Marine coolers are what you expect to find and use when heading out on the open water. They tend work a little better for retaining ice, and this could be an integral part of keeping fish fresh until you head back to the shore. Fishing trips may also be somewhat timely and with the sun belting down during the peak of the day, keeping everything at the optimal temperature is essential.
Nevertheless, choosing one might not always be the easiest of tasks and many people will be frustrated with all the top brands and just select the first one they see. Since this is not always the best option and taking time to do some in-depth research is not always easy, here you should learn some of the ins and outs when it comes to choosing the ideal one for your trip.
Read on to find out which coolers we have rated as the best
A marine cooler has a few characteristics that a standard fishing cooler doesn’t have. These include:
Ice retention might be first and foremost in leading one into choosing one of these coolers, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. We’ve listed below some other features that one should keep in mind before making your final purchase.
The materials will play a significant part in selecting the right cooler and when it comes to marine coolers; it should be sturdy and somewhat durable as well. The primary materials are plastic and metal, but fabric coolers can also be selected. However, fabric coolers may not be the ideal choice when shopping for a marine cooler.
The insulation is probably the most important part when you are out on the waters and with the right insulation, the cooler will stay cold for days and keep everything fresh. Some of the cheaper coolers will have 1-inch insulation, but as a general rule of thumb, you should look for 2-3 inches of insulation when selecting the right cooler.
Size is another feature that can be considered relevant. Having a large cooler gives you the opportunity of packing away a larger fish, but will have the drawback of requiring more ice. The size will depend on your specific need and whether you have the space to store the cooler out of the direct sunlight. The form of measurement used to determine the available space on the inside of the cooler is quarts– e.g., 50-100 QTS.
How long will you be spending away on your camping/fishing expeditions? This question is what you need to answer before making your selection. Based on testing, manufacturers usually designate the number of days that their coolers can keep ice before melting. Our advice here would be to do your research and find out what other people are saying based on their experience.
The drainage of the cooler is closely linked to the ability you will have when cleaning it thoroughly. Drainage is indicated by the amount of draining outlets the cooler has. Most of the high-end coolers will have 2 draining outlets and this makes it easier to clean and wash out that fish smell, which might eventually leave a nasty stench.
There are some other qualities worth your attention when shopping for the ideal cooler to ensure a happy and pleasant fishing experience.
The YETI Tundra 65 Cooler is constructed from roto-molded plastic, keeping it lighter than the metal coolers and easier to carry when full. This cooler meets the needs of all outdoor lovers, and with a gasket-style seal, it seals in the cold without any problems. With 3-inch Permafrost insulation, the cooler keeps ice frozen for days on end.
The cooler also drains rather quickly and with LipGrip handles the cooler is easy to carry and will not slip out of your hands. Bear proof technology is used in the design along a design that keeps the cooler in place on the boat to reduce any sliding around. Finally, the patented T-Rex rubber latches will hold up under strenuous conditions and reduce any rust.
The ORCA 75 Quart Cooler is another roto-molded cooler with integrated insulation. A rubber gasket has also been used in the seal, giving a freezer-style seal that will keep the heat out and the ice from melting on the inside. At only 35-pounds, the cooler is also lightweight and should be easy to carry and move if needed.
The handles constructed from nylon with molded rubber make the cooler easier to carry. The footing is quite slippery, but you might need a carpet to keep it secure if the boat or surface you are using it on is slick as well. The durable latch-locking system will keep it from sliding open.
The Coleman Coastal Xtreme Marine Cooler Series has many fans. The stainless steel construction allows it to maintain ice for several days and competes well with many of its roto-molded competitors. The cooler is designed to be rust resistant, and UV protected facilitating ice-cold temperatures of up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
The lid is quite versatile with enough space to hold cups, and it can be used as a seat as well for camping or other outdoor purposes. Molded handle grips also remove the strain from your hands and make the cooler somewhat easier to carry around. Whether you are out on the ocean in saltwater conditions or camping, this cooler is quite dependable will keep everything cool.
Made from plastic and polyethylene, the Pelican Products ProGear Elite Cooler is lightweight and easy to carry. It is insulated by 2-inches of insulation to keep the cold inside, and combined with the addition of a gasket seal; makes a solid cooler for keeping your fish, drinks and perishables impervious to all weather conditions.
The dual handle system makes it easier to carry from one point to the other, but the handles do put some strain on your hands. You might need assistance if you intend to transport from point to point. The cooler does come with wheels, but reviews indicate that the wheels are only useful on very smooth surfaces.
The Igloo Yukon Cold Locker Cooler is one of the best options if you are looking for longer trips and excellent ice retention. The cooler is constructed from roto-molded plastic and 3-inch polyurethane insulation that keeps all the heat outside. In addition to the rugged design, it features a very good locking mechanism to keep the lid tightly locked.
The cooler comes with an integrated fish ruler that makes it easy to jot down the size of your catch. The oversized drainage holes will drain the water out in a matter of minutes making cleaning the cooler quick and straightforward. It is also worth noting that the cooler has been certified to be bear-resistant for your outdoor camping expeditions.
The Thermik High-Performance Roto-molded Cooler has been made with the same top quality insulation one would expect to find in some of the more advanced coolers on the market today. With a freezer grade seal, the cooler does a great job at keeping your contents cold making for a great fishing experience.
The handles made of nylon with molded rubber, are one of the weaknesses, not the most durable for carrying a heavy cooler. Nevertheless, the addition of a cutting board or working surface is perfect for cutting fish before storing or preparing your meals on the fly. The drainage holes are also oversized for this cooler for simple and easy cleaning.
Finding an excellent marine cooler is more than just about the price and the ice retention. There are many other features we’ve outlined in this article that you may consider which might lead to spending a few extra dollars to get what you want. A few dollars spent now may save frustration on future fishing excursions, especially if your cooler fails to provide for all of your needs.
Considerations in selecting the right cooler for your fishing excursions should include: price, quality, storage capacity, weather conditions, terrain, length of trip and portability. Try not to over purchase. If your fishing outings are limited to day outings, then you do not need a cooler with ice retention up to 6-7 days.
A marine cooler is another awesome tool for the angler. There are numerous choices to look over and hopefully this article will help you discover the one that best suits your purpose.Remember “no fish stays fresh without a cooler”