Best Kayak Cooler Seats – Our Buyer’s Guide

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Are you looking for the best kayak cooler seat? If so, you're in luck! We've got all the information you need to make an informed decision. 

In this blog post, we'll discuss the different types of kayak cooler seats available on the market and what factors you should consider when making your purchase. So, whether you're a beginner or a seasoned kayaker, read on for some helpful tips and advice!

To narrow it down, the best kayak seat cooler is the Perception Splash, as it’s water-resistant, lightweight, and easy to access from your seat. 

Top Picks:

5 Best Kayak Seat Coolers Explored

1: Perception Splash Seat Back Cooler (best overall)

  • Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Capacity: 12 cans

The Perception Splash Seat Back Cooler is specifically designed to attach to kayak seats with rigid frames. This can make this cooler an ideal option for fishing kayaks and other kayaks with elevated or framed seats.

It has a slim design with a low profile so that it takes up minimal space on your boat. It features durable waterproof material and a water-resistant zipper to keep the rain and splashes out and your contents in. It also benefits from RF welded interior seams.

A great feature of this cooler is the many webbing loops for attaching other gear or accessories or securing it to your boat. It’s also compatible with other Perception Splash accessories, such as the rod holders and mesh pockets (sold separately), so it can be easily customized.

The top-opening zipper makes it easy to access your items inside the cooler while you’re seated. It can hold up to 12 cans with a 1:1 ice ratio.

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Great for framed kayak seats
  • Waterproof fabric
  • Optional accessory attachments

Cons

  • May not work with non-framed seats

2: Skywin Kayak Cooler (runner-up)

  • Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Capacity: 24 cans

The Skywin Kayak Cooler is similar to the Perception cooler in style. It’s designed to attach to the back of a framed kayak seat.

It can hold up to 24 cans without ice, which means it’s pretty roomy given its compact size. It’s lightweight and can be easy to carry to and from the water, with its comfy grab handle on the top.

The cooler features a top zipper for easy access without removing it from the back of your seat. It also benefits from having additional mesh pockets on the front that can be useful for holding small snacks.

The cooler bag also has webbing loops and D-rings if you want to secure it to your deck or attach other accessories.

A nice feature of this one is that it comes in bright colors which can be helpful for safety, as it can improve your visibility on the water.

Pros

  • Mesh storage pockets
  • Bright colors
  • Multiple attachment points
  • Top zipper

Cons

  • May not work with non-framed seats

3: Wise Outdoors Super Sport Hunting Seat Cooler (best for fishing)

  • Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Capacity: 10 gallons

This Wise Outdoors Super Sport Hunting Seat Cooler can be a great choice for fishing and hunting, as it can elevate your seating position, providing you with a better vantage point for spotting your targets. It’s also rated to hold up to 400 pounds.

A great feature of this cooler seat is that it’s both the seat and the cooler, helping you save space on your deck. Another fantastic feature is that the seat swivels so you can easily face any direction you choose. The seat also folds down for easy storage and features foam padding for added comfort and a camouflage fabric to help you blend in.

The cooler itself is insulated with foam and it can be removed from the cooler bucket if it’s not needed. It has a huge 10-gallon capacity and it comes with a shoulder strap to carry it back and forth to your kayak.

Due to the huge capacity, it's not the easiest to carry when fully loaded.

Pros

  • Generous capacity
  • Removable foam insert
  • Swivel seat
  • Rated up to 400 pounds

Cons

  • Difficult to carry when full

4: Blue Dot Outfitters Kayak Cooler (best for recreational use)

  • Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Capacity: 10 cans/11 liters

The Blue Dot Outfitters Kayak Cooler can be a good choice for recreational kayaking as it’s designed to fit on most kayak seats. It has a four-point bungee ball attachment system that secures the cooler to the back of your kayak seat.

The cooler features a roomy main compartment with a zipper opening at the top. The main compartment is designed to hold 10 cans with a 1:1 ratio of ice. There’s also a handy little front pouch with a zipper that can be ideal for keeping smaller items safe and dry.

This has a waterproof material with water-resistant zippers, so it’s designed to keep splashes and rain out. It’s also made to contain your ice, keeping it frozen all day and keeping your items cold for up to 36 hours. The material is made to keep melting ice from leaking out.

This lightweight cooler also features a shoulder strap for easy carrying and it folds flat for storage, making it ideal for occasional or frequent use.

Pros

  • Water-resistant cooler
  • Universal fit
  • Shoulder strap
  • Keeps items cool for up to 36 hours

Cons

  • Items may get squashed inside

5: Orion Core Cooler 25 (best value)

  • Weight: 21.5 pounds
  • Capacity: 25.16 quarts

This Orion Core Cooler may not be the cheapest cooler on the market but in terms of value for money, it certainly packs a punch. It has a huge capacity and is extremely durable.

This can be the ideal kayak seat cooler if you have a flat deck on your kayak to accommodate it. One of the best things about this option is that it can be both your seat and your cooler in one, so you don’t need to think about a separate seat or find space for a separate cooler.

