Locks for Coolers: What Are the Best Cooler Locks to Get?

I’ve always said that coolers are the best thing invented for campers and adventurers like us. Not thinking about your food and drinks is one less worry, elevating the experience!

Until I realized how much people (and bears) love coolers and their content.

I experienced people stealing from my cooler while some friends had the entire cooler taken away. Notably, the expensive cooler brands are prone to theft!

So, I’ve expanded my list. The next best thing to coolers is cooler locks. Here are six (6) of my best picks. Whether as a cooler lid lock or for the entire thing, I have it here.

The 6 Best Cooler Locks for Your Cooler’s Security

We may be talking about locks, but there’s no gatekeeping here! These are locks that I’ve tried and tested.

1) DENY Cooler Security Lid Lock – Best Overall

Cooler Lock Features

  • Material: 304 stainless steel
  • Compatible Coolers: YETI Tundra 35, 45, 65 qt coolers
  • Inclusions: Two keys
  • Security: 4.5/5
  • Dimensions: 5.28 x 4.57 x 1.42 inches
  • Weight: 0.54 kg

When it comes to security, this DENY lock system is the best in my books. Most people don’t even know how to open this little thing in the corner, so they don’t even bother to steal.

But besides that, it has excellent durability and is made to last. You can tell from its build that the quality is top-notch.

The only con is its limited compatibility. Because of its unique mechanism, it can only fit some from the Yeti Tundra series and those with lids that are not too thick.

Cooler Lock PROS

  • Built like a tank
  • Secure
  • Reasonable price
  • Unique lock mechanism
  • Braided steel

Cooler Lock CONS

  • Limited cooler compatibility
  • Short length

2) DENY Security Cooler Lock – Best Value

Cooler Lock Features

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Compatible Coolers: Yeti Tundra 35qt, 45qt, 65qt
  • Inclusions: 1 iron fist lock base, one stiff arm-13 lock bar, & all hardware for mounting to the truck, SUV, UTV, SXS, or any surface
  • Security: 5/5
  • Dimensions: 13 x 1 x 0.16 inches
  • Weight: 0.37 kg

If we’re talking about the best anti-theft device, my vote goes to this DENY cooler lock again. I swear this isn’t a case of favoritism. DENY cooler locks happen to be built well.

It’s more expensive, but it’s the ultimate investment if your camping area is prone to thieves. It also doesn’t easily slide or move when mounted on the truck bed.

The high price is attributed to its unique design. It steers away from ordinary padlocks and can guarantee utmost protection. You wrap this around the body and base of the cooler.

If you’re dealing with bears, this DENY cooler locking device is an excellent way to keep them out. I can confidently leave my Yeti cooler unattended with this trusty lucking device!

Cooler Lock PROS

  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Survives wear and tear
  • Easily mounted on a vehicle
  • The nut easily snaps off at the bottom
  • Bear proof

Cooler Lock CONS

  • Expensive
  • Can be misused (ask customer service when in doubt)

3) Disecu 4 Digit Combination Lock – Best Budget

Cooler Lock Features

  • Material: Alloy steel, metal, zinc
  • Compatible Coolers: Universal
  • Inclusions: Two packs of the 4-digit combination lock
  • Security: 3.5/5
  • Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.71 x 0.87 inches
  • Weight: 0.14 kg

Standard combination padlocks can secure your cooler if you’re interested in pricey and complicated cooler locks.

This padlock from Disecu may be cheap, but the quality is still commendable. It’s weather-proof and still looks brand new even after months! The best part? No need for a key!

Of course, we can’t deny that a basic padlock has its cons. It’s not as durable as the others, but it’s a versatile lock that can be used for other things – bags, bikes, chains, etc.

Cooler Lock PROS

  • Light and portable
  • Affordable
  • Easy locking mechanism
  • It doesn’t easily break physically
  • No keys needed

Cooler Lock CONS

  • Basic lock
  • Still easy to unlock by desperate thieves

4) Master Lock 8419DPF Python Cable Lock

Cooler Lock Features

  • Material: Metal, braided steel
  • Compatible Coolers: Universal
  • Inclusions: Master Lock cable lock, Python adjustable keyed cable lock, six ft. long, yellow & black
  • Security: 4.5/5
  • Dimensions: 2 x 5.5 x 9 inches | cable is 6 ft. long and 5/16 in. wide in diameter
  • Weight: 0.42 kg

This Python cable lock is most similar to a zip tie. And we know how difficult it is to break those! It’s also impossible to cut those braided wires open.

Python lock variations are good, but I’m most impressed with this cable lock innovation. It’s not only for cooler boxes but also for all ‘big’ items like ladders, bikes, etc.

But thieves can use a wrench or other power tools to cut the cable chain apart if they are desperate. However, all that effort can already catch people’s attention.

It’s also not 100% bear-proof, especially if they are strong bears. Overall, I’d say that this Master Lock cable may not be the most secured locking system, but it delays and deters.

However, one frequent complaint I hear about this cable lock is that the key and hole don’t have the smoothest mechanism. It can be stiff to open.

