Paddle boarding can be thirsty work, so you’ve got to take drinks along to stay hydrated. Also, if you’re out for a while, you’ll probably get hungry and need to replenish your energy.
Unless I’m planning a particularly short trip, I always load up a paddle board cooler so I can keep my vital supplies chilled and avoid the horror of warm food and drinks.
If you’re in the market, I’ve researched and tested the best paddle board coolers available and my favorite is the rugged, water-resistant, and extremely well insulated YETI Tundra.
I’ve also evaluated nine other excellent options for your consideration. Each one covers different budgets, capacities, and applications.
So, whether you’re planning a long solo touring trip, a family fun picnic, an on-water party, or need somewhere to keep your fishing bait and catch cool, read on. Open an ice-cold drink, and I’m going to take you through the best paddle board coolers available.
What Is the Best Stand Up Paddle Board Cooler?
1. YETI Tundra 35 Cooler – Best SUP Cooler
When YETI were designing the Tundra SUP cooler, their focus was on three key elements: weather resistance, durability, and ice retention. And isn’t that what every paddleboarder wants?
A good paddle board cooler should be rugged, weather-resistant, and with outstanding ice retention. The YETI Tundra 35 checks all those boxes.
The cooler features rotomolded construction that is almost impossible to destroy. It is made for the outdoors and you will be amazed by how tough it is.
The extra-thick walls allow it to hold up to two inches of commercial-grade polyurethane insulation foam. It can keep ice for days. Some users say their Tundra 35 keeps ice for three or more days!
The paddle board cooler measures 21.38” x 16.13” x 15.75”. It can hold up to 20 cans with the recommended ice-to-can ratio of 2:1. It weighs 20 pounds.
- Extremely strong: I love that this cooler can take a beating! The rotomoulded construction is incredibly tough and will stand up to a lot of wear and tear.
- Thick insulation: The insulation is up to three inches thick, so this box can keep its contents cool for days – perfect for long paddling sessions or SUP camping trips.
- Choice of eight colors: I like all the color options, it’s great to see so much choice (and it makes it easy to find one to match your SUP too)
- Heavy-duty rubber latches: These make the cooler feel secure – plus they’ll last a long time and are easy to close.
- Easy to tie down: The tie-down points are built in, so it’s easy to secure the cooler to your SUP’s D-rings.
- Is smaller inside than it looks: The extra-thick insulation means there’s less space inside than you may think. However, the cooler can still hold 20 cans with ice – so it’s not all bad!
2. Engel 19QT 32-Can Paddle Board Cooler
The Engel Drybox cooler has a clean sleek design.
The insulation material is high-grade molded polystyrene foam. The cooler also has an airtight EVA gasket seal. This ensures that your stuff stays colder for longer.
The Engel cooler has a shoulder strap and carry handles. You won’t struggle if you have to carry it over long distances.
This paddle board cooler is not just for food and drinks. It is also a dry box that will work for valuables such as your phone and cameras. It will keep out dust and moisture.
Regardless of how you use it, you will appreciate that the Engel cooler/dry box has a non-absorbent surface. It is easy to clean and is also odor- and stain-resistant.
The 19-qt paddle board cooler measures 16.5” x 11.25” x 12.75” (external) and 11.75” x 8” x 10” (internal). It weighs 6.75 pounds.
- Highest can capacity: If you want to carry a lot of drinks, this box has an excellent 32-can capacity. So, if you’re going onto the water for a day with friends or family, this is an amazing choice.
- Can be used as a dry box: I found that the sturdy latches and gasket lid seal means you can also use this box to store valuables and delicate items without having to worry about them getting wet. This is a great extra feature.
- Easy to carry: Includes a cloth shoulder strap that makes the box easy to carry and leaves your hands free. I could sling the box over my shoulder and still carry my board to the water.
- Eight color options: Wide choice of colors to pick from, so you’ll find a favorite or one to match your SUP.
- Easy to Clean: Exterior has a non-absorbent finish that wipes clean really easily. Interior is both stain and odor resistant so it won’t absorb or give out smells.
- May not stay cool as long as other boxes: The insulation isn’t as thick as some other coolers, so this box probably might not stay cold for quite so long. However, I found that it was certainly good enough for a regular day trip.
3. YETI Roadie 24 Cooler
The YETI Roadie is slightly taller at about 18 inches. You can store a two-liter bottle or a standard bottle of wine in an upright position.
