There are many instances when a cooler would come in handy and many instances when a hard shell, hard-to-carry cooler is not going to help you.
On our list below, we compare and contrast some of the best soft cooler bag brands, perfect for those of you who are on-the-go or don’t always have the space to store a hard shell cooler.
From satchels to wheels, we give you the scoop on some of the favorite models.
There may (or may not be) a Yeti involved!
There are just a few things to take into consideration before you choose a cooler, including:
- Size. How many cans does it need to hold? Do you even need it for cans?
You might be interested in something smaller that would work for a picnic or a day at the beach (such as number 4) or you might have a big family gathering and hauling everything from the car to the picnic sight would be a whole lot easier if the cooler had wheels (number 6).
- Storage Pockets. It’s always nice when the back has external storage pockets for your personal items, so find out how many there are and what kind of gadgets will fit in them so you know how many additional things you’ll be able to pack.
Top 6 Soft Cooler Bags Comparison Table
Many of you like to have the option to dump a bag or two of ice directly on your beverages. If you’re headed out for a day at the lake and want those beers to stay ice-cold, then you need a cooler that will maintain the cool temperature and something that doesn’t leak.
Be sure to check out main compartment of the cooler. If you want to dump ice in, then you’ll need a cooler that has a leak-proof removable liner.
Durable soft coolers are usually made with nylon. The Yeti (as you’ll see below) steps it up a notch with a shell made from Dryhide, which is the same stuff used to make whitewater rafts.
Have a look at the zippers, too. Heavy-duty is the way to go!
It depends on how often and how you use the cooler, too. If you want something that can take the rough hits, be prepared to pay more.
Top 3 Best Soft Cooler Reviews
While the price tag may be enough to make your eyes pop out of their sockets, Yeti is an amazing brand. They are a high-end cooler company that outperform all of the other hiking and camping coolers of similar size in terms of durability and how long they can keep things cool. So, yes, this is the best soft cooler bag.
It is leak-proof, puncture-proof and it even has D-rings so you can tie it onto something (be that your boat, your four-wheeler or the golf cart).
Volume: 6.5 gallons
Outer Shell: Dryhide (840D Nylon)
Insulation: ColdCell rubber foam
Most of you will probably scroll on down to some of the other options, which is totally understandable because it’s an expensive piece of gear, but it’s the best soft cooler bag you’ll ever need to buy. Ever.
Stepping back to reality, many of you are probably after something like the EvoVox soft cooler. It has tons of pockets (font, back, sides) and inside it comes with a leak-proof removable liner that comes in handy when you dump ice inside.
Volume: Just says 16 cans (outer pockets can hold two 1.5-liter bottles of wine)
Outer Shell: 1680D polyester
Insulation: 8mm thermal insulation
This would be great for picnics, as a work lunch box or trips to the grocery store on those hot summer days when you need to keep your frozen and refrigerated goods fresh from store to home. Great price, too!
We liked this bag for traveling, whether that be by car, by plane or by foot. If you have a family and you’re looking for something that you can pack-and-go, this bag is perfect.
Inner Compartment Dimensions: 7.5H x 13.5W x 7D
Outer Shell: 840D Twisted Polyester
Insulation wise, eBags specifically suggests that you use zip-lock bags filled with ice (a tip for pilots and flight crew so they can move the cold spots around in the bag) or cooler packs.
There are two compartments on this: a top compartment for dry items (snacks, silverware, napkins, etc.) and the main compartment where cold items are stored. The bag even has a pass-through tunnel on the back so you can hook it over the handle of your bag in an airport.
Ideal for anyone who travels and for families who need a good on-the-go lunch/snack cooler!