Everybody loves going outdoors, experiencing nature, taking hikes, camping, going to beaches, boating, road trips or doing just about anything that’s fun such as playing golf during a hot weekend. Whatever it is that you choose to do; it’s definitely better with some ice-cold beer, soda or even a good cup of ice cream or chilled fruits. One major bummer is that you can’t really expect your favorite soda or drink to be chilled as the time you bought it.
In fact, anybody who loves outdoor trips has had the disappointment of tolerating warm beer even once. Coolers are definitely a great solution to this and you can’t go wrong with a tough, dependable plastic ice preserver. However, Hard coolers are usually bulky. In fact, sturdy and durable types can be made of thick plastic and are even heavier when you put ice and drinks in it. That’s why a lot of people prefer carrying a soft cooler!
Luckily, there are soft coolers that can satisfy all your chilling needs without the classic, bulky, insulated container. A standard soft cooler can practically bring anything you want while it keeps it chilled. If you’re concerned about their capacity, there are a lot of soft coolers out there that can vary in size and features.
The good thing is you won’t have to try them all to find out the best for you. I already did the hard part and tested some of the most popular soft coolers so you know what you’re getting before you buy any of them. Also, none of the soft coolers I’ve mentioned here are brand-sponsored, the reviews are completely unbiased and the sole aim of them is to help you buy the best soft cooler for your needs. However, I’ve added affiliate links to Amazon, which means if you buy products after clicking the links I’ve mentioned, I might earn a very small fee without you having to pay more for the item. The fee I earn will support me to add more valuable reviews of refrigerators on this website!
#1 YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler
- The Flip 8 measures 10 ½ x 11 ½ and weighs 2.8 pounds.
- The Flip 12 measures 11 ½ x 12 5/8 and weighs 3.1 pounds.
- The cooler is 100% leak proof.
- The zip is sturdy and strong.
The Yeti soft cooler is in a flip-top design and looks very much as advertised. There are also a few variants and colors to choose from. There’s Flip 18 and Flip 12 in Charcoal, there’s also Flip 12 and Flip 8 in Field Tan/Blaze Orange and Fog Gray/Tahoe Blue. The numbers mainly refer to the capacity of the cooler.
Flip 8 is one of the best small coolers and can fit 6 regular cans and 8 pounds of ice. The Flip 12 can accommodate 12 cans of beer and up to 15 pounds of ice, while the Flip 18 can fit 16 cans of beer and 20 pounds of ice.
The body of this Yeti soft cooler is made out of special material that keeps water out. The manufacturers refer to it as the Dryhide Shell. It makes the soft cooler resistant to natural elements like mildew, UV rays, and even punctures. The design is also attractive and you wouldn’t be embarrassed even if you’re caught carrying this cooler in a high-end place. It also has other promising features like a Hydrolok zipper.
This soft-sided cooler is known to be one the toughest and highest-performing leak-proof zipper for performance coolers. In terms of functional features, this is equipped with cold cell Insulation. This offers superior cold-locking technology that you can’t find in other mediocre coolers.
Each of the Yeti Hopper Flip variants also comes with accessories. The Yeti Ice is a block of custom-shaped reusable ice that’s break-resistant. Its design intelligently reduces the time needed to freeze it while effectively maximizing the ice retention once it’s in use. There is also a smart MOLLE bottle opener that’s attached to the Yeti Hopper. This eliminates the need to bring bulky bottle openers.
#2 AO Cooler Hybrid Soft/Hard Cooler with High-Density Insulation
- Available in a 24-Pack soft cooler and a 64-pack hard cooler
- 24-Pack cooler measures 18 x 11.5 x 11.5 inches and weighs 5.8 pounds
- 64-pack cooler measures 24 x 14.5 x 15 inches and weighs 4 pounds
These AO hybrid coolers are available in two variants so you can pick according to what you need. Although both of these AO coolers share the same color theme – blue and gray, they still have specifications that make them different from each other.
For starters, the 24-pack is one of the best soft-sided coolers in the market. It has a tough vinyl exterior that’ also waterproof so any moisture from the outside won’t seep inside. It can hold a maximum of 24-cans of regular-sized sodas or beer. The bag is rectangular in shape and on the outside, you’ll find that the design is “cool” and sporty. It bears the brand logo at the front and has about 4 zippers all around the bag.
The first zipper opens to the main compartment where you can store your perishables. Just above the logo, at the front, you’ll see another zipper that provides access to the smallest compartment. On top of the main compartment is another rectangular pocket locked by a zipper. The fourth zipper is for another smaller compartment on top of that. If you take a closer look at the inside of the cooler bag, you’ll find that the insulation is twice the thickness of other competing brands.
