Every year, in early spring and summer, people start preparing themselves for that first boating trip of the season. Preparing means more than simply putting gas in the boat for many. They also take this time to ensure their cooler is cleaned out and ready to go because nothing makes a boating trip better than to have a cold one or two with your fishing buddies. If your cooler has suffered and failed after last summer, now could be the time to consider a marine cooler.
Many looking for a marine or fishing cooler get hung up on ice retention times. However, when it comes to a quality cooler that can hold up to regular uses in a harsh mating environment ice retention times should only be one deciding factor among many. We have outlined those below, but also realize that many are short on time and ultimately only care how long a cooler they are looking to purchase can hold ice. Therefore, we have included the results of our Ultimate Ice Challenge below. This ice challenge is our most sophisticated ice challenge to date as a result of what our over 1.1 million viewers have asked to see. The table below is sortable so you can value cooler based on price, ice retention, etc.
Jump To = > Cheaper Marine Cooler Options
Popular Marine Grade Ice Chest
|Cooler||Ice Held||Ice Retention||Price||Dry Weight||Full Review|
|ORCA Coolers 58Q||50 lbs|
|$$$$||32 lbs||Full Review|
|Engel Deep Blue 50Q||42 lbs|
|$$$||24 lbs||Full Review|
|$$$$||31 lbs||Full Review|
|$$$||26 lb.||Full Review|
|Yeti Tundra 45(37Q)||33 lbs|
|$$$$||23 lbs||Full Review|
|Pelican ProGear 45Q||39 lbs|
|$$$||37 lbs||Full Review|
|Igloo Sportsman 40Q||39 lbs|
|$$||22 lbs||Full Review|
|Grizzly Coolers 40Q-White ||39 lbs|
|$$$$||22 lbs||Full Review|
|Grizzly Coolers 40Q- Tan||39 lbs|
|$$$$||22 lbs||Full Review|
|Pelican Tailgating 55Q||45 lbs|
|$$$$||46 lbs||Full Review|
|$$||19 lbs||Full Review|
Why Choose a Marine 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 as well. Some may even have a commercial grade gasket lid to keep the hot summer heat out. Many of them have rulers on the lid to help you measure out the fish you have caught. Best of all many are able to resist odors that fish can sometimes leave behind in other coolers.
How to Find the Best Marine Cooler
One thing you definitely want to know about before you buy a marine cooler is how long it is rated to hold ice for. You will want a cooler that holds ice for as long as you’ll need, whether it is a day or a week. Luckily for you, we have already conducted a myriad of tests and have ranked just about all coolers available (see table above).
Do you want a cooler stable and solid enough for you to sit on and use as an extra chair or casting platform? This could also be an important factor in your decision. This would mean nonskid and perhaps a high end roto molded plastic.
Higher End Boating Cooler Choices
Cost is also a big deciding factor for many people. Not everyone wants to spend hundreds of dollars for a cooler, even if it is worth it. The YETI Tundra is a high end extremely durable cooler. Tundra coolers are a premium priced cooler but, according to most Yeti coolers are well worth it. You can decide for yourself by reading the full review here. If you are not a YETI fan, the Pelican ProGear Elite cooler review can be found here. Either of these coolers are better than the average cooler, but perhaps more expensive than some want to invest. Refer back to the table above to gauge how these coolers stack up against each other in terms of ice retention times.
View Ultimate Ice Challenge Below:
Cheaper Boat Cooler Choices
Igloo is a name that many trusts. The Marine Ultra is a 94 quart cooler that is insulated with Utratherm in both the body and the lid. It is UV protected and has comfort grip handles that are reinforced. It can resist stains and odors, no matter what you put inside of it. It has a measuring scale on the lid for your convenience, tie downs and most users agree that it can hold ice for a few days, even if it is being opened a good bit.
According to most owner reviews, this Rubbermaid cooler has the ability to keep ice for up to 7 days even if the temperature outside is 90. It has extra wide handles to aide in easy to carry, resists odors and stains. It does have a threaded drain plug for easy draining of this 150 quart cooler. There are built in cup holders which can hold cans or 20 oz bottles. With a full 150 quarts, you can hold more than 250 cans, 30 pounds of ice or a lot of fish. It is large enough to hold 2 liter bottles in the upright position.
This is probably the best marine cooler for the money. We’ve done a full product review here. It is very affordable and has a 70 quart capacity to hold up to 98 cans of your favorite beverage. Ice can hold for up to 5 days, though, as it melts, you can drain it through a rust proof, leak resistant plug. There are four cup holders built into the lid and no matter how much you keep it out in the sun, it will resist UV rays and the damage that it can cause. You can also buy marine cooler seats to cover this cooler so that it can serve more than one purpose on your boat, if you are concerned about how much space it will take up.