Soft Cooler Reviews & Buying Guide 2019


Hello, I'm Gregor and I put this site together. At first, you'll find an overview of recommended soft coolers, followed by a public poll and a general buying guide on soft cooler. Further down on this page, we do link to other well-written articles and reviews about soft coolers. At last, you'll be able to weight in your own opinion in the comments section.

If you choose to buy an item that I've chosen indepenently and recommended it here, I may earn commissions to support my efforts. For you, the price of the product will not change, I'm just saying this to be completely open with you.

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The 9 Best Soft Coolers of Our Choice

Quick comparison in an overall view
AO Coolers
Arctic Zone
Original Soft Cooler
Titan Deep Freeze
30 Can Zipperless HardBody Cooler, Moss
Collapsible Cooler Bag:
Stiff One
Multiple Patterns Available
Soft Pack 30
, Grey
Hopper Flip 18 Portable
Soft Cooler 30 Cans
Hopper Two 30 Portable
Soft Pack 20
, Grey
AO Coolers Original Soft Cooler Image
AO Coolers Original Soft Cooler with High-Density Insulation, Charcoal, 24-Can
Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Image
Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze 30 Can Zipperless HardBody Cooler, Moss
CleverMade Collapsible Cooler Bag: Image
CleverMade Collapsible Cooler Bag: Insulated Leakproof 50 Can Soft Sided Portable Beverage Tote with Bottle Opener & Storage Pockets, Charcoal/Black
Great Deal
SCOUT  Stiff One Image
SCOUT The Stiff One, Insulated Soft Cooler Bag, Leak Proof Large Picnic or Beach Cooler with Hard Bottom (Multiple Patterns Available)
RTIC Soft Pack 30 Image
RTIC Soft Pack 30, Grey
YETI Hopper Flip 18 Portable Image
YETI Hopper Flip 18 Portable Cooler, Field Tan/Blaze Orange
TOURIT Soft Cooler 30 Cans Image
TOURIT Soft Cooler 30 Cans Leak-Proof Soft Pack Cooler Bag Waterproof Insulated Soft Sided Cooler for Hiking, Camping, Sports, Picnics, Sea Fishing, Road Beach Trip
YETI Hopper Two 30 Portable Image
YETI Hopper Two 30 Portable Cooler, Fog Gray / Tahoe Blue
RTIC Soft Pack 20 Image
RTIC Soft Pack 20, Grey
according to our criteria
95 %
in comparison
92 %
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89 %
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89 %
in comparison
87 %
in comparison
87 %
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86 %
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82 %
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79 %
in comparison
  • Soft-sided cooler with high-density insulation a removable shoulder...
  • Twice the insulation of other soft-sided coolers; guaranteed to hol...
  • Perfect for boating fishing hunting parties sporting events and pic...
  • Deep Freeze high performance insulation with radiant heat barrier r...
  • Patented flip open Zipperless lid allows for quick accress to food ...
  • Ultra Safe leak proof lining with Microban protects against bacteri...
  • Large capacity SnapBasket Tahoe Coolers can hold up to 50 cans of y...
  • Patented SnapHinges on both sides of the cooler bags offer structur...
  • Versatile totes can be packed with lunch and a few ice packs for a ...
  • Portable soft sided cooler bag fits 24 cans plus ice so you can bri...
  • Large beach cooler measures 14.25 inches wide 12.5 inches high and ...
  • Coated poly twill is a three-layer fabric ideal for coolers It has ...
  • Holds up to 30 Cans Plus Ice
  • No Leak Zipper
  • Exterior Does Not Sweat
  • The Hopper Flip 18 has ColdCell Insulation a closed-cell foam that ...
  • The Hopper Flip 18 features a 100 leakproof HydroLok Zipper and the...
  • The DryHide Shell is waterproof and resistant to mildew punctures a...
  • Advanced cooling performance: High quality insulation in 3 unique l...
  • 100 leakproof and impact resistant: tourit soft cooler features a w...
  • Bpa free and fda approved: The liner of soft-sided coolers made fro...
  • The yeti Hopper Two 30 is the first 100 leakproof portable cooler t...
  • The updated design of the Hopper Two means your contents go in (and...
  • A tapered body makes extended hauling more comfortable Inside(inche...
  • Holds up to 20 Cans Plus Ice
  • No Leak Zipper
  • Exterior Does Not Sweat
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Results of the Straw Poll: Popular Soft Coolers

Every month, we analyze which products our readers like the most:

