Best Soft Sided Cooler Bags
If you are a frequent camper and wish to get on your road trip or camping excursion frequently, then you should keep a soft side cooler handy, as it can serve as an excellent companion to keep the food and drinks fresh and cool for an extended period of time. There are a number of soft side cooler bags available in the market and thus finding the best bag that best suits your circumstances can be a little hard and tricky. Thus, we are here to help you with the best soft side cooler bags for all of your camping trips.
Best Soft Sided Cooler Bags
Quick Answer: The 5 Best-Soft Sided Cooler Bags – 
- Coleman NFL Soft-Sided Insulated Cooler and Lunch Box Bag
- YETI Hopper Two 20, Portable Cooler
- Engel HD30 Waterproof Soft-Sided Cooler Bag
- ROCK BROS Backpack Cooler Leak-Proof Soft Sided Cooler
- Pelican Elite Soft Cooler
Best Soft-Sided Cooler Bags Reviews
This is a top cooler lunch box for keeping the drinks cold during camping and tailgating. It comprises of lightweight material and it is of a very compact size with adjusting carrying strap. This cooler bag is capable of accommodating a full lunch or about 9 cans with minimal ice and 6 cans with additional ice comfortably.
There is an anti-microbial layer in the bag that is capable of resisting odor, mildew, mold, and fungus. The bag is thus much easier to clean between every single use.
This soft-sided cooler bag features a 24-hour cold technology that is capable of keeping the food and drinks cold for up to 90 degrees temperature for up to 24 hours. There is also an external front pocket with the logo from the cardinals, which allows the users to store simple utensils and condiments.
The 24-hours cold technology of this cooler bag helps to keep the drinks cold for up to 24 hours in about 90 degrees of atmospheric heat.
The Yeti Hopper portable cooler is built for adventures and it is about 100% portable and leak-proof, apart from being a portable cooler. The cooler comes in different sizes to fit any adventure in any location. Its high density fabric is waterproof and is resistant to UV rays, mildew, and punctures as well.
Its closed-cell rubber foam renders superior cold-holding. The hydrolok zippers of this bad are tough, waterproof, leak-proof, and is also the highest performing cooler zipper in the world.
The cooler has a hitch point grid that easily attaches anything that includes zinger, bottle opener, and sidekick. Its sidekick dry helps to keep all the important things easily accessible, dry, and secure.
The waterproof gear is the best way to carry wallet keys, phones in the wild. Its bottle opener attaches directly to the hopper, helping you to crack the frosty brews easily. The cooler helps to keep the tools and other things handy in the soft-sided cooler bag.
The Engel Waterproof cooler bag redefines the way people enjoy the trips in the wild. It is possible to carry the cooler bag in three easy ways, namely with the help of shoulder straps, top grab handles and side handles. It features an exclusive vacuum valve technology that draws excess air from the insulation, so as to maximize the ice retention.
This cooler comprises of a 100% waterproof compartment and has a wide mount easy access. It has an impressive ice retention rate and keeps its content cool for about 4 ½ days flat.
The cooler is available in at least half the price of other leading soft-sided cooler bags and it is available in two sizes, namely 21 or 32 quarts. Its vacuum valve draws excess air from the inner insulation, thus maximizing its performance.
The bag has a padded shoulder strap for easy handling and carrying. It also has a waterproof zipper with an easy pull tab and features an integrated bottle opener as well for convenient use.
Ordinary bags have sewn zippers that leak cold air and water easily but the Rockbros coolers have airtight zippers that prevent the loss of cool air efficiently. It also minimizes water leakage effectively.
Its T-shaped sliders and serrated zippers help in the smooth opening and closing of the bags. Its surface and lining are of double-sided waterproof fabric. It offers about 48 years of extra-long cooling insulation at a 107-degree indoor environment.
It helps to keep the food and drinks fresh and cool for a long time. its inner material is made of a high density foam and its interiors surface is made of waterproof TPU, which ensures cool air stays in for a long time.
The soft cooler is made up of a leak-resistant and a durable fabric. Thus it serves as the best, and ultra-portable backpack cooler for picnics, hiking, camping, cycling, etc. It is a durable soft cooler with a large capacity and comes with a lifetime warranty as well.
The pelican soft-sided cooler bags can be extremely useful in the extremes of conditions and feature extreme insulation. The bag keeps the beverages highly insulated for the most challenging adventures.
These bags render quick access and convenience and come with quick access and a dual-lock buckle system. Its integrated bottle openers and anti-slip base help in great stability.
The bag is portable and lightweight and offers an excellent balance of space and portability with a 25-quart internal volume. It is also 55% lighter compared with other premium hard coolers.
It can accommodate up to 24 cans of drinks cold for up to 48 hours. The cooler is great for the beach, fishing trips, camping, and even for weekend getaways.
Buying Guide For Best Soft Sided Cooler Bags
How should you choose your soft-sided cooler bag
A soft-sided cooler bag is no ordinary bag and it should be equipped with a number of features to make it fit for the occasion. Some of the important factors to look out for in a cooler bag, before making its purchase are as follows.
- Weight and Portability of the bag
- Interior space for storage
- Miscellaneous features
Weight and Portability of The Bag:
While choosing a new cooler, it is mandatory to check its weight before making the purchase. During camping, we will be adding a lot of additional weight on the bag with the food, icepacks, and drinks. Thus it is beneficial to choose a bag that is pretty lightweight. Also, make sure to choose bags that are extremely portable.
If you think you will be carrying heavy and loaded coolers for short distances, then choose bags with sturdy side handles. In order to carry lighter loads over long distances, choose bags with shoulder straps. Especially when your hands are occupied with other equipment.
