Don't Waste Your Money is supported by our readers. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best Backpack Coolers

Last updated on October 8, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Backpack Coolers and dug through the reviews from 108 of the most popular review sites including Review Meta, Strawpoll, Comparaboo, Best Reviews Guide, Heavy, Travel Gear Zone and more. The result is a ranking of the best Backpack Coolers.

Best Backpack Cooler

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Backpack Coolers

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
  The Best Overall
  The Best Value


Hopper Backflip 24 Soft Sided Cooler/Backpack

Overall Take

UV ProtectionProtect your back with this backpack cooler, whic features ergonomic shoulder straps and a design that equally distributes the weight of its contents.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus Gear Junkie, The Cooler Zone, Best Cooler, Switchback Travel, Coolers World, Popular Mechanics and 20 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
" The YETI Hopper BackFlip 24 is a rugged, well-built cooler with lash points on all sides."
"Expensive and lacks external pockets."


C003 Soft Backpack Cooler

Overall Take

Holds 28 CansThis backpack cooler is not only insulated to keep food and drinks cold, but it also has an outer pocket for dry items.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus Outside Pursuits, Arbor Explorer, Listderful, Globo Turf, Popular Mechanics, Travel Gear Zone and 27 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
" The Coleman backpack cooler bag is a great choice if you need something practical that won’t slow you down."
"Not any that specifically needs attention. But make sure to pack properly to avoid leaking."


Insulated Backpack Cooler

Overall Take

Lots of ExtrasIn addition to seven extra pockets, this backpack cooler has a beer can opener.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus Dotbeasts, Industry Ears, The Top Pro. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
" TOURIT offers the best in light and reliable backpack coolers. The fabric used in the construction is of excellent quality. It is the right backpack you can conveniently carry to picnics, beach trips, camping, and hiking."


Insulated Cooler Backpack

Overall Take

Additional Hooks ProvidedDesigned for both men and women, this orange backpack cooler has plenty of pockets, hooks and even a beer can opener.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus Review Meta, Yahoo Lifestyle, Best Reviews Guide. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
" Seehonor’s cooler backpack is leak-proof and holds up to 25 cans of whatever you’re drinking."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the backpack coolers available to purchase.

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings


Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Review Meta, Strawpoll, Comparaboo, Best Reviews Guide, Heavy.


User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart and 3 others.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Backpack Coolers and also dug through the reviews from 108 of the most popular review sites including Review Meta, Strawpoll, Comparaboo, Best Reviews Guide, Heavy, Travel Gear Zone and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Backpack Coolers.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

YETI Hopper Backflip 24 Soft Sided Cooler/Backpack

Our Expert Score
26 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
927 user reviews
Our Take

Quality is the best word to describe the YETI Hopper Backflip 24 Soft Sided Cooler/Backpack, which features an FDA-approved food-grade liner that doesn't leak. The outer material also protects against UV rays and has the ability to resist mildew. The ergonomic shoulder straps and the backpack's ability to distribute weight equally protect users from back strain.