The 64-pack, on the other hand, is a bit larger than the 24-pack but has similarities when it comes to the aesthetic design. Some of its differences, however, are the welded thermoplastic polyurethane material body and the molded EVA bottom. Like the 24-pack cooler, this also has a removable strap and water-resistant zippers.
#3 YETI Hopper TWO Portable Cooler
- The YETI Soft Side Cooler is available in two colors – Fog Gray/Tahoe Blue and Field Tan/Blaze Orange.
- The YETI Hopper TWO has the following dimensions – 18” x 25”x 12” and weighs 5.5 pounds when empty.
The YETI cooler bag is a tad similar to the first cooler up in this list. It’s available in two colors which are both fits for either outdoor adventures or just home visits and parties. This soft cooler resembles the shape of most beach bags, but you can immediately tell that it’s made of a sturdy material at first glance. That’s because the exterior is actually made from a waterproof material which they refer to as DryHide Shell.
This is also responsible for protecting your drinks and chilled food from the sun’s UV rays. This cooler, unlike most of the other coolers in this list, only has one zipper and compartment. It also has mesh loops outside where you can hand or hook some of your other accessories.
Their zipper has a prominent, matte color. YETI prides themselves on how they use quality materials on their products and their zipper is a great representation. The zipper on this soft cooler is a Hydrolok Zipper that’s usually present in HazMat suits. These are known for being leak-proof. It also has a sling that you can adjust depending on how you want to wear it. If you like, you can also carry it by hand using the two soft handles on the front and back of the bag.
So inside you’ll see that it’s actually spacious and you can already imagine the stuff that you’ll be bringing on your next trip. When it comes to insulation capabilities, YETI is quite proud of their Cold cell Insulation which is also present in the first YETI cooler bag in this list. It also has a MOLLE bottle opener and a reusable YETI ice that helps keeps your drinks cool.
#4 Polar Bear Coolers Nylon Series Soft Cooler Tote
- Includes 1 pack of 4 Fit & Fresh Cool Coolers Slim Ice.
- The cooling pack has the following dimensions – 13 x 21 x 13.
- Item weighs 6.2 pounds.
The Polar Bear Coolers Nylon Series Soft Cooler Tote is one of the most loved polar bear coolers out there. The bag is only available in one color which is red but is actually attractive. Once taken out of the packaging, you’ll find that the cooler is like an upside-down trapezoid in shape and has black accents. This collapsible cooler has a long and adjustable strap for the shoulders while another pair of bucket handles are at the top of the bag.
When full, this soft cooler becomes rectangular as the longer flaps on its sides fold down like that of a milk carton. After a thorough check, it looks like there are two zippers on this cooler. One is for the main compartment that holds the drinks and ice or so, while the other zipper is at the back of the bag. This zipper provides access to a small pocket where you can put other accessories.
When you open the main compartment, you’ll find that it’s roomy inside the pack. The ads boast how this soft cooler can hold a lot of canned drinks. After a brief test, this polar bear soft cooler is capable of holding a considerable amount of perishables, soda bottles, and soda cans. It also comes with a free pack of Fit & Fresh Cool Coolers Slim Ice 4-Piece Pack. You can simply throw this into the freezer and add it to your insulated polar bear insulated bag to keep your food and drinks cool and fresh.
For its functional design, the cooler is made with a 1000 Denier Luggage Grade Nylon Outer Design Shell. Inside you’ll see that it has a one-inch thick high-density foam insulation. The bag is also leak-proof and sweat-proof so this soft cooler actually looks more like a bag than an actual cooler. You won’t have to worry about accidentally spilling your fruit slices inside the cooler because it’s lined with an FDA food-grade liner.
#5 TOURIT Soft Cooler 30 Cans Leak Proof
- Has an inside space that measures 15 2/5″ x 9 1/3″ x 9 9/10″.
- Actual item size is 17 1/2″ x 11 1/2″ x 13 1/5″.
- Item weighs 6.1 pounds.
- Comes with a 3-year warranty against any product defects.
TOURIT’s version of a soft cooler looks stylish even when you first see it in their promotional materials. It’s available in only one color, gray. This soft cooler has a main compartment that can be accessed by a zipper. The inside can accommodate up to 32 pieces of regular-sized beer or soda cans. If you have other supplies, you can store it in the bag’s rear mesh compartment. There is also an adjustable strap that you can modify so you can wear the cooler as a body bag or a shoulder bag. To protect your shoulders, there is a soft pad in the strap so you can conveniently carry the soft cooler around. Two shorter straps located at the sides of the cooler also let you carry it like a bucket bag.
