The Best Soft Cooler Guide

Soft-sided coolers are a household and travel essential. These items can do so many different things for you and can be utilized in all kinds of situations. If you find that you are often on the go, or just want a practical solution to transporting food and drinks, then getting your hands on the best soft side cooler for you is a wise idea.

The best soft-sided coolers will keep your drinks and food cold while you transport them wherever you may need to go. Whether you are going for a picnic, fishing trip, are hiking, camping, or packing lunch for the family, a soft cooler will become your best friend.

There are loads of different options out there, each with their own unique features and designs. Here is our guide to some of the world’s best soft coolers, and how you can find the perfect one for your lifestyle.

Best Soft Sided Cooler Brands

Polar Coolers

Polar Bear Coolers are one of the leading brands out there for quality, thoughtful products. Their soft coolers are made with some of the best materials and designs available. If you are looking for craftsmanship that you know you can trust, then Polar should be a natural choice.

AO Soft Cooler

AO is a brand that has been making coolers for over 25 years. Their products are tried and tested and made to last. With a focus on the details and small things, an AO soft cooler will be sure to keep you happy. Their limited lifetime warranty is also a big plus.

Coleman

When it comes to outdoor and camping gear, Coleman is a name we all recognize and trust. Their soft coolers are made to withstand the elements through their durable materials and well-designed construction. You can’t go wrong with Coleman.

Soft CoolerBest ForImageBudgetOverallCheck Price
Polar Bear Coolers Soft CoolerBest Overall$$10/10 Check Price
AO Coolers Original Soft CoolerBest For Keeping Ice$$9/10 Check Price
Norchill Soft Coolers BackpackBest Backpack Cooler$7/10 Check Price
CleverMade Snapbasket Soft Sided Collapsible CoolerBest Collapsible Cooler$8/10 Check Price
YETI Hopper Flip Portable CoolerBest Small Cooler$$$8/10 Check Price
TOURIT Soft CoolerAll Round$$$9/10 Check Price
Coleman 16-Can Soft CoolerMost Durable$9.5/10 Check Price
HANIC 30L Large Cooler BagBest Large Cooler

$7.5/10 Check Price
Under Armour 24 Can Soft CoolerMost Stylish Cooler

$$8/10 Check Price
MIER Adult Insulated Lunch Bag ToteBest Pocket Space$8/10 Check Price

Best Soft Pack Cooler – Polar Bear Coolers Soft Cooler

Our overall top pick for the best soft-sided cooler has got to be the Polar Bear Coolers soft cooler. This product is durable, versatile, well built, and easy to transport. It keeps in the cold way longer than other products, and will never leak.

Other good picks are the:

Best Collapsible Cooler – CleverMade Snapbasket Soft Sided Collapsible Cooler

If you are looking for a collapsible cooler that is easy to store and pack away, then we recommend this product by CleverMade. This cooler is big, strong and well designed for all kinds of situations. Great for the family, picnics, and adventures, the CleverMade Snapbasket can suit all kinds of needs.

Best Soft Sided Coolers Reviews

Polar Bear Coolers Soft Cooler

When it comes to soft coolers, Polar Bear is the first name that many will jump to. This is due to the brands long life of producing top quality coolers – and this product is no exception. The nylon Solar Bear Series soft cooler is the ideal easily portable product to keep your drinks and food cold. This is definitely one of the best soft coolers out there.

This Polar Bear cooler features a 1000 denier luggage-grade nylon outer shell, complete with a UV-resistant PU coating. It is this outer shell that makes all the difference in terms of durability, as well as keeping the contents cool. The UV-Protectant PU coating which is found on the Solar Bear coolers keeps the exterior from getting hot while in the sun so that the contents stay cold. If you want to take you cooler somewhere where there is prolonged sun exposure, then this product will work well.

This cooler comes with four Fit & Fresh Slim Cool Coolers ice packs. This is a great bonus for keeping things cold over longer periods. These ice packs are small and are also perfect for use in lunch boxes.

The Solar Bear Series is hardy and durable and should last you a great lifespan. There is a variety of different colors to choose from, and they can even be customized with your name or logo. This is a smart choice for anyone who likes to travel with their cooler.

