Best Backpack Coolers of 2023

Kaylen Carrillo
  Jan 30, 2023 11:55 AM

We've selected the best backpack coolers for outdoor experiences, whether you're vehicle camping, biking to a neighboring park, fishing, hiking, or whitewater rafting. The article is compiled from the satisfaction of customers who have experienced and used the products. Please see below for details

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Overview

A backpack cooler may make a heavy haul easier, whether going to the beach, park, or mountain top. Even with wheels, hard coolers are challenging to transport in some situations, such as beaches where they get buried in the sand, rugged terrain, or any location more than a few hundred yards from your home or vehicle. Hard coolers do an excellent job of keeping drinks and food cold, though. 

Soft backpack coolers provide an ergonomic option that is available in a surprising variety of forms. To assist you in choosing the best backpack coolers between a thousand best coolers for you, we put the best options to the test in our Brooklyn lab and out in the field, delving into the benefits of their insulation and extras (as well as discussing the value and what activities they'd be suitable for).

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Top Picks

Check out our list of Best Backpack Coolers suggested by Experts.

Reviews

1. Yeti Hopper M20 Soft Backpack Cooler

Yeti introduced the Hopper M20 Backpack Cooler this spring to replace its famed Hopper BackFlip 24 Backpack Cooler. The main distinction? The new soft backpack cooler from Yeti does not have a zipper. The cooler's top is now secured with clips and magnet technology. The difficulty of opening and closing the zipper on Yeti coolers and other models with a similar design is a common complaint. With this swap, Yeti must have heard that as well.

The M20 still has excellent insulating capabilities while having a fold, magnet, and clip closing. In the M20, our testers placed a small bag of ice along with a few cold beverages, and in temperatures around 70 degrees, it took over 30 hours for all of the ice to melt. Comparing the M20 to its predecessor, it is slightly lighter and sleeker. We also appreciate the M20's somewhat lower price.

Pros

  • Excellent retention of cold and ice.

  • Waterproof.

  • Sturdy.

  • Enhanced, elegant design.

Cons

  • No extra storage pockets.

2. IceMule Boss 30 Liter Backpack Cooler

Like the Yeti Hopper BackFlip, IceMule's Boss is durable, pricey, and made of high-quality materials. Even though the pack retains cold and ice well (more on that in a moment), our testers praised how effortless it was to carry despite its size. One tester remarked, "This is the best huge cooler for hauling." The back padding and breathability of the cooler, as well as how the straps are neither too thin nor too bulky, were praised by our testers. The breast and waist straps were also well-liked. This backpack's ergonomics, which include a dual-zone suspension, have been highlighted by IceMule.

Compared to the other coolers we evaluated, the Boss has a few extra features we enjoy, such as extra pockets and hooks for accessories you don't want within the primary cooler. We also appreciate the cooler's waterproofness.

It was influential in maintaining cold temperatures and ice, and 24 hours after placing ice in the cooler, there was still some solid ice inside. But after 24 hours, IceMule's Boss had a temperature increase of roughly 19 degrees compared to Yeti's Hopper BackFlip's 7-degree gain. We recommend the Yeti Hopper BackFlip if ice and cold retention are your top priorities and you don't mind only having one main compartment. The IceMule Boss is the better option if you value organization and a comfortable carry.

Pros

  • Waterproof.

  • Easy to clean.

  • Perfect for carrying.

Cons

  • It's a little difficult to see items in the main compartment.

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3. Igloo Reactor 24-Can Backpack

The Reactor backpack cooler from Igloo performs almost as well as coolers costing hundreds of dollars more. After 24 hours, the Reactor had volumes of solid ice comparable to those of the IceMule Boss and IceMule Pro in terms of ice and cold-retention. And whereas the inside temperature of the IceMule Pro rose by about 19 degrees after we filled it with ice, the internal temperature of the Reactor only increased by about 10 degrees.

Our testers also praised the pack's comfort and ease of use; however, they did express a desire for a waist strap to be included to help evenly distribute the load. The testers found it difficult to access the waterproof zipper, but it was easier than other coolers. In our lab testing, the abrasion-resistant material performed admirably, and the waterproof material prevented liquids from entering or exiting the pack.

Pros

  • Fit easily 24 cans.

  • Easy to carry.

  • Comfortable.

  • Very durable.

Cons

  • Would prefer a waist strap to better disperse the weight.

4. Pelican Dayventure Backpack Cooler

One of the coolers we evaluated in our Brooklyn lab, the Pelican Dayventure Backpack Cooler, exhibited some of the highest cold-retention. The inside temperature had only risen by around 2.5 degrees in the twenty-four hours since it had been filled with ice and beverage cans. Pelican uses extensive closed-cell insulation, comparable to other high-end soft and backpack coolers, to improve its ability to maintain cold temperatures.