What other experts liked
The YETI Hopper BackFlip 24 is a rugged, well-built cooler with lash points on all sides.
- Gear Junkie
January 21, 2019 | Full review
Yeti offers a 3-year warranty on their soft-sided coolers. This is among the longest warranties in the industry for soft cooler and it really shows us that they know that their products will last.
- The Cooler Zone
Its good enough to ensure you have an ample supply of drinks for your trip, no matter where you are going. The zipper is among the toughest in the industry. The zipper is also leakproof and easy to use.
- Best Cooler
May 13, 2019 | Full review
Yeti took their popular soft-sided Hopper series and made it easier to carry with the BackFlip 24.
- Switchback Travel
Having this cooler, you’ll be able to pack 20 cans or 25 lbs of ice and that’s quite an amount for a backpack cooler.
- Coolers World
May 10, 2019 | Full review
The hydrolock zipper is leakproof and the dryhide shell is puncture and mildew resistant.
- Popular Mechanics
June 13, 2018 | Full review
Its Hyrdolock Zipper helps avoid any errant spills, keeping liquids where they belong — inside the cooler.
- Business Insider
The Yeti Hopper Backflip has ergonomic shoulder straps to make carrying it as comfortable as possible.
- Well Traveled Mile
December 12, 2018 | Full review
It holds ice and keeps food and drinks really well and the attention to detail is impressive.
- Globo Turf
Resistant to mildew, punctures and UV rays, it is tough, practical and stays waterproof even when dropped directly into water.
- Outside Pursuits
June 9, 2019 | Full review
Yeti is renowned for their insulating technology and build some of the very best coolers on the market.
- Heavy
The Yeti backpack cooler is only mythical in how popular it is, winning praise from multiple publications for its durability, insulation, and comfort.
- Travel and Leisure
The hardest, most elevated performing waterproof and watertight cooler zipper on the planet.
- A Best Pro
June 4, 2019 | Full review
The thicker surface of the container is waterproof and impermeable to stores, punctures and UV beams.
- Top Portal Review
May 21, 2019 | Full review
The hopper BackFlip 24 Soft Sided Cooler/Backpack from Yeti, Fog Gray is a cooler backpack that has combined the durablity of the Hoper Flip with an altogether new, innovative and extremely easy to carry design.
- Travel Gear Zone
Mildew is a problem, but the BackFlip offers top-class resistant to mildews and UV rays as well.
- Dotbeasts
This Hoper is capacious and nicely insulated.
- Under The Open Sky
YETI is superior when it comes to insulation. The closed-cell rubber foam on the walls provides maximum insulation to keep your ice cooler for a more extended period.
- Best 10 Selling
The Hopper uses a closed cell foam that is denser and more rubbery than most soft coolers. This means longer ice time and colder drinks all day long
- SOutdoors
April 18, 2019 | Full review
This is an outstanding piece of kit, large enough to fit stacks of food and drinks, at the same time being built like a tank with the finest insulation a backpack cooler could offer.
- Independent Wolf
April 8, 2019 | Full review
This cooler backpack is extremely tough and built to take on anywhere.
- Best Coolers Info
The Yeti Backflip is made from tough durable fabric that is waterproof and designed to be resistant to mildew, punctures, and harmful sun rays.
- The Junior Golfer
It’s made with high quality in mind, features just enough straps and attachment points, has a comfortable backpack design, and performed fairly well in our ice tests.
- Men's Journal
They had no problems carrying the beverage through hot temperatures, and the ice can hold for as long as 24 hours before it shows signs of melting.
- Overland Site
April 18, 2019 | Full review
The Backflip 24 actually makes carrying a cooler long distances practical.They actually went to the efforts to make a comfortable backpack. The back is padded making it comfortable for extended forays chasing whatever it is that suits your fancy. The...
- Hunting Fit
May 10, 2018 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
There aren’t any zipper pockets on the BackFlip except for the main compartment. So if you want to attach your cell phone and keys to the cooler, you probably need to improvise.
- Gear Junkie
January 21, 2019 | Full review
Expensive and lacks external pockets.
- Switchback Travel
No shoulder strap for short trips
- Business Insider
Their products are wildly overpriced
- Heavy
It is somewhat bulky and may not fit a smaller person.
- Under The Open Sky
Hard to open zippers
- Best 10 Selling
Bulky – like carrying a fridge on your back.
- Independent Wolf
April 8, 2019 | Full review
For the price, Yeti was outperformed by several other similar models, including our top pick among backpack coolers.
- New York Times Wirecutter
It might need a bit more shoulder padding
- Overland Site
April 18, 2019 | Full review

Our Backpack Cooler Buying Guide

Backpack coolers give families and outdoor adventurers a handy way to bring their food and drinks along for a day of fun. They are excellent for picnics in the park, soaking up the sun at the beach or taking a hike up a mountain. If you’re in the market for a backpack cooler, there are a few things you’ll want to look for before making a selection.

Determine what size backpack cooler would be best based on the number of people traveling with you and how much they drink. Most models list how many cans they hold. A smaller family or group would do better with the YETI Hopper Backflip 24 Soft Sided Cooler/Backpack, as it only holds 20 cans. The TOURIT Insulated Backpack Cooler is a better choice for larger groups because it has a 30 can capacity.

