Top Fishing Coolers Reviewed and Compared
If you are looking to find the best fishing cooler but you are unsure about which of the many available models to choose from, we have you covered. We have gone through the most popular fishing coolers reviews, and after considering the quality and reliability of the products in question, we’ve concluded that the model you should get is the Pelican Products ProGear Elite. This model is built to last which is why it features corrosion-resistant stainless steel and heavy-duty wheels. You get lots of storage space for your high-quality fishing bait, while still leaving room for your favorite beverages and the live catch. What’s more, this unit comes with a built-in bottle opener so that you can enjoy your day while waiting for the fish to bite. If by any unfortunate event you are unable to find our first pick, but you are still resolute in getting a cheap fishing cooler, we recommend you keep the Coleman 16-Quart in mind as a second choice.
Our Top Choice
The molded-in handles with a built-in trolley handle will make carrying this unit a breeze in any condition and environment. The press and pull latches are wide enough to allow gloved use. You also get a built-in bottle opener.
Customers have reported that the unit is rather heavy when filled with ice which removes some of its portability when fishing in remote areas.
Overall, if you are looking for a premium option that can keep your fish and drinks cold and fresh for days, the Pelican alternative is a product that has garnered the satisfaction of the customers.
This is a compact wheeled cooler box that is perfect for fishing, camping trips, and tailgating parties. The telescoping handle and the heavy-duty wheel make it easy to carry with one hand if the other is busy with other equipment.
A few users had issues with the top. It appears that the top does not snap tightly and that can mean that if dropped, the contents could spill everywhere.
When considering the price of this model, it’s hard not to be impressed with the value it offers. The compact nature of this unit makes it ideal for people that want to travel light and comfortably.
Also To Consider
With 28 quarts worth of storage space, you will have enough space for all your favorite food and beverages. The elevated cooler design will improve the cooling performance by minimizing contact with the ground or other hot surfaces.
The major gripe that customers had with this option comes from the fact that opening the lid is extremely difficult since the opening is too small to grab properly.
The Igloo Island Breeze is another affordable option that is highly compact and built to handle extremely warm conditions. The elevated design will also make it ideal for use at the beach.
10 Best Fishing Coolers (Reviews) in 2023
Finding the best cooler for fishing is a tough task, mainly because there are many options out there built to handle specific situations. If you want to get a good fishing cooler with little hassle, we have selected some of the top-rated models for particular needs below.
Best wheeled cooler
1. Pelican 45QW | 42.59 Liter Elite Cooler with Wheels Tan
It will also keep food smells inside the box to decrease chances of encounters with wild animals. It can retain ice for up to 10 days so that your fish and beverages can remain fresh during your entire outing.
Even when the sun is blazing, you can simply put your favorite fishing sunglasses on and enjoy the day, knowing that the cooler will not be affected in any way.
What’s more, the use of corrosion-resistant stainless steel will ensure that even if the model comes into contact with water, the integrity of the body will not be affected. The press and pull latches are wide enough to allow use even when wearing thick insulated fishing gloves.Buy from Amazon.com
Best small wheeled cooler
2. Coleman 16-Quart Personal Cooler with Wheels
Even when full of fish and drinks, this wheeled cooler is extremely easy to transport, and that is helped by the telescoping handle and the heavy-duty wheels that can handle any terrain.
You won’t have to worry about carrying your fishing equipment, and you’ll be able to transport this nifty option in one hand, and use your other hand for your high-quality tackle box.
The durable polyethylene construction is capable of handling harsh use, making it ideal for anglers that travel a lot. The hinged lid allows for easy, one-handed access, perfect for when you don’t want to take your hand off your favorite bass fishing rod.Buy from Amazon.com
3. Igloo Island Breeze
The sturdy swing-up bail handle will allow for a comfortable and stable carrying so that you don’t have to worry about the cans or bottles getting shaken too hard. The lid can also transform itself into a tray and cup holder for more convenient preparation and serving.
The 29-quart size of this model is enough to hold up to 37 cans, 12 20-ounce sports drinks, or 6 two-liter bottles upright. Customers were impressed with the quality and the lightweight design of this model that make it usable for numerous activities and in multiple environments.Buy from Amazon.com
Best ice box
4. Coleman 16-Quart Excursion Cooler
While the unit is built to offer great portability, despite its lightweight construction, it still provides enough room to hold up to 22 cans. Nearly an entire case of sodas can fit inside the Excursion cooler. The hinged lid will help keep the contents secured even if you drop the box accidentally.
The comfort grip handle will enable the user to carry this model using only one hand while the non-slip ergonomic materials will ensure that even if your hands are wet after handling a high-performance spinning reel, there will be no risk of dropping this unit.Buy from Amazon.com
5. Coleman Wheeled Cooler | Xtreme Cooler Keeps Ice
Transport your cold food and beverages easily and keep your fish fresh with the Coleman Xtreme Series. This multi-purpose option is perfect for many outdoor activities, including but not limited to fishing, sporting events, camping trips, and picnics. The heavy-duty wheels will make it easy to transport the cooler across diverse and harsh terrains.
