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How to Carry a Cooler on a Kayak: 4 Cool Ways to Try

How to Carry a Cooler on a Kayak
Written by Jessica Herron
Last Update: August 14, 2023

There’s nothing better than enjoying a cold drink when you’re kayaking. Quenching your thirst after an intense padding session is certainly a rewarding experience. So, it’s essential that you carry at least one cooler with you on each kayak trip.

However, carrying even the best cooler for kayaks may be complicated if there’s no free space on your kayak. So, you must find a practical solution if you don’t want to die of thirst in the middle of a body of water.

Today, we’ll give you some ideas on how you can carry a cooler on your kayak safely and enjoy a relaxing experience over the water.

How to Transport a Cooler on a Kayak?

Certainly, there are many ways to carry a cooler on a kayak. But not all of them are practical.Like your backpack, your cooler should always be close to you, so you can take a cold drink without delay. If your cooler is too far away, you’ll have to try too hard to get to it.

When you try to do this, you may lose balance and fall into the water. Or worse, you could end up dumping your kayak and all your stuff would sink to the bottom of the water. So, which are the best locations to place a cooler on a kayak? Below you’ll find several useful ideas that will certainly help you.

Behind your seat

how to carry a cooler on a kayak; Behind your seat

When you’re riding a kayak, all the space in front of you must be clear. That way, your arms have enough clearance for a comfortable padding. If you use your kayak for fishing, that space must be reserved for your fishing rod.

So, when your front side isn’t an option, the most logical alternative is your back side. Depending on the size of your kayak, you can opt for a soft-side or hard-side cooler. Hard-side coolers protect articles inside from being smashed. In addition, they provide a greater storage space. They’re certainly the best option for storing food.

Hard-side coolers are suitable for big kayaks with enough free space behind the seat. On the other hand, soft-side coolers are perfect for small kayaks. Their soft shell allows them to be compacted to fit reduced spaces.

On both cases, you’ll need some straps to keep things in place. Usually, kayaks have special buckles on their borders for securing straps. To secure your cooler, you just need to run a Velcro strap through each plastic buckle of the cooler and then secure it to the kayak.

Apply as much pressure as you can to prevent your cooler from sliding on the surface. To increase the friction and reduce movement, you can place a rubber pad between the kayak surface and the bottom of your cooler.

Below your seat

how to carry a cooler on a kayak; Below your seat

If the space behind your seat isn’t enough, you may place a soft-side cooler below your seat. Some kayaks allow you to adjust the seat height, which is very useful in these cases. The higher you set your seat height, the more things you can put inside your cooler. This configuration is only recommended for storing cold drinks. If you try to store food, it will surely end up smashed.

On the side of your kayak

how to carry a cooler on a kayak; On the side of your kayak

If there isn’t enough space, you can take advantage of your kayak buckles to hang soft-side coolers on the left or right side. In this case, it’s convenient to balance the weight, so if you can hang one cooler on each side, the better.

If you hang a single cooler on one side, you’ll tend to tip over if the load is excessive. Also, your kayak will tend to turn in a certain direction while padding.

Make sure the cooler doesn’t interfere with your padding range. If you don’t anticipate this, you’ll end up hitting your coolers with the paddles over and over again.

Using a floating cooler holder

how to carry a cooler on a kayak; Using a floating cooler holder

If carrying a cooler on your kayak is virtually impossible, there’s still another practical solution. You can use a floating cooler holder and tie it to your kayak’s tail. Floating cooler holders are available in different sizes, so you’re free to choose how big will be the cooler that you’re taking with you.

In these cases, it’s advisable to carry only the things that you’re going to consume. Big floating cooler holders have a larger contact surface with water. This means that they can exert some opposition to the movement. So, taking something too big will make things worse.

About the author

Jessica Herron

Hi! This is Jessica. I can be your virtual outdoor buddy, lol! My friends call me a devotee of adventure. I believe, as any outdoor enthusiast does, adventures are all about the thrill. My love consists of a mix of fishing and camping in the wild, if you ask (what thrills you most?). So, I could be of help (through my articles on this website) to any adventure seeker as long as backpacking, survival, camping, hiking, and fishing are concerned. Are you planning to take a trip to the wild next weekend? Maybe, you already are in the middle of a journey. No matter where you are, my words are on the air!

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