We recommend products based on unbiased research from our editorial team. We may receive a small compensation at no extra cost to you if you click on a link. Read More.
Don’t we all love the outdoors? The beautiful landscape, the ocean and of course, nature has a way with our soul. However, there are a few things that can stand in the way of our enjoyment while outdoors and among them is an inadequate supply of cold beverages and food. Anyone that manages to keep water and food cool has the edge over others. They can easily outlast them and keep going despite the hard landscape and severe conditions. But how do you keep the food and drinks cool while outdoors? Well, the answer lies in the best cooler backpack.
- 1 The 10 Best Rated Backpack Coolers:
- 2 Our Top Picks
- 2.1 1. Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler with Hard Liner
- 2.2 2. Polar Bear Coolers Nylon Line
- 2.3 3. OAGear Backpack 20 Can Cooler
- 2.4 4. Coleman C003 Soft Backpack Cooler
- 2.5 5. Scuddles Picnic Backpack
- 2.6 6. ONIVA – a Picnic Time brand Picnic Time Zuma Insulated Cooler Backpack
- 2.7 7. VonShef 4 Person Blue Tartan Picnic Backpack Bag
- 2.8 8. OAGear Ultimate Backpack Cooler
- 2.9 9. TOURIT Insulated Cooler Backpack
- 2.10 10. IceMule Classic Coolers Blaze
- 3 What to look for when buying the top-rated cooler backpack
- 4 FAQ
- 5 Wrapping Up
The 10 Best Rated Backpack Coolers:
Our Top Picks
Everyone deserves one of the best cooler backpacks on the market and TOURIT Insulated Cooler Backpack fits the bill. So, why do we claim this product to be the best backpack cooler? Well, if it isn’t for its attractive design, it has features to make anybody change their mind.
The bag has a large capacity, holding up to 28 beers, has several pockets for more easy organization and is highly leak-proof and adequately insulated. However, ventilate exterior fabric that ensures your back is free of condensation is one feature that wins it all. There a variety of cooler backpacks on the market. However, we are making your choosing task easier by listing a few of the best sellers. Check them out, and you definitely will find your ideal cooler pack to ensure the outdoor fun doesn’t stop just yet. If you are looking for the best cooler backpack, here are our top picks:
1. Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler with Hard Liner
If you are looking for the ideal picnic companion, then this insulated backpack cooler may just be the right product that fits the description. And why is this ideal? What makes it so special? Well, there are a number of factors that make it ideal and that includes its capacity to hold 16 cans – think of how much fun you can have with your friends at the beach as you watch the ocean.
The cooler also has extra storage space for other stuff. The meshed side pockets, zippered pockets and also bungees provide extra towing space. The external is pretty cool for comfortable carrying. And to ensure adequate protection of the food there is a hard plastic liner – your food arrives in good condition to your happiness.
The FDA-approved liner is easy to clean and safe for food contact – you don’t have to worry too much since your food is in safe hands, literally. The soft cooler also has a role to play. It resists, mildew, mold, and odors – an all-around protection, we can call it. So, is this bag heavy? Is it unwieldy, in other words? Well, at less than 2lbs weight and compact dimensions, we can comfortably state that this is a small and light cooler backpack – something like a ladies’ handbag. The cooler backpack is ideal for towing drinks and sandwiches to last you a whole day – quite something, to say the least. Be sure to also check out our list of the best fishing backpacks for more great items like this
- Has an ideal capacity of 16 cans – enough for your enjoyment with several friends
- Features extra storage space in the form of meshed pockets, zippered pockets, and bungee
- A cool external for comfort when carrying the bag
- Comes with a plastic liner to protect your food from getting crushed
- FDA-approved and easy to clean liner – sufficient for food contact
- The cooler resists odor, mildew, mold and has microbial protection
- They are quite handy and are just like a small backpack for ladies
- Can easily hold drinks and sandwiches to last you the whole day
- It is easy to carry – anyone can carry it including older children
- Not ideal for hiking as carry it for long is challenging
- May not keep the food cool for long
2. Polar Bear Coolers Nylon Line
If you are planning a camping trip into the woods, you will need a more cooling pack that is not only easier to carry, but also has sufficient insulation. You need something that will keep the beverages and food cool for longer, and we think that polar bear backpack cooler is the solution you are have been searching for. One of the highlight features of this pack is its insulation. Is there something wrong with it?
