Best Soft Sided Cooler [2019]

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Best Overall: Engel HD30 Waterproof Soft Sided Cooler
Size, Weight, Thermal Insulation – This one checks off everything! With the ability to store ice for up to 4.5 days, it simply couldn’t be topped. It will work great on a camping weekend or even for a multi-day hunting trip.

Budget Pick: Coleman 30-Can Soft Sided Cooler
With the ability to hold up to 30 cans while lasting all day, it’s our favorite budget-friendly option. You won’t be able to keep ice in it for several days, but it’s definitely enough for a day trip.

Premium Pick: YETI Hopper TWO Portable Cooler
If money isn’t a concern and you really want something that you could driver over with your truck (check our detailed review further down, they actually did it), then the YETI Hopper TWO should be on top of your list. This one really is made for the outdoors and would definitely be an overkill for just a day trip with the family. It’s definitely the most durable cooler on this list.

Most Storage: Pelican Elite Soft Cooler
For the family that needs everything while they are gone, this is the perfect cooler for you. With the ability to hold up to 48 cans and 20 pounds of ice, is there anything left in your refrigerator?

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Pelican Elite Soft Cooler

  • Can Hold Up To 48 Cans
  • Keeps Ice For Up To 2.5 Days
  • Double-Coated TPU Outer For Increased Durability

How We Picked

On a hiking trip, carrying about a big, heavy, hard-shelled cooler can be draining. The whole point of a cooler is to make your life better – not worse! Even if you are trying to climb the side of a mountain or relax at the beach, your cooler should be the least of your worries.

Which is why you need a soft cooler.

Soft sided coolers are much lighter, offer comparable thermal protection, while ensuring you have a cold one (or plenty of cold ones) on the hottest of days. The only problem is figuring out which one is perfect for you.

At least it was a problem …

Today, we are going to show you ten of the best soft coolers available right now. Every one of these can definitely keep your drinks cold. Some are built for the roughest terrains while others are built for the best camping trip. Whatever the purpose, we are sure you will find the best soft sided cooler for you.

#1 Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler

Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler

Specs:

  • Can Capacity: 16 Cans
  • Leak-Proof: Yes
  • Removable Liner: Yes
  • Mold/Mildew Resistant: Yes
  • Weight: 1.8 Pounds

With this huge soft cooler from Coleman, you can just about take your refrigerator with you. You can easily fit up to sixteen cans of your favorite beverage inside of this cooler (plus a few snacks). It will keep everything cool for hours, giving you plenty of time to enjoy your trip outdoors rather than the temperature of your drinks.

Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler stocked with drinks

There are plenty of storage sections in the Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler. Inside, you have several options for carrying your drinks and other goods, making it easy to keep everything in place, even while you are on the go. The main storage (top zippered storage) is where you will store your drinks; you can easily fit 16 cans in here. The liner is completely removable in the event you spill something and need to clean it up later or when you want to add ice. Plus, you have other storage areas to work with including the front zippered section and two extra mesh pockets. Unloaded, this is very lightweight at less than 2 pounds; with the included shoulder strap, you won’t even notice it.

Front pocked of the Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler

It is designed to keep everything cold for up to 24 hours which is perfect for long hiking trip, an overnight camping adventure, or even just a day on the beach. The seams are heat-welded to prevent any type of leak. It is waterproof, meaning water won’t get in (or out). It’s extremely portable and easy to carry/store as needed.

Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler insert

One of the best features of the Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler is the antimicrobial treatment. They included this to prevent mold and/or odors from becoming a problem. We all know what happens when a cooler has something left in it for too long … the stink and mold can be horrendous! The treatment helps to prevent this from happening.

What We Like

This can easily hold 16 cans of soda. While the cans themselves may weigh a lot, the bag doesn’t. Plus, the shoulder strap is easy to use and helps when carrying heavier loads. You don’t have to use the shoulder strap on just your shoulder(s) either; you can also wrap it over your neck like a shoulder holster for longer treks.

Overall

For those who need enough drinks for the whole family, this is a great soft sided cooler. It will easily carry enough drinks for a family of four while leaving enough room for some snacks too. Plus, the antimicrobial treatment protects you from accidental spills and three-day leftovers.

