Best Soft Sided Cooler
Looking for a soft sided cooler? Good! These Best Soft Sided Cooler Reviews are for you, whether you need a casual soft sided cooler for the beach, or a no-nonsense fishing cooler bag. These reviews evaluate each soft cooler on important factors such as durability and cold-keep ability, so you can choose the best cooler for your lifestyle.
Finding the Best Soft Sided Cooler for You
If you’re in a hurry or have one specific type of soft cooler in mind, here’s a handy jump down menu.
- Ideal Soft Sided Cooler for the Beach
- Number One Soft Sided Cooler Bag with Hard Liner
- Best Soft Sided Cooler Bag for the Money
- Yeti Hopper Two Soft Sided Cooler Bag
- Review of the Best Solar Soft Side Cooler
- Quintessential High End Cooler Bag
- Best Soft Sided Cooler for Fishing
- Best Soft Sided Cooler with Wheels
- Reviews of the Best Soft Ice Packs
Let’s find the best one for you!
First on our list is the Picnic Time ‘Zuma’ Insulated Cooler Backpack.
We’re approaching the “Review of the Best Soft Sided Cooler for the Beach” from an affordability standpoint, since it can be tough to find room in your budget for a new beach cooler. >>Read More
- Shoulder straps with mesh underside & cell phone pocket
- Drawstring enclosure at top of mesh pocket
- Water-resistant, heat-sealed lining
- Two Interior Compartments
- “ThermoGuard” insulation in the bottom
- Two big exterior pockets
- Dual beverage pockets
- Insulated compartment holds about 12 bottles of beer (20 cans)
- Also available in Black and Red.
Chuggie’s Award: Best Backpack Cooler for the Beach
Moving on from the ‘Zuma‘, we’re going straight for another inexpensive soft sided cooler bag that won’t break the bank.
Next, we selected the Coleman 16 Can Soft Sided Cooler with Hard Liner. Why? In a nut shell, because it has a removable hard liner and is ultra-affordable.
- Adjustable shoulder strap
- FDA-Approved Soft Liner
- Zippered front pockets
- Side Handles
- Flexible Lining with Built-in Microbial Features
- Dual Side Mesh Pockets
- Also available in Blue and Tan.
Best of all, this Coleman Soft Sided Cooler Bag has a removable hard liner.
When using regular ice, keep the hard liner in. During times when you want more flexibility, take out the hard liner.
When you take the liner out, remember to use ice substitutes. Read “The 8 Best Long Lasting Ice Packs for Coolers [Pictures, Videos] for reviews of the best ice packs.
Because of its removable hard liner, the Coleman Soft Cooler works well for:
- Beach Days
- Lunch Bags
- Kids’ Sports Games
Is this the cooler for a rugged outdoors person? Of course not. But for the average Joe, it’s fantastic.
Chuggie’s Award: Most Versatile Small Soft Side Cooler
#3. Review of the Best Soft Sided Cooler Bag, “Mid-Range” Price
The Polar Bear Soft Cooler vs the Yeti Hopper Two 30
Unsurprisingly, higher quality does come with a higher price tag. So if you’re able to settle in the “middle price range,” it’s worth it. Our cooler of choice for this price bracket is the Polar Bear Cooler 14 Pack.
Best Soft Sided Cooler Comparison:
The Polar Bear Cooler 24 Pack Nylon Series vs The Yeti Hopper Two 30
4 Ways the Polar Bear 24 Pack Soft Cooler Differs from the Yeti Hopper 30
- Polar Bear’s Capacity is a little less than the Yeti Hopper Two 30.
- However, the Polar Bear holds ice almost as long.
- The Polar Bear costs less than half the price. (Due to factors like season and vendor, price varies.)
Of course, a huge difference in the Yeti vs Polar Bear cooler comparison is durability.
The Yeti Hopper 30 is much more rugged.
The 2 Advantages the Polar Bear Best Soft Sided Cooler has Over the Yeti Hopper Two 30:
- Versatile shape (Simply fold down the top corners to form a cube shape.)
- Easier to pack/store/move
- Built-in front pocket
Benefits of the Yeti Hopper Two 30:
- Waterproof and leak proof.
- Locks in the cold longer.
- Several hitch point grids (for attaching carabiners and other accessories)
- It’s better for backcountry and heavy usage.
- Also, 6 lock down points allow stabilization and security.
- Finally, the waterproof zipper is strong and water resistant.
How to Decide Which Cooler is Right for You
Whereas it can be tricky to make the call in some cooler comparisons, this one’s very easy.
The Polar Bear is Best if:
- You only need the cooler for gentle activities. (Picnics, beach days, keeping lunches cold, etc.)
- You’re on a tight budget.
The Yeti Hopper Two is Best if:
- First, the Yeti is best if you need it for rough adventures.
- If you want to invest in a life long soft cooler.
- Finally, you’ll be better off with the Hopper if you need longer ice retention.
