A nice sunny day of picnic on the beach is not complete without cold beer and soft drinks. Coolers allow you to keep your drinks at an ideal temperature so you can enjoy your scrumptious roasted chicken with some chilled coke.
In this article we will talk about some of the best soft coolers available in the market. These coolers are ideal for keeping your lunches warm and your drink chilled. They can be used on various trips such as hiking on the trails, camping in the woods, and family picnics at the park.
Before we share our list of some of the best soft coolers, let us talk a little bit about the benefits and features of the best soft coolers.
Soft vs Hard Coolers
There are two types of coolers: Soft and Hard. As the names suggest, soft coolers are soft-shelled and hard coolers have a hard exterior made out of plastic or styrofoam. Soft coolers are easy to transport and carry while hard coolers need to be dragged around on rollers. Soft coolers usually are smaller in size compared to the hard coolers. While hard coolers can hold from somewhere around 30 to 50 cans, soft coolers can hold upto 40 cans.
Soft Coolers: Benefits
Soft coolers are typically made out of light materials which make them easy to carry over the shoulder or be used as a backpack. Hard coolers may be seen as more durable, but most soft coolers are also made out of sturdy materials that make them rigid enough to keep your food and drinks intact during transport.
Soft coolers don’t occupy too much space in your luggage which makes it easy for you to pack your essentials for the trip. Soft coolers will keep your food warm and drinks chilled for hours.
One of the great benefits of soft coolers is that they are foldable. When not in use, you can fold the coolers and save storage space.
Hard coolers can be unattractive with their plain designs. In contrast, soft coolers come in various colors, designs and cool features that will make your trip more fun and enjoyable.
Features of Best Soft Coolers in 2021
Before purchasing a soft cooler, make sure you have all the required information to make a smart purchase. Like any other product, soft coolers also come with different features that appeal to different audiences. Some of the key features of a soft cooler include:
Most soft coolers are made out of high quality TPU materials. These include 500D or 210D Oxford fabric or nylon weave. Some have rhino-tech or nylon shell exteriors. The sturdy materials of a cooler bring durability and longevity to the bag. A cooler made out of high quality fabric will keep it safe from external punctures or tears. When shopping for a soft cooler, make sure it is made out of an abrasion resistant fabric.
Another essential factor to keep in mind when looking for a soft cooler is the internal lining construction of the cooler. Coolers that are internally lined with EPE foam, polyurethane, or polyester materials are leak proof. In an event of a spillage, these materials will prevent your bag from leaking and spoiling the rest of your stuff. A good cooler will also be easy to clean after spillage and won’t leave stains or marks.
This goes without saying that a soft cooler should be able to handle your drinks and snacks for a day trip or a weekend getaway. Depending on your need, size of family, and the number of trip days, you can choose coolers that can store somewhere between 12 cans upto 36 cans. Some bags also have external pockets that you can use for storing dry items like keys, phone, wallet, forks, knives, napkins, condiments etc.
When out on a trip, you want to avoid any unnecessary strain from your luggage. An ideal soft cooler will have adjustable shoulder straps that you can utilize according to your needs. Buying a cooler with padded shoulder straps will help avoid stress on your shoulder and back muscles. Some bags come with side handles that two people can hold side by side for easy carrying.
Best Soft Coolers for the Money in 2021
This hopper flip portable cooler can hold up to 6 cans and 8lbs of ice. The inside dimensions are 11 ½ x 10 ½ and outside 9 ¾ x 7 ½ .
For a day or a week full of adventures, you can bring this soft cooler along as your hydration and food companion.
This bag is constructed of a dry hide shell which makes it not only waterproof but also resistant against external damage. It is tear resistant, leak proof, and abrasion free. The inside is FDA approved and lined with a cold cell insulation which keeps your drinks cold for a longer period of time.
The outstanding feature of Yeti that most customers swear by is their HydroLok zipper. These zippers are wide-mouthed and easy to open. They provide an ease of accessibility for your items. The idea of their zippers originated from hazmat protective gear and other survival suits to provide an ultimate design that’s waterproof and airtight.
The Hopper Flip comes with adjustable and detachable shoulder straps. These straps are double-stitched and come with reinforced handles that allow you to carry the load easily.
This bag has attached D-rings that you can use to secure your bag to various anchors. The hitch point grid allows you to attach bottle openers, key chains and other accessories to your Hopper.
