A cooler is a cooler is a cooler, right? That’s true if the most you’re ever going to ask of your cooler is to keep a few 30-packs of your favorite domestic lager chilled. But, if you’re heading into bear country or on a multi-day fishing expedition or somewhere that involves big game, you need a more serious ice chest. We’re not talking about the regular camping coolers, we're talking about a cooler explicitly designed for hunting and fishing.
RTIC 110-Quart Hard Cooler
When size matters — and it usually does — RTIC’s penultimate 110-Quart Hard Cooler delivers. It’s sizable enough for even the longest fishing and hunting expeditions, meaning it can also double as a bench, non-slip stool, or even an extra tabletop. The durable, impact-resistant construction ensures that it’s designed to take a beating. Three inches of foam insulation in the walls delivers long-lasting ice retention, so your perishables stay fresh until you return to civilization.
Orca 58-Quart Cooler
The Orca 58 Quart is smaller compared to most hunting and fishing coolers. But, its size also means it’s lighter and more compact — perfect for solo portage. Extendable flex-grip handles further simplify the task. The rotomolded construction is highly durable, making it ideal for a weekend or a week on the water or in the backcountry. The best part is the integrated insulation delivers serious cold retention, keeping your ice frozen for up to 10 days.
Roam Adventure Co. 50QT Rolling Rugged Cooler
Roam Adventure Co. is a household name in the overlanding community, so it knows a thing or two about adventure gear. The Roam 50QT Rolling Rugged Cooler is the brand’s second-largest cooler and a perfect size for hunting and fishing trips. The streamlined design includes flexible carry straps, a trolley handle, and twin wheels — all of which make for easy portage. Eight-day ice retention comes courtesy of a weather-tight seal and premium materials all around.
Pelican 45QW Elite Wheeled Cooler
Few cooler brands in the game boast the clout of Pelican. Its extreme coolers are arguably the best in the world. For smaller hunting and fishing outings, the 45QW Elite Wheeled Cooler is the best tool for the job. The compact form factor rolls easily on dual heavy-duty wheels and a trolley handle. A freezer-grade gasket and two full inches of polyurethane insulation combine for up to 10 days of ice retention. Plus, the certified bear-resistant design makes it ideal for taking into the backcountry.
Yeti Tundra Haul Hard Cooler
The Tundra Haul Hard Cooler is Yeti’s first-ever wheeled cooler, and it’s a winner. Like many of the brand’s ultra-rugged coolers, the rotomolded construction ensures the most durable design, so it’s ideal for taking just about anywhere. Two never-flat wheels with a single-piece construction make moving your perishables a snap. At under 30 inches long and 20 inches across, it’s compact enough for solo carrying. But the internal capacity can still swallow up to 55 pounds of ice.
Canyon Coolers Outfitter 125-Quart Cooler
Canyon Coolers’ Outfitter 125-Quart Cooler is a beast and indeed the largest cooler on this list. Its sizable capacity makes it suitable for a whole family for up to a week. The one-piece construction is damn near-bombproof, and two-inch tiedown slots make it easy to secure inside a truck bed or the back of a vehicle.
Coleman 316 Series 100-Quart Wheeled Cooler
No roundup of the best coolers would be complete without mentioning Coleman. For many, the first branded cooler they ever owned was likely a Coleman. The company still manufacturers some of the best bang-for-your-buck coolers. For our money, the 316 Series 100-Quart Wheeled Cooler is arguably the best budget cooler for fishing and hunting. It’s big, relatively lightweight (for its size), able to keep ice for up to five days, and the wheels are a huge selling point. It might not be in the same league as the more well-known names on this list. But, at around $100, it’s hard to complain.
Of course, choosing the right cooler is half the battle. Check out our tips for knowing how to pack your cooler to maximize ice retention and keep your cold goods, well, cold.
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