Top Best Soft Side Coolers: Rankings In 2022 & Purchasing Tips

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

The Rundown

1. Best Overall: Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze 30 Can Zipperless HardBody Cooler

"The Arctic Zone Titan HardBody Cooler is built tough and designed to last. Whether you are car camping, tailgating, or at the game, this hardshell cooler is designed to keep your food and drinks ice cold while keeping the inside dry. This insulated cooler features a patented "flip open" zipperless lid that allows for quick access to food and drinks with the SmartShelf." Read Review

2. Best Bang For The Buck: RTIC Soft Cooler 30, Insulated Bag, Leak Proof Zipper

"The RTIC Soft Cooler 30 is lightweight and durable enough to take on any adventure. It's the perfect ice cooler, drink cooler, lunch cooler or even a travel cooler. This unique design features a built-in 100% leak-proof zipper that is tough enough to handle any terrain while protecting all your cold items from spills and leaks." Read Review

3. Best Convenient: Maelstrom Collapsible Portable Leakproof 60 CansSoft Sided Cooler

"The Maelstrom Collapsible Portable Leakproof 60-can Soft Sided Cooler is made of 600D Oxford cloth plus one layer of waterproof PVC materials. With a total weight of just 1.8 lbs and a capacity to hold up to 60 cans, this camping cooler holds a lot of cans that you'll need to keep your favorite drinks cool. The Maelstrom folding design will allow you to pack the cooler into small spaces and provides easy transportation." Read Review

4. Best Capacity: Arctic Zone Titan Guide Series 36 Can Cooler

"This 36-Can Arctic Zone Titan Guide Series Cooler is the perfect way to keep your drinks cold when you're on the go. With a TableTop lid with 4 drink holders, an easy access panel opening, and multiple exterior pockets, this cooler can hold up to 30 cans or bottles. The Deep Freeze High-Performance insulation system protects the ice from the most intense heat for hours of cold refreshment." Read Review

If you’re like most people, then chances are you live in a small apartment. If you’re anything like us, then there’s just not much room to store your food and drinks. Fortunately, though, there are a number of smaller cooler options available that can help keep your food at the perfect temperature without taking up too much space in your kitchen or other tight spaces.

And because most of these coolers come with a built-in handle for easy carrying and storage, you’ll have more flexibility than ever when it comes to where you can store them. Here we will discuss some of the best soft side coolers available on the market today.

You can count on our team of experts who have spent over 17 hours conducting surveys through 20,250 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. And RTIC Soft Cooler 30, Insulated Bag, Leak Proof Zipper is another choice for you while keeping the product's quality and functionality.