While this SUP cooler holds more than the smaller Roadie 20, it is 10% lighter, thanks to its rotomolded construction. Most paddle boards don’t have very high weight capacities so this is great.
Despite its light construction, the Roadie 24 cooler has amazing ice retention. It can keep your drinks cold for four or even more days. A few users have recommended pre-chilling the paddle board cooler for the best results.
The YETI Roadie 24 measures 17.1” x 14.3” x 18”. With a 2:1 ice-to-can ratio, it holds 18 cans.
- Can carry wine bottles upright: The tall dimensions mean that this cooler can hold wine bottles and two-liter drinks bottles upright. It’s the ideal choice if you’re planning a fun adult day on the paddle boards or need lots of soft drink space for kids.
- Thick insulation: Insulation up to two inches thick means this cooler will maintain a low temperature for a long time. When I tested it, the ice was still solid even after two days.
- Heavyweight construction: The rotomolded box is incredibly tough, which means you don’t won’t have to treat this cooler with kid gloves. It’s a cooler that’s going to last you for a very long time.
- Comfortable shoulder strap: The box has a built-in shoulder strap that makes it easy to carry.
- Ten colors: This cooler has one of the widest ranges of colors available. It should be easy to find one you like.
- Latches can be hard to use: The latches on the lid aren’t the easiest to use. While they’re effective, you need to make sure that they close entirely for the cooler to be efficient. With practice, I found it wasn’t a problem, but it’s worth knowing about.
4. iRocker 25L Roto-Molded Cooler with Free Drink Holder
iRocker SUP doesn’t just make inflatable paddle boards. They also have fantastic gear that will make your paddling adventures even more fun.
Their iRocker 25L cooler features rugged, no-sweat, stay-dry rotomolded construction. Its heavy-duty stainless steel handle locks upright for easy transport.
The paddle board cooler also has molded tie-down slots, a quick-drain water valve, and non-slip feet to keep it in place.
The iRocker rotomolded cooler comes with a free water bottle holder and is available in two colors.
It measures 18.2” x 13.9” x 13.3” and weighs 18 pounds. It can hold up to 24 cans and ice
- Decent capacity: Can hold up 24 cans with ice, so if you’re heading out for a while you surely won’t get thirsty.
- Robust construction: I thought that the rotomolded box has a solid feel to it, so it should be really hard wearing and last a long time.
- Carry handle: The box has a built-in steel carry handle. I thought this was comfortable to use even when the cooler is fully loaded.
- Easy to drain: Although not a feature that’s unique to this box, the water-release valve on this box is particularly easy to use. When your ice has melted you can drain the water away even if you’ve still got cans inside.
- Simple to secure: The box has tie-down points molded into the top. I found it was super easy to attach bungee cords to fix it solidly to my board.
- Only comes in two colors: The iRocker cooler is only available in gray or blue, so there isn’t as much choice as other products.
5. Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Hardbody Cooler – Best Budget SUP Cooler
With paddle board coolers going for as much as $300+, it is easy to see why the Titan Deep is highly rated.
It is super affordable but the manufacturer did not compromise on quality or ice retention.
This SUP cooler has an FDA-compliant hard-body liner.
The Deep Freeze’s triple-layer Coldblock base plus high-performance insulation with heat radiant barrier provide exceptional cooling. It can make your ice stay ice for three days.
In case you have to carry this paddleboard cooler, you will appreciate its adjustable shoulder strap. It even has an anti-slip shoulder pad.
The exterior is extremely tough and very hard to tear or rip. It is stain- and water-resistant. It wipes clean easily.
The Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze’s SmartShelf feature lets you keep soft stuff separate from the hard stuff. It is also removable in case you only need one compartment.
In addition to all these features, the paddle board cooler has side pockets for extra storage.
It measures 16.5” x 11” x 12.75” (external) and 12.7” x 7.6” x 10.2” (interior).
- Outdoors style: This is one of the nicest looking cooler bags around to my eyes. The design is in keeping with walking or camping-style gear.
- Easy access: The zipper-less, velcro-style top opening is effortless to use even one-handed, so you can readily get drinks out on the move.
- Practical extra storage: As well as the main compartment, there is a separate insulated front pocket, mesh side pockets, and a bungee cord on top to hold soft items. I found this extra storage made the bag much more useful than just as cooler. It’s a great day trip bag.
- Four colors: The color choice matches the bag’s stylish design.
