3 Best Soft Cooler Bags For Kayak Fishing

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Hey there my fellow fishing enthusiasts and welcome to my post covering my 3 best soft cooler bags for kayak fishing this year. Now, anybody who has been fishing in a kayak will know that there is not a lot of space to keep everything that you may need whilst out on the water. However, if you are going to be out there for any length of time, there may also be a need to keep some drinks and even your lunch cool.

With that in mind, there are a number of options that you can choose from here such as the traditional hard bodied coolers and the soft bag options. So for those of you who prefer something soft rather than a hard cooler, have limited room on board, or want something that you can ‘stuff’ into your storage cavities with everything else, let’s check out some good soft cooler bag options below…

My 3 recommended soft cooler bags for kayak fishing

I will review these in more detail below but if you just want to get to sitting without all the carry on, my 3 are listed here for your convenience:

02/19/2024 12:21 am GMT Lasso Brag

What are soft cooler bags?

Ok, just so we are clear here, soft cooler bags work in the same manner as hard bodied coolers in that they are insulated with the aim of keeping internal contents cool. The difference with a bag then is that it is obviously softer and can be ‘squished’ into areas that harder options may not fit making them a great option for the kayak.

And as with anything else to do with fishing of course, there are some variations to consider as you make your purchase choice. We will look at these below…

Best Soft Cooler Bags For Kayak Fishing - soft cooler bag

What should you be looking for?

When it comes to a good cooler for kayak fishing, there are two main things to consider:

  1. How it is made
  2. What additions it has

Note: We are discussing soft cooler bags here and not the hard coolers that are also a good option.


As we know, the main purpose of a cooler is to keep the contents inside of it cold. And without getting all scientific about it, the more warm air that hits the contents, the less cold it will be. So as you look into you good cooler bag for your needs, you should consider the following:

Insulation – Insulation is the material that makes a cooler cool. In short, it is the material that lines in the inside of the cooler walls. Most hard bodied models use polyurethane however due to the thinner and softer requirements of a cooler bag, most are lined with a flexible foam or heavy-duty foil.

Seal – Cool things become less cool when warm air is introduced. This obviously occurs when coolers are opened however it is when it is closed that we want to check. When it comes to a cooler bag, you will find that most are sealed via a zipper or Velcro. Check that the zipper is rated for complete seal to avoid allowing warm outside air to infiltrate the bag.

Size – Obviously as it is with the hard bodied kayak cooler options, the size is limited by the space you have to carry it around on your vessel. This also means then that whatever cooler bag you may choose will need to fit here as well. An obvious advantage however is that many soft bags can be manipulated to fit into your storage cavities. That said, if you plan to use it to keep your catch in as well, then you may need to adjust your size needs if larger species are being targeted.

Strength – Cooler bags tend to get a bit of a hard time when on a kayak – especially when fishing. I mean not do they tend to get ‘shoved’ into whatever spot you have for them, they are also susceptible to contact with sharp objects such as knives, hooks, fish spikes and so on. Just make sure the outside is strong enough to handle anything you may throw at it out there.

Water proofing – When it comes to cooler bags, water proofing is a double-sided proposition. Firstly, it needs to be waterproof from the inside so that any melted ice or liquid doesn’t leak out. And secondly, any water that leaks in from the outside is going to compromise its cooling ability. A good bag then is one that is waterproof inside and out.

Best Soft Cooler Bags For Kayak Fishing - bag with kayak


Again, as with everything to do with outdoors equipment there are added extras available when it comes to coolers. These can include:

  • Drink holders – usually on the side by way of mesh slots.
  • Extendable handle/carry strap – for easier movement.
  • Bottle opener – mine has a little bottle opener attached the side of it – it is the best thing about it I think.
  • Molle straps – these are great for carrying additional tools and needs such as knives, bottle openers and pliers etc.
  • Dry pockets – as the name suggests, these are dry areas where you can keep your wallets, phones, keys and so on.
  • Quick access flaps – as discussed above, most cooler bags are sealed via a zipper however some have an extra Velcro sealed flap at the top for easy access – which is great if you are turning around on a kayak.
  • Fold down storage – some fold down for easy storage when not in use.

Some also float which is good for on a kayak as well.


Why use a soft cooler bag on a kayak?

