backpack coolers: 5 top picks

by | Mar 24, 2024 | reviews

Hello, adventure lovers! Ready for your next outdoor journey? Don’t forget the unsung hero of every picnic: the backpack cooler. It’s not just an item; it’s your partner in keeping every bite and sip refreshingly cool, no matter the destination.

Let’s chill and spill the secrets to finding your perfect match backpack cooler 🌟

Explore Top-Rated Backpack Coolers

🏆 TUGUAN Cooler Backpack

The TUGUAN Insulated Cooler Backpack is a versatile and practical choice for those needing a durable, multifunctional cooler for outdoor activities, work, or daily use. It demonstrates a high level of satisfaction among users.

insulated backpack

Rating: 4.4 full-star goldenfull-star goldenfull-star goldenfull-star goldenhalf-star-golden based on 1,700+ reviews

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  • Capacity & Size: The backpack is designed to hold 38 cans and measures 7.9″D x 12.6″W x 16.9″H, making it a compact yet spacious option for carrying cold and room-temperature items.
    • Pairing it with one of the best water jugs for those extended outings ensures you stay well-hydrated throughout your adventure.
  • Comfort & Ease of Use: Lightweight at just 1.72 pounds, it’s designed with padded, fully adjustable shoulder straps for maximum comfort and support,
  • The backpack also includes several pockets for organization, including mesh pockets, a keychain, a front zip pocket, and even a beer bottle opener, enhancing its functionality for different uses.

It’s suitable for hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, and more

Pros and cons:

  • The backpack’s durable construction and leakproof design ensure long-term use and reliability during travel or outdoor activities. The ergonomic design and lightweight construction make it easy and comfortable to carry.
  • While many users are satisfied with the quality and value, there are mixed opinions about its waterproofness, indicating that experiences may vary.

Customers appreciate the backpack’s size and capacity, finding it suitable for various needs, from daily work use to outdoor adventures. The rugged material and design are frequently praised for their durability and aesthetic appeal.

Excellent Alternatives to Consider

FORICH Backpack Cooler

Let’s move on to the first alternative! The FORICH Backpack Cooler underscores its popularity and effectiveness as an insulated, waterproof, soft backpack cooler. Its features indicate a strong product offering for those interested in outdoor activities or simply looking for a reliable cooler for personal use.

best backpack cooler

Rating: 4.5 full-star goldenfull-star goldenfull-star goldenfull-star goldenhalf-star-golden based on 6,600+ reviews

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Key Features:

  • Capacity & Insulation: It boasts a 30-can/30L capacity within dimensions of 18.1”x13.3”x7.9”, making it spacious enough to carry beverages and food for group outings.
  • Additional Features: With multiple pockets, including a main insulated compartment, front and top zipper pockets for dry items, side mesh pockets for beverages, and a strap pocket for a phone, it’s designed for organization and convenience.

 It can function as a picnic, beach, hiking, camping, fishing, or travel backpack, showcasing its adaptability to different needs and scenarios.

Pros and cons:

  • Easy to carry without sacrificing durability. Ergonomic features make it easy on the back and shoulders during transport.
  • Some users reported that the backpack could leak when used with ice, suggesting potential improvements in waterproofing could enhance its functionality.

It’s especially suited for individuals or families enjoying outdoor activities or those requiring a reliable cooler for everyday use. Its thoughtful design and practical features make it a top choice among soft backpack coolers.

Scothen Cooler Backpack

The Scothen Cooler Backpack combines functionality with style, offering a solution for women who are on the move and need a reliable way to keep their food and drinks cold or hot.

backpack cooler

Rating: 4.4 four and a half stars based on 900+ reviews

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Key Features:

  • Thermal Insulation: Equipped with 12 self-absorbent ice packs, it keeps contents cool for up to 8 hours.
  • Design & Capacity: This product features a hot and cold separation design with a double-decker layout. The upper compartment is meant for warm items. It measures 16.5” x 13.8” x 6.7” and can hold up to 36 cans.

It can serve as a diaper bag or sports game accessory.

Pros and cons:

  • Multiple compartments for organization, padded straps for comfort, and included ice packs and bottle openers for convenience.
  • While designed to keep items cool for up to 8 hours, user experiences with insulation effectiveness vary, especially over longer periods.

Customers appreciate its size, ease of use, and the ample storage it offers through its various compartments. Its thoughtful design and included accessories make it a considerate gift or personal purchase.

LTINVECK Cooler Backpack

The LTINVECK Cooler Backpack is a highly functional and versatile option for those on the go. It offers unique security features, and customer feedback speaks volumes about its potential as a top choice for outdoor enthusiasts and daily users.

soft backpack cooler

Rating: 4.6 four and a half stars based on 2,500+ reviews

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Why It’s Perfect for Outdoor Enthusiasts:

  • RFID and Anti-theft Features: Equipped with RFID pockets to secure personal data and an oversized anti-theft pocket on the back, it offers peace of mind while on the move.
  • Multiple Pockets for Organization: This bag includes a main insulated compartment, an upper dry goods compartment, a large front zipper pocket, side pockets for umbrellas or wine bottles, and additional small pockets for accessories.

It serves well as an insulated lunch backpack or a portable cooler for beach outings, picnics, hiking, fishing, camping, and travel.