- Comes in four sizes: As well as the 30 can version that I reviewed, the cooler also comes in 9, 16, and 48 can sizes.
- Doesn’t have as thick insulation as a hard box: The convenience of the bag design means that the insulation isn’t as thick as rigid cooler boxes. However, in practice, the bag works well for regular day trips.
6. RTIC Soft Cooler for Paddle Boarding
The RTIC soft-sided cooler bag is made using 100% waterproof material. The heavy-duty nylon shell is puncture- and tear-resistant. The zipper is also waterproof, which is awesome.
The closed-cell insulation is two inches thick at the top and one inch thick on the sides. It locks in the cold really well.
This cooler bag has a durable liner that is easy to clean.
One of the main reasons why people prefer soft-sided cooler bags to hard-sided ones is weight and portability.
The RTIC soft-sided bag only weighs 5 pounds.
It measures 15” x 14” x 10” and it can hold 20 cans plus ice.
- Waterproof design: The bag is made from entirely waterproof materials and has a water-resistant zip. It’s really useful that you can use it as a dry bag for sensitive items.
- 12 colors: I like that this bag comes in a huge range of color options to pick from whatever your taste.
- Multiple carry options: I found the bag was really easy to carry using the adjustable shoulder strap. But there’s also a top handle, and side handles that make it a dream to handle, especially on your board.
- Five sizes: As well as the 20 can version, there are 8, 12, 30, and 40 can storage capacity options if you need something smaller or larger.
- Floats in the water: The bag even floats when sealed, so you can feel safe on your SUP no matter what you’ve got inside.
- Zipper lid is a bit hard to use: The zip is a bit tricky to open and close. I found that one-handed access isn’t really possible which can make grabbing something on the move a bit harder.
7. Thurso Surf SUP Deck Cooler
If you are looking for something small and simple, you might love the Thurso Surf SUP deck bag cooler.
It features thick insulation foam and a high-grade PVC outer layer. The cooler bag also has a waterproof zipper. You don’t have to worry about water getting into the bag.
The Thurso Surf deck cooler bag has an attachment system designed specifically for paddle boards. Its S-hooks attach to your board’s D-rings. Alternatively, you can secure it using your SUP’s bungee system.
This deck bag cooler has a carry handle and a padded shoulder strap for easy carrying.
While you can’t expect much from a cooler bag when it comes to ice retention, the Thurso bag will keep your food and drinks cold for long.
It measures 16” x 12” x 6” and can fit 20 cans.
- Completely waterproof: The deck cooler bag is made from PVC and has a waterproof zip, so it can also make it a practical drybag.
- Low-profile deck cooler design: The bag is neat and doesn’t take excessive space on your SUP. I thought this would make a great bag to take on SUP yoga trips as it won’t get in the way.
- Excellent insulation for a soft cooler: Soft bags will never beat hard boxes, but the high-density foam is thick and provides excellent insulation. In practice I found chilled drinks stayed cold all day.
- Comes with a fixing kit: The bag is easy to mount, thanks to the included S-hooks that I found were really simple to clip onto by SUP’s D-rings. The bag is even small enough to fit underneath deck bungee storage.
- Top mesh pocket on the outside: I found that the mesh pocket on top was convenient for small items I wanted to secure, such as sunglasses. It’s a neat feature that just makes life easier.
- Only one color option: The bag only comes in dark gray. Not only is this a bit boring, but it’s liable to absorb heat faster in strong sunlight than a lighter color would.
8. AO Coolers SUP Cooler
The AOC cooler bag is designed for paddle boarding as well. It has four eye-hooks and two suction cups for attaching to your paddle board.
The soft-sided SUP cooler is built using the same materials used in above-ground pools and waterbeds. So you know it is durable.
Its inner insulation is made of thick, high-density closed-cell foam. It can hold ice for 24 hours in 120-degree weather. You can be sure that your drinks will stay cold and food fresh.
This cooler deck bag has a side pocket for dry storage and a removable shoulder strap.
The AOC paddle board cooler measures 15” x 9.5” x 9”. It has a capacity of 15 cans and five pounds of ice.
- Great value: This is one of the cheaper cooler bags on the market, so if you want something practical and low-cost, it’s a great choice. I was impressed with the apparent build quality, even at the more budget orientated price.
- Folds completely flat: The bag’s design allows it to fold down for storage. Unlike hard boxes, and even some sort bags, this one won’t take up lots of space at home when you’re not using it.
