Cool Bags – Best Carp Fishing Coolers

When anglers are on the bank for prolonged periods of time, such as when carp fishing, a decent cool bag to keep milk for a brew, sandwiches, fruit, vegetables and bait fresh can be a god send. Keeping water or a cheeky beer chilled on hot summer days will help reduce your core temperature, allowing you fish for longer without getting dehydrated and fatigued.

Knowing your baits and food will continue to be in top quality condition over the fishing session is one less thing to worry about, giving you more time to concentrate on what really matters… Hooking fish!

What is the best fishing cool bag?

Top notch cool bags for fishing need to be well insulated, durable, wipe clean, large sized, easy to carry and multiple compartments are also handy. A good fishing cool bag needs to keep It’s contents cool for a few days at least!

Luckily big fishing tackle brand names have you covered, and have manufactured a range of cool bags and boxes with angling in mind. Below are the best 5 recommend cool bags for anglers, all of which have been reviewed and tested in the field, plus are specifically designed with fishing trips in mind. I’ve gone with the large Fox cool bag, and very happy I did.

How do cool bags work?

Fishing, camping and picnic cool bags all work with the magical help of their multilayered insulation technology. The contents are kept cool by the outer layer, foam layer and inner lining working together to prevent hot or cold entering or leaving the compartment.

To chill food and bait within the cool bag you’ll need some reusable ice packs (blocks), which you freeze overnight and place on top of bag contents. Cardboard cartons of custard or even particle bait bags, frozen also remain cold for a long time and make an excellent alternative. The better a cool bags insulation, the longer the preservation and coolness.

Do you need to put ice in a fishing cool bag?

No, as mention use specially design ice blocks, the ugly blues ones I’m sure you’ve seen before for best results. Ice cubes are not appropriate as they have a larger surface area and will melt much quicker than a block of ice.

You’d be better off filling plastic bottles with water, freezing and using them instead. Chunky blocks, not cubes is the way to go if you want the cooling effect to last for a prolonged period of time.

How long can you keep food in a cool bag?

Well packed fishing cool bags, with an adequate number of ice packs can keep food and bait cold for 3 days or more. By chilling stuff in the fridge beforehand, and where possible freezing, you can keep your cool bag contents chilled for a long weekend.

However, if you want to keep things cold longer, or you have a rubbish cool bag, get yourself a cheap dry bag which you can pick up for under £10 online. Once your cool bag ice blocks have melted, move the contents in to the dry bag and submerge in the river or lake your fishing.You can even use a waterproof net bag, if you have one to hand.

Use a spare bivvy tent peg to secure bag to land, stopping it floating away and make sure opening of the bag above water to keep everything dry. Now the cold ambient temperature of the water will chill whatever your storing.

Who makes the best fishing cooler bags?

As mentioned above, the best carp fishing cool bags need to be well made and highly insulated. You can buy good fishing cool bags in various colours like green and camo at online stores such as Angling Direct, eBay, Kent Tackle and Amazon or your local tackle shop.

Look out for quality brands such as Nash, ESP, Trakker, JRC, Korda, Avid, Preston, Fox and TF Gear. Shop around for discounts and you’ll be able to purchase a decent food, beer and dead bait cool bag for under £20, £30 tops!

Are cool boxes better than cool bags?

Cool boxes for fishing have their advantages and disadvantages. Yes, the hard structure design does offer better air tightness and insulation, but in my experience not by much. Fishing cool boxes are more cumbersome to carry around when your laden with rods, tackle box and reels, plus can’t be folded and tucked away when not in use and are more expensive to buy.

I’d recommended a cool bag over a cool box every-time!  Cool bags are much more practical for angling and modern ones keep things chilled just as-well as their box design counterparts.


Whether your day ticket angling or carp fishing overnight, owning a good cool bag to keep sarnies fresh, cans or pop or beer cold and milk chilled for a cuppa will make the experience more comfortable.

Make sure you buy a fishing cool bag with high thermal insulation if your on the bank for a weekend, and remember my dry bag cooler hack to extend the time you can keep products at the correct temperature. Happy Fishing!

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