13 Best Backpack Coolers You Can Buy In 2021

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A cooler is always a blessing be it at a park, a hike, fishing, or the beach. But it can get a bit tedious if you have to lug or pull it along, and it may not always be practical in certain terrains like the sand or mountains. A backpack cooler offers the perfect solution to this situation and can make all your travels and expeditions a lot more enjoyable.

They give all the insulation you need and can be carried conveniently on your shoulders, rather than carrying them with one arm or rolling them. There are a variety of designs and features that promise you a cold drink or hot food, and you have to eventually decide what works best for you. We hope our review of the 13 best backpack coolers will help you find exactly what you need and add a lot of comfort and convenience to your trips.

13 Best Backpack Coolers

1. Tourit Backpack Cooler – Black

Stylishly designed, this insulated cooler backpack is made of durable and waterproof 600D Oxford with high density foam for insulation, and a leak-proof liner to keep food hot or cold for 16 hours. Measuring 13 x 7.5 x 15.8 inches and weighing just 1.1 pounds, this lightweight cooler can hold up to 30 cans with a 330 ml capacity. The main compartment is very roomy, and also features 2 large pockets with zips in front for utensils, 2 mesh pockets on the side for bottles, a pocket with a zip on the lid, and a beer opener and mesh pocket on the strap for your phone. It’s incredibly convenient to use while camping, hiking, picnics and road trips.

PROS:

  • Versatile
  • Adjustable padded shoulder straps
  • Easy-to-clean
  • Heat welded seams
  • Ventilable exterior material
  • Can maintain temperatures below 15℃

CONS:

  • Some feel that it could be more leak-proof

2. Coleman Soft Cooler Backpack

Measuring 19.38 x 14.76 x 1.78 inches, this smart looking soft backpack cooler can carry up to 28 cans. The main compartment is well insulated and keeps its contents cool and as it features heat welded seams, it’s completely leak-proof so you don’t have to worry about melted ice leaking out. Its padded straps that can be adjusted, and large side handles make carrying this backpack extremely comfortable even if fully loaded. Its multiple outside pockets can be used to store things that do not need their temperature controlled. It also features a large pocket in the front that makes it convenient to access cutlery, napkins, or other accessories.

PROS:

  • Antimicrobial liner
  • Flexible plastic liner
  • Easy to carry
  • Extra padding at waist and back

CONS:

  • The pockets on the side could be bigger.

3. Forich Soft Cooler Backpack – Watermelon Red

This attractive and versatile backpack cooler is an ideal travel companion be it for camping, fishing, or hiking. This insulated backpack has a PEVA liner that is leak-proof and keeps things hot or cold for hours together. The lining is of extremely superior quality, and is on all sides including the top. Measuring 17 x 12 x 8 inches, it has a capacity of 30 cans. The main compartment can be used for drinks and food, and a large pocket with a zipper in the front for plates and cutlery. Crafted with sturdy football pattern Oxford material, it’s waterproof and lightweight, and doesn’t scratch or rip easily. Its shoulder straps can be adjusted, and its padded back and ergonomic design make it extremely comfortable.

PROS:

  • Versatile
  • Beer opener on the shoulder strap
  • Breathable back panel
  • Horizontal leak proof zipper
  • Zip and mesh pocket inside
  • Zipped pocket for cellphone
  • Premium quality zippers
  • 2 side mesh pockets for bottles
  • Insulated zipper pocket on the lid
  • Easy-to-clean

CONS:

  • The outside is not waterproof.

4. Tourit Backpack Cooler – Dark Gray

Comprising waterproof Oxford nylon material with high density foam for insulation, and a leak-proof PEVA liner, this backpack cooler is both lightweight and durable. Measuring 15.8 x 11.8 x 7 inches, this large cooler bag weighs just 1.6 pounds, and has a capacity to hold approximately 28 cans. It features a zipper closure and can keep food and drinks cold for about 16 hours. It consists of the main storage compartment which is very spacious, 2 large pockets at the front to keep cutlery and utensils, a pocket with a zipper for snacks, 2 mesh pockets on the side for bottles, and 2 straps in front to hold a picnic mat. Your perfect companion for picnics, treks, and hikes!

