What Is The Best Fishing Cooler To Keep Things Ice Cold? Our Top 7 Are Here

What Are The Top 7 Fishing Coolers? Here Is Our List

Top 7 fishing coolers
What Are The Top 7 Best Fishing Coolers? Here's Our List

Do you have the best fishing cooler for your next fishing trip?

It's a must to keep your catch cold before you can filet them, so what are the best cooler options?

There are so many choices to make, you don’t have the time to wade through the options.  No worries, we have you covered with our research so you can make an educated decision on the best cooler for your next fishing trip.

Keep reading to find the best cooler that will suit your situation.

How We Choose

We know that the only thing better than having ice cold beverages is the peace of mind that comes with it, knowing you don’t have to worry about your snacks and your catch.

Our team has read through thousands of user reviews and star ratings to come up with a list that makes it easier for you to decide on the best cooler.  Don’t bother spending lots of time reading over many many reviews, we’ve done it for you and have come up with the top 7 fishing coolers to help you get the most out of your next trip on the water.

There’s a fishing cooler here that’s best for you!  Read below for details and you can check the price on the one that you like.

ENGEL Cooler/Dry Box with 4 Rod Holders - 30 Qt

Cooler And Dry Box With Integrated Rod Holders

Engel Cooler/Dry Box - 30qt With 4 Rod Holders

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Why We Love It

19 and 30qt Models of Engel's Dry Box with Rod Holders make it easy for shore fishermen, anglers in kayaks and on paddleboards to manage rods and still keep their things cool.

Getting multiple rods out to the water is beyond frustrating, especially when you're carrying so much other gear. That's why this Engel cooler is pretty handy, doubling as a rod holder too.

ENGEL Coolers has designed a line of heavy duty coolers that are built for more than just keeping things cold. Rugged, Durable, High Performance Marine Coolers and AC/DC Overland Fridge Freezers are just some of the products that we have become known for. If your outdoor adventure or recreation require a heavy-duty cooler solution, look no further. Adventurers, fisherman, hunters, and campers the world over rely on ENGEL high performance, heavy duty coolers.

Here's What To Know

  • 30 Quart capacity
  • Doubles as a dry box to keep out moisture and dust
  • Airtight EVA gasket seal
  • Insulated with high-grade, molded polystyrene foam
  • Carry handles (ABS) and integrated shoulder strap
  • Durable injection molded (PP copolymer)
  • Marine grade stainless steel screws
  • Self-stopping rear hinges
  • Can hold up to 48 cans, 45 pounds of ice, 30 quarts, or 7.5 gallons

Igloo Marine Ultra Commercial Grade

Heavy Duty Marine Grade Fishing Cooler

Igloo Marine Ultra Commercial Grade Fishing Cooler

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Why We Love It

Igloo has an entire Marine Ultra product family. This group of coolers have a full suite of marine-grade features, including UV protection to rust-proof stainless-steel hardware. These coolers are built to withstand the harsh, wet environments of life on a boat, keeping drinks and snacks and the day's catch cold and fresh.

The 90-quart model, at almost 32" wide, will hold bigger fish like salmon, and plenty of smaller ones like Yellowtail and Mangrove snapper.

We know of an Igloo Marine cooler that lasted 16 years as the bench seat on a Boston Whaler.  Igloo makes their commercial grade coolers tough as nails.

Here's What To Know

  • Oversized wheels for all-terrain mobility
  • Comfort swing-up rear handle for lifting and loading
  • Hybrid latches for secure lid closure
  • Oversize engineer-grade hinges with stay-open detent
  • Fully insulated body & lid for 5-day performance

Coleman 316 Series Wheeled Hard Coolers

Super Large Cooler With Easy Transport Wheels

Coleman 316 Series Wheeled Hard Cooler

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Why We Love It

Coleman started it all with the first portable gas-powered lantern to provide light for a football game.  Who knew?

Their camping stoves transformed the way soldiers ate in the field during WWII.   Coolers then in the 50's and sleeping bags and tents - Coleman has been in the outdoor world for a long time.

The Coleman 316 Series 100-Quart Wheeled Cooler has everything you'll need for the outdoors from tailgating with friends to annual camping trips. The fully insulated lid and body keeps ice cold for up to 5 days in temperatures as high as 90°F

The heavy-duty 6-inch wheels and durable tow & swing-up handles help you haul a full load while staking out the perfect spot, perfect for wheeling the cooler to the beach. Cupholders are integrated into the lid, which also doubles as a seat that can support up to 250lbs.

It's a solid cooler at a great price, which is why it makes our list.

