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Today we'd like to discuss ATV coolers. What is the best ATV cooler on the market today? Why would you need a cooler on your ATV and how do ATV/UTV coolers differ from the regular ones? Read on to find answers to those and other questions.
Best ATV Cooler
One of the most important things you will want to carry with you when you’re out on your ATV or UTV is cooler. It doesn’t matter where you’re going.
Whether it’s a mud race or some fun riding in the desert, you’ll probably want to carry some food and drinks with you, and you’ll want to keep them fresh for the duration of the trip.
In many parts of the country, you’ll find that the most common accessory people get for their all-terrain vehicle is a high-quality ATV cooler. Of course, there are plenty of different options out there, including soft-sided and electric coolers, but most people seem to prefer hard-sided rugged, roto-molded coolers.
ATV/UTV/Powersport Cooler Reviews
We've done the hard job of researching the best ATV/UTV coolers on the market so you don't have to. Here are our top picks. These coolers, in a nutshell, are designed for the most extreme conditions and are guaranteed to be durable and functional no matter where you take them.
Yeti Tundra (20-300 qt) – Most Versatile ATV/UTV Cooler
Yeti is the most famous name in the cooler space. It’s virtually impossible to talk about coolers, particularly hard-sided ones, without giving Yeti a mention.
Enter YETI Tundra coolers. Each Tundra features roto-molded construction that ensures hardiness like no other. These ice chests can handle being thrown around, being dropped from the highest heights, and going through the most extreme weather and still coming out unbowed and unbroken.
The insulation on the YETI is also pretty awesome. The trademarked PermaFrost insulation is around 2-2.5 inches thick and is covered by an extra thick FatWall design that keeps the ice frosty.
If you'd like to hear more details on the PermaFrost insulation, we're rushing to explain. It's nothing else than a dense, closed-cell polyurethane foam which gets pressure-injected into the body of the cooler, or between the walls, to be precise. YETI experimented with different insulators and decided to use the industrial-grade PU foam.
To be honest, you should know that most roto-molded coolers these days feature exactly this kind of insulation. That said, YETI has likely perfected their secret sauce over the years and likely iterated the product many times to get the desired results. This is what makes their coolers one the best coolers for ice retention.
On top of that, we’ve got the iconic T-Rex latches that Yeti has come to be well known for. These latches are made of heavy-duty rubber and incorporate patented technology to ensure you never have to deal with busted latches. They are also firm and keep your ice chest well sealed.
Yeti Tundra offers a wide variety of models regarding size, ranging from the 23.6qt Roadie to the 350 qt giant-sized model. They all come with a standard dry foo0ds basket and three standard color options: gray, blue and white. The largest Yeti Tundra, the 300 qt model, only comes in white.
Taking all of the above into account, it doesn't come as a surprise that many users choose YETI as their ATV ice chest. Mounting on a vehicle is not a problem – there are many solutions to help in this process, and the multitude of sizes that YETI offers gives a better chance to find one that's going to perfectly.
Polaris Northstar Cooler – Best Hi-End Rotomolded ATV/UTV Cooler
According to Polaris, their most significant selling point is that their coolers can hold ice for more than 30 hours longer than the Yeti. We think their strengths are elsewhere though.
For starters, this ice chest was explicitly made for ATV, UTV and SxSs. Polaris is an off-road vehicle manufacturer, and that is what they are famous for. It would only make sense, therefore, that they would be the best-placed people to make coolers that go perfectly well with their own ATVs. In fact, Polaris also make coolers that go well with other brands of ATVs.
Second, Polaris coolers have a unique build with special lockdown cleats for easy tying down to make them easy to carry on an ATV or UTV. This is what makes this such a great cooler. But of course, there’s more.
Each Northstar cooler has 2 inches of insulation built into it. This may not be the same as the Yeti Tundra’s close-to-3 inches (which is why we have reservations about their claim that their coolers keep ice cold 30 hours longer than Yeti coolers), but it’s still very good – for sure enough to keep your ice cold for a few days.
Northstar coolers are also IGBC-certified bear-resistant with aluminum pin latches and aluminum hinges. This makes for exceptional durability and a very secure locking lid. The lid also has a thick, airtight gasket to keep all the cold air in and the hot air out. They have comfortable carry handles, non-slipping rubber feet, and an efficient drainage system. They are also entirely manufactured in the USA.
