Best Backpack Coolers

Backpack coolers are a perfect choice for those who need even more portability than a standard soft cooler with a shoulder strap. For the convenience of our loyal readers we have done the leg work, crunched the numbers and put together the information needed to make an informed choice as to which of these backpack coolers is the right one for you. So below you will find reviews on the best backpack coolers of 2017, enjoy and happy shopping.

What is a Backpack Cooler?

Backpack + cooler (the name pretty much explains it all) a cooler that you can wear like a backpack. Backpack coolers are the most portable type of small cooler and can be used for multiple purposes. There are two types of backpack coolers, there are full coolers that can be worn like a backpack and backpacks that have built in thermal compartments for keeping food and beverages either hot or cold. We will cover both types as well as a few others in this article. One similarity between the different types is that they are soft lined coolers instead of hard, making them easier to carry and store.

Backpack Cooler Comparison Table – 2017

      

Best Military Watch

Best Military Watch

Best Military Watch

Best Military Watch

Best Military Watch
Manufacturer
Igloo
Coleman
OA Gear
Picnic Time
OA Gear
Name
Max Cold
C003
Backpack cooler
Zuma
Ultimate backpack
Type
Cooler backpack
Cooler backpack
Cooler backpack
Cooler backpack
Cooler backpack
Dimension
6.5x8x10.5
19.29 L 6.3 W 12.2 H
12.25 L 16.5 W 7.75 H
19 L 11 W 7 H
4 L 13 W 17.5 H
Weight
0.85 pounds
2.46 pounds
1.35 pounds
1.45 pounds
1.5 pounds
Capacity
12 cans
28 cans
20 cans
13 cans
20 cans
Fabric
Foam PEVA molded
Khaki style
Polyester
600 D
Polyester
600 D
Polyester
600 D
Our Rating
4.5 Stars
4.7 Stars
3.4 Stars
4.3 Stars
4.8 Stars
Read Review
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Best Military Watch

Best Military Watch

Best Military Watch

Best Military Watch

Best Military Watch
Manufacturer
Polar Bear
Adidas
Ice Mule
Picnic Time
Burton
Name
Cooler backpack
Climacool Team strength
Classic Cooler
Turismo
Cooler
Snake Mountain
Type
Cooler backpack
Backpack with insulated pocket
Wearable cooler with
backstrap
Backpack with insulated pockets
Backpack with insulated compartment
Dimension
18 L 12 W 7 H
12 L 19 W 15 H
10x16 Or 12x16
9 L 19 W 16 H
12 L 6 W 10 H
Weight
3 pounds
1.3 pounds
1.2 pounds
1.3 pounds
0.22 pounds
Capacity
15 cans
2-3 cans
18 cans
10 cans plus water bottle
23 L
Fabric
Cordura nylon
100% polyester
Patented dry-bag material
Khaki blend
Nylon
Our Rating
4.4 Stars
4.5 Stars
4.8 Stars
4.8 Stars
4.6 Stars
Read Review
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What to Look out for in a Backpack Cooler?

There are a few different factors to keep in mind when trying to decide which of the backpack coolers reviewed here will be right for you. Of course you’ll want to buy whichever backpack cooler best fits your individual needs, but here are a few things you may want to look for.

Durability: Where and when will you be using it?

Insulation: Will it keep things cold or hot for the amount of time required? Since this cooler is worn on the back there is better chance of a person’s back getting too hot or too cold if the temperature is not contained.

Capacity: What size best fits your need?

Functionality: Can it fulfill more than one purpose? Does it do the job you need it to?

Portability: This kind of cooler is worn on the back close to the skin so it needs to be leak proof so your back doesn’t get drenched. Comfort is also an issue to avoid back or neck strain.

The individual product reviews will each contain further details on these factors and others to help you make an informed decision as to which of the “Best backpack coolers of 2017” is best for you.

Best Backpack Cooler Reviews – 2017

 

The perfect backpack cooler if you’re planning a day hike for one or two people.

The Igloo Maxcold has 25% more foam insulation than some other backpack coolers which translates into more hours of cold temperatures. This means more time in the great outdoors for you and anyone in your crew. This pack will fit about 12 cans of soda or less depending on how much food is also packed, so maybe 6 cans of soda or water bottle along with some sandwiches and maybe some fruit.