This spacious and versatile cooler has plenty of room inside for your lunch and drinks, with a capacity of 25 quarts.

Another excellent feature of this bear-resistant cooler seat is the tie-down points. It has six tie-down points so you can properly secure it to your deck, making it safer for sitting on. This cooler is also compatible with the Orion cooler pad (sold separately) which can make it comfier to sit on or even stand on.  

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Large capacity
  • Bear-proof
  • Sturdy cooler

Cons

  • Not particularly cheap

How To Choose A Kayak Cooler Seat

The type of kayak cooler seat you choose will probably depend on the type of kayak you have and whether or not you want to use the cooler as a seat or attach the cooler to your existing seat.

You may be wondering what the difference is between a regular cooler and a kayak cooler seat. A kayak seat cooler or cooler seat is designed specifically for kayaks. Some of them will be coolers that can also be kayak seats and some will be coolers that are designed to attach to the back of a kayak seat.

Most kayak seat coolers are probably best suited to sit-on-top kayaks but you may find some that can be adapted for a sit-inside kayak, depending on the attachments. However, kayak cooler seats may not work with all types of kayaks.

Type Of Kayak Seat Cooler

There are essentially two types of kayak seat cooler - one that you can sit on and one that you can attach to your existing kayak seat.

The coolers that you can attach to your existing seat can be useful for adding extra storage space while taking up minimal room on your kayak. However, you may find that the capacity of these seatback coolers is less than a sit-on cooler.

Video: Seat Back Cooler

With the kayak coolers you can sit on, you should make sure you have a sufficiently flat space on your deck to secure the cooler. You may need to remove your existing seat so you can make room for this type of seat cooler.

Size

As with most kayak accessories, size can be an important thing to consider. This can be even more important if you’re thinking of getting a kayak cooler seat that will take up space on your deck. If you plan for the cooler to replace your kayak seat, it can be a good idea to measure the area on the deck where the cooler will go.

Because kayak cooler seats can be rigid, you’ll want to make sure it will definitely fit in the space, as there probably won’t be much wiggle room.

With seatback coolers, size may not be as much of an issue. But you probably want the cooler to be large enough that you can access gear from your seat but not so big that it gets in the way of your paddle strokes or life jacket. It can be a good idea to measure the width and height of your kayak seat in advance. 

Capacity

Generally, kayak cooler seats that double as seats will usually hold more than a seat cooler that fits on the back of a kayak seat. Only you will know how much stuff you want to be able to store inside the cooler, so the best capacity will likely be a case of personal preference.

Most coolers will usually be capable of holding several standard cans, so if you’re just looking to carry your lunch and snacks for a few hours, you may not need a large capacity.

Larger coolers can give you space for more food and drinks and can be useful for all-day or even weekend trips. However, this will usually depend on how long the cooler will keep your items cold.

If you plan to store ice or fish in the cooler, you should also take into account the size and amount of fish you plan to catch.

Accessory Attachments

Having attachment points for accessories on your kayak seat cooler can be a handy feature, as you can secure other items to the side of the cooler, such as waterproof pouches or even fishing rod holders.

Additional attachment points can also give you more freedom in how you secure the cooler seat to your kayak. For example, you may be able to attach the cooler to the deck as an alternative, or inside your cockpit, if the cooler is not compatible with your type of seat. 

Water-Resistance

As you know, water resistance can be an excellent feature of any kayaking accessory. Having a water-resistant cooler can mean your stored items can be protected from splashes or rain. It can also mean your ice won’t leak out the bottom if it starts to melt.

Durability

Durable materials can be beneficial as this generally results in improved longevity. However, you may also want to consider the type of construction.

Soft seat coolers can be easier to store and lighter to carry but it can mean your contents may get squashed. You may need to use separate storage containers inside if you want to store, for instance, a sandwich.

A rigid cooler seat can generally protect the contents from outside forces pressing against it. Although, you may need to organize the items inside to prevent them from crushing themselves, for example, heavy items at the bottom and soft, light ones at the top.

The disadvantage of a rigid cooler seat is that it will generally take up more space to store at home and can be more cumbersome to transport.   


Cool Down (Conclusion)

The overall winner, and our top pick for the best kayak cooler, is the Perception Splash Seat Back Cooler. This is a durable, water-resistant option that can be customized with additional accessories (sold separately). It’s also a decent size for most uses and doesn’t take up much room behind your seat.

A great alternative, and runner-up, is the similarly-styled Skywin Kayak Cooler, as it’s easy to access while on the water and has multiple attachment points securing it to your kayak seat or deck.

Another fantastic choice if you need extra capacity is the tough Orion Core Cooler. It can double as a study kayak seat, giving you an elevated position while holding all your beverages and food for a long day on the water.  

Remember, not all of these kayak cooler seats will be suitable for all kayaks. Think about your available space and the attachment points of your particular kayak, as well as what you plan to store in the cooler.  

Read our kayak cooler roundup if you're not wanting the seating option. We also have a dedicated kayak seat guide

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