Best Marine Cooler – Find The Right Ice Chest For Your Boating Trips

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Just as the name implies, the best marine cooler is one you will find out on the open water. There are several things that you will want to look for in your marine cooler, in addition to long ice retention times.

The first is being rust-resistant, the second is an ability to withstand the elements out on the open water, and the third is an ability to resist odors and smells that could be caused by the fish you catch and store in it.

There are of course several other things you may want, such as a measuring area on the lid or slip-resistant feet, but you’ll want to ensure that your marine cooler can resist not only the elements but odors as well.

Here’s a quick look at some of the best boat coolers on the market:

Best Marine Cooler – Comparison Table

 PictureProduct NameSize AvailableRoto-
Ice Retention
(our score)
editors-choiceYETI Tundra 65 Cooler, WhiteEditor's ChoiceYeti Tundra20 - 420 QTYes5 star$$$
ENGEL ENG80 High Performance Cooler - Haze...Engel DeepBlue25 - 320 QTYes4 half star$$
Igloo Marine Ultra 36 Quart Cooler, WhiteIgloo Marine Ultra25 - 162 QTNo4 half star$
Pelican Elite 70 Quart Cooler (White/Gray)Pelican ProGear20 - 150 QTYes4 half star$$
Coleman Coastal Xtreme Series Marine Portable...Coleman Marine28 - 150 QTNo4 half star
Igloo Yukon Cold Locker Cooler (White,...Igloo Yukon50 - 150 QTYes5 star$$$
Orca Hard Sided Classic Cooler White 58 QuartOrca Heavy Duty20 - 140 QTYes5 star$$$

Marine Cooler Reviews – Our Top Picks

As there are many boats and different sizes out there, there are also a wide variety of marine coolers as well. What may work for some, may not necessarily work for others.

We’ve taken a look at, and researched some of the best marine coolers so you don’t have to. Here’s a closer look.

Igloo Marine Cooler – Best Marine Cooler For The Money

Igloo Marine Ultra 36 Quart Cooler, WhiteIn sizes ranging from 25 to 162 quarts, you’ll be sure to find a cooler here that can fulfill all of your boating needs.

Whether those needs have you as a one-man fisherman or with several friends on your next adventure out on the water, you’ll be sure to find the cooler that will fill most, if not all of your needs.

With stain and odor resistance, as well as UV resistance, the Igloo Marine Cooler (available here at Amazon) can be a nice addition to your next fishing trip.

Some users at Amazon have mentioned that the latch leaves a bit more to be desired, but another user mentioned liking the lid and its functionality.

The user noted that the lid is hinged to the body so it will stay put, and also said that the wire cable attaching the lid to the body of the cooler ensures that not only will the lid stay put, but won’t open to too much of an extended angle.

Perfect for that boating trip that may bring some bumps in the water.

>> Check out Igloo Marine at Amazon

Coleman Marine Cooler Review

Coleman Coastal Xtreme Series Marine Portable...The Coleman name is one that many have come to trust when it comes to the outdoors.

The lineup of Marine Coolers here certainly won’t disappoint. With a variety of sizes to choose from, you can go as small as 28 quarts to as high as 150 quarts.

Just to give you a better idea of size, the 100-quart cooler can hold more than five cases of soda. The Xtreme 5 Technology will ensure that ice can stay up to five days.

Some models also offer wheels for easier transport. Along with UV protection and additives to stop the growth of bacteria, this marine cooler can fill most boating needs.

The 100-quart version of this cooler has many raving fans. Many of the users have reported ice retention times well within the manufacturer’s claim of five days.

One user also stated that it was actually close to seven days with frozen ice still floating in the bottom of the cooler. One user also mentioned that the Coleman outdid other coolers at a party, as after two days all other coolers held cool water, while the Coleman still had ice.

With cooler ice retention times like that, you’re boating adventures will surely be a success.

>> Check out Coleman Marine Cooler at Amazon

Igloo Yukon Cold Locker Cooler – Best Boat Cooler For Ice Retention

Igloo Yukon Cold Locker Cooler (White,...Ranging from 50 to 150 quarts is the Yukon Cold Locker Cooler. Just as the name implies, this cooler functions like a cold locker.

