The Best Soft Pack Cooler: Top Picks 2022, Recommendations, And FAQs

Sara Ryan By, Sara Ryan
Updated
Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze 30 Can Zipperless HardBody Cooler, Moss (1718IL918763)
Image credit: Amazon.com

There isn’t much worse than arriving at a summer barbecue and finding that your cooler isn’t working because it’s so warm in there. Instead of having everyone sweating through the night, consider getting a soft pack cooler to comfortably keep your food cold until you can get home. You can find these coolers installed in most cars and trucks these days, making them accessible for most people.

They are also inexpensive, with some units costing less than $100. If you want to add more storage space to your car or truck while still keeping everything within easy reach, a soft pack cooler can be just what you need. These types of coolers come in various sizes and capacities (some even larger). To help you narrow down which type is right for you, we have put together this helpful guide that reviews several of the best options on the market today.

You can count on our team of experts who have spent over 18 hours conducting surveys through 84,953 real customer reviews. Because of this, we came to the conclusion that the best-reviewed product is Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze 30 Can Zipperless HardBody Cooler, Moss (1718IL918763). And RTIC Soft Cooler 30, Blue/Grey, Insulated Bag, Leak Proof Zipper is another choice for you while keeping the product's quality and functionality.

Our Top Picks

  • Deep Freeze high performance insulation with radiant heat barrier reflects heat rather than absorbing it
  • Adjustable Backsaver shoulder strap with anti-slip shoulder pad centers load weight for easier carrying; interior liner dimensions: (L x W x H) 12.7" x 7.6" x 10.2"
  • Features FDA compliant HardBody liner with removable SmartShelf and insulated front pocket
  • Leak-Free: A durable zipper keeps your drinks and snacks protected at all costs, preventing spills and leaks.
  • Sweat-Free: Keep your drinks cold for up to 24 hours while avoiding the mess thanks to 2 inches of closed-cell foam and puncture and tear-resistant liner.
  • Handles Any Terrain: Every RTIC Soft Pack Cooler floats in water, so your drinks and snacks can go wherever you go, whether that’s swimming in Lake Tahoe or hiking in Glacier.
  • The Hopper Flip 12 dimensions are 12 5/8 in long x 10 in wide x 11 ½ in high and an empty weight of 3.1 lbs
  • Its DryHide Shell is waterproof and resistant to punctures, and abrasions so it will hold its own when faced with the hazards of the wild
  • The Hopper Flip 12 has ColdCell Insulation, a closed-cell foam that offers superior cold-holding to ordinary soft coolers, with a capacity of up to 12 cans plus ice
  • Versatile totes can be packed up for a daytime picnic and are small enough to place in the trunk of your SUV as an ice chest on road trips; collapesed down, the cooler can fit in your suitcase for vacation. Recommended to use with Clever Ice
  • Measures 18.25"L x 12.25"W x 11.5"H when open and collapses flat to 3"; weighs 2 pounds when empty; lightweight bag holds 30 liters (8 gallons) by volume with a load capacity of 50 pounds
  • The perfect size for food delivery services and a great solution to haul groceries from the store or farmer's market to your kitchen at home; comfortable handle and duffel bag handles make toting heavy loads easy
  • ✔ROCK SOLID GUARANTEE: We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. In next 3 years, if any issue or questions about our soft coolers, contact us anytime you want, we will be glad and pleasure to service you.
  • ✔SUPER PERFORMANCE OF COLD HOLDING: ROCK BROS leak proof soft cooler designed with 3 special insulation layers. 1- 420D Nylon TPU material inner with FDA identified, clean and healthy. 2- more than 28mm high density insulation foam in the middle, provide a excellent cold protection. 3- 840D hardest Nylon TPU outside. 3 unique material support up to 48h--32°F cold holding.
  • ✔100% LEAK PROOF & WATERPROOF GUARANTEE: Insulated leak proof soft coolers use the airtight zipper, even the air can not through it( ensure the zipper was closed). Benefit with waterproof 840D nylon TPU, waterproof soft coolers can work well in beach, floating, fishing and road trip. (Attention: For the best leak-proof and waterproof performance, we strengthened the zipper, so it would be a little bit to zipped.)
  • HOLDS 18 CANS PLUS 10 LBS OF ICE : Wide mouth roll top opening makes it easy to load and clean leave the wide mouth open and you’ve got a killer party bucket; includes a convenient, attached built-in bottle opener
  • LINER IS BPA-FREE, & FDA FOOD SAFE : Welded seams makes for a leak-proof construction durable and abrasion resistant EVA bottom adds heavy duty stability
  • HANDLE HEAVY LOADS : Box stitched and reinforced side handles can take on heavy loads and a large, comfortable shoulder strap makes lugging 30 lbs. of ice and beverages easier
  • Safe: The highly flexible and puncture resistant liner is made from 100% waterproof welded seam polyether-based TPU that exhibits excellent resistance to microbiological attack. The liner contains zero vinyl and is BPA-free.
  • Easy Opening Zippers: Large coil zippers with molded thumb pulls make getting into your Drifter 20 simple. You won’t have to fight the zipper on the Drifter 20.
  • Better Insulation: The Drifter 20 walls are fully insulated while the lid and base feature compression molded closed-cell EVA Foam insulation.
  • Outer shell compsed of durable 840 denier fibers, outer wall constructed with Thermal Plastic Urethane (TPU)
  • Features, adjustable ergonomic shoulder strap, bottle open, water resistant fromt pocket
  • Patent pending vacuum valve technology - improves performance
  • YETI’s tough-as-nails Hopper M30 Soft Cooler has a major update. With the 2.0 Version their signature wide-mouth opening has been reengineered to stay open with ease and close tight with a gentle push.
  • COLDCELL INSULATION: Closed-cell foam offers impressive cold-holding capabilities, helping keep your frosty goods ice cold.
  • HITCHPOINT GRID: Securely attach your SideKick Dry Gear Case or load it up with zingers, nippers, bottle openers, and multitools.
  • The only personal cooler that’s game for full days in the tree stand, early mornings in the duck boat, or afternoons on the water
  • The DryHide Shell is waterproof and resistant punctures, and abrasions so it will hold its own when faced with the hazards of the wild
  • The Hopper Flip 18 has ColdCell Insulation, a closed-cell foam that offers superior cold-holding to ordinary soft coolers, with a capacity of up to 16 cans plus ice

