Whether it is used for fishing, evening parties, and outings or weekend getaways on your pontoon boat, a cooler is something that every pontoon boat requires. Coolers keep drinks and contents like meat and food cool for long durations. They are also environment friendly as they do not use any CFC gases unlike refrigerators and instead rely on regular ice or even dry ice to preserve food or chill drinks. Here are the 15 best coolers that we could find for your pontoon boat.
If you are in a rush here is a table we put together with our favorite coolers:
|Why We Like
|YETI Tundra 65 Cooler
|Coleman Coastal Xtreme Series Marine Portable Cooler
|Best Portable Cooler
|Engel 19-Quart Cooler/Dry Box
|Coleman 54-Quart Steel-Belted Cooler
|RTIC Hard Cooler, Ice Chest
|Best Value for Extreme Cooler
Fifteen Best Coolers for Pontoons
Here are some of the best coolers available today. You may opt for one of these depending on your requirements.
Whether you are keeping freshly caught fish cold or ensuring that the drinks and food for your pontoon boat barbeque party stay chilled and refreshing, Yeti’s Tundra 65 cooler can do them both proficiently. You can store up to 39 cans with plenty of ice ensuring that there are cold drinks available even for long parties on the deck. For those indulging in fishing, there is adequate space for keeping the catch cold. With over three inches of patented insulation it keeps the contents cool for long durations making it ideal for extended boat rides. It can hold 56 pounds of ice at maximum and can accommodate dry ice too.
The Roadie 24 Cooler is the sibling of the Tundra 65 and is ideal for a small group of people. It has the capacity to hold 18 cans for an outing and is perfect for BYOB style parties on the pontoon boat. It can keep fish, food and drinks chilled for long durations thanks to its proprietary ColdLock Gasket similar to Tundra’s. And you don’t have to worry about it leaving a watery mess behind with its well thought design. It is compact and lightweight making it easy to carry around and even fit in a car or truck easily. People who like to camp on a beach while cruising on a pontoon boat, the Roadie 24 Cooler is a great accessory for them.
If you are planning a getaway on your pontoon boat for almost a week, be sure to take along the Coleman Xtreme Series Marine Cooler. This marine cooler can preserve ice for up to six days in temperatures of up to 90° F due to the patented Extra ThermOZONE Insulation. To match its great performance is a plethora of space that can hold 75 cans or over 3 soda cases. There are four cup holders provided on top of the lid further enhancing the experience with the cooler. It is built rugged and sturdy with a finish that prevents fading with time. And you don’t have to worry about nasty odors as it contains a antimicrobial additive.
Engle provides a 19-Quart Cooler that not only keeps food and drinks cold but can also serve as a dry box to protect important equipment and gadgets from being damaged and tarnished by moisture and dust. You can store up to 32 cans or 25lbs of ice in this cooler as well as freshly caught fish or food of an equal volume. Polystyrene foam provides the required insulation to keep the contents cold and fresh while an EVA seal keeps it airtight. It is easy to clean and maintain while carrying handles and a shoulder strap make it portable. If you are looking for something compact and lightweight, this offering from Engel might suit your needs.
For people who are looking for a bigger cooler, Coleman provides the 62-Quart Extreme Cooler. With a carrying capacity equivalent to 95 cans, there is plenty of storage in this for a large group of people or for those who are planning to go away for a long duration. The walls have extra insulation along with a well-insulated lid to ensure that items stay cold for as long as 5 days. It is also great for people who fish in waters that generally have medium to large sized fish. The lid doubles as an extra seat on the boat along with four cup holders. Swing handles with comfort grip and wheels make the cooler easy to carry and lug around.
If you like a retro design, the Coleman 54-Quart Steel-Belted Cooler is something that you will fall in love with at first sight. This cooler is a reminder of the classic design as it incorporates steel, and resembles the coolers from your childhood. Steel handles with comfort grip are provided for easy carrying. It has ample amounts of space too with a storage capacity for 85 cans or food for the whole gang. The cooler is tall enough to even hold 2-litre bottles upright. You can sit on the lid too while a stainless-steel latch on it keeps contents secure when transporting.
Engle’s 65 High Performance Hard Cooler is a water cooler designed for the most rugged environments. It is so tough that it has IGBC certification acknowledging it to be bear resistant, not that you would encounter any bears on a pontoon boat. This sturdy model has two inches of insulation in lid, bottom and all sides that can preserve ice and keep contents chilled for almost ten days. A gasket made out of silicon keeps the container airtight further increasing its efficiency. The amount of space in the Engel 65 is more than adequate for a large group with a storage capacity equivalent to 70 cans or 85 lbs. of ice. The cooler is made to last and comes backed by a 10-year warranty.
