Large coolers are great when you are camping, hunting or engaging in any other activities with big groups of people, AND will be gone for a few days at a time. However, this isn’t always the case.
While it would be nice to take that big cooler with you on your next outing, the fact of the matter is that you probably don’t need it.
So what’s the answer? Soft coolers, that’s your answer.
But what is the best soft cooler? We’ll be taking a closer look at the top rated soft sided coolers out there so you can choose easily, but before we do here is a quick comparison table for your convenience:
Best Soft Cooler – Comparison Table
|Picture||Product Name||Size / Capacity||Our Rating |
(incl. Ice Retention)
|.||Yetti Hopper||18 Pack||$$$|
|.||Icemule Soft Cooler||10 - 20L||$$|
|.||Engel Soft Cooler||24 Pack||$$$|
|editors-choice||.Editor's Choice||Polar Bear Soft||48 Pack||$$|
|.||Igloo Marine Soft||24 - 26 Pack||$|
|.||Logo Chair College||24 Pack||$$|
|.||Coleman Soft Cooler||16 Cans||$|
Soft Sided Cooler Reviews – Our Top Picks
There are many soft coolers out there to choose from, so how do you decide? Well, we’ve taken a look at and compared some of the top ones out there so you don’t have to. Here’s what we found.
Yeti Hopper Cooler – The Best Soft Cooler In Terms of Design and Build Quality
This model in the ever popular Yeti line is offered in either 20 or 30 quarts. You’ll find that this cooler offers similar ice retention time frames as their larger siblings, but in a smaller package. This may just be the best soft cooler when it comes to durability. It is puncture resistant and completely leak proof. It also opens and closes with a zipper enclosure.
The design that you’ll find on the Hopper will make it easy for you take on the go should you need to walk for long distances. Six different D-Ring tie down locations make it a breeze to secure to any vehicle (boat, truck bed or even four wheel off road vehicles).
Many users enjoy the durability of the Hopper, as well as the protection that it offers. One user mentioned that contents stayed completely dry, even in the rain. Another user mentioned being able to toss the cooler into the car, onto the floor and elsewhere with it being able to take the work it gets put through. One user did mention that the zipper was a little difficult, though it did keep contents cold. Perhaps a re-design may come in the future, but the general consensus is positive when it comes to the Yeti Hopper.
>> Check out Yeti Hopper on Amazon
Coleman Soft Cooler – Best Soft Sided Cooler With Removable Lining
Available in a variety of colors such as red, blue green and gray, is the Coleman soft cooler with hard liner. This little cooler can hold 16 cans, which means that you can pack more than enough for yourself and a few friends. You’ll also find two extra pockets on the outside of the cooler to pack more supplies. While it can be pain to wash out and clean coolers, the removable lining on this one make it simple to clean.
Many users have raved about the amount of space that you’ll find in this soft cooler. One mentioned being able to easily fit a six pack of bottled drinks with more than enough room to fit a smaller bag of chips and a sandwich. Another user, whose spouse is in the construction field reported that the spouse actually uses this for more than its cooler benefits. The user reported that food was indeed stored in it, but other things like a cell phone, wallet and gloves were stored in the pockets as well.
If you are looking for the best soft sided cooler with some extra space for other items such as a wallet or keys, then this may do the trick as well.
>> Check out Coleman Soft Cooler on AmazonTIP: You may also want to check out what are the other Coleman coolers for sale here.
Igloo Soft Cooler – Best Soft Sided Cooler Bag
Need something smaller when it comes to a soft cooler? Need something a little bigger? When it comes to soft sided coolers, you’ll be able to fill your needs with one of the products in the Igloo lineup. These come in a variety of sizes and designs. You’ll find a console style that can hold 36 cans, a backpack you can take on the go that you can wear or a snap down cooler with a should strap for easy transporting.
The Igloo name is one that many are familiar with, and one whose brand that you may even currently own yourself. These coolers feature MaxCold insulation that provides 25% more foam so your contents stay colder for longer periods of time.
Many individuals reported that ice stayed frozen for several days at a time, with one saying that it kept block ice for two full days. Another reported the same time frame, stating that it was 48 hours until ice had to be replaced. There are some reports of problems with the zipper but these users said items still remained cold. Another user mentioned the cost savings with the Igloo, stating that even if the zipper needed replacing, that the cost saved from more expensive soft coolers more than justifies purchasing a zipper replacement.
