Coleman Marine Cooler Review
Coleman offers up a rather diverse selection of water-inspired coolers in their Marine Cooler Series. These coolers take inspiration from Coleman’s traditional ice chest lines but are modified to be better-suited for harsh outdoor environments. Before we get into greater detail about the series, here are a few of our top choices in the table below.
- 1 Coleman Marine Cooler Review
- 1.1 Coleman Marine Cooler Lineup
- 1.2 Coleman Marine Cooler Features
- 1.3 Coleman Marine Cooler Ice Life
- 1.4 Coleman Marine Cooler Appearance
- 1.5 Coleman Marine Cooler Price
- 1.6 Coleman Marine Cooler Review
Coleman Marine Cooler Lineup
The Coleman Marine Cooler lineup is diverse but still focuses on larger cooler sizes overall. This is because typically people who are looking for a marine cooler need something with a lot of storage space. Things such as ice, drinks, and food for an entire excursion (don’t forget backups in case something goes wrong!) can really add up so having plenty of storage volume is essential.
In addition, many of these Marine Coolers are used for storing caught fish. And since you never really know what you are going to catch or how big it is going to be, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Selections range from 36 quarts all the way up to 200 quarts. Specifically, you will find options in 36, 48, 50, 82, 100, 150, and 200 quarts.
There are several different lines of Coleman Marine Coolers. They include the base Marine Coolers, Inland Performance Series Marine Coolers, Offshore Pro Series Marine Coolers, and the Xtreme Series Marine Coolers.
The Xtreme Series Marine Coolers are part of Coleman’s larger Xtreme Series (which includes non-marine coolers) and more information about them can be found in our Coleman Xtreme Series Cooler Review. For this article, we will be focusing on the other models.
The Coleman Inland Performance Series Marine Coolers are the smaller models. We assume the name comes from the fact that most inland fishing excursions will typically be for shorter periods of time and you will be catching smaller fish. As such, the coolers don’t have to be quite as massive to get the job done. Specifically, you can find 36 and 48-quart options for this series.
The Coleman Offshore Pro Series Marine Coolers are larger both in storage volume as well as sizes to choose from. These ice chests are designed for saltwater excursions (hence the name “offshore”), which will typically last a longer period of time. And if you happen to be fishing, saltwater fish tend to be larger than freshwater so having a larger cooler to store your catch makes sense. In this series, you will find 82, 100, 150, and 200-quart options.
Finally, there are a few stragglers which Coleman has simply dubbed their “Marine Coolers”. The build quality and features and very similar to the Inland Performance Series. The only major difference we can see is that these ice chests still have the old style aesthetic design. You might be able to find these specific models at a slight discount because of this and you will be able to enjoy a similar performance. These models come in 50 quarts and 100 quarts.
Coleman Marine Cooler Features
The features that you will enjoy with your Coleman Marine Cooler will depend on which series you go with. But there are some common specifications that you will enjoy no matter which model you choose.
All Coleman Marine Coolers will come with optimal size dimensions that make them “taller” than many other coolers. This allows you to stack your items extra high and even have room to fit 2-liter bottles upright (even in the smallest cooler sizes).
In addition, all coolers will come with a special UVGuard Material that is specially designed to handle the demands of an outdoor environment that is constantly exposed to the sun and water. This specialty material not only will help resist fading but also has inhibitors that reduce the likelihood of bacteria and algae growing on the surface. In addition, it is easily washable and can be scrubbed down without concern of damaging it.
Other common features include rotating side handles, stainless steel screws (to prevent rusting), side drain ports, and cup holders on the lid (on most models). And the lids are designed with the Have-A-Seat technology which allows you to put up to 250 pounds of force on them without damaging it. This makes these coolers great as a make-shift seat for someone.
For those after more features, the Coleman Offshore Pro Series has just what you need. These coolers are not only larger in size to accommodate more items, but they also have been upgraded in various ways to maximize performance and convenience.