Polaris RZR Lock & Ride Cooler – Another Fantastic UTV & ATV Ice Chest
Polaris, as mentioned earlier, are manufacturers of ATVs and UTVs. They are therefore best placed to build coolers that are perfect for use on these off-road vehicles. Their Lock & Ride Cooler Box was made specifically for use with their RZR UTV, though it can fit on other, similar sized, UTVs and ATVs.
This ice chest has most of the perks of other Polaris coolers. It is roto-molded and built to last. It has aluminum pin latches and hinges to keep the lid well secured when locked. It is also guaranteed to keep your ice cold and solid for up to 48 hours with 2-inch thick insulation. You get the comfortable carry handles that you like in the other Polaris coolers, an effective drainage system, IGBC certification for bear resistance and the regular thick airtight gasket on the lid that keeps the cold air in and the hot air out.
The real deal on the RZR Lock & Ride Cooler Box, however, is the Lock & Ride mounting gear, which happens to be trademarked. This mounting gear enables you to securely mount your cooler on top of your RZR so you can be sure it won’t wobble around even on the roughest of terrains. The ice chest itself comes in black and has a capacity of 51 qt, which is pretty good as it can carry a significant amount of ice and drinks.
LinQ 4.2 Gal (16 L) – Best Can-Am LinQ Cooler
This is the best Can Am LinQ cooler out there and with good reason too. These coolers feature some great design points that you will appreciate if you own an ATV or UTV.
They have a roto-molded construction for maximum durability and strength. They are very rigid as well. It doesn’t matter where you take your ATV, or what kind of terrain you’re riding on, or how fast you’re riding. This cooler can take whatever you throw at it with unmatched grace.
The ice chest itself features premium quality foam insulation for maximum ice retention. Perhaps it’s not at the performance extremes of the Yeti Tundra, but it’s certainly good enough that you can put your ice, drinks, and food in it and go on your trip without having to worry if the ice will melt too soon.
The most fabulous feature for this cooler, however, is its application of Can Am’s famous LinQ mounting mechanism. The LinQ mounting kit makes it very simple for you to mount your cooler onto your ATV/UTV. It’s fast, secure with an integrated lock, and simple. It also has an easy one second on/off locking system that requires no tools to operate. Once you secure your cooler onto your off-road utility vehicle, you can be sure it will stay put for the entire duration of the journey. Just check the video below.
Compatibility: Defender, Defender MAX, Maverick X3 MAX, Maverick Trail.
Here you can see the Can Am LinQ Cooler and System in action and how it is designet to works.
Kwik Tek ATV Deluxe Pack – Best ATV Front & Rear Racks Soft Cooler
The Kwik Tek ATV Deluxe Pack is more than just a cooler. This pack is a multipurpose storage bag that fits snugly at the back of your ATV. It has a neat wrap-around design that fits the racks on the front and rear of most ATVs perfectly. On top of that, it has some pretty nifty features.
The pack has three compartments. They are very spacious, being able to carry most of your stuff and still have room to spare. They are also well padded and lined so that your more delicate cargo will remain intact even when you’re hopping around shaking violently on rough terrain. Each compartment comes with its zipper, so it’s easy to carry different kinds of stuff in separate compartments without having to worry about them mixing.
The best part is that two of those three compartments are coolers. They are on opposite sides for symmetry and are waterproof and dustproof, being able to keep the contents of the pack dry and dust free in any environment and under any weather conditions. They are well insulated with leakproof liners and will easily carry 12 cans each, totaling to 24 cans for both coolers.
The zippers on the coolers are well covered with moisture flaps to maintain a dry internal atmosphere and have quiet zipper pulls for an easy pull. The pack itself can easily be attached to your ATV with ladder lock buckles and six pairs of durable and sturdy straps. Couple that with a pack made of 600-D water resistant polyester and you have yourself a rugged pack and coolers that you won’t easily find anywhere else.