When it comes to the cooler’s internal features, there are 3 layers of insulation material inside. All the materials used to make the inside the cooler are all BPA-free and are also FDA approved. It’s also 100% leak-proof and the external surface is made of waterproof material. The promotional materials also inform customers about their Airtight Zipper. It’s particularly hard to tug at first but becomes easier to pull in the long run. You’ll also love the intelligent design where you can add a bottle opener just at the side of the cooler. You won’t have to bring extra supplies to open bottles of beers and sodas.
This TOURIT soft cooler bag is very easy to clean. This is a necessary feature if you like to go out and have trips often.
#6 Homitt Soft Cooler 30 Can Soft Pack Cooler
- Cooler’s dimensions are as follows 16.5 x 7.6 x 12.6 inches.
- Item weighs 4.25 pounds.
The soft cooler from Homitt is one of the first choices of customers who seek one of the best soft coolers in the market. For starters, this Homitt cooler pack is only available in gray. Its design is similar to most of the other soft coolers in this list. It has a thick pad on the adjustable sling so the user is comfortable when he carries it on his shoulders. If you don’t want to wear it that way, you can just grab it by the short straps like a bucket and be on your way.
Looking at the cooler’s interior, it seems like it only has two zippers. One is for the main compartment at the top part of the cooler. The second zipper is for the small pocket just at the front of it. Here you can keep other valuables like keys, cards, and lighters that you don’t want to get wet. It also has a mesh pocket for you to store stuff that you may need every now and then, like your phone or a Swiss knife if you’re on a camping adventure.
Once opened, you’ll see that the inside is blue in color. This soft cooler is lined with food-grade TPU lining both inside and outside. It has 3 layers of insulation to keep the contents cool. To put simply, this product is made of non-toxic and BPA-free materials. It also has a large capacity. You can fit all kinds of snacks in there that you want to keep fresh and cool, but in terms of beer cans, this soft cooler can only hold about 30.
#7 Chilly Belly Portable Cooler Bag: Backpack Style
- The soft-sided cooler measures 15×13×20 inch.
- It weighs 4 pounds.
- Backpack-style cooler.
- 36-can capacity.
This soft-sided cooler from Chilly Billy actually looks nice and easy to use. Instead of the usual shape of soft coolers, this one is a vertical rectangle when upright. There’s also no other available color other than the grayish one with blue and black accents. After taking it out of the packaging, you’ll immediately notice the comical logo at the front that displays a goat right next to the words “Chilly Billy”. Below that are mesh loops in 3 layers with 5 loops for each layer. Here, you can clip on keys, bottle openers, mini flashlights or in fact anything you can think of.
Upon checking, it looks like this soft cooler has 2 zippers and compartments. The first one is where you can put your food and drinks and chill them. The other pocket is just a small pocket at the front where you can put other small trinkets right under the Chilly Billy logo. On the sides, there are soft mesh pockets that are supposed to be plastic bottle holders. You will appreciate this if you’re on a hike or camping, it’s easy to reach your water bottles without having to stop and open the cooler. There are also front straps just in case you wanted a better hold of your cooler.
After testing, it looks like this soft-sided cooler can live up to its advertisements. It proved true to its claim and it’s definitely one of the best coolers for money. It can hold up to 36 cans of soda and beer with some space for extra ice. It keeps the contents cool and can hold ice up to 3 days. The insulation on the inside is about two inches in thickness so you’re sure that your soft cooler will be leak-free.
#8 RTIC Soft Pack 20 Cans Portable Cooler
- It has the following measurements 14 x 11 x 14 inches
- Weight: 5.2 pounds.
- Only available in Gray.
RTIC’s version of a soft cooler looks just like a regular bucket bag. It also comes with an adjustable string strap so you can wear either as a body bag or a shoulder bag. You can also use it as a handbag if the contents are not too heavy. The protective pad on the sling bears the logo of the RTIC brand.
A smaller version of the logo also appears at the front of the bag. It has dark blue stitching that accentuates the bag and adds contrast against the dark-colored material. Just below the front logo is a small compartment that can hold small utility items like bottle openers, plastic bending straws and so on.
Inside, you’ll find that there’s a thick insulation foam that lines the bag. According to the measurements, the insulation is about 2 inches in thickness. This makes sure that this soft cooler is free from leaks from the inside. The cooler is equipped with practical materials that are resistant to mildew. The inside is also lined with anti-microbial material so it doesn’t develop any bad odor. This will also keep your food and drinks chilled in a clean and sanitary space. The exterior is also made from puncture-resistant material. This will make sure that your soft cooler will be joining you on more trips and adventures in the future.
This soft cooler is perfect if perfect whether for personal or for a small party. It is also a great addition to your list of must-haves in the next fishing, mountain climbing or even glamping (glam camping) trip.
