Columbia PFG Roll Caster 30 Can Insulated Backpack Cooler, White Cap

Last updated date: September 26, 2019

DWYM Score
7.8

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We looked at the top 1 Backpack Coolers and dug through the reviews from 2 of the most popular review sites including Review Meta, Best Reviews Guide and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Backpack Cooler you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 110 expert reviews, the Columbia Columbia PFG Roll Caster 30 Can Insulated Backpack Cooler, White Cap placed 10th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note October 31, 2019:
Checkout The Best Backpack Coolers for a detailed review of all the top backpack coolers.

Expert Summarized Score
8.0
2 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
7.4
12 user reviews
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From The Manufacturer

The Columbia PFG Roll Caster Backpack Cooler contains a roomy main compartment with ThermaCool high performance insulation with Therma-Flect radiant barrier that reflects heat rather than absorbing it. Features Ultra Safe, leak proof, easy clean lining with Microban that protects against bacterial odors and stains. The exterior is constructed of Slime-Tech durable, gunk, muck, and goo resistant material as well as an insulated front compartment. The Columbia PFG Backpack Cooler features multiple exterior pockets, a padded back with breathable mesh panels, and adjustable, padded backpack straps. Also included are elasticized gear straps on the front of the backpack that are great for carrying towels, frizbees, etc., making this cooler perfect for hiking, camping, and beaching.

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.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

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 the YETI Hopper Backflip 24 Soft Sided Cooler/Backpack, as it only 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.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

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. The SEEHONOR Insulated Cooler Backpack, with its 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.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

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.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

DYWM Fun Fact

Did you know that portable coolers have only been around for 60 years even though iceboxes were invented in 1802? It was the invention of Styrofoam in 1944 that made portable coolers a possibility, although the first model wasn’t available for sale until 1957. Not only was the Styrofoam able to provide the insulation needed to keep drinks cold, but it was also light enough to lift without difficulty. That meant it could be loaded with sodas and sandwiches and easily placed in the trunk of a car and transported to the nearest beach or public park.

Some of the first portable coolers were made with a hard outer plastic shell. A few of those models were even on wheels that featured a handle for pulling to make moving the cooler a breeze. Companies quickly discovered, however, the value of portable coolers constructed of softer plastics, as these models were lighter and easier to carry.

Today, portable coolers have evolved a great deal. There are models made from waterproof materials, such as neoprene, models with solar panels on top and even models you can ride on. Smaller portable coolers are designed for student lunches, and others are made to be worn like backpacks for outdoor adventures.

The Backpack Cooler Buying Guide

  • Always check to see if the company selling the backpack cooler offers a warranty. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover that some companies believe in their product so much that they offer a lifetime warranty, which provides protection against product defects.
  • 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 SEEHONOR Insulated Cooler Backpack have similar features and pricing, the YETI Hopper Backflip 24 Soft Sided Cooler/Backpack costs a considerable bit more. This is because the Yeti is made using a waterproof fabric, has an FDA-approved food-grade inner lining and is both taller and wider than your average backpack coolers.