Chuggie Award for the Polar Bear 24 Soft Cooler: Overall Best Soft Sided Cooler for the Money
Take a Peak at the Yeti Hopper in Action
As we extended the price limit, the Polar Bear Solar Bear Series Large Backpack Cooler came to mind immediately. It’s a high quality, large soft sided cooler and it can be carried by handles or as a backpack.
What can we say? The Polar Bear Cooler Company can churn out a mean cooler.
- Extremely strong nylon outer shell
- UV-resistant coating on shell
- Weatherized Zipper
- High-density, open foam insulation
- FDA Approved Nylon
- Customization Available
- Holds 50 beverage cans while holding about 10 lbs of ice
- Holds ice for about 24 hours (Pre-cool it correctly, and it could be 24+)
- Customization available
What is it that sets this insulated backpack cooler apart from the rest of the pack?
Customization, of course! Create personalized soft coolers by ordering directly from the website. Otherwise, you can find lower prices on Amazon. Check here for current prices. Important Note: personalized Polar Bear Coolers are only available directly from the website itself.)
#7. Review of the Best Soft Sided Cooler on the High End
Yeti, Yeti, Yeti. This popular brand delivers once again. While you saw much of this info above at the Polar Bear vs Yeti Hopper comparison, this section is more detailed than the comparison. Perhaps this mighty force of nature just demands two reviews in one post.
The Yeti Hopper is a mighty force of nature, undeterred by leaking bottles, hot sun rays, or even the original Yeti himself.
- Elite Patented ‘ColdCell’ insulation
- Top-Tier Patented “DryHide” Shell
- Tapered Body
- Waterproof, Leak-Proof Zipper
- 3 Sets of Reinforced Handles
- Detachable Shoulder Strap
- 6 Tie-Down Points
Very few soft sided coolers are leak-proof. Instead, they’re only “leak resistant.” The Hopper has all of them beat!
If you have the means, the official Chuggie recommendation is the Yeti Hopper Two for the best soft sided cooler. It’s an investment you won’t regret.
Chuggie Award: The Best Soft Sided Cooler to Last a Lifetime
#8. Review of the Best Soft Sided Coolers for Fishing
The Best Fishing Cooler for the Money
Yeti another high-end soft sided cooler bag that excels at its job.
- Heat-Sealed, Waterproof Skin
- Stretch & Store Strap
- Drain with Hose Fittings
- Customization Available
- Lifetime Warranty
- Comes in over 16 different sizes
- Easy to store
In fact, the largest Canyon Insulated Fish Cooler Bag is capable of holding 800-900 pounds. While prices vary due to time of year and vendors, use our up-to-date price checker to see the latest discounted price.
Ice chests with wheels are freakin’ awesome, but soft sided coolers on wheels are like unicorns or 4-leaf clovers. You just don’t find enough quality options.
The Arctic Zone Ultra Collapsible embodies nearly everything you wish for in a cooler.
- Detachable cart (Holds up to 100lbs)
- Adjustable Shoulder Strap
- Two Drink Holders
- Long Telescope Handle
- Padded Handles
- Twin Mesh Pockets
- UV-Resistant Lining
- Mesh Draw String Bag
- Holds up to 58 beverage cans
What’s the Best Part of This Collapsible Best Soft Sided Cooler?
It transforms into three forms: a rolling cooler, soft sided cooler bag, and a compact storage version.
Chuggie Award: Most Versatile Soft Cooler With Wheels
Obviously, ice substitutes go hand in hand with soft coolers. Our favorites included the:
- FlexiFreeze Ice Sheet Reusable Ice Pack for Coolers
- Arctic Ice Series Reusable Long Lasting Ice Pack (Winner of the Chuggie “Greenest Ice Pack” Award)
Find out much more in “The 8 Best Long Lasting Ice Packs for Coolers.”
Tip: If condensation becomes a problem, place cooler packs in ziplock bags.
Review of the Best Soft Sided Cooler
Which cooler will you add to your cart?
As you can see, the best soft sided coolers come in all shapes, sizes, and forms. No matter your need, there’s a soft sided cooler to fit all lifestyles.
Readers who enjoyed The Best Soft Sided Coolers Review also read:
The Best Small Coolers (That Nobody’s Telling You About)
A Quick P.S. – Perhaps you can relate!
Classic ice chests are fantastic for long trips or big groups, since you can neatly pack so much inside of them. You can also use dry ice in them for the lowest possible temperature.
But when it comes to carrying a rigid ice box, you’ll never hear someone say “Gee, I love hauling around a Yeti Roadie for miles.” And that’s the smallest size! But it is heavy.
Actually, this “Best Soft Sided Cooler Review” came about from exasperation. Hauling around heavy ice boxes unnecessarily can get on your nerves, as you’ve probably found!(Picnic for two? Carrying a heavy box takes away some of the romance.)
As always, thanks for stopping by. Happy Trails!