Last Updated on March 25, 2021

You want a kayak cooler, but not just any cooler.

Considering how exposed your ice chest is to the caprices of the sea, you’ll need a cooler with either of the features and qualities below:

A cooler to keep live bait and catch fresh & your drinks ice cold throughout the trip.

Rust Resistance – If you are exposed to the salt water, you’ll need a cooler that can stand the menace of salt water.

Uv Resistant – Reflects the harmful rays from the sun.

In all, the kayak cooler should be able to store all your items for the whole trip, also, knowing the shape and size will help you figure out the best fit for your needs. On the other hand, the cooler should be strong enough to last for a very long time.

These handfuls of kayak coolers will give you a good idea of which type may be perfect for your next adventure. We’ve also included multiple kayak cooler models, so that you can find the kayak ice chests for your needs.

Now before we head into the review, I’d like to mention that our review will be focused on three kayaks carry options:

  • Kayak Ice chest – Hard-Sided Cooler
  • Kayak cooler bag – Soft-Sided Cooler
  • Floating Kayak cooler

Because of the obvious reasons, we’ll review all three kayak cooler models.

Without further ado:

Best Kayak Cooler Bag– 4 Best On the Market


Yeti Hopper Flip 18

YETI Hopper Flip 18 Portable Cooler, Fog Gray/Tahoe Blue
  • The Hopper Flip 18 has ColdCell Insulation, a closed-cell foam that offers superior cold-holding to ordinary soft coolers, with a capacity of up to 16 cans plus ice
  • The Hopper Flip 18 features a 100% leakproof HydroLok Zipper and the wide-mouth opening means great accessibility and visibility to contents
  • Its DryHide Shell is waterproof and resistant to punctures and abrasions so it will hold its own when faced with the hazards of the wild
  • The only personal cooler that’s game for full days in the tree stand, early mornings in the duck boat, or afternoons on the water
  • The Hopper Flip 18 dimensions are 15 2/3 in long x 10 1/5 in wide x 12 3/5 in high and an empty weight of 5.1 lbs.

Whether hardcore or a regular icebox user, then the Yeti brand isn’t new to you. The company produces sturdy units of coolers, and the hopper is by no means an exception.

This cube-shaped cooler features a closed cell foam which injects into the walls for extra insulation than regular soft coolers.

Impressively, the material used in producing the cooler provides tough resistance to punctures, abrasions. Also, the material is sweat proof, never be worried about your Yeti hopper making a puddle on the floor.

With leakproof hyrolock zipper and a spacious opening, it’s even easier to get your drinks without groping into the bag, as a result, your ice will remain ice.

Quite portable. However, the cooler can carry up to 18 cans and ice. Also, the compact size means you can comfortably squeeze the cooler into any corner of the kayak.

In terms of ice retention, the hydrolock zippers and coldcell insulation provide about 2-3 days of ice. However, you should know the Hopper comes at a price – Expensive.

What we like:
Durable Hydrolock zippers
Great build & design
High insulation – compared to regular cooler bags, the hopper hold ice for longer.

What we didn’t like:
Quite expensive – Just like any Yeti product.
It’s a bit hard to Zip & Unzip.

Homitt Soft Pack Cooler

Homitt Soft Cooler Updated Version, 30 Can Soft Pack Cooler Insulated Soft Sided Cooler with Heavy Duty Leakproof TPU Material and Closed-Cell Foam for Taking Lunch, Camping (Upgraded Version)
  • CLOSED-CELL INSULATION CREATS SUPERIOR COOLING EFFECT : High-quality heavy-duty 3-layer insulation - leak-proof insulated 840D TPU exterior and 420D TPU interior and high-density foam between 2 layers - totally different from the low-end cooler bag which is capable to keep cold for a longer time.
  • GOOD DESIGN AND SOLID WORKMANSHIP : The cooler is soft but still rigid enough to keep the original shape.The seamless zipper is tight in order to prevent heat outside.The upgraded version is more sophisticated in workmanship, thicker in thickness.
  • THE RIGHT SIZE FOR YOU : Fit 30 CANS, exterior size: 18.1"L*13.5"H*10.2"W, interior size: 16.1"L * 9.8"H * 8.6"W. Perfect size for various outdoors activities, you could place the cooler bag in the trunk of the car when taking a car trip.
  • EASY TO CARRY AROUND : Equipment with a padded detachable shoulder strap and two sides handle straps. You could pick it up with the padded shoulder straps or grab the side handles for heavier ones to make your hands free.
  • FOOD GRADE MATERIAL: BPA free, highest quality products and perfect service, buy one and last a lifetime.

