The Arena Media Brands, LLC and its partners may receive compensation for links to products and services on this website. This content is created by a 3rd party. The Sports Illustrated editorial staff are not involved in the creation of this content.
Everybody loves a cold beverage at the end of a hike or a tough training session. These cooler backpacks give you a convenient option to bring ice-cold refreshments wherever you go.
So, whether you’re simply looking to go on a family picnic at the park and the kids love ice cream, or if you want to go out into the wilderness with a gourmet spread, we’ve got you covered! Here’s our list of the best backpack coolers in 2022 for you to choose from. These backpack coolers are the finest on the market because they:
Are certain to keep your food and drinks cool for hours
Have ergonomic designs for easy, comfortable wearing
Feature multiple compartments to organize napkins, utensils, and other supplies
This heavy-duty cooler backpack was designed by a veteran and will keep everything cool for up to 18 hours. It has plenty of space for extras and is designed with a pouch attachment system to add even more capacity if needed.
Keeping your drinks and food cold while you're on a camping trip is essential. However, carrying a traditional cooler while climbing or hiking is challenging because you need your hands to work. Don't worry, though; modern technology has made a backpack cooler, making transportation a lot easier by simply bringing it on your back.
There are a lot of quality backpack coolers listed here, which is why we believe you will be able to pick one that will suit your needs. However, before purchasing one, there are a couple of things you might want to consider. Check out our buying guide below.
What Should You Consider Before Buying a Backpack Cooler?
Size and capacity
When buying a backpack cooler, the first thing you need to consider is its size and capacity. Depending on its capacity, they can hold a couple of dozen cans of soda or hold quite a bit less. Be sure to pick the size depending on your needs.
For example, if you plan on hiking or walking far distances with it, don't go with a 40-liter that will weigh 75 pounds when it's fully loaded because it will be hard to carry. However, if you have a family going to the campsite in a car, then a bigger cooler will suit you the best.
Some backpack coolers keep items colder longer than others. Be sure to review the specifications to see what the manufacturer says. It could be anything from 24 to 48 hours or even more. Less-expensive choices usually last between 12 and 24 hours. Premium options tend to keep beverages and snacks cool for a longer period.
Backpack coolers are made of different materials. Most of the backpacks have an interior that's made out of polyurethane, which is the exact type of material you'll need to look for. If you want it to last, make sure it's made of sturdy exterior fabric that is tear and puncture-resistant.
The comfort of your cooler is another crucial thing to consider when buying a backpack cooler. What's the point of getting a backpack cooler if it hurts your shoulders? Make sure to take a close look at the padding on the straps.
Backpack coolers usually have padded shoulder straps, so they're easier to carry. However, only a few models have waist and chest straps as well. These additions can make carrying a cooler more comfortable, especially if you have to hike a longer distance.
How Much Does a Backpack Cooler Cost?
The cost of a backpack cooler can range from $20 to $180, and this all depends on the brand, material, size, cooling ability, etc. The average price for a backpack cooler is $50, and we suggest you stick around that price.
The great news is that you can get a fitting backpack cooler without spending a bunch of money. These basic coolers will get the job done and are very practical and affordable.
Most of the backpack coolers fall within this price range. They may have more features or have a bigger capacity, so you can store more beverages.
$100 and up
The premium backpack coolers are the highest quality models and are designed to be super durable. Some of these brands are completely waterproof, so you won't have to worry about the rain.
How Did We Choose the Best Backpack Coolers?
Though using a backpack cooler is a simple enough task, finding the best of what's available meant putting our review models through a variety of tests. While testing, we looked at three specific categories: performance, design, and rating. Here's how each category factored in:
We have tested their performance and saw which of the backpack coolers could keep the ice the longest.
When judging the design of all the backpack coolers, we wanted to see how it looked and how easy it is to load and unload all the items.
To finalize the test, we have gone through many genuine reviews to see what customers say about them.
What Are the Most Useful Features of the Backpack Cooler?
Some of the backpack coolers are entirely waterproof, so you won't have to worry too much if you notice that it's raining or you have to cross a river while carrying the backpack.
The dividers help split up the larger compartment into easy-to-organize areas. However, if you see that the divider is getting in the way, you can easily fold it down or completely remove it to open up space for bigger items.
The storage pockets on the backpack cooler can offer a great place for keeping your keys, mobile phones, and wallets because these pockets aren't usually insulated.
Imagine you've just reached your camping destination, you pull up the cold beers from the backpack cooler, and you notice you didn't bring a beer opener. Well, to avoid this, some of them even come with their very own beer opener.
In our opinion, too many options can make it even harder for someone to decide which backpack cooler bag to choose. It all depends on the main purpose you will need it for; asking the right questions can help one decide even faster.
It's important to have a suitable backpack cooler, so we wrote this buying guide and included several different ones. The above list should help you pick the perfect backpack cooler for you and your family. Have a happy summer with cold drinks!
People Also Asked
How do you clean and store a backpack cooler?
You will need to clean your cooler after every use. Just take a wet or soapy wet cloth and wipe the inside of the backpack cooler. It is easy as that, and your work is done.
How long do backpack coolers last?
Well, the backpack coolers mentioned above will stay cool for at least 24-hours. However, some of the coolers assure to keep beverages cold even up to 3 days at a certain temperature.
Can I put ice in my backpack cooler?
Yes, certainly. In order to keep your food and drinks cool for a longer time, you can use ice in the backpack cooler. Always put them in the cooler first, and then place the ice on top for maximum effectiveness.
Will water leak out as my ice melts?
The answer varies from bag to bag, but if the product description doesn't exactly mention features that will prevent water from leaking out, there's a good chance that it may leak.
Olivia has seen every up and down that a runner can, and knows how important the right training and the right equipment can be. She loves to share the outdoors with her golden retriever, Rocky, traveling through trails both on and off the beaten path. Olivia will often be providing her reviews from where ever she is at the time: the track, the road, or the woods.