverage items on the journey, you can select Stanley Adventure Cooler without any hesitation or doubt.

It took place on the top list for its great features. The cooler has huge space with 3 soda cans, 2 regular sized ice packs and two full sets of Stanley nesting food containers holding capacity.

If you are on a journey of 10 hours outside and have no place nearby to take extra food, then Stanley cooler is perfect for you. This highly leak resistant cooler has an excellent double wall foam insulation system which contains leak resistant lid locks and adjustable tie.

The sturdy latches and hinges added much durability in this cooler. The dimension of this cooler is 20 inches x 20 inches x 14 inches and the interior dimension of this cooler is 10 inches x 7 7/16 inches and 5 ¾ inches deep.

You can carry 21 cans at a time in this cooler to keep your soda cans cold for up to 36 hours.  The weight of the cooler is 6.35 pounds. This cooler is available in four colors.


  • Double wall foam insulation system
  • Double wall foam insulation
  • Leak-resistant gasket
  • Adjustable tie down
  • Can hold 21 cans at a time
  • Keeps ice up to 36 hours


  • Handles aren’t strong enough
  • Can’t keep cold for a more extended period


Kayak Cooler FAQs

What Size Cooler Fits a Kayak?

Usually, a small 10-quart kayak cooler fits best for a day-long kayak trip. It has enough space to store a couple of drinks along with your packed lunch. But, if you plan to go for a fishing trip, you will need a bigger cooler to store your fish.

Where Do You Put a Cooler on a Kayak?

You can put your cooler behind the seat or below your seat on a kayak. But if the space behind your seat or below your seat is not enough, you can carry them on the kayak side. You can easily hang your cooler on the left or right side of the kayak through kayak buckles. Besides, by hanging one cooler on each side of the kayak, you can easily maintain your kayak’s balance. Moreover, you can also use a floating cooler holder to carry your kayak cooler.

How Long Will Ice Packs Stay Cool in a Kayak Cooler?

Usually, ice packs stay frozen for up to 24 hours in an insulated kayak cooler. Basically, kayak coolers cannot keep ice remain frozen for a day-long, but they can maintain the cool temperature at least 24-36 hours.

How to Choose the Best Kayak Cooler?

Mostly, there are some standard features that every cooler should have. So, when you find the best kayak cooler for you, you need to pay attention to the following features.

  • Material
  • Capacity
  • Waterproof
  • Keeping Temperature
  • Durability

Does Cooler Color Make a Difference?

Yes, Cooler color has a relation with the duration of holding ice within a cooler. It impacts a little bit on ice retention time. Usually, a white cooler can keep ice longer than a grey or darker cooler.

Final Words

Kayaking in a hot and sunny day becomes much tricky than other days. There will be plenty of water around you. But that is not safe to drink. To satisfy your thirst, you have to carry cold drinks, ice-creams or other food items with you.

That’s why you have to take a cooler with you. After researching, we have found out some coolers that are easily portable on your kayak and can keep food items cold and fresh for a long time.

Here we reviewed on best kayak cooler. We hope, these will be helpful enough for you to find out the best cooler and keep you cold and fresh on the next journey on a sunny, hot day.


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