Today we'll be discussing portable coolers, trying to find an answer for the simple yet complex question: what is the best cooler bag?
In This Article
There may be times when a cooler will be needed, but you just don’t need one for several people. Perhaps you have cooler needs just for one or two people. So what do you do?
Well, you could drag along your regular sized cooler, OR you could opt for something more portable, and honestly more convenient and realistic.
The best option for times like this is a cooler bag, however, all cooler bags are not created equally. You’ll also find that some cooler bags meet your needs better than others.
So what's the best cooler bag out there? Here’s a quick look at our top picks:
In a Hurry? Meet Our Best Cooler Bag Picks:
- Best Overall: YETI Hopper M30
Great size for everyday use, very portable, well insulated and made of high-quality materials
- Longest Ice Retention: Canyon Nomad
High-performance bag, keeps ice for 3 days, from a reputed brand, lifetime warranty
- Budget option: Coleman Cooler Bag
Affordable, lightweight cooler bag in a variety of sizes, a good choice for a day/lunch cooler
Best Portable Cooler Bag – Comparision Table
|Picture||Name / Capacity||Top Features||Ice Retention|
|editors-choice||Editor's Choice||Yeti Hopper M30|
|• Closed-cell foam insulation|
• Magnet closure
• High-density fabric
|1-2 days||Check Price|
|CANYON Nomad Cooler Bag|
21, 32 quarts
|• Closed foam insulation|
• Fully welded seams
• UV rated 840D nylon
|2-3 days||Check Price|
12, 24 Cans
|• 1000D vinyl shell|
• UV protected
• Made in USA
|up to 24 hours||Check Price|
|TOURIT Portable Cooler Bag|
20, 30 cans
|• 100% Leak-proof & Waterproof|
• 3-layer insulation material
• BPA free
• Impact Resistant
|2 days||Check Price|
10, 15, 20 liters
|• 100% waterproof, can float|
• Roll-top design
• Hands-free cooler bag
|up to 24 hours||Check Price|
12, 24, 48 cans
|• Dual-Temp Insulation System|
• 600 denier canvas shell
• puncture resistant G8TRSkin liner
• Roll-up design
|up to 24 hours||Check Price|
|Coleman Small Cooler Bag|
9, 16, 30 Cans
• Germ-Resistant Liner
• Easy-Carry Straps & Handles
|up to 24 hours||Check Price|
Coolers & Insulated Bag Reviews
We have looked at many different cooler insulated bags and are proud to present to you the best cooler bags and best portable coolers, as reviewed by the bestcooler.reviews team. Here are our top picks:
Yeti Hopper M30 Cooler – Best Cooler Bag Overall
There is a very good chance that you have either seen someone with a YETI (no, not the creature) or have seen one for sale online and have been intrigued. There’s a reason we have rated it the best portable cooler bag. They are simply one of the – if not THE best – when it comes to coolers – period.
The Yeti Hopper M30 Cooler brings you all of the quality that you will normally find in a YETI Cooler. This model comes in at 25 × 12 × 17 1/2 inches and weighs in at 7 pounds. According to Yeti, you can fit 20 cans of beer (using a 2:1 ice-to-can ratio by volume) or even six footlong sub sandwiches.
If you are packing food and drinks for you and some friends then this will easily do the job. In fact, if you need to keep food cold for several days, then this will do as well.
One user noted in his review at YETI.com, that he needed ice retention as well as portability, as he was traveling by motorcycle for several days. The user reported that he was able to with the M30.
Another user was absolutely pleased with the Yeti Hopper M30 stating that she literally leaves items in the cooler for days at a time, and uses it on long road trips. The user stated that it goes beyond normal expectations of a cooler.
Want to learn more about Yeti M30?
Visit the official Yeti store for details and reviews >>
Watch the Hopper M30 in action:
CANYON Coolers Nomad Soft Cooler Bag – Best Insulated Cooler Bag
The Nomad cooler bag from CANYON is among the best soft coolers bags you can find out there insulation-wise.
With its thick closed-cell foam insulation, welded seams, and the TPU inner shell, this cooler can hold ice for 2 – 3 days (depending on conditions and packing).
