It’s Time to Replace Your Cooler With One of These Awesome Insulated Backpacks
Some cooler backpacks are entirely insulated, while others have a split design to carry your room-temperature-friendly snacks on top. They also vary in which side of the cooler versus backpack aesthetic they lean toward, with some options looking stealthier than others. You want to find one that appeals to your use case and that you can comfortably carry even when it’s loaded with ice and a 24-pack of drinks.
In general, these are better suited to shorter outings than lengthy excursions. No matter the bag, nothing is light when it’s filled with ice and cans, and they will all interfere with your ability to carry a hiking pack. But whether you’re heading into the backcountry or a backyard, one of these should meet your needs.
Yeti Hopper Backflip 24
Hydro Flask Unbound 22-liter Waterproof Cooler Backpack
This cooler is one of the sleekest options on the market if you’re looking for something with a more modern design. Plus, it has an impressive 24 can capacity.
To buy: dickssportinggoods.com, $200
Igloo Sportsman Backpack
This 17-quart cooler stands out for its built-in draining plug feature, roomy interior, and a hard bottom that allows it to stand up on its own.
To buy: wayfair.com, $115 (originally $190)
IceMule Boss 30L Backpack
The Boss earns its name with a slew of excellent reviews, and it’s got a full suspension carrying system with hip and sternum straps so you can carry it in comfort regardless of how heavy it gets. Every one of its pockets is padded and insulated, even the smaller outside ones.
To buy: target.com, $300 (originally $415)
The smaller IceMule Pro is also popular, winning Outdoor Gear Lab’s top pick across the soft cooler category. It’s fully collapsible when you aren’t using it, and when you are, the dry bag-style top closure keeps its contents sealed even when it’s — hopefully not — floating downriver.
To buy: amazon.com, $115
Coleman Soft Backpack Cooler
Camping standby Coleman’s soft backpack cooler looks just like a regular backpack, down to the front dry pocket for your non-cooler snacks, but also boasts a 28-can capacity in the insulated interior.
To buy: amazon.com, $27
Tourit Cooler Backpack
Petunia Pickle Bottom Axis Insulated Backpack
If all you need is a smaller insulated pocket, try out this street-friendly backpack that comes with a bottom cooler compartment.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $139
Otterbox Trooper 30
This cooler from Otterbox has a 30-quart capacity, though it's still comfortable to carry either as a backpack or on your shoulder. If you're looking for long term storage, this cooler is the way to go because it can keep ice up to three days.
To buy: otterbox.com, $300
L.L.Bean Waxed Canvas Insulated Backpack
It's as stylish as your favorite tote or backpack, though this insulated cooler will be sure to keep your beach or picnic snacks cold and secure, since it also has a leakproof lining.
To buy: llbean.com, $85 (originally $99)
Picnic at Ascot Insulated Backpack Cooler
This insulated cooler backpack takes organization to the next level, with a large interior compartment that holds 22 cans, a zippered pocket, and four exterior pockets.
To buy: wayfair.com, $39 (originally $43)
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