There are literally hundreds of different types of fishing coolers for sale on today’s market for every budget and just about every conceivable application.
Many factors like budget, space, where you plan on using it and more go into determining the type of cooler you should buy. If you’re looking for something that doesn’t take up any space when you’re not using it, a collapsible cooler may be what you need.
Once you’ve determined the type of cooler you’d like, you then need to determine the size that will not only accommodate all of your food, drinks and fish, but will keep them cool efficiently.
Size is one area where many anglers mess up with their fishing coolers. Either the cooler is too small to handle the demand, or it’s too big and therefore too cumbersome to carry around.
We invite you to continue reading for a few tips on finding the right size fishing cooler for your needs.
- Think long-term – Don’t just consider your immediate needs, but think out a few years. While you may think a smaller cooler is all you need, consider any future fishing trips. If you think you’ll be going out on a multi-day excursion, larger fishing coolers will come in real handy.
- Consider the weather – You should also think about the weather you can expect when using your cooler. In the summer months when it’s really hot, you’ll need to factor in space for more ice. During hot weather, the ice itself will take up about a ¼ of your cooler’s space.
- Go look at coolers in person – While you can get an idea on price by looking at fishing coolers for sale online, you should certainly go to a store like Bass Pro Shops, Academy Sports, Walmart or elsewhere to get a clear idea of the space you’ll have to work with. Pictures online can be deceptive – you may think the 20-quart looks big enough, but once it arrives, you’re disappointed and have to send it back.
- Consider multiple smaller coolers – If your budget allows, having multiple coolers can be beneficial. Each time you open a cooler, hot air gets in and melts the ice faster. The cooling cycle has to start all over again. If you have items that you won’t be retrieving but once or twice a day, having a separate cooler will keep them cool for longer. This is especially important on hot summer days.
- Don’t go too big though – It’s tempting to look at the biggest fishing coolers for sale and think “might as well get more than I need – better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.” However, if you have a cooler that’s way too big for what you’re putting in it, it won’t be as efficient. A smaller cooler tightly packed will keep your items cooler for longer. More air in a cooler causes the temperature to rise faster.
- Consider how you will transport your cooler – This is kind of connected to tip #3. Larger fishing coolers are, by default, harder to move around. If you think you’ll be moving to different spots and will need to carry your cooler around, you should definitely consider a smaller model. On the other hand, if you’re on a large offshore fishing boat and need something that will carry several days’ worth of food and drinks, don’t skimp and go for a bigger one. Also, think about how the cooler will fit into your vehicle with all of your other gear.
- Any cooler under 25 quarts in size is only practical for one person’s food and drinks for a day. If you go out fishing by yourself though, a good 25-quart cooler will be ideal for keeping your food cold. You can have a separate cooler for any live bait and fish.
- A small 9-quart cooler can hold a 12-pack of cold drinks or beer and a handful of ice according to Bass Pro Shops. A 28-quart essentially triples your capacity and can hold three 12-packs with ice or enough food and drink for a family of four for one night.
- If you’ll be going fishing for an entire weekend and will not be near any stores or restaurants, you should consider a larger 70+ quart cooler, which is big enough to accommodate food and drinks for several people. Like we mentioned above though, you may want to consider separate coolers so you can preserve the cold air around your food and/or any fish you’re storing.
- Be able to convert from quarts into liters and vice versa – Some coolers are listed in quarts while some are listed in liters. You should be able to convert these values back and forth depending on which system you’re more comfortable with. Also, remember that 4 quarts equals one gallon, so if you find a cooler that’s 20 quarts, it will equal 5 gallons of space.
Just because there are a dearth of fishing coolers for sale both online and in brick-and-mortar retailers doesn’t mean you will find the perfect one the first time. Considering the above 10 tips though will increase your odds of getting the right one the first time.
Eddy-Gear is a manufacturer of premier, high efficiency fishing coolers ranging from a small 20 Liter all the way up to a 75 Liter. Visit Eddy-Gear.com for more information.