- Can hold up to 6 cans of your favorite drinks and 8lbs of ice
- Dry hide shell makes it waterproof and abrasion resistant
- The HydroLok zipper is leak-proof
- Double-stitched detachable shoulder straps makes it easy to carry
- Comes with a D-ring and bottle opener
- Small size
- Zipper breaking issues
The cooler’s dimensions measure at 14 x 7 x 12 inches. It can keep your ice from melting for upto 24 hrs. One of the best features of this bag is the five layer insulation. The insulation preserves the temperature of your food so you can enjoy your chicken drumsticks while they are still warm.
The bag is available in many colors: black, black/silver, bluefin, camo orange, charcoal, dorado fish, manta, mossy oak, navy, red, and royal blue.
You can store 24 cans in this bag. Smaller and larger sizes are available as well which can store up to 12 cans, 36 cans and 48 cans.
The AO cooler is made with a high quality TPU material. This material is quite sturdy as it is used to make waterbeds and pools. The outside of the bag is made with carbon vinyl which prevents it against outside impacts.
One of the great features of this bag is that the insulation has five layers. The first layer which is also the outer layer is made of carbon vinyl. The second layer is a light weight polyethylene film that prevents moisture from building in the bag. The third layer which is the inner layer is a 3/4th inch thick and high density polyurethane foam which provides closed cell insulation. Fourth and fifth layers prevent leakage and are made of polyester and TPU liners.
This soft cooler has high quality internal insulation that prevents leakage of any kind. The inside is lined with a spun polyester sheet and leak proof TPU. You can carry the bag around without any worry of messy leakages that can ruin the rest of your stuff.
The bag comes with side buckles which can be unfastened to use as a tote. The bag features removable shoulder straps and side belts. Side belts can be fastened to make the cooler stable against surfaces.
The cooler also has a large front pocket which can be used to store dry items and condiments.
- Holds up to 24 cans and keeps the ice for 12 hrs.
- High quality TPU and polyester sheet prevents leakage
- Large front pocket to store items
- Five insulation layers keep your items from losing their heat or coolness
- Can be fastened to make a square shape for stable standing
- Shoulder strap breaking issue
- Ice melts quickly
This 12 can Under Armour soft cooler is made of a high quality PE foam insulation. This cooler will make a great addition to your weekend trip essentials. The bag is made of a hygienic material and is easy to clean.
This soft cooler is made of a premium quality IsoTec material. IsoTec is a polyurethane thermal insulation. Bags made out of this material feature a closed-cell rigid polyurethane foam in the inner core. This insulation helps keep your drinks chilled and your food warm.
The Under Armour soft cooler is lined with a flex-a-guard liner which makes the bag leak proof. This material also makes it easy for you to wipe clean any spills without staining.
The bag has an ample storage in the main compartment. It can hold upto 12 cans. The larger size can hold up to 24 cans. There are exterior zipper pockets that you can use to store your essential items like keys, forks, napkins.
Soft coolers don’t need to be plain and shoddy. This cooler proves that you can go on a trip and carry a stylish soft cooler with you. The bag is available in a number of colors including hyper green, blaze orange, team royal, and graphite.
- Can store upto 12 cans. Bigger size can store 24 cans
- Made of a high quality material that makes the bag sturdy against outside abrasions and tears
- Flex-a-guard liner keeps the cooler water proof and leak proof
- Ample storage in the main compartment. Outside pocket available to keep essential items
- Stylish designing is appealing
- Shoulder strap is not padded
- Zippers hard to use
This Arctic Zone Titan soft cooler is a perfect combination of hard and soft. The bag comes with a hard body liner and smart shelf that can be used to keep hard stuff separate from the soft stuff. If for instance you are taking drinks and sandwiches to the trip, the smart shelf will provide the separation to ensure your items are not crushed during travel.
The cooler is also available in different sizes: 9 can, 16 can, 30 can, and 48 can. Depending on your need, trip days and the number of family members, you can choose the ideal size that fits all your needs.
This bag is made of rhino-tech exterior which is tough against weather, water, and dirt. The insulation on the inside keeps the items cool. This is because the insulation reflects the heat rather than absorbing it. You can easily wipe clean the bag without the need to wash it. The interior lining is also waterproof and stain resistant. The triple layer coldblock base allows you to keep ice for up to 3 days!
This bag does not have any zips, rather it features a patented flip-open lid that you can open and close easily. This will give you easy access to your items without having to go through the trouble of opening and closing a zip.
