Top 7 Best Soft Coolers in 2020

By February 9, 2020 No Comments

When sampling the available cooler options to get the best soft coolers, you will need to have the factors to consider in mind to help you narrow down to “the one”. These factors include; what you will be using the soft cooler for (kayaking, picnic, work, outdoor sport events, etc.), the ideal size for your needs, with wheels or no wheels, with shoulder straps or just normal handles, where you will be using it, colors, and your budget, etc.

So, why buy a soft sided cooler? These coolers are very versatile, easy to store, and also practical. We had all the factors to consider in mind when doing our research, and you will definitely find the ideal soft cooler for you in the list below. Also, the reviews are well detailed to include all the important features to help you make the decision easily.

1) YETI Hopper Backflip 24 Soft Sided Cooler – Best Backpack Soft Cooler

If you are going hiking or trekking for a long time then you will need a very portable cooler because you will most probably have another luggage. Now, there is no easier way of carrying a cooler than having it on your back, and YETI Hopper Backflip 24 is the ideal deal. And, the size is perfect to hold enough drinks and food to last you through your adventure.

When it comes to general construction, this backpack cooler is built to last as it is made of high-density fabric that’s also waterproof and resistant to UV rays, punctures, and mildew. Again, it features a COLDCELL insulation to help keep everything cool for a long time.

Note: For best results, as you would with any other cooler, cool the cooler’s inside plus the contents before embarking on your trip. Also, use larger ice pieces instead of cubes or chips, and fill in any extra space with cool towels.


  • It’s a backpack cooler, so easy to move around with
  • Very durable
  • Well designed to keep everything cool for a long time
  • Large enough to hold enough drinks and food for a group
  • Best portable cooler
  • Very sturdy and doesn’t leak


  • Obviously, the price! But it’s totally worth it. The size, portability, performance, durability, etc. perfect!

2) AO Coolers Original Soft Cooler – With removable shoulder strap

This soft sided cooler comes in four sizes; the 12-can, 24-can, 36-can, and 48-can, which makes it easy for one to pick the appropriate size for their intended use. Again, it’s easy to open and close, and the opening is wide enough, so you can easily pack or unpack. However, when packing, keep things organized, and if possible, in order of what you will need first because you don’t want to unpack everything trying to reach something that’s on the bottom.

Again, this cooler is not only versatile but also very portable. It features sturdy handles and removable shoulder straps. Also, it has side pockets and comes in various colors. And, aside from keeping your items for upto 24 hours under 120-degree weather, it is totally leak-proof, making it perfect to use anywhere. If you’re looking for the best soft cooler for toting breast milk, this is it!


  • Impressive ice retention
  • Perfect sizes for various uses
  • Very portable and easily fits under the airplane seats
  • Thick lining and durable canvas material
  • Doesn’t leak


  • The 36-can cooler is too big, which might be too much for a person that wanted something slightly larger than the 24-can cooler.

3) ROCK BROS Soft Cooler – 30 CanBest medium sized soft cooler

If you are in need of a medium sized soft cooler, get this 30 can ROCK BROS. It has a large capacity as the inside measures 14.25” x 8.78” x 9.25” which is about 20L. This gives you enough room to store your items. Again, the designer made it more portable by incorporating multiple carrying ways. You can use the padded shoulder strap if it’s lightly packed, a top handle for when it’s heavy, and two sturdy side handles for when it’s too heavy and you have to use both hands or if you need help carrying it. It will also fit under the airplane seat easily and it’s sturdily built to handle the bumps at luggage checking points.

When it comes to the real job, keeping your items cool, this cooler performs exceedingly well. It is also leak-proof, and the general craftsmanship is of good quality.


  • External suspension and bottle opener design
  • 3 carrying ways (ergonomic shoulder strap, reinforced top strap, and two side straps)
  • Large enough for various needs (About 20L)
  • Good quality cooler
  • Keeps everything cool for a long time


  • The zipper might be a little bit tight, but you can use the included lubricant and you will be good to go.

4) Homitt Soft Cooler – 30 can

The Homitt 30 can soft cooler is generously sized, it’s easy to use and it will keep your food, medicine, pumped milk, etc. cold for a long time. If you follow the recommended way to use it, “chill it overnight before use and use ice blocks instead of cubes or chips, and in 72℉, you will have your content cool for five days.

Again, with three layers of insulation, you can be sure that it won’t leak or create sweat. Also, the zipper is thick and opens and closes easily, which makes it super easy to use, unlike those that need lubrication all the time.

It also features a comfortable shoulder strap plus two sturdy handles that makes it more portable. And, thanks to its generous size, you will have everything well organized, plus it has two small pockets where you can throw in anything that fits. Generally, this is a great soft sided cooler for both indoor and outdoor use.


