10 Best Marine Coolers (Reviews Updated 2022)

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Marine coolers are an essential part of the boating experience.  Many boaters use three coolers:  one for food and beverages, one for bait, and one for the catch of the day.  Coolers vary in size, quality, and function.  Small coolers are best for bait and most food and drinks.  Offshore fishing requires a large cooler for large fish and plenty of ice.  Our review of the best products on the market helps you pick the best cooler for you.

Best Marine Coolers

Here are our marine cooler reviews.

1. Coleman Coastal Xtreme Series Marine Portable Cooler

Coleman Coastal Xtreme Series Marine Portable Cooler

The Coleman Coastal Xtreme Series Marine Portable Cooler is best for food and drink on a boat for up to four people.  On smaller boats such as John boats, this cooler can double as an extra seat.  This cooler has ice retention for up to three days, which means it will keep your food and drinks cold for any fishing trip.

  • Includes molded cup holders
  • Have-A-Seat Lid supports up to 250 pounds
  • Keeps ice up to 3 days in 90-degree temperatures
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2. Coleman Xtreme 5 Marine Cooler

Coleman Xtreme 5 Marine Cooler, 150 Quart

The Coleman Xtreme 5 Marine Cooler is built for catching fish.  Offshore fishing means long days in the hot sun and catching big fish.  This cooler will retain ice for extended five-day trips and keep the catch fresh.

  • Keeps items cold for up to 5 days at 90-degree temperatures
  • 150-quart capacity holds 252 cans or contains plenty of room for fish
  • Antimicrobial liner is easy to clean and rust-resistant stainless steel hardware is perfect for Marine environments
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3. Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler

Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler

The Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler is perfect for all fishing applications because it is available in nine sizes.  The smallest size is good for bait, then get a medium size for food and beverages while the largest sizes are good for catching large fish.

  • Available in nine sizes
  • Stain and odor resistant liner
  • Includes integrated fish measuring ruler on lid
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4. Coleman 200 Quart Xtreme 7-Day Offshore Pro Series Marine Cooler

Coleman 200 Quart Xtreme 7 Day Offshore Pro Series Marine Cooler

The Coleman 200 Quart Extreme 7-Day Offshore Pro Series Marine Cooler is built for long offshore fishing trips.  This cooler boasts seven-day ice retention, which is necessary for long offshore trips.  Rust-resistant, stainless steel hardware will serve boaters well in salty marine environments.

  • Ultimate Xtreme technology with extra-thick insulation for ice retention up to 7 days at temperatures as high as 90 degrees
  • 200-quart capacity holds up to 325 cans
  • Antimicrobial liner is easy to clean and rust-resistant stainless steel hardware is perfect for Marine environments
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5. Igloo IMX 24 Quart Cooler

Igloo Imx 24 Quart Cooler With Cool Riser Technology, Fish Ruler, And Tie Down Points

The Igloo IMX 24 Quart Cooler is perfect for lunch for a group of boaters.  Boat refrigerators are notoriously unreliable and they are a severe drain on the batteries, so a cooler like this is best for keeping food and beverages fresh.

  • Rubberized T-grip latches
  • Self-draining cup holders
  • Holds 35 12 ounce cans, yet weighs only 16 pounds
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6. Igloo Marine Backpack

Igloo Marine Backpack White Navy, White

The Igloo Marine Backpack is a sensible choice for carrying small loads such as lunch and beverages to the boat.  This is especially useful when the boat slip is far from the parking lot.  Carrying large heavy coolers full of ice to the boat is not always practical, which is why the Igloo Marine Backpack cooler comes in handy.

  • Adjustable, padded air mesh comfort straps for hands-free carrying
  • Side mesh pocket for beverage bottles
  • MaxCold insulation keeps food and drinks cold
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7. Igloo BMX 52 Quart Cooler

Igloo Bmx 52 Quart Cooler With Cool Riser Technology, Fish Ruler, And Tie Down Points

The Igloo BMX 52 Quart Cooler is a sharp-looking cooler built for catching fish.  This cooler carries 52 quarts.  Its heavy-duty construction is perfect for coolers that will make frequent trips on the boat and back to the dock.

  • Sturdy latches and ergonomic handle
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Up to five days of ice retention at 90 degrees Fahrenheit
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8. YETI Tundra 45 Cooler

Yeti Tundra 45 Cooler

YETI coolers are the Cadillacs of coolers.  The YETI 45 will serve boaters well with plenty of room for catching large fish.  While the bear-resistant design is unlikely to be helpful for boaters, the 9 available colors allow boaters to pick the perfect YETI to make a statement on their boat.

  • Available in 9 different colors
  • Bear resistant design
  • Keeps up to 26 cans cool with recommended 2:1 ice to contents ratio
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9. Coleman Xtreme 50 Qt Wheeled Cooler

Coleman Xtreme 50 Qt Wheeled Cooler

The Coleman Xtreme 50 Qt Wheeled Cooler is a very simple choice for boaters either for lunch or for bait.  This cooler is small and convenient because it has wheels and an extendable handle.  This cooler is the perfect size for a John boat or a rowboat for a day on the lake.

  • Two-wheel design
  • Extendable handle for convenience while rolling
  • Four built-in cupholders
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10. Igloo 34231 Trailmate Marine Wheeled Cooler

Igloo 34231 Trailmate Marine Wheeled Cooler, 70 Quart

The Igloo 34231 Trailmate is a very sensible design for boaters because it includes wheels and an extendable handle.  This cooler is great for long offshore fishing trips, but it is also designed for surf fishing because it includes rod or umbrella holders.  The wheels on this cooler are a good choice when carrying a heavy cooler from the boat to the parking lot.

  • Oversized 10-inch never-flat wheels
  • Comfort glide handle
  • Butler tray to serve drinks and snacks away from sand and dirt
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Buying Guide – Choosing the Best Marine Cooler

Marine coolers are important while boating because they keep food, drinks, bait, and freshly caught fish cool and fresh.  The right cooler for your boat is convenient to carry, fits between the seats, retains ice, and is big enough to fit your contents and plenty of ice.  When choosing a cooler, the following factors should be considered:


Marine coolers vary from about 20 quarts to 160 or more quarts.  Remember that one quart is a quarter of a gallon, so four quarts equal one gallon.  There is always a size tradeoff when choosing a cooler because larger coolers can fit your needs but may not fit in your boat and will require more ice.  That is why it makes sense to have about three coolers, one for bait, one for food and beverage, and one for caught fish.  Plan for about twice as much ice as contents.


Large, heavy coolers on a large boat are only practical for very strong boaters or two sets of hands.  If lifting a larger cooler is not practical, then choose smaller coolers, even if that means bringing two coolers.  Several models include wheels and extendable handles.  These coolers are a good choice if you have a long walk from the parking lot to the slip.

Ice retention

Ice retention is the number of days that ice is expected to be retained in a cooler.  The best coolers advertise five days, most coolers advertise three days.  These numbers claim to be measured at 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but direct exposure to sunlight or frequent opening of the lid will reduce these numbers.  Either way, three or five days is plenty for most boaters.

With these factors in mind, boaters should be able to choose a cooler that meets their requirements.  Coolers have become more than a simple ice chest, they are designed with rugged features and style in mind.  Premium branded coolers such as YETI coolers have earned a reputation as the best on the market, with a price point that goes with that reputation.  The coolers that are available today from Igloo or Coleman have many of the same features which are great for boaters.