PROS:

  • BPA-free
  • Heat welded seams
  • Breathable exterior material
  • Perfect for most outdoor activities

CONS:

  • Tends to fall over when set down

5. Carhartt 2-in-1 Insulated Cooler Backpack – Brown

This smart looking 2-in-1 waterproof backpack cooler features a base compartment that’s insulated so that your food and drinks maintain their temperature, and can fit in about 12 cans with an ice pack and maintain their temperature for about 24 hours. The  larger main compartment is perfect for snacks and accessories, while the front pocket with a zipper, and 2 mesh side pockets can be used to store bottles, cellphones, and other items.  Measuring 12.5 x 17.75 x 8 inches, and weighing 1.5 pounds, it features a Carhartt logo patch, and is ideal for picnics, camping, hiking, and field trips. Crafted with heavy duty poly, and an effective water repellent, you don’t have to worry about leaks and can use it as roughly as you want.

PROS:

  • Features a key fob
  • Easy-to-carry
  • Extremely durable
  • Features YKK zippers

CONS:

  • Some feel it should have a structure to hold its shape

6. Smiler+ Insulated Cooler Backpack – Gray

This insulated cooler backpack can really pack it in with its capacity to hold 49 cans in the main compartment which is leak-proof, while the upper part can hold warm food and other things. With a thickness of 8 mm EPE foam, seamless stitching, and heat welded seams, the insulation is effective for 12 hours. The backpack cooler is constructed with heavy duty nylon that is extremely durable and wear-resistant. This comfortable and sturdy backpack has 2 large pockets in the front with zippers for small plates and cutlery, 2 mesh pockets on the side which are ideal for 4 bottles, and a mesh pocket on the strap for a cellphone. It is a perfect companion for various outdoor activities and will add to the pleasure and comfort of your trip.

PROS:

  • Versatile
  • Lightweight
  • Easy-to-clean
  • Horizontal leak-proof zippers
  • Wide adjustable straps
  • 20 mm breathable padding
  • Bottle opener on strap
  • Collapsible structure
  • Keeps food fresh

CONS:

  • Some feel it could be more leak-proof

7. Matein Cooler Backpack – Gray

This durable and waterproof backpack cooler has a leak-proof, thickened PEVA lining and measures 12 x 7 x 17.3 inches. It has dual compartmentsㅡ a main leak-proof, 8 mm EPE foam insulated compartment for drinks and ice packs, and an upper compartment for other things. It features a padded shoulder strap and handle, as well as a bottle opener. Though lightweight, it’s incredibly sturdy and is resistant to scratches, tears, and rips. There are mesh pads at the back that are breathable, and adjustable waist and shoulder straps that make carrying it extremely comfortable. In addition, it also has a large front pocket with a zipper for plates and cutlery, 2 small pockets for accessories, and 2 large mesh pockets on the side for 2 bottles.

PROS:

  • Versatile
  • Heat welded seams
  • Water repellent Oxford fabric exterior
  • Bottle opener on the strap

CONS:

  • Some feel the stitching of the straps could be more durable

8. Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Backpack Cooler – Blue

This deep freeze backpack cooler has incredible insulation and features a Therma-Flect radiant heat barrier so that heat doesn’t get absorbed, but is instead reflected. 3 layers of thick Super Foam keep your drinks cool for hours together. It has an effective leak-proof lining with Microban that prevents stains and odors, and is also easier to clean. It has breathable mesh panels at the back and padded straps which can be adjusted. It measures 10.5 x 7.5 x 16.5 inches, can hold up to 24 cans and can keep ice for up to 2 days. Extremely durable, it’s crack, puncture, and abrasion-resistant. It comprises an insulated front compartment, and 3 pockets, one on top and 2 on the side, to hold other accessories.

