There’s no feeling like pushing your canoe off the shore and heading into a new adventure, especially when plenty of refreshing cold drinks and delicious snacks are at hand. Without a trusted cooler, these dreams may never turn into reality.
The best canoe coolers currently available on the market differ in various aspects, such as size, durability, and ice retention. Higher quality coolers fall under a higher price category and provide more benefits for your canoe.
To learn what’s the number one cooler for you, you ought to know the primary purpose of your next canoeing trip. It will enable you to decide on a cooler with more precision and ease.
There are many kinds of canoe coolers, and it can be tricky to find the right fit. To help navigate this, get familiar with the main types of coolers.
Types of Canoe Coolers
- Soft-sided coolers
- Hardshell coolers
- Backpack coolers
- Cooler bags
We’ve curated our selection of the ten best coolers for your canoe based on nine different segments. Each cooler has a table with scores on general features like capacity, weight, material, price, and use. Check out how your cooler of choice handles additional features such as floating, ice retention, and waterproofness.
What Are The 10 Best Canoe Coolers?
- YETI Hopper Flip 8 Portable Soft Cooler
- Polar Bear Coolers 12 Pack Original Nylon Soft Cooler
- Engel Heavy-Duty high-Performance HD30 Soft-Sided Cooler
- Perception Splash Tankwell Cooler
- CreekKooler Floating Cooler
- Pelican 50 Quart Elite Cooler
- Coleman SPORTFLEX 30-Can Soft Cooler
- RTIC Soft Pack Cooler
- ICEMULE Pro Collapsible Backpack Cooler
- Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze
1. YETI Hopper Flip 8 Portable Soft Cooler
YETI has become a household name for high-quality coolers. Our favorite cooler for a canoe is their Hopper Flip 8 model.
This cooler doesn’t come cheap, but it’s worth every penny. YETI’s Coldcell technology will make you forget you didn’t buy a hard-shelled cooler.
The Hopper comes in 3 different sizes, depending on the depth you need. The Flip 8 is ideal for those long-awaited sunny canoe trips.
The zipper ensures nothing moves an inch while keeping the contents cool for hours. Go for the charcoal or the navy color and watch how well it can camouflage.
2. Polar Bear Coolers 12 Pack Original Nylon Soft Cooler
Polar Bear Coolers might seem unassuming on the outside until you head out with them. This brand will give you everything you need from a cooler at an affordable price.
This particular cooler will fit right into your canoe, staying leak-free. Its super-insulated nylon shell is easy to carry around, next to holding the temperature at subzero.
The 12 Pack Original Nylon Soft Cooler can hold up to 12 cans and 5 lbs of ice. Don’t worry about malfunctions, as its components are indestructible.
Personalize it or choose from one of six color options. Get ready to spend those canoeing days quite literally chilling.
3. Engel Heavy-Duty High-Performance HD30 Soft-Sided Cooler Tote Bag
This canoe cooler comes in the shape of a tote bag you’ve never quite seen before. Engel has managed to match the eyecatching exterior to the sophisticated interior. It’s got the highest price out of all the other coolers, for a good reason.
The HD30 comes together by welding, so it’s incredibly resilient. The ice from this cooler will not melt for up to 100 hours. What more could you ask for? How about a built-in bottle opener, which you’ll be getting as a bonus.
Use this cooler for a bigger canoe, as it’s more significant than the alternatives. Fit 48 cans or 35 pounds of ice and store them easily using the handy waterproof zipper.
4. Perception Splash Tankwell Cooler
If all you want to do is lay back and know your cooler is always within reach, look no further. Hang the Perception Splash Tankwell Cooler from your shoulders, or set it somewhere close by. It’s easy to accommodate because of its ergonomic shape.
This cooler is an excellent asset to your canoe, and it won’t break the bank. It holds up to 20 cans for a whole day out on the water.
To grab something from the Tankwell, use the zipper located on the top. Note you’re not meant to store fish in it – use it only for ice, food, and drinks.
5. CreekKooler Floating Cooler
The only fully floating cooler on this list, CreekKooler is worth the attention and the money. Who doesn’t want to have a cooler next to them at that perfect spot on the water? You can also drag it behind your canoe for an optimum result.
It’s sure to stand out in whatever surrounding you choose due to the red exterior. Because the CreekKooler floats, it’s heavier than most canoe coolers (17 lbs).
It will keep 12 pounds of ice or 30 cans cold for two full days. Rest your drink in one of four cup holders on the cooler’s surface. You can do so while taking advantage of its storage to keep other valuables dry.