One of the standing features of this bag is the HardBody liner with SmartShelf. This shelf is great for keeping hard and soft stuff separate to prevent crushing. If you are planning to keep only the drinks, then you can even remove the shelf. It is not strapped down and can be easily removed. Once you remove the shelf, you will have access to a whole main compartment that you can use to store your items.
This bag comes with adjustable shoulder straps. The backsaver straps are padded and make it easy to carry during the trip. There are external zippered pockets that you can use to store essential and easy access items to keep your trip comfortable.
- Flip-open top gives easy access to drinks and snacks
- SmartShelf keeps hard and soft items separate to prevent crushing
- Bag is sturdy and made out of rhino-tech
- Adjustable and padded straps make it comfortable to carry
- Waterproof and leak proof internal lining
- Ice melts easily
- Plastic liner is thin
This gray portable double decker cooler tote is ideal for a family picnic trip. It can hold upto 23 liters of liquid. Add some packets of ice to complete the trip essentials. The bag’s dimensions are 14.9 x 8.6 x 11 inch/38 x 22 x 28 cm.
The cooler is made of a premium quality material. It can be used to store both cold and hot food separately. You can also use it to haul grocery items or use it for your lunch.
This bag can store up to 32 cans of drinks. The bag is spacious enough to hold all of your drinks and snacks. The insulating material of the bag maintains the temperature so you can store your drinks and food for 12 hrs straight.
The bag is made up of a 210D Oxford fabric and EPE foam. This makes the bag not only sturdy but also durable and leak proof. The fabric is made of high-density material which prevents leakages inside the bag.
This soft cooler bag will not take a lot of space in your luggage. You can fold it flat and store it in your luggage when not in use. The bag also has outside pockets to store items of use. There is a top wide pocket that opens into the main compartment. There are two side and front pockets as well. You can keep your wallet, keys, and any other easy to access items.
Ergonomic and Comfortable
The shoulder handle is detachable and also padded. The design will help you carry it comfortably during your trip.
- Made of 210D Oxford fabric and EPE foam which makes the bag durable and sturdy
- Can be used to store both hot and cold items
- Leak-proof, waterproof and dirt-proof
- Foldable to save storage space
- Handles are padded to provide comfort
- Front and side pockets to store essential items
- Does not hold ice long
- Tearing in main compartment
BougeRV is known for their stylish soft cooler designs. This cooler is lightweight, leak proof and comes with adjustable straps. There are lots of pockets which can be used to store easy to access items.
High Quality Material
The bag is made of a high quality TPU Material. TPU plastics have various properties, including elasticity, and resistance to oil, grease and abrasion. This type of plastic also provides high durability and flexibility.
Waterproof and Leak-proof
The bag is made so it can withstand any weather conditions. If it’s raining, or you have spilled something in the bag, don’t worry about it leaking out and ruining everything else. The zippers are watertight and sealed properly. The zip is also smooth and can be opened and closed easily without extra effort.
The high quality material along with the thermal protection allows the capacity to keep ice for 24 hrs. Your drinks and food will stay cool for up to 48 hrs. This makes it a perfect bag for a one day or a two day trip. You will stay hydrated and enjoy your drinks on both days.
The bag comes with an adjustable shoulder strap which makes it easy to carry. The straps are also padded, so you won’t feel strain on your back and shoulders. The handle is sturdy which allows easy and convenient carrying of items.
The bag is great for storing at least 30 cans. You can also stack food items like sandwiches on top of your drinks in the main compartment. There are two outside mesh pockets that can be used to store smaller things like napkins, condiments etc. A front zipper pocket can also be used to store cutlery and napkins.
- High quality TPU Material makes the bag oil resistant, abrasion free, and leak proof
- Thermal protection inside the bag keeps keep ice for 24 hrs. and items cold for 48hrs
- Padded shoulder straps provide comfortable wearing of the bag for longer period of time
- The bag can fit 30 cans, outside pockets allow storage of smaller items
- Zipper tightness issues
This popular bag is known for its high quality material. The RTIC soft cooler is made of heavy duty nylon shell which makes it sturdy for all kinds of trips. This bag is waterproof as well as puncture and tear resistant. This may be a soft cooler but it’s built is very strong compared to other soft coolers.
The bag can hold up to 20 cans of your favorite drinks. Due to its tough build and closed cell insulation, the ice will not melt quickly. The bag is equipped with exterior pockets that you can use to store smaller or dry items. The top lid of the bag can flip-open for easy access to your snacks.
