Whether you are someone engaged in watersports like sailing, a fishing enthusiast, or someone who simply loves to spend time out in nature, a marine cooler is an essential piece of equipment that should be present by your side for a number of reasons.
Aside from preserving the freshness of your bait or catch, they store food, ice, and drinks for long periods of time, storing all the different necessities for you and your family throughout your adventure.
The quest for the best marine cooler isn’t a simple task given the fact that there are a lot of options on the market. The top rate boat cooler has to have a clever design so that it functions as it is supposed to do without letting you down at an unexpected time.
That’s why we have dived deep in the marine cooler reviews to find the best boat cooler for you. We have also prepared a buying guide to help you out with your questions in mind.
How To Choose The Best Marine Cooler – Buying Guide
When it comes to the best boat coolers you can either get a soft walled cooler or the type of boxes that we have shown here today. A soft cooler is easier to use and more portable. On the other hand, they are small in size and won’t be able to keep the contents cold for long periods of time.
Related Review: Soft Cooler
Coolers mainly come in a rectangular standard shape, which is the most convenient shape to store and carry. The size of the space inside the box is usually measured in quarts. As a measurement, a quart is a quarter of a gallon and is just more than 1 liter. So the more quarts a cooler can hold, the more content it is able to hold.
When it comes to the overall size of the cooler, different coolers have different size walls. Therefore it is important to take a look at the dimensions depending on where you want to store it.
Durability is a key aspect of a cooler as over time it will undergo a lot of punishment as it is used, closed, filled up, placed down, and stored on a boat. You want to make sure that it is built to last and most of the coolers that we have reviewed here are able to stand up to harsh environments.
When a cooler is rotationally molded (rotomolded), it adds a great deal of strength but that isn’t the only place that a cooler needs to be strong. You also want to ensure that it has a strong seal and its latches are able to hold tight.
If you want an effective and long-lasting cooler, plastic is always the best. Plastic ones keep your contents colder for longer while also being more durable in the process. Metal is another option; however, these can be heavier and also prone to dents which can affect the look of the cooler. Fabric options are also available but lack the insulation of the sturdier materials.
Of course, insulation is the be-all and end-all of the coolers to keep your contents cold. 2-3 inches of insulation is ideal for long-term ice retention as it will be able to keep your contents ice-cold for days. Anything less than that reduces the time the contents will remain cold.
Ice retention is the amount of time that a cooler will be able to keep ice in its form without fully melting under normal temperatures. Ice retention is one of the key tests that many companies have in order to prove the amount of insulation their products claim to provide.
The problem is that there is no official standard test for ice retention, which means every company has their own methods of testing. Grizzly Coolers, for example, open their coolers twice a day during their experiments while others don’t.
Related Review: Grizzly Coolers Vs Yeti
In order to properly clean and maintain your cooler, you will want to have the ability to drain the water. Most coolers come with at least one drain some models have two options. Drainage also reduces the odors that are coming from a cooler.
Latches And Hinges
Latches and hinges have to be made out of high-quality materials in order to keep the contents inside as cool as possible. Plastic hinges can be effective but metal ones are also preferred. Make sure that they are resilient to the seawater and rust-resistant.
If you’re going to be using your cooler for storing fish then you will want to know how big your catch is. Some of the best boating coolers come with a scale on them so you can measure your catch before storing it in the cooler which is a useful feature.
When it comes to coolers sometimes portability can be difficult. They are often big and bulky and when they are fully loaded, they can be very heavy and require at least two people to be able to carry them to wherever you want it to go.
That being said, it’s important that handles are designed well so that you can carry the heavyweight without hurting your hands. The best coolers for boats also have a lip around the lid which will allow numerous people to carry it. There is also the option of getting a smaller cooler with wheels that can be pulled with a handle.
Related Review: Small Cooler
Slip Resistant Feet
If you’re going to be on a beach then having a cooler with slip-resistant feet isn’t going to be an issue but there are plenty of other situations where you will need that grip when you’re on a boat. When the boat is rolling you will want to make sure that everything stays in one place and doesn’t slide about.
Related Review: Beach Cooler
When it comes to the feet of your marine cooler though you also want to make sure that they are non-marking so that you don’t have to end up cleaning numerous black marks from the surface.
Ability To Withstand Harsh Conditions
Being out there on a boat is a harsh environment for all equipment and a marine cooler is no different. It needs to have the ability to withstand the sun’s rays, be resistant to UV light, bangs, scrapes, and the corrosive seawater. This is one of the most important features of a cooler according to marine cooler reviews.
All the coolers that we have reviewed here have a high level of sturdiness and will be able to withstand the difficult marine environments including the tides and rough seas. Best marine coolers can even be sat on and used as a bench such is their level of build quality. One of the big advantages of having one of these coolers is that you know it’s not going to break or bend and it’ll leave the contents inside protected.
Q: What's the difference between a marine cooler and regular cooler?
A marine cooler is a specifically designed product to withstand the harsh sea conditions. It retains ice for longer times than a regular cooler does. It is generally larger and made of the UV ray protective layer. They are so durable that you can even use them for sitting.
Q: Why Do I Need Marine Cooler?
If you want to keep contents cold then there is no better solution out there than having a marine cooler. It can be used for a few different reasons including keeping drinks cold for a party or keeping your catch fresh.
Whatever the reason for wanting to keep something cold, there is no better and easier solution than a cooler unless you have a freezer which is generally only found on much larger boats with big power supplies. Modern-day coolers can keep food cold for days on end so they can be used for a long period of time.
Q: What Size Would Work Best For Me?
The size of the cooler you need depends on what you’re aiming to use it for and how long you need it as well. If it is just for personal use in order to keep food and drink cold, then it’s unlikely that you will need a large cooler as a smaller one would be much easier to carry.
There is also the consideration of storage as there will only be a certain amount of space on your boat. You need to work out where you are going to put the cooler and then work from the space available.
Q: How To Clean Marine Cooler?
Using dish soap, a little bit of baking soda, and finishing with sanitizing spray will be more than enough to clean your cooler while leaving any unpleasant smells behind and leaving it safe to be refilled again ready for your next trip.
A marine cooler is easy to clean thanks to the smooth surface. Clearing out the liquid is also simple due to the drainage. Still, though, it’s important not to clean them with any product which is not food safe. To avoid unpleasant smells building up, it’s a good idea to rinse out your cooler as soon as you can after your trip.
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Marine coolers are a great way to add comfort to your boating trip as well as keeping your drinks cool while you play at the beach or relax by the pool. The best marine cooler should keep your contents cold for as long as possible and withstand the harsh conditions that it may find itself in. When it comes to size, this is a personal choice based on how much space you need for the contents and how much space you have in your boat. Independent of your specific needs, hopefully, our buying guide has given you the knowledge that you need in order to find the best marine cooler for your needs.
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