AO Coolers Original Soft Cooler, 36-Can

Last updated date: January 22, 2020

DWYM Score
9.1

AO Coolers Original Soft Cooler, 36-Can

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We looked at the top Large Soft-Sided Coolers and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Large Soft-Sided Cooler you should buy.

Overall Take

Able to withstand temperatures of up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, the AO Coolers Original Soft Cooler, 36-Can is an excellent choice for individuals who live in warmer climates. The leak-proof TPU liner also makes this cooler safe for travel, as you won't have to worry about melted ice wetting the carpeting in your car. Users can opt to carry the cooler using the top handles, or by putting on the shoulder strap. In our analysis of 162 expert reviews, the AO Coolers AO Coolers Original Soft Cooler, 36-Can placed 2nd when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note December 4, 2019:
Checkout The Best Large Soft-Sided Cooler for a detailed review of all the top large soft-sided coolers.

Expert Summarized Score
7.7
20 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.0
987 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
There are many different color options to choose from, which is nice. The external netting is also a nice touch.
- 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. The top zips, folds, and then clips to make sure that, even though it has a big mouth, it can shut it firmly.
- Best Cooler
While the internal construction is perfect, the external one is very solid, and durable. It is made of top quality materials for anti-scratching, anti-ripping, and proof against water. Featuring superb anti leaking liner, it is a plus for ease of use.
- A Top Daily
The interior is built with leak-proof liners, while the exterior utilizes tough fabric to resist scratches and tears.
- Coolers Junkie
It is able to keep ice frozen for 24 hours in those high-temperature days. It does a fairly good job of keeping food and beverages cool.
- Dotbeasts
It has double insulation than other soft-sided coolers with leak-proof liner.
- Shortcut Gates
The exterior of the AO radiator is made of soft materials to prevent scratches in the car. More importantly, this soft, yet durable outer layer will not scratch or rub against you as you pull it over the deck of the ship, the beach or the mountain.
- Pikroll
This cooler is double insulated and won’t leak, so you can load it up with as much ice as you want. It can keep the inside cool for up to 24 hours, even when outside temperatures exceed 100 degrees.
- Fishing Picks
This cooler is tailored from a heavy-duty canvas that is rugged and durable. It can resist most physical damages.
- Kayak NV
One of the best features of this beach cooler is the soft-sided design which does an amazing job of keeping items cold. It is claimed that it can keep items cold for a day at 120-degrees Fahrenheit. This is quite practical compared to other coolers with the company claims of keeping items cold for more than five days.
- Cookware Ideas
AO Canvas coolers are highly versatile and that makes them highly practical in multiple situations, including anglers, hunters, campers and overall outdoors lovers who require only 24 hours of ice retention.
- Coolers World
These cooler bags are made with high-quality TPU liner which is also used to make above ground pools and waterbeds. The inner insulation is made from high density closed cell foam.
- Top Ten Review Pro
This cooler is designed to never sweat or leak. The TPU liner is made from the same materials used in making waterbeds, so it is guaranteed to resist tears, abrasions and more.
- Live Once Live Wild
Twice the insulation of other coolers.
- Hombre Golf Club
AO Coolers have a removable shoulder strap as well as a carry handle.
- Coolers On Sale
They’re are highly flexible. You can store them under a boat seat, under a car seat, or even on the back of a motorcycle. This cooler is great for picnic trips and short weekend excursions.
- Soft Sided Cooler Man
If you adventure in the wildest of climates, you’ll love the thermal insulation that this cooler comes with. Being able to withstand such high temperatures, you’ll always have a cold one on tap with the AO Original Cooler.
- Coolest Gadgets
It has twice the insulation you’ll find in other lunch bags. With five layers of insulation, it’s safe to say that this is one of the best stylish lunch bags for work. Soft insulation on the inside and a leak-proof lining are ideal for keeping whatever you stored in the same state(in terms of wetness and distortion).
- Back Packs Rock
What experts didn't like
Fabric is prone to tearing.
- The Cooler Zone
Opening is not square, which can be a problem for some users
- Fishing Picks
Does not have enough insulation.
- Kayak NV
Handles may be frayed.
- Top Ten Review Pro
The ice will melt after some time.
- Hombre Golf Club
Some people also stated that the fabric was prone to tearing.
- Soft Sided Cooler Man
A little pricey.
- Back Packs Rock

From The Manufacturer

AO Coolers are the ultimate soft-sided coolers. AO Coolers are guaranteed to never leak or sweat because of the high-quality TPU liner. The inner insulation is 3/4" thick, high-density, closed cell foam. This combination creates a cooler that will hold ice for 24 hours in 120° heat. Plus the soft exterior won't scratch your gel coat or tear up any upholstery. The popular AO Canvas Cooler is the perfect companion for a day on the boat, hunting and fishing trips, your favorite sports event, a picnic, or just bringing a dish to a potluck. The amazing AO Canvas Cooler keeps things warm as well as cold. Features twice the insulation of other soft-sided coolers, removable shoulder strap, clip-down ends, a side pocket for dry items, and a leak-proof liner. Meets airplane carry-on requirements. 24-Pack Canvas Cooler • 17"L x 10"W x 12"H • Capacity: 24 cans plus about 14 pounds of ice

Overall Product Rankings

Coleman Soft Cooler with Removable Liner, 16-Can
1. Coleman Soft Cooler with Removable Liner, 16-Can
Overall Score: 9.5
Expert Reviews: 32
AO Coolers Original Soft Cooler, 36-Can
2. AO Coolers Original Soft Cooler, 36-Can
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 20
Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze, 30-Can
3. Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze, 30-Can
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 26
Coleman Soft Cooler, 30-Can
4. Coleman Soft Cooler, 30-Can
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 16
CANWAY Large Cooler Bag, 40-Can
5. CANWAY Large Cooler Bag, 40-Can
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 3
OlarHike 30 Liter Large Cooler, 40-Can
6. OlarHike 30 Liter Large Cooler, 40-Can
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 3
CleverMade SnapBasket, 30-Can
7. CleverMade SnapBasket, 30-Can
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 2
CleverMade Collapsible Cooler Bag, 50-Can
8. CleverMade Collapsible Cooler Bag, 50-Can
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 35
Thermos Under Armour, 24-Can
9. Thermos Under Armour, 24-Can
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 2
HANIC 30 Liter Large Cooler Bag, 40-Can
10. HANIC 30 Liter Large Cooler Bag, 40-Can
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 3

An Overview On Large Soft-Sided Coolers

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.

Simplemost Media

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, like the Coleman Soft Cooler with Removable Liner, 16-Can. 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. The AO Coolers Original Soft Cooler, 36-Can offers 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. The Coleman Soft Cooler, 30-Can has 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.

DWYM Fun Fact

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.

The Large Soft-Sided Cooler Buying Guide

  • If you’ve narrowed your search down to two or three models, take a look to see if any of them offer a product warranty or a customer satisfaction guarantee. This is often a good indication that the company stands behind its products.
  • 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. The Coleman Soft Cooler with Removable Liner, 16-Can and the Coleman Soft Cooler, 30-Can cost half the price of the Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze, 30-Can, as the Arctic Zone model features a hard outer shell. The AO Coolers Original Soft Cooler, 36-Can is at the top of the price range because it holds the most cans.