Top 10 Backpack Coolers of 2020

Coolers have come a long way; gone are the days when you had to carry a massive case just so you can enjoy a drink and some snacks on your camping trip. There is a solution that will fit perfectly well on your back with comfortable straps and serve the same purpose.

We have carefully picked some of the best backpack coolers for you to carry food and beverage with much ease. They even come with multiple compartments so that you can categorize your food. In this article, we will walk you through what to look for when you are shopping for a backpack cooler and how to pick the best backpack cooler for you. Keep reading.

Why Should I Buy a Backpack Cooler?

Backpack coolers generally come with a large, insulated interior compartment. Two mesh compartments on the two sides, a zipper pocket in the front. All in all, there is a huge storage space in the modern Backpack Cooler s. They are comfortable to carry as they come with adjustable, padded straps and a carry handle on top. Let’s take a look at why you should buy a backpack cooler:

  • High Quality: Most of the backpack coolers that we have reviewed are made of high-quality material with a brilliant finish. They are likely to last you a long time. Good backpack coolers are also leakproof, so you can carry beverages without any worry. 

  • Convenient: As we have mentioned before, a backpack cooler comes with convenient carry handles and straps, distributing the weight of food and beverages evenly across your shoulder. 

  • Portable: Backpack Cooler s are very easy to carry - all you have to do is put them on your shoulder and walk out - which makes them super portable, this is what sets them apart from ice chests and regular coolers. You don’t need any extra hands to help you carry it to the trunk. 

  • Designed to Carry Cold Drinks and Food: Most of the backpack coolers are designed in a way that they are ideal for carrying cans, bottles, boxes of food, and more. A lot can be fit into one backpack cooler as they come with large storage space. You can enjoy your travel and even throw one or two bears your friend’s way every now and then.

  • Perfect Insulation: Large storage space is not even the best thing about a backpack cooler; it is that the beverage remains perfectly cold for a long time, thanks to the superior quality insulation of the modern backpack coolers. Depending on which model you choose, your backpack cooler can keep the food cold for as long as four days. Advanced technologies are incorporated with the coolers nowadays, offering high-density material, mold-resistance, UV resistance, and so much more.

Overview: Best Backpack Coolers of 2020

Product Image

Product Name

Features

Price Range

Buy Now

Coleman Soft Backpack Cooler

BPA-free

Features heat-welded seam

Affordable

$$

OAGear Backpack Cooler

Comes with a non-leak liner

Lightweight and evenly distributed

Comfortable, padded straps

$$

Tourit Lightweight Backpack Cooler

High-density insulation

Several compartments and pockets

Durable

$$

IceMule Pro Backpack Cooler

Large capacity

Highly functional material

Easy to carry

$$$

AO Backpack Cooler

Detachable shoulder straps

Heavy insulation

Leakproof material

$$

Giga Tent Backpack Cooler

Keeps drinks cold for as long as 24 hours

Stain and odor resistant

Can hold upto 18 cans

$$

Igloo Real Tree Backpack Cooler

High capacity

Fully insulated

Portable, easy to carry

$$

Oniva Insulated Backpack Cooler

Features mesh pockets on straps

Several useful pockets

Protected against leak

$$

Yeti Hopper Backpack Cooler

Made of high-density fabric

Features hydro lock zippers

$$

Hydro Flask Unbound Backpack Cooler

Multiple gear pockets

Smart insulation

Offers 5 years guarantee

$$

Top 10 Backpack Coolers (Review)

Best Overall

Coleman Soft Backpack Cooler

For many years now, Coleman has been the king of outdoors as they specialize in products that work brilliantly against the element and leave users satisfied after every use. 


Coleman Soft Backpack Cooler lives up to its name. There is no compromise with its insulation and build quality. The material that was used in production is BPA free, making it a hygienic choice for you.


It will make an ideal partner if you are going out to the beach or on a day’s trip to the wilderness. Your food will stay cold for the entire day thanks to the heat-welded treatment. You don’t even need to worry about leakage.


Besides a large storage compartment on the inside, there are mesh pockets on both sides and a bungee cord on the front that allows room for additional storage space. The food is also held tight due to the bungee cord, so there is no risk of a spill.

Pros

  • Hygienic material, BPA- and phthalate-free
  • There is an antimicrobial lining
  • Comes with large handle and adjustable shoulder straps

Cons

  • Bottom zipper leaks ice unless held properly

Runner Up

OAGear Backpack Cooler

If you are looking for something to serve your cooling needs while standing at a low price point, then you are in for a treat. OAGear Backpack Cooler makes an ideal choice for your short term cooling needs. 


OAGear is designed as a regular backpack but with some exciting surprises in stock. It has a large interior storage compartment, and mesh side pockets. There is also a front pocket for additional storage.


That is to say, there is no short of space to fit anything that you might need throughout the day. It can store up to 20 cans, excluding ice space. The design is absolutely hands-free and convenient to carry around with you all day.