  • Definitely built to last
  • Doesn’t leak or create sweat
  • Good quality zipper that’s easy to open and close
  • Keeps everything cool for a LONG time
  • Great design, very sturdy with a super slim profile which makes it easy to fit in


  • Could be smaller for people who want to keep lots of stuff cool.
  • For best results, you need to chill it before use

5) Coleman 42-Can Soft Cooler with Removable Liner and Wheels – Very maneuverable soft cooler

This is the best large cooler with wheels and a handle that makes it super easy to transport. What makes it even better is that you can have it as a carry-on suitcase in the plane and it easily fits in the storage bins. And, while wheeling it, you can stack a backpack or smaller luggage on top, just as you would with normal suitcases to have an easy time moving around.

It definitely keeps its contents cool for a long time and it does not leak. It’s also easy clean, organize, open and close, and generally great quality craftsmanship for durability. There’s nothing to dislike about this cooler!


  • It’s a soft side and hard liner combo that creates a very sturdy cooler
  • Has pockets for more storage for things like sunglasses, napkins, bottle openers, etc.
  • It’s a true representation of the Coleman quality
  • The wheels roll smoothly and the pull handle retracts easily for easy maneuverability
  • Great design for easy storage


  • It’s not collapsible for easy storage, but the liner is removable and its handle slides down

Wrapping up

The soft coolers come in handy when you need to keep food fresh or grab a cool drink after long hours in the sun. You can get one to carry your lunch to work or get one for when going fishing to keep your catch fresh. Again, if you are a breastfeeding mum who travels a lot, you can get a soft sided cooler to store the breast milk. Some people also get coolers to store their medicines when traveling and you can also get it to use when shopping especially if it takes you a while. Basically, soft coolers are a household essential item. We hope that the list above helps you get the best soft sided cooler that suits your needs.

hard cooler

Buying Guide

Back in the days, choosing a cooler used to be quite simple as you either had one or you didn’t. Nowadays, the market has evolved and become more sophisticated offering quite a wide range of options to pick from. Today, you have the option to spend a lot of money on a cooler, or to budget and have something similar as your kids school lunch bag. Also, there are so many colors, features to consider that it can turn out to be a bit overwhelming.

Well we got you covered, that’s why we decided to research the market and test different products in order to come up with the list we’ve described above. But you may be wondering, what have we taking into account to pick our models? Without any further due, we’ve included some of the main key features you should always consider when buying a cooler:

What Kind Of Cooler Are You After?

Whether you are just looking to keep your lunch cold or you are going on a road trip the models will differ a lot from each other. Therefore, the first thing you need to determine is what you are planning to use the cooler for.

Soft Coolers

These coolers typically come in different colors and are really useful to carry on items if that’s your main concern. This category offers different options which go from small coolers that you could take your lunch with to big coolers that can carry on worth the food of 1-4 people. They come in all sort of shape, sizes, designs and colors, handles or backpacks. Some of them can be rolled as carry-ons (which we found to be quite useful).

These coolers would typically be sitting on the lower range of prices as opposed to the hard coolers.

Soft sided coolers are an excellent option if you are planning on going to the beach, taking some drinks and snacks for the barbeque, or picnic at a park. They can also be a really good option if you are planning on going on a short escape or mini road trip and you want to bring along some food and beverages with you. If this sounds that its within your plans, then you know which model to go for!

Hard Coolers

These are the more traditional models which tend to be bigger and have a rigid trunk. They are ideal if you are planning on going on a big road trip and want to bring along lots of foods, drinks and ice as there storage is way bigger than the soft version. Another key item to highlight is that they can also keep your food chill for longer hours which is quite handy.

In general, these models are more rigid, bigger, durable and less portable than soft coolers. Hard coolers are a perfect option if you are thinking on going on a long escape near a river, or fishing, camping in the outdoors etc. You want to assure that you won’t need to carry them too long as they can be quite heavy!


One of the main features that tends to attract a lot of people into the soft coolers rather than the standard hard coolers is that they typically weight less and are more easy to carry. The weight will of course depend on how much things you want to bring along with you. Consequently, this is definitely something to consider if you are planning on taking some items with you.

Storage Place

Soft coolers will have less storage place than the hard sided ones. This is just a cold fact that you accept. Therefore think twice what you want to take with you if you are going to carry along before choosing a soft sided or hard sided cooler. If you are thinking on taking some sandwiches, beers and snacks along with you near the beach then may the soft sided version suits you best. On the other hand, if you know you will venture out with your family on the outdoors or a bigger gang of friends, then a hard sided cooler may be a better option to consider.


This is something that we play a very close attention to, as in the end, you will have to carry the cooler and you want to ensure its not a daunting experience which your arms will regret afterwards. There is no debate in this category, as the soft cooler is the winner regarding this feature. Some of them can either be carried as a backpack or rolled as a carry on.


This is another feature where the soft coolers stand out. They offer such a wide range of variety for you to accommodate and come in different options including:

Shoulder bag: This tends to be the most popular style for sided coolers. No wonder why, as it’s literally quite easy to just flip over your shoulder and carry it along with you

Backpack: This style is becoming more and more popular these days, as it allows you to distribute the weight in your shoulders and back more evenly.

Lunch Box: These model is a perfect match for students, workers, tradesmen to name some as it allows you to bring more things with you for your lunch than the standard bag.