Key Features

  • A crush resistant EVA molded top zipper compartment, this comes in handy if you’re carrying a phone.
  • Adjustable, padded straps
  • A leak resistant liner
  • Dimensions 6.5x8x10.5
  • This awesome cooler from Igloo gets a score of 4.5/5 because of its many wonderful features such as

Pros

  • Weighs only .85 pounds when empty
  • 25% more insulation than most other coolers

Cons

  • Bag is leak resistant but your back may still get a little wet
  • Can’t be compressed for storage

 

The Coleman C003 is a perfect choice for a day at Disneyland or any other park especially for a family or group due to its large capacity.

If you’ve ever spent a day at a theme park you’ll know that prices on food and drinks are ridiculous, with the help of this cooler you can bring snacks from home and keep them cold all day without having to shell out 15$ for a burger or 6$ for a bottle water. The C003 fits around 28 cans of soda and even has a separate dry compartment for sandwiches and other such food items. The C003 also has multiple pockets for storing car keys, phones, cameras, medications, etc.

Key Features

  • Padded back and shoulder straps for all day comfort
  • Dimensions are 19.2
  • 9×6.3×12.2
  • Weight is 2.46 when empty
  • A score of 4.7/5

Pros

  • Has an antimicrobial lining to prevent mildew or odor
  • Perfect size for a family or group

Cons

  • A little heavy
  • The zippers have a tendency to snag

 

A perfect backpack cooler to keep in the trunk of your car so that it is there whenever you need it.

The OA gear backpack is very basic but will come in handy if you are out and about and find yourself in need of an insulated bag, this cooler can even be used to carry cold groceries if you are without an automobile and you either walk or take the bus to the market. The OA gear backpack cooler flattens easily for easy stowing. However even though this cooler is less bulky than some others it is no less effective at keeping items cold.

Key Features

  • Can hold around 20 cans
  • Dimensions 12.25×16.5×7.75
  • Padded straps for added comfort
  • Weight is 1.35 pounds when empty
  • Comes in 5 different colors
  • A score of 3.4/5

Pros

  • Seams or heat sealed instead of sewn which increases leak protection and durability
  • Flattens for easy packing

Cons

  • Less foam insulation so will only keep thing cold for 5-7 hours

 

A wearable, heavy duty, backpack cooler that is ready for the great outdoors. This heavy duty cooler is ready for a long day of hiking, camping, or really any outdoor event.

This cooler backpack fits under the description of a wearable cooler, with a large insulated compartment and minimal extra storage this cooler does not function as a usable backpack. Its affordable price means that you can purchase more than one and use one for drinks and one for food.

Key Features

  • Heavy duty PEVA liner with bottom board
  • Dimensions are 4x13x17.5
  • Weight 1.5 pounds
  • Adjustable shoulder straps
  • 600 D polyester with a 600 D ripstop trim
  • A score of 4.3/5

Pros

  • A large front slip pocket
  • 2 zippered side pockets for phone, keys, camera, etc.

Cons

  • No large dry storage
  • Minimal extra storage

 

The Zuma is a perfect choice to be used for lunches or picnics for two.

This cooler can either be used to carry lunches for those who need a large amount of food and drinks to get through a work day or it can also be used to carry everything necessary for a two-person picnic. The Zuma has two separate compartments, a large, insulated bottom section for storing cold or hot items and a smaller top compartment for items that need to breathe such as sandwiches or beach towels. It also has 2 zipper pockets and 2 beverage pockets everything can stay separate and organized.

Key Features

  • Dimensions 19x11x7
  • Weight 2 pounds
  • Available in three colors
  • Bottom compartment holds 13 cans
  • Comes in four colors
  • A score of 4.8/5

Pros

  • Durable polyester fabric
  • Heat sealed, leak proof lining
  • Cell phone pocket

Cons

  • Items stay cold for only 5 or 7 hours
  • A little more expensive than other coolers

 

This is an excellent cooler to buy wholesale, get it monogrammed with your team name and give them to the players as a gift.

The Polar Bear can also be used for hiking troupes, company outings, and any other event where a monogrammed bag may make sense. The Polar Bear also comes in basic black or a fun orange for all occasions.