The backpack is made with soft material, so if you are looking for something to carry on a hike this might not be the ideal choice. However, it will accompany you to a day’s trip to the beach, or a picnic at the park, even to your work. OAGear is one of the best backpack coolers in the market at this kind of price.

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Extremely affordable
  • Smart, ergonomic design

Cons

  • Not ideal for any longer than a day’s insulation
Tourit Lightweight Backpack Cooler

We have to say, we love Tourit Lightweight Backpack Cooler for what it is. Whether you need something for a road trip, or picnic, Tourit delivers to all kinds of outdoor activities. It will keep your snacks and drinks cold for over 16 hours with freeze packs, without any chance of leaking water. It is made of tough fabric, designed to last.


With one spacious compartment on the inside, two mesh pockets on both sides, two large front zipper pockets to make room for utensils, and one zipper pocket on the lid the product comes with enough space to store upto 30 cans, plus all your necessities. There is a beer opener attached with the strap as well. You can even carry it around for everyday use.

Pros

  • Weighs only 1.1 pounds, extremely lightweight
  • Features ventilate material at the back to keep your clothes from getting wet
  • Leak resistant

Cons

  • Some users have complained about the handle not being durable
IceMule Pro Backpack Cooler

What do we say to a highly efficient insulated dry-bag that comes with shoulder straps? That’s right, we greet it with excitement! IceMule has come up with a smart model for insulated coolers: one that comes with backpack straps.


There were no questioning IceMule’s coolers in the past, but now that they have introduced a highly convenient design to us, they have truly outdone themselves.  


Part of the charm is their minimalistic design. They use two layers of durable fabrics to keep the snacks and beverages safe and cool for an extended period of time. With tough yet flexible fabrics, the build quality of this backpack cooler is one of the best in the market.


You can even lock the bag in place thanks to its clever sternum straps. This backpack is available in three different sizes, so you can find one that will fit you best.

Pros

  • User friendly design
  • Available in a range of sizes, from large to XX-large
  • Long lasting insulation

Cons

  • Some users have found it to be bulky
AO Backpack Cooler

We have tried, tested, and loved this cooler backpack by AO coolers. We’ll tell you why. 


It's a backpack alright, but if you are ever in the mood for a carry bag, then it can be transformed into one. All you have to do is attach the side strap and voila! 


 The backpack cooler has a thick foam exterior that comes with a promise to keep the components cool for as long as 24 hours, and you can carry up to 18 cans on this thing. There are two zipper pockets on both sides and a big one on the front to make room for your necessities.

Pros

  • High quality material that comes with visual appeal
  • Its available in several colors
  • Water resistant
  • Extremely versatile

Cons

  • The product is a little short on ice life
Giga Tent Backpack Cooler

Gigatent has brought into the market a new and advanced large padded backpack cooler which happens to be fully insulated offering extra storage pockets along with adjustable shoulder straps to maximize your convenience. When it comes to reliable backpack coolers, Gigatent is a name you can trust. You can stay hydrated all day long on your hike in the woods; the cooler makes sure of it. 


It will store as many as 25 cans in its spacious interior compartment, and for you utensils and other necessities there are two mesh pockets on two sides, and a front zipper pocket.


The cooler also has a bungee cord to increase storage space as needed. Moreover, the adjustable padded shoulders make the backpack cooler highly comfortable, helping you to lift a heavy weight without much difficulty.

Pros

  • Easy to carry
  • Has enough space for all your necessities

Cons

  • It doesn't have a hard bottom to help the bag stand upright
Igloo Real Tree Backpack Cooler

Igloo needs very little introduction. They have made quite a name for themselves with outdoors products. If you like your backpack cooler with an appealing print coupled with quality and performance then we suggest you try out this fantastic offered by Igloo.


It is a high quality product at a reasonable price. There are several exterior pockets on it besides the large interior compartment, including two mesh side pockets, and front zipper pocket. It can hold up to 18 cans, plus ice, and of course, all your necessities.

Pros

  • Fully insulated interior
  • Comfortable to carry thanks to the adjustable padded straps

Cons

  • Not ideal for extended period of use
Oniva Insulated Backpack Cooler

If you are in the mood to go on a fishing trip, hike, or camping, you can pick an Oniva Insulated Backpack Cooler without any hesitation. It is in fact an upgraded version that overcame all the complaints and concerns that were raised previously. 


The backpack is divided into two major parts: the top air mesh section is designed especially for storing towels or wet clothes, and the lower section is protected with a Thermo Guard to keep your snacks and beverages on check.


It can hold up to 12 packs of large beers. Plus, there are two side pockets, and a zipper pocket in the front for extra storage. All in all, it is a perfect

Pros

  • Offers two separate compartments
  • It comes with a lifetime guarantee

Cons

  • The insulation compartment is not so sturdy
Yeti Hopper Backpack Cooler

This fantastic offering by Yeti is very boxy and sturdy, offering long hours of insulation, that too at a very low price range. As expected from Yeti, this backpack cooler is tough, durable as well as practical.