#9 Engel HD30 Waterproof Soft-Sided Cooler Bag
- This soft cooler measures 20 x 16 x 10 inches
- It weighs 5.25 pounds when empty.
- Comes with a 3-year warranty
The soft-sided cooler from Engel is designed for both long trips and just a plain cooler for long car rides. It’s also available in 3 types with varying colors and prices. There are Blue and Tan, Green and Gray and Orange and Gray. Once taken out of the box, this cooler actually has a futuristic, sporty design.
If you’re into matte colors and minimalist designs, you’ll love the aesthetic features of this cooler bag. At the front, it bears the brand name just below the front zippered compartment. It also has a convenient sling with wide pads for better shoulder support and comfort. It also has two shorter straps at the top so you can carry it like a tote bag. It also has a small bottle opener that comes with the bag. It’s actually quite small but you can see it at the front of your Engel soft cooler.
Once you open it, you can instantly feel how much insulation is in the bag. It also has a wide mouth so you won’t scratch your hands and arms against the zipper’s teeth every time you reach in and grab something. The insulation is firm and it seems that there is definitely no air escape. It also has a Vacuum valve. You are supposed to vacuum the air out just after you purchase it right before using it. After a few months of use, you can vacuum it again depending on the frequency or how often you use it. If you use this Engel soft-sided cooler at least twice a week, you should vacuum it at least every 6 months.
The zipper also has an easy-pull looped string so you can pull the zipper compartments open with just one finger. There is also a zipper lube included so you won’t end up breaking or pulling at the zipper too hard. The body also looks sturdy; it’s made with a rugged TPU outer wall to make sure that nothing impales the cooler. After a brief test use of this Engel cooler bag, it can keep your drinks and snacks cool up to 4 ½ days.
#10 BISON COOLERS 24 Can Insulated Ice Chest Bag
- Item measures: 18 x 10 x 11 inches
- The bag weighs 3.05 pounds
- Made in the USA.
- Available in different colors
- Comes with 30-Day Trial Period and 2-year warranty.
Bison’s version of a soft cooler is available in fun colors. There’s sand and black if you want a gender-neutral cooler bag, while there’s also a pink and blue variety. This Bison cooler is somehow similar to Polar Bear’s version of a soft cooler when it comes to design. It also resembles a tote bag and the longer flaps at the top of the bag fold down.
This soft cooler can also be carried in three different ways – like a shoulder bag, like a body backpack or like a regular handbag. It has two zippered compartments – the main compartment for your food and drinks and a big compartment which sits at the front of the bag. The Bison logo is on the top of the bag right next to the main compartment in black or white detailing (depending on which bag color you choose).
The outer part of the bag is made of heavy-duty 1000 Denier vinyl shell. This is a tough material that can withstand up to 375 pounds of weight before it shows signs of tearing. It’s also UV protected so no matter how high the temperature is on your trips, the fashionable color won’t fade.
When you open the bag, you’ll see that unlike other coolers, the lining is in a pale color. It’s almost like a grayish-white color, contrary to most of the other coolers in this list where the inside is usually neon green or blue. It also lives up to its promise when it comes to cooling ability. It can keep your packed drinks chilled for up to 24 hours even on the hottest of summer days. Speaking of drinks, the tested capacity of this soft-cooler is a maximum of 24 regular-sized cans and approximately 10 pounds of ice. Another reason to choose this cooler is the free bottle opener that’s included.
If you’re looking for a durable-bodied soft cooler, you can just pick from any of the coolers listed here. All of them are made with durable exterior material that can withstand both natural elements and punctures. Even the collapsible coolers and soft-sided ones are made of sturdy material and won’t tear easily. However, if you’re looking for a soft cooler that can keep your drinks chilled for the longest, you can consider getting Homitt 30 Can Soft Pack Cooler or Engel HD30 Waterproof Soft-Sided Cooler Bag. They are both capable of keeping the contents chilled up to 4 days while Engel has a record of keeping drinks cool for up to 4 ½ days.
For a soft-cooler with a great capacity, go for AO Coolers Hybrid Soft/Hard Cooler with High-Density Insulation 64-pack. AO is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to soft coolers and there’s a reason why. This 64-pack soft cooler not only has a large capacity but it also has a dependable performance. If you think that’s too big, go for Chilly Billy’s soft-sided cooler bag. You can even wear it as a backpack so you’ll be carrying the bag on both of your shoulders for even weight distribution. While if you want just a small cooler for personal use, YETI’s Hopper Flip 8 is the perfect size for 6 cans of your favorite drink while leaving just enough room for 8 pounds of ice.