- Lightweight: Bag weight is just one pound when empty, so you won’t be lugging around anything too heavy.
- Tie-down eyes: There are four tie-down eyes you can use to secure the bag. I hooked simple bungee ties through them and clipped the bag to the SUP D-rings for a solid fix.
- Suction cups: The kit includes two suction cup fittings, which I found made it even easier to fix the bag to my board. These are really useful if you don’t have fixings, particularly when you only have the bag lightly loaded.
- Isn’t completely waterproof: The bag isn’t completely waterproof, and on testing, I found water would leak from the seams as ice melted. This is no problem on your paddle board but is worth knowing before you head home in your car.
9. iRocker Backpack Cooler
This iRocker paddle board backpack can work as a SUP cooler as well as a dry bag.
It has thick insulation that can keep ice for 12 to 72 hours.
It features padded shoulder straps, back support, and a waist belt. You can comfortably carry the bag and your paddle board at the same time.
The iRocker backpack cooler/dry bag has a 30-liter capacity. It can fit 24 cans plus 25 pounds of ice.
It also has two side mesh pockets for additional storage.
- Backpack design: The backpack design is very convenient for walking long distances. As my hands were free, I was able to carry my paddleboard and paddle with no trouble at all, saving another trip down the beach.
- Good capacity: The 30-liter capacity is impressive for a backpack cooler bag. There’s plenty of space for food and drinks, or wet clothes.
- Extra storage pockets: I thought the two side mesh pockets were a useful touch to add extra item storage outside the main waterproof compartment. They’re good for a sunhat, flip flops, or anything else you need.
- Also makes a great drybag: As the bag is completely waterproof, you can use it as a drybag for delicate items or to carry wet clothes. I’ve used this backpack as a camera bag when making photo trips and it gives an excellent piece of mind for valuable photography gear.
- Comfortable shoulder straps: I found that it was really comfortable to wear thanks to the thoughtful padding on the straps and back panel, even when the bag was fully loaded.
- Can be a bit difficult to get drinks out of: The opening is relatively small compared to the depth of the bag. This means that if you’ve filled it with ice to keep everything really cold, it can be a little tough to get drinks out. You need to make sure that the bag stays upright so it doesn’t spill.
10. Engel SUP Fishing Cooler with Rod Holders – Best Paddle Board Cooler for Fishing
Keeping your live bait in good condition won’t be a problem anymore with the Engel Fishing cooler.
The SUP cooler is made with rugged material and insulated using high-grade molded polystyrene foam. It also features a self-stopping hinge, shoulder strap, carry handles, and four rod holders.
The live bait cooler has a convenient net so you won’t get frustrated trying to access your bait. It also comes with a two-speed aerator pump that runs on a cigarette car lighter connection or 2 D cell batteries.
The SUP fishing cooler measures 18.5” x 12.5” x 14.5” and weighs 8 pounds. It can also be used as a paddle board cooler seat.
- Fishing-specific design: The four rod holders convert your SUP into an excellent fishing platform. With this cooler and your rods you have everything you need to go fishing.
- Aerator pump for bait: If you use live bait, the included battery-powered air pump will keep them in good cognition while you travel.
- Excellent insulation: The molded polystyrene foam does a great job of keeping the contents cool. On a hot day live bait won’t overheat. The box does a great job at keeping your catch chilled too, especially if you have some cool packs.
- Rust-resistant: All metal fittings are stainless steel. During my testing all the metal parts of the box stayed shiny and clean. You won’t need to worry about them failing after a short period.
- Fully sealed, so won’t spill: The box’s lid has an EVA gasket, so you don’t need to worry about spills in your car if you are carrying live bait inside. This also further improves the insulation on the box, so helps keep everything cool.
- Lid isn’t suitable to sit on: The top is sturdy but isn’t strong enough to sit on, which some users might find disappointing for a fishing-orientated cooler.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best SUP Cooler
Even a list of 10 is still too long when you need just one paddle board cooler. So how do you narrow it down?
Here is everything you should know.
What Is a Paddle Board Cooler?
A paddle board cooler is an insulated box or bag that maintains the temperature of its contents. Simply put, it keeps cold stuff cool and warm stuff warm.
When paddle boarding during winter, you can bring hot drinks in your cooler to keep them warm. On hot days, you can bring chilled drinks and they will remain cool throughout the day.