The bag is made up of a heavy duty nylon shell that makes it lightweight and durable. It is lightweight and has tough fabric and seams. The inside of the bag has closed cell insulation and antimicrobial lining to keep your contents dry and cold.
The inside of the bag is waterproof and the zipper is also leak proof. You can store ice without worrying about any leakage. The microbial liner prevents any mildew and mold from forming inside your bag.
- Bag is strong and sturdy and will last a long time
- Can hold 20 cans of drinks as well as ice
- Exterior pockets can be used to store dry items
- Lightweight and easy to carry of trips
- Flip-open top for easy access to items
- Zipper issues
- Handle breaking issues
This portable soft cooler bag from Coleman offers extra foam for added insulation. Whether you are out for a picnic in the park or hiking up the trails, this bag will keep your food at an ideal temperature for up to 34 hrs.
The bag also comes with a bottle opener which you can use to open your bottles without having to look through your luggage.
A great feature of this bag is the added foam insulation to keep your items intact. The insulation also keeps your food warm and your drinks cold for up to 34hrs. The interior is lined with an antimicrobial liner that prevents mildew, mold and fungus.
The bag has a front zip pocket and additional side mesh pockets to store dry goods or condiments. The main compartment is spacious and provides enough room to store 20 cans of chilled drinks along with ice packs – a perfect day at the beach!
The bag comes with adjustable shoulder straps. Padded handles also provide comfort in carrying it over long distances.
- Double foam insulation keeps temperature ideal
- Spacious main compartment with side pockets
- Shoulder straps are padded for comfort
- Can store 20 cans of your favorite drinks
- Leakage issues
- Ice melts quickly
The Earth Pak brands aspires to create innovative products for adventure loving people. This loch series soft cooler is made with a high quality 500D TPU which prevents any external damages and also keeps your items secure and insulated.
The bag also has some fun additional features such as nylon molle web for fishing and boating. There is also a bottle opener on the side of the bag that you can use to open your drinks.
This soft cooler is made out of a 500D TPU nylon weave. The material prevents abrasions and leakage. To prevent scratches or tears, the base of the cooler is double coated with TPU. The sturdy build of the cooler allows you to hold up to 20 cans and 24 lbs. of ice.
The bag is equipped with detachable shoulder straps as well as double handles that make it easy to carry. There is a padded shoulder strap that you can use to carry it on your trip without causing too much strain on your shoulder. The cooler also has a wide opening which allows easy access to snacks and drinks.
The bag is both waterproof and leak proof. The NBR foaming inside the cooler keeps the food cold and insulated for three days. The zipper is made with a IPX-8 leak proof and is airtight so you will not have to worry about food getting cold or your drinks getting warm.
Nylon Molle webbing
This loch series bag has some interesting additional features that are not usually found in other soft cooler bags. This cooler has a double-stitched nylon molle webbing on both sides. These webs are multi-functional hooks that can provide anchor points to latch onto while climbing or boating. The bag is also equipped with 4 attached D-rings. D-rings are usually found in backpacks and regular bags. Their purpose is to keep the straps secure. The D-rings in this bag can be used to fasten your boat or kayak.
Another cool feature of this cooler is the free interior mesh tote. The tote is detachable and can be used to drain any excess water left behind from melted ice.
- Reinforced bottom provides support against rugged surfaces
- Perfect 500D TPU build
- Leak proof zippers
- Nylon molle webbing for anchor points
- Mesh tote to drain excess water
- Padded shoulder straps are comfortable for carrying
- Comes with a bottle opener
- Zipper is difficult to open
This soft cooler is manufactured by the Vakker brand. They aspire to bring creative designs for their soft coolers in the market. This cooler bag has a unique style to it and is different from regular coolers. It is waterproof, shock proof, and leak proof.
This bag is constructed of high quality and premium RF welded construction materials. Aside from being waterproof, this bag is resistive against abrasions, cuts, and ruptures.
The zippers are also sturdy and can withstand any harsh conditions. The zippers are leakproof and RF welded which creates a tight closure between both zippers. This keeps your contents inside safely. In case of a spill, there will be no leakage outside the bag.
Closed-cell foam keeps your food warm and drinks cold in a closed temperature. The bag is insulated on all sides and provides great temperature retention. This cooler can keep your food warm and drinks cold over night. Storing ice in this bag will last you for 3 full days.
This soft cooler is spacious. It has a wide mouth opening which allows you to store large items without having to strain your way in. The bag can store 36 cans with 5 lbs of ice.