Here's What To Know

  • Keeps ice up to 5 days in temperatures as high as 90°F
  • Heavy-duty 6-inch wheels
  • Durable tow & swing-up handles
  • Lid cup holders hold up to 30oz cup
  • Lid supports up to 250 lbs.
  • Stain-resistant liner
  • Recessed lip for easier access to contents
  • Holds up to 160 cans
  • Integrated drain plug

RTIC Ultra-Light 52 Quart Hard Cooler

Best Fishing Cooler For Long Lasting Ice Retention

RTIC Ultra-Light 52 Quart Hard Cooler

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Why We Love It

RTIC ultra-light series coolers are designed to be more than 30% lighter than classic rotomolded coolers of the same capacity.  They're light enough to be carried by one person, but at the same time this cooler is all about extremes. Your food and beverages will stay colder and for longer in this ice chest box. It’s made for portability, durability, and long-lasting ice retention.

The hard ice chest cooler features up to 3 inches of closed-cell foam insulation that makes these the best coolers for keeping ice. It's 14 inches deep, deep enough to hold plenty, and also comes with a removable divider and upper basket to keep your items separate.

Here's What To Know

  • 30% lighter than roto molded coolers of the same capacity
  • 3 inches of insulation
  • Long lasting ice retention
  • 27 inches long, 18 inches wide, 18 inches high
  • Can be carried by one person
  • 52-quart capacity
  • Comes with a removable divider and upper basket
  • Doubles as a bench, step stool, tabletop, or extra cutting board

Igloo Journey 70 Qt Premium Trailmate Wheeled Cooler

Best Fishing Cooler For Taking The Party Where You Want

Igloo Journey 70QT Wheeled Cooler With Butler Tray

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Why We Love It

This cooler on our fishing coolers list is kind of the all-around "playa" in the group.  This one has a few features that make it one of our favorites.

You can start with the oversized wheels that'll be easier to wheel in sand than some others.  And what Igloo calls the "butler tray" can be handy for serving up drinks and snacks away from the sand and dirt.

The box is lockable too, and has an anti-leak gasket.  There's also a storage pocket inside for items you'll need to keep dry, and a suspended interior food basket to keep things cold and dry.

Overall, we really like this cooler's versatility at a reasonable price.

Here's What To Know

  • Ultratherm insulated body and lid provide 4-day ice retention performance
  • Butler tray utilizes the telescoping handle for serving snacks and drinks, and it stores under the lid when not in use
  • Two bottle openers are at your fingertips when you're ready to enjoy another refreshment
  • Oversized 10 inch never-flat wheels tackle Sand and other challenging terrain with superior traction and ease
  • Self-draining cup holders keep your cold ones in arm's reach. Capacity-112 12-ounce cans. 70 quarts (66 liters)

YETI Tundra 45 Cooler

Best Fishing Cooler For Durability And Toughness

Yeti Tundra 45 Fishing Cooler

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Why We Love It

We can hardly do a review of hard sided coolers without putting a model from Yeti on the list.  We've tried to stay with reasonably priced coolers.

But the Yeti is definitely a premium product.  They started in 2006 after frustration from coolers that would get crushed when you sat on them.  So they set out to design coolers with durability, weather resistance, and extended ice retention in mind.

These coolers are "grizzly-tough," and they're approved by something called the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.  (Side note:  What are the requirements to be in this group?)  The Tundra 45 holds enough for 4 people for a day on the water.  The rotomolded durable design helps the cooler withstand the rigors of camping, fishing and the grind of hauling a cooler from place to place.  It's the same process that durable kayaks are made from.

The Tundra 45 comes in a variety of colors and sizes, and prices.  Overall for durability and ice retention, this Yeti Tundra 45 makes our list.

Here's What To Know

  • Versatile and durable
  • 26 can capacity with a recommended 2:1 ice-to-contents ratio
  • 3 inches of PermaFrost Insulation
  • Extra thick Fat Wall design is certified Bear-Resistant
  • Rotomolded Construction
  • Virtually indestructible
  • T-Rex Lid Latches constructed of heavy-duty rubber
  • 25 3/4 in long x 16 1/8 in wide x 15 3/8 in high
  • Empty weight of 23 lbs.
  • All Tundra models come standard with one dry goods basket.

Coleman Xtreme Portable Cooler

Best Value In A Fishing Cooler

Coleman Xtreme Portable Fishing Cooler

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Why We Love It

Food and drinks—and the fun—last longer on boating or fishing trips with the Coleman® 70-Quart Xtreme® 5 Marine Hard Ice Chest Cooler, which keeps ice up to 5 days in temperatures as high as 90°F. It's also designed to withstand the demands of a marine environment with UVGuard™ protection from the sun and stainless-steel hardware that resists rusting. Able to fit 100 cans, this high-capacity cooler offers plenty of room for refreshments or the weekend's catch.