Pros
  • UV-resistant PU coating
  • Comes with a 4-pack of Cool Coolers
  • Great colors available
  • Easy to carry and transport
  • Useful zipper pocket
  • Padded shoulder strap
Cons
  • Doesn’t offer a huge amount of space
  • Quite expensive
Click to Check Price on Amazon

AO Coolers Original Soft Cooler

This is one of the best soft-sided coolers out there, and we think that absolutely anyone will be happy with this product. Between the design, ease of carrying, overall strength, and ability to stay cool for a long period, this is definitely one of the best soft coolers out there.

This product is made from 600 dim polyester canvas, with heavy-duty backing. This allows for a cool interior even when the outside has been exposed to direct sunlight. This AO cooler actually offers twice the amount of insulation compared to other similar products, as well as a completely leak proof liner.

This cooler really performs in hot weather. You can even keep ice in it for up to 24 hours in 120-degree weather. It can hold 24 cans and is easy to manage and carry.

We highly recommend this product for all sorts of occasions and situations. If you need to keep things cool no matter where you are, then this soft cooler won’t let you down.

Pros
  • Good capacity
  • Comes in great design options
  • Can hold ice for 24 hours
  • Leak-proof liner
  • Well trusted brand
Cons
  • The bigger sized models can be difficult to carry
  • Quite expensive
Click to Check Price on Amazon

Norchill Soft Coolers Backpack

This soft cooler by Norchill is a completely unique and clever concept. The cooler bag can be placed inside any backpack in order to turn it into an easily transportable backpack cooler. Being able to do this makes carrying your cold drinks around so much easier and more convenient.

The product is made with an ultra slick exterior shell which can easily slide into any backpack. It can then be sealed closed by the plastic clips on top. If you want to just use it alone though, this is still an option. The D-ring attachment allows you to pop the strap on and sling it over your shoulder if there is no backpack.

The materials are of high quality and are constructed using a dual temp insulation system. The bag has a black liner that helps with stain resistance and makes cleaning super easy. This is an effective product that does its job. With the Norchill, carrying around your cold drinks and food becomes much easier and more fun.

Pros
  • Unique backpack insert design
  • D-ring attachment to add a strap
  • Easy to clean
  • A dual temp insulation system
Cons
  • Does not keep ice for very long
  • Can leak a little from the top seam
  • Not very big
Click to Check Price on Amazon

CleverMade Snapbasket Soft Sided Collapsible Cooler

This is one of the best soft-sided coolers that we have experienced. It is a fantastic everyday kind of cooler that travels easily, stays cold, and is made with lasting quality. The CleverMade Snapbasket can hold a volume of 30 liters, with a load capacity of over 50 pounds. If you are planning on transporting a significant amount of food and drinks, then this product is a good choice.

The cooler is collapsible and can easily snap open. This makes packing it away and saving space a big bonus. Its insulated interior is leak proof, while the tough exterior is designed with rip-stop fabric. This makes it very durable while being resistant to water.

Carrying around this soft cooler is a breeze. There are comfortable handles on the side, as well as duffle bag handles on top. The body of the cooler will never flop down while being carried, so forget about spillage. This is a practical product that can be used in so many different situations.

Pros
  • Large 30-liter capacity
  • Easily collapsible
  • Comfortable to carry
  • Features a built-in bottle opener
  • Useful zipper pocket
Cons
  • Can leak
  • Does not keep ice as long as some other coolers
Click to Check Price on Amazon

YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler

If you are looking for the best soft coolers out there, then going straight to Yeti is a good idea. This brand produces top quality goods with a lot of thought put into each product, something which is evident in the Hopper Flip portable cooler.

This soft cooler is made using a closed cell foam that offers far superior cold holding to ordinary soft coolers. With this ColdCell insulation, you can have this product sitting in the sun or heat, and the contents will stay cold for a long time.

The Hopper Flip 8 is 100% leak-proof, something which is helped by the HydroLok zipper. The DryHide shell is completely waterproof and resistant to mildew, punctures, and abrasions. If you plan on getting out into the wild with your cooler, then this is a good choice based on its durability to the elements.

