AO Coolers Water-Resistant Vinyl Soft Cooler

Last updated date: April 23, 2019

DWYM Score

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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 5 of the most popular review sites including New York Times Wirecutter, Wiki EZ Vid, The Cooler Zone, Best Cooler, SOutdoors and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Cooler you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 60 expert reviews, the AO Coolers AO Coolers Water-Resistant Vinyl Soft Cooler placed 4th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note May 8, 2019:
Checkout The Best Cooler for a detailed review of all the top coolers.

Expert Summarized Score
5 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
289 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
This exterior has a slight advantage in very wet environments, as it’s almost waterproof.
- New York Times Wirecutter
It is UV protected to prevent fading in the hot sun, and can keep ice frozen for up to 24 hours, even in 120-degree heat.
- Wiki EZ Vid
This product does live up to its promises which is great impressive for a soft-sided cooler. You can anticipate a full day of cooling even in warm summer heat with this item.
- The Cooler Zone
In addition, the nylon has been treated with a UV coating to help reduce the fading of the bag colors. This makes these AO Coolers a great companion for going boating and fishing.
- Best Cooler
This version is waterproof, thanks to a tough, vinyl exterior.
- SOutdoors
What experts didn't like
One drawback is that the shell seems to heat up faster in direct sunlight than the Canvas Cooler does.
- New York Times Wirecutter
These Vinyl line doesn’t have as many outside pockets and netting features as some of Ao’s other offerings, so the outside can appear a bit bare.
- The Cooler Zone
Strap can break
- SOutdoors

From The Manufacturer

The AO Coolers Vinyl Fishing Soft Cooler is perfect for boating, fishing, hunting, parties, sporting events, picnics, and more. 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. The outer material is 1000 denier vinyl and UV protective so the color won't fade in the hot sun. It's tear resistant up to 375 pounds, as well as waterproof and anti-mildew. 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 our soft exterior, it won’t scratch up your gel coat or tear up any upholstery. Carry beverage cans and plenty of ice for an outdoor excursion inside this soft cooler bag from AO Coolers. The AO Coolers 12 Pack Vinyl Soft Cooler is made from durable vinyl fabric and features a medium sized shape designed to hold a twelve pack of beverage cans plus about five pounds of ice. Designed to offer twice the insulation as other softside coolers, this cooler includes a leak-proof liner and can hold ice about twice as long as other soft cooler bags. Other features of this cooler include a side pocket for dry items and a removable shoulder strap with clip down ends.

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. Coleman Xtreme Marine Cooler
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 4
4. AO Coolers Water-Resistant Vinyl Soft Cooler
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 5
5. Polar Bear Coolers
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 7
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. Igloo MaxCold 70 Quart Cooler
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 2
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 Xtreme Marine Cooler offers 76.1 quarts of usable space inside, which totals more than 200 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. Both the YETI Tundra 65 Cooler and the Coleman Xtreme Marine Cooler are built to withstand the weight of someone seated on them. The Coleman Xtreme Marine Cooler can hold up to 250 pounds.
  • 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. The Coleman Xtreme Marine Cooler has 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.