Interior Space for Storage:
Check the collapsed size of the soft-sided cooler bag before buying the bag. Buying a flat-folding cooler makes it easy for transportation and storage, especially if you plan to take the cooler with you for your travel. Also, ensure that the interior space of the storage bag is good enough to accommodate all the items that you wish to carry with you for your camping trip.
Insulation is the most important criteria to look for while choosing the soft-sided cooler bag. The ultimate purpose of the cooler is to keep the foods and the drinks chilled, thus it needs to offer the best insulation effect has possible. Pay attention to the layers of insulation that the bag offers.
Also, check for radiant heat barriers to protect the cargo in the soft-sided cooler bag. More the layers of insulation, better is the bag. Also, it is good to remember that the insulation, greater will be the overall bulk of the bag.
Price is the single most deciding factor in selecting the best rolling coolers for trips. If you decide on using it infrequently, then it is better to go with a cheap cooler. Even cheaper models are good enough for short time periods. But if you will be using it often on all your trips, then it is good to spend a little more and buy a cooler of better quality.
This is one of the primitive features to check with any purchase. Longer the warranty period, greater is the quality of the item. Also if there is any dent in the cooler, or any of its parts require replacement, then its warranty comes handy. Ensure to check every single detail in the policy before buying the product.
There are a number of new additions being made with the coolers as technology advances. Some of the modern-day coolers come with an automatic defrost system without any manual intervention.
The Soft-sided coolers are attractively designed and come in the shape of a can or baggage to get them easy and efficient for travel. Some of the additional features that come with the soft cooler bags are,
- Bottle openers – To come handy to taste drinks and to save space.
- Pockets – The pockets of the cooler bags are useful to stock accessories such as valuable protected. You can avoid carrying additional bags and overloading the pockets.
- Shoulder strap – Helps to carry lighter loads and when the hands are busy with other equipment. Campers should not underestimate the importance of using a shoulder strap along their way.
- Bungee cord: Bungee cords can help to easily attach the handy extra layers of clothing such as a waterproof or sweater. It can also be useful to attach a number of accessories as well.
- Liner: Some cooler bags can have removable liners, which makes it easy for cleaning. Also, these liners can render additional support and protection for the contents of the cooler.
Important Factors To Consider Before Buying a Cooler Bag:
There are certain factors to keep in mind while shopping for the best coolers and some of them are,
- Cool storage space
- Ice retention period
- Resistance to corrosion and leakages
Cool Storage Space:
The storage space within the cooler is the most important factor to consider while buying the cooler. The total amount of space available is dependent on one’s personal needs. Coolers with larger storage spaces can be a little expensive over others, but their features definitely pay for their cost.
Ice Retention Period:
This is the measure of the length of the time that a cooler can keep the ice frozen. For optimal results, it is important to get a model that will hold up long enough for the time when one is out of the home.
The ideal ice retention period is between 3-10 days. Models that retain ice for a longer time period of time, tends to cost furthermore. Cooler bags with wheels tend to have a larger ice retention period for portability.
Resistance To Corrosion and Leakages:
Leaks and corrosion are the most common problems that one can face with the coolers. Metal coolers are prone to rust than those made of hard materials. In fact, coolers that are made of hard materials escape from damages. But be sure to check the durability of the cooler in terms of its resistance when it comes to common issues like corrosion and leaks.
Why Should We Choose Soft-sided Cooler Bags Over Hard Sides?
There are a number of factors that make the soft-sided cooler bags advantageous and preferably over the hard sides ones. Some of the merits of choosing soft-sided cooler bags are,
- Lightweight: The soft-sided cooler bags are lightweight than hard-sided models. Thus, they are easy to carry and are also more convenient to store when they are not in use.
- Collapsible: The soft-sided cooler bags are designed to be collapsible, and some of them can be folded or squished to save space.
- Forgiving Nature: Unlike the hard coolers, the materials of the soft-sided coolers are more forgiving, and prevents you from bumping yourself while carrying them.
- Easy to Clean: As the soft-sided coolers are easy to clean and maintain, they resist mildew and are also easier to clean.
Soft-sided Cooler Bag – Cons:
- These bags are smaller in capacity when we compare them with the hard coolers
- They render very little protection to their contents if they are knocked or dropped by heavier objects than the hard-sided coolers.
- The softer coolers suffer durability issues with heavy use. They are also resilient on tough terrains.
FAQs For Soft-sided Cooler Bags:
How to clean the soft-sided cooler bag?
It is mandatory to clean the bag with each use, so as to maintain its integrity and to achieve excellent results. You can simply wipe the interiors of the coolers with a damp cloth, that is soaked in a mild soap solution.
Can we put ice in the cooler bag?
It depends on the type of stuff that you are packing. But the majority of the cooler bags have excellent capacity and spacious compartments, to allow you to carry ice in them.
How long does food stay frozen in the insulated bag?
Insulated bags can keep food frozen for two hours. You can carry ice to keep the food frozen for a long time.
Some Important Tips To Pack a Soft-sided Cooler bag:
- Chill the cooler by placing it in the freezer overnight, so that the ice stays frozen for a longer time and enhances the chill time of food.
- Chill the food and drinks before packing. Even if the cooler is chilled, if it is packed with food at room temperature, then its efficacy is decreased.
- Fill the cooler to a 2:1 ratio of ice to food or drinks. This will ensure that the cooler is able to keep the food cold for a long time. Do not overload.
- Place large ice packs at the bottom of the cooler before placing the contents, so that they remain cool for a long time.
- Also, make sure that the ice packs are completely frozen.
- Do not freeze full bottles, to prevent the risk of bottle splitting and leaving the rest of the bag soggy.
Cooler bags are important for people who indulge in outdoor activities such as camping. They are easy to carry insulated bags that keep you nourished during the trip. We hope our product recommendations and our review helps you to pick up the best cooler bag for your camping trips.