12 Best Soft Cooler Bags in 2018
A soft cooler bag is the perfect combination of convenience and effectiveness. Most buyers, however, rush out as soon as the sun is shining to buy the first cooler bag they can find and most of the time end up disappointed.
There is a whole range of problems that come with choosing a low-quality soft cooler bag, including bleeding out, ripping seams and lukewarm beer. We have crafted this guide, so you never have to take a warm sip ever again.
Follow our tips and look over the list below to help you find the best soft cooler bag for your needs and budget.
Top 12 Soft Cooler Bags Comparison Chart
|Design||Name||Dimensions (Inches)||Style||Rating (1-5)|
|1. Rachael Ray Jumbo ChillOut Thermal Tote||22 x 8 x 17.2||Tote||4.6|
|2. Coleman Cooler Satchel||6 x 12 x 9.5||Tote||4.5|
|3. Polar Bear Coolers Nylon Series 24 Pack Navy||10 x 18 x 12||Duffel||4.5|
|4. AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler with High-Density Insulation||14 x 7 x 12||Duffel||4.5|
|5. MIER 24-can Large Capacity Soft Cooler Tote Insulated Lunch Bag||11.02 x 7.87 x 10.24||Duffel||4.5|
|6. Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler With Hard Liner||11.81 x 6.69 x 11.81||Duffel||4.5|
|7. Coleman 42-Can Wheeled Soft Cooler With Hard Liner||20 x 12 x 11||Suitcase||4.5|
|8. YETI Hopper Portable Cooler||21.5 x 10.5 x 14||Shoulder||4.4|
|9. Freddie and Sebbie Cooler Bag||13 x 6.5 x 17.5||Shoulder||4.1|
|10. ENGEL USA Cooler Bag Backpack||17.25 x 7.75 x 18.75||Shoulder/Backpack||4.1|
|11. Igloo Marine Ultra Square Coolers||11.5 x 13.25 x 14.5||Duffel||3.9|
|12. Arctic Zone Eco Blend 45 Can Freezer Tote||17.42 x 21.5 x 6.75||Shoulder||3.8|
Keeping Everything at the Ideal Temperature… And Price
Anyone who has tried to carry around a heavy hard-sided cooler will know that it can be uncomfortable and that it quickly becomes annoying; this is especially true when you want to be on the move, such as camping, or if you need to carry the cooler a long distance.
A soft cooler bag solves all of these problems but only if you carefully choose the right one. Here are some of the most important features you should think about before you choose the right soft cooler bag.
Don’t Leave Anything Behind
On our list, we have included the dimensions of each of the bags; this is to give you a good idea of how much you will be able to pack into it.
It is very important to get the right size, so you won’t be frustrated by not being able to bring along everything in your cooler.
As a reference point: A 6 pack of beer bottles = 7.5” x 5” x 8”
Extra Tip – It is worth remembering that one of the most useful aspects of a soft cooler bag is that it can be folded down into a smaller size. That means it is almost always worth getting a bigger bag than you initially need.
Make A Statement With Your Cooler’s Style
On our list, we have included the style of each of the cooler bags. There are four main types, and we will look at them in more detail here:
- Tote – These bags are exactly as you would imagine. They look like padded shopping bags. This means that these bags do not come with a huge amount of space, but they are perfect for carrying a few items that need to be kept cool.
- Duffel – These bags come in a square or rectangular shape and therefore maximize the amount of available space. As with any duffel bag, these coolers will usually have two main handles and a shoulder strap.
- Suitcase – There is one item on our list that is classified as a suitcase style cooler bag. It comes with a telescopic handle and wheels. While it is not a traditional soft cooler option, it can be collapsed down and is a perfect middle ground between soft and hard coolers.
- Shoulder – If you are looking for a tote design that has more carrying capacity, then you need to opt for one of our shoulder options. They offer great portability combined with the space you need.
- Backpack – One product on our list comes with two backpack-like straps that make carrying it around even easier. This product is versatile and is the right choice for anyone who is constantly on the move.
For Those Little Yet Important Extras
There is more to a cooler than the main bag compartment, and it is often these extras that set the best soft cooler bag options apart from the average-quality ones.
