Best fishing coolers for the money in 2018. Tried, tested & reviewed
There are countless pieces of equipment that every fisherman should possess and a good fishing cooler is hands down one of those things. Whether you’re filling it with ice so you can keep your catch chilled or you’re filling it with food and drinks, it is imperative that you have a cooler that can stand up to the challenge. Many things need to be taken into consideration such as the capacity of the cooler, the amount of heat it repels and the amount of coolness it retains. These are all very important factors that need to be taken into consideration prior to purchasing a cooler regardless of what you’re going to be using it for. Whether you’re fishing off of the beach or you offshore fishing, you need to make sure that you bring a cooler that can hold up to the rigors of a long day of fishing. Here are our picks for the best fishing cooler for the money in 2018.
|Elkton Outdoors 75 Quart Ice Chest with Bear Resistant Lock Plates||Amazon|
|Giantex 40 Quart Heavy Duty Cooler Ice Chest||Amazon|
|Igloo Quick and Cool Cooler||Amazon|
|Engel USA Cooler/Dry Box, 19 Quart||Amazon|
|AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler with High-Density Insulation||Amazon|
If you’re going hunting, fishing, or camping, don’t leave home without the Elkton Outdoors 75 Quart Ice Chest. This heavy-duty cooler is designed with outdoorsmen in mind, and it’s full of features that make it functional and fortified. It’s single-piece body is built from high-quality, rotomolded-injected plastic that will endure years of use and stand up to the rigors of the outdoors. This ice chest’s commercial-grade insulation lining, extra-wide freezer gasket, and durable rubber latches work to create an airtight seal that has the power to keep ice solid for up to five days, making it well-suited for long camping trips and other excursions. In addition to keeping items cold and fresh, the Elkton will also keep them safe. While you’re in the woods, animals like bears will be attracted to the smell of your food, drinks, and the fish you catch. To keep them away, this cooler is armed with anti-bear lock plates – so you can sleep well knowing your content is secure. The cooler also includes non-slip rubber feet that will prevent it from toppling over, and it has features that will make your return home hassle-free. Its extra-wide drain plug and non-stick surface make it easy to rinse and clean. On top of this, it comes with a bottle opener, basket, cutting board, and a fish ruler top. Bring your fish fillet knife with you to get those fish on the grill or in the skillet as soon as you catch them with the included cutting board.
- High-quality, rotomolded-injected plastic
- Commercial-grade insulation lining
- Keeps ice solid for up to 5 days
- Anti-bear lock plates
For bold outdoorsmen planning on taking long trips into the wilderness – even up to a week or more – a long-lasting ice chest is vital. The Giantex 40 Quart Heavy Duty Cooler is solid, resilient, and can retain ice for up to 11 days – making it well-equipped to handle the toughest challenges. Its hardcore LLPDE and PU foam construction is designed to resist the sun’s damaging rays while keeping its content cold inside. In addition to repelling the heat, a two-inch-thick layer of commercial-grade permafrost insulation and a reinforced FatWall design will keep out bears and other animals, ensuring that the items inside are always safe. This cooler also features sturdy hardware to withstand the rugged requirements of the outdoors. Two locking latches will prevent it from accidentally opening at inconvenient moments – so you’ll never be hurrying to pick up your scattered food and drinks from the ground. With a waterproof lid, the Giantex will also stand up to inclement weather – so the rain and wind of a surprise summer thunderstorm won’t leave you scrambling to protect your items. This ice chest also has a smooth, easy-to-clean surface that will save you time and energy once your trip is over. It comes in a good-looking white color, can hold up to 84 pounds of ice, and weighs 17.8 pounds when empty.
