Are you planning an outdoor adventure and need a reliable way to keep your food and drinks cool? Look no further than a backpack cooler! In this guide, we’ll explore the best backpack coolers on the market, their features, and what to consider before making a purchase. Whether you’re planning a hike, camping trip, or beach day, a backpack cooler can make all the difference in keeping your refreshments cold and accessible. So, let’s dive in and discover the best backpack coolers for your next adventure!
When it comes to finding the best backpack cooler, there are a few important factors to consider to ensure that you get a product that meets your needs. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:
- Size: The size of the backpack cooler is an important consideration based on how much food and drink you plan to carry. If you’re going on a day trip, a smaller cooler might suffice, but for longer trips, you might want to consider a larger size.
- Insulation: The effectiveness of the insulation is critical for keeping your food and drinks cold. Look for backpack coolers with thick insulation layers, and make sure that they are made of high-quality materials that are designed to keep the cold in.
- Durability: Backpack coolers are designed to be used in a variety of outdoor settings, so it’s important to choose a product that can withstand the elements. Look for backpack coolers made with durable materials that can handle rough terrain and harsh weather.
- Portability: A good backpack cooler should be easy to carry, so look for a product that has comfortable shoulder straps and a sturdy handle. Some backpack coolers also come with additional features, such as wheels or backpack straps, to make transportation even easier.
- Waterproofing: You’ll want a backpack cooler that is waterproof or at least water-resistant to protect your food and drinks from the elements. Make sure the cooler has a high-quality zipper that can keep moisture out and prevent leaks.
- Ice retention: The best backpack coolers can keep ice frozen for days, which is important if you’re planning on taking a multi-day trip. Look for coolers with thick walls and good insulation to ensure that your ice lasts as long as possible.
- Compartments: Finally, consider how many compartments you need. Some backpack coolers have a single compartment, while others have multiple compartments for organization. Think about your specific needs and choose a backpack cooler with compartments that work for you.
By keeping these factors in mind when shopping for a backpack cooler, you can find a product that meets your needs and keeps your food and drinks cold no matter where you go.
Types of Backpack Coolers
When it comes to backpack coolers, there are a few different types to choose from. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the right one for you will depend on your specific needs. Here are some of the most common types of backpack coolers:
- Soft-sided backpack coolers: Soft-sided backpack coolers are typically made from durable, water-resistant fabric and are lightweight and easy to carry. They can be collapsed for easy storage, making them a great option for day trips or picnics. However, they don’t always offer the same level of insulation as hard-sided coolers, so they may not keep your food and drinks cold for as long.
- Hard-sided backpack coolers: Hard-sided backpack coolers are made from rigid materials, such as plastic or metal, and offer excellent insulation to keep your food and drinks cold. They’re generally more durable than soft-sided coolers and are a good choice for longer trips or outdoor adventures. However, they can be heavier and bulkier than soft-sided coolers, which can make them harder to carry.
- Hybrid backpack coolers: Hybrid backpack coolers combine the features of both soft-sided and hard-sided coolers. They typically have a rigid, insulated bottom to keep your food and drinks cold, with a soft-sided top that is more flexible and easier to pack. Hybrid backpack coolers are a good compromise between the durability of a hard-sided cooler and the portability of a soft-sided cooler.
- Wheeled backpack coolers: Wheeled backpack coolers are a great option if you need to transport a lot of food and drinks over longer distances. They typically have a telescoping handle and wheels, making them easy to pull along behind you. However, they can be bulkier and heavier than other types of backpack coolers, and they may not be suitable for rough terrain or uneven surfaces.
By considering the different types of backpack coolers and their pros and cons, you can choose a product that meets your specific needs and helps you keep your food and drinks cold on your outdoor adventures.
Top Picks for Best Backpack Coolers
Whether you're planning a day in the great outdoors with friends or an overnight camping adventure, the Hopper BackFlip 24 is the perfect choice for keeping your food and drinks cold. This high-quality cooler comes with all the features you need to keep your refreshments cool and ready to enjoy. Plus, it doubles as a comfortable backpack that makes it easy to transport your items wherever you go. The unique bottom zipper design also allows you to switch from a backpack to a soft-sided cooler in seconds, so there's no need to worry about lugging around heavy items all day long. Investing in the Hopper BackFlip 24 is guaranteed to enhance your outdoor experience and make sure that all of your snacks and drinks are kept at their optimal temperature!
- Durable outer shell
- Great insulation
- Adequate storage
- No pockets
- 19.8 Liters
- Closed cell insulation
- Holds 20 cans with 2:1 ice ratio
Outdoors enthusiasts, look no further than the TOURIT Backpack Cooler 30 Cans for your next adventure! This high-quality backpack is designed to provide superior insulation, keeping food hot or cold for up to 16 hours. It's perfect for carrying all of your supplies with its spacious pockets and adjustable strap, plus a padded back panel which makes carrying heavy loads comfortable. Plus, it's leakproof and easy to clean, so you don't have to worry about any messes spoiling your trip.