You will enjoy the Ultimate Xtreme Insulation Technology that is present in all of Coleman’s Xtreme Cooler Series. This entails thicker insulated walls as well as insulation included on the lid. We found the wall thicknesses to be nearly 2” in some areas. The result is a significant increase in ice performance. Specifically, Coleman states that you can anticipate being able to keep your items cold for 6 or 7 days, depending on what model you go with.
In addition, all Coleman Offshore Pro Series Marine Coolers come with a dry storage tray and two dividers. This is helpful for being able to put everything that you would need inside the large cooler, even if they don’t necessarily play together nicely.
For instance, you could put your drinks on the far right side of the cooler and then divide it from your food with one of the dividers. Your bread, chips, etc. could then be placed inside the dray storage tray and kept out of the ice.
Beyond this, most of the hardware is simply better on the Pro Series Marine Coolers. The hinge hardware (which can be a common issue in other Coleman products) has been beefed up.
There are also springs attached between the lid and body to ensure a firm seal and it also helps to avoid accidentally pushing the lid open too far, which could damage it. Lid integrated tie-down slots are also installed directly onto the lid.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that there is a wheeled cooler configuration available in the 82-quart size.
All in all, these extra features really help to make the Coleman Offshore Pro Series Marine Coolers stand out from much of the competition.
Coleman Marine Cooler Ice Life
Having a capable icebox that can keep your items cool while out on the lake/ocean is extremely important. Running out of ice could potentially mean food or drinks going bad, fish rotting, or many other challenges than any outdoorsmen simply doesn’t want to deal with.
Depending on the specific model, Coleman has stated to expect anywhere from 3 to 7 days of cooling ability for their Marine Coolers. We decided to do some of our own testing. Our typical approach to testing entails filling up a cooler around halfway with ice and then leaving outside in the heat. We would also occasionally open the cooler to emulate real-life use where someone would open an ice chest to grab something from it.
Our results are below:
As expected, the larger coolers fared much better than the smaller coolers. This is simply because larger coolers are able to maintain a steady temperature for longer once stabilized.
Also, we saw a clear boost with all of the Offshore Pro Marine Coolers. The combination of thicker walls, insulation on the lid, and the tighter seal definitely pay off when it comes to keeping ice.
It is also worth noting that the ice life was a bit lower than what Coleman stated. However, Coleman does exclaim that their numbers are based on how long their coolers will “keep items cold”. This could be interpreted differently than how long ice lasts. Cold water at 34 degrees, for example, is still cold enough to preserve refrigerated items. But it technically isn’t “ice”.
With that being said, their stated numbers aren’t too far off from what we found.
Coleman Marine Cooler Appearance
Nearly all of the Coleman Marine Coolers look very similar in appearance. You will find that the only color option is the UV-resistant white. While some people may not be a fan of white coolers, the fact of the matter is that any colored coolers are likely to fade over time when exposed to the conditions that marine coolers are typically put in.
Outside of this, subtle curves and grooves are the main identifiers between the “old” style Coleman Marine Coolers and the updated ones. Many of Coleman’s older Marine Coolers will have vertical grooves and curved corners. Conversely, the updated styles will have sharper edges, a colored decal/button, and horizontal grooves. We definitely prefer the look of the newer style.
Coleman Marine Cooler Price
Overall, Coleman Marine Coolers are very reasonably-priced compared to other coolers on the market that are specialized for marine environments. You won’t get quite the ice life or toughness of a premium cooler like Yeti or RTIC, but you will also be paying a fraction of the price.
Also, expect to pay a slight upcharge to enjoy a Coleman Offshore Pro Marine Cooler compared to the other Marine Coolers. The extra features and insulation make these a more expensive cooler. However, they should still be within most people’s budgets.
Now that we have gone over the specifics of the various Coleman Marine Coolers, check out our full review and rankings below after getting our hands on them.
