Best Cooler Locks
Over the years, coolers have become more and more capable. Gone are the days where everybody was toting around a 10 dollar Igloo cooler that was missing paint and had some interesting smells coming from it. It is more common to see people using high-end coolers with significantly improved ice retention capabilities, build quality, features, and storage size.
While we all appreciate the advances in cooler technology over the years, this does come with an unfortunate side effect. The top ice chests can be quite expensive! And sadly we live in a world where you can’t leave valuable items out in the open for fear of someone stealing them. And for someone not feeling as brave, they could also opt to simply take items out from inside the cooler.
Since a cooler’s most common environment is being outside and often unattended, this has resulted in a need that certain companies have come to address. And that solution comes in a way of what is called cooler locks.
There are basically two types of cooler locks:
-A device that allows you to secure your cooler to a large object such as the back of your tailgate, near your home, or some other difficult-to-move structure. This would stop someone from stealing the cooler itself but would still allow for access to the contents that it stores. It also helps to secure your cooler from being able to slide around or fall out.
-A device that restricts access to the contents of the cooler. This would allow someone to take the entire cooler but would make it much more difficult to access the contents inside.
There can also be different ways to engage the lock. There are locks that require a key, combination locks, and locks that require a wrench to remove.
In this article, we will go over our top cooler lock choices. We will also discuss the pros/cons of cooler locks and provide some advice on if a cooler lock might be a good choice for you.
But first, check out the chart below for high-level info on the best cooler locks that we have tested.
- 1 Best Cooler Locks
Do You Really Need a Cooler Lock?
A common question we hear from readers and cooler advocates is if they really need a cooler lock. Obviously, it will vary from person to person, but we recommend a cooler lock for anybody who plans:
-To leave their cooler stored outside
-To use their cooler in a high-visibility area with a lot of people around
-To leave their cooler unattended in public areas for periods of time
-To store valuable items in their cooler
-To store items that could be deemed hazardous
-To minimize how often people can open the cooler lid
-To expose their cooler to demanding applications where the traditional cooler closing mechanism (typically latches) could fail
-To leave their cooler on something that moves such as a truck, boat, ATV, etc.
If you check even 1 of the above boxes, then we recommend you at least explore getting a cooler lock. You may also fall into the criteria of meeting multiple of these scenarios. In those cases, you may also be a good candidate for having both types of locks: a lock to secure your cooler and another lock to secure the contents inside your cooler.
Pros/Cons of Cooler Locks
Like most things in life, there are pros and cons. And that is no different with cooler locks.
The most obvious benefit of a cooler lock is the added security that it provides. If you fall into one of the criteria mentioned in the prior section, then installing a cooler lock not only can help protect your investment but also give you peace of mind.
And this protection can help you both from people trying to steal your cooler/items or simply keeping your cooler fastened while driving your truck or riding your boat/motorcycle.
Another pro is that a cooler lock can provide a unique way to help your cooler stand out from the crowd and also help easily identify it.
The biggest con (outside of the cost) is the added requirements that are necessary in order to access and/or move the cooler around. If you are in a hurry or have your hands full, this could be a very unwelcome extra step in the process.
There is also the possibility that you lose the key to unlock the cooler or forget the combination. This could create a huge headache as you would have to find a more aggressive way to break the lock such as using a vice or a saw.
Best Cooler Locks – Our Choices
Now that we have gone over the different types of cooler locks, when a cooler lock may be suitable for you, and the pros/cons of cooler locks, we will list out some of our top choices for the best cooler locks on the market right now.
Deny Security Locks
For those who want a proven and extremely resilient way to secure your Yeti Cooler (and some other cooler brands after tweaking), the Deny Security Cooler Lock may be of use to you. Currently, it can accommodate 35, 45, and 65-quart sizes.
This lock is made of heavy-duty stainless steel and is designed to wrap around the base of the cooler with the lid closed. This allows proven security while not impacting ice retention or storage volume. You will also be able to access the contents of the cooler without unlocking the latching system. And when you do need to move the cooler around, the included keys can be used to engage the key slot and unlock it.
This is a great choice if you are someone who likes to keep your cooler in the back of your truck, ATV, UTV, boat, etc.
Disecu Combination Lock
If you are more focused on locking your cooler from prying hands trying to take the goods inside, then a combination lock that goes in between the lid and the body may work for you. A proven device is the Disecu Combination lock. This lock has a thin (but strong) locking arm that can easily slide in the drill hold that typically exists between the lid and the body of your favorite ice chests.
And being a combination lock, you don’t have to worry about keeping up with small keys to engage the lock. However, make sure you write down the combination code!
Construction is solid: it is made of a cast metal body and is rust-proof, waterproof, and cut-resistant thanks to the hardened zinc alloy/steel material.
Deny Cooler Security Lid
Another great product from Deny is their Security Lid Lock. This lock is another lock that is designed to secure the contents of your cooler rather than the cooler itself.
This lock is also designed to slide through the drill hole on your cooler. This makes it easy to secure and remove and you can also utilize it on multiple coolers that you may own.
While these locks are again designed around Yeti Coolers, we have found that they work on other cooler brands as well. You would just have to check the spacing on it depending on which brand cooler you have.
And you don’t have to worry about it being easily cut through thanks to the 304 stainless steel bolt that is also extremely resilient to wear and tear.
Master Lock Python Cable Lock
The Master Lock Python Cable Lock is probably the most versatile lock that is on this list. This is because it can be used for a host of applications including but not limited to your cooler. As it relates to your cooler, you can use it for securing the cooler itself by wrapping the cable lock around the body or for using it to stop the lid from opening up by looping it between the body and the lid.
The fact that it is adjustable also means that it can accommodate just about any cooler brand or size that you may have.
For strength, the cable is made of 5/16” braided steel. This design finds a happy balance between strength and flexibility.
For opening, there are 2 included keys that can easily disengage the key slot.
Schmidt-Riffer Metalcrafts Universal Cooler Lock Bracket
For someone who is more of a handyman and looking for a low-cost option that provides flexibility (assuming you have the other necessary parts), then the Schmidt-Riffer Metalworks Universal Cooler Lock Bracket is a good solution.
These brackets loop under the lip of your favorite cooler and provide an engagement point where you can fasten the cooler to any device. The key here is that you will need to provide the means of securing. This could be a chain, a cable, a metal rod, etc.
This cooler lock is obviously designed to keep someone from being able to remove your cooler. It can also be used as a good way to secure your cooler from sliding around in the back of your vehicle. But you will need to use it in conjunction with a lid lock if you also want to stop people from being able to open the lid to access your chilled items.
As you can tell, there are a lot of cooler locks out there. Not only are there many different brands, but there are also multiple types of cooler locks that serve different purposes. The first step is figuring out what your specific needs are. After that, you can narrow down your list to find the best cooler lock for you.
For many of us, a cooler can be a lifelong investment. And with a high-quality cooler can come a high asking price. As such, it is important that we protect our investments and a cooler lock is a great way to achieve that.