The Top 5 Paddle Boarding Coolers
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Paradise usually consists of a few things, at least it does in my eyes. My version of paradise is the open waters, a light summer breeze, the warmth of the sun on my skin, and a nice cold one. I’m not talking about being on a boat, yacht, or cruise liner; I’m talking about being on paddle board with a cooler. Yup, you read that right, paddle boarding but with drinks ready to be enjoyed.
I’m going to break down everything you need to know about paddle boarding coolers. I’m going to explain what they are, why you need one, what to look for, and tell you ten of my favorite coolers for paddle boards currently on the market!
What is a Paddle Boarding Cooler?
A paddle boarding cooler is exactly what you think it is! There’s no mystery here, I promise. It really is just a cooler that can be fitted to your SUP thanks to paddle boards, handy bungee storage areas, or using the available D-rings!
There’s an option for everyone when it comes to paddle board coolers. You can buy a soft or hard cooler, a big or small, a red or blue, the list goes on. They can store any drinks your heart desires, a nice cold one for those epic sunsets, or juice for the little ones, water for the dog, hot beverages if it’s cold on the water, you name it, it can hold it.
Why do I Need a SUP Cooler?
Need is a strong word, but you said it. The reason you should strongly consider a SUP cooler is primarily for preparedness. Being out in the beating sun or unforgiving cold can take its toll. You’ll need hydration, and I doubt you’re going to want to give up your time on the water to return to the mainland and get a drink.
With a SUP cooler, you’re not only saving time and distance from hydration but you’re also prepared for various weather conditions. Plus, if you get stranded, you have some sustenance to keep you going until you’re safe.
5 Best Paddle Board Coolers
Here are the coolers you need to know about before you make your ultimate decision! This list has an option for anyone, and these are some of the best coolers available, so let’s dive in, shall we?
Igloo BMX SUP
|Dimensions||21.3 x 14 x 13 inches|
If you’re looking for a cooler that can keep up with your level of paddle board adventure, then you should consider the Igloo BMX SUP cooler. This is an incredibly strong cooler built to last while somehow being lighter than other available coolers on the market that fit similar descriptions.
Igloo went all out in designing this beast of a cooler. The side features grip handles made of durable steel and covered in comfortable rubber. The lid has tie-down loops at four points with non-slip corners for easy access. Finally, when it comes to color, you’re really spoiled for choice. There are six combination color options for you to choose from; the canal blue is my personal favorite.
In terms of this magnificent cooler’s cooling abilities, well, don’t think they skimped in this department! The Igloo BMX SUP cooler features Cool Riser Technology, which improves cooling performance by elevating the cooler body away from warm or hot surfaces. The Cool Riser technology combines with thicker insulation, which means your ice can remain ice longer than usual cooler boxes allow for.
- Lightweight, durable, and heavy-duty construction all-in-one
- UV inhibitors help retain the integrity of the cooler while in the beating sun
- Cool Rise technology
- Rubberized T-grip latches
- UV protection
- Lighter than other cooler boxes while still featuring robust construction
- No rubber lid for an additional seal
Grizzly 20 Quart
|Dimensions||22 x 15 x 15 inches|
Purchasing a Grizzly cooler means you are picking one of the most durable coolers on the market. Additionally, in the case of the Grizzly 20 Quart Rotomolded Cooler, you’re getting a cooler that is known for its insane ice retention capabilities.
When leaning towards the Grizzly 20 Quart Rotomolded Cooler, be warned that you’re in for an overwhelming choice. The coolers color. Yup, there are ten, let me repeat that, TEN color options! From Red to green, to plain white, you have a choice ahead of you that I don’t envy.
Beyond the aesthetic design, the Grizzly cooler features a rotomolded construction with long-lasting insulation that is even considered environmentally friendly. In fact, Grizzly’s so confident in their product that they offer a strong lifetime warranty to go with it! They really are putting their money where their claims are.
Additional features include a 2-inch drain pipe, plastic tray for dried goods, bear claw latch system, and waterproof/leak-proof design. In terms of ice retention, this is what this cooler box is most known for, as it can keep ice for more than four days, meaning long trips mean nothing to it! If you continuously drain the melted ice, it can actually last even longer.