Soft cooler bags work in the same manner as hard bodied coolers in that they are insulated with the aim of keeping internal contents cool. The difference with a bag then is that it is obviously softer and can be ‘squished’ into areas that harder options may not fit making them a great option for the kayak.

What do I use?

My usual choice for on the kayak is a hard plastic cooler with thick insulation, rubber seals in the lid, moulded hinges and solid metal latches. However if I am going to be out there for a while and want to take a smaller option for my drinks etc. so they are easier to access, I have a smaller bag that I like to keep in front of me (the hard cooler sits behind the seat.)

If holds a few drinks and a freezer brick with a small mesh pocket at the front that, to be honest, I mainly use to keep rubbish such as bait packets and bottle tops etc.

Best Soft Cooler Bags For Kayak Fishing - my bag

My 3 recommendations broken down

As mentioned, there are a few different cooler bag option for kayak fishing available online so I have chosen the following three in an attempt to give you some choices taking into consideration the information above. Based on this, I recommend the following:

1. Coleman Soft Cooler Bag

The first cooler have chosen is a great option for those looking for a solid product for a good price. It contains full insulation with solid leak proof zipper to keep ice frozen for up to 24 hours. Its specifications include:

  • Composition: Rip proof nylon fabric outer with soft foam and silver plastic liner
  • Zipper: Heavy duty waterproof zippers
  • Handles: Side handles and shoulder strap
  • Size:12.2 x 12.99 x 9.45 inches
  • Capacity: 150 quarts
  • Waterproof: Yes

Other advantages include:

  • Treated with antimicrobials to resist odor, mold, mildew, and fungus
  • Heat-welded seams to prevent leaks
  • Dry storage pocket on front

Why have I chosen it?

As above, this is a great one for those looking for a decent, versatile and strong cooler bag that will handle kayak fishing with ease as well as any other need you may have for it. It is easy to transport whilst being small enough to fit in most kayak wells.

2. TOURIT Soft Pack Cooler Bag

Our next option is a good one for those looking to keep some drinks, food or fish cold for that little bit longer. Its waterproof zippers and triple insulation added to a tear proof exterior make it the perfect kayak fishing companion. Its specifications include:

  • Composition: Rip proof nylon fabric outer with 3 layer insulation
  • Zipper: Waterproof zippers
  • Handles: Top side handles, two top carry handles and detachable shoulder strap
  • Size: 17.5 x 11.5 x 13.2 inches
  • Capacity: Not stated but will hold 30 cans plus ice
  • Waterproof: Yes

Other advantages include:

  • Portable bottle opener on side
  • Molle straps and clips in front
  • Mesh pocket on back

Why have I chosen it?

I like this one as it is a great size for the kayak and as well as good for camping and picnics as well. Its triple layer insulation consists of a water-proof outer surface which ensures no sweat, middle layer of high density foam and interior that is fully lined with leak-proof material. It is also large enough to keep some nice sized fish in as well.

3. Buffalo Gear Large Kayak Bag

I have chosen this last one for those who like to space everything out in their ‘yak or plan to do their kayak fishing out on the open waters. It is strongly made and perfect for use as both a drink cooler and keeping fish nice and fresh for longer periods on the water. Its specifications include:

  • Composition: Heavy-duty heat-sealed, fiber-interlaced outer skin construction with double-layer of unique, 1/2 inch thick, close-cell foam insulation and heavy-duty 22oz polyester tarpaulin interior lining.
  • Zipper: Heavy duty waterproof
  • Handles: Side or backpack straps (detachable)
  • Size: 20x9x36 or 30x10x48 inches
  • Capacity: Not stated
  • Waterproof: Yes

Other advantages include:

  • Dry pocket and elastic straps on front
  • Drainage plug
  • Keeps ice cold for more than 24 hours

Why have I chosen it?

This is a great option for those who chase the big ones or want all the space and convenience of a larger hard bodied cooler without taking up all the space. It is thinner and lighter-weight for easier transport, super strong to handle any conditions that could be thrown at it and will fit onto most kayak wells.

02/19/2024 12:21 am GMT Lasso Brag


And there they are – my 3 best soft cooler bags for kayak fishing this year. I hope it has been helpful and as usual, please let me know of your experiences with them.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time

Have fun


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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.