- Easy to clean
- Included bottle opener on strap
- Pouches are fairly slim
- Leak proof liner
- 30 Can capacity
- Multiple pockets
The Everlasting Comfort Insulated cooler is the perfect solution for all your cooler needs. It’s large enough to hold 54 cans and 4 pounds of ice, but also has side pockets that can fit up to 4 bottles of wine. This means it’s great for tailgates, picnics, camping trips, or any other outdoor activity! Plus, it keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours so you don't have to worry about them getting warm while you're out and about!
- Hard leak proof liner
- Multiple compartments
- 24 Hours of cooling
- Fairly heavy once loaded
- 54 Can capacity
This lightweight, yet durable bag by TOURIT can comfortably hold up to 28 cans and boasts high-density insulation material as well as a leak-proof liner to keep your drinks cold all day long. Plus, it comes with several interior pockets to help you stay organized on the go. Whether you're camping, trekking, or attending a summer barbecue, the TOURIT-insulated backpack cooler is sure to make your outdoor experience even more enjoyable.
- Large capacity for cans or lunch
- Ice melts relatively quick
- 28 Can capacity
- 16 Hour cold retention
- Stylish outer design
Pack all your necessities with ease and style with the MATEIN backpack! This bag features a spacious main compartment, an insulated cooler compartment that can hold up to 16 cans of drinks or 10 cans of dry items, and dual compartments to help you keep clean and dirty items separate. Furthermore, there's a hidden pocket in the back for added storage capacity! And if you’re after convenience, this bag has adjustable shoulder straps and a handle for easy carrying!
- Durable seams
- Half and half design is amazing
- Not 100% leakproof
- 26 Can capacity
- Cooler compartments
- Interior liner
Equip yourself for your next adventure with this quality insulated soft backpack! Lightweight and leak-proof, it's made with multiple pockets inside and out, so you can store all of your belongings and still have plenty of room. Moreover, it's equipped with easy-to-adjust shoulder straps to fit users of any height. With its portability and convenience, the LUNCIA-insulated soft cooler will become your new best friend in no time!
- Multi use
- Comfortable all day wear
- Nice interior
- On the smaller side
- Padded back
- Leak proof liner
- Breathable mesh
For your summertime needs, the SEEHONOR insulated and leakproof cooler backpack features a capacity of 45 Cans! Crafted from high-quality materials and with extra pockets for whatever you might need to carry around, this cooler backpack not only helps keep food cold or hot for hours - it's also lightweight and comfortable on the go!
- 100% Satisfaction guarantee
- Padded straps
- Great insulation
- Not great for long term ice storage
- 45 Can capacity
- Multiple pockets
Keep your food and drinks cold no matter where you're going with the TUGUAN double-decker backpack cooler! This bag features two compartments, one that keeps your items cool with ice packs and one that can hold up to 16 cans. Plus, it's made of waterproof fabric, making it durable and long-lasting. And best of all, it's lightweight and portable so you can conveniently take it wherever you go!
- Fit hot and cold items
- Durable zipper
- Quality materials
- Bottom comes with no liner
- 16 Can capacity
- Double decker design
FORICH's soft cooler is an awesome combo backpack that is perfect for keeping your food and drinks cold while on the go! It's lightweight yet durable and features multiple pockets to keep you organized. You can use it as an everyday bag or take it with you on camping trips and other outdoor adventures as well. Furthermore, its leak-proof design keeps everything inside cool and dry even if the bag gets turned upside down. And don't forget - it also comes with a built-in beer opener so you never have to worry about forgetting one when heading out! Highly recommended!
- Many pockets
- Large capacity with the option to fit 4 wine bottles
- Lacks a plastic inner for support
- 30 Can capacity
- No tear material
- Quality shoulder straps
The OlarHike is the perfect choice for anyone who wants to keep their food and drinks cold or hot. It’s designed with inner insulation to thicken foam and a leakproof PEVA liner that will keep your items fresh all day long. You can drink cold beer and eat fresh snacks or fruits anywhere anytime, with your friends or family. With just one main roomy storage compartment, there are 2 zippers with string, and 2 sides mesh pockets, which are very convenient for some small things like wallet/phone/keys, etc., it also has adjustable shoulder straps so you can carry it without hassle also.
- Lots of room
- Easy to clean
- Comfortable straps
- Zippers are lacking
- 30 Can capacity
- 16 Hour cold storage time
- Many compartments
Backpack Coolers Brands
When it comes to backpack coolers, there are several brands that have established themselves as leaders in the market. Here are some of the top backpack cooler brands to consider:
- YETI: YETI is a well-known brand that offers a range of high-quality outdoor products, including backpack coolers. Their backpack coolers are made from durable, water-resistant materials and offer excellent insulation to keep your food and drinks cold. They’re also designed with features like comfortable shoulder straps and multiple compartments for easy organization.
