11 Best Coolers For Kayaks In 2023: A Buyer’s Guide

Kayaking is a popular outdoor sport that allows participants to explore areas of water while also enjoying nature. Whether you’re going on a day trip or a multi-day expedition, having the correct equipment including a trustworthy kayak cooler is essential. In this article, we will discuss the necessity of kayak coolers and the numerous varieties available on the market.

When going on a kayaking trip, it’s critical to keep your food and beverages fresh and cold. Kayak coolers can keep your provisions cold and safe to eat during your voyage. The correct cooler will not only keep your food and beverages cold, but it will also be convenient and portable.

Best Coolers For Kayaks

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Using specialized coolers developed specifically for kayaking has various advantages. These coolers are built to endure the elements and fit nicely in the limited space provided on a kayak. Some of the primary benefits of utilizing the best coolers for kayaks are as follows:

  • Kayak coolers are designed to fit neatly into the limited storage space of a kayak. Their small size provides for great maneuverability and does not interfere with paddling.
  • These coolers come with insulating materials that give excellent ice retention. They are intended to keep your food and beverages cool for extended periods, even in warmer weather.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Cooler for Kayaks

When choosing a kayak cooler, numerous variables must be considered to guarantee you pick the best option for your needs. Here are some crucial variables to consider:

  1. Size and Capacity: When choosing a cooler for your kayak, keep the available storage space on your kayak in mind. Kayak cooler boxes are available in various sizes, so take measurements and select one that fits comfortably on your kayak. Consider how much food and drinks you want to bring on your vacation, and choose a cooler with enough capacity to hold everything you need.
  2. Insulation and Ice Retention: Look for coolers with great insulation and a lengthy ice retention capacity. The cooler should sustain low temperatures for an extended period, keeping your goods fresh.
  3. Material and Durability: Choose coolers made of long-lasting materials like high-density polyethylene or tough fabric. These materials can tolerate hard handling and water contact without being harmed.
  4. Portability and Weight: If you want to travel easily, look for models with supportive handles or straps. Kayak cooler backpacks for hands-free convenience are designed to be as convenient as possible, allowing you to carry your supplies on your back while keeping your hands free for paddling or other activities.

Whether you’re traveling to a distant kayaking location or exploring the woods, these backpack coolers guarantee you have everything you need without the hassle of carrying considerable weight.

  • Waterproofing and Leakproofing: Make sure the cooler you purchase is waterproof and leakproof. Even if the cooler is exposed to splashes or rain, this will keep water out and your things dry. Whether you’re paddling along the river, fishing on the lake, or spending a quiet day at the beach, these dry bags provide dependable protection for your belongings.
  • Additional Features and Accessories: External compartments, tie-down points, and connection possibilities for accessories like cup holders or fishing rod holders are some additional features of kayak coolers. These characteristics make your kayaking experience more convenient and functional.

Types of Kayak Coolers

There are several varieties of kayak coolers on the market, each with its own set of features and benefits. Here are some examples of common types:

  1. Soft-sided Kayak coolers: These are lightweight and flexible. They are built of tough materials and frequently include insulation to keep your food cool. These coolers are lightweight and can fit into small areas aboard a kayak.
  2. Hard-Sided Kayak Coolers: Hard-sided coolers are noted for their toughness and durability. They are made of durable materials and provide good insulation. Hard-sided coolers offer more protection for your things but are heavier and bulkier than soft-sided coolers.
  3. Cooler Bags and Backpacks: Backpacks and cooler bags allow you to travel with your hands-free. These coolers resemble regular backpacks but have insulated portions to keep your food and liquids cool. They keep your drinks icy the entire way and are perfect for outdoor activities like kayaking, camping, and other outdoor pursuits.
  4. Cooler Seats and Cushions: Cooler seats and cushions serve two functions. They offer a comfy seating choice, insulation, and storage space for your supplies. These coolers are meant to be directly mounted to your kayak.
  5. Cooler Dry Bags: Cooler dry bags are designed to keep your possessions dry even while submerged in water. They keep the temperature of your food and beverages constant and are composed of waterproof materials.
  6. Cooler Accessories and Attachments: Various accessories and attachments are available for kayak coolers. Cup holders, fishing rod holders, tie-down straps, and mounting brackets are examples of these. These additions can improve your kayak cooler’s usefulness and convenience.
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Best Coolers for Kayaks

I’ve compiled a list of the best coolers below. However, if you cannot go through all of them, here is one of the selected coolers that can assist you.