Far from it! The insulation helps the bag keep foodstuff cold for about 24 hours in scorching outdoors. So what is this insulation that seems so effective? Well, it’s none other than high-density foam insulation that is –inch thick. The interior liner is antimicrobial and safe for food contact – FDA-approved. But that’s not all; the backpack features double-coated nylon, adequate for perishable storage. It is also one of the most durable liners.
And what about the outer shell? The outer shell is 1000D luggage-grade nylon – rugged and quite durable. For more durability, it features anchor-stitched and double-hemmed seams. You have probably heard about many zipper issues where it quickly breaks after a short period of use. However, this product comes with heavy-duty and rustproof YKK zippers. It also has a patent-pending zipper design that ensures it does not quickly come off.
- Sufficient insulation to keep foods and drinks cool and fresh for longer
- FDA-approved antimicrobial liner – safe for food contact
- Has a double-coated and durable liner providing adequate storage for the perishables
- The outer is 1000D nylon for a high level of durability
- Features anchor-stitched and double-hemmed seams for added strength
- A durable YKK zipper and patent-pending zipper design
- A zipper pocket on the side for additional storage
- Has an easy to carry design
- It may not have adequate space for all your food and drinks
- May not be one of the most durable – it may not take constant use over an extended period
3. OAGear Backpack 20 Can Cooler
Cooler backpacks are not more comfortable to carry with your back. However, this OAGear Backpack 20 Can Cooler is the ideal bag to carry your cold drinks while on a hike – it fits well on your back and features padded straps. This is among the most ideal for day hikes and other outdoors – you name them! It is also one of the most comfortable backpacks with a cooler compartment to carry. That means you can carry it for long distances without the need of getting tired. The padded straps ensure that your carry is pretty comfortable. It is compact and lightweight – other features you will find appealing and which make it easier to carry. The bag has a leak-resistant interior that is odor-resistant and easier to clean.
To demonstrate a high-level of efficiency, the can cooler keeps the drinks cool even without the ice. It has a high 20-cans capacity – enough to keep you hydrated and to enjoy yourself to the maximum – it has high-quality insulation. It is also sufficiently tall for carrying those tall champagne and wine bottles measuring 750ml. And if you are among those that need extra storage apart from the cans, this pack features front pockets and handy side just for that.
- Is backpack style for more comfortable carrying
- It is one of the most comfortable to carry – comes with padded straps
- The pack efficiently keeps the food chilled without the need for ice packs
- There is extra storage in the form of front pockets and handy side
- Padded straps for a comfortable carry
- The bag is compact and lightweight
- It has high-quality insulation – ideal
- A leak-resistant, odor resistant and easy-to-clean interior
- You can also fold or flatten the bag and put it in a suitcase
- The bag has no hip support, and so it may not be more comfortable to carry for some people
- May be difficult to carry for the men with broad shoulders
- Not the most durable construction
4. Coleman C003 Soft Backpack Cooler
This is yet another easy to carry backpack cooler that brings and keeps all your beverages cool when hiking. The Coleman C003 Soft Backpack Cooler is ideal for larger families or extended outings. So, why is the backpack perfect for large families going on a hike?
Well, apart from the fact that it is quite easy to carry, the backpack has a large capacity – 28-can capacity, actually. And what’s even more appealing is the favorable price that the backpack cooler comes in that you can almost call it a steal. Some comparable backpacks do not come with waist straps. However, this backpack comes with both the shoulder straps and waist straps – nothing should compromise your comfort while on travel, agreed? The bag also has wide straps for sufficient support of the load – there is never any reason to say that the pack is hard to carry.
