5 Best Ice Chests for Fishing (Reviews Updated 2022)

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Ice chests are an essential part of your fishing gear if you plan to spend the whole day or more on the water, and more so in the hot months of summer. They use ice to ensure your catch stays fresh and are great to store drinks or other food items while you have all the fun at the lakeside or on your boat. The ideal ice chest should come with good storage space, excellent ice retention, should be very insulating, very portable, and should be durable enough to survive years of harsh use.

Best Ice Chest for Fishing

To save you the shopping hassle, we have compiled a list of our top five ice chests for fishing that all boast of great features and don’t cost a fortune.

1. Coleman Rolling Cooler

Coleman Rolling Cooler

The Coleman rolling cooler comes with a 50-quart capacity and comes in a sleek, low-profile design. It boasts of up to five days of ice retention in 90º F, comes with heavy-duty wheels for the most portability, and can support up to 250 lbs. of weight with its lid closed. It also comes with cup holders, ergonomic dual carrying handles, and a telescopic trolling handle.

  • Rugged, durable design.
  • Excellent insulation.
  • Very portable.
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2. Snowball Ice Chest

Snowball Ice Chest

The Snowball ice chest sports a silicone seal working with its thick PU foam for the most insulation and comes with a 37-quart capacity. It comes with a host of built-in accessories like fish rulers, double T-latches with beer opener, and features eco-friendly materials that are excellent weatherproof and are especially suited to storing food. It also comes with dual carrying handles, non-skid footpads, and sports an overall rugged design that will survive a bear attack.

  • Very rugged design.
  • Excellent insulation, offers a host of accessories.
  • Food-grade performance.
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3. Igloo BMX Ice Chest

Igloo Bmx Ice Chest

The Igloo BMX ice chest comes with a large 72-quart capacity and features EVA padding and an insulated lid for the best ice retention. It is built for a very tight seal, is very durable, and offers excellent ergonomic performance with its carrying handles and premium touch-points. It also features a drainage port, a diamond plate insert for added ruggedness, and holds ice for up to five days at 90ºF.

  • Large storage capacity.
  • Excellent insulation, very durable.
  • Highly ergonomic and very rugged design.
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4. Coleman Steel-Belted Ice Chest

Coleman Steel Belted Ice Chest

The Coleman ice chest comes with a retro steel outer shell and a 54-quart capacity. It boasts of up to four days of ice retention, is very durable, and can support up to 250 lbs. of sitting weight. It also comes with padded heavy-duty handles, a drainage port, and a unique lid lock.

  • Excellent ice retention.
  • Very durable, rugged performance.
  • Highly ergonomic, very portable.
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5. Igloo Polar Cooler

Igloo Polar Cooler

The Igloo polar cooler comes with a very large 120-quart storage capacity and boasts of up to five days of ice retention at 90º F. It comes with reinforced dual carrying handles, a unique tie-down loop feature, double lid latches, and a drain plug. It is lightweight, excellently portable, and is a great buy for the whole crew or family.

  • Very large storage capacity.
  • Excellent insulation and ice retention.
  • Very portable and durable.
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Ice Chest for Fishing Buying Guide

Ice chests for fishing allow you to fish for much longer periods without your catch getting spoilt. They also allow you cool off with fresh food and drinks and are great when out with friends on fishing trips.

Our buying guide reviews the best ice chest for fishing on the market based on their specified features and tested performance to give you the best options to choose from. We then take it a step further to outline the particular factors you should consider and qualities you should look out for in an ice chest for fishing before you make a purchase.

Storage Capacity

The first factor you want to consider is the ice chest’s storage capacity. It is usually rated in liters, gallons, or number of cans it can hold. The larger your ice chest, the more content – ice, food items, catch, it can hold but also means the bulkier the unit. The ideal ice chest for fishing should balance storage space and portability.


The materials from which the ice chest is made is another very important factor to consider. It should be made from lightweight, impact-resistant, and weatherproof materials for the most portability and long service life. The internal materials should also be eco-friendly and completely non-toxic.

It should come with a highly insulating inner layer to ensure that ice stays solid for as long as possible. Some ice chests can also double as seats with their lids close. For this, it should be very sturdy.

Ice Retention

Ice retention is a popular indicator of an ice chest’s cold-retention ability. This is usually measured as the number of days for which it can keep the contents cool at a particular external temperature – usually, 90º F. The longer, the better.


Any ice chest for fishing you are going for should very portable for the best performance. As an extension of materials, it should be very lightweight so you can carry it conveniently from your car to your boat and back. It should also come with ergonomic handles to allow another person to join you if it’s too heavy to carry alone.

Extra Features

Other great features to look out for in ice chests for fishing include cup holders, drainage plugs, bottle openers, fish rulers, fish scales, thermometers, etc. In general, the more features you get, the more value you get for the money.