What to Look For in a Best soft pack cooler?

Until now, numerous customers trust the information and advice we offer them, which means our offers to you are accurate and up to date all the time. This objective is being pursued with tremendous zeal and attention. 

It's necessary to keep in mind the following points for selecting Best soft pack cooler:

Weight And Portability

Weighing your cooler is an important factor for those who will be carrying it or moving it around regularly. For models with less capacity, they can weigh as little as 10-15 pounds and up to 50+ for those that have 75+ quarts storage. This number goes up dramatically when you load it down with food and drinks. Even though the handles are made of rope, some are plastic and others are nylon. They are too heavy to be carried for extended distances. We recommend wheels if portability is important. They are easier to carry for longer periods of time and more convenient for one person, so they're less burdensome.

Cooler Sizes (Capacities)

A few things to consider before we get started: Size. Importantly, coolers do not measure the interior capacity of all models. Some coolers use cans to measure interior capacity, others use liters or quarts. However, most manufacturers use quarts as a unit of measure. We've used that measurement in this article when it was possible. A final point: Don't let the product name fool you.

Cooler Construction

There are two main types of construction techniques used to make premium hard-sided coolers: injection molding and rotational molding. Yeti popularized rotomolding (even though they weren't technically the first company to do so) and is the dominant market at the top end. This type of cooler is made from a single, continuous piece of plastic which is then rotated to form the desired shape. These coolers have fewer stress points, so they are more likely to break under pressure. They also feature a thicker outer shell that ensures exceptional durability. Cost and weight are the main drawbacks.

Wheeled (Rolling) Coolers

We mentioned above that if you have cooler needs such as mobility and large capacity or maximum ice retention it is a good idea to look into a hard-sided rolling model. These wheeled monsters can still be difficult to maneuver on uneven terrain, and will need assistance if there is no clear path. A rolling cooler is a good choice for camping, tailgating or days at the beach.