The Skywin Paddleboard Cooler is a narrow, well-constructed cooler with insulated foam inside and PVC on the exterior. It also has water-resistant components and a watertight zipper, rendering enhanced waterproofing capability.

Taking up less room, it acts as one of the best collapsible kayak coolers, providing space-saving storage in your kayak. The cooler can keep your drinks chilled for up to 54 hours in normal conditions and 24-36 hours in hotter weather. It can hold 12 bottles or 24 cans and has one kayak seat bag cooler, four bungee ball cords to connect it to your kayak seat, and one shoulder strap.

Please remember that the cooling time may vary based on the weather. The Skywin Paddleboard Cooler is an excellent addition to your kayak accessories collection, whether you’re fishing, camping, having a picnic, or touring beaches and parks.

Now, let’s move on to the best coolers for kayaks.

1. AMURS Kayak Cooler

I’d personally recommend The AMURS Kayak Cooler if you’re looking for one of the best waterproof and portable kayak coolers. You can carry it anywhere and easily fit it behind the seat of lawn-chair-style kayaks. It has a fishing rod holder and is ideal for various activities such as fishing, picnics, beach visits, and camping.

  • Insulation Technologies: It uses modern insulation technologies with thick foam to keep your food hot or cold for up to 12 hours.
  • Drainage Systems: This cooler has a large airtight capacity and waterproof zipper. Its leakproof heat-welded seams keep leaks and melting ice at bay.
  • Attachment Points and Mounting Options: The cooler offers connection hooks and mounting options to fasten it to your kayak, assuring stability during your trips.
  • Integrated Rod Holders: These detachable rod holders offer a safe and easy location to keep your fishing rods while you’re out in the lake.
  • Backpack Straps and Carrying Handles: It comes with backpack straps and carrying handles so you can select the most comfortable method to move your cooler.
AMURS Kayak Cooler


  • It can keep meals hot or cold for a long.
  • Heat-welded seams that are leakproof
  • Separate rod holders
  • It is easily portable


  • Limited capacity
  • Rod Holder compatibility is less

2. Bauhsland Cooler Bag

Kayaking with manatees in Florida was a thrilling experience that engulfed me in nature’s splendor. Gliding in the tranquil waves, accompanied by friendly sea giants, provided memorable experiences. While on this excursion, I relied on my trusty Bauhsland Cooler Bag to keep my drinks fresh.

Having a capacity of 18 cans with ice, the Bauhsland Cooler Bag proved to be a dependable friend during the kayaking adventure. My food and beverages stayed chilled and fresh despite the sweltering Florida sun owing to the sturdy build and adjustable capabilities of this cooler.

I was pleasantly delighted to discover my drinks iced even after hours of paddling because the insulation adequately kept the proper temperature.

  • Insulation Technologies: The Bauhsland Cooler Bag has good insulation with thick PE foam insulation and a puncture-resistant 500D PVC outer shell.
  • Drainage Systems: The cooler bag has a roll-top zipperless closure that keeps the elements out while preserving its waterproof characteristics.
  • Attachment Points and Mounting Options: The bag has strong D-rings that keep the cooler bag firmly in place during your activities, even in choppy waters or on hilly terrain.
  • Integrated Rod Holders:  The Bauhsland Cooler Bag does not contain integrated rod holders.
  • Backpack Straps and Carrying Handles: It has straps and handles customizable to match your unique requirements.
Best Coolers for Kayaks_bauhsland


  • Thick PE foam insulation
  • Waterproof and leakproof
  • Versatile attachment points
  • Compact and customizable


  • Limited storage capacity
  • Limited color options

3. Perception Splash Tankwell Cooler

The Perception Splash Tankwell Cooler is one of the best coolers for camping trips owing to its kayak-specific design and outstanding performance. It is designed to fit firmly in your kayak’s tank well, keeping your beverages and snacks nice and refreshing during your paddling adventures.

I found out that it offers a great storage solution for all of your outdoor activities, thanks to its dependable insulating technology and robust construction.

