AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler

Last updated date: July 18, 2019

DWYM Score
9.0

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

We looked at the top 1 Coolers and dug through the reviews from 6 of the most popular review sites including New York Times Wirecutter, Trustorereview, The Cooler Zone, Best Cooler, SOutdoors and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Cooler you should buy.

Overall Take

The AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler is different from other coolers, with a canvas exterior design used to keep internal contents cool. You'll get enough capacity for up to 24 cans, making it perfect for a day at the beach. This model also excels in portability. Both its smaller capacity and lightweight design make it easier to take along with you. In our analysis of 61 expert reviews, the AO Coolers AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler placed 2nd when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note July 18, 2019:
Checkout The Best Cooler for a detailed review of all the top coolers.

Expert Summarized Score
9.0
6 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.0
882 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
The AO Canvas Series is lightweight, sturdy, well-insulated, and easy to pack
- New York Times Wirecutter
The AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler is resistant to scratches and impacts due to the durable canvas outer wall and the 5-layer insulation system.
- Outside Pursuits
December 10, 2018 | Full review
The AO canvas soft cooler is a lightweight cooler designed with heavy duty canvas and an interior design that offers nothing short of excellence.
- Trustorereview
The relatively thick foam outer core is definitely the cause of this. This makes this a relatively versatile soft-sided cooler that can handle most applications.
- The Cooler Zone
The Canvas cooler uses a large mouth design to make it easy to put drinks or food in the bag without feeling like trying to get jawbreakers out of a glass jar.
- Best Cooler
Best of all, thanks to the layers of insulation, they can hold ice for 24 hours in temperatures up to 120 degrees. No need to worry about leaks or that annoying sweat that comes with it.
- SOutdoors
What experts didn't like
Last, one complaint about the strap was the weak looking all plastic hardware that clipped the strap into place. The clips didn’t feel that sturdy, and we weren’t sure how long they would hold up in real world conditions.
- New York Times Wirecutter
Some users have had leaking and sweating issues on the outside.
- Trustorereview
The fabric used is relatively strong but can be prone to some minor tearing if exposed to sharp objects.
- The Cooler Zone
There have been several complaints about the state of the strap, as well, with some saying it can break.
- SOutdoors

From The Manufacturer

The AO Coolers Soft Cooler is perfect for boating, fishing, hunting, parties, sporting events, picnics, and more. It's also great for packing essentials for a quick weekend away. Bringing an item for dinner or a potluck? Use this cooler to keep things warm as well. The cooler even meets airplane carry-on requirements. It features a removable shoulder strap, clip-down ends, and a side pocket for dry items. AO Coolers are guaranteed to never leak or sweat. The high quality TPU liner is the same material used to make waterbeds and above ground pools, and it's resilient to impacts, abrasions, tears, and more. The inner insulation is 3/4 inch thick, high-density, closed cell foam.This combination creates a cooler that will hold ice for 24 hours in 120-degree heat. With its soft exterior, the Soft Cooler won’t scratch up your gel coat or tear up any upholstery.

Overall Product Rankings

1. YETI Tundra 65 Cooler
Overall Score: 9.4
Expert Reviews: 6
2. AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 6
3. Igloo MaxCold 70 Quart Cooler
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 2
4. Polar Bear Coolers
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 7
5. AO Coolers Water-Resistant Vinyl Soft Cooler
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 5
6. Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 13
7. AO Coolers Soft Canvas High-Density Insulation
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 4
8. Coleman Xtreme Marine Cooler
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 4
9. Outdoor Recreational Company of America Cooler
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 4
10. Igloo 3-Piece Camping Combo
Overall Score: 7.7
Expert Reviews: 4

An Overview On Coolers

Yeti has revolutionized the way consumers keep beverages cool, with a line of insulated tumblers that seem to be in every home. But Yeti isn’t the only company building insulated products. In fact, almost every tumbler manufacturer out there has created a competing product at this point.

Now, that technology has moved to coolers. Using insulation within their walls, many of today’s coolers can keep ice, drinks and food cool even when you’re outdoors in 100-degree-plus heat. Although you’ll pay more than you would for a traditional type of cooler, you’ll get the convenience that comes with tossing drinks, food and ice into your cooler in the morning and having those items remain cool late that afternoon. In fact, some coolers can even chill items for several days.

One thing you’ll have to know before you choose a cooler is just how much capacity you’ll need. Do you plan to pack up covered dishes for family picnics, or will you simply use it to cart around beverages and maybe some sandwiches when you head to the beach? If you invest in a much larger cooler than you need, you may find it is more difficult to carry than if you’d chosen something smaller.

If you’ve ever tried to empty a larger cooler at the end of the day, you know how tough it can be. For that reason, many newer coolers come with bilge drains, allowing you to release the water from the bottom of the cooler. You may have to tip the cooler a little to get the last of the water out, but you won’t have the extreme tilt that you have with a cooler that doesn’t have a drain.

One bonus you may not think about initially is the fact that some newer coolers allow you to use them as a seat. This can come in handy whether you’re on a boat or enjoying a day at the park. If you plan to use that feature, look for a cooler sturdy enough to handle it.

DYWM Fun Fact

The technology behind how Yeti coolers are made explains their impressive insulation. It starts with the way the liquid polymer is built into the walls, which provides a thick, durable build. Inside the walls is two inches of insulation, with up to three additional inches of insulation in the lid.

Yeti coolers also eliminate seams, as well as attaching the lid directly to the body, thereby providing as strong a seal as possible to keep outside air from seeping in. The result is a level of cooling that holds up, no matter how hot it is outside. Other brands now have their own methods of combining insulation and seam reduction for improved effectiveness.

The Cooler Buying Guide

  • Coolers come in varying sizes, even among specific brands and models. Determine up front what you’re likely to carry in your cooler and how much room that will take. The Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler offers 54 quarts of usable space inside, which totals more than 85 cans if you’re only using it to keep drinks cold. You’ll get 70 quarts of space with the Igloo MaxCold 70 Quart Cooler and 65 ounces with the YETI Tundra 65 Cooler.
  • One thing to decide when you’re going for a larger-capacity cooler, though, is portability. As convenient as the space is, coolers will get much heavier when they’re loaded down. If you want a cooler that’s easier to carry around, consider one like the AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler. It still provides space for up to 24 cans but keeps things lightweight with a canvas design.
  • When it comes down to it, though, you’re looking for a cooler that can keep everything you put in it chilly, even on the hottest days. For that, it’s hard to beat the YETI Tundra 65 Cooler, which was proven to keep food at a safe temperature for five days.
  • One bonus you may not think about is whether you can sit on your cooler or not.  The YETI Tundra 65 Cooler, for instance, is built to withstand the weight of someone seated on it.
  • Once you’re finished using it, your cooler will need to be emptied and cleaned. Some coolers make that easier by including a bilge drain toward the bottom, similar to the drain found in the bottom of some boats. Some coolers have a channeled drain, which directs the water in the right direction, reducing the need to tilt. You’ll also get a drain with the YETI Tundra 65 Cooler. The Igloo MaxCold 70 Quart Cooler does have a drain, but it isn’t a channeled bilge type, so you’ll need to tilt the cooler more for those final drops.