For your ease of use, there are two adjustable straps and a carry handle on top in case you want to share the weight with a friend. The hydrolock zipper on this thing keeps away leakage of any kind. And most importantly, the snacks and beverages remain cold for a long time thanks to the ColdCell insulation technology.


The interior of this backpack cooler is made of FDA approved food grade liner to maintain hygiene. As we have mentioned, the product is here to last for years to come, and in case anything goes wrong, the company has you covered.

Pros

  • Features a backpad to keep your back from getting wet due to condensation
  • Weather proof, mildew resistant, UV resistant
  • Sternum straps lock the backpack in one position

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
Hydro Flask Unbound Backpack Cooler

Hydro Flask Unbound Backpack Cooler makes a great choice if you need something for a quick trip to the beach or to carry snacks to work. It has a chic design and a stiff, durable exterior. 


The product has a thick insulation as does its competitors. We love the promising watertight zipper that these cooler bags offer; you can rest assured that there will be no leakage whatsoever. The liner is BPA free and FDA food grade, so you can put all the health concerns to rest. The storage space ensures a healthy environment for your snacks. 


The backpack cooler is built to last. The zippers are sturdy as well; able to withstand all the tugging we throw their way. Word of durability is confirmed by the thousands of reviewers who have used this product first hand. The manufacturer offers a solid 5 years warranty on the product.

Pros

  • Easy to use, and portable
  • Strong, leak proof zippers

Cons

  • The product is quite expensive

Backpack Cooler Buying Guide 

You need to take close consideration of a few things before you purchase a backpack cooler. 

Purpose 

Cooler bags serve many purposes - from carrying your lunch to work to carrying beer to a beach - there are tons that cooler bags can do.  You will have to ask yourself, what do I this cooler need bag for, before you make the purchase because which bag you get depends largely on what purpose do you need it to serve. 

When you are going for outdoor activities that are time and heat sensitive, say hunting, fishing, or hiking, then we suggest you get something more specialized. Whereas when buying a backpack cooler that is intended to go on a family hike, you should focus on the weight and comfortability of the product. 

Chill Time 

Advanced technology is incorporated with modern-day backpack coolers. And each model comes with perks of its own. To maximize your experience you need to address a very important question before you make the purchase, that is, how long do I need the food to remain cold?

If you are planning on going on a camping trip where you will be out in the wilderness for the whole weekend, then you will need a backpack with a strong exterior and heavy insulation. On the other hand, if you need something for everyday use, maybe to carry lunch to the office, then a lightweight product with moderate insulation will do just fine. 

Capacity 

Believe it or not, the market is full of diverse backpack coolers, ranging from small to large capacity; you will find something fitting for sure. Whether you need a cooler for your backyard picnic or one to carry beer for all your friends at the beach - there is a wide range of max load capacity choices in the market for you.

The size of the bag, of course, is going to affect the weight. So you will need to put some thought into it before deciding on a backpack cooler that serves your purpose. 

Durability

All the backpack coolers that we have listed make a tough build and are likely to last for years to come. This is an important point to consider when you are buying a backpack cooler (or any product, for that matter).

You should keep in mind that high-density materials are tear-proof and are less likely to wear out anytime soon, while ripstop materials will keep your straps intact even when they are carrying a heavy weight. These materials are especially practical if you aren’t expecting to upgrade in the near future.

Leakage 

One of the major problems that low-quality backpack coolers are subject to is leakage. Backpack coolers are expected to carry a significant amount of ice inside to help keep the food and beverages cool. But some break the promise and start leaking as soon as the ice melts. That could ruin your entire day’s plan along with the food, of course.

Be sure to buy a backpack cooler that has been reviewed and tested against leakage, especially if you are looking for something for day-long use. Most of the backpack coolers that we have reviewed are leakage resistant. 

Cooler Insulation Type 

This is one of the most important factors that you need to consider. The main purpose of a backpack cooler is to keep food and beverages cool, and that purpose is served by the insulation type of the bag. There are many options when it comes to insulation type, foam and polyester are two of the most common ones. 

Foam is less expensive and works well if you are looking to hold the cool of your food for a few hours, whereas, polyester comes with a commitment to a longer period of insulation. It’s primarily a type of plastic, which makes it lightweight and cheap. Whatever the material may be, as a rule of thumb, the thicker the wall the better the insulation will be.

Bottom Line 

To sum up, a good backpack cooler is essential to enjoy a trip outdoors or a wholesome lunch during work-break. You need a reliable backpack cooler that will meet your expectations and serve your purpose. We have carefully tested and reviewed some of the best backpack coolers that are available in today’s market. Hope this will help you choose the right one.

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