Hydro Flask Cooler Review – Good Looking, Well Performing Backpacks & Totes

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Welcome to bestcooler.reviews‘ very own Hydro Flask cooler review. Hydro Flask is a company that focuses on a fun looking tumblers, bottles and, more recently, also soft coolers. It looks they try to make products that are at least on nearly the same level of performance as the average hard cooler.

The thing about the market for soft coolers is that it tends to get less focus and innovation than the market for hard coolers. Many of the best cooler brands out there are known primarily for their hard coolers. Soft coolers come almost as an afterthought sometimes.

Hydro Flask wants to change that. They decided to focus on only soft coolers and set themselves the task of making the best soft coolers they could. In this Hydro Flask cooler review, we will look at their two main products. Quite frankly, we loved them, and we’re hoping you’ll love them too by the time you’re done reading this review.

Hydro Flask Cooler Review

Hydro Flask Soft Cooler Tote Review

The soft cooler tote from Hydro Flask is just something else. This executive looking soft cooler may seem simple and unassuming from a distance, but it is exactly the kind of fun companion you want to carry with you to whatever adventure you are going for.

Get Hydro Flask Soft Coolers at Amazon

Design and Construction

The design on this cooler is quite simple. We’re going to go all out and be honest here and say that we’ve seen sleeker and more fun designs from other makers, such as Orca and even Yeti. In fact, the design on this tote cooler reminds us of a Pelican soft cooler. It is squared, simple, unassuming, and has a touch of an executive vibe to it. It’s also a good size, having a capacity of 24 liters.

As an adventurer, you might feel a little apprehensive about it. However, once you learn more about the features and the way the cooler itself is built to stand just about anything, your attitude towards it just brightens up, and you start to love it more. That’s exactly how we felt after getting to know Hydro Flask Unbound better.

The material is 8400 denier Nylon Sided Extrusion. It’s super tough, happens to be completely free of BPA plastics, approved by the FDA for food, resistant to mildew, comes with an antimicrobial liner, and is very easy to clean. This is the kind of soft cooler you can expect to have in your possession for a long time. In fact, given its warranty of 5 years, you can tell the Hydro Flask guys think so too.

With a soft cooler, the zipper is of utmost importance. It’s the greatest point of weakness for the cooler and therefore has to be built in such a way that it won’t compromise the cooler’s ability to maintain the temperature of its contents. It’s also the area of the cooler most likely to leak so you want it to be well sealed.

The zipper on this soft cooler tote is the YKK AquaSeal. It’s been built to be super strong but easy to use at the same time so you don’t have to be Hercules to pull it open or closed.

To help with the strength and also prevent leakage from occurring, there are the welded seams which ensure none of the liquids that might be on the interior have a way out and also helping with the insulation of the soft cooler tote.


The main feature of this soft cooler tote is the access it affords. You will obviously want a cooler that’s got a wide enough lip that you can easily access the contents. The hinged top on this tote offers exactly that kind of access.

Another thing that is lovable about this tote is the ease with which you can carry it. It has multiple options when it comes to carrying it. You could either carry it over your shoulder using the sling on top, or you could carry it using the two nylon handles on the side like a basket. The shoulder strap is for those times when it’s super heavy, and you don’t want to strain too much.

The insulation on the inside utilizes unique Hydro Flask technology which retains cold very well by making the insulation at the bottom of the cooler thicker than the insulation on top. It also makes the cooler incredibly lightweight and easy to carry.

Hydro Flask cooler Tote

No products found.

Soft Cooler Tote Black Side View

Soft Cooler Tote Black Top View

Hydro Flask soft cooler

Hydro Flask SoftSided Insulated Cooler

Soft Cooler Tote Brick

Image: hydroflask.com

Hydro Flask Soft Cooler Tote Features

  • Keeps Contents Cold for up to 48 Hours
  • Smart Insulation
  • Mesh Back Panel
  • Durable 420D Nylon Shell
  • FDA Food Grade
  • Watertight Construction
  • Multiple Gear Pocket
  • True Access Top
  • Lightweight Durability
  • Welded Nylon Attach Mounts

Hydro Flask cooler Design

Ice Retention

This cooler will easily retain ice for up to 48 hours, which is much better than most other cooler brands on the market.


This tote bag comes with a 5-year warranty, which is a testament to the faith that the manufacturer has in their product. It should fuel your own faith in the product as well.

Hydro Flask Backpack Cooler Review

We’re going to be honest again and point out here that the main difference between the cooler pack and the cooler tote is in the way you carry it. While you have options with the cooler tote, such as slinging it over the shoulder or carrying it like a basket, you basically carry the cooler pack on your back, just like you would carry a regular backpack.