Key Features

  • Made from 1000 denier cordura nylon and high density open cell foam
  • Leak proof
  • Dimensions 18x12x7
  • A score of 4.4/5

Pros

  • Packs away easily when not in use
  • Has a unique patent pending design

Cons

  • A little heavy, weighing in at 3 pounds’ empty

 

If you’re going on a long flight where you will want some good snacks, water, and all of your carry-on items then this is the backpack cooler for you.

Remember before when I mentioned that there are coolers you wear on your back and then there are backpacks that have a cooler compartment? This cooler falls under the latter description. With five zippered pockets for organizing your valuables, as well as a padded 17-inch pocket for your laptop, the Adidas Climacool functions as more of a backpack then a cooler. With one exception: a large, insulated, front pocket for cold items such as a bottle of water and some snacks.

Key Features

  • 100% Polyester
  • Water resistant bottom
  • Dimensions 12x19x15
  • Weight 1.3 pounds
  • This cooler gets a score of 4.5/5

Pros

  • Internal zippered organization pocket
  • One of the lighter backpack coolers on the market

Cons

  • Insulated pocket only holds enough for one person
  • More of a backpack then a cooler

 

Of all the backpack coolers reviewed here the Ice Mule keeps things coldest the longest.

Now we move to the opposite side of the spectrum from number 7. Before we had a backpack that was barely a cooler, now we have a cooler that is barely a backpack. The Igloo Mule resembles a dry sack with its patented insulated design, but with a padded back strap for portability. With fabric two times thicker than traditional soft coolers there’s no wonder that it can keep ice frozen for 24 hours with no leaks.

Key Features

  • Four colors; orange, light blue, dark blue, and green
  • 20 liters/18 can capacity
  • It floats
  • A score of 4.8/5

Pros

  • Rolls up into its own stuff sack for easy storage
  • Has side release buckles for compression

Cons

  • Your back will feel the cold from the bag
  • No outside pockets or extra storage, this is a cooler only

 

A backpack cooler that resembles a refrigerator but functions as both a cooler and a backpack at the same time.

Another best of both worlds backpack cooler is the Picnic Time Turismo. This backpack cooler has several compartments for easy organization, two large insulated pockets allow for cold or hot storage while separating food from drinks. A large front pocket allows for storage of dry, nonperishable items such as a phone, small camera, notebook etc.

Key Features

  • 17 inches high, 7 inches’ wide
  • Three colors available; brown, green, and black
  • Fabric resembles khaki
  • Drawstring closure
  • Hidden zippered pocket for security
  • Comes with a removable, insulated, water bottle holder with strap
  • External dimensions 9x19x16
  • The Turismo earns a 4.8/5 for its multifunctional features plus its cool design.

Pros

  • Items stay cold up to 12 hours
  • Slip free shoulder straps
  • Reinforced base

Cons

  • Seems have been known to weaken with extensive use
  • Water bottle adds weight when full

 

A backpack cooler that can also be used as a camera bag since it has an insulated compartment that can keep lenses and equipment from overheating.

The bottom compartment is insulated and also comes with removable dividers that can create places to tuck a camera, lenses, a small tripod, etc. There is also a padded exterior pocket that can hold a laptop, iPad, or even magazines. The Snake Mountain backpack cooler is well suited to being a school bag as well as a travel bag since it can hold school supplies and a lunch or it can hold dry, nonperishable food in the main compartment while electric equipment is stored in the bottom compartment.

Key Features

  • Dimensions are 12x6x10
  • 23 Liters
  • Available in 7 fun designs
  • Weight is 0.22 when empty
  • Made from Nylon
  • A score of 4.6/5

Pros

  • Is multifunctional
  • Looks more fit for juveniles than adults

Cons

  • Fits drinks and food for two people or less
  • The straps can be uncomfortable

 

Conclusion

So there you have the best backpack coolers of 2017. All ten of these backpack coolers have been researched and reviewed to make sure that only the best made the list. From reading the reviews you will be able to judge which of these bags will best suit your lifestyle and your needs. Whether you need a full cooler that can be easily worn on the back to improve portability or a backpack that can offer room to carry a small lunch along with your other gear then you don’t need to look any further than the coolers on this list. So you can shop with the assurance that you will be buying a quality product.