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There are few things better than sitting down with a group of friends to enjoy a cool, crisp, and tasty beverage. Whether it’s a beer, soda or seltzer, joining in a communal sharing of cold ones is the best way to spend the days, especially during a backyard bonfire. But as you’re moving from one locale to another, it’s important to ensure your drinks stay cool when you’re on the go, which is where one of the best coolers come into play. But sometimes, a full cooler isn’t the easiest thing to transport, and that’s where the best backpack coolers save the day.
The best backpack coolers are pretty straightforward; instead of hauling around a cooler, you can sling it on your back. Backpack coolers are typically reinforced with extra padding in the back and shoulders to support the weight of heavy cans. At the same time, the exterior is typically made to protect water from getting in or leaking out onto you while you move around. Oh, and yeah, they’ll keep those cans ice cold.
Great for the outdoors or those just on the go, cooler backpacks make all the difference in keeping the good times rolling. Here are our 10 picks for the best of the best backpack coolers on the market right now.
1. YETI Hopper M20 Backpack Soft Cooler
When it comes to anything in the world of coolers, YETI reigns supreme — and that’s certainly the case with their brand-new take on a backpack cooler with the Hopper M20.
This 2022 release is an updated version of the brand’s Hopper Backflip Backpack Cooler. It’s totally waterproof both in and out with a roll-top magnetic closure that keeps ice cold even on the hottest of days. The bag opens exceptionally wide with enough room to fit 18 cans total using a two-to-one ice ratio. And, yeah, you can keep your sandwich cold at the bottom, too.
Unlike a lot of today’s backpack coolers, YETI will most certainly keep your ice cold when it’s sweltering, so no more awkward melting throughout the day. Take this to the beach, on hikes, to the park — whatever. You’ll definitely be thanking us later, that’s for sure.
2. IceMule Pro Cooler
The IceMule Pro Cooler is one of the toughest, most reliable and best-performing backpack coolers you can purchase.
This option is completely built for the outdoors, allowing users to take it realistically wherever. It holds 18 cans total plus ice for staying hydrated on hikes, picnics or when you’re hanging out on the beach. It’s built with an incredibly tough Muleskin exterior and an interior PolarLayer insulation to keep drinks cold for more than 24-hours total.
When you’re not using, crush this baby down flat for easy storage.
3. OAGear Backpack 20 Can Cooler
This OAGear backpack cooler is our pick for the best value for many reasons outside of its fantastic price.
The sealed liner ensures that the bag won’t leak, no matter how stuffed full it is full of cans and ice. With an up to 20-can storage capacity, there’s plenty of room for your brew needs. Additionally, the bag features side and front pockets for other handy storage. Plus, the padded back and shoulder straps help to protect your back from feeling too overworked.
Oh, and did we mention that price?
4. Coleman High-Performance Leak Proof Soft Cooler Backpack
Coleman has been around for as long as we can remember. Well before all the big guys dominating the world of wheeled coolers and cooler backpacks. So, for an old-school pick, we’ve gotta tell you about Coleman’s High-Performance Leak Proof Soft Cooler Backpack.
This puppy has a rectangular design that’s easy to carry and uses extra foam for insulation and immense durability. It has a front pocket for small bring-along such as your PKW and mesh side bottle holders.
Read More: Best Cooler With Wheels
5. Carhartt 2-in-1 Insulated Cooler Backpack
For as hard as you work, there’s a good chance Carhartt works harder — and that’s absolutely the case with the brand’s version of a cooler backpack.
With a storage room of up to 12 cans plus an ice pack, the back also features a main compartment area that can provide extra room for other stuff you might need along the way like clothing and non-perishable snacks. The bag also has smart accessory features like side mesh holders for water bottles and even a dedicated key fob holder.
The entire cooler is constructed to be tremendously durable and even water-repellent, perfect for tough days.
6. Igloo Switch Cooler Backpack
Looking to get the most storage of your cooler backpack? Igloo’s Switch cooler backpack boasts a staggering 30-can capacity, making it the biggest cooler backpack on this list. Leak-resistant with an antimicrobial liner, it’ll be easy to clean out wipe out moisture after you stuff it full of ice and ice-cold cans.
Additionally, the bag can be carried as a backpack or as a tote, providing extra flexibility depending upon your personal preference.
7. Hydro Flask Cooler Backpack
Hydro Flask has made a name for itself with its well-designed water bottles that you likely know and love, and the same design process has been applied to their cooler backpack.
Minimalist in its execution, the bag is light on exterior frills. Still, it boasts impressive features: a top, hinged-access allows for easy packing, the exterior helps to prevent leaks and stops water from coming in, insulation is layered at the bottom to help keep your ice-cold throughout the bag, and the lightweight construction throughout makes it not too heavy to carry.
8. TOURIT Backpack Cooler
Some cooler backpacks don’t immediately look like, well, an actual backpack. That’s not the case, however, with TOURIT’s backpack cooler, as it looks very similar to what you’d carry around a college campus or in grade school hallways but has excellent cold retention, keeping items cold for 16 hours.
The interior storage can hold up to 28 cans and, of course, is made from durable and water-resistant materials.
9. Pelican Dayventure Backpack Cooler
As handy as a backpack cooler might be, there might be more than a handful of situations that require you to have the option for storage separate from your cold items. Those looking for a pack that provides this option should consider Pelican’s Dayventure backpack cooler.
The pack features dual insulated storage compartments; a dedicated cooler compartment in the bottom perfectly fits a 6 pack of cans, and then a top select that can fit other items for cooling or function as total dry storage. However you plan to use it, there’s plenty of flexibility to do so.
10. Corkcicle Eola Bucket Cooler Bag
Have you heard of Corkcicle? This brand allows you to spice up your coolers and cooler bags with fun colors you otherwise wouldn’t see in the cooling space like this gorgeous lilac featured below.
This bag is perfect for any place you need to bring cold drinks and will allow you to keep looking stylish as you do. It can hold 12 cans total or 8 cans and two bottles of wine if you want to throw the bigger boys inside. It’s crafted with vegan leather for an eco-friendly option with a wrap-around zipper up top that allows you to see all contents easily.
With availability in rose quartz (pictured), seafoam and black camo, you’re really going to rock a look with this one.