36, 48, 50, 82, 100, 150, and 200 quart sizes
Pros: Has all the features you need to handle water environments, Good ice life in certain models, Relatively lightweight
Cons: Handles can be weak, Lower-end models have so-so ice life, Bland styling
UVGuard layering, 2-way handles, hinged lid, built-in cupholders, ThermOZONE insulation, wheeled configurations, dividers and dry storage area (certain models)
Coleman Marine Cooler Review
The Coleman Marine Coolers are the standard offering by Coleman and are designed for boating and fishing. They come in a white exterior with UVGuard sun protection which will help combat cracking during lengthy sun exposure. They also have a Thermozone insulation which assists in ensuring that ice stays cold for long periods of time. Included features include carrying handles on both sides and molded cup holders for added convenience. Certain models will also have other upgraded features and improved ice performance. It is available in 28, 48, 50, 100, and 150-quart sizes and all examples are made of plastic.
Insulation ability –
Depending on which model you go with, ice life can vary from slightly below average to above average. Specifically, the Offshore Pro models will fare quite well in regards to holding ice while the base models will be noticeably less effective.
This is primarily due to the Xtreme Insulation (AKA thicker material) that is on the Offshore Pro models as well as including insulation in the lid. Other helpful additions are the more resilient seal between the lid and body thanks to nice construction on an internal spring that provides some much-needed closing force. Combine these features with the fact that the Offshore Pro models are quite large, and you can enjoy ice life that lasts anywhere from 80 hours up to 125 hours or more.
The base models, on the other hand, have relatively thin walls (around an inch thickness or less) plus a very weak lid that is prone to not fully closing. This can allow cold air to easily escape and it really robs the cooler of additional ice life. Because of this, you can expect ice performance from anywhere from a day up to around 65 hours.
Mobility and durability –
Seeing how these coolers can be quite large, mobility might be a challenge when they are full. That being said, they are still more lightweight than many other premium coolers of similar sizes so this will be a burden no matter which brand you go with.
For carrying, handles are all side-mounted and you will really need two people to properly transport them. The lone exception is the 82-quart model which comes with wheels.
There have been some complaints with the handles breaking prematurely but this really seems to be tied to the base models. The upgraded Offshore Pro (and even the Inland Performance Series) seem to have corrected this problem as the handles (and the hardware that holds them) are robust and made of stainless steel.
Outside of this, other previous issues include the lid potentially breaking after being over-extended when opened. Many of the models out now help combat this thanks to the built-in spring that will resist you over-opening the lid. Combine this with the quality hardware discussed above and ability to put up to 250 pounds on the lid, and you have a solid competitor.
And it goes without saying that the UV-inhibited shell is a welcome addition as it helps to fight the harsh corrosive and sun-fading properties of saltwater and the sun.
Visual Appeal –
Coleman Marine Coolers take a very safe approach in their design. All will come in the same white finish and there aren’t a ton of aesthetic features or gadgets to really make them stand out. There will be some subtle aesthetic hints that will show you which model you are going with but many casual observers may not even know the difference.
However, if we had to pick, we would say that the recent upgrades to the Offshore Pro Series give a much-needed refresh and we hope that these design changes are ultimately implemented on all models.
These coolers typically fall into the intermediate price range. Depending on what size you go with the price will fluctuate some, with the large sizes oftentimes being cheaper “per quart”. You will also pay an increased price for the newer models (particularly the Offshore Pro Series) as they come with additional features and higher-quality construction.
While not the absolute cheapest coolers you will come across, the build quality and specific ability to handle the challenging conditions of an aquatic outdoor environment justifies the price for us.
Overall Rating –
The Coleman Marine Cooler Series is quite diverse and there should be a size for just about everybody’s needs. While we weren’t blown away by the performance of the base or Inland Performance models, we were really happy with the Offshore Pro models. The added features, thicker walls, and better all-around construction have really made these large coolers a shining beacon in the Coleman Marine Cooler lineup. And the price points are acceptable given the quality.
In other words, if you are after a larger, sea-worthy cooler, then absolutely check out the Coleman Offshore Pro Marine Coolers. If you want something smaller and less-capable, the other models are better-suited (and cheaper) but are not as clear-cut obvious choices as their big brothers.