Coleman Insulated Soft Backpack Cooler

Last updated date: September 7, 2022

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Coleman Insulated Soft Backpack Cooler

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

Update as September 8, 2022:
Checkout The Best Backpack Coolers for a detailed review of all the top backpack coolers.

Overall Take

Not only is this backpack cooler the top in its class, but it's also affordable. The inner compartment is able to keep 28 cans cool at once and features a leak-proof lining to protect against ice melt. The handy outer compartment holds dry items, like picnic utensils and energy bars. Backpackers will also love the well-padded shoulder and waist straps that adjust for proper back support.

In our analysis of 115 expert reviews, the Coleman Insulated Soft Backpack Cooler placed 3rd when we looked at the top 13 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Keep your food and snacks cool from the park to the campsite with a Coleman Backpack Cooler. This stylish bag is large enough to hold 28 cans. Extra padding in the back and waist make it even easier to carry over almost any distance. The BPA- and phthalate-free, heat-welded main compartment is perfect for using with ice and the zippered front pocket lets you store extra snacks and small gear. The bungee cord on the front also provides quick access to other items. Antimicrobial, product-protecting properties are built into the flexible lining to resist odor, mold and mildew, making it easy to clean between uses.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

32 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

1,186 user reviews

What experts liked

The Coleman backpack cooler bag is a great choice if you need something practical that won’t slow you down.
- Outside Pursuits
June 9, 2019 | Full review
This backpack is awesome for a one-day outing, is has decent insulation, and awesome support.
- Arbor Explorer
The soft backpack keeps the bag lightweight and can store up to 28 cans. Ample storage space and easy to carry.
- Listderful
It comes in a khaki design which is very stylish with its red detail and other added features too.
- Globo Turf
This lightweight cooler looks like an actual backpack and is large enough to hold 28 cans. Extra padding has been added in the back and waist which makes it easier to carry for long distances.
- Popular Mechanics
July 17, 2018 | Full review
The C003 soft backpack cooler from coleman is extremely durable due to the use of high quality materials.
- Travel Gear Zone
It also comes with a large front pocket with zipper for you to carry any dry snacks that goes well with your chosen beverages.
- The Z9
July 7, 2019 | Full review
The main compartment is large and fully sealed so you can fill it to capacity and use ice
- The Gear Hunt
The back of the bag is padded so you’ll be comfortable carrying it long distances.
- Best Backpack Lab
This 28 can cooler backpack is a reliable and affordable option built from some decent materials that comes very highly recommended. Great organizational material.
- Heavy
July 26, 2019 | Full review
It looks just like a normal backpack, yet the large zippered pocket is insulated to keep all its contents cool for hours
- Reviewed
May 22, 2018 | Full review
It’s comfortable and unobtrusive to carry, has useful pockets and a bungee cord, and keeps things cold.
- New York Mag
June 19, 2019 | Full review
It also has pouches on the side for extra water (or wine!) bottles and has a waist strap to make carrying a full pack easier.
- Yahoo Lifestyle
July 5, 2019 | Full review
It’s a backpack designed to serve you in varying situations from the park to the campsite.
- The Z8
April 14, 2019 | Full review
This cooler’s resistance to mildew, mold and odor makes it the ideal choice for camping as well as random picnics.
- CTOP Reviews
It features two insulated compartments with a padded back and straps for comfort, plus a hip belt to keep the weight stabilized.
- Wiki EZ Vid
April 19, 2019 | Full review
The bag features straps with excellent padding construction. This makes it easy for you to carry them about anywhere you are going.
- Dotbeasts
January 16, 2019 | Full review
The Coleman C003 fits your budget and your back comfortably.
- Territory Supply
The external part of the pack is a ripstop nylon that looks like any other pack but is very durable.
- SOutdoors
April 18, 2019 | Full review
The bag features large isolated dry storage compartment that can hold up to 28 cans.
- Theme Country
The padded back offers maximum comfort to ensure your back is free from pains and pokes usually caused by extended use.
- Industry Ears
June 11, 2019 | Full review
Camping standby Coleman’s soft backpack cooler looks just like a regular backpack, down to the front dry pocket for your non-cooler snacks, but also boasts a 28-can capacity in the insulated interior.
- Travel and Leisure
The bungee line on the front additionally gives snappy access to different things.
- A Best Pro
June 4, 2019 | Full review
the zippered front pocket enables you to convey extra treats and less gear.
- Top Portal Review
May 21, 2019 | Full review
It’s a nice, simple design with padded shoulder and hip straps, which they claim can hold up to 28 cans.
- Independent Wolf
April 8, 2019 | Full review
Include a dry pack area for extra storage your personal items. Very comfortable to wear. Possible to hold over 20 cans of beverage.
- BestReviews
It’s properly insulated which means you can keep your stuff warm or cold however you like.
- Best Coolers Info
The ColemanC003 backpack cooler is excellent value for money at less than $25! Coleman is well known for very good camping supplies and equipment.
- The Junior Golfer
One of the advantages of using this model is that the insulation lining it comes with is also antimicrobial and mold and mildew-resistant. This is an advantage because it will allow you to clean the backpack between uses without any problems, lowering the unit’s maintenance.
- Cooler List
There are adjustable shoulder and way straps to make it comfortable to carry, and a padded back gives you comfort and support, aside from ensuring that you don’t become overheated.
- Top Rated Cooler
April 14, 2018 | Full review
It provides great support to the people who love to go on trips, picnic, hiking or beaches.
- Backpack Judge
This is yet another easy to carry backpack cooler that brings and keeps all your beverages cool when hiking.
- Backpack Droid
August 8, 2019 | Full review