  • Insulation Technologies: With a 40L capacity, this cooler can hold up to 20 cans assuming a 1:1 ice ratio.
  • Drainage Systems: It is intended to drain any extra water from the cooler, keeping your drinks and food dry and the temperature stable.
  • Attachment Points and Mounting Options: You can securely fasten the cooler to your kayak with varied connection hooks and mounting options.
  • Integrated Rod Holders: These holders keep your fishing rods securely in place when kayaking or fishing.
  • Backpack Straps and Carrying Handles: The cooler may be easily slung on your back, thanks to adjustable backpack-style shoulder straps, keeping your hands free from paddling.
best kayak cooler_Perception Splash Tankwell Cooler


  • Efficient insulation
  • Ample Storage
  • Effective drainage
  • Convenient to use


  • Limited compatibility
  • Bulkiness

4. POUALAON Kayak Cooler

Made with leakproof material, the POUALAON Kayak Cooler is one of the best waterproof kayak coolers. It has a built-in rod holder and is designed to sit securely beneath the seat of your kayak.

This cooler keeps your beverages nice and refreshing during kayaking, making it excellent for vacations, camping, and other outdoor activities.

  • Insulation Technologies: The POUALAON Kayak Cooler has superior insulation technologies to preserve your food and beverages at the optimum temperature.
  • Drainage Systems: This kayak cooler successfully keeps rain, and water splashes out, thanks to its leakproof zipper, liner, and waterproof exterior material.
  • Attachment Points and Mounting Options: It has eight robust bungee cords for attaching the cooler to the rear of your kayak seat.
  • Integrated Rod Holders: The splash fishing rod holder is a noteworthy feature. It provides a simple and safe location to put your fishing rod when kayaking or fishing.
  • Backpack Straps and Carrying Handles: It has backpack straps and carrying handles, giving you several carrying choices and making traveling a snap.
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POUALAON Kayak Cooler


  • Efficient Insulation
  • Excellent Waterproofing
  • Secure Attachment
  • Multiple carrying options


  • Limited storage capacity
  • Less seat compatibility

5. Wise Owl Outfitters Backpack Cooler

This cooler’s clever engineering and intelligent design make it inexpensive without sacrificing quality. It has thick PEVA material with superior ice retention technology to keep your food and drinks chilled for long periods.

Also, its waterproof and leakproof structure gives an extra insulation layer, keeping cold air within and melting ice outside. Thus, the Wise Owl Outfitters Backpack Cooler can be considered one of the most affordable kayak coolers with excellent ice retention.

With size options of 20L or 30L, this cooler provides adequate storage capacity for your food and drinks, making it a convenient choice for day outings or longer outdoor adventures. Anyone looking for a dependable and reasonably priced cooler for their next adventure will find it a great purchase due to its versatility and low cost.

  • Insulation Technologies: The PEVA-insulated material, paired with a 1″ thick thermal barrier, provides great insulation to stabilize the temperature.
  • Drainage Systems: This kayak cooler is fully submersible and leakproof. It’s composed of heavyweight PEVA nylon, which is waterproof and long-lasting.
  • Attachment Points and Mounting Options: It has eight robust bungee cords for attaching the cooler to the rear of your kayak seat.
  • Integrated Rod Holders: This cooler does not have rod holders.
  • Backpack Straps and Carrying Handles: This cooler has nylon backpack straps for comfortable and simple carrying.
Wise Owl Outfitters Backpack Cooler


  • Submersible and Leakproof
  • Versatile Carrying options
  • Customizable insulation


  • Lack of integrated rod holders
  • Limited size options

6. Big Bobber Floating Cooler

The Big Bobber Floating Cooler is a portable, insulated cooler that can chill up to 12 cans for the whole day. This floating cooler for kayak keeps your beverages icy and simple to access in the water, whether you’re fishing, boating, or sitting by the pool.

  • Insulation Technologies: The Big Bobber Floating Cooler is an insulated ice chest that can keep up to 12 beverages cold for the whole day.
  • Drainage Systems: There are no drainage systems on this floating cooler.
  • Attachment Points and Mounting Options: It has a built-in handle that is both durable and lightweight.
  • Integrated Rod Holders: This floating cooler does not have rod holders.
  • Backpack Straps and Carrying Handles: The built-in handle on this cooler gives a comfortable grip, making it easy to carry.
Big Bobber Floating Cooler


  • Portable and lightweight
  • Versatile water use
  • Simple design
  • Reliable insulation technology


  • No drainage system
  • Absence of integrated rod holders

7. TOURIT Cooler Bag

The TOURIT Cooler Bag is available in 24/35/46-can sizes, with insulated soft coolers that are ideal for various situations. With capacities ranging from 14.6/24/32L, it offers ample choices to keep your food and beverages cool during picnics, beach visits, business lunches, and travel adventures.

