Keeping your food fresh and your drinks cold can be a challenge, especially when paddling on a hot day. When fishing, you will also need somewhere to store your catch. This makes a SUP cooler one of the best SUP accessories for every paddle boarder.
Choosing one can be a daunting task because of the hundreds of options available. Besides, they all seem perfect when you look at them.
Getting the right paddle board cooler is important. So let me tell you about the top 10 paddle board coolers. I also include a comprehensive buyer’s guide to help you choose the best SUP cooler for your needs.
I spent hours comparing different SUP cooler models and spoke with a number of brand managers. After my extensive research, I found the YETI Tundra 35 to be the best overall cooler.
The thick walls of this rotomolded cooler hold up to two inches of polyurethane foam insulation. You can expect your ice to stay ice for days.
The Tundra’s heavy-duty construction makes it virtually indestructible. It can take whatever you throw at it.
While the Tundra is great and ideal for most paddlers, people have different preferences. So read on for more SUP cooler reviews for specific cases.
Best Budget SUP Cooler – Arctic Zone Titan Deep Hardbody Cooler
The Tundra 35 is not cheap–at least not for most paddle boarders. But even those on a budget can enjoy a quality SUP cooler, thanks to the Arctic Zone Titan Deep.
The first thing you’ll probably notice about the Titan Deep is its beautiful design. But that is not all there is to it.
Despite being priced lower, it can keep ice up to three days. It also has some cool features like an insulated front pocket and SmartShelf.
Best for SUP Fishing – Engel Coolers Live Bait Cooler
If you are an angler who struggles with keeping your live bait alive and healthy while SUP fishing, this cooler was made with you in mind.
The Engel Live Bait cooler comes with a net that makes it easy to access your bait. There is also a two-speed pump for maximizing aeration.
Since it is made for anglers, it features four fishing rod holders too.
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 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.
2. Engel 19QT 32-Can SUP 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 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.
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 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.
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 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
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 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 cooler measures 18.5” x 12.5” x 14.5”. It weighs 8 pounds.
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 SUP 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 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
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.
Check out this video to see the process.
Q: Why Use a SUP Cooler for Paddle Boarding?
A: 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.
Q: What Is the Difference Between a SUP Cooler and a Regular Cooler?
A: 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.
Q: How to Clean a Paddle Board Cooler?
A: 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.
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A paddle board cooler is one of those SUP accessories that every paddler should have. The above 10 are the top SUP coolers of 2021, 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.