What experts didn't like

Not any that specifically needs attention. But make sure to pack properly to avoid leaking.
- Listderful
These types of soft bags don’t offer much in the way of ice retention.
- Globo Turf
Lacks a clip on the outsde to hang keys, et.
- Travel Gear Zone
You have to make sure that you do not place items that are too heavy or sharp in this backpack.
- The Gear Hunt
The biggest downside to this bag is any ice will leak once it melts.
- Best Backpack Lab
There’s not a ton of capacity in this pack - this will fit lunch for one or two people
- Heavy
July 26, 2019 | Full review
Less ice time and has a small size.
- SOutdoors
April 18, 2019 | Full review
Front internal pocket impossible to access if the pack is full.
- Independent Wolf
April 8, 2019 | Full review
This pack tends to leak from the zipper if you tip it over or lay on its side.
- BestReviews
This might be small for those who are traveling for longer distances and sharing bags. Also since the insulation is thin, there might be risks of tearing if sharp things are inserted causing much trouble if any leakages go to the insulated department.
- Best Coolers Info
Would be better if it came with other color options
- Top Rated Cooler
April 14, 2018 | Full review
The smaller front pocket isn’t insulated
- Backpack Judge
The mesh pockets not ideal for electronics – not zippered
- Backpack Droid
August 8, 2019 | Full review

Our Expert Consultant

Brittany Anas
Travel journalist

Brittany Anas is an award-winning investigative journalist turned freelancer who now specializes in travel and lifestyle topics. She is a former reporter for the Daily Camera and The Denver Post. Her travel writing has been featured in American Way, USA Today, AAA magazines, Simplemost, Better, Livability, Apartment Therapy, Men’s Journal, Austin-American Statesman, TripSavvy and other outlets. She’s carved out a niche in adventure travel writing and has a column with Forbes that’s focused on outdoors travel. She logs about 75,000 airline miles a year and has mastered the art of napping in airports and finding the best spicy cocktails in whichever city she visits. She treats travel like a scavenger hunt, finding what makes cities special. Brittany is based in Denver, and loves exploring Colorado’s hiking trails with her gremlin that the rescue described as a “Boston Terrier.”

An Overview On Backpack Coolers

Backpack coolers give families and outdoor adventurers a handy way to bring their food and drinks along for a day of fun. They are excellent for picnics in the park, soaking up the sun at the beach or taking a hike up a mountain. If you’re in the market for a backpack cooler, there are a few things you’ll want to look for before making a selection.

Determine what size backpack cooler would be best based on the number of people traveling with you and how much they drink. Most models list how many cans they hold. A smaller family or group would do better with a backpack cooler that holds 20 cans. The TOURIT Insulated Backpack Cooler is a better choice for larger groups because it has a 30 can capacity.

“You’ll want to make sure the backpack cooler is multi-functional, with enough exterior pockets to stash extras like granola bars or your cell phone,” says travel expert Brittany Anas. This will separate your essentials from the cooler’s ice and water.

Next, review the materials used to construct the backpack cooler. Some models are waterproof for use near a pool or beach, while others are made to withstand coming up against brush in the wilderness. “Look for a well-constructed exterior that’s puncture-proof so it doesn’t get ripped up by branches,” says Anas.  “Leak and mildew-resistant features will also help keep your backpack cooler in good condition,” she adds. A backpack with a durable scratch-resistant outer layer, is an example of a model best used in forests and along nature trails.

Don’t forget to examine the inside materials used to create the cooler as well. You want to make sure they are leak-proof, non-toxic and made from an FDA-approved food-grade material. Remember, this is where you will store all your refreshing beverages and tasty treats.

Review the backpack cooler’s straps to make sure they are padded and comfortable. The Coleman C003 Soft Backpack Cooler has an additional set of straps that go around your waist. Both the shoulder and waist straps are adjustable, so you’re sure to get the perfect fit, which is important when it comes to back health.

Finally, you’ll want to check the backpack cooler for any extras. See if there are enough outer pockets to hold your dry items. Look for side pockets that can hold extra water bottles. Some models even offer hooks for hanging little canteens and other gadgets. Others have built-in beer can openers. It’s all about which features best fit your specific needs and the needs of the group you’ll be traveling with.

The Backpack Cooler Buying Guide

  • After each use, you’ll need to clean your backpack cooler. Start by dumping any remaining ice or melted water into your kitchen sink. If the cooler isn’t dirty, you may be able to get away with simply drying the inside with a towel. Should the cooler need a cleaning, wipe it down using a soapy dish rag. Rinse it clean with a little water and then towel dry.
  • Follow the instructions on the product label when it comes to cleaning the outside of your backpack cooler. The cleaning method used will be determined by the type of fabric the outer shell is made out of.
  • Your backpack cooler may build up an unpleasant odor over time. This can be removed by filling the cooler with cold water and one cup of white distilled vinegar. Let the mixture sit for an hour before dumping it out and cleaning it as you normally would.
  • Whether you are using a traditional backpack or a backpack cooler, it is recommended that you pack the lightest items at the bottom of the pack and that you wear the pack on the lower half of your back. This will help prevent back strain or possible injuries.
  • For additional safety, weigh your backpack cooler after it’s packed. The total number of pounds should not exceed 20 percent of your total body weight. If the number happens to be above that, you’ll want to take a few things out of the cooler to bring the weight down.
  • When comparing backpack cooler prices, you’ll need to take into consideration the materials used to make the pack, how many cans the cooler holds and whether there are any extra pockets or accessories. While the Coleman C003 Soft Backpack Cooler, TOURIT Insulated Backpack Cooler and TOURIT Insulated Leak-Proof Soft Backpack Cooler have similar features and pricing, backpacks that are TSA checkpoint friendly, bigger in size and equipped with more pockets command a higher price.