Nelson Rigg RG-006L Black Mountable Insulated Cooler Bag – Best Soft Cooler For ATV/UTV
This one happens to be the only primary soft cooler on this list. You could argue that the deluxe pack contains soft coolers, but it’s so much more than just a cooler, which kind of makes it an orange for the apple that is the Nelson Rigg. The Nelson Rigg is a specialty soft-sided cooler made primarily for use with ATVs and UTVs. As such, it has some pretty great features.
The Nelson Rigg comes in two sizes: the 12 can and the 24 can coolers. Both come with high-density insulation for longer ice retention as well as a heavy-duty waterproof liner that’s removable for easy cleaning.
The cooler is designed quite tastefully, being made from water-resistant Tri-Max ballistic nylon. It’s UV treated and contains Fibertech accents which make it more durable. It also has reflective piping for improved visibility at night. It almost feels military grade!
The zippers themselves are quite well designed. They are reverse coil zippers that keep our all the dirt and dust. The zip pullers are rubber coated and large to make for easy pulling.
Tying this soft cooler to your ATV or UTV shouldn’t be difficult. It features a 4-point quick release tie-down system that will hold your cooler firm no matter what terrain you’re riding on or what speed you’re riding at. The inside also has a unique panel that can easily be adjusted. It holds the contents of the cooler in place when the cooler is in motion.
Since your cooler is likely to be subject to a lot of shaking around when you’re on your ATV, the available mounting options you have at your disposal are an essential thing to consider. There are four types of mounting options, each with its strengths and weaknesses:
Factory Ready Cooler Boxes
In this case, the cooler box is built specifically to fit a particular ATV/UTV model or brand. Polaris are well known for making such cooler boxes. These is the cheapest option as they are made for a very specific kind of mounting situation. However, you are limited to having that particular model of ATV/UTV, or you can’t purchase the cooler. A good example here is the Polaris RZR Lock & Ride Cooler Box.
The LinQ system is the brainchild of Can Am and is a pretty convenient mounting mechanism. Their 4.2 gal LinQ cooler comes with this mechanism and can fit just about any ATV or UTV. The LinQ system involves receiving a separate mounting kit with the cooler and attaching it to the off-road vehicle. You can get it with certain brands of coolers, or you can purchase it separately. What makes it a slightly more expensive option is that you’d have to buy it separately most of the time.
Rack Cargo Basket Carrier
The rack cargo basket carrier (like this one or this one) is purchased separately and attached to your ATV or UTV. While the name suggests it is meant to carry baskets, it works pretty well with coolers. It is especially convenient for carrying regular coolers like the Yeti Tundra that don’t come with any specialized securing mechanisms.
Tie Down Strap Kits
These are perhaps the most universal and versatile mounting method you can use to secure your cooler onto your ATV/UTV. All major hard sided coolers come with loopholes through which you can pass the tie-down straps for easy mounting because this is meant to be the last resort in the absence of specialized mounting options. You can use these strap kits (these are especially recommended) for just about anything and on any kind of vehicle, not just ATVs. The only downside is that they take time to set up and you need to make sure your knots are good.
Where to buy ATV Coolers / UTV Coolers
You can buy any of the coolers above either at their manufacturer websites or on online marketplaces like Amazon.
If you're buying the YETI cooler, their official store is probably the best choice, as it's trusted, the prices are sometimes lower than in the other stores, the shipping is free and there's a ton of customer reviews to read (YETI say they'll never hide or remove any negative reviews).
For all the others, however, recommend Amazon as they are plenty of ATV/UTV coolers to be found there.
For starters, Amazon will give you plenty of deals, especially free shipping opportunities, which will help you knock a few dollars off your purchase. Second, Amazon features loads of real user reviews you can use to get a more informed picture of the cooler before you buy it. Finally, Amazon is safe. You have buyer protection, and returns are easy.
Best ATV & UTV Coolers – The Bottom Line
Riding on your ATV or UTV should be a fun activity that you look forward to. You’ll want to focus your mind on what matters: the ride. You certainly won’t want to worry about where to store your food or how to keep your drinks cold without having them rocking about as you ride.
You’ll need one or two coolers for UTV / ATV to solve that problem and many more, ensuring you get to ride with safe, secure, and fresh refreshments no matter where you are.
Last update on 2020-11-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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