And apart from the main compartment where the food and drinks go, there are also others mesh pockets for additional storage. There are also sizeable front panel pockets where you can put your stuff that you need dry. This is where such things that don’t need to be cool, go. But the pocket is sufficiently large to hold such stuff as tablets and snacks – these don’t need to be cool, or do they? There is a bungee system that adds to the twist of having more storage. The bag lining is leak-proof and anti-microbial. It is also mildew resistant and mold resistant – we have to be extra careful when it comes to food. If you love hiking, make sure you also check our guide to the best hiking backpacks under 100.
- This a comfortable backpack
- Has a large capacity of up to 28-cans – sufficient to support an extended family
- Comes with an appealing price tag
- Has both shoulder, as well as, waist straps
- The straps are broad for carrying comfort
- Mesh pockets for additional storage
- A large front panel pocket for electronics and snacks
- An insulative lining that ensures the interior is waterproof
- The lining is also leak-proof, anti-microbial and mildew resistant
- The mesh pockets not ideal for electronics – not zippered
- Non-waterproof zippers
- The waist-strap may not be sufficient when the load is too heavy
5. Scuddles Picnic Backpack
There is a pretty good reason why this is a favorite cooler backpack for most people, and I know you have a pretty good idea. Scuddles Picnic Backpack is an all-in-one set meaning that you have all the necessary utensils, food, drinks and others without any problem.
This backpack comes with a lifetime guarantee which pretty much underscores faith in the quality of their product. The bag is also quite attractive, to say the least – it is a bag that will attract the right attention. It is leak-proof and quite sturdy – this is something that you will love having around for some time, enjoying the outdoors. The backpack with cooler pocket comes with a leak-proof lining keeping you dry throughout the day. The construction of the bag promises a long time use – which is quite good.
The cutlery is stainless steel and is non-corrosive and rust-free – pretty ideal for the outdoor use. Other included accessories include a bottle opener, high-quality napkins, and corkscrew. And for those chilly outdoors, there is a comfortable blanket – how thoughtful! It is light and quite easy on your shoulders. But the backpack also has a sizeable compartment for the food – insulated to keep the food cool and fresh for up to 12 hours. Surprisingly, the bag carries enough food for up to four people.
- The backpack is an all-in-one set, and you have everything you need for the picnic
- Includes high-quality utensils that are also long lasting – will give you a long time service
- There are other accessories such as the corkscrew, napkins and bottle opener – it’s a full house, literally
- There are also pepper and salt shakers in addition to a cutting board
- Comes with a comfortable blanket for the chilly days
- A sizeable insulated compartment for food and drinks
- Carries sufficient food for up to four people – quite ideal!
- Comes with a lifetime guarantee
- The bag has quite an attractive design
- The quality of the serving dishes may not be the best
- An unstitched cooler
6. ONIVA – a Picnic Time brand Picnic Time Zuma Insulated Cooler Backpack
One of the things you notice when you lay your eyes on this backpack is its attractive design. However, that’s beside the point. The features that ONIVA bring include an insulated cooler for efficient food storage and carrying. The material on this bag is polyester for durability and style. It has several compartments and a zippered pocket for extra storage. Other great features include padded shoulder straps for a comfortable carrying – you don’t need to feel the strap penetration on your shoulder.
The backpack also comes with a cell phone pocket and air mesh underside. There are enough pockets for storing all the necessary picnic essentials, and so there is no reason whatsoever not to take your family outdoors. And to ensure there are no leaks, the backpack comes with a water-resistant and heat-sealed linin – no moisture or water drops find their way to the bag.
It has a capacity of up to 13 cans, adequate for an effective outdoor excursion – you will enjoy your drink as you experience nature. The bag also comes with a lifetime guarantee which protects you against damages – you don’t get this much from other products. The bag is neither too big nor too compact. It is just the right size that fits at your back. Some of the drawbacks that you may have to deal with include the drawstrings. You will need to tuck them away after packing. Also, the straps don’t stay tight.