PROS:

  • Rhino-Tech exterior
  • Water-resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Interior dimensions 9.5 x 5.5 x 14.5 inches

CONS:

  • Zipper is not leak-proof

9. Seehonor Insulated Cooler Backpack – Black

Plan your outings with this durable nylon backpack cooler with a capacity of holding 45 cans. Measuring 14.6 x 17.8 x 7.9 inches, this insulated backpack cooler keeps food warm or cold for up to 12 hours. It’s constructed with high quality 600D Oxford fabric, polyethylene insulation, and eco-friendly PEVA lining. It features a main storage compartment for food and drinks at the bottom, a spacious insulated compartment at the top, 3 pockets with zippers in the front, 2 large mesh pockets on the side which have a strap above them for securing items. This lightweight, soft backpack cooler weighs just 1.66 pounds, and has an ergonomic design with padded shoulder straps that can be adjusted and padded sections on the back for comfort and ease of carrying.

PROS:

  • Leak-proof
  • Waterproof
  • Seamless hot pressing
  • High density foam
  • Longitudinal zipper design
  • Bottle opener on the zipper

CONS:

  • Some feel that it could be more leak-proof

10. Rockbros Backpack Cooler

This soft, insulated cooler backpack can hold up to 36 cans and is ideal for outdoor use like fishing, hiking, and camping. It features airtight zippers to prevent leaking and to maintain the insulation. It features serrated and T-shape slider zippers that open and close smoothly. There is double-sided waterproof material on both the surface and lining. The insulation is effective for up to 48 hours under conducive weather conditions. The inner lining is made of high density foam for insulation, while the interior is made of waterproof TPU. Measuring 14.8 x 11.18 x 19.88 inches and weighing 4.22 pounds, it features padded straps on the shoulders and soft foam board design on the back for comfort.

PROS:

  • 840D nylon exterior
  • 2 extra knitted bands
  • Capacity of 20 liters
  • Key fob included
  • Easy-to-use buckles

CONS:

  • Some feel the zippers could be stronger

11. OlarHike Backpack Coolers – Grey

With a capacity to hold up to 30 cans, this 12.6x 7.7x 18.1 inches backpack cooler is the perfect travel companion for picnics, camps, and hikes. It features a thick foam insulation layer, and a PEVA liner that is leak-proof. This durable and water-resistant cooler keeps things hot or cold for up to 16 hours under conducive temperature conditions. It has a spacious main compartment which features 2 smooth SBS nylon zips with string, an inside mesh pocket, 2 mesh pockets on the side, a pocket with a zipper on the top, 2 pockets at the front, a mesh pocket on the outside, and a bottle opener on the strap. Its ergonomic straps relieve pressure on the shoulders and make your outings very comfortable.

PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • Large opening design
  • Seamless hot pressing
  • Available in blue and black colors

CONS:

  • Placing ice directly may damage the leak-proof material

12. RTIC Day Cooler Backpack – Kanati Camo

This 17 x 16.8 x 12 inches backpack cooler is very spacious so that you can keep your things cool and fresh. It has a large lid with a zipper so that you can access the contents easily. It features padded straps that can be adjusted for added comfort. It has storage pockets in the front which can also be used as a drink holder. The integrated mesh pockets on the sides make it very convenient to store wine bottles or large water bottles. This lightweight backpack cooler which weighs just 2.59 pounds will make all your outdoor trips a real pleasure.

PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • Easy-to-clean
  • Keeps drinks cool for up to 24 hours
  • Attractive colors and designs available

CONS:

  • Cannot hold ice

13. Himal Outdoors Insulated Cooler Backpack – Black

Crafted with premium, water-resistant 600D Oxford fabric, high quality, thick insulation foam, and a leak-proof liner, this backpack cooler is very durable and comfortable to carry. It has multiple pockets to accommodate all your things easily. The main storage compartment is spacious and is ideal for drinks and ice packs, and can keep it hot or cold for up to 16 hours. It also features 2 large pockets with zips in the front, 2 mesh pockets on the side, a pocket with a zip on the top, another mesh pocket and a bottle opener on the strap. An ideal travel companion for road trips, camping, fishing, picnics, or hiking.

PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable padded back
  • Adjustable padded shoulder straps
  • Measures 16.5 x 12.2 x 7.7 inches

CONS:

  • Some feel it could be more leak-proof

Now that you have been through our review of the 13 best backpack coolers, it’s important that you know what to look for while choosing one for yourself. This way, your camps, hikes, or picnics will be more fun and memorable.

How To Choose The Right Backpack Coolers

  • Insulation:

Most soft backpack coolers usually use open-cell foam for insulation because of its flexibility. Their insulation is not as good as closed-cell foam that’s used in a hard cooler. Some backpack coolers with closed-cell foam and better insulation are available, but they are heavier and more expensive. Also check the thickness and evenness of your backpack coolers insulation. Thicker insulation will always preserve temperatures better, so check for weak areas. Also, the entire compartment should be surrounded with insulation. Many backpack coolers have insulation on only 3 sides which brings down the chill time drastically.

  • Extra features:

Backpack coolers today have become rather trendy and can make a fashion statement. This is evident from the innovative fabrics and designs that can now be found. Multiple storage pockets for plates, cutlery, and cellphones, key fobs, mildew-resistant fabric, and quick-dry fabric are some extra features that are available, and you should look for what suits your requirements.

  • Value:

If you are going to use your backpack cooler once every season, you can go for a cheaper, cost-effective backpack. But, if you’re someone who goes for fortnightly camps and hikes, you might want to go for a more expensive, durable, and comfortable backpack that is customized for your requirements.

  • Activity:

Choose your backpack cooler according to the specific activity that you would use it for. An all-purpose cooler works fine, but it’s always better to get one that is specifically designed for a particular activity—like hiking, hunting, or picnics.

  • Capacity:

This is something that you would definitely need to keep in mind while choosing a backpack cooler for yourself. The number of cans that it states it can hold usually does not take ice or ice packs into account, so it’s best to take the manufacturer’s claims with a pinch of salt.

  • Storage:

Do check out the number of storage compartments, zipper pockets, and mesh pockets and see if they will fulfil your requirements or not. Also check the size of the storage compartments.

  • Comfort:

Since you will be carrying it for an extended period of time, and it will usually have a weight of about 25 pounds, it’s vital that it is comfortable. Its weight should be evenly distributed and it should have an ergonomic design so that you can cover all the distance you want without any discomfort.

  • Waterproof:

Do ensure that your backpack cooler is waterproof as ice will invariably melt, drinks will leak and spill, it will rain, and your trip might happen in water. It’s important that it’s leak-proof and doesn’t allow outside water to seep in.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Will water leak out as the ice melts?

This completely depends on the backpack you buy, but if the product doesn’t specifically mention that it’s leak-proof, it’s quite likely that it will leak. Make sure that it has features like sealed seams, a waterproof compartment, and watertight zippers as well.

  1. How should a backpack cooler be cleaned and stored?

Usually just rinsing and drying your backpack cooler does the job pretty well. If there’s a food or some other spill, first clean it with soap and water, then wipe it out with disinfectant wipes, and then finally rinse it out and dry it thoroughly before storing.

  1. How many drinks can you fit in a backpack cooler?

This once again is completely dependent on the size and dimensions of the backpack you choose, the amount of ice you are carrying, and the shape and size of the drinks being carried.

As the weather gets warmer, hitting the trails gets a lot more difficult, and a backpack cooler can be quite a lifesaver. Traditional coolers are definitely good but very often you want something easier and more convenient to carry. All backpack coolers vary in the efficiency of their insulation and other added features. Some come completely insulated, while some others have a split design for those snacks that are good even at room temperature. You need to find something that caters to your requirements and can be carried comfortably even when it’s full of cans and ice. We are sure our review of the 13 best backpack coolers will help you find something that will make your outings a complete pleasure.