What to Consider When Choosing a SUP Cooler
1. Hard-Sided Cooler Vs Soft-Sided Cooler
The names explain the difference. A hard-sided cooler is a box, usually made of plastic while a soft-sided cooler is a bag.
The material is the main difference.
Each of them has its pros and cons.
A hard-sided paddle board cooler is likely to keep ice longer. Some will even keep your drinks cool for a week. You can also use it as a seat on your paddleboard.
However, carrying a hard-sided SUP cooler can be quite the task. Others weigh as much as 18 pounds. When carrying it plus your SUP and gear, it can be too heavy.
This type of cooler would be ideal for anyone who paddles long distances–maybe overnight or multiple-day SUP trips.
A soft-sided cooler can be folded and it is lightweight. It is easier to carry. But most soft coolers can’t keep ice for multiple days. They are ideal for day trips.
2. Ice Retention of the Paddle Board Cooler
All SUP coolers can keep your food and drinks cold or warm. But some can maintain ice for days while others will only maintain it for a few hours.
This is why you should pay attention to the ice retention rate. If you need to keep your food fresh for a few days, you should look for a SUP cooler with a higher level of ice retention.
The Tundra 35 is a good example. Its walls are extra thick, with about two inches of foam insulation. You can take it on paddle board camping trips.
If your trips only last a day, a cooler bag would be fine. You only need it to keep your drinks cold for several hours.
You should be ready to pay a higher price if you are looking for a cooler with impressive ice retention. Most of them are expensive premium models.
3. Size and Storage Capacity
A big SUP cooler will take up more space, but you can fit more stuff in it.
A smaller one won’t take a lot of space and it will be easy to carry. But you can’t bring a lot of drinks with you.
It all comes down to the size of your SUP and the duration of your trip. For longer trips, you will require a bigger cooler. You can’t also buy a super small cooler if you are an angler.
Note: just because a cooler looks big doesn’t mean it can fit a lot of items. Check the internal measurements as well. Some big coolers have very thick walls and, thus, a smaller interior.
4. How the SUP Cooler Attaches to the Paddle Board
This is not something you have to worry about with cooler deck bags. Most of them can go under the bungee cord storage.
For SUP cooler boxes, make sure you pick one with strap holders on the sides. This allows you to attach it to your board’s D-rings. You may also want to choose a cooler with an anti-slip bottom.
5. Material: Waterproof/Water-Resistant
Hard paddle board coolers are waterproof since most of them are made of plastic.
Some bags are also waterproof but others are water-resistant. With a water-resistant bag, you might have a problem if it is submerged. So you should get a waterproof pouch for any valuables you intend to put in it. (Some SUP bags may come with a waterproof insert).
Best SUP Cooler FAQs
Why Use a SUP Cooler for Paddle Boarding?
Other than keeping your food fresh and drinks cold, SUP coolers have many other benefits. You can use it to keep your valuables dry or as a seat. Being able to alternate between sitting and standing helps you paddle for longer.
What Is the Difference Between a SUP Cooler and a Regular Cooler?
A SUP cooler is designed for paddleboarding. This means that it will come with some form of attachment system that allows you to secure it to a board. It also has a non-slip bottom to prevent it from sliding.
If it has any metallic parts, they will be rust-resistant and you won’t have to worry about paddling in saltwater.
A regular cooler will probably not have these features.
How to Clean a Paddle Board Cooler?
Most SUP coolers are odor- and stain-resistant. So you only need to clean them with water and a mild detergent. If yours has tough stains, you can try using water and baking soda.
Rinse the cooler properly with fresh water then let it dry before storing.
Q: How Do I Attach a SUP Cooler to a SUP?
A: Attaching a SUP cooler to your paddle board is easier than you imagine. As long as your board has D-rings, all you need are strong straps.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Find the best sup electric pumps for inflating your board with ease in 2022.
A paddle board cooler is one of those SUP accessories that every paddler should have. The above 10 are the top SUP coolers of 2022, with the YETI Tundra 35 being the overall best. It is rugged and its ice retention rate is amazing. You can use it for multiple-day trips.
The Arctic Zone Titan Deep is a great option if you are on a tight budget. It is durable and maintains ice for days.
The Engel Live Bait Cooler would be a nice choice for anglers who use live bait. It even comes with four rod holders.
Don’t hesitate to get yourself one of these. You’ll be glad you did.