- Retains ice up to 11 days
- LLPDE and PU foam construction
- Two-inch thick permafrost insulation
- Easy-clean surface
With an immense 150-quart capacity, the Igloo Quick and Cool Cooler is the largest on this list. It’s perfect for family camping trips and afternoons fishing on the lake, providing you plenty of room to keep ice, food, and drinks. For pike fishing trips, you’ll have ample space to store your catch and preserve it until you get home. This heavy-duty cooler is durable, secure, and easy to clean. It’s built from well-made polyethylene material that will hold up in rugged outdoor environments. Its body and lid are lined with Ultratherm® insulation that can keep ice solid for up to seven days in conditions reaching 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It also has a stain and odor-resistant liner to keep items fresh. The Igloo’s quick-access hatch will allow you to easily reach its content, trapping the cold air in and preventing heat from entering in the process. Two snap-fit hatches will keep the lid securely closed, so the items won’t spill if the cooler gets knocked over. The Igloo also features reinforced swing-up handles with a tie-down loop, so you can easily lock-down your cooler for safe travel. And when you finally arrive home after a long day outside, you’ll swiftly be able to clean it. This cooler has an easy-to-wipe surface, trouble-free hose hookup, and a threaded drain plug that allows for quick, effortless draining.
- Generous 150-quart capacity
- Ultratherm® insulation
- Snap-fit hatches to keep lid closed
- Reinforced swing-up handles & tie-down loop
The Engel Cooler/Dry Box is versatile, compact, and durable. It will serve you well in any outdoor situation. It’s insulated with high-quality, molded polystyrene foam that will keep the interior cool while blocking out the heat. This leak-proof material will also ensure that none of your other gear gets wet. A unique EVA gasket around the lid is both airtight and waterproof – preventing dirt and sand intrusion and making the Engel a reliable choice if you’re planning on fishing from a boat, kayak, or canoe. This cooler is equipped with stain and odor-resistant technology, and its non-absorbent surface makes it stress-free to clean. The Engel is easy to transport – weighing just 7 pounds with a 19-quart capacity – and can fit snugly into limited spaces. It features a recessed carry handle on the lid and an adjustable shoulder strap – adding to this simplicity. Conveniently, the Engel also includes four mounted rod holders, allowing you to bring a variety of rods, whether you have fly fishing rods, surf fishing rods or even crainkbait rods you’ll be able to store them all in one place. On top of this, the cooler is hard-wearing. All of its fittings are secured with long-lasting stainless-steel screws that are corrosion-resistant. Its front latches are also stainless-steel, and its rear hinges are self-stopping. The Engel is an excellent option for storing dry goods and features a removable hanging tray. It comes standard with a 5-year warranty.
- Airtight and waterproof lid
- Four built-in rod holders
- Stainless-steel screws on all fittings
- Removable hanging tray
For outdoorsmen looking for a canvas cooler, the AO Coolers 36-Can Soft Cooler is a great medium-sized option. It’s perfect for fishermen who also like to camp, hunt, and hike. This cooler’s soft exterior will provide durability without scratching the paint on your car or boat. It’s made from high-quality TPU liner, which is tough enough to withstand cuts, tears, and impacts. It’s the same tough material used in above-ground pools and water beds, so it won’t leak or sweat. This cooler is fitted with ¾-inch thick, high-density, closed-cell foam – twice the insulation of other soft-sided coolers – that is guaranteed to keep ice solid for up to 24 hours in blistering 120-degree heat. It’s well-equipped to handle hot summer days when you’re out fishing from dawn to dusk. For travel, this cooler comes with a removable shoulder strap and clip-down ends, freeing up your hands to carry other things. A dry pocket on the side is provided, giving you a secure place to store some extra gear. This cooler also meets airplane carry-on requirements, so you can take it with you on long, out-of-state trips without paying to check it below. It comes in a variety of sharp colors including black, charcoal, mossy oak, red, navy, and royal blue. It can hold 36 cans plus about 10 pounds of ice.
- High-quality TPU liner
- ¾-inch thick closed-cell foam
- Shoulder strap with clip-down ends
- Meets airplane carry-on requirements