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Im looking to possibly upgrade my day/beverage cooler on my raft. My brother has one of those soft sided coolers that holds ice forever. What is the best cooler on the market for day/beverage cooler for a raft? Thanks guys.
 

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Im looking to possibly upgrade my day/beverage cooler on my raft. My brother has one of those soft sided coolers that holds ice forever. What is the best cooler on the market for day/beverage cooler for a raft? Thanks guys.
I want the one that holds ice forever. Ask him what he has so I can get one .
 
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I love the soft sided coolers for paddle raft missions. I used to use a California Designs, but it was not very durable. I now use the NRS Saddle Bag Cooler and a Frost Pak 12Qt.

The Saddle Bag is durable and holds ice well. Straps around a thwart easily. You do have to remove the Velcro liner and bottom tray after use to let it dry out. Mine has been used and abused and is still in good condition.

The Frost Pak is the BEST soft cooler out. I picked up mine at a "used" sporting goods store, but it still holds ice all day with NO LEAKS. You can use it in a vehicle or bring it in the house and will not have a puddle. Mine also fits in the basket attached to the rack on my 64 Schwinn townie. I strap it to a thwart using 2 4ft straps. I'm tempted to get the 25Qt or 40Qt as well.

I made a chain link fence Top Rail Cooler frame for the boat as well. This makes it really easy to take a full size cooler on a paddle run for day or overnight. We added an umbrella mount (for a Sport Brella) by using some black pipe with 1/2 emt sleeved over the top and a U bolt.
 

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My brother has the AO cooler in 24 can and it rocks. I'm surprised more people don't know about these, thought boaters would all over this thread. I'm finally gonna upgrade, you guys should too.
 

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I have used a NRS Saddle Bag Cooler for 4 seasons. It worked great for the first 3. I noticed this year its not holding ice very well now. Started looking around and found this Aire cooler the other day on Cascades website.. Kinda spendy but... Cascade also has the Kelty coolers which look nice as well. I like that those come in different sizes.

Cascade Outfitters Whitewater Rafting Equipment: 36 Qt Cooler by Aire
 

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Just did some research and bought the AO 24 pack (fishing cooler- has the bomber PVC fabric on the outside). Looks great, but i haven't used it yet.

The Seattle Sports looks nice also, but from testimony people gave, the AO holds ice (tested) impressively.
 

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I apologize for bump this old thread, but I would like to share my experience in this matter, since when I was looking for good advice on this topic for myself
I have one in the 24 pack size by Polar Bear https://coolerexp.com/best-beverage-cooler-review/ I have only had it a little while and bought for a trip to Gulf Shores to carry back and forth to the beach. Ice retention is as advertised, even out in the sun we would still have ice left over the next day (I rarely put the full 10lbs in). 24 hours is the max though, especially this time of year. Loaded down with ice and 24 cold ones it is HEAVY, as to be expected. The shoulder strap for this size cooler could use some padding. Durability: no loose stitching, easy to clean, no leaks (except the zipper if you tump it over. Customer service with them is also very good. I was emailed to be notified the color I wanted was out of stock and was offered a refund. Of course I didn't take it as I wanted the cooler. I was updated every step of the way to when I would get it, so I have no doubt they will also stand behind it.
image (1).jpg
 

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I love my IceMule coolers. they are simple, tough and like the drybags they are modeled after you can shrink them to fill the void as you drink the beer throughout the day. July heat and no or very little ice and the beer stays cool.
 

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So...I'll chime in on the Yeti Hopper 40. I've beaten the piss out of mine, it holds ice for days (just got off of a desert river trip 4 days and it still had two 1gallon water jugs with big blocks of ice left in them.

It's been dragged, rolled, overloaded, flipped, and the zipper and all other parts are still fully functional.

Now for the reality check - yes, they're expensive. If you are on your a-game you may be able to find last year's model as a close out. When they changed the design of the Hopper to a side zip (from a top zip) I picked one up for about $150. Again - not cheap but I think it will out last me.

Oh - one last thing. I really like the reverse tape of the bag. It allows it to sit right up again my tube in my captain's compartment, unlike a symmetrical bag.
 

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I've got a soft cooler that is 17+ years
I got it at Bristol Motor Speedway back in the early 90's. I've replaced the zipper once, and the pull twice. It holds a 12 pack of bar bottles side by side, and plenty of ice, or more bottles and less ice. Nice carry handles with the velcro wrap, and beefy d-rings for a shoulder strap. There is one outside zip pocket roughly 6"x6" on one side. It traveled with me on the Nascar circuit for nearly 10 years, did 2 years of Truck Series travel, attended countless beach, boat, camping, and local excursions, and now is my go-to kayak cooler. Also doubles as a laptop case when dry or a pillow. The label is a little worn, but I can make out part of the model name: _ _ Mate Kool Tote https://coolerexp.com/best-beverage-cooler-review/
Not sure if they are still around, but here's the company that made it.
Easy Seat, Inc. Kingsport, TN 37660
615-288-2881
We've bought and tossed several other soft coolers during the time I've owned this one. It is without a doubt, the greatest soft cooler/tote ever made. Keeps beer cold all day, leave it overnight closed, come back the next morning for hair of the dog...and there's still ice in it.
 

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Polar Bear is my go to

I've had my Waterproof Polar Bear for 5 years now (Maybe 4 but I think 5) and we LOVE it. Ice for days- Bomber Construction - Solid tie down points made with real webbing and strap. For the money, I don't think it can be beat.
 

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I have an AO...looks exactly like the polar bear. The thing is a sponge. IF a wave comes over the bow it absorbs immediately, takes 3 days to dry out.


I then went for RTIC- never look back.
 

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I've been using the RTIC . It held ice for four days this summer on the river in 100+ heat. I'm sure the yeti can probably do the same, but the RTIC is half the price.
 

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Just to clarify, the reason I like the Yeti hopper so much (especially the top zip older style) is for a variety of reasons:

* The reverse taper fits well below the side tube but has a lower profile to at the top
* Easy access with a single horizontal zipper
* Is waterproof and in a pinch can be used as a dry bag
* Fits perfectly from fore to aft in my captains bay and has lashing loops right where my cross bars are

The only down side I know of it the cost and the fact that in their current model they moved the zip to the side.

Image here.
 
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