- More color options than you’ll know what to do with! 10 to be exact.
- 2-inch drain pipe
- The insulation is considered environmentally-friendly
- Bear claw latch system
- Rugged design
- Ice retention is world-class
- Lifetime warranty
- On the heavier side
TITAN DEEP FREEZE® 30 CAN ZIPPERLESS HARDBODY® COOLER
|Dimensions||14.20” x 9” x 10.25”|
The Titan Freeze is genuinely a TITAN. While there are six options available, ranging from 9 cans to 48, I wanted to focus on the 30 can option, which I think is the perfect choice for paddle boarding. You can’t go wrong with whichever one you choose, honestly, but I think the 30 can option offers the right amount of space and is perfect for your day at sea on your paddle board.
The Titan Deep Freeze cooler is a bag with a hardbody, making it easy to carry around and present on your SUP. In addition, the zipperless lid makes opening it up more accessible than any other bag option. In my eyes, the 9 can option is simply too small, and the 48 is a tad excessive. 30 was where I would think most people need to be, but this is a choice only you can make.
The Titan Deep Freeze has a waterproof exterior. Even though the lid is easy to access, it still sports a leak-proof design that keeps moisture out and retains that cold temperature. Speaking of ice retention, the Titan Deep Freeze can go for 3 days maintaining ice! This is all thanks to a radiant heat barrier and the deep freeze high-performance insulation; you won’t have to worry about warm drinks.
It is available in six different size options. It also comes in three colors; moss, blue, and white. You can’t go wrong with whatever choice you make!
- Six size options and 3 color choices
- Leak-proof construction
- Radiant heat barrier
- Cold block base
- Great design
- Easy to clean and stain-resistant
- The shoulder strap is really comfortable
- To be honest, no real cons here.
THURSO SURF SUP Deck Bag Paddle Board Cooler
|Dimensions||16 x 12 x 6|
Thurso Surf really delivered with this SUP cooler bag! Featuring a slick design and some great features, the Thurso cooler is one of those coolers you’ll never leave home with after just one single use.
The cooler bag features a mesh pocket on top for quick access items like sunscreen, for example. Inside there’s another mesh pocket and a waterproof compartment for valuables that can’t get wet like your phone. One of my favorite features is the suction cups which make this immovable when on the board in combination with the hooks.
When it comes to ice retention and capacity, the Thurso Surf cooler bag can keep up to ten cans cold as ice for hours, thanks to its thick insulation. It may not last all day like a hard cooler box, but it does the job for a chilled day on the water.
My only real complaint is that a handle was neglected in the Thurso Surf cooler bag for some reason, making it sometimes a pain to carry around.
- Mesh pocket on top and inside
- Thick insulation
- 4 x suction cups and hooks
- Zipper and materials are waterproof
- Additional waterproof pouch for phone and keys
- Easy to install
- Insulation is thick and effective
- Great craftsmanship
- No carry handle (which seems like an oversight)
Pelican 30 Quart Elite Cooler (BEST PICK)
|Dimensions||16.75 x 12.5 x 13.5 inches|
Pelican is known for making products out of some insanely solid and durable materials. As a result, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Pelican’s 30 Quart Elite is built to last the test of time and adventures of all kinds.
The Pelican 30 Quart Elite is able to keep your foods and beverages cold even if the world around you is on fire. Equipped with polyurethane insulation and a 360-degree freezer-grade gasket, you’ll never have a warm drink on the water EVER again!
When it comes to design, the Pelican 30 Quart Elite is a stylish cooler that can hold 30-quarts (as the name suggests) or 22 cans as well as some ice. According to Pelican themselves, this cooler is designed to be 20% lighter than the average SUP coolers on the market.
You can purchase a Pelican cooler in Tan/Orange, White/Gray, Pacific Blue/Grey, or Grey/Green. The only downside about Pelican and their excellent 30 Quart Elite is that it can be challenging to actually find one in stock at times! So be sure to keep that in mind when looking, and try hunting down an available one online or in-store.