Pros and cons:

  • Keeps items cold for extended periods, suitable for full-day trips. The variety of pockets and compartments accommodate a wide range of storage needs.
  • Some users reported leakage and zipper durability issues, indicating potential areas for improvement.

It’s insulation performance and thoughtful design features, such as RFID protection and ample storage, make it an excellent companion for outdoor activities.

For your next social gathering, don’t forget to check out our ice buckets for your party, ensuring your beverages remain chilled throughout the event.

FORICH Soft Cooler Backpack

The FORICH Soft Cooler Backpack is an ideal companion for anyone seeking a reliable, insulated, versatile bag for various activities.

best soft backpack cooler

Rating: 4.6 four and a half stars based on 4,400+ reviews

Best Foldable Beach Wagon Amazon Basics

Key Features:

  • Generous Capacity: With dimensions of 15.8″ x 13.0″ x 7.5″ and an 8-gallon capacity, it can hold up to 30 cans, beverages, snacks, and other essentials, including two bottles of wine in the side pockets. For those specifically looking to transport wine, exploring our selection of wine cooler bags can offer tailored solutions.
  • Durability and Comfort: Made from durable Oxford fiber, the backpack is designed to be tear-resistant, lightweight, and waterproof.

It is suitable for various activities, such as travel, beach, hiking, camping, picnics, fishing, and lunch backpacks.

Pros and cons:

  • Ergonomic features, including padded straps and a mesh back panel, ensure comfort even when the backpack is fully packed. Multiple pockets allow easy organization and access to items, making it highly functional for day trips, picnics, and other outings.
  • Some customers noted color representation discrepancies, particularly those expecting a specific shade based on online images.

Its strong customer feedback and high rating reflect its effectiveness in keeping contents cold or hot, alongside offering convenient storage solutions for various occasions. It’s a versatile option that meets the needs of individuals looking for a durable and functional soft backpack cooler for leisure and outdoor activities.

How to choose the best backpack cooler

Choosing the right insulated backpack cooler involves balancing several factors to meet your comfort, durability, and functionality needs. Here’s a concise guide:

  • Shape: Choose a shape based on activity—tall and narrow for hiking, wide for easy picnic access.
  • Fit and Comfort: Ensure straps are adjustable and padded for comfort. The cooler should fit your body size.
  • Materials: Select durable, insulated, waterproof, or water-resistant materials for longevity and efficiency.
  • Hip Belts: Opt for coolers with hip belts to better distribute weight and make it easier to carry.
  • Backpack Weight: Aim for a lighter cooler that doesn’t sacrifice insulation capabilities.
  • Straps and Handles: Look for padded straps and multiple handles for varied carrying options.
  • Compartments and Pockets: Seek extra compartments for organization and external pockets for easy access.
  • Storage Capacity: Choose a size that suits the group size and length of your outing.

For those requiring more space or a different carrying style, our best wagon coolers are a versatile alternative for scenic adventures.


How much does the backpack cooler weigh when empty?

The best backpack coolers weigh between 2 and 5 pounds when empty. The weight varies based on materials and size, so consider how much you’re comfortable carrying before choosing.

Can I carry a backpack cooler on a plane as a carry-on?

Yes, you can typically bring a backpack cooler as a carry-on, but it must adhere to airline size restrictions, usually not exceeding 22 inches long, 14 inches wide, and 9 inches high. Always check with your airline before traveling.

How do I prevent leaks from my cooler?

Choose a cooler with a waterproof or leak-proof lining. To prevent leaks, use the best ice packs for coolers instead of loose ice, and ensure the cooler’s zippers are sealed tightly.

What’s the best way to pack a cooler?

Pre-chill your items before placing them in the cooler. Use a 2:1 ratio of ice to contents by volume and pack items tightly to minimize air pockets. Keep the cooler out of direct sunlight to extend ice life.

How do I clean my backpack after use?

Empty the cooler and wipe the interior with warm water and mild soap. Rinse thoroughly and dry with a towel. To prevent mildew and odors, leave the cooler open to air dry completely before storing.

How long can I expect my backpack cooler to keep items cold?

On average, a well-insulated backpack cooler can keep items cold for 24-48 hours, depending on external temperatures and how often it’s opened. Keep the cooler full and open as infrequently as possible for best results.

Wrapping up

As we close our guide on the top 5 backpack coolers, remember that the right choice can transform your outdoor meals into delightful experiences. Each cooler we’ve showcased offers unique features to meet your adventures—a rugged hike or a tranquil beach day. Our top pick, the TUGUAN Cooler Backpack, along with the excellent alternatives, is carefully selected to ensure your refreshments remain as refreshing as your journeys.

At Picnic Makers, we aim to equip you and inspire you to create unforgettable moments with every sip and snack enjoyed in the great outdoors. Choose wisely, and let your backpack cooler be a testament to the joy of exploring nature’s wonders.

Affiliate Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a commission if you purchase through these links, at no extra cost to you.

Olga and Vlad Picnic Makers

Vlad and Olga

Hello, beautiful souls! 🌸 We’re Vlad and Olga, the storytellers behind each journey. Join us on this adventure as we share tales of joy, celebration, and a life well-lived. Thanks for being part of our magical story! 🌟

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