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Home » Best Kayak Coolers in 2024: Buyers’ Guide

Best Kayak Coolers in 2024: Buyers’ Guide

There’s nothing quite as refreshing as a cold beverage and tasty snacks when you’re out paddling on the water. But having the right kayak cooler can make or break that experience. With so many options on the market, it can be tough to know which one is the best fit for your needs. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide – to help you navigate the world of kayak coolers and find the perfect one to keep your food and drinks deliciously chilled, no matter how long you’re out on the water.

1. Pelican Exochill Seat Cooler for Kayak

1. Pelican Exochill Seat Cooler for Kayak

Designed specifically for kayaking, this soft cooler attaches securely to tubular lawn chair-style kayak seats using the included bungee ball attachments. The large 14L capacity holds up to 15 cans, ensuring you have enough cold beverages for an all-day paddle. With 0.5 inches of insulation and 420D water-resistant outer material, the Exochill keeps contents chilled for hours, even in direct sun. A removable, adjustable shoulder strap allows easy carrying from car to launch point.

Multiple pockets provide quick-access storage for keys, snacks and small essentials. Reflective logos increase visibility for safety. Paddle holder straps let you temporarily stash your paddle when stopped. Measuring 18.5″x9.8″x4.7″, this streamlined cooler maximizes limited kayak space without obstructing your paddle stroke.

2. Perception Splash Tankwell Cooler for Kayaks

2. Perception Splash Tankwell Cooler for Kayaks

Designed to fit securely in most sit-on-top kayak tank wells, it also functions as an everyday cooler. With 1/2 inch insulating foam and a 40L capacity, it keeps up to 20 cans and ice cold all day long. A convenient zippered top opening allows easy access to drinks and snacks while paddling. Adjustable backpack straps and a strong haul handle enable easy portability from home to shore. The low-profile minimizes wind resistance for better kayak tracking.

Additionally, this cooler’s durable construction withstands the demands of kayaking. The waterproof zipper, welded seams, and water-resistant materials block rain and splashes from reaching contents. Whether hitting local waters or planning an epic paddling adventure, the Perception Tankwell Cooler provides essential cold storage and dry storage in one streamlined design.

3. Skywin Waterproof Kayak Seat Back Cooler for Kayaks

3. Skywin Waterproof Kayak Seat Back Cooler for Kayaks

This narrow cooler maximizes your kayak’s storage space, fitting snugly behind most lawn-chair style seats using the included bungee ball attachments. Durable PVC construction with closed-cell foam insulation keeps up to 12 bottles or 24 cans chilled for 54 hours in 70°F temperatures, and 24-36 hours in summer heat. A water-resistant zipper and waterproof outer materials block rain and splashes. Removable mesh pockets provide extra storage without obstructing the tank well.

In the package, you’ll receive the insulated cooler bag, 4 bungee ball cords to secure it, and a shoulder strap for easy portability. Measuring 16.5″x6.3″x11.8″, this slim cooler preserves valuable kayak space for other gear. Whether kayak fishing, camping, or beaching, the leakproof Skywin Behind Seat Cooler ensures you have cold drinks within reach all day long. Stay hydrated and refreshed from shoreline to shoreline.

4. Kayak Cooler Waterproof Seat Back Cooler for Kayaks

4. Kayak Cooler Waterproof Seat Back Cooler for Kayaks

With high-density insulation and a leak-proof liner, it keeps food and drinks cold for up to 16 hours. The top-loading zipper provides convenient access while seated in a kayak. Designed to universally fit kayaks with lawn-chair style seats, the strong bungee system securely attaches it to the seat back. For use on land, simply remove the bungee balls. This versatile cooler features an adjustable, padded shoulder strap for easy carrying to the beach, parties, picnics and more.

Multiple pockets include a water-resistant valuables pouch and a mesh pocket for bottles. Water-resistant zippers protect contents from rain and splashes. With a generous 18L capacity yet slim design, this cooler maximizes kayak storage space.