- An insulated cooler for efficient food storage
- Made from a polyester fabric, stylish and lightweight
- Several compartments and zippered pockets for additional storage
- There is adequate space for carrying all the necessary stuff for your picnic
- Padded shoulder straps for more natural and comfortable carrying
- Drawstring closure for more effortless opening and closing
- The backpack comes with a water-resistant and heat-sealed lining
- Comes with a lifetime guarantee
- It is less than 2lbs in weight – quite lightweight
- The bag is quite lightweight even after packing – a good thing
- Thirteen cans may not be enough
- The carry handle is definitely not the best
- The top may not stay up
- Its drawstrings may not be quite effective
- It may not sit on its own – needs support
7. VonShef 4 Person Blue Tartan Picnic Backpack Bag
This is another great bag for going out on a picnic with the family. It has the ideal design incorporating the necessary features for an enjoyable outing – we all want it once in a while. For starters, the VonShef 4 Person Blue Tartan Picnic Backpack Bag comes with a practical cooler compartment for storing all the necessary foodstuffs and drinks. It also includes all the necessary flatware for a successful picnic. This includes dinner plates, forks, knives, plastic wine glasses, cotton napkins and not forgetting, bottle opener.
But there are also other extra essentials such as a salt and pepper shaker, a plastic chopping board and a blanket – Is there anything more you would need to make your picnic completely successful? But how many people can this cooler backpack cater for? Well, this is fitting for up to four people. It is, also a very appealing backpack with its dark shade of blue and polyester material – it is something that passersby will envy you for.
Your journey to the picnic spot need not be too hard to take. As a result, the backpack comes with softly padded shoulders for more comfortable carrying. It is also made from a heavy-duty material – this ensures it overcomes the stress associated with everyday use. The lining is 210D polyester, sturdy and durable. Another highlight form this bag is the detachable water bottle holder, with the capacity to hold a wine bottle and keep it cool – quite convenient since you don’t get this much from other products.
- Comes with a capable cooler for storing all the necessary food items and drinks – what you need for your outdoor
- Includes all the essential equipment you need for picnics such as forks, knives, plates and cotton napkins
- Soft padded shoulder for easy carrying of the bag
- Made from a heavy-duty material for durability
- Carries enough for up to four people
- Appealing with its dark shade of blue polyester material
- A strong 210D polyester lining
- Comes with a detachable water bottle holder
- The plates are quite small and not of the best quality
- The quality of the silverware is not what you would call the best
8. OAGear Ultimate Backpack Cooler
This is another 20-can holding backpack cooler that has any outdoor enthusiast will love having around. Other excellent features that OAGear Ultimate Backpack Cooler – Royal boasts include mesh backpack pads, and adjustable heavy-duty straps. It is one backpack that beer drinkers will find to be quite good. The bag is ideal in places where recreational drinking is legal – may be in a concert or other outdoors, it is quite decent. This pack also looks nice. It carries a beautiful design with an appealing color. It is something that you will be proud of taking around the street with looks of approval.
The backpack is durable and sturdy 600D polyester material – it will provide a decent amount of service. The PEV liner is heavy-duty and adds to the overall bag’s durability. Is there additional storage? Well, the bag features mesh side pockets, and large slip pocket at the front – you won’t have to leave all the necessary picnic accessories. But is the backpack heavy? This bag weighs less than 2lbs and so it is quite easy to carry around. And with all these features, is the bag costly? All we can say is that the price is quite favorable. It’s worth the investment you make on it.
- Has a decent capacity of 20 cans
- The material is 600D polyester
- A sturdy PEV liner adding to overall durability
- Comes with mesh pockets on either side and a sizeable slip pocket
- Weighs 1.55lbs and so is quite easy to carry around
- A perfect backpack for recreational drinking
- Quite compact with a beautiful and attractive design
- Favorable pricing and worth every penny
- It does not have a hard bottom and so can easily collapse – cannot stand on its own
- Does not come with any warranty
- There have been complaining of stitches coming apart
- The straps may come off after a period of use
9. TOURIT Insulated Cooler Backpack
This product is quite appealing and comfortable to carry. It features excellently padded shoulder straps that make carrying for long distances easy – no issues of sore shoulders anymore. At the back, you will find thickly padded sections for additional comfort. The backpack is lightweight and has almost everything you would want in such a picnic or outdoor bag. It is stylish and comes in appealing colors. But that’s nothing compared to the other features it boasts.