The telescoping handle will also ensure the best possible comfort. This way, you’ll be able to customize the length of the handle so that it suits the environment and your body type for reliable and trouble-free transport. The high capacity of 50-quarts will enable the unit to hold up to 84 cans.
The insulated lid and walls provide up to 5 days of ice retention at temperatures up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The cover has cup holders molded into it which will allow for easy access to your beverages without the need of other accessories.Buy from Amazon.com
6. Pelican Products ProGear Elite Wheeled Cooler
Committed to providing users with features such as durability, an ergonomic design, and performance, the ProGear Elite Wheeled Cooler from Pelican is worth considering as well. With a 45-quart capacity, this model is ideal for extended camping trips, tailgate parties, sports events, and other such outdoor activities.
This product is designed to last and provide a top performance. You get to enjoy ice retention for up to 10 days thanks to the 2-inch polyurethane insulation and the 360-degree freezer-grade gasket. Durability is ensured by the quality materials used. The body is made of polypropylene whereas some of its parts are made of stainless steel for extended use.
Moreover, the product provides UV resistance, so you can easily use it when out there. The thick wall insulation and the reinforced corners won’t just deliver longer ice retention but will also protect the product from impacts.
Transporting the cooler is easy thanks to the large heavy-duty wheels it comes with. They will enable you to carry it even on uneven terrain. The press and pull latches will help you keep it securely closed. The lid boasts an accurate fishing scale, which renders this model perfect for measuring your catch.Buy from Amazon.com
7. Igloo Unisex’s Ice Cube 60 Roller Cool Box-Blue
Whether you need a new cooler for your fishing boat accessories or for the time you plan to spend with your family exploring nature, the Ocean Blue Ice Cube Roller Cooler from Igloo should not go unchecked. The durable cooler will provide you with a 60-quart capacity, which makes it ideal for long camping trips, outdoor parties, or activities such as fishing so you can store and cool your catch.
The product was built with your comfort in mind. Therefore, it sports a push button and locking telescopic handle that will make it easy for you to carry it from your car to your desired destination.
Moreover, the item also features molded side scoop handles that will help you lift it in and out of your vehicle with ease. The comfort and safety of transportation are further enhanced by the durable wheels used. The product uses polyethylene to make sure that carrying a heavy load won’t lead to a damaged cooler.
The lid boasts 4 cup holders so you can keep your favorite beverages within reach. The Ultratherm insulated body will keep the contents cold for a long time. The product measures 18.5 x 20.3 x 20.5 inches and weighs 12.2 pounds.Buy from Amazon.com
8. Igloo 34067 Maxcold Quantum Roller Coolbox
Another option you might want to consider when looking for a cooler to help you with your camping, fishing, or outdoor activities is the Max Cold Quantum Roller Cooler from Igloo. Designed to help you get your favorite food and beverages to your desired destination comfortably and safely, this product is committed to providing the ultimate in cold retention.
Such a promise is possible due to the Ultratherm insulated lid and body. The model is appreciated for keeping the contents inside it cooler longer. With this item, you can rest assured that your food and drinks will stay cold all weekend.
Your comfort was another feature Igloo had in mind when designing this product. To provide you with enhanced comfort, the cooler sports a locking, telescoping handle that boasts gear hangers so you can hold purses, bags, and others such items. Additionally, it comes with molded-in side handles so you can easily and comfortably lift it in and out of your car.
The durable wheels further enhance one’s comfort when transporting it. The product can be either pulled or pushed. The cool riser technology used improves the cooler’s performance by minimizing contact with the ground or hot surfaces.Buy from Amazon.com
9. Coleman 100-Quart Xtreme 5-Day Heavy-Duty Cooler
If you plan to go on a camping trip and take all of your dear ones with you, this model from Coleman is definitely worth considering. The Quart Extreme Wheeled Cooler will enable you to store and cool 160 cans for up to 5 days, which means you can enjoy long trips from now on without worrying about keeping your food and beverages at the right temperature. This cooler will take care of that.
The Xtreme 5 Technology used will keep ice up to 5 days at temperatures of up to 90° F. Moreover, you will be able to enjoy that without affecting the environment as the ThermOZONE Insulation contains no CFCs, HFCs or HCFCs that are known to deplete the ozone.
The product can be easily transported due to the durable wheels it comes with. It also boasts two-way handles so you can comfortably carry it. The item features a rustproof, leak-resistant channel to ensure no-tilt draining.
The lid has 4 integrated cup holders which will enable you to keep your drinks close. The exterior of the cooler measures 36.5 x 16.75 x 18.25 inches while its interior measures 23.75 x 11.75 x 13 inches.Buy from Amazon.com
Best wheeled cooler for the beach
10. Igloo 58991 Cool Fusion 36-Can Roller MaxCold Coolers
The MaxCold insulation features 25% more foam which will allow the ice to stay cool for longer. The locking, telescoping handle, and the rubberized wheels will allow you to transport this unit across any terrain. The hard-sided plastic interior is easy to clean since it only takes a few minutes until the product is ready to be used again.