Cooler Latch And Closure Systems

The cooler's closure or latch is a key feature of premium models and will play a major role in cooling performance. Two rubber T-handles are a common feature on high-end, hard-sided coolers. They keep the lid in place and prevent it from opening. They are extremely sturdy and user-friendly.

Cooler Drain Systems

Many of our hard-sided coolers have drainage systems that allow you to drain the water out once the ice is melted. This is usually a pop-off or screw-on cap located at the bottom of cooler. Simply remove it and let the water flow out.

Ice Retention And Cooling Capabilities

Ice retention is one of the most difficult things to determine when researching coolers. This is largely due to external factors. The temperature of the air and direct sunlight have a significant impact. Ice quantity is also important. Most brands suggest a ratio of 2:1. You should also open the lid as often as possible to let warm and cold air into your cooler. Pre-chilling your cooler before loading it is a good idea to ensure maximum efficiency. To reduce the cooler's interior temperature, you should fill it with ice at least for a couple of hours. Once you are ready to go, add fresh ice in the right ratio. You can also expect your cooler to become pre-warmed if it is left out in the sunlight before you load it up.

Bear-Resistant Ratings

Many top-rated hard-sided coolers can be listed as being bear-resistant. This is an important consideration if you are camping in bear territory. You should specifically look out for IGBC ratings. This indicates that a cooler has been tested and is in compliance with their regulations. You should ensure your cooler is included if you plan to travel in bear-proof gear or frequent backcountry areas.

FAQs

How Does A Portable Cooler Work?

Combining the insulation of the cooler with the ice you put inside, either ice cubes, ice packs, or foam, slows down warm air circulation and helps keep things cool.

Can I Use Dry Ice In A Cooler?

Most times, the answer is yes. Some coolers can be damaged by dry ice, but the majority should work fine. However, you will need to cover dry ice with blankets or other insulators. A cooler designed for dry ice is best if you plan to use it every day. You won't have to do any special tasks because the cooler has compartments to store dry ice.

How Long Does A Cooler Stay Cold?

It all depends on how efficient the cooler is at insulation. This includes the temperature outside, initial temperature of food and its stacking. Food can be kept cold for up to 4 days with ice (the best), in ideal conditions. A high-end cooler may even keep it chilled for as long as 10 days.

What Is The Best Hard Cooler?

There are many coolers. It really doesn't matter which cooler you choose. A cooler that is more resistant to damage will be the most suitable if you intend on using it every week.

Does Food Stay Cool In A Portable Cooler Without Ice?

But it will take longer than if you put ice inside the cooler. Insulation in the cooler stops food from heating up faster than if left out. The temperature of the cooler and how chilled the food were at the beginning will determine the time it takes to cool down. Even frozen foods will heat up faster if they are kept cool in a trunk compartment of a vehicle.

How Much Do Coolers Cost?

Consider what your cooler will be used for. If you need it to store food or drinks for several days or at extreme temperatures then more money is an investment in food safety. A cooler that is cheap and cheerful may suffice if you just need to chill a handful of drinks for an afternoon barbecue.

How Do I Clean My Cooler?

Warm water and dish soap will generally clean your cooler. You can also use warm water and bleach to remove stubborn stains or odors.

Which Size Cooler Do I Need?

Although you might feel compelled to buy a large cooler, make sure it fits in the car. Smaller coolers can be lifted without the need for assistance. However, coolers with larger capacities can hold more ice and so tend to stay cool longer than smaller models.
Higher coolers can store bottles more upright. Models with recessed lids are better for loading items higher, but they may become warmer.

In general, we keep collecting and researching new information for Best soft pack cooler. Please pay more attention to checking our website regularly or subscribe to our newsletter to read the latest updates.

Along with product-related issues, we can also support you more. So please give us your feedback and response whenever you need it. It will be a significant motivation for us to improve everything


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About Sara Ryan

Sara Ryan

Sara Ryan is a freelance writer and avid diver. She first discovered her love for diving while on vacation in the Caribbean and has been hooked ever since. Sara loves exploring new dive sites and observing the fascinating creatures that live beneath the waves. As a native of Colorado, Sara enjoys spending her free time hiking and camping in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. She also enjoys writing about her adventures in diving and wildlife conservation.

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