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The Best Backpack Coolers

Last updated on October 31, 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.

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Our Picks For The Top Backpack Coolers

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall
10.2

YETI

Hopper Backflip 24 Soft Sided Cooler/Backpack

Overall Take

UV ProtectionProtect your back with this YETI Hopper Backflip cooler, which has ergonomic shoulder straps and 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.
Pros
" The YETI Hopper BackFlip 24 is a rugged, well-built cooler with lash points on all sides."
Cons
"Expensive and lacks external pockets."
  The Best Value

Coleman

C003 Soft Backpack Cooler

Overall Take

Holds 28 CansThis Coleman C003 Soft 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.
Pros
" The Coleman backpack cooler bag is a great choice if you need something practical that won’t slow you down."
Cons
"Not any that specifically needs attention. But make sure to pack properly to avoid leaking."

TOURIT

Insulated Backpack Cooler

Overall Take

Lots of ExtrasIn addition to seven extra pockets, this TOURIT Insulated 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.
Pros
" 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."

SEEHONOR

Insulated Cooler Backpack

Overall Take

Additional Hooks ProvidedDesigned for both men and women, this orange SEEHONOR Insulated Cooler Backpack has plenty of pockets, hooks and 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.
Pros
" 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.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the backpack coolers available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

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

View All Product Rankings

108

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.

7,218

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
9.7
26 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.5
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

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Coleman C003 Soft Backpack Cooler

Our Expert Score
9.0
33 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.8
1,186 user reviews
Our Take

Not only is the Coleman C003 Soft Backpack Cooler the top in its class, but it's also affordable. The inner compartment is able to keep 28 cans cool at once and features a leak-proof lining to protect against ice melt. The handy outer compartment holds dry items, like picnic utensils and energy bars. Backpackers will also love the well-padded shoulder and waist straps that adjust for proper back support.

What other experts liked
The Coleman backpack cooler bag is a great choice if you need something practical that won’t slow you down.
- Outside Pursuits
June 9, 2019 | Full review
This backpack is awesome for a one-day outing, is has decent insulation, and awesome support.
- Arbor Explorer
The soft backpack keeps the bag lightweight and can store up to 28 cans. Ample storage space and easy to carry.
- Listderful
It comes in a khaki design which is very stylish with its red detail and other added features too.
- Globo Turf
This lightweight cooler looks like an actual backpack and is large enough to hold 28 cans. Extra padding has been added in the back and waist which makes it easier to carry for long distances.
- Popular Mechanics
July 17, 2018 | Full review
The C003 soft backpack cooler from coleman is extremely durable due to the use of high quality materials.
- Travel Gear Zone
It also comes with a large front pocket with zipper for you to carry any dry snacks that goes well with your chosen beverages.
- The Z9
July 7, 2019 | Full review
The main compartment is large and fully sealed so you can fill it to capacity and use ice
- The Gear Hunt
The back of the bag is padded so you’ll be comfortable carrying it long distances.
- Best Backpack Lab
This 28 can cooler backpack is a reliable and affordable option built from some decent materials that comes very highly recommended. Great organizational material.
- Heavy
July 26, 2019 | Full review
It looks just like a normal backpack, yet the large zippered pocket is insulated to keep all its contents cool for hours
- Reviewed
May 22, 2018 | Full review
It’s comfortable and unobtrusive to carry, has useful pockets and a bungee cord, and keeps things cold.
- New York Mag
June 19, 2019 | Full review
It also has pouches on the side for extra water (or wine!) bottles and has a waist strap to make carrying a full pack easier.
- Yahoo Lifestyle
July 5, 2019 | Full review
It’s a backpack designed to serve you in varying situations from the park to the campsite.
- The Z8
April 14, 2019 | Full review
This cooler’s resistance to mildew, mold and odor makes it the ideal choice for camping as well as random picnics.
- CTOP Reviews
It features two insulated compartments with a padded back and straps for comfort, plus a hip belt to keep the weight stabilized.
- Wiki EZ Vid
April 19, 2019 | Full review
The bag features straps with excellent padding construction. This makes it easy for you to carry them about anywhere you are going.
- Dotbeasts
January 16, 2019 | Full review
The Coleman C003 fits your budget and your back comfortably.
- Territory Supply
The external part of the pack is a ripstop nylon that looks like any other pack but is very durable.
- SOutdoors
April 18, 2019 | Full review
The bag features large isolated dry storage compartment that can hold up to 28 cans.
- Theme Country
The padded back offers maximum comfort to ensure your back is free from pains and pokes usually caused by extended use.
- Industry Ears
June 11, 2019 | Full review
Camping standby Coleman’s soft backpack cooler looks just like a regular backpack, down to the front dry pocket for your non-cooler snacks, but also boasts a 28-can capacity in the insulated interior.
- Travel and Leisure
The bungee line on the front additionally gives snappy access to different things.
- A Best Pro
June 4, 2019 | Full review
the zippered front pocket enables you to convey extra treats and less gear.
- Top Portal Review
May 21, 2019 | Full review
It’s a nice, simple design with padded shoulder and hip straps, which they claim can hold up to 28 cans.
- Independent Wolf
April 8, 2019 | Full review
Include a dry pack area for extra storage your personal items. Very comfortable to wear. Possible to hold over 20 cans of beverage.
- BestReviews
It’s properly insulated which means you can keep your stuff warm or cold however you like.
- Best Coolers Info
The ColemanC003 backpack cooler is excellent value for money at less than $25! Coleman is well known for very good camping supplies and equipment.
- The Junior Golfer
One of the advantages of using this model is that the insulation lining it comes with is also antimicrobial and mold and mildew-resistant. This is an advantage because it will allow you to clean the backpack between uses without any problems, lowering the unit’s maintenance.
- Cooler List
There are adjustable shoulder and way straps to make it comfortable to carry, and a padded back gives you comfort and support, aside from ensuring that you don’t become overheated.
- Top Rated Cooler
April 14, 2018 | Full review
Coleman has designed this with two main storage compartments, one being much larger than the other. On top of that, there is a small outside compartment where you can stick a bottle of water for easy access.
- Product Advisor
It provides great support to the people who love to go on trips, picnic, hiking or beaches.
- Backpack Judge
This is yet another easy to carry backpack cooler that brings and keeps all your beverages cool when hiking.
- Backpack Droid
August 8, 2019 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
Not any that specifically needs attention. But make sure to pack properly to avoid leaking.
- Listderful
These types of soft bags don’t offer much in the way of ice retention.
- Globo Turf
Lacks a clip on the outsde to hang keys, et.
- Travel Gear Zone
You have to make sure that you do not place items that are too heavy or sharp in this backpack.
- The Gear Hunt
The biggest downside to this bag is any ice will leak once it melts.
- Best Backpack Lab
There’s not a ton of capacity in this pack - this will fit lunch for one or two people
- Heavy
July 26, 2019 | Full review
Less ice time and has a small size.
- SOutdoors
April 18, 2019 | Full review
Front internal pocket impossible to access if the pack is full.
- Independent Wolf
April 8, 2019 | Full review
This pack tends to leak from the zipper if you tip it over or lay on its side.
- BestReviews
This might be small for those who are traveling for longer distances and sharing bags. Also since the insulation is thin, there might be risks of tearing if sharp things are inserted causing much trouble if any leakages go to the insulated department.
- Best Coolers Info
Would be better if it came with other color options
- Top Rated Cooler
April 14, 2018 | Full review
The smaller front pocket isn’t insulated
- Backpack Judge
The mesh pockets not ideal for electronics – not zippered
- Backpack Droid
August 8, 2019 | Full review