Here's What To Know

  • Xtreme Technology; Insulated lid and extra wall insulation keeps ice up to 5 days in temperatures as high as 90°F
  • Holds Up to 100 Cans
  • Closed lid supports up to 250 lb.
  • Integrated lid cupholders prevent spills
  • Comfort grip handles
  • Smooth surface wipes clean easily
  • Integrated leak-resistant drain

What To Look For In A Cooler:

Soft sided vs. Hard sided

The soft sided cooler and the hard sided cooler are night and day different.  The soft side cooler is lighter and easier to carry but won't have the insulation properties of a hard sided cooler.  For this guide, we've looked at hard sided coolers.


A lighter cooler will be easier to manage, whether you're on a boat or doing some surf fishing.  But there is a trade-off in a lighter fishing cooler.  If it's lighter, it usually means that the cooler sacrifices insulation and possibly even durability.  The heavier coolers will keep things cold longer but will not be as easy to carry, especially when it's full of fish, drinks or ice.


This is one of the most important aspects of picking the right cooler.  You're going to be hauling it, presumably from the boat to the dock to the car to the house, or from the beach.  And in the process it'll be subject to the wear and tear of transporting.  So the build of a cooler is important.


How long will the fishing cooler keep your things cold?  Are you in for a long day on the water?  If so, you need insulation properties that won't cause you to be worried whether or not your fish will be fresh.  The bigger, thicker, heavier coolers will generally have better insulation ability than the smaller ones.  So pay attention to ice retention qualities when looking for fishing coolers.

Best Fishing Cooler FAQs

There are so many variables in picking out a good fishing cooler.  Many environments can be harsh, and you want a cooler that will stand up to the elements.

If you don’t do your research and maybe buy the one that’s not right, then what do you do?  You can return them, but it wipes out some of your time, and who wants that?

We’ve created a buyer’s guide of frequently asked questions to help you choose the best fishing cooler that will keep your items safe and chilled.  Hopefully one of these questions is one you've already asked yourself about fishing coolers.

What is the best fishing cooler?

Here is our list of the 7 best:

Do I need a cooler for fishing?

Well, yes, you should have a cooler for fishing.  A cooler will keep your bait and catch cool, and the best fishing coolers also preserve food and beverages and serve as dry storage for gear. As soon as you land a fish you plan to eat, it is important to put the fish on ice.

What's the difference between a marine cooler and regular cooler?

Marine coolers are built to take the extreme conditions of boating. They are rust resistant, slip proof, and UV protected. They offer a lot more insulation than standard coolers. Some may even have a commercial grade gasket lid to keep the hot summer heat out.

How do you store fish while shore fishing?

Placing fish on a stringer and lowering it in the water. Putting your catch in a wire mesh basket and placing it in the water. Using a live well that accommodates all of your fish. Positioning the fish in a fishing cooler or pail with shaved ice to keep them cool; this will make smaller fish go dormant.

What is the best boat cooler?

  • Best Overall: YETI Tundra 45.
  • Best Cooler Bag: Engel HD30 Heavy-Duty Soft Sided Cooler Tote Bag.
  • Best Small: Pelican Elite Cooler – 30 Qt.
  • Best with Wheels: Coleman 316 Series 100-Quart Marine Wheeled Cooler.
  • Best for the Money: RTIC 20 Qt. Hard Cooler.

Why are roto molded coolers better?

Rotomolded coolers are hard-sided coolers that are durable and great for temperature retention. While they tend to be heavier and not as easily transported, they are great for withstanding long-term use. Rotomolded coolers with durable, insulated walls are ideal for keeping ice for long periods of time.

Is RTIC as good as Yeti?

Among the two brands of fishing cooler, RTIC has a longer ice life compared to Yeti. Their large sizes, plastic construction, and thicker walls make them better at retaining ice. Yeti coolers tend to be of higher quality, although with shorter ice life and smaller sizes. Some coolers claim to have an ice life of 8 days, others even more.

The Best Fishing Coolers – The Last Cast

So, what is the best fishing cooler?  The answer to that may vary from person to person but in this review, we’ve given you the best options from some solid names in the outdoor based on thousands of reviews.  We hope you find this information helpful to find the best cooler you deserve.

All you have to do now is just click the orange button to check the price on the fishing cooler that works for you.  Thanks!

Cheers to the outdoors,