For starters, the backpack comes with a sizeable cooler for your food and drinks – this is usually the primary reason you get one. And to the happiness of outdoor lovers, the bag easily holds up to 28 cans – quite decent. Another great feature about the cooler is that it carries high-density insulation and a liner that demonstrates a high level of leak-proofing. The cooler compartment can keep your food and beverages cool for a decent amount of time – 16 hours. On the exterior, the bag features a ventilated fabric to prevent your clothes at the back from becoming wet from condensation.
It has a sturdy fabric construction to ensure that the bag doesn’t collapse easily when carrying to your favorite outdoor spot. It would be an embarrassment having your food all over the floor the road, don’t you think? There are multiple pockets especially for those that don’t want to leave anything behind. Apart from the roomy primary compartment, the backpack has mesh pockets on either side, a large zipper pocket located on the front side with a mesh divider for the utensils.
- An appealing backpack
- Padded and comfortable shoulder straps – makes it easy to carry
- A big cooler for your foods and drinks – up to 28 cans
- An insulated and leak-proof cooler
- Has several pockets for easier organization
- A padded back for additional comfort
- An ideal bag for a variety of outdoor places
- Can keep your food items cool for up to 16 hours
- A ventilate exterior fabric to prevent your clothing from getting wet
- The bag is easy to clean
- There may be quality issues with the zipper
- May leak at the zippers
- It is not comfortable when it is full
10. IceMule Classic Coolers Blaze
If you are among those looking for a bag that holds ice and keeps your food items cold for a long time, then you have IceMule Classic Coolers Blaze Orange, Large (20L). This is a heavy-duty bag cooler that keeps the ice intact more than 24 hours. The bag folds or rolls up quite well for easier storage. The bag has a high-level waterproofing as it features welded seams and no zippers – you know how zippers are. There’s no question when it comes to portability. It is lightweight, and one of the most portable – anyone, big or small can carry the bag.
If you are into watersports or other outdoors involving water, then this is the ideal cooler backpack for you – fishing for a hobby will also be fitting with this. But what is the bag’s capacity? It is quite decent and can hold up to 18 cans – you can easily entertain your friends with these. If the pack’s simplicity doesn’t appeal to you, then its high level of waterproofing, definitely will.
- A heavy-duty cooler bag that keeps the ice in shape for more than 24 hours
- Welded seams for a high level of waterproofing
- It does not have zippers
- The bag easily holds up to eighteen cans
- It is lightweight and has a high level of portability
- Great for outdoors where there is a significant amount of water
- It is not the most attractive backpack out there
- Not comfortable when heavy – the lightly padded strap may not be sufficient
- May not be useful in a hot and humid environment
What to look for when buying the top-rated cooler backpack
When planning an outdoor adventure, there are several things you need to pack to make it easier for you. Whether you out buck hunting of hiking, you will need a backpack to carry the essentials such as a camera or guns. You will also need a convenient way of carrying your food and water to keep nourished. However, there various types of backpacks you can choose from depending on the outdoor activity. The backpacking needs of a hunter are not the same with those of hiker. The former will need a bag with a holster and other features best-suited for his hunting. The same applies to a hiker and others.
But how does this apply to cooler backpacks? Well, as mentioned, there are various backpacking types and models, and the ideal one for you is the one the right features to accommodate the activity you will be doing while outdoors.
There is a wide variety of backpack coolers on the market, competing and which is a good thing. It means that you get to pick the backpack with the right features for your needs outdoors. Typically, the majority of backpacks come with a polyurethane liner, easy to clean and practical. Some others come with sealable pockets for the keys and other small essentials – you know them. You will need a backpack with padded shoulders and a decent level of breathability – outdoors like hiking is always quite physically demanding.
A weatherproof exterior is always ideal to ensure your stuff are secure and safe – no one fancies getting their electronics having moisture. Others come with external clips where you attach more stuff for your trip. Basically, there are so many features you can choose, but you can’t have all of them in a single backpack. Plan ahead regarding what you want in a backpack. Which features will be most beneficial to you – as they say, you can’t have everything.