Just like the hopper, this cooler has a similar cube shape design. With thermoplastic polyether urethanes and up to 3 layer insulation injected into the walls, your drinks would be cold for hours. Although the manufacturers promise a 5-day ice retention, Some users were quick to point out that it doesn’t hold ice as the manufacturers claimed. A day of ice would be more reasonable.

The best part is the leak-proof exterior; sweating is a thing of the past with this kayak bag. It comes with two ways carry option: detachable shoulder straps and two handles on the sides to make ease of carrying.

Peva lining is used to provide an easy to clean interior after use. Of course, the cooler is spacious, 30 can size capacity will be enough to store drinks and still have enough space to keep snacks.

Considering its portable size, you can easily keep it on your kayak without compromise of space.

On a final note, we have nothing but good things to say about this kayak bag. It’s easily one of the best kayak bags on the list.

What we like:
Easy to clean interior
No sweat design – Even at extreme temperatures, the cooler doesn’t let cold escape to the exterior.
Great insulation performance on all fronts
Two comfortable carry options
Spacious size

What we didn’t like:
A bit expensive
Hard to pull zippers

Earth Pak -Waterproof Dry Bag – Best Budget Kayak Bag

Earth Pak- Waterproof Dry Bag with Front Zippered Pocket Keeps Gear Dry for Kayaking, Beach, Rafting, Boating, Hiking, Camping and Fishing with Waterproof Phone Case
  • ALL-WEATHER PROTECTION: Constructed from heavy duty 500D PVC for high performance, durability, and protection. All seams are thermowelded shut to provide a watertight seal to ensure your gear stays protected from all elements!
  • EASY ACCESS FRONT POCKET: The outer splash-proof zippered pocket makes it easy to grab your smaller belongings without having to unroll the top main compartment. Perfect for storing keys, knives, lighters, sunglasses, wallets, or other personal items you need to grab quickly on the go!
  • SIZING & STRAPS: Our waterproof bags come in 4 convenient sizes (10L, 20L, 30L, 40L). 10L & 20L dry bags come with a single shoulder strap that is adjustable and can extend up to 36 inches. 30L and 40L dry bags are equipped with backpack style shoulder straps that also come with a sternum strap for added stability.
  • EASY TO USE & FLOATS! : Featuring a large main compartment with roll-top closure and single reinforced strip.... just toss your gear inside, fold down 3-4 times, buckle, and you are ready to go! Once sealed shut your waterproof sack can conveniently float alongside you during your paddle boarding, kayaking, or snorkeling adventures!
  • IDEAL FOR TRAVEL: Our water bag is very lightweight and compact making it an essential dry bag for all your travel plans. Easy to fold and pack tight in any sized luggage!

As the budget kayaking bag on the list, most readers will quickly overlook this option but don’t. In fact, it comes with great features you’d never see on some of the most expensive options out there.

Just like the name implies, this dry bag keeps all your gears dry. With a sturdy build, this dry bag will take years of abuse without giving in to tears. You should know that it comes in various sizes: the 10L and 20L include a single shoulder strap, while the 30L and 40L utilize a padded backpack style.

One cool thing is the 6.5-inch waterproof phone case with a transparent interior; this allows users to take pictures without being scared of water getting into it. Just put your phone in the case and snap to lock.

I know how annoying it is for your cooler to fall off the kayak, you risk drowning all your gears to the bottom of the water. Well, the Earthpak takes care of such issues as it is made with light materials that let the bag float on water.

What we like:
Extremely Affordable
Multiple sizes for various needs
Comfortable padded straps
The kayak bag comes with a great waterproof phone case
It floats on top of the water, despite the weight of the gears inside

What we didn’t like:
In all fairness, we did not find anything bad about the cooler, doing so would be nitpicking

AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler + High-Density Insulation

If you need a bag that will fit into your kayak without taking much space, here’s a great kayak bag – Not only is it portable but has enough interior space too.