The wide mouth opening allows you to easily grab the contents and see what’s going on inside the cooler. This product is really easy to carry around and has some great grip options. It is tough, well designed, made to last, and works exceedingly well.

Pros
  • Superior insulation to keep contents cold
  • Tough and durable DryHide shell
  • Leak-proof
  • Made with lasting quality
Cons
  • Only holds 6 cans with ice
  • Expensive
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TOURIT Soft Cooler

This is a high-quality soft cooler with many impressive features. Tourit has designed a product here that is perfect for many different situations through its durable construction, easy portability, impressive volume and its overall performance of staying cold.

The cooler is made with 3 unique layers to keep the contents cold for up to 3 days. The insulation in this product is superior to many other comparable soft coolers. The interior layer is fully lined with leak-proof material, the middle is made of high-density foam for quality insulation, while the outer shell is completely waterproof and will not sweat.

The durable exterior is also designed to protect against UV rays and punctures. You can leave this bag out in the sun and it will still keep its cool. There are 3 different carrying options, all of which are comfortable and practical. This is a smart choice for those on the move.

This soft cooler can hold up to 20 cans with ice. It keeps cold for a long time, doesn’t leak, is easy to carry around, and is durable against the outside elements. A great all round product.

Pros
  • BPA free and FDA approved materials
  • Superior
  • Tough UV resistant exterior
  • Leakproof
  • Built-in bottle opener
Cons
  • Outside pockets are pretty small
  • Takes up space when not in use
Click to Check Price on Amazon

Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler

Legendary brand Coleman knows exactly what to do when it comes to coolers. This soft cooler with a 16 can capacity is ideal for those looking for a smart way of transporting cold drinks or a picnic.

The removable liner offer packing flexibility and easy cleaning. This is also treated with antimicrobials in order to resist odor, mold, mildew, and fungus from forming. This is a very handy feature to have in your cooler to keep things hygienic.

There is a hard plastic liner that can be used when packing the interior with ice. The main compartment is well insulated and offers a great length of keeping cold and holding ice. The exterior is durable and does not leak. There are also some fantastic exterior dry storage zippered compartments and mesh side pockets.

Pros
  • Offers a lot of exterior storage space
  • Hard plastic liner protects the contents
  • Comfortable to carry
  • FDA approved material
  • Doesn’t leak

 

Cons
  • Space is a little tight
  • Only has one carrying option
Click to Check Price on Amazon

HANIC 30L Large Cooler Bag

This large cooler offers great value for money. It has an impressive volume of 30 liters, offers some good leakproof thermal resistance, and is made from quality material. This is an ideal family size cooler for all kinds of occasions.

This product is insulated using PEVA material, which works well for keeping food cold or warm. The interior is padded with 7 mm EPE foam for added thermal resistance, while the lining is fully waterproof. The exterior material is a leakproof oxford fabric. This is a good versatile fabric for use outdoors.

There are some useful storage pockets on the exterior. The main compartment is easy to access through a velcro flap on top. There is a padded strap and handles for effortless carrying. This is a good product for those looking for a big, versatile and comfortable soft cooler.

Pros
  • 30-liter capacity can hold 50 cans
  • Lots of exterior pocket space
  • Comfortable to carry
  • Well insulated
Cons
  • Doesn’t offer a lot of protection for the contents
  • Doesn’t keep ice as long as some other coolers
Click to Check Price on Amazon

Under Armour 24 Can Soft Cooler

This is a highly durable and well thought out cooler for all occasions. Under Armour is known for their quality made products, and this is no exception.

This product is made using a strong 420D polyester. This offers a great exterior for outdoor use. It is insulated with IsoTec premium foam in order to keep the cold in for longer and maintain a consistent internal temperature. The liner is particularly strong and sturdy. It doesn’t crash, is completely waterproof, and is really easy to clean.

One of the big bonuses of this product is all of the exterior storage space that is available. There are 3 large zipper pockets that offer you great protected storage for dry goods.