>> Check out Igloo Soft Cooler on Amazon
Polar Bear Soft Cooler – Best Soft Sided Cooler To Win Over Non Soft Cooler Users
This stylish case looks more like a fashionable bag, rather than a soft sided cooler. In fact, at first glance it looks like it could be a camera bag. You’ll be able to find these coolers in such colors and designs as red, silver, mossy oak and more. This cooler bag will hold a twelve pack and will keep ice for a full day in triple digit outdoor temperatures.
You can take this on the go for your next solo adventure or even with another person. It fits almost anywhere and you can put it through its paces with a one –year manufacturer’s warranty.
This cooler actually turned an anti-soft cooler user into a raving enthusiast. The user mentioned that they had actually laughed when a friend brought this on a recent outing. Having left it out in the sun all day, he found that the Polar Bear Soft Cooler that his friend had still held ice, and not only ice, but also ice that had barely melted. His cooler in turn held mostly water and a few ice cubes. Needless to say he was sold.
Another user also mentioned using this on the go from the grocery store, stating that frozen foods stay frozen even when sitting in a hot car.
>> Check Out Polar Bear on Amazon
Logo Chair College Soft Sided Rolling Cooler – Best Soft Cooler On Wheels
What do you bring to your next tailgate party? You bring your school’s cooler that’s what. If you are looking for the best soft cooler on wheels, then you may want to pay attention here.
Are you a Georgia Bulldog, Florida Gator or Kentucky Wildcat? Perhaps you are a Fighting Irish fan or pull for the Men of Troy (USC). Regardless of who your team is, you’ll be a hit at your next tailgate party when you roll in with this, no pun intended.
You can pack up to a case of cans of soda, beer or other beverage in this cooler. For those looking for a little versatility when it rains (who wants to roll in the rain?), you can take off the wheels and use it as a backpack. There are extra pockets for storage space, making this an ideal companion at any barbecue.
While the manufacturer states it can hold ice for up to two days, some users mentioned that it is less than that. However, the user did mention that the rolling features as well as their college logo more than made up for it, as they were only going to use it for a few hours.
>> Check out Logo Chair College Cooler on Amazon
What You Need To Know Before Purchasing Your Best Soft Sided Cooler
There are a few things that you will need to take into consideration before purchasing your soft sided cooler. While we have taken a look at the top rated soft sided coolers online, you will need to think about your own personal usage when it comes to choosing. Here are a few things to consider.
Why You Should Switch
Think about what you’ll be using the cooler for and why your normal cooler just won’t do. If you need something more convenient because you are on the go more often, and need something that packs easier, then you may want to make the switch to a soft cooler.
Determine What Size
What will you be using the cooler for? If you just need something to pack your lunch then you may not want to get a large rolling cooler that can hold a case of beverages, and may want to look at the Coleman cooler or any other good lunch cooler. If you will be going on solo hunting trips for a few days at a time and need something a little more convenient to pack, then you may want to check out the Yeti Hopper.TIP: If you need more options, read our our post about top rated small coolers.
The Benefits You Can Find
Soft coolers are easier to transport, easier to store (think about cramped space in vehicles) and more efficient. Efficiency is noted because there is no sense in lugging a regular boxed ice chest if all you need is to ice down and pack a few drinks. Another key benefit is they are much easier to transport once they are actually empty, which is not the case with a normal boxed ice chest.
If you are ready to purchase, there are a few more key things to keep in mind. One of the first is of course the cost. What’s in your budget when it comes to a soft sided cooler? What do you specifically need the cooler for? Where will you be using the cooler? How much stuff will you need to pack? Do you need the best soft sided cooler with extra pockets to pack extra stuff?
Once you can answer these questions, armed with the information in this article, you’ll be able to find the best soft sided cooler for your specific needs.
While there is many top rated soft sided coolers here, the best soft cooler for you is really the one that will meet your needs the best. If you need to, take another look and we’re sure you’ll be able to find the one that meets your specifications.
Some Other Soft Cooler Buying Options