5. Dreizack Waterproof Cooler for Kayaking

5. Dreizack Waterproof Cooler for Kayaking

This insulated cooler bag keeps food and drinks chilled up to 16 hours using high-density insulation and a leak-proof liner. The sideways top-opening design allows easy access to contents while seated in your kayak. Multiple storage pockets provide space for small essentials like keys, snacks, fishing tools and even a water bottle. A zippered waterproof pouch safeguards valuables from splashes. The adjustable padded shoulder strap enables comfortable hands-free carrying to the beach, picnics, camping trips and more.

Using the included bungee cord attachments, this cooler securely fits all lawn chair-style kayak seats. When collapsed, its slim profile maximizes limited kayak storage space. Constructed with durable, waterproof materials, the Dreizack Behind Seat Cooler withstands the demands of kayaking and outdoor use. Keep provisions cold and within reach on your next paddling excursion.

6. Kayak Cooler Waterproof Kayak Seat Back Cooler for Kayaking

6. Kayak Cooler Waterproof Kayak Seat Back Cooler for Kayaking

This large-capacity cooler holds up to 20 cans or 10 bottles to quench your thirst. Constructed with 500D PVC, 10mm PEVA insulation, and a leak-proof TPU liner, it keeps contents chilled up to 24 hours. The waterproof zipper and materials block rain and splashes. Using the included bungee cord attachments, it securely fits all lawn chair-style kayak seats. Two removable rod holders let you temporarily stash your fishing rods. Additional side pockets store keys, phones and small gear.

An adjustable, padded shoulder strap enables easy portability to the beach, picnics and camping trips. Non-slip feet protect the cooler’s base during use. When open, the side-entry design allows convenient access to drinks without leaving your kayak seat. Durable and electro-welded, this Morxplor cooler withstands seasons of outdoor adventures.

7. Kayak Cooler Behind Seat Waterproof Seat Back Cooler for Kayaks

7. Kayak Cooler Behind Seat Waterproof Seat Back Cooler for Kayaks

This spacious cooler attaches securely to lawn chair-style kayak seats using 8 strong bungee cord attachments. The top-loading zipper allows convenient access to drinks and snacks without leaving your seat. A leak-proof design with waterproof outer materials protects contents from rain and splashes. The thermal insulated interior keeps items chilled for 8-12 hours, so you’ll have cold refreshments all day. With a 16.93″x11.81″x6.69″ interior, it holds 12 bottles, 24 cans, or ample food for long paddling adventures.

Multiple exterior pockets provide storage for valuables, water bottles, snacks and more. An adjustable padded shoulder strap enables easy portability to the beach, camping, picnics and more. Whether kayak fishing or just cruising local waters, this durable cooler ensures you have perfectly chilled provisions within reach.

How to Choose the Best Kayak Coolers?

There’s nothing quite like a peaceful day on the water, paddling your kayak and taking in the sights and sounds of nature. But let’s be real, any outdoor adventure is made infinitely better with cold drinks and tasty snacks on hand. That’s where a top-notch kayak cooler comes into play.

Plan For Your Needs

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s talk about your specific kayaking needs. Are you a casual weekend warrior, or a hardcore paddler who spends days on end exploring remote waterways? The duration of your trips will significantly impact the size and insulation capabilities you require. For short jaunts, a compact cooler might suffice, while extended excursions call for a larger, heavy-duty option.

Additionally, consider the number of people you’ll be packing for. A solo adventure requires far less storage than a group outing. Ultimately, striking the right balance between capacity and portability is key.

Insulation: The Ice-Cold Truth

Insulation is the bread and butter of any quality cooler, and kayak models are no exception. Seek out options with superior insulation technology, such as thick foam walls or vacuum-sealed panels. These features will keep your beverages and snacks frosty for hours, even in sweltering conditions.

Furthermore, pay close attention to the lid design. A tight, secure seal is crucial for maintaining that delightful chill. Look for coolers with rubber gaskets or other airtight closure systems.