- Engel: Engel is another well-respected brand that offers a variety of outdoor products, including backpack coolers. Their backpack coolers are known for their durability and insulation capabilities, and they come in a range of sizes to meet different needs. They also offer features like removable liners for easy cleaning and organization.
- Igloo: Igloo is a brand that has been around for decades and is known for its high-quality coolers. Their backpack coolers are no exception, with features like thick insulation, durable construction, and multiple compartments. They’re also available in a variety of sizes and styles, making it easy to find one that meets your specific needs.
- Hydro Flask: Hydro Flask is a brand that is known for its high-quality water bottles and other outdoor gear. They recently introduced a backpack cooler that is designed to keep your food and drinks cold for up to 48 hours. Their backpack cooler is made from durable, waterproof materials and features comfortable shoulder straps and multiple compartments for easy organization.
- Coleman: Coleman is a brand that is known for its affordable outdoor products, including backpack coolers. Their backpack coolers offer good insulation and come in a variety of sizes and styles to meet different needs. They also offer features like adjustable shoulder straps and multiple compartments for easy organization.
- Arctic Zone: Arctic Zone is a newer brand that has quickly established itself as a leader in the backpack cooler market. Their backpack coolers are designed to be lightweight and easy to carry, while still offering excellent insulation. They also offer features like adjustable shoulder straps and multiple compartments for easy organization.
By considering these top backpack cooler brands, you can find a product that meets your specific needs and helps you keep your food and drinks cold on your outdoor adventures.
Care and Maintenance
To ensure that your backpack cooler lasts as long as possible and continues to keep your food and drinks cold, it’s important to take proper care of it. Here are some tips for caring for and maintaining your backpack cooler:
- Clean it regularly: After each use, it’s important to clean your backpack cooler thoroughly. Use warm, soapy water and a soft cloth or sponge to clean the interior and exterior of the cooler. Be sure to rinse it thoroughly and let it air dry completely before storing it.
- Store it properly: When you’re not using your backpack cooler, store it in a cool, dry place. Avoid leaving it in direct sunlight or in a hot car, as this can damage the insulation and reduce its effectiveness.
- Keep it organized: To prevent damage to the insulation and other components of your backpack cooler, it’s important to keep it organized when you’re using it. Use the designated compartments and pockets to keep your food and drinks separate and prevent them from shifting around during transport.
- Avoid overfilling it: While it can be tempting to fill your backpack cooler to the brim, doing so can actually reduce its effectiveness. Overfilling the cooler can compress the insulation and make it less effective at keeping your food and drinks cold.
- Check for damage: Before each use, inspect your backpack cooler for any signs of damage or wear and tear. Look for tears or holes in the fabric, cracks in the insulation, or other signs of damage. If you notice any damage, repair it as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
By following these tips for care and maintenance, you can ensure that your backpack cooler lasts as long as possible and continues to keep your food and drinks cold on your outdoor adventures.
Pros and Cons of Backpack Coolers
Backpack coolers are a convenient way to keep your food and drink cold on outdoor adventures. However, like any product, they come with both pros and cons. Here are some of the key advantages and disadvantages of using a backpack cooler:
- Portability: One of the biggest advantages of backpack coolers is their portability. They’re designed to be carried on your back, which makes them easy to transport on hikes, picnics, and other outdoor activities.
- Hands-free: With a backpack cooler, you can keep your hands free for other activities, like fishing, hiking, or playing outdoor games.
- Comfortable: Backpack coolers are designed with comfortable shoulder straps and padding, which makes them comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
- Versatile: Backpack coolers come in a variety of sizes and styles, making them versatile enough to use for a range of activities, from day hikes to weekend camping trips.
- Efficient: Backpack coolers are designed with efficient insulation, which helps keep your food and drinks cold for longer periods of time.
- Limited storage: Backpack coolers typically have less storage space than traditional coolers, which can limit the amount of food and drinks you can bring on your adventure.
- Heavy: When fully loaded, backpack coolers can be heavy and difficult to carry, especially for extended periods of time.
- Limited accessibility: Unlike traditional coolers, which have a large opening, backpack coolers can be more difficult to access, especially if you have to remove it from your back to access the contents.
- Limited insulation: While backpack coolers are designed with efficient insulation, they may not be as effective as traditional coolers at keeping your food and drinks cold for extended periods of time.
- Price: Backpack coolers can be more expensive than traditional coolers, which can be a disadvantage for those on a tight budget.
By considering the pros and cons of using a backpack cooler, you can determine whether it’s the right choice for your specific needs and preferences.
Meet Eric McGough, a seasoned adventurer and military veteran who traded his tech career for a life of outdoor exploration and freedom. He plans to travel the world, discover new adventures, and share information about great destinations, gear, and more on the Shaman Mountain Sports and Outdoors Blog.