The rubber handle is comfortable to carry. There is also an adjustable strap for added easy portability. The cooler comes in a wide variety of colors and designs and is perfect for all kinds of situations and people.

Pros
  • Lots of exterior storage space
  • The strong and sturdy inner liner
  • Stylish with great design options
  • Can hold an impressive volume
Cons
  • Expensive
  • No padding on the shoulder strap
  • Zippers can be tricky to use
Click to Check Price on Amazon

MIER Adult Insulated Lunch Bag Tote

If you like to travel around and set up picnics in all kinds of locations, then this soft cooler is a great option. With all kinds of pockets and clever features, you will have plenty of room to carry cold food and drinks around.

The thick insulation and eco-friendly PEVA material in this cooler is completely leak-resistant. The insulation helps to maintain a consistently cool interior while offering some good padding and protection for the contents. The liner is also very easy to clean.

The front inner pocket can open out to become a drinks holder – perfect for picnics. There is also loads of extra external storage space in this cooler through all of the external pockets and compartments. The interior has an added mesh pocket as well.

The different handles and adjustable strap make this cooler easy and comfortable to carry. This is a really good option for picnics and food and drinks on the move.

Pros
  • Lots of extra pocket space
  • Has a drinks holder for 3 drinks
  • Well insulated
  • Spacious

 

Cons
  • Doesn’t stay cold as long as some other coolers
Click to Check Price on Amazon

Best Coolers Buying Guide

Carrying and Portability

When buying a soft cooler, you will probably want it for carrying your food and drinks to all kinds of places. This is why it is important to note how easy the product is to carry.

This can be determined by size, weight, and padding. If it is a big and bulky cooler, you may not want to buy it if you plan on doing lots of hiking. Also, be sure to check where the handles and straps are positioned, and if they offer different carrying options.

Insulation

The insulation of your cooler is what keeps the interior cold. The best soft coolers will have thick, layered insulation in order to maintain a consistent thermal temperature on the inside.

Many good soft coolers are insulated so that they can keep ice frozen for extended periods. Products with thinner insulation may only just keep your drinks cool for a shorter period. Be sure to check how long your cooler will stay cold for, and whether it can keep ice frozen for a length of time.

Outside Compartments and Pockets

Hard bodied coolers generally only have one main compartment. One of the benefits of using a soft cooler is that they tend to come with extra outside pockets and compartments for added storage.

If you will be using your cooler for a day trip, picnics, road trips or outdoor adventure, having the extra storage space can be a massive bonus. Dry goods, foods that don’t need to be kept cold, and small extras like keys and bottle-openers can all be stashed away here.

Volume

Capacity is a major factor of any soft sided cooler. Most coolers will measure this by liters, or how many cans it can fit. Bear in mind that you will probably need to top this up with ice as well.

If you need a cooler for your family or a group, then make sure it’s big enough. Smaller volume coolers, such as those that hold 6 or 12 cans, are perfect for trips to the beach or fishing. However, they may not be best for road trips or full picnics.

Exterior Material

The outer surface of your soft cooler makes a big difference when it comes to overall performance. The best soft coolers have an exterior that is waterproof and UV protected. This means that if it sits out in the sun, the internal temperature shouldn’t change too much.

Waterproof exteriors are good for any possible leakage, as well as trips to the beach or lake where it might get wet. If you will be going hiking or camping, make sure your cooler is durable enough.

Get Your Soft Sided Cooler

With the best soft cooler for you, your life can become a lot more fun. Whether you will be traveling, tailgating, going on road trips, picnics, hikes, or fishing trips, a great cooler will make all the difference.

There are so many different things that you can do with your cooler. Once you get the right one, you will soon realize just how often you will be taking it out and using it. Soft-sided coolers are products that everyone should have, and if you follow this guide then finding the best one for you won’t be tricky.

9 Total Score
The Top Ten Soft Coolers Available Right Now

A short buying guide and reviews of the ten best soft-sided coolers available on the internet at the moment.

Durability
8.5
Portability
8
Size
8
Insulation
9
0
PROS
  • Great insulation
  • Good pocket space
  • Easy to clean
CONS
  • Could be bigger
  • Not UV protected
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