This soft-sided cooler combines great insulation materials which hold ice to pull through the day.

It’s easy to make a mess of your accessories when you mix them up with food, ice and drinks, well, there are Side pockets which are quite handy to store all your valuables.

With two carry options; a single shoulder strap to enable you to carry light items and double handles work well with heavy loads. The highlight is the no sweat design which is guaranteed to keep all the cold in.

What we like:
No sweat design
Dual carry options

What we didn’t like:
It might leak after some progressive use
Poor stitching in shoulder strap and handle
Short shoulder straps

Best Kayak Ice Chest Coolers – 4 Great Options


ENGEL Cooler 19 Quart Dry Box

Hundreds of positive reviews by Hardcore kayaking enthusiasts about the Engel 19 quart dry box means you can’t go wrong choosing this. The company is well known for top-tier coolers, in fact, it’s among the top coolers like Yeti and the best part – it’s even cheaper.

The Engel 19 quart is nicely constructed to be air and water tight. It doesn’t allow heat to get inside and holds the ice in. Worried that your previous catch would smell after washing? Please don’t; it features a non-absorbent surface that doesn’t absorb odors.

Equipped with Ergonomic handles and shoulder strap for ease and comfort when lifting the cooler, it includes a hanging tray, and can store up to 12-pack plus ice.

The cooler is built with nonskid feet so that it doesn’t slide off even in rough waters. The fittings here a tightly screwed, say bye to flimsy cooler parts.

What we like:
Great construction and Design
Non-absorbent interior – Prevents odor from sticking to the walls
It comes with a hanging tray

What we didn’t like:
Does not hold ice for more than a day
Plastic hinges – we fear that the hinges might break when subjected to impact

Vibe Element 20Q Rotomolded Cooler

The vibe is one of the best dry boxes for kayak fishers. Why? Because is rotationally molded to keep ice for long, portable to fit into any boat and has a drain spout for complete water purge. Lid gasket and rubber T-latches ensures you get extended ice period.

To be very sincere, this ice chest fit is 16 cans and still offers enough space for ice. The non-skid rubber feet hold the cooler in position and it doesn’t leave a scratch on your floors.

Great features like the built-in bottle openers will make you carry fewer accessories while you enjoy the trip. Molded tie-down slots secure the cooler to the boat, and measuring tool is inserted in the lid to measure your catch.

In terms of carrying options, this rotomolded cooler includes a heavy duty handle that will last through hard times, while allowing users to carry it.

The best part is that you get a lifetime warranty when you purchase it. If it’s broken, the company will fix it.

What we like:
Cheap for a rotomolded ice chest
Great ice retention – It retains ice for up to 2 days
Sturdily built with tough materials
Non-skid rubber feet – Stays put on your kayak boat

What we didn’t like:
Some users made complaints that it doesn’t seal properly.

RTIC 20 Quart Cooler

RTIC has placed itself alongside Yeti as one of the leading cooler brands. Cheaper than the Yeti while offering almost the same performance, it will give Yeti a run for its money.

Sure, this RTIC icebox is a bang for your buck. Thanks to the rotomolded construction, thick walls, and overall tough parts, this cooler will stand the test of time. At 20 quart, the cooler can hold about 20 cans of drink and ice.

Unlike other conventional handle models, it utilizes a stainless steel handle.

What we like:
Compared to the Yeti hopper, it’s cheap
Rotomolded construction – For maximum ice retention & improved protection against harsh weather conditions.

What we didn’t like:
One carry option
Quite heavy when empty

K2 Coolers Summit 20 Cooler

Next up is an among the best fish kayaking cooler. Reinforced with Roto-molded polyethylene construction and thick insulation in the walls provides extended ice retention.

Extra reinforcement from the Ice vault lid gasket, and heavy-duty lid latches ensures you get a day of ice-cold drinks and your catch remains fresh.

Padded shoulder strap makes ease for carrying. While the rubber feet offer further grip on any surface you put it on. It includes a spacious size to hold up to 24 cans plus 10lbs of ice.