So, if you want lightweight portable coolers for small kayaks, you can opt for its smaller version. But if you plan to carry many items for a long camping trip on a large kayak, go for its higher capacity.

  • Insulation Technologies: The main compartment has high-density insulating materials and a waterproof PEVA liner.
  • Drainage Systems: There are no drainage systems on the TOURIT Cooler Bag.
  • Attachment Points and Mounting Options: The cooler bag has MOLLE webbing on the front and sides.
  • Integrated Rod Holders: It lacks integrated rod holders.
  • Backpack Straps and Carrying Handles: This cooler bag features a cushioned handle and a retractable shoulder strap for convenient carrying.
TOURIT Cooler Bag


  • Advanced insulation technology
  • Versatile carrying options
  • Separate storage compartments
  • Additional storage


  • Lacks built-in drainage system
  • Absence of Integrated Rod Holders

8. YMGGVS Kayak Cooler

The YMGGVS Kayak Cooler is a waterproof, high-capacity cooler bag that fits snugly on the seat back of kayaks. It is a useful kayak attachment that is ideal for kayaking, fishing, camping, and beach outings.

This cooler, which includes a bottle opener, keeps your beverages cold all day, offering refreshments throughout your outdoor activities. Besides, the triple insulation technology of this product makes it one of the best insulated Kayak coolers.

  • Insulation Technologies: It includes a 0.5″ thicker PEVA internal lining, keeping the temperature stable for up to 16 hours.
  • Drainage Systems: This cooler is waterproof and leakproof, with a sturdy PVC exterior for simple cleaning.
  • Attachment Points and Mounting Options: This kayak cooler has bungee ball cords and a rear buckle for dual-use connection points.
  • Integrated Rod Holders: It lacks integrated rod holders.
  • Backpack Straps and Carrying Handles: Carry small items like food, keys, wallet, fishing license, or a 6.7″ phone in several compartments, including a deeper waterproof pocket.
YMGGVS Kayak Cooler


  • High Capacity
  • Effective Insulation
  • Waterproof and Leakproof
  • Secure Attachment


  • Does not include built-in rod holders
  • Does not have a high storage capacity

9. KickIce Dry Bag + Soft Cooler

The KickIce Dry Bag + Soft Cooler is a flexible and dependable companion for outdoor activities such as kayaking, beach vacations, rafting, boating, hiking, camping, and fishing.

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With a PVC-free leakproof liner and a rolltop closing, it keeps your items dry and safe. This 30L teal cooler contains 36 cans with ice, making it one of the best small coolers for kayaks.

  • Insulation Technologies: This cooler includes high-performance thermal retention insulation.
  • Drainage Systems: There are no drainage systems on this KickIce cooler.
  • Attachment Points and Mounting Options: When not in use, the cooler folds flat, making it easy to store and carry.
  • Integrated Rod Holders: KickIce coolers do not include rod holders.
  • Backpack Straps and Carrying Handles: It includes dual-grip grab handles and an adjustable shoulder strap.
KickIce Dry Bag + Soft Cooler


  • PVC free leakproof liner
  • High-performance thermal retention insulation
  • Dual-grip grab handles and adjustable shoulder strap
  • Unique travelflex molded base


  • Occupies a lot of space
  • Leaks after some uses

10. Yakhacker Kayak Cooler

The Yakhacker Kayak Cooler is a waterproof, portable cooler bag that fits snugly on kayaks with lawn-chair-style seats. I found this kayak attachment very beneficial as it keeps your beverages and food cold when kayaking, traveling, lunch outings, beach vacations, and other adventures.

Its practical design and dependable insulation make it one of the best coolers for kayaks when you’re on an outdoor adventure.