The lid comes complete with a measuring tool so your friends will never again over exaggerate about how big that fish REALLY was. The textured work surface on the lid makes any kind of work (cutting fish, food or bait) much easier as you navigate the choppy waters.

Several inches of insulation will ensure that contents stay as cold or as frozen as possible on the open seas.

Many users who bought this cooler at Amazon expressed the superior ice retention times that you’ll get with the Yukon Cold Locker (check it out at Amazon).

Some even stated that it outdid several higher-priced coolers on the market. Want a kicker that just sounds RIDCICULOUS?

One user ran a test and left the ice in the cooler for quite some time, checking in on it every day. Results? A small layer of ice still left after…three weeks. 21 days. Now THAT is ice retention.

If you will be out on the water for weeks at a time, then this may be the cooler you want. Now, you may not get that many days out of it, but even a week with ice would be tremendous.

>> Check out Igloo Yukon at Amazon

Engel DeepBlue Boat Cooler

Marine Cooler Reviews - Engel DeepBlueWith too many sizes to even list, we are certain that you will be able to find the cooler to fit your next boating adventure.

In colors such as white or tan, and even with a camouflaged lid, Engel's boating cooler (Amazon link) will definitely fit right in.

Two-inch walls make ice retention a priority, while a pitched floor makes self-draining of the water a breeze.

One user absolutely enjoyed this cooler for all of his boating needs. The user first noted that the textured lid made it a great addition as a platform to stand on while looking for fish.

The user also noted that the non-marking feet made sure that it stayed in place in the boat even in rough waters.

Many users reported long ice retention times, which is really what you are looking for, especially if you will be out on the water for days at a time and need to store food, AND the fish you will be catching.

>> Check out Engel DeepBlue Cooler at Amazon

How Do You Choose The Best Boat Cooler?

Now that you have had a chance to look at the best marine coolers out there, all that is left is for you to choose.

Quality is of utmost importance and as mentioned earlier, you want something that can resist the elements and one that can resist odors.

Alongside that, you want something durable that can stand up to you standing on it or cutting fish or bait on the lid.

In essence, you want top quality, not something cheap that may break the first day that you are out on the water. The coolers listed here are certainly top quality, so all that’s left is to decide which one to get.

So, how do you choose the best boat cooler? Here are a few tips.


If you have a one-man kayak, then you definitely don’t want something too big. However, if you will have several people on your boat for a few days that will need to eat and will be fishing, then you definitely want something on the larger side.

If the fish you are expecting to catch is on the larger side, then you definitely can’t go with a small 25-quart ice chest.


Some boaters and fishermen only plan on being out for a day at a time, while some die-hard fishermen are out for days and some several weeks at a time.

In this case, you’ll want something that will last the long haul with blocks of ice. What you'll want to take along with you are the rotomolded coolers. The Igloo Yukon Cold Locker is the perfect example.


Being out on the water can feel like you are constantly moving up and down, throw in some choppy waters and it can get downright dizzying.

If you will be on the open seas in water that will leave you constantly holding on to something to stay balanced, then you may want to consider an ice chest with a wide base and solid feet.

A cooler like the Engel DeepBlue here fits the bill.

Marine Coolers – What’s The Bottom Line?

Although we've shortlisted our best picks here in this post, we generally recommend you take a look at different coolers on the market (Amazon seems to have plenty of different options available) and choose the one that will fulfill all of your specific needs.

After all, the best marine cooler for your next boat trip will be the one that best suits your needs. We did our best to help you but the decision is now yours.

Some useful best marine cooler tips from Florida Sport Fishing:

Last update on 2020-06-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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Luke is a co-founder of, a cooler expert and author of 70+ reviews on this website. Luke has a deep passion for sports and all-things-outdoors. From fishing to hiking, from family camping to solo bike trekking, Luke adores spending quality time enjoying nature, oftentimes checking out new coolers while doing so.

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