Size and Portability

Now, let’s talk about size – and no, bigger isn’t always better. While ample storage is fantastic, you don’t want a cooler that’s too bulky or heavy to comfortably transport in your kayak. Aim for a streamlined design that won’t throw off your balance or impede your paddling.

Furthermore, consider coolers with ergonomic handles or straps for easy carrying to and from the water. Trust me, you don’t want to be struggling with an unwieldy load while navigating rocky shores or narrow paths.

Durability: Built to Last

Let’s be honest, kayaking can sometimes be a bit of an adventure – and not always in the most gentle sense. That’s why durability should be a top priority when selecting your cooler. Look for models constructed with rugged, high-quality materials like rotomolded plastic or heavy-duty fabrics.

Pay special attention to features like reinforced corners, watertight zippers, and puncture-resistant exteriors. A cooler that can withstand the occasional bump or scrape will save you from frustration (and warm drinks) down the line.

Fun and Function

While performance is paramount, let’s not forget about style and convenience! Kayak coolers come in a variety of colors and designs, so feel free to express your personality. Maybe you’re drawn to sleek, minimalist aesthetics, or perhaps a vibrant, eye-catching pattern is more your vibe.

Additionally, seek out coolers with handy extras like cup holders, dry storage compartments, or removable dividers for organization. These little touches can elevate your on-the-water experience from good to great.

Frequently Asked Questions when Picking the Best Kayak Coolers

What size kayak cooler do I need?

The ideal size kayak cooler depends on how many people you’ll be packing for and how long your trips tend to be. For 1-2 people on short day trips, look for coolers in the 12-24 quart range. If you often go on longer trips or kayak with a larger group, you’ll want a cooler from 25-48 quarts. Anything larger than 48 quarts is great for extended multi-day kayaking trips but can be bulky and heavy to transport.

What insulation is best for keeping items cold?

Look for thick, high-density foam insulation, as foam provides excellent thermal protection. Rotomolded coolers tend to have premium insulation. Some coolers even use vacuum insulation panels to improve insulation performance. Coolers with at least 2 inches of quality insulation can keep contents cold for 2-5 days, depending on outside temperatures.

How important is a leakproof, airtight seal?

An airtight, leak-resistant seal is crucial for preserving cold temperatures inside your kayak cooler. Look for coolers with rubber gaskets, channel drain systems, and interlocking lid designs. This prevents cold air from escaping and warm outside air from entering, maximizing ice retention.

What material should a durable kayak cooler be made of?

The most durable kayak coolers are constructed from rotomolded plastic, which is essentially a continuous piece of thick, tough plastic without seams. This material resists impacts, punctures, and UV damage. Heavy-duty woven fabrics like nylon are also very abrasion-resistant.

Do kayak coolers need to float?

While not 100% necessary, having a cooler that floats can be a huge plus for kayakers. Look for models with lightweight foam insulation, airtight gaskets, and integrated non-slip bases. These features allow the cooler to float and stay put in your kayak if dropped overboard.

What extra features are useful for kayak coolers?

Helpful extras include molded-in cup holders, dry storage compartments, padded shoulder straps or carrying handles, non-skid feet, fish rulers, and removable divider trays. These conveniences make transporting and organizing food/drinks much easier when kayaking.

How much should I expect to pay for a good kayak cooler?

Quality kayak coolers range from $50 on the lower end to $300+ for premium rotomolded models. Basic soft-sided coolers start around $50-100, while hard-sided mid-range options are typically $100-200. Premium rotomolded coolers with advanced insulation and rugged designs fall into the $200-300+ price bracket. Consider your kayaking frequency and budget when selecting.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, choosing the best kayak cooler is about finding the perfect balance of size, insulation, durability, and convenience for your specific kayaking adventures. Whether you’re a casual paddler looking for a compact option or a hardcore explorer in need of a heavy-duty ice vault, there’s a cooler out there made just for you. So don’t settle for lukewarm drinks and soggy snacks – invest in the right kayak cooler, and you’ll be able to stay refreshed and fueled up for every aquatic excursion.

Enjoyed this guide of the best kayak coolers? Then be sure to check out our other outdoor gears guides.

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