Therefore, the Nomad cooler bag is an excellent choice if you want a soft cooler for your camping needs.
Durability in the Nomad bag is top-notch as well – its outer shell is constructed of heavy-duty 840D nylon that is UV-resistant and cleans easily. The aforementioned welded seams are also not only insulative but also strong and leakproof.
In fact, CANYON is so confident in the longevity of this cooler that it is covered by a lifetime warranty!
CANYON Nomad is available in two sizes – 20 and 30 quarts – so it should be able to take care of a wide range of camping or hiking needs.
The Nomad cooler bag is pretty convenient as well. For comfortable carrying, it has two handles and a shoulder strap. Besides, this soft cooler features stretch cords for accessory or necessity attachment, as well as comes with a bottle opener.
BISON SoftPak Insulated Cooler Bag
If you are looking for a not too expensive America-made cooler, then this cooler bag model from Bison Coolers is worthy of consideration (note, they offer hard coolers too). It’s a simple cooler with all-around good quality and solid performance for the price.
The Bison SoftPak cooler bag is one of the heavier-duty models on this list – with a 1000D vinyl shell, it offers better longevity than the typical soft cooler. The shell is also UV-protected, as well as coated with TPU for added strength and moisture protection.
With nearly an inch of insulation, the Bison cooler bag can hold ice for up to 24 hours too, so it’s a nice option for weekend picnics or one-day hikes.
Functionality- and accessory-wise, the Bison soft cooler bag is pretty basic but has the essentials, including a bottle opener along with a side pocket for small, dry items and a removable shoulder strap.
We also like how simplistic the Bison cooler looks – although we prefer more unique and eye-catching coolers, we also understand that not everyone wants flashy cooler bags. The Bison cooler might be just for those people.
It comes in two sizes 12-can and 24-can cooler bag and you can buy it at Amazon right here >>
TOURIT Portable Cooler Bag
This soft cooler from TOURIT clearly draws inspiration from YETI Hopper Flip soft coolers.
Fortunately, this doesn’t apply to YETI pricing – the TOURIT cooler is much cheaper and thus a good option if you like the Hopper design but don’t like the associated costs.
Although a relatively inexpensive soft cooler, the TOURIT cooler bag offers solid ice retention – with its 3-layer insulation and airtight zipper, this thing can store ice for up to 3 days!
Additionally, the build is pretty tough as well – the outer shell is waterproof and resistant to punctures & UV rays. The liner is BPA-free for food safety too.
The TOURIT soft cooler has 3 ways for carrying – via the padded detachable shoulder strap, a pair of side handles, or the top handles. So depending on how heavy the cooler is, you may switch from one carrying method to another.
TOURIT also has a few minor yet still rather interesting things– like the integrated bottle opener, the front mesh pocket, or the accessory/tie-down points.
Finally, size-wise, TOURIT offers two options – 20- and 30-can coolers (which have capacities of about 17.33 and 24.6 quarts calculated with the provided interior dimensions).
Icemule Cooler Bag – Best Hands-Free Cooler Bag
Sound like a weird name for a cooler bag? It’s really not and honestly suits it. You’ll feel like a pack mule, but really in a good way. Rated as the best hands-free cooler bag is the Icemule Cooler bag.
It looks like a single cinch up a backpack with one padded backstrap instead of two for easy transport. You’ll like the look and design of this cooler bag, especially if you find yourself on long treks and having to carry it for long distances.
This cooler bag comes in at 1.7 pounds and can hold up to 12 cans with ice or even 5 bottles of wine with ice. The manufacturer states that it can keep ice intact for up to 24 hours and even floats, which means if you are on the open water, then you won't need to worry about it falling off the boat.
When it’s not in use, it will easily roll up and go into any other bags that you have. One user stated that the strap is secure and the bag itself is nearly indestructible. While the manufacturer said ice retention can be kept for up to 24 hours, this user actually got nearly three days of ice retention.
Another user stated using this as their personal lunch cooler daily for four months, with little wear and tear being shown, and looks forward to getting more use out of the cooler.