It comes with many exterior pockets that are extremely useful for fishing purposes. You can use them to store and organize all your favorite equipment such as quality fishing lures, knives, and more.Buy from Amazon.com
With so many fishing coolers for sale, it can be challenging to know which one to choose, especially as they all come in different sizes, shapes, and with unique features that can be useful to have. Knowing which product meets your needs requires you to take the time to research.
Since we know that not everyone has the kind of time on their hands that would allow them to prospect the market correctly and read countless specialized resources, we have decided to do this ourselves. We have done the hard work for you and in the buyer’s guide below you will find what the aspects worth keeping in mind when purchasing this type of product are.
It might seem like a given, but the essential part of any cooler is the insulation which is why you should put a lot of emphasis on this factor. The insulation is even more critical when looking for fishing coolers since you will want to keep your catch fresh for as long as possible.
Since most coolers are built to keep food and beer at a specific temperature, they might not always be suitable to use as means of keeping meat fresh. The best way to get a decent multi-purpose cooler is to check the temperature it maintains.
If you want to store fish along with beverages and snacks, you will need to get a unit that can keep the temperature inside the cooler no higher than 32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degrees Celsius. Since it can be hard to test the interior temperature, the best way to ensure a product meets this criterion is to see how long the ice remains solid with the lid shut.
As long as the ice remains solid, the temperature inside the cooler should be low enough to enable you to store all your favorite items in it. Quality insulation is also a must if you intend to carry your cooler for extended fishing trips. Some models can keep ice solid for up to 8 to 10 days and sometimes even more.
Apart from the insulation itself, we recommend you also examine the gasket that comes along with it. Make sure that no air enters or leaves the cooler while the lid is shut, as that will determine just how long the ice will survive.
A sturdy construction
Another crucial factor when looking to buy a quality fishing cooler comes in the form of the materials that are being used. A cooler will be bounced around a fair amount and even be dropped a couple of times. This is not something you can avoid, so it is best that you prepare yourself for this by going with an option that employs quality and durable materials.
We recommend you go for options that are made of heavy-duty plastics or stainless steel since these are capable of withstanding great forces and impacts without showing signs of wear. The rest of the components such as the handles, latches, and hinges should be made of similarly strong materials.
You can test the sturdiness of your purchase by attempting to push the walls of the cooler inward. If the walls don’t give in, you will be sure that you are dealing with a durable option. Similarly, since the unit will be exposed to the elements quite often, you should make sure that the materials guarantee UV protection.
Other features to consider
Don’t let yourself get fooled by the size of an option. You should make sure you always check what the actual capacity of a cooler is since the exterior size vs. the internal capacity can differ a lot. The thicker the walls of the insulation are, the smaller the internal capacity will be.
To make removing the melted water easier, you should make sure you get a model that has draining holes. With this feature, the water will flow away so that you won’t have to lift and tilt the product over to ensure that all the water inside the box was removed.
Comfort is also important which is why we recommend you get an option that is easy to carry around. If you fish alone, going for a lighter model is recommended. You should also make sure that the handles are of high quality. Unless the cooler is very light and small, you shouldn’t get a unit that doesn’t feature handles.
Best fishing cooler brands
Pelican Products is the global leader in the design and manufacture of products for professionals and outdoor enthusiasts alike. The products it creates are built to handle the specific requirements of the most demanding markets ranging from law enforcement, life sciences, entertainment and industrial, to consumer products.
The company was founded in 1976, but it was only in 2012 that it began to diversify its products and services by introducing a line of temperature-controller transport cases. In the years since then, it became the go-to-choice for professionals and amateur anglers that are looking to purchase a high-quality fishing cooler.
Coleman is an American company that is specialized in outdoor recreation products. It was founded by William Coffin Coleman, who started by selling gasoline pressure lamps in 1900 in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. It focuses on producing camping gear, and it can offer a product for every need and every budget.
Outdoor enthusiasts will be quick to recommend Coleman as it now focuses on producing gear for all types of outdoor activities. You can find tents and shelters, lanterns and lights, coolers and water jugs, and even accessories for your ATV. As a plus, the company also offers affordable choices for all its products.
Starting back in 1947, Igloo is an American manufacturer of drink containers, ice chests, and supporting accessories. The brand began as a metalworking shop, and it was only in 1972 that the name changed to the famous word that thousands of customers now associate with quality, reliability, and affordability.
In the present day, Igloo is more than 1200 employees strong and has a 1.8 million-square-foot, three-building facility in Katy, Texas, where its headquarters is situated. With more than 500 products sold at hundreds of retailers around the globe, it can safely be said that it is the number one cooler manufacturer in the world.