6. Pelican 50 Quart Elite Cooler
Pelican has been making top-notch coolers for over 40 years. By glancing at them, you can tell their Elite coolers are in a league of their own. There are a couple of press and pull latches, an integrated bottle opener, and drink holders.
Although the Pelican 50Q is pricey, it makes up for it by arriving with a lifetime guarantee. You can fit 47 pounds of ice or 38 cans inside the stainless steel-coated cooler.
Pelican 50Q is great for fishing – it even has a built-in fish ruler. Choose between the cool white/grey shade or the beautiful dark grey/green.
Although it’s not easy to carry it at over 25 lbs, you will not regret treating yourself to this cooler for your beloved canoe.
7. Coleman SPORTFLEX 30-Can Soft Cooler
For your next 24-hour canoe getaway, equip yourself with Coleman’s Sportflex cooler. It doesn’t cost much, yet it holds up to 30 cans at once.
Maximize its capacity by opening the stretchy side pockets or adding an extra water bottle to the mesh pockets. The cooler’s easy to zip up, transport, and clean with an antimicrobial liner.
Sportflex’s Deep Ocean color will have you setting off for those dreamy shores in no time. And for a low price, as it goes for $59.99.
8. RTIC Soft Pack Cooler
RTIC has a couple of different sizes of soft pack coolers; they come in either 12 Can, 20 Can, 30 Can, or 40 Can. Choose your adventure (and the corresponding color) and pack some essentials for your canoe expedition.
Their mid-price range makes sure that you get what you signed up for. There’s plenty of space, no leaks, and it’s easy to transport them from one spot to the next.
RTIC’s design doesn’t just look pretty – it’s practical, too. The front pocket will hold your goodies while the insulated interior stays ice-cold for hours. It can even float!
9. ICEMULE Pro Collapsible Backpack Cooler
Say goodbye to arguing about who’s the next person to carry the cooler for your canoe and say hello to Icemule Pro. This cooler comes in a backpack you can strap on or lay on the water. It’s floatable and 100% waterproof, plus it makes you look sharp.
Icemule keeps it chilly for up to 24 hours, and you can roll it up and put it away once it’s empty. Great for smaller-sized canoes where you have to compromise on space but don’t want to lose the cooler.
The technology behind it is a marvel in itself. The brand makes it out of a custom fabric called MuleSkin, and it boasts an air valve so it can float. Trust your instincts and get ready for an unforgettable experience.
10. Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze 20Q Premium Ice Chest
The only cooler on our list with a bear resistance certification is Arctic Zone’s Titan Deep Freeze. Store 30 cans in this 13 lbs heavy cooler for four whole days. It handles any condition and is perfect for fishing expeditions.
The antimicrobial layer keeps the germs at bay and helps with cleaning. There’s also the built-in fish ruler and a considerable drain. Its price is more than fair for the service you’re getting.
Due to its build, this canoe cooler should be by your side for quite some time. Polyurethane is what insulates it, and the latches can’t corrode no matter what. For serious explorers and those about to be – here’s a cooler your canoe will thank you for.
What Size of Cooler Fits A Canoe?
The size of the cooler you choose depends on the canoe you have. Most canoe coolers are either 10Q, 20Q, or 30Q. 40Q+ coolers work only for larger canoes.
Make sure you measure the depth of your canoe before investing in a cooler. You can always go for a couple of smaller soft-sided coolers or backpack coolers.
How Do You Stay Cool While Canoeing?
Stay hydrated while you’re on your canoe. Wear sun-protective clothes and a good SPF while out on the water. Prepare for your canoeing trip beforehand by packing cold drinks and nourishing snacks.
For the best experience, have a cooler in your canoe. Ensure you bring enough ice packs and stay away from the sun if you feel lightheaded.
Check out this awesome book about canoeing and keeping cool from Amazon:
How to Canoe and Kayak Like a Pro (Outdoor Sports Skills)
What Size Cooler Do I Need For A Canoe Trip?
If you’re going canoeing for a whole day, get a cooler that stores around 30 cans. Anything below that might not be enough. For a longer canoe trip, prepare a couple of medium coolers.
Take into account the number of people you’re traveling with. Are you going on your own or as part of a couple? For more people, get a 50Q cooler.
There are many good coolers you can get for your next canoeing trip. They come in all shapes and sizes, from soft pack coolers to backpack coolers. Before choosing the next cooler for your canoe, make a list of your top priorities.
If they’re capacity and ice retention, Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze is the cooler for you. In need of longevity and a high-quality build? Pick Pelican’s 50Q Elite Cooler. Float away next to your CreekKooler, or strap an Icemule Pro to your shoulders. Remember to keep hydrated and have a good time.