IceMule Classic Cooler Video Overview
NorChill Can Voyager Series Insulated Soft Cooler Bag
If you want a day cooler, then the rather pocket-friendly Norchill Voyager is likely to be the perfect option for you. It’s not only inexpensive but also boasts a few interesting features.
First off, we absolutely love how easy the Voyager is to maintain. The interior liner can be pulled out for easy cleaning and drying, while the integrated corner spout allows you to easily remove water and small ice chunks from the bag.
Next, Voyager cooler bags boast rather solid construction with heavy-duty metal hardware, double stitching, a tough tear- and water-resistant nylon shell, and puncture-resistant liner.
The insulation is also very nice, particularly thanks to the bag seams that have been melted together to reduce heat leaks. Combined with the Dual-Temp insulation system, this allows for ice retention of about 1 day.
For convenience and space efficiency, the Voyager cooler additionally features things like a roll-up design, a front pouch pocket, and a removable shoulder strap.
Voyager cooler bags are available in three sizes – small (12-can), medium (24-can), and large (48-can). And notably, Norchill designs and manufactures Voyager coolers mostly in the US, though some parts are also made overseas.
Coleman Small Cooler Bag – Best Small Cooler Bag
Are you looking for a name brand you may have heard of more? How about a cooler that mixes both hard and soft products together for one of the best small cooler bag offerings out there?
You’ll find all of those in the Coleman small cooler bag. This bag holds 9 cans (also available in sizes 16 and 30 cans), has an adjustable shoulder strap and zippered pockets for even more storage. At a portable 1.2 pounds and measuring in at 10 x 8 x 7 inches, you’ll find this cooler to fit your individual needs pretty nicely.
One user reported going through four other coolers before finding that this one fit their needs the best. The user applauded the zipper strength and the ease of cleaning the product because of the removable liner.
Another user stated that they were looking for a replacement cooler that could meet all of their needs, such as a tall thermos. The original cooler that was used, was used for 15 years and the search was on for a replacement. Unable to find one until this Coleman offering, the user called it the perfect cooler.
Our guide about top Coleman coolers can provide you with additional insight about their coolers.
For your convenience, here's a link to the Coleman Small Cooler Bag at Amazon where you can check the current price and read customer reviews.
What To Know Before You Buy a Cooler Bag
Alright, so you are ready to buy and know what you want. Well, before you start making any purchases, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Here are a few.
This is important to note as you should know what the actual capacity with ice will be, as you will be the one using it.
For example, if you needed to be able to pack 18 cans with ice, then you may not want to purchase the Icemule, as it only packs 12 cans with ice. For that specific need, you may want to opt for the Yeti as it can pack 20 cans.
There is a big difference between needing a cooler to take to work and a cooler that can withstand outside elements. For example, if you needed a cooler to take to work for your lunch, then perhaps the TOURIT Soft Cooler is ideal.
However, if you need a bag that may accidentally be dropped in the water and needs it to float, then you may want to give the Icemule a shot.
If you need to take a soft cooler for long distances and need something more comfortable to wear and carry, then the Icemule may just be your cooler.
Do you need to carry things like napkins, silverware, or even sunscreen? If you have needs that call for extra zippered pockets, then you may want to skip the Yeti and Icemule, and head straight for the Coleman and Canyon models.
If you are on a budget, then you may want to pick up the NorChill Voyager which is much more affordable and will fit most budgets.
Best Bag Cooler – The Bottom Line
The bottom line here is that you will definitely be able to find something here to suit your best portable cooler needs.
We are certain you will be able to find the best picnic cooler bag or best small cooler bag to fit your needs.
Take a look at your budget and what your specific needs are, and we are sure you will be able to find something here to suit your needs.
You can also check out more cooler bags available at Amazon >>
Last update on 2020-07-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
All product names, logos, and brands are property of their respective owners. All company, product and service names used in this website are for identification purposes only. Use of these names, logos, and brands does not imply endorsement.
It is our policy to make every effort to respect the copyrights of outside parties. If you believe that your copyright has been misused, please provide us with a message stating your position and we will endeavor to correct any misuse immediately.
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we may receive an affiliate commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps us keep this website alive. Learn more here.