Which Soft Coolers Would You Buy Online? (July 2018)

  • 33.33 % (11 votes) AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler with High-Density...
  • 21.21 % (7 votes) Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze 30 Can Zipperless...
  • 15.15 % (5 votes) AO Coolers Water-Resistant Vinyl Soft Cooler wi...
  • 12.12 % (4 votes) Polar Bear Coolers Nylon Line - Quality Like No...
  • 9.09 % (3 votes) RTIC Soft Pack 30 (Seafoam)
  • 6.06 % (2 votes) Engel Coolers HD30 100% Waterproof Soft-Sided C...
  • 3.03 % (1 votes) TOURIT Insulated Cooler Backpack Soft Cooler Li...
  • 0 % (0 votes) Homitt Soft Cooler 30 Can Soft Pack Cooler Insu...

33 total votes.

If you also want to vote on the best soft cooler, click here to view the poll.

Soft Cooler Buying Guide

Soft Cooler Image
Picture: Original Soft Cooler from AO Coolers

Remember the good old days when having to lug a heavy metal or bulky plastic cooler to the beach sapped the fun out of a relaxing day? Now, the soft coolers once made just to tote school lunches are now engineered for larger loads that will keep your food and drink every bit as cold and fresh without taking a toll on your back.

Loaded with features, todays soft coolers come in sizes and designs for nearly every purpose from hand-held models to carry your lunch to backpack or wheeled styles for heavier loads. If the time has come to make the investment in a new cooler, consider how these important features will meet your needs.

Size and Capacity

A soft coolers size and capacity ultimately determine how much you can carry and where it will fit. Size may be measured in the number of twelve ounces cans it will fit, or in quarts or liters. When comparing models, it’s important to differentiate between size — the exterior dimensions — and capacity, which is what the cooler can hold inside. Expect the thickness of wall insulation to take up significant interior space.

When calculating what will fit in your new cooler, consider the interior dimensions and look for design quirks that decrease capacity. Things like odd lid shapes or molded interior compartments for beverage cans can limit what the cooler can realistically hold.

Since cooling is most efficient when the bag is packed at least three-quarters full, give yourself a little wiggle room for larger loads, but don’t choose one that’s too large. Remember to leave space for ice or cooler packs.


Most coolers carry a manufacturer’s estimate of how long their cooler will keep contents cold under normal conditions. Keep in mind that the way the cooler is loaded, the temperature of the contents and the ambient temperature can cause significant variations in performance. A good bet is to choose a cooler rated to keep things cold for a full day longer than you’ll usually need. Consider the duration of your last blackout.

Evaluating cooler insulation is like comparing apples to oranges. There is no specific standard with regard to insulation value. Some insulators are superior in that they can do the job with less thickness, freeing up interior space, but thicker insulation can be equally capable and in most cases, at a lower cost. If you need the best of the best, look for high-density, closed-cell foam.

With soft coolers, there’s much more to consider than just the quality of the insulation material. The construction of the overall bag makes a difference. Sloppy stitching and irregular seams let cool air leak, while welded seams seal it in. Low-quality interior linings that are prone to cracks or tears can compromise the coolers insulation value and can also be a food safety hazard. For maximum insulation, choose a cooler with a puncture-proof interior lining, bonded seams and zippers that close without leaving gaps.

Exterior Finish

Soft coolers come in a variety of finishes from fabrics that make them look like designer handbags to thick polyurethane. For office lunches, almost any fabric will do, but expect the cooler to take more punishment on a boat or campground. Waterproof fabrics that are both durable and easy to wipe down are ideal. For boaters, coolers with d-rings or similar attachments that allow them to be secured to the deck are a bonus and feet that keep the bottom from touching the ground are a plus in almost any situation.

Interior Storage Design

Soft coolers typically have flexible interior walls, but there are a few exceptions. Some models are made with integrated plastic components to help separate contents for food safety — for example, confining uncooked meats that could spread bacteria to other foods — while others use them to improve the utilization of space or to make them more leak-resistant.

These parts, if well-designed, should be removable without sacrificing function. Plastic has its benefits. It can help control leaking and provides extra protection for fragile contents. Taking out a formed liner for a quick cleaning and then popping it back in can be significantly quicker than trying to clean food debris from tight seams. This is a plus for fisherman using a cooler to store bait or a fresh catch. Drawbacks include weight and lack of flexibility as well as the loss of ability to fold it flat for storage. If a soft cooler is something you want to keep in the car just in case or to safely transport restaurant leftovers home, collapsible coolers are convenient and save trunk space.

