Best Coolers and Storage for Alaska 2022
Yeti Tundra 45 yeti.com Tundra set the standard for hard coolers years ago with its rotomolded, bulletproof design. The 45-quart is one of the most versatile sizes—easy to maneuver, and big enough to store a weekend’s worth of food or salmon fillets from several fish, plus ice. Yeti’s Bearfoot nonslip feet keep the cooler from sliding around on boat decks and truck beds. It has a drain plug and hanging basket, rubber latches, and holds ice far better than any non-rotomolded cooler. It has tie-down slots so you can strap it to a swim deck or transom bracket, rope handles as well as lip grip handles for two different carrying options. Of course, they’re kind of heavy, but that’s the price you pay for unmatched durability and insulation. If weight isn’t an issue, and maximum cold retention and durability are, this is the cooler for you.
Yeti Flip 18 Soft Cooler yeti.com Yeti’s Flip 18 will keep things cold for days when properly loaded. It’s tough, resistant to mold, mildew and punctures, and has a super-tough zipper. It has a carry handle on top as well as on the sides, plus a shoulder strap to free your hands for other tasks. It has a Molle system front and back to attach things to the outside. It’s a great soft cooler for road trips, camping, and day trips on the boat. It makes a great bait cooler too, with plenty of room for several trays of herring plus ice. We like the sturdy, flat top and find that we’re constantly putting stuff on top of it while in the boat—things like cans of soda, pliers, and anything we might want to set down for a minute. It cleans up easily with soap and water.
ORCA Walker 20 Softside Cooler orcacoolers.com The Walker 20, aptly named, will hold 20 cans of your favorite beverage. Some of the features include an easy-open, magnetic split handle; insulated inner walls that provide cold retention for days; durable double-denier outer material; ultrasonic radio frequency welding as used in whitewater craft; comfort padded shoulder strap; tough skin bottom pad for added durability; and a Molle attachment system. The entire top zips open providing easy loading or access to the contents. This is a great size for packing drinks and lunch for a few people, and we use it mostly on day trips. It makes a great bait cooler, too, easily holding several trays of herring plus ice, or several quart-sized jars of salmon eggs. It’s easy to clean with soap and water.
Yeti Rambler 20 oz Tumbler King Krab Orange yeti.com Like all Yeti products this piece of drinkware is nearly bulletproof. It keeps drinks hot or cold by way of its stainless-steel, double-wall, vacuum insulation, and if you fill it up with coffee, it will stay hot for hours. It comes with Yeti’s MagSlider Lid to help maintain your drink’s temperature. A big plus is both the lid and the tumbler are dishwasher safe. Note that the MagSlider Lid is not leakproof—if you knock the tumbler over it will leak. We use ours on road trips, in the boat, in camp, at work…basically everywhere.
Stanley Legacy Vacuum Food Jar 27-ounce stanley1913.com If you’re the kind of angler who likes to take hot food with you on the boat, in the truck, or on the trail, the Legacy Vacuum Food Jar works great for soups, stews, and other hot foods. It can also be used to keep things cold, as in drinks. Think of it as a wide-mouth vacuum bottle. The jar is made of stainless steel, the steel cup is double-walled, and all the pieces are dishwasher safe. The handle is sturdy and easy to grab. The jar comes with a snap-on sleeve with a spork and pocket built in. Late-fall, nasty-weather days on the Kenai? Bring the Legacy Vacuum Food Jar filled with chili and your day will go better.
Promar Rod Rack promarnets.com This compact, plastic rod rack can hold up to 16 rods. It’s easy to set up, requiring a couple Phillips screwdrivers to complete the task. The design allows you to mount two, 8-rod racks to the wall or some other attachment point, or to marry the two racks together to form a free-standing 16-rod rack. We like that the rack is light, compact, and being made from ABS plastic, could also be used outside and will withstand the elements. Yeti Tundra 65 Hard Cooler yeti.com Yeti set the standard for rotomolded coolers and continues to build on that success. The Tundra 65 is a good size for a day on the boat, measuring 10 5/8” x 11 1/8” x 23 1/8” on the inside. Fill it with ice and food, and then bring it home full of salmon and/or bottomfish fillets. It’s got three inches of insulation in the walls and a freezer-quality gasket in the lid, giving you many hours of cold retention on extended trips. Latches, handles and hinges are all robust.
Yeti Rambler 30 oz Tumbler with MagSlider Lid yeti.com Many of our testers LOVE coffee. I mean really love it. This 30-ounce vessel allows you to transport a coffee-lover’s size serving and keep it hot for a long while. The double-wall vacuum insulation also serves to keep cold drinks cold. One of the features that our tester liked was the tapered end that allows this large cup to fit in various drink holders. It’s made from 18/8 stainless steel and is dishwasher safe.
Stanley Legacy QuadVac Thermal Bottle, 2 Quart stanley1913.com Stanley has upgraded its recognizable green vacuum bottle with a new look, thicker steel, better handle and much better insulation. It is dishwasher safe, which makes keeping it clean a breeze. Editor George Krumm is a coffee fiend. The two-quart capacity of this bottle means he can take a full pot of coffee (and then some) with him. That keeps everyone happy.
Plano Frost 32 QT Cooler planomolding.com
Plano has entered the cooler arena with their Frost series of coolers. We tested the 32-quart size. This medium-sized cooler is not as tall as some 32-quart coolers on the market, instead creating its space by being longer rather than tall. Features include industrial-strength molded construction, shock-resistant protection and dual-stage molded latches for an airtight seal. It has rubber feet to help keep it from sliding around, and the side handles are plenty stout. It also has a built-in, stainless-steel bottle opener on the front edge of the lid, a removable divider inside, a drain plug, and a hanging basket. Plano claims this cooler can hold ice for up to five days. It’s a great cooler and comes in at a price point significantly below some of its competition.