So Hydro Flask went out and built a backpack cooler. That’s great. What do we like about this particular backpack cooler?

Get Hydro Flask Soft Cooler Pack at Amazon

Design and Construction

The design and construction are pretty similar to what you get with the tote. The nylon is 8400 denier, and the zipper is YKK’s prominent AquaSeal zipper that ensures you’re neither losing insulating power via the zipper nor suffering leakages.

The liner on the inside is also the same, with resistance to mildew and an anti-microbial treatment being thrown in to ensure you don’t have to worry about your liner becoming a source of poison for your food or becoming hard to clean. It is also approved by the FDA for food and also happens to be free of BPA plastics.


The features of Hydro Flask Soft Cooler Pack are mostly the same as the features on the tote. You get a wide lip that allows you to access the contents of your cooler easily. We also love the fact that this cooler has quite a capacity on the top. The lip isn’t flat but happens to be a dome. You can, therefore, fill your cooler over the top and still be able to zip it up for the journey ahead. That makes for some great adventures.

The bag also comes with extra storage on the sides for those things you would rather not have cooled, such as your cellphone and keys. That way you don’t need to worry about where you’re going to put your stuff without losing it. You can just throw it into your soft cooler pack.

The ice retention for the Hydro Flask cooler backpack is the same as the ice retention on the soft cooler tote, lasting up to 48 hours and utilizing Hydro Flask’s unique smart cooling technology. This bag, just like its tote counterpart, is very light and easy to carry, so you don’t have to worry about getting exhausted from carrying it when you’re walking around for extended periods.

The Hydro Flask Cooler Pack also comes with a 5-year warranty, just like its tote counterpart, which is a testament to the kind of engineering that went into its making and the faith the manufacturer has in their product.

As far as capacity is concerned, it takes slightly less than the tote at 22 liters.

Hydro Flask Cooler Pack

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Hydro Flask Unbound cooler

Soft Cooler Pack Mist

soft cooler pack lagoon

Image: hydroflask.com

Hydro Flask Backpack Cooler – Features

  • Keeps Contents Cold for up to 48 Hours
  • Smart Insulation
  • Mesh Back Panel
  • Durable 420D Nylon Shell
  • FDA Food Grade
  • Watertight Construction
  • Multiple Gear Pocket
  • True Access Top
  • Lightweight Durability
  • Welded Nylon Attach Mounts

Hydro Flask Soft Coolers vs. Yeti Hopper

We’re at that point where we have to make comparisons between the Hydro Flask cooler and its Yeti counterpart.

hydro flask vs yeti

As we all know, Yeti is an industry leader in almost all of the products it makes. When it comes to soft coolers, Yeti’s main product is the Yeti Hopper, which comes in many capacities and colors. That’s one of the main areas where Yeti beats the Hydro Flask. While Hydro Flask has only two products with fixed capacities and a limited range of colors, Yeti gives a lot more options in these areas.

Yeti’s ice retention is also slightly better than what you get with the Hydro Flask by 24 hours. However, given the good ice retention on the Hydro Flask, it’s likely to be good for most of your purposes.

Finally, Hydro Flask is slightly more affordable than the Yeti (check the current price here). Most of the other features on the Hydro Flask can match what you get with the Yeti so it seems to offer more bang for your buck in that respect.


Yeti is, of course, an industry leader. Their products are top quality and perform very well. If you’re a die-hard fan and don’t mind the price, then stick to the industry leader. However, if you have a slightly smaller budget and are willing to try something new that is also very good, then you should get yourself a Hydro Flask soft cooler.

Where to buy Hydro Flask Soft Coolers

You can either buy Hydro Flask soft coolers on the company website or on a range of other online marketplaces. However, We highly recommend that you buy your cooler on the world’s safest online marketplace: Amazon. Apart from being safe for you, it also features real review by other users who have bought the products before. You also get perks like Buyer Protection and same-day delivery in some instances.

Check All Hydro Flask Soft Coolers at Amazon

Hydro Flask Cooler Review – Wrapping Up

  • Ice Retention
  • Quality
  • Features
  • Price


And that ends our Hydro Flask coolers review. As you can see, this is a great product with great promise. We think they can try to make their design more fun in the future, but we love the performance and the features so far. If you want something new, then it doesn’t get newer than Hydro Flask.

A Sample Hydro Flask Soft Cooler Video We Found Useful

Last update on 2024-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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Luke is a co-founder of bestcooler.reviews, a cooler expert and author of 70+ reviews on this website. Luke has a deep passion for sports and all-things-outdoors. From fishing to hiking, from family camping to solo bike trekking, Luke adores spending quality time enjoying nature, oftentimes checking out new coolers while doing so.

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