ICEMULE Pro Insulated Backpack Cooler Bag – Hands-free, Highly-Portable, Collapsible, Waterproof and Soft-Sided Cooler Backpack for Hiking, the Beach, Picnics, Camping, Fishing

Last updated date: September 26, 2019

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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.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 125 expert reviews, the ICEMULE ICEMULE Pro Insulated Backpack Cooler Bag - Hands-free, Highly-Portable, Collapsible, Waterproof and Soft-Sided Cooler Backpack for Hiking, the Beach, Picnics, Camping, Fishing placed 8th 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
17 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
254 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
This is the coolest hand free cooler that is portable and cools well.
- Fly Parents
Unlike sophisticated cooler models, the ICEMULE Pro series sticks to simple solutions - this is basically an insulated dry bag with two attached backpack straps.
- Under The Open Sky
The high-performance soft-sided cooler boasts with a heap of impressive features.
- Pikroll
It features heavy-duty zippers that prevent accidental opening.
- The 10 Pro
March 1, 2019 | Full review
The most compact, elite delicate sided cooler around and is accessible in an assortment of sizes to guarantee that whatever the event, your beverages and refreshments stay super cold throughout the day.
- A Best Pro
June 4, 2019 | Full review
It’s the most conservative world class cooler with delicate sides and arrives in an assortment of sizes to guarantee that beverages and refreshments remain icy for the day at any occasion.
- Top Portal Review
May 21, 2019 | Full review
Waterproof and fast, easy access- the ICEMULE closure system is designed without zippers and welded seams, meaning no leaky zippers and easy access to load and unload the cooler; it even floats, so it's perfect for kayaking and watersport trips.
- Arbor Explorer
A durable, tough backpack cooler that is extremely easy to load up and carry for long periods of time.
- Trip Savvy
July 22, 2019 | Full review
IceMule has also included their own IM Airvalve, which is their original feature for increasing the insulation. This valve allows you to add air to the insulating layer, which the company claims will increase its capabilities.
- Well Traveled Mile
January 11, 2019 | Full review
It’s more like a dry-bag backpack than a standard cooler-pack due to its roll-top closure and ability to float in water!
- Heavy
It’s also super compact, allowing you to squeeze all the air out through the air valve so you can roll it up for storage.
- Best Cooler
May 13, 2019 | Full review
IceMule Soft Sided Coolers are a highly versatile, leak proof soft cooler that combines the portability of a backpack with the performance of a hard cooler.
- ReasonBuy
May 13, 2019 | Full review
ICEMULE is famous for being a super-space saving backpack cooler.
- Dotbeasts
The construction is simple but highly effective at keeping water in and everything cold.
- SOutdoors
April 18, 2019 | Full review
It sports a valve feature that allows you to add air for an extra layer of insulation and, once it's deflated, it rolls up compactly for storage.
- Wiki EZ Vid
It is lightweight and comes with a sturdy strap to make mobility much smoother and comfortable.
- Industry Ears
June 11, 2020 | Full review
The IceMule Pro Insulated backpack is the most portable cooler backpack in our list.
- Best Coolers Info
What experts didn't like
However, there is no outside sealed pockets.
- Under The Open Sky
Roll-top closure can be frustrating to use depending on who you are. Not a ton of organization potential
- Heavy
The one issue with the IceMule is the shape. A rounded bag does make carry a little more difficult as it presses into the back.
- SOutdoors
April 18, 2019 | Full review
Shape is a bit awkward to carry.
- Wiki EZ Vid

From The Manufacturer

Icemule hands free back pack cooler There is no other cooler like an ICEMULE. We combined the portability of a backpack with the performance of a hard cooler, so you can take your cooler anywhere! always cold portable on the go accessible easy to use compact roll up and store how it works

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.