Our Top Picks

  • Ultra Safe leak proof, easy clean interior lining; water and stain repellent, wipe clean exterior
  • 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"
  • Deep Freeze high performance insulation with radiant heat barrier reflects heat rather than absorbing it
TOP Choice #2 RTIC Soft Cooler 30, Insulated Bag, Leak Proof Zipper
Our Score:
9.8
RTIC
  • Lightweight Yet Durable: The Soft Pack is prepared to take on every adventure with a heavy-duty nylon shell.
  • 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.
  • DOUBLE-DECKER UNIQUE DESIGN - Great design that can be stored easily. Besides the extra large main bag, Maelstrom designed a foil insulated top compartment to store sandwiches, frozen food, fruits, food essentials or utensils. Because of the reinforced layers, this cooler bag can be folded flat and stowed easily in your trunk or under a car seat. Convenient to carry around!
  • STAYS COLD LONGER - Thoughtful 5 layer insulation design. Exterior surfaces are made of rip-stop 600D Oxford materials plus one layer of waterproof PVC. Interior layers are thicker, reinforced food-grade PEVA materials with seamless ultrasonic welding for 100% leakproof and tear-resistance. A built-in EPE foam middle layer and 210D liner add additional insulation, allowing the Maelstrom Icy Hollow Soft Sided Cooler Bag to keep food or drinks cold for up to 12 hours.
  • DURABLE - Maelstrom Ice Hollow Soft Sided Cooler Bags have double-stitched carry options. All pick-up points, the shoulder straps and carry handles are reinforced. This cooler bag can handle more weight than you’d prefer to carry. Capacity: 15.75*10.24*14.17 inches, 10.5 Gallons of ice and drinks.
  • Features TableTop lid with 4 drink holders, an easy access panel opening, and multiple exterior pockets
  • Deep Freeze high performance insulation- multi-layer system that protects ice from the most intense heat
  • ColdBlock base has 3 thick layers of SuperFoam that are designed to keep the conductive heat from the hot ground at bay
  • 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
  • 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
  • FREEZE LOCK INSULATION: Designed to keep the cold in and the hot out, this cooler has 1-inch thick insulation on sides and 1. 5-inches thick insulation on the bottom.
  • ✔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.)
  • ✔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.
  • Twice the insulation of other soft-sided coolers; leak-proof liner
  • Features a Carbon Fiber look and side pocket for dry items
  • Perfect for boating, fishing, hunting, parties, sporting events, and picnics
8 NorChill Voyager Series 24 Can Soft Side Cooler Bag
Our Score:
9.1
NorChill Soft Coolers
  • Fusion welded liner seams virtually eliminates the possibility of leaking from melting ice; Dual temperature insulation system keeps food and drinks hot or cold
  • NorChill products are manufactured both in the USA and overseas using technology designed and developed with American ingenuity
  • Fold down clips convert bag to traditional square shape while the compact roll-up design allows for easy storage and travel when empty - dimensions 18" x 10" x 12"
  • Perfect for Days Outside: This soft cooler has a portable size 8 Can and 12 Can, sizable enough to fit your favorite beverage and food. Perfect for a day at the beach, BBQ picnics, lunches, paddleboarding, kayaking, road trips, tailgating and hiking
  • Advanced Features: Front bungee cord allows you to secure attachments, a back water-resistant zip pocket to store your valuables such as a phone or keys, and multiple tie-down points to hang some outdoor necessities. In addition, 2 attached D-rings at the base allow for quick fastening to your boat or kayak
  • Advanced Cooling Performance: Haimont insulated soft cooler has a 5-layer insulation system with the highest density of 2.5cm thicken NBR foam and a completely waterproof and airtight zipper to lock in cold air, ensuring your food and drinks stay completely insulated and ice-cold for up to 72 hours
  • 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
  • Features a 100% leakproof HydroLok Zipper and high-density fabric that withstands punctures and UV rays
  • The DryHide Shell is waterproof and resistant to punctures, and abrasions so it will hold its own when faced with the hazards of the wild
Product Images, Product Titles, Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

Things you are expected to understand when you buy the best soft side coolers

The internet is a platform in which you can get almost everything you want. Finding the best soft side coolers on whatever you need to know about how something works is an incredible guide for all of your needs.

Unfortunately, because of so many various websites out there which are either fraudulent or untrustworthy, finding what you're searching for on a single website might be difficult. Many consumers are hesitant to purchase the best soft side coolers because they are unclear if they are making the right selection.

The following post will explain four things to consider when purchasing a best soft side coolers for your needs.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

Conclusion

The most appealing aspect of this post is that it contains the top models of best soft side coolers that clients require. It also sells reliable items and has a lot of positive feedback from customers. 

Then, you may buy items from well-known companies with confidence through this page since you know they are the greatest on the market. You will also have the opportunity to look at a variety of alternatives for your favorite, particularly the Extremus Rendu 20Cans Insulated Portable and Waterproof Cooler Bag.

What is your favorite item? Please let us know! We're continuously on the lookout for new products and services to give our loyal consumers so that we may continue to provide them with high-quality goods at reasonable pricing.


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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.

Read Sara's full bio