- 360-degree freezer grade gasket
- 4 x self-draining cup holders
- Locking latches
- Lifetime guarantee
- Secure clips
- The insulation is thick and provides maximum coldness
- Made with heavy-duty materials
- Pelican’s popularity can make this a difficult find! You’ll have to search high and low to locate a Pelican cooler.
Before going out and buying your SUP cooler, here are some essential things you should probably know to look out for or consider before making a purchase. Nobody wants to be caught off guard when the package ends up arriving and realizing they’re getting something they didn’t expect.
This is an area where you need to be extremely careful before jumping the gun. When the SUP cooler is big, that doesn’t mean it can actually fit a ton of stuff inside. So never judge a SUP cooler by its size; judge it by its internal measurements.
Also, know what you can handle on your board. Big coolers, more often than note, can hold a lot of things but are space takers. Smaller coolers are easier to take with you but don’t offer the same storage. Judge your needs based on how long you spend on the water and your ability to successfully cart around a cooler all day to know what works for you.
There are two main types of coolers available; hard-sided cooler or the cooler bag, which is soft-sided.
Hard-sided coolers are better equipped to keep your drinks or food colder for longer or hotter for longer if the opposite is necessary. Additionally, they make great seats when you’re on your paddle board out at sea. The biggest downside of hard-sided coolers is that they’re heavy and can be very draining to cart around all day. Don’t forget, you’re taking a big cooler and your paddle boarding gear, too; what a mission!
Soft-sided coolers are, of course, somewhat more accessible to cart around and store when not in use due to their foldable nature. But, unfortunately, they can’t match hard-sided coolers’ ice retention, and nor are they trying to!
If you’re going on a full day of paddle boarding, and do this often, then maybe the hard-sided cooler is for you. On the other hand, if you’re just going for a few hours, then go for the soft-sided bag cooler to make your life a little easier.
The obvious thing to realize is that hard coolers are made from plastic, so they’re undoubtedly very waterproof. However, that doesn’t mean bags aren’t! Some paddle board cooler bags are actually waterproof, not all, but some. If you want a waterproof bag, then be sure to look into the product descriptions and features to learn if your favorite option is what you want in a cooler bag.
Paddle board coolers are all able to provide you with a lasting temperature of your food and beverages regardless of whether they’re hot or cold. The most significant difference, however, is how long they can do this for at a time.
Some SUP coolers can last days, others only mere hours. To find what you’re looking for, you need to pay special attention to the ice retention rates of your paddle board cooler picks before making the ultimate decision.
An important thing to note is that the higher the ice retention rate, the higher the price tag that comes with it!
When it comes to paddle board coolers, people have questions, and I’m going to answer some of the questions I come across the most.
Why do I have to buy a SUP cooler? Can’t I buy a regular one?
SUP coolers are designed for paddle boarding. They have built-in attachments to help them connect to your board and remain tightly secured while you’re out on the water. Additionally, they are equipped with non-slip bottoms to ensure they don’t slide while you glide.
The only comparison between a cooler and a SUP cooler is that they’re both intended to hold foods and/or drinks and keep them cold. Beyond that, they’re entirely different.
How do I attach my SUP cooler to my paddle board?
It’s straightforward to attach a paddle board cooler to a SUP. Then, using the d-rings and some strong straps, you’ll tie down the cooler to the board, and you’re good to go!
How do I clean a SUP cooler?
Most of the available SUP coolers are already equipped with things like Microban Antimicrobial product protection or other things that work to minimize and prevent odors or stains. However, if you have a tough stain that you need to get out simply use water and baking soda and scrub before rinsing it with normal water.
Now you know a lot more than you did before you started reading this article. It’s time to go forth and make a cooler purchase to make your paddle board lifestyle an even better experience than it was before! If you have the budget for it, check out my full list for paddle board gear.
I hope you find what you’re looking for and make the most of your time on the water with friends, family, or even if you’re going solo. Finally, while on the water with your cooler, be sure to respect the ocean and leave with what you came with!
Share this article with a friend if you know they’re also considering a SUP cooler, and let us know in the comments how it goes when you finally get your own.