Soft-sided coolers are a great choice if you prefer a light weight and compactness over the bulkiness of the best hard sided coolers on the market right now. But there’s still a limit to soft-sided coolers: as lightweight as they are, they still need you to carry them by the straps. This can be pretty difficult if you find yourself having to carry your other adventuring gear or handle more important things with your hands.
This is where backpack coolers come in. Carrying everything on your back surely makes for a more comfortable travelling experience than carrying by hand.
In this article, we have a few best rated coolers that are designed like backpacks for you to browse through.
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1. Polar Bear Original Backpack Cooler
Ordinary soft-sided coolers have a huge weight problem when they are filled to capacity. They can end up weighing up to 20-25 pounds. The dual shoulder straps on this backpack is comfortably padded to lessen the weight of the entire cooler clamping down onto your shoulders. And for such an affordable cooler, the insulation capability is exceptional. From our tests, it even performed better than other high performance coolers.
The external shell of the Polar Bear Original backpack is made from 840-denier nylon, which offers it not only great durability but also UV-resistance capability. The thick insulated walls of the cooler are made from a type of open-cell insulation foam that can give you up to 24 hours of ice-keeping. Even though the performance is great, the open-cell construction gives it a fairly spongy and flimsy feel. If you prefer a more solid feel to the backpack, we highly recommend the Deluxe version, which uses a closed-cell construction.
But as comfortable and high-performing as the Polar Bear Original is, we don’t recommend that you go on a long trip with it. It can carry all of your food and drink and keep them ice cold for an entire day, but not more than that.
2. OtterBox Trooper LT 30
If you need even more insulation and carrying capacity than the Polar Bear Original can offer, the OtterBox Trooper LT 30 is one of the Top Rated Camping Coolers for price. For a backpack cooler, this one is in the premium pricing range with a price tag rivalling top-of-the-line rotomolded coolers.
The closed-cell design of the cooler completely enfolds all of your things. This, along with the fact that the cooler has great insulation performance gives it the ability to hold ice for up to three days if you don’t open the lid of the cooler too often. When it is opened, this heavy duty cooler reveals a wide mouth that allows for easier access, loading, and unloading.
But the trade-offs for great durability and ice-keeping performance is weight. When it is completely empty, the Trooper LT 30 weighs a whopping 7 pounds. All of the materials that are used to make the cooler, like the closed-cell foam insulation padding and the TPU-coated nylon, aren’t at all lightweight. Most customers reported that in order to bear all of the weight (when it is filled up), they have to lean forward to balance it out.
While transportation is only marginally more convenient than your ordinary soft-sided cooler, when you arrive at your destination and set down the cooler, it is worth it.
These are the best coolers in backpack form that we have found on the market that might interest you. We hope that this article has been helpful in terms of your purchase intentions, but in case you’re still indecisive, we have a large number of review articles about the Best Coolers In The World that you should look through in your spare time.