The additional storage options usually only come in two forms:
- Outer Pockets – It is worth checking whether these pockets are also insulated or if they are for other uses.
- Netting – Whether you are using this for storing your bottle opener or keeping your mosquito spray close to hand, these netting pockets are ideal. We believe the more netting a cooler has on the outside, the better!
A Cooler That Can Withstand Any Journey
It cannot be overstated how important the durability of a soft cooler bag is. We have all seen how beaten up a hard-sided cooler gets and this is no different with softer options. Your cooler should be able to take a beating and keep everything cool and safe inside.
Top 5 Best Soft Cooler Bag Reviews
The Rachael Ray Jumbo ChillOut Thermal Tote is one of the most effective for camping trips or groceries. The bag is made of materials that are proven to keep food and drinks cold for hours. The reflective interior liner is one of the insulation features that helps with this cooling.
To provide an idea of the size, the bag will hold 3-gallon jugs of milk. The bag can be folded up and kept in the car for keeping ice cream or perishables cold when you complete a weekly grocery shopping trip. This material also makes the bag easy to store in the house without taking up the same amount of room of a plastic cooler of the same size.
The lining of the bag is leak-proof, which means that even if your food and drinks do start to warm up, the bag will not let the water leak through the soft outer shell. This level of performance is the best reason to buy this cooler.
The Coleman Cooler Satchel is one of the best soft cooler options when you want to carry a cooler with you but don’t want to look like that is what you are doing; this is a smaller cooler that looks like a fashionable shoulder bag and will carry a few sports drinks and snacks.
This bag is perfect for daily use. It is comfortable to carry with the shoulder straps, but it also has the outside pockets that allow you to carry your phone, wallet or sunglasses in the bag too. Even if you add some ice to the inside of this bag, it won’t leak or sweat, so the things you keep outside will not be affected.
This is one of the only quality coolers that does not look like a cooler. It is the perfect daily satchel to carry your lunch as well as the essentials.
The Polar Bear Coolers Nylon Series is one of the most easy-to-carry soft coolers out there. The duffle style makes this bag look like any other gym or travel bag. The rugged exterior makes this bag extremely durable and perfect for bringing along on camping trips.
Not only is the exterior of this bag well-made, but the inside has been made with double-coated nylon and foam that keeps ice frozen for a whole day when it is packed correctly. The benefits also include being able to fold and compress this bag to only half of its total expanded size for easy storage.
The entire design of this bag means that it can hold the ice, the drinks, and food with ease. You will never have to worry about the bag wearing under the weight of what it holds, only whether or not you can carry it.
The AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler with High-Density Insulation has proven itself time and time again when it comes to keeping drinks and food cold while also remaining durable; this is the perfect bag for camping and fishing trips or picnics and beach outings because of its effectiveness and size.
In terms of soft coolers, this is larger in size, but it has been designed so that it is easy to carry like a duffel bag, which means that the larger size is only ever an advantage and never something that makes using the cooler a challenge.
The bag itself can keep ice in ice form for up to 24 hours in 120-degree temperatures. The effectiveness alone is unbeatable.
The MIER 24- can Large Capacity Soft Cooler Tote Insulated Lunch Bag comes with eye-popping colors that make it easy to distinguish your cooler amongst a bunch of coolers at a BBQ or party. The style is something to benefit from, but the uniqueness also extends to the additional features of the bag.
The square shape makes the cooler seem like a large lunch box. This style, paired with the durable straps and handles, make it easy to bring with you anywhere. It should also be noted that this is a foldable bag that can easily be stored in smaller spaces.
The bag can be folded without having negative effects on the insulation of the bag. The convenience of this bag and the style are the main reasons to invest in this bag over others.
While we mentioned it in passing, the real defining factor between a decent cooler and the one that you’ll love is how easy it is to carry. If you are still not sure which soft cooler is the right one for you, then look closely at the handles.
It is all about ergonomics and comfort. Look for adjustable straps with plenty of padding and you’ll know which one out of our best soft cooler bag options is the one for you.