Cooler Lock PROS

  • Rust-proof and weather-resistant
  • Durable enough
  • Affordable for a cable lock
  • Deters bears and thieves
  • Compatible with various devices

Cooler Lock CONS

  • Not the most thief and bear-proof
  • Complaints of stiff keys inside the lock hole

5) YETI Bear Proof Locks

Cooler Lock Features

  • Material: Cashmere
  • Compatible Coolers: Universal
  • Inclusions: Two keys and locks
  • Security: 3.5/5
  • Dimensions: 3. 5 in x 1. 5 in
  • Weight: 0.27 kg

As some say, nothing beats the traditional locks when securing your cooler. And they’re right – especially if they’re intentionally built to be bear-proof. It’s in the name!

To clarify, these Master locks. I’m not sure why Amazon labeled it a Yeti padlock, but it is compatible with Yeti coolers and other cooler brands.

And so far, I haven’t heard of a cooler being stolen with this one locked in place. It still beats the other combination locks, which are easier to configure.

There’s not much to say about this padlock. It’s straightforward to use with a key! People and bears can’t easily access it, and that’s all I’m interested in.

Cooler Lock PROS

  • Compatible with Yeti Tundra and Roadie coolers
  • Guaranteed bear-proof
  • Versatile U-shape lock that fits almost any cooler brand
  • High quality

Cooler Lock CONS

  • Expensive for a Master lock
  • Nothing extraordinary (but it works!)

6) Bracket with Bottle Opener

Cooler Bracket Features

  • Material: Stainless steel and zinc alloy with surface polish technology
  • Compatible Coolers: Yeti/RTIC Coolers
  • Inclusions: Pack of 2 cooler accessories for Yeti/RTIC cooler
  • Security: 3/5
  • Dimensions: ‎4.21 x 2.13 x 1.38 inches
  • Width: 1.3″ | Hole Diameter: 1.1 inch (IMPORTANT TO NOTE FOR COMPATIBILITY)
  • Weight: 0.15 kg
  • Price: $11.99

Brackets are what I’d like to call “small but terrible” cooler locks. It doesn’t have those fancy locking mechanisms, but it can secure your cooler boxes by simply latching them on the side.

The bracket keeps the lid locked, and you can add a cable wire to double the protection. Of course, I would suggest the Python cable lock as a perfect pair to this!

As a finishing touch to this lid-locking device, this bracket also doubles as a bottle opener for those chill nights with beers and drinks.

Cooler Bracket PROS

  • A simple and easy cooler locking mechanism
  • Can add cable or padlock to make unwanted access more difficult
  • Rust resistant
  • It can protect the cooler when unattended for a while
  • Doubles as a bottle opener

Cooler Bracket CONS

  • Not made to last (short-term use)
  • Sharper edges

What Are the Different Types of Cooler Locks to Get?

There are various types of cooler locks that you can use. It’s not a one-size-fits-all thing; you can choose how to secure your cooler box.

Lid Locks

As the name goes, these locking devices only secure the lid. It’s meant to stop unwanted access to the contents of the cooler.

For most people, this is already enough. You can use this for added security if you camp in a place with no bears or people. Common types are combinations or using a key.

Cable Lock

Cable locks are more extended and meant to chain the new cooler to someplace secure. For instance, you can ‘tie’ and lock the cooler to a tree, so thieves can’t easily carry it away.

However, cable locks can be easily cut or destroyed if the takers are desperate enough and have the right tools. It would be best if you got an unbreakable chain to secure your cooler truly.

These locks can also be combined or using a key to unlock.

Truck-Mounted Lock

If you wish to lock the entire body of your cooler to your truck, get a mechanism that can mount the box onto the truck bed.

An example of a truck bed lock is the DENY Security Cooler Lock. You surely won’t lose this unless the entire truck gets stolen!

It also doesn’t slide easily when mounted on the truck bed, which is a plus.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are the most frequently asked questions about the topic!

How Do I Keep My Cooler From Being Stolen?

Choose an appropriate lock for your cooler type.

How Do I Keep My Cooler From Sliding?

Choose a locking mechanism that mounts your cooler directly on the truck bed or somewhere sturdy.

How Do You Secure a Cooler in Checked Luggage?

Double and triple lock your cooler. Secure a lid lock and wrap around a cable lock for maximum safety.

Best Cooler Locks Summary

Here is a summary of our best picks!

Best Budget – Disecu 4 Digit Combination Lock

Although affordable, the Disecu combination lock can secure the lid properly. It’s also compatible with other things that need added protection.

Best Value – DENY Cooler Lock

Expensive but worth it! This DENY cooler lock is the only one I can give a 5/5 rating regarding protective measures.

Best Overall – DENY Cooler Security, Lid Lock

The best overall is one that’s still affordable but can ensure safety. Also, by DENY, this lock is built like a tank and can endure outside forces.


I hope my list helped you choose the best lock for your cooler! With so many variations, you must select the one that fits your needs. Good luck!

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