This pack's two pockets, which we particularly enjoy, make it perfect for wilderness camping trips. Due to its complete waterproofness and heavy-duty puncture-resistant exterior, we would have no qualms about putting this on a boat, kayak, or SUP.

Although this pack's twin-compartment organization is excellent, our smaller testers didn't enjoy how big and hefty the straps were when worn. They also regarded the pack's height to be a little excessive. However, this bag is still ideal for an adventurer who wants to carry just one pack while carrying food, beverages, and equipment separately.

Pros

  • Outstanding cold retention.

  • Top and bottom compartments provide good organizing.

  • Sturdy and long-lasting exterior materials.

Cons

  • For tiny testers, the cooler's length and height are a little too large.

  • Also too large and bulky for smaller testers.

5. Carhartt 2-in-1 Insulated Cooler Backpack

The Carhartt 2-in-1 Insulated Cooler is what you need if you want a backpack and a cooler rather than a backpack cooler. The backpack cooler from Carhartt has two compartments: an insulated bottom that can hold up to 12 cans and a top that can hold additional goods you might need to bring with you on a hike, to school, or the office. Bonus: There are a ton of pockets and storage spaces for additional items.

To increase the longevity of this pack, Carhartt combines its traditional 1200-denier polyester and some exclusive durable water repellent. Although it didn't perform as well at retaining cold and ice as other packs we tested, our testers praised how cozy and simple it was to carry. Additionally, they liked the cooler pack's straightforward style and backpack-like feel. The seeping through the zipper is one of this pack's biggest problems. Our testers observed that if you use loose ice, which inevitably melts, this pack cannot be turned upside down. Using ice packs is, of course, the most excellent workaround for this.

Pros

  • Outstanding cold retention.

  • Top and bottom compartments provide good organizing.

  • Sturdy and long-lasting exterior materials.

  • Affordable.

Cons

  • Cooler and storage compartments are separate.

The Best Backpack Coolers

TOP Choice
1
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    9.2
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    RTIC
TOP Choice
2
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    9.0
  • Brand
    TOURIT
TOP Choice
3
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    10.0
  • Brand
    COLD BASTARD COOLERS
4
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    9.4
  • Brand
    IceMule
5
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    8.6
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    COHO
6
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    9.4
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    Powderhound Products
7
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    9.4
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    TOURIT
8
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    9.4
  • Brand
    TOURIT
9
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    9.2
  • Brand
    Swig Life
10
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    9.2
  • Brand
    LTINVECK
11
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    9.0
  • Brand
    Maelstrom
12
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    9.0
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    TUGUAN
13
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    9.0
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    Lyweem
14
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    9.0
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    SEEHONOR
15
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    9.0
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    Coleman
16
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    9.0
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    AKASO
17
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    8.8
  • Brand
    Everfun
18
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    8.8
  • Brand
    Everfun
19
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    8.6
  • Brand
    RTIC

Last update on 2023-01-30 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

FAQs

Q: As the ice melts, will water flow out?

The answer varies from pack to pack, but if characteristics that stop water from seeping out (or getting in, for that matter) aren't included in the product description, there's a strong possibility it will leak. The features include a waterproof cooler compartment, watertight zippers, and sealed seams.

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Q: How ought a backpack cooler to be maintained and kept?

The method for cleaning a typical hard or soft cooler is the same. Frequently, washing and drying the food before storing it is sufficient. Consider using disinfectant wipes if there is more than just water to be cleaned out after properly washing with water and soap, then rinsing to remove debris.

Q: How many beverages will a backpack cooler keep?

Once more, this mainly depends on the pack's size and dimensions, but it also depends on the size and shape of the drinks being transported, as well as the ideal ice-to-drink ratio. Some cooler makers will provide predicted drink counts based on the suggested ice-to-drink ratio, often 2-to-1.

Consider this value to be significantly lower when accounting for ice if the product description includes the capacity of numerous cans without specifying the quantity of ice. For instance, if employing a 2-to-1 ice to beverages ratio, a cooler that can store 24 cans without ice will likely only contain eight cans. If the product description leaves any questions about capacities, try contacting the manufacturer directly for clarification or locate the product locally to determine the capacity firsthand.

Final Thought

So we have just introduced to you the top 19 Best Backpack Coolers that is loved and trusted by many people. These are suggestions from our experts' experience. Choosing the right product for your family depends on many factors, such as finances, needs, etc. So, consider carefully before buying and ask your loved ones for advice if you have any doubts.