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The Best Large Soft-Sided Cooler

Last updated on March 15, 2024

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Our Picks For The Top Large Soft-Sided Coolers

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

NZ Home Thermal Reusable Large Soft-Sided Cooler, 2-Pack

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NZ Home

Thermal Reusable Large Soft-Sided Cooler, 2-Pack

The design of is large soft-sided cooler makes it great for a variety of uses, including as a way for delivery drivers to keep items warm in transit. For grocery shoppers, the insulation means you can run a few errands on the way home from the store without worrying about items going bad. The zipper top ensures the items inside will remain dry if y...

Overall Take

Insulated and CoveredThese large soft-sided coolers are both insulated and made with zippered tops to keep your items at the desired temperature.

 Runner Up

Maelstrom Velcro Insulated Large Soft-Sided Cooler, 75-Can


Velcro Insulated Large Soft-Sided Cooler, 75-Can

Thanks to five layers of insulation, this large soft-sided cooler is able to keep your beverages and lunch items nice and cold for up to 12 hours. The bag itself is extremely durable and designed to be both leakproof and tearproof. You can even get the cooler in one of 12 different colors and patterns.

Overall Take

Two Sets of Carry HandlesNot only is there a set of carry handles on this large soft-sided cooler to lift it by hand, but also a set of for over-the-shoulder use.

 We Also Like

Arctic Zone Titan Leakproof Large Soft-Sided Cooler, 30-Can

Arctic Zone

Titan Leakproof Large Soft-Sided Cooler, 30-Can

If you plan on hiking or camping in the wilderness, this large soft-sided cooler is your best bet, as it features a quality construction that is more durable than other models. It contains an FDA compliant HardBody liner with a removable SmartShelf that keeps deli meats and other items separate from your drinks. Also included with this model is a c...

Overall Take

Quality ConstructionWith a hard outer shell, this large soft-sided cooler is abrasion and puncture resistant, making it a good choice for hiking and camping.

 Strong Contender

GARDRIT Eco-Friendly Nylon Large Soft-Sided Cooler, 60-Can


Eco-Friendly Nylon Large Soft-Sided Cooler, 60-Can

This large soft-sided cooler is a huge space saver, as it's collapsible when not in use. It's perfect for weekend camping trips or spending the day at the beach. The cooler has a 60-can capacity and features both inner and outer pockets.

Overall Take

Multiple Color OptionsYou'll find this large soft-sided cooler comes in a choice of gray, black or blue.

Buying Guide

Is it your turn to bring the drinks for your child’s sports team? Are you having a picnic in the park with a group of friends? Perhaps you’re taking your family on a camping trip for the weekend. If any of these ring true, you’ll need a large soft-sided cooler instead of a smaller model. As you browse through the available options, keep the following features in mind:

Start by examining the materials used to make the cooler. Soft canvas materials are great for day-to-day activities, like sporting events and home barbecues, but you’ll need a tougher exterior for hiking and camping trips. The Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze, 30-Can has an exterior that is abrasion and puncture resistant. It’s not going to rip if it brushes up against a tree branch.

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Take a look at the insulation next. In addition to heat-welded seams that prevent leaks, you’ll want to check that the insulation has been treated with anti-microbials. This treatment prevents fungus and mildew from forming on the liner. That, in turn, also prevents unpleasant odors from developing.

Consider the large soft-sided cooler’s capacity. Let’s say your child has 15 teammates and they each drink one water bottle per game. A 16-can cooler would be fine. However, if your family of four drinks three cans per day and you’re going to be camping for a total of three days, you’ll need a cooler that can handle 36 beverages.

Simplemost Media

Review the cooler’s design to see how you’re expected to carry it. Some models offer two different methods for carrying your drinks. There is a set of handles that meet on top of the bag for carrying the cooler with your hands. There’s also a removable should strap, should you wish to attach it and sling the cooler across your shoulder.

Check for any extras that make one large soft-sided cooler stand out over another. For example, some models have a front pocket for storing dry snacks or plastic utensils. Other models also have mesh pockets on the side, as well as bungees and clips for attaching everything from keys to bottle openers to reusable water bottles.

What to Look For

  • Even though many of the large soft-sided coolers are treated to keep mold, mildew and fungus at bay, they still need to be cleaned after each use. Dump out any melted ice outside or in your kitchen sink. Use warm water and dish soap to wipe down the inside of the cooler. Rinse clean and either air dry or use a lint-free cloth to remove the water. Don’t zip the cooler shut and place on a storage shelf if any water remains inside.
  • Look at the type of material your soft-sided cooler is made out of if it gets dirty. You may be able to wipe it down the same way you did with the inside. Other fabrics, however, may require the use of a spot cleaner made for clothing.
  • Depending on what you carry inside your cooler, it may begin to smell slightly over time. The good news is there are several all-natural ways to combat this and restore your cooler so that you can continue to use it for many more years to come. Sprinkle baking soda all over the inside of the cooler and let it sit overnight. Rinse it clean the next morning and the odors should be gone. If you have white distilled vinegar on your shelf and no baking soda, you can spray the vinegar on the inside of the cooler and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it clean. Vinegar is also a powerful deodorizer and it even has the ability to kill germs.
  • Be conscious of how much weight you put in the large soft-sided cooler if you plan on carrying it using the shoulder strap. You don’t want to risk injuring your back.
  • When it comes to large soft-sided cooler prices, you’ll see that capacity and materials used make a difference in how much you’ll pay. A 50-can model will naturally cost more than a 30-can cooler.

More to Explore

While you may be tempted to simply toss items in your large soft-sided cooler, throw some ice on top and be on your way, this isn’t actually the most effective way to pack your cooler. Follow these tips to keep your food and drinks nice and cold (and safe to consume):

  • The day before your planned outing, grab your cooler from storage and place it in the coolest room of your house. Just before you go to bed for the evening, toss a bag of ice in the cooler. This will cool the unit down so that’s ready for packing the next day.
  • If you need to bring both food and drinks, it’s best to have one cooler dedicated to each instead of mixing the two together. Repeat the tip above for any additional coolers you intend on bringing.
  • Don’t pack warm foods and drinks in the cooler and expect ice to cool them down. You want to place meats in the freezer and drinks in the refrigerator the night before you plan on packing them. That way the meats will safely thaw by the time you want to cook them and drinks won’t be warm and unpleasant to drink.
  • Pack the coldest items on the bottom of the cooler and keep any fragile foods on top. Don’t leave any open spaces. Fill those with extra ice. It’s also a good idea to place meats and deli items in their own plastic bags with a clear label on top to identify what is in the bag.
  • When you get to your destination, locate a cool shady spot to store the cooler. Putting it directly in the path of the sun will cause the contents to thaw much faster and possibly even spoil.

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