The bag is easy to carry. With its adjustable ergonomic straps, you can carry it as a backpack or like a suitcase. It is designed in such a way so as to not cause strain to your back or posture. The handles of the bag are double stitched so they can assist in carrying heavier items.
- RF welded construction material make the bag rugged and long lasting
- Wide mouth opening makes it easy to store large items
- Bag is designed ergonomically – easy to carry on shoulders as a backpack
- 360 degree temperature retention closed-cell foams keep your items chilled
- Handles are double stitched to allow carrying of heavy items
- Dimensions of bag may be off
- Straps breaking issues
This soft sided Canway cooler bag is not only an eye catcher but also a great picnic buddy. The cooler bag keeps your items at an ideal temperature so you only have to worry about having a good time. The bag is also FDA approved for its good quality standards.
If you purchase this cooler, 2 gel ice packs will be included in the purchase. The ice packs are in the form of white powder. You need to add 2/3rd of water to it and shake. The result will be a gel like substance. Keep it in the freezer for about 8hrs before your trip. After 8hrs, you can use it like a regular ice pack.
The bag can be used for both hot and cold items. If you are storing hot items, you can leave the ice pack aside for later use.
This cooler bag can hold 40 cans of cold coke or beer and 20 bottles of soda or beer. The maximum capacity for this cooler bag is 28 L. The external dimensions are 14.1 x 11 x 11.6 inch (L x W x H). This means you can fit in 40 cans and will still have space for some snacks to store on the top.
The bag also has a wide top opening which makes it easy to take out items without any struggle. There are two pockets on the side of the bag. These are great for storing small items like spoons, knives, and tea bags.
The bag is internally lined with 5mm EPE foam. The insides are padded and provide great thermal resistance. The exterior is made of a sturdy material called 1680D Oxford Fabric. This fabric is made up of two 420D nylon yarns. The yarns go through the winding wire and are prepared for a twisted 840D silk.
The 1680D Oxford Fabric is sturdy cloth and is made to resist water, wear and tear, and abrasion. This bag is lined internally with a premium food-grade aluminum foil. The lining makes the insides of the bag waterproof and dirt proof. Any spillage will be easy to clean and won’t leave any odors.
The top of the bag can be opened easily without any struggle. The adhesion flap is easy to open and close and allows quick access to your items without having to unzip it. The shoulder straps are padded which makes it easy to carry around without feeling stress on your shoulders.
- Can store a ton of items including 40 cans of beer or coke
- Made out of sturdy 1680 Oxford Fabric which makes it water-resistant, tear-resistant and abrasion-resistant
- Ergonomic design makes it easy to hold without straining your neck and shoulders
- Comes with 2 gel ice packs
- Two outside mesh pockets are great for storing smaller usable items
- Bag is spacious and a useful item for a day trip to the beach or the park
- Internal leakage issues
- Top velcro opening ripping issues
This rock bros gray soft cooler bag is made out of foam material and is great for outdoor activities like hiking, beach bbq, and fishing. It is available in black, gray, and forest colors. This cooler has a 20L capacity. Smaller sizes that can hold 17L are also available in different designs. The bag also offers a year guarantee. If you have any issues with the bag, you can return it in the 3 year timeframe and Rock Bros will assist with returns.
The bag is made with a 840D hard Nylon TPU material which provides protection against external tears and abrasions. The inside of the bag is made with 420D Nylon TPU along with a 28mm foam that provides protective insulation to keep your food at an ideal temperature.
The rock bros soft coolers are known for their spacious capacity. In this bag you can store as many as 36 cans of soft drinks. Whether it’s a day long trip or a stay over the weekend, this bag will be your friend during your camping trip and keep you hydrated.
The nylon and foam insulation of the bag make it waterproof and leakproof. The zippers are airtight so you don’t need to worry about any leakage. You can even take this bag with you on the boat for a fishing trip!
The bag is constructed keeping ergonomics in mind. It is equipped with soft and wide shoulder straps. The main strap is used for carrying the bag over the shoulder and side handle straps are for carrying it like a suitcase. Two people can also hold the straps side by side for easier handling.
- Sturdy 840D hardest Nylon TPU material prevents any external abrasions
- Bag is insulated well and keeps your food at an ideal temperature
- The zippers and bag are both waterproof and leakproof
- Shoulder straps and side straps make it easy to carry
- Can carry 36 cans of coke or beer
- Available in 17L and 20L capacity
- Zipper is hard to open and close
- Poor zipper quality