Sale


Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler

  • Huge Main Storage Compartment Holds Up To 16 Cans
  • Removable Interior Liner For Easy Cleanup
  • 24-Hour Cooling Capacity

#2 Engel HD30 Waterproof Soft Cooler

Engel HD30 Waterproof Soft Sided Cooler

Specs:

  • Can Capacity: 24 Cans
  • Leak-Proof: Yes
  • Removable Liner: Yes
  • Mold/Mildew Resistant: No
  • Weight: 7.2 Pounds

Everyone jumps on the YETI bandwagon but seem to forget that there are some serious competitors. Engel may not be a “big name” but they put up some impressive numbers. The Engel HD30 can keep your drinks cold for DAYS – not hours. It was designed for LONG trips out in the woods, through the forest, down the roads – wherever you may go.

Front side of the Engel HD30

The Engle HD30 looks manly and aggressive. The color schemes are all well-matched and easy on the eyes; the three color options are green+grey, blue+tan, and orange+grey. It has a large main storage area with a wide-mouth opening that makes it easy to put things in and take things out. One thing to note, this is a fairly heavy cooler at 6.0 pounds. While it is not nearly as light as some of the other coolers on this list, it absolutely crushes them in time before the ice melts.

Engel HD30 Waterproof Soft Cooler side

The Engel HD30 was built to be waterproof. From the outer material, to the inner liner, to the zipper, everything is watertight. The welded seams keeps everything at bay, no matter which direction it tries to go. The inner liner is constructed with a high-thermal TPU material designed to withstand the worst of heat. Plus, Engel has included a vacuum valve on the side that helps to remove any trapped air that could affect the internal temperature of the cooler.

Engel HD30 Valve

Engel HD30 with vacuum

As far as capacity goes, this can hold up to 24 cans while holding up to 10 pounds of ice too. And the ice will last – up to 4.5 days!

In fact, that’s exactly why this is on our list. There are many other soft sided coolers that can keep up with a hard-shelled cooled. While the outer layers and inner TPU really help keep everything cold, the vacuum technology takes it to a whole new level. If you absolutely want the longest-lasting soft sided cooler on the market, you can’t ignore the Engel HD30.

What We Like

Who wouldn’t like ice for up to 4.5 days? It may be bulky, but it keeps drinks cold for a weekend warrior while still being light and easy to carry.

Overall

Why struggle with the decision to carry a heavy hard-shelled cooler when you could just get the Engel HD30 Soft Cooler? It’s just as capable as a hard-shelled YETI while being MUCH lighter.

#3 YETI Hopper TWO Portable Cooler

YETI Hopper TWO Portable Cooler

Specs:

  • Can Capacity: 18 Cans
  • Leak-Proof: Yes
  • Removable Liner: No
  • Mold/Mildew Resistant: Yes
  • Weight: 5.5 Pounds

For those with a thirst for adventure, you can’t ignore the YETI Hopper TWO Portable Cooler. It is one of the toughest, longest-lasting coolers on the market, designed to keep your drinks cold and outlast you. Whatever you like to do, wherever you want to go, you’ll always have a cold drink and/or food ready to go.

Side view of the YETI Hopper TWO Portable Cooler

Even though it is a durable cooler, it still manages to be stylish. It can easily hold up to 18 cold drinks and up to 20 pounds of ice. But, it’s not just a big bag for ice and drinks; you can also store dry goods in it too. Plus, it has attachments for MOLLE can openers. In order to keep everything cold for so long, it does have some heft to it – 5.5 pounds completely unloaded. This extra heft comes from the thicker, heavier, higher-quality materials when compared to its competitors.

Inside of the YETI Hopper TWO

The outside is constructed using a high-density fabric which is heavy and difficult to pierce and/or cut through; this makes it leak-proof and damage-resistant. You can go fishing, hiking, kayaking, or any other high-intensity activity and your YETI will be just fine. Even the zipper is built strong, made to withstand extreme pulling from side-to-side and constant in-and-out use. To keep the drinks/ice cold, they made sure to use a closed-cell rubber foam to block out the heat, providing exceptional insulation from the outside.

YETI Hopper TWO and antlers

But, what makes the YETI Hopper TWO so unique is its durability. No matter what you do, where you go, how hard you are on your cooler, it’s not going to rip, tear, leak, or fall apart. It was built to withstand almost anything except for a bear and a bullet. If you want a strong, durable cooler that will keep your drinks cold, this is it.

YETI Hopper outdoors

What We Like

For starters, their motto “ice for days” is absolutely true. This can easily give you multiple days of cold drinks and ice if used properly. Secondly, it’s built like a flexible tank; it can take abuse like a hard-shelled cooler.