  • Insulation Technologies: It has anti-leak qualities and keeps meals hot or cold for 16 hours.
  • Drainage Systems: There are no drainage systems on the Yakhacker Kayak Cooler.
  • Attachment Points and Mounting Options: It has a sturdy bungee ball system that stretches and connects to the back of the lawn chair.
  • Integrated Rod Holders: The Yakhacker Kayak Cooler lacks integrated rod holders.
  • Backpack Straps and Carrying Handles: It has an adjustable and removable cushioned shoulder strap for easy transport.
Yakhacker Kayak Cooler


  • Practical design
  • Keeps meals hot or cold for an impressive 16 hours
  • Sturdy attachment system
  • Versatile storage options


  • Limited size options
  • Additional weight

11. Enthusiast Gear Floating Cooler Bag

The Enthusiast Gear Floating Cooler Bag is a versatile and reliable companion for kayaking, fishing, beach trips, and hiking. I personally like the roll-top structure of this insulated dry backpack which makes it leakproof, compact, and waterproof, ensuring your belongings stay dry and safe.

So, if you’re looking for the best kayak cooler dry bags for keeping food and drinks dry, I’d highly recommend trying this product.

  • Insulation Technologies: The Enthusiast Gear Floating Cooler Bag has a welded tarpaulin outer and a welded PEVA liner, making it a waterproof and insulated kayak cooler.
  • Drainage Systems: There are no drainage systems on it.
  • Attachment Points and Mounting Options: Due to its vast attachments, this cooler may be used as a Backpack Cooler, Insulated Lunch Bag Cooler, or Dry Bag.
  • Integrated Rod Holder: It lacks built-in rod holders.
  • Backpack Straps and Carrying Handles: Although it lacks zippers, the padded shoulder strap makes it ideal for outdoor excursions.
Enthusiast Gear Floating Cooler Bag


  • Versatile design
  • Leakproof and waterproof
  • Effective insulation
  • Comfortable carrying


  • Absence in attachment points
  • Potential heavy load


Kayak coolers are necessary for keeping food and beverages fresh and cold when kayaking. It has specialized features, including small size, durability, and waterproofing. Size, insulation, material, mobility, and waterproofing are all factors to consider when purchasing a kayak cooler. Based on the information supplied, the following coolers are highly recommended:

AMURS Kayak Cooler: It is a must-have for any kayaker looking for a dependable and adaptable cooling solution. This lightweight and waterproof cooler bag is cleverly designed to fit securely behind the seat of lawn-chair-type kayaks, allowing for easy access to beverages throughout your expeditions.

YMGGVS Kayak Cooler: This large-capacity kayak cooler with triple insulation technology and waterproof features is great for keeping food and drinks chilled for up to 16 hours during varied outdoor activities.

Choosing the best coolers for kayaks depends on personal tastes and the unique needs of your outdoor excursions. Consider insulation, durability, size, and hauling choices when selecting a cooler to match your kayaking adventures. Whether you choose a kayak-specific cooler, a backpack cooler, or a floating cooler, investing in the correct equipment can improve your overall experience on the water and guarantee your food and beverages stay cold and delicious during your excursions.


1. Are soft-sided or hard-sided coolers better for kayaking?

A: Soft-sided coolers are excellent for kayaking since they are lightweight and flexible, allowing for simple maneuverability and fitting into limited kayak storage space.

2. What features should I look for in a kayak cooler?

A: When selecting a kayak cooler, check for characteristics such as great insulation, leakproof and waterproof materials, connection points, and ergonomic handles or straps for easy carrying.

3. How long can the best kayak coolers keep ice?

A: The finest kayak coolers can maintain ice for up to 12-16 hours, ensuring that your beverages and food stay chilled throughout your day of kayaking.

4. Can I use a regular cooler for kayaking, or do I need a specialized one?

A: It is suggested to utilize a specialized kayak cooler for best performance because they are intended to withstand the environment, fit kayak storage places, and include features such as waterproofing and attaching points.

5. What is the ideal weight for a kayak cooler?

A: The appropriate weight for a kayak cooler is determined by personal choice and the carrying capacity of the kayak. However, lighter coolers weighing 5-10 pounds are often more manageable for kayaking.

6. Can I use a kayak cooler for other outdoor activities besides kayaking?

A: Yes, kayak coolers are useful for various outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, picnics, and beach visits, offering easy cold storage everywhere you go.

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