Another cooler fit for long journeys is the Hard Cooler and Ice Chest from the manufacturer RTIC. This model can hold ice for days thanks to it’s 3″ thick superior insulation. It is a great accessory for people who love to take week long trips on their pontoon boats. It’s 20-liter capacity is adequate to store food and drinks for a medium to large group of people. Made of durable polyethylene it is robust, yet lightweight, and can even be used as a spare seat in case there are not enough on the boat itself. Handles are provided for portability which is a breeze thanks to its light weight.
People who look to buy things that last can opt for Mammoth Coolers – Ranger cooler. This model is made from topnotch quality polyethylene combined with an internal liner made of food grade material that resists stains and minimizes odors. It can keep its contents cool for up to 10 days. With a capacity of 25-125 quarts depending on the size you choose, enough food and drinks can be stored for a medium to large sized party. Polyurethane lined walls keep the contents insulated longer in conjunction with a rubber gasket. Skid pads installed on the bottom to keep the cooler in place in rough weather while dual drains allow easy removal of water when you are done using it.
One of the most sought-after coolers available in the market is the Yukon Cold Locker 50. This cooler can retain ice for a week due to its thick insulating foam and has a capacity of approximately 47 liters, making it good for long expeditions on a pontoon boat or a party for a large gathering. It is compact and lightweight making its transportation easier thanks to the solid handles. As an added advantage, it comes with reversible feet that can be transformed into skid or anti-skid ones depending on whether it must be kept in place or transported. It is designed to be durable, fade resistant, and comes with a five-year warranty.
If you are looking for a cooler that is highly efficient, the K2 Cube 55 is what you should buy. This cooler has a cubic shape unlike other coolers that are rectangular making it easier and more versatile to store on different pontoon boats with limited area. The cooler has a carrying capacity of 52.4 quarts and is good at retaining ice, making it adequate for storing food and goodies for a few days. It weighs just 22 lbs. and has both rope and molded handles making it easy to carry around. The Cube 55 comes with a 3-year warranty and is quite easy to clean and maintain due to its smooth surface.
Much like its name, the Igloo Marine Elite is a performance packed cooler for excursions on your pontoon boat. This cooler comes in different sizes and you may choose one of these depending on your needs. The model with 54-quart capacity is ideal for most people and can keep ice frozen for almost four days. An ultra-thick foam and Igloo’s patented Cooler Riser Technology help with preserving ice, food and drinks. The cooler is designed to resist damage and fading from exposure to UV rays, making it ideal for long term use in sunny weather. Handle grips are provided to transport it while a lockable latch keeps item secure. For fishing enthusiasts, the lid even features a fish keeper scale for measuring the size of their prized catch.
The Siberian Coolers Alpha Pro Series is a heavy-duty cooler that boasts of ice retention for almost 10 days. This is facilitated by the 2” thick polyurethane insulation as well as a freezer grade gasket. It’s build quality is excellent with high grade materials employed for construction. There are both molded and hinged handles provided to make it easier to carry. The cooler has unique press and pull latches that are easier to use and more secure than conventional ones. Non-skid feet keep the cooler in place even in rough weather conditions. The Siberian Alpha Pro cooler is available in different capacities ranging from 22 to 85 quarts. This cooler is the perfect blend of durability and efficiency and is great for long trips on pontoon boats.
The Grizzly 60 Cooler is a sturdy and robust model that is built to last and comes with a lifetime warranty. Having a capacity of 60 quarts, the cooler can store 72 12 oz. cans along with 20lbs. of ice. With pressure injected insulation on all sides, it can retain ice and keep contents cool for five days or even more easily. Bear Latches keep the lid secure while non-skid rubber feet ensure that the cooler stays in place. A ruler is embossed on the lid for measuring your catch and a tray is provided for contents that need to be kept dry. Whether you are a fishing fan or a travel junkie, the Grizzly 60 will suit all your needs while you are on your pontoon boat.
ORCA manufactures coolers designed by enthusiast outdoorsmen themselves that are known to last even in harsh conditions and are highly efficient at the same time. The cooler can retain ice and preserve and cool contents for 10 days as it has superior integrated insulation and lid gasket that keeps it airtight. The flex-grips handles make its transportation easy and are also extendable. The coolers come in capacities from 20 to 140 quarts which is ideal for different lengths of trips. A cargo net is included in the package for additional storage. If you are someone who likes long getaways, this cooler is exactly what you need on your pontoon boat.
Why Buy a Cooler for Pontoon Boats?
Here are a few benefits of buying a cooler for your pontoon boats.
