Best Marine Coolers | Top 5 Ice Chests For Fishing

Best Marine Coolers

As any sailor will tell you, the caprices of the open water are not to be taken lightly.

Pelican Products ProGear Elite Cooler

The saltwater and driving winds can wreak havoc on equipment and goods. As well as that, a bracing sea fishing trip can be ruined by a spoiled catch.

The last thing you want is a boat cooler that doesn’t hold up and keep your catch fresh throughout the trip.

It’s essential to get a marine cooler that keeps ice cold consistently over time and is durable enough to withstand many journeys.

I'm going to give you the rundown of our top five best marine coolers on the market today.

I'll be looking at a range of sizes, attributes, and prices so that you don't have to go overboard when researching your next marine ice chest.

Marine Cooler Reviews| Comparison Chart

Top 5 Marine Coolers On The Market

1. Yeti Tundra Cooler 65

It's no surprise that YETI has gained first slot on my list of best fishing coolers.

Yeti Tundra Cooler

The company is a stalwart of the ice chest manufacturing world and is constantly being praised as a brand for its excellent quality products and durability.

Yeti is a very trustable name brand in the cooler space.  It was started by two brothers that liked to fish and were tired of the flimsy options on the market.

The YETI Tundra therefore is a reliable investment if you're looking for a durable and well-designed cooler, though the great quality comes at a price.

Though the most expensive of the coolers on our list, if you are a frequent fisher, then consider this a smart investment for the long run.

Yeti handle

A good thing to remember is if you are buying a new cooler every year or two you end up losing money buying the cheaper model. It’s probably worth it to go quality and durability over price in this case.

Roto-molded in one piece, with T-Rex latches and a NeverFail hinge system, this marine ice cooler is a great catch.

Check it out and you will be sure to be blown away by the quality and attention to detail that Yeti puts in all their high-end marine coolers.

2. Pelican Products ProGear Elite Cooler

Next up is the Pelican Products ProGear Elite Cooler in 65-quart size.

Pelican Products ProGear Elite Cooler

Pelican sits together with YETI in the big league of ice chest manufacturers. Their products have 40 years of experience in them and are guaranteed for life.

The ProGear Elite cooler won't disappoint with it's ten days’ ice-retention and freezer grade gasket. That sure it a lot of mileage on a single pack of ice.

As the ice does start to melt you won’t need to worry about spillage as this cooler is extremely watertight.

Polyethylene plastic and robust handles also mean this ice chest is going to be with you for a long time. A great cooler and well worth the higher price.

3. Grizzly Coolers 60-Quart Cooler

The Grizzly 60-Quart cooler is just as mean and tough as the company's name suggests.

Grizzly Coolers 60-Quart Cooler

At a high price point like the two previous listings, it’s also selling in the premium quality market.

Again, we only want to recommend the best of the best and the Grizzly 60-Quart easily makes that list with their top of the line materials.

A great feature that many Yeti loyalists often overlook, is that Grizzly coolers are manufactured in the good ole US of A (Yeti has some of its manufacturing, not all, overseas).

It has feel-good built into the purchase, and that lifetime warranty isn't too bad either.

The ice-retention is great–up to ten days, while the seals are well made and will store your precious catch without causing a stink. A smooth surface coupled with an oversized drain also means this cooler is a dream to clean.

The Grizzly has been run over by an 11,000lb tractor in product testing and even has a bear proof certification, making this the rough and tough choice for fishing enthusiasts.

4. Coleman 120 Quart Xtreme 5 Marine Cooler

My budget choice is the Coleman 120 Quart Coastal Xtreme Series Marine Cooler.

Coleman 120 Quart Coastal Xtreme Series Marine Cooler

Priced considerably lower than the above models mentioned, this ice chest still has some great features, and so I can unashamedly support it as one of our best fishing coolers reviewed.

The Coastal Xtreme has a UV guard that will help protect your cooler and give it a longer lifespan than the price would initially suggest. It has an ice-retention of up to six days, and is rust resistant.

With the lower cost comes some downgrades in a few of the materials and production compared to the high-grade coolers. The lid will leak a little if left at an angle, so be sure to keep this ice chest on flat surfaces for prolonged periods of time.

Overall however, for the price, it'll be hard to find a better cooler. So if you are looking for a cheaper marine cooler model, look no further than our “Best Value” choice.

5. Outdoor Recreational Company of America Cooler

Finishing off my list of best boat coolers is the Outdoor Recreational Company of America Cooler, or ORCA brand.

Outdoor Recreational Company of America Cooler

Also made in the USA, this ice chest is durable and thoughtfully designed and effective.

However, it comes at the highest price point of all the coolers on my list when you include the shipping cost.

It is an excellent product and is sure to not disappoint, but we didn’t see any considerable strengths of this cooler over the others reviewed above when factoring in the price.

The ORCA cooler is roto-molded making it tough, but also sleek and easy to clean.

The company measures the cooler's internal dimensions, which means that you tend to get more room for your buck with their sizes.

The lid gasket ensures you have a tough seal, so you need not worry about finding your catch spoiled on the drive home.  They believe in their product and thus offer a lifetime warranty to go along with your purchase.

Summing It Up: What Is The Best Cooler for Fishing?

Best Fishing Coolers

Overall, we hope you have liked our marine coolers reviews and have come away with a better grasp of the best boating cooler for your particular budget.

I've looked at how proper seals, good ice-retention and value for your money can affect your choices when looking for the best coolers for boating and fishing.

Personally, we loved both the Yeti Tundra and Pelican Elite Model as they both deliver an excellent product that has the durability to last many outings.

For us, Yeti has slight edge with the detail that they put in manufacturing and eliminating all possible defects.

Yeti Tundra Cooler

It's absolutely vital that you consider the type of investment you want to make here, because some of the coolers run to upwards of $300 to $400.

However, if your trips are frequent and you feel your ice chest will be tested by the elements then this can be a very wise investment.

The worst case scenario is compromising on your purchase and coming home, opening your ice chest, only to find you've gotten fresh caught, but spoiled fish!

Looking to purchase the best cooler on the market?   We put together an In-Depth Guide with the best coolers you can buy and went more into detail on the decision process.

About the author

Nate Alger

Nate is avid CrossFitter who loves pushing his body to the max in his attempt to look stronger. He loves toppling outrageous hiking adventures. Some of his most recent excursions include the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and the Half Dome hike in Yosemite National Park.

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