Next, review the materials used to construct the backpack cooler. Some models are waterproof for use near a pool or beach, while others are made to withstand coming up against brush in the wilderness. The SEEHONOR Insulated Cooler Backpack, with its durable scratch-resistant outer layer, is an example of a model best used in forests and along nature trails.

Don’t forget to examine the inside materials used to create the cooler as well. You want to make sure they are leak-proof, non-toxic and made from an FDA-approved food-grade material. Remember, this is where you will store all your refreshing beverages and tasty treats.

Review the backpack cooler’s straps to make sure they are padded and comfortable. The Coleman C003 Soft Backpack Cooler has an additional set of straps that go around your waist. Both the shoulder and waist straps are adjustable, so you’re sure to get the perfect fit, which is important when it comes to back health.

Finally, you’ll want to check the backpack cooler for any extras. See if there are enough outer pockets to hold your dry items. Look for side pockets that can hold extra water bottles. Some models even offer hooks for hanging little canteens and other gadgets. Others have built-in beer can openers. It’s all about which features best fit your specific needs and the needs of the group you’ll be traveling with.

DWYM Fun Fact

Did you know that portable coolers have only been around for 60 years even though iceboxes were invented in 1802? It was the invention of Styrofoam in 1944 that made portable coolers a possibility, although the first model wasn’t available for sale until 1957. Not only was the Styrofoam able to provide the insulation needed to keep drinks cold, but it was also light enough to lift without difficulty. That meant it could be loaded with sodas and sandwiches and easily placed in the trunk of a car and transported to the nearest beach or public park.

Some of the first portable coolers were made with a hard outer plastic shell. A few of those models were even on wheels that featured a handle for pulling to make moving the cooler a breeze. Companies quickly discovered, however, the value of portable coolers constructed of softer plastics, as these models were lighter and easier to carry.

Today, portable coolers have evolved a great deal. There are models made from waterproof materials, such as neoprene, models with solar panels on top and even models you can ride on. Smaller portable coolers are designed for student lunches, and others are made to be worn like backpacks for outdoor adventures.

The Backpack Cooler Tips and Advice

  • Always check to see if the company selling the backpack cooler offers a warranty. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover that some companies believe in their product so much that they offer a lifetime warranty, which provides protection against product defects.
  • After each use, you’ll need to clean your backpack cooler. Start by dumping any remaining ice or melted water into your kitchen sink. If the cooler isn’t dirty, you may be able to get away with simply drying the inside with a towel. Should the cooler need a cleaning, wipe it down using a soapy dish rag. Rinse it clean with a little water and then towel dry.
  • Follow the instructions on the product label when it comes to cleaning the outside of your backpack cooler. The cleaning method used will be determined by the type of fabric the outer shell is made out of.
  • Your backpack cooler may build up an unpleasant odor over time. This can be removed by filling the cooler with cold water and one cup of white distilled vinegar. Let the mixture sit for an hour before dumping it out and cleaning it as you normally would.
  • Whether you are using a traditional backpack or a backpack cooler, it is recommended that you pack the lightest items at the bottom of the pack and that you wear the pack on the lower half of your back. This will help prevent back strain or possible injuries.
  • For additional safety, weigh your backpack cooler after it’s packed. The total number of pounds should not exceed 20 percent of your total body weight. If the number happens to be above that, you’ll want to take a few things out of the cooler to bring the weight down.
  • When comparing backpack cooler prices, you’ll need to take into consideration the materials used to make the pack, how many cans the cooler holds and whether there are any extra pockets or accessories. While the Coleman C003 Soft Backpack Cooler, TOURIT Insulated Backpack Cooler and SEEHONOR Insulated Cooler Backpack have similar features and pricing, the YETI Hopper Backflip 24 Soft Sided Cooler/Backpack costs a considerable bit more. This is because the Yeti is made using a waterproof fabric, has an FDA-approved food-grade inner lining and is both taller and wider than your average backpack coolers.

About The Author

Alicia Bodine
Alicia Bodine 

Alicia Bodine is a New Jersey-based writer specializing in gardening. She enjoys spending time learning about the latest gadgets that make designing, planting and maintaining a garden a breeze. With more than 15 years of experience, her work has appeared in sites like GardenGuides and eHow Garden.