Our Findings

YETI Hopper Backflip 24 Soft Sided Cooler/Backpack

Best Overall

YETI Hopper Backflip 24 Soft Sided Cooler/Backpack, Fog Gray/Tahoe Blue


List Price: $299.99 USD
New From: $299.99 USD In Stock
Used from: $299.95 USD In Stock

What We Liked: 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.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Coleman C003 Soft Backpack Cooler

Best Value

Coleman Soft Cooler Backpack | 28 Can Cooler, Khaki (Sports)


List Price: $29.99 USD
New From: $29.99 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

What We Liked: Not only is the Coleman C003 Soft Backpack Cooler the top in its class, but it’s also affordable. The inner compartment is able to keep 28 cans cool at once and features a leak-proof lining to protect against ice melt. The handy outer compartment holds dry items, like picnic utensils and energy bars. Backpackers will also love the well-padded shoulder and waist straps that adjust for proper back support.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

TOURIT Insulated Backpack Cooler

What We Liked: The TOURIT Insulated Backpack Cooler is perfect for everything from a picnic for two at the park to a family hike through the mountains. The insulation keeps drinks and sandwiches cold and also works for hot items, such as pizza or hot dogs. The outside of the pack features multiple pockets and even a beer can opener.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

SEEHONOR Insulated Cooler Backpack

What We Liked: A good choice for outdoor adventures, the SEEHONOR Insulated Cooler Backpack is constructed from a heavy-duty nylon that doesn’t puncture easily. The inner liner is just as impressive and made from a foam that allows the contents to stay heated or nice and cold. It also features a beer can opener and several hooks in case you want to hang a mug or a few utensils. Of course, the 100% money back guarantee doesn’t hurt either.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Our Expert Consultant

Brittany Anas
Travel journalist

Brittany Anas is an award-winning investigative journalist turned freelancer who now specializes in travel and lifestyle topics. She is a former reporter for the Daily Camera and The Denver Post. Her travel writing has been featured in American Way, USA Today, AAA magazines, Simplemost, Better, Livability, Apartment Therapy, Men’s Journal, Austin-American Statesman, TripSavvy and other outlets. She’s carved out a niche in adventure travel writing and has a column with Forbes that’s focused on outdoors travel. She logs about 75,000 airline miles a year and has mastered the art of napping in airports and finding the best spicy cocktails in whichever city she visits. She treats travel like a scavenger hunt, finding what makes cities special. Brittany is based in Denver, and loves exploring Colorado’s hiking trails with her gremlin that the rescue described as a “Boston Terrier.”

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.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

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.

“You’ll want to make sure the backpack cooler is multi-functional, with enough exterior pockets to stash extras like granola bars or your cell phone,” says travel expert Brittany Anas. This will separate your essentials from the cooler’s ice and water.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

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. “Look for a well-constructed exterior that’s puncture-proof so it doesn’t get ripped up by branches,” says Anas.  “Leak and mildew-resistant features will also help keep your backpack cooler in good condition,” she adds. 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.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

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.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

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 on leading home improvement publications.