A cooler’s interior should always be highly accessible. Soft coolers are flexible by nature, but their softness can vary. If you’ll be reaching in one-handed while you drive, choose a lid design that allows your hand to reach in comfortably without causing the walls of the cooler to crumple. Zippers should be easy to manage, something that may not always be the case with lids that have zippers on three sides. Simple bags with a single centered zip pocket are the easiest to manage on the go.

For parties, look for coolers that can accommodate lots of ice without wilting as the ice melts. A wide base with a flip top lid is a good choice. If you are transporting medicines, bringing breast milk home from work or toting any items that shouldn’t be jostled around, pick a well-balanced cooler that stands upright on its own.

Interior liners that are BPA-free and certified to be food-grade are ideal. For the most part, your food will be enclosed in other containers, but if you use it to hold free ice for drinks, you can be sure it’s safe.

Exterior Storage Design

It’s a rare cooler that doesn’t come with the added convenience of exterior storage. Pockets on the outside make quick work of finding small items, however, if your cooler has a soft interior and it’s fully loaded, pockets that aren’t gusseted may be too tight to be functional.

If you are looking for a backpack-style cooler or a model with a shoulder strap, look for one with a panel or pocket that allows the straps to be tucked away when not in use. This will keep them clean and out of your way. Wheeled coolers should be well-balanced with wheels that can handle most outdoor terrain.


Comfort handles are a must for any cooler that will bear a heavy load. Velcro strap reinforcers prevent webbed straps from cutting your hand and keep double straps securely together.

Shoulder straps should be wide enough for comfort and backpack straps should be padded. Take note of how they attach to the cooler. These are often the weakest point in a cooler’s structural design. Look for double stitching and heavy duty hardware.

Wheeled models typically have retractable handles like rolling luggage. Evaluate the strength of the handle based on a full load.

Special Features

To help hone in on just the right model, consider a few special features that might tip the scales for you.

- Ergonomic bean shapes that fit around your hip - Topical liner treatments that discourage the growth of bacteria and mold - Adjustable straps - Rust-resistant zippers - Integrated tie downs and tools such as bottle openers - Solid warranty

Finally, consider buying from a reputable maker. Not all generic coolers are low quality and if you’re on a budget, stick to the guidelines above and you may find a diamond in the rough. But well-known makers are heavily invested in their reputation and this is often reflected by the testing they do to back up their sales claims. In a world where you get what you pay for, soft coolers are not an exception. Consider size and features carefully, buy the best quality model you can afford and enjoy your trip!

Your Opinion Matters!


Soft Cooler Reviews & Additional Articles

New: Our editorial list of additional articles. We decided to gather informartion all around the internet and present you a list of helpful, external links to interesting reads about the best soft coolers and their reviews and guides.

Buying Guide Learn about the tips and guidelines in choosing the best soft cooler bag in the market. Know the different factors in choosing which one to buy. ...
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Buying Guide Cooler Buyer's Guide In smaller, soft-sided coolers it is especially common to have separated cavities for chilled and non-chilled items. This could be a good  ...
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Reviews So which is the best bang for your buck? We have a whole heap of information on this below. Jump To> Soft Sided Cooler Reviews. Jump To> RESULTS: Top  ...
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Buying Guide Search. Cooler Buyer's Guide at Cabela's Coolers The functionality of soft- sided coolers used to be limited to just packing lunch for work, school and day trips. ...
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The Soft Coolers of Our Choice At a Glance

You're not convinced by the previous writings about soft coolers? Of course you can just choose by visual impression, that's why we present you all our chosen products at a single glance. A click on any image is enough to open an external link to the best offer we could find.

Tips from YouTube about Soft Cooler

Today - Top 4 Best Soft Coolers (YETI, Coleman & More)

CHECK PRICES on AMAZON ↓↓↓↓ ➡ YETI Hopper Coolers: ➡ IceMule Pro: ➡ Coleman Soft Coolers: ...

Disclaimer: This video is not from us, but we found it relevant enough to show it here.


Conclusion for this Soft Cooler Buying Guide in July 2019

Finally, we want to present you our rating criteria for our soft cooler comparison, so you can better understand and comprehend our recommendations and the rating process itself. Furthermore, we still ask you to keep your eyes open for short term deals in order to make some great bargains with soft cooler in 2019.

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20 of 26 readers found this article helpful.

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(Corresponds to a rating of 3.85 / 5)