Cooler raft

Cooler raft

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It’s difficult to pick a good cooler by itself, let alone a cooler for a specific purpose. In this post, we are going to talk about rafting coolers and help you choose the best rafting cooler for your needs.

Rafting often isn’t a single-day deal – trips can last a week and even more. With this in mind, rafting is very demanding when it comes to coolers.

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Pretty much any cooler can be used on a raft, but some are way more suitable for rafting than others. Below, we’ll discuss what makes a good rafting ice chest and showcase a few options that we think are the best ones out there.

Best Coolers for Rafting – Our Top Picks Compared

* Canyon Coolers are made from US-made materials but are assembled in Thailand. ** According to our test results. *** According to the manufacturer’s data.

What Makes The Best Rafting Cooler?

To find out the best coolers for rafting, we did a lot of scouring online, talked to manufacturers and fellow rafters. Eventually, we’ve chosen our top picks based on the following criteria:

  • The cooler must have great insulation – enough for week-long ice storage. Though everybody’s rafting trips will last differently, we feel that 7 days is a good mark to aim for with rafting for most people.
  • rafting ice chest
    Adapting the ice chest to the raft frame (Prospector).

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    The cooler should be compatible with raft frames, e.g. have built-in lips to be able to rest on raft frames. Tie-down slots are also a good feature to have to securely anchor the cooler to the raft.

  • The cooler must be durable to endure day-long trips. It should be sturdy enough to be used as a place to sit as well. Thus, rotomolded coolers are ideal for rafting.
  • Dry ice compatibility is a plus since dry ice provides you with more effective cooling (lower freezing point = increased ice retention). Most rotomolded coolers are compatible with dry ice.
  • Bear resistance is a preferable feature to have as well. It would be best if your cooler was IGBC-certified, but this isn’t necessary as long as the cooler is rotomolded and supports padlocks, or can be locked with bolts and nuts. This is what IGBC requires to certify coolers as bear-resistant.
  • Finally, the cooler should have accessories as well, such as fish rulers, bottle openers, cup holders, dividers for organization, cutting boards, etc. These accessories aren’t a must-have – rather, you should be looking for the accessories that you will be needing during your trip.
best cooler for rafting
Canyon rafting coolers in action. /

Rafting Cooler Reviews – Our Top 6 Picks

Best Cooler for Rafting – Final Words

Our guide will hopefully help you with finding the best cooler for rafting. Remember that you will have to accept some compromises to get the right rafting ice chest.

If you want a fully rafting-ready cooler, then you’ll have to invest quite the money. But if your budget is limited, you may have to sacrifice a few conveniences to get what you can afford.

Read more: Pack rafts for fishing

Stay cool! See you next time at Best Cooler Reviews

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Last update on 2022-10-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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