There are a number of things that will help determine the ideal style for you, but the most critical is used. You cannot go for a brightly colored backpack cooler, and you are on a hunting expedition – you will go home empty-handed.
Another thing that you definitely cannot do is choose an oversized backpack, and you are a slender individual. It will prove not only uncomfortable to carry but also unappealing on you – why attract all the wrong attention to yourself? Choose a cooler backpack that is comfortable and fitting for the activity you are doing. And don’t fall into the temptation of going with the flow. It may look all good at first but prove flimsy in the end – you know these marketing gimmicks.
The reasons for acquiring a cooler backpack vary from one person to the next. However, the main one is always to keep your drinks and food cool throughout the entire outdoor event. A backpack that has the functionality of keeping ice-retention is ideal, anytime – don’t you think so? Leakproofing and waterproofing are other features you will want on a pack. You, obviously, will have other stuff that you need to be protected from moisture and it will be inappropriate if the lining can’t perform this task – bad workmanship.
There various backpack sizes that you can choose from. However, don’t just select a format for the sake of it. Choose a pack wisely as it is going to be your companion whenever you are on an outdoor adventure. Typically, you may find packs with large bladders, and so their overall size is also significant. However, you may need to ask yourself hard questions like what you will carry with the rest of the space. The ideal backpack is one that will comfortably hold food and drinks – what is more important than nourishment to recover lost energy?
Flexible straps are an essential feature that complements the size of your backpack. The straps ensure carrying comfort as you move from one place to the next – you cannot imagine having a loosely fitting bag as you go on a hike, the horror! And you find a collapsible size, the better – they reduce in size as you eat away the contents.
How do you ensure a more extended backpack chill?
There are various cooler backpacks you can choose from, but the best among will keep your foods cooler for longer. However, there are other things you can do to ensure a more extended chill out from your pack. For example, you can shift the pack to the front to prevent direct sunlight beating it down and affecting the contents. Also, make sure always to place the backpack in a dry and shaded spot whenever you are making a stop – you are definitely going to make several of them as move on, you need a breather from time to time.
Another thing that may fail to consider is your body heat. The more you walk, the more heat your body generates. To prevent a situation where you end up with a significant amount of water where the ice was and wondering what the heck happened; always ensure there’s a layer between your body and the cooler.
Is it necessary to cool the entire backpack before use?
Ideally, cooling the cooler enhances its efficiency and performance. But how do you go about it? Typically, you can quickly get the pack cool by placing a primer dummy icepack inside. You can alternatively put the bag in a cool place.
What is the maximum time the pack will remain cool?
This pretty much depends on a number of factors such as whether you place the pack in cool place. It will depend on the pre-cooled items you put inside the backpack. An important tip is to minimize the frequency of opening the pack. The many times you do it, the more the warm air finds its way inside, affecting the cooler. Tight packing will also help reduce heat loss.
Are accessories that come with a cooler backpack?
It all depends on the model and brand. Some backpacks may come with an additional ice container and other, detachable ice section. But you can always check for any additional product accessories by going through the product specifications – this shouldn’t be too hard, should it?
Which is the best size backpack cooler to buy?
Size depends on the length of the trip, carrying needs and the body type of the person carrying it. A big cooler bag would be overkill for short trips. And if you have a small body, then a big bag would not be necessary – get the right size, and everything would be okay.
How can you clean the cooler?
It all depends on the construction and manufacturer’s instructions. Typically, you should clean the places you store your food carefully. After purchase, wipe the cooler with mild detergent and leave it to dry. Use a sponge on the exterior and don’t machine wash. Machine washing easily makes the pack’s seams lose and this negatively affects the pack’s ability to retain coolness – not ideal.
Every one of us loves going on a picnic once in a while. However, you will require the best cooler backpack on the market to bring along drinks and food for a fun outdoor. A backpack cooler should be easy to carry, have a sturdy construction, and boasts adequate insulation to keep the drinks cold for long. Well, all the above packs have these features and so will make a decent choice. However, in our opinion, TOURIT Insulated Cooler Backpack scoops the top spot based on its features and significant capacity. Don’t forget to check out our guide to the Rtic backpack cooler vs Yeti.