What we like:
Great design and build
Comfortable padded shoulder strap
Thick wall insulation provides extended ice retention

What we don’t like:
A bit pricey
It’s bulky

Best Floating Kayak Cooler

Is your kayak filled up with no room to keep a cooler? How about I tell you that you can carry all your gears on your next kayak trip?

There’s a separate cooler that is built to tag next to your kayak. Perhaps you’ve heard of a floating cooler, if you have not, let’s take a look at one:

CreekKooler floating/insulated cooler

The creekkooler is designed to save space on the boat. The body is designed in a streamlined shape, making it flow effortlessly on top of the water. With a 30 quart capacity, it can hold up to an excess of 30+ cans and 20lbs of ice.

It features a blow molded construction and thick foam insulation. Tow handles on both ends of the floating chest means your kayak would never be far from you. It also includes four cup holders and a flag holder.

To be very honest, this cooler had a respectable performance. However, its ice retention is lacking.

What we like:
Floats on water
Hold up to 30 cans plus 20lbs of ice
Saves space on kayak –

What we don’t like:
It doesn’t hold ice longer than most of the models on the list. However, it can keep ice for hours.

What to Consider before buying a kayak cooler

Kayaking is one of the most exhilarating & demanding sports. Chances are you might get hungry on your expeditions, as it is unlikely to find a restaurant on your trip. It is important you pack all your food and drinks in a cooler that will keep your items fresh throughout the trip.

Kayak coolers come in different shapes and size, ranging from the sit on top kayaks to inflatable kayaks and soft cooler kayaks. Depending on what you need, the aforementioned types mentioned will perfect for your next adventure. Are you in a hurry? slow down a bit.

How do you decide which product is right for your needs? Here’s a quick guide.


While marine coolers tend to have features that make it suitable for salt or fresh waters. They tend to be bulkier and take up space which makes them unsuitable for kayaking.

Considering the limited space in kayaks, you’ll need a portable cooler to fit right in. Exposed to the caprices of the sea, a high ice retaining cooler to keep your food and drinks cold is ideal for such situations.


Choose a cooler that’s less likely to absorb heat. According to a research white color or light colors are less likely to absorb heat.

Water Resistant

Because coolers for kayaks are designed to serve as your companion on water, waterproofing should be paramount. If you don’t want all the splashes of water to sip in and form a pool inside your chest, then it should be fortified with water-resistant materials.

UV Resistant

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation is the main cause of the sun’s damaging effect on coolers. As kayaking is usually done in the day, your cooler paint is liable to start peeling off. Thus, ice chest used on kayaks should have UV resistant qualities. This will enable your cooler to stay in good shape for years to come.

Anchors Points

Although having anchor points on a cooler is a subjective matter, it helps keep your cooler in place against rocking waves, which protects the content inside from getting scattered.

Storage Space

The storage size of a cooler should be relative to what you are using it for. If you are looking for a kayaking cooler for fishing expeditions to keep your catch fresh, a fish bag will sit in without taking up much space. For long expeditions, select a cooler that has a large interior space. but it wouldn’t fit in on the kayak, right?

For example, the CreekKooler floating cooler is a great option that is tied to your kayak, while all your supplies are stored in it. Isn’t it amazing? Having all the free space in the kayak, while your cooler follows you like a trained puppy?

Low Maintenance

If you are bringing out your kayak cooler to the river or lake, you should know Kayaking usually poses a great threat to a cooler. That’s why you need a cooler that is rust resistant, impervious to water, and can take a lot of beating even after continuous use.


Kayak Cooler Ideas?

Ice packs for coolers are one of the most important accessories to carry with you on your expedition. They help to keep your drinks cold and food fresh for days. For more ideas, check out winecoolerreviewsinfo.

Bottom Line

If you’ve read this far in reading our best kayak coolers review, that means you are committed to the idea of buying a robust cooler that can last for long. Critical to finding the right cooler for your kayak expedition is portability, size, and cost.

Depending on what your needs are, read through our tips to find the perfect product to keep your drinks cold and food fresh throughout the trip. Finally, the most important factor is to spend your money wisely in  a kayak  ice chest that will meet your demands.