Keeps Beverages Cool
If you are going on a pontoon trip, you will be taking along something to drink. A cooler can keep your soda and beverages chilled for several hours or even days. You can keep yourself cool and feel refreshed with the chilled beverages on a hot summer afternoon. A cooler becomes essential if you are inviting people or planning a party on your pontoon.
Food and snacks are an essential part of pontoon excursions. If you are planning to spend a few hours on the boat, you will require food. A cooler can preserve your food and prevent it from getting bad. It can protect ingredients like butter from melting. You can store raw food in the cooler and then cook it on a grill as required. Therefore, investing in a cooler is a great idea for pontoon owners.
Keeps Your Catch Fresh
Coolers are not only meant for chilling cans and preserving food. They can also be used for keeping your catch fresh until you cook it. If you love fishing on your pontoons, then you can store the caught fish in the cooler. You may want to take it home or might not want to cook it for a few hours. The cooler will keep the fish fresh and juicy for several hours.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Coolers for Pontoon Boats
There is a wide range of coolers available in the market. Here are a few things that can assist in choosing the best cooler for your requirements.
The primary specification to consider in a cooler for pontoon boats is its capacity. It determines the amount of storage space available in the cooler and consecutively its size. Manufacturers define the capacity of their coolers in terms of the number of cans it can hold or the amount of ice you can store in it. The same may also be expressed in liters or quarts. Most coolers can hold anywhere from twelve to one hundred cans. The ideal cooler size for you will depend on the number of cans and the amount of food you want to store in the cooler. People who host parties or invite quite a few guests on their pontoon trips may want a large cooler. For nuclear families, a small cooler may suffice.
Ice Retention Capability
The buyers must pay attention to the ice retention capability of a cooler when purchasing one for their pontoon. Coolers use ice to keep their contents cool. They feature insulation to minimize heat transfer with the environment and prevent the ice from melting. The quality and thickness of the insulation determine how long ice can last in the cooler. Some coolers can retain ice cubes for a couple of days, while others can keep them for as long as a week or two.
Their ice retention capability also depends on the environment temperature. A cooler that can store ice for up to five days in a 90°F environment may only be able to retain ice for a couple of days in a 110°F environment. Therefore, account for the ambient temperature of your area during the afternoons when choosing a cooler for pontoon boats. Buy a cooler depending on how long you plan to stay on the pontoon and how hot it gets during the afternoons.
When choosing a cooler, special attention must be paid to its build quality. It should have a sturdy and durable construction. Only food-grade materials should be used for making it. Its color should not fade quickly due to exposure to sunlight, and the surface must resist stains. There should be latches provided on the lid along with an airtight seal for preserving the contents. The cooler should last for several years without requiring replacement.
Odor control capability is an important factor to consider when purchasing coolers for pontoons. Coolers tend to develop a foul odor with use. It is because of the presence of moisture that serves as a breeding ground for microbial organisms. The cooler can start smelling bad after a few days of use. Some manufacturers add antimicrobial additives to their coolers to eliminate the odor. If you are someone who uses their cooler for long durations, then a model featuring odor control may be better for you.
The ice stored in coolers will melt over time. It will lead to the accumulation of water at the bottom of the cooler. Not only will it make the interior of the cooler messy, but the ice in it will also melt faster. Therefore, a drainage valve should be provided to drain water from the cooler easily. It will assist in retaining the ice longer and prevent the contents from getting wet. You won’t have to tilt the cooler for draining the water manually. A drain valve is important for coolers with a large capacity as they are heavier and more difficult to tilt.
There are a few additional features that you may look for in coolers before committing to a purchase. These features are not essential but add to the utility aspect of the cooler.
Built-in Cup Holders
Some coolers have built-in cup holders, generally located on their lids. They provide extra space to store glass, cans, bottles, or cups. You won’t have to buy aftermarket cup holders as the ones on the top of the cooler may suffice. They can be handy for people who carry their coolers to a beach or shore. Buy a cooler with built-in cup holders if you have the requirement for the same.
Compartments and Pockets
A few coolers have separate racks, pockets, and compartments for storing items other than beverages. These compartments can be used for keeping food, fish, or other items. A separate compartment ensures that these items don’t get soggy by coming in contact with melting ice. It can preserve the items for longer by protecting them from moisture. Therefore, buy a cooler with compartments for your pontoon if you feel the need for it.
Ergonomic Handles and Wheels
A fully-loaded cooler can be quite heavy. It must have ergonomic handles that facilitate a superior grip while making it easy to carry. If you are buying a large cooler and can’t lift heavy weight due to medical or other issues, then opt for a model that comes with wheels. These coolers have wheels at one end, like suitcases. You can lift the cooler and drag it behind you.
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