Coolers for Kayaks

Coolers for Kayaks: 6 Choices to Keep Your Drinks Cold All Day on the Water

These are some of the best coolers for kayaks available today.

It's hard to beat a day spent paddling a kayak. It won't be long before the weather warms up and we're hitting our favorite lakes and streams for the first paddling adventure of the year.

The only thing that can make a day on the water better is a cooler full of ice, stocked to the brim with your favorite beverages and snacks. The problem is, storage space is often at a premium, even on some of the top kayaks on the market.

This means you need to think strategically, and typically select a much smaller cooler that will fit into your storage area while still staying accessible when you need it.

To help you narrow things down, we researched the various types of kayak coolers on the market today and have put together a handy buying guide to help you select the perfect cooler for your style of paddling.

Whether you are looking for a high-quality hardbody cooler that will hold ice for a multi-day camping trip, something compact so you can still fit your fishing gear on board, or just something simple for a short trip down your local stream, you should be able to find a cooler that will fit your needs here.

Products featured on Wide Open Spaces are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission. 


Yakhacker Kayak Cooler

This cooler is designed specifically to fit on the back of a raised seat. It should work extremely well for sit-on-top style kayaks. The Yakhacker measures 16.93 inches long by 11.81 inches high and 6.69 inches wide. That means it should fit most kayaks, but it is also roomy enough to store a good amount of drinks.

This soft cooler is leakproof and uses high-density insulation to keep its contents cool on the lake or river. It also features a removable padded shoulder strap and a handy carry handle. Net pockets on the front can hold various odds and ends while the front water resistant pocket will be great for cell phones and other small valuables.

Engel Cooler/Dry Box

This is 30-quart capacity Engel Cooler/Dry Box is one of the larger kayak-specific coolers on the market with specs of 23.25 x 12.5 x 14.5 inches. It's also a little hefty at 10 pounds.

However, this hard shell cooler is well made, has an EVA gasket seal, and is insulated with polystyrene foam that's going to help keep the contents ice cold. It can hold 45 pounds of ice, making it an ideal choice for overnight kayaking trips. There are also four fishing rod holders for a little more functionality. This one would probably be a great fish cooler for fishermen and women planning to take home their catch for dinner.

YETI Hopper Flip 12

YETI has a great reputation for high-quality coolers designed for adventure, and the Hopper 12 is nice and compact, measuring 12 5/8 inches long by 10 inches wide and 11 ½ inches high. This makes this soft-sided cooler perfect to hang on the back of a kayak seat or stow away in the storage area.

It has the storage capacity to hold 12 cans and enough ice to keep it cool all day long thanks to the closed-cell foam insulation. YETI offers this cooler in 10 different color combinations, so there's sure to be one to fit anyone's tastes. We know YETI comes with a high price tag, but this is one of those cases of getting the quality that you pay for, and you'll get it with this kayak cooler bag.

CreekKooler Floating Cooler

This heavy-duty floating cooler is an excellent option if you're regularly paddling with larger groups. CreekKooler sells a 15-quart and a 30-quart version depending on your needs. The larger models boast an ice retention of around 48 hours while the smaller one will keep your drinks and food cool for 24 hours.

All you need to do is hook this cooler up behind your kayak and you'll free up a ton of extra space not only in your boat, but also in the kayaks of your friends and family, too. At least one Amazon review mentions being able to use this cooler as a livewell for kayak fishing after adding an aerator. The top of this cooler features a water-tight locking lid, and there are also built-in drink holders.

Blue Dot Outfitters Kayak Cooler

Here's another cooler designed to fit on the back of a raised seat. This Blue Dot Outfitters Kayak Cooler holds 11 liters and measures 16 inches wide by 10 inches high and six inches deep. It holds up to ten cans and folds down flat for easier storage when not in use. When empty, it only weighs 1.8 pounds.

The leakproof liner and water-resistant zippers will help keep river or lake water out if the cooler is dropped in the water accidentally. It also has a water-resistant pocket that's perfect for things like your cellphone or car keys. It may not look like much, but this cooler gets excellent reviews for its ice retention qualities.

Perception Splash Tankwell Cooler

This may well be one of the best kayak coolers on the market today. The Perception Splash Tankwell Cooler is built specifically to fit within the open storage areas of a sit-on-top kayak. It has a 40-liter capacity and should hold about 20 cans.

The zippered opening is made to be easily accessed while reaching behind you while you're paddling. It features backpack-style shoulder straps to make it easier to transport when it's out of the kayak. Because it sits down inside the craft with such a low profile, it won't catch the wind or make your paddling any harder than it needs to be during a day on the lake or river.

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Instagram For original videos, check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels