AO Coolers Soft Cooler
Last updated: August 13, 2023
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We looked at the top Small Coolers and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Small Cooler you should buy.
The durable canvas exterior of the AO Coolers Soft Cooler makes it last well in the throes of camping or whatever outdoor activities you find yourself using it in. The shoulder strap helps to comfortably carry the load and there is a neat design feature that helps keep ice colder for longer. During our testing, we liked that we could buckle the sides down to make it more compact.In our analysis of 197 expert reviews, the AO Coolers Soft Cooler placed 16th when we looked at the top 19 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
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
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Small Cooler Rankings
Whether you’re heading to a tailgate with friends or want to make sure your refrigerated grocery items stay cool on the way home from the store, having a small cooler on hand is a great idea. A small cooler will not only keep your food safe, it’s easy to carry around with you anywhere.
Start by figuring out what size you need. Think about the number of food items you need to keep cool most often. For example, if you’re just going to be carrying your lunch back and forth from the office, then a small cooler works well. If you frequently go out to spend the day at the beach with the family, you may want a slightly larger cooler so you can bring along a supply of drinks and snacks.
The size of the cooler is typically shown in quarts. Note that coolers can have different lengths and widths, so keep those dimensions in mind when looking at quart volume.
Keep in mind that hard-sided coolers will not be flexible if you’ve got a couple of extra items, but tend to have a larger capacity overall. Most hard-sided coolers are made from plastic, which is a durable, cost-effective and sturdy option. Opt for coolers that have roto-molded construction, which means that the plastic is all one piece, rather than multiple pieces attached together. This way, you can eliminate any weak points in its construction, which results in better insulation.
Soft-sided coolers are typically made from a tough fabric on the outside and a plastic lining on the inside along with closed-cell insulation. They tend to be more portable and lighter with convenient carrying straps. However, they’ll also be smaller, harder to clean, and less durable. Quality will vary widely, so you’ll have to be extra careful when shopping for a soft-sided cooler.
- Small coolers are meant to be portable, but how easy they are to carry will depend on their design. With hard-sided coolers, opt for ones that have handles on the sides and top, so you have different options for holding and carrying. Soft-sided coolers should have a shoulder-carry strap as well as a shorter handle you can use when you have your hands free. If the cooler is on the heavier side, check to see if it has wheels. This can make moving it significantly easier.
- The amount of insulation you should have will depend on your needs. For example, if you are using the cooler for lunch, you probably only need your cooler to work for a few hours. If you plan to take the cooler camping with you for a week, then you’ll want one that can last as long as possible.
- If you’re thinking about getting a soft-sided cooler, check that it is made from waterproof material. This way, if the ice melts inside or the outside is exposed to water, the cooler will still be usable and effective. Most hard-sided coolers are waterproof.
- You might want to consider a small cooler with external storage pockets. You can use these for cutlery, napkins and plates.
- Optimize your cooler usage by thoroughly cleaning your small cooler on the outside and inside, especially if it has been in storage. Then, pre-chill the cooler by placing cold water or ice packs inside the cooler for a few hours. If the cooler is small enough, you can even place it in the fridge. Remove the ice and water from the cooler just before you’re ready to pack it, dry it thoroughly, and then place a new ice pack at the bottom.
- Pack as efficiently as possible: Put all the food you want to take with you in water-tight containers and remove any excess packaging to save space. Pile your food containers in tightly, and add in loose ice to fill up any gaps.