What are the best soft coolers on the market?

Before leaving for your next camping trip or road trip, you might want to take some time out and look for the best soft coolers available.
The majority of ice chests are hard shell coolers which are bulky or heavy-duty, resulting in limited mobility. A better option is to buy a soft sided cooler, let’s find out why.

Best Soft Coolers – Reviews

 Polar Bear Soft CoolerAO CoolerIgloo Marine CoolerColeman Wheeled Cooler
Polar CoolerAO CoolerIgloo Marine Cooler
Coleman wheeled Cooler
Retailers
Rating (1-5)

4.8

4.4

3.9

4.2

Weight (lbs) 3.002.202.926.61

With hundreds of options available on the market, the process of buying a soft sided cooler can be pretty confusing and time-consuming. Thus, to make things easier for you, we have created a list of some of the best soft coolers available on the market. Here it comes!

Polar Bear Coolers Soft Cooler - best soft coolers

Ice Retention / Insulation

Durability
Mobility

If you want to go for one of the best soft coolers currently available in the market, go with this soft sided Cooler from Polar Bear Coolers. It is one of the most popular soft coolers that comes with a reasonable price tag, giving a tough competition to other more expensive coolers.

This soft cooler features a heavy-duty outer shell that is made from 1000 denier Cordura nylon coupled with open cell foam of high-density.

The premium-quality build of the Polar cooler makes this cooler a great YETI alternative as it ensures that you will never face the problem of ripping or tearing for years to come even if you use it in extreme outdoor conditions on a regular basis.

Its patent-pending design is sweat and leak proof, making it a perfect companion for each of your outdoor adventures. This soft sided cooler can easily accommodate up to 24 cans along with ice or its substitutes.

Materials and Design

The cooler features multiple YKK zippers that are known for their durability. The small zippered compartments for added storage come in very handy and you can store a variety of small items in them.
When you pack this cooler correctly, it can hold your ice for 24 hours in temperatures as hot as 100-degree heat, making it an excellent product to keep your beverages hot in the summer months.

Being the runner up for the best ice chests of 2017, the polar bear soft cooler also features two tie-downs on both the sides which you can use to carry a towel, etc. at the top of this cooler.

Its handle is made from high-quality material too and there is also a comfortable grip on it for enhanced convenience. There is also a shoulder strap if you want to carry the cooler on your shoulder. A handy metal opener on the side is great to easily open bottle on-the-go.

Polar Bear Coolers Soft Cooler - best soft ice chests

Dimensions and Weight

The overall dimension of this soft cooler is 10” x 18” x 12” and it weighs 5 pounds. Available in multiple colors, including camouflage, this is Polar Bear’s best soft sided cooler and is sure to add more excitement to each of your outdoor adventures.

Pros
  • Can hold up to 24 cans along with an ice pack
  • Sweat and leak-proof liner
  • Made from 1000 denier Cordura nylon
  • Features high-density open cell foam
  • Easy to carry and store
  • YKK zippers
  • No Cons
AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler - best soft coolers

Ice Retention / Insulation

Durability
Mobility

Second on the best soft coolers list is the Canvas Cooler from AO Coolers is very much similar to the above mentioned soft cooler from Polar Bear. However, this is no way means that the cooler doesn’t have any merits of its own.
The soft cooler can accommodate up to 36 cans along with about 14 pounds of ice. Needless to say, the cooler makes a great backpack cooler with a pretty decent capacity.

AO Coolers suggest that this cooler has two times that insulation as compared to other standard soft coolers. It is guaranteed to hold the ice for up to 24 hours, even at temperature up to 120 degrees.

One of the most common problems with soft coolers and also a major reason due to which people prefer buying hard shell coolers is because the soft ones start leaking as soon as the ice inside them starts melting.

Materials and Design

The Canvas Soft Cooler has a leak-proof liner to prevent this problem. Moreover, the liner is also easy to clean. The cooler also features a dry pocket on the side for added storage.
Dual handles with soft grips to easily carry the cooler in hand and an adjustable and removable shoulder strap if you want to carry it on your shoulder.

The ends of the cooler easily fold out and in just like an origami to expand and contract depending on how much items you place in the cooler. Its high-quality build ensures that the cooler is able to deliver desired results even in tough outdoor conditions.

AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler Strap - best soft ice chests

Dimensions and Weight

The overall dimension of this Canvas Soft Cooler is 12” x 10” x 21” and it weighs 3.2 pounds when empty. The cooler has hundreds of positive reviews on the internet and majority of the buyers have suggested that it is indeed a value-for-money product. If you too are looking for a reasonably priced soft cooler with good capacity and high-quality build, this Canvas Cooler from AO Coolers can be an excellent choice.

Pros
  • Can accommodate up to 36 cans
  • Twice the insulation found in standard soft coolers
  • Removable shoulder strap
  • Can hold ice for up to 24 hours in temperatures as high as 120 degrees
  • Side pockets
  • Leak-proof liner
Cons
  • Leaks a little from the zipper area
  • Some users have complained that the cooler is not able to hold ice for 24 hours
Igloo Marine Ultra Square Coolers - best soft coolers

Ice Retention / Insulation

Durability
Mobility

The next addition to this list of best soft coolers is Marine Ultra Square Cooler from Igloo, ranging in sizes from small coolers to large in quart sizes. The Igloo needs no introduction. The company manufactures a variety of coolers that are a perfect combination of functionality and affordability. And this Marine Ultra Cooler is no different.

Materials and Design

It is durable, easy to clean, leak-resistant, UV protected and loaded with a number of useful features. The cooler can accommodate up to 36 cans and features PEVA liner of 0.35 mm that is anti-microbial, odor and stain resistant. Moreover, the premium-quality liner is also puncture-resistant.

While the majority of the high-quality soft coolers are designed to keep things cold for about 24 hours, this Marine Ultra can keep your beverages and food items cold and fresh for up to 2 days.

This makes it an excellent choice for short trips, like camping, fishing, hunting, boating, etc. As a matter of fact, it is uniquely designed to easily fit in boat consoles. At the top of the cooler, there is a hatch which you can easily open to access the things stored inside the cooler.

Igloo Marine Ultra Square Coolers Top - best soft coolers

Dimensions and Weight

The materials used on this soft cooler are made from non-corrosives, allowing it to easily withstand the tough marine conditions.
It features a side and top wrap handles along with a removable and adjustable shoulder strap that have an extra soft padding for enhanced comfort.

And the best thing is that the cooler carries a highly reasonable price, especially when compared with other best soft coolers.

The overall dimension of this cooler is 9.75” x 13.5” x 11” and it weighs 3.05 pounds when empty.

Pros
  • Can accommodate up to 36 cans
  • UV protective
  • Puncture and leak resistant, ultra-thick liner
  • Easy to clean exteriors
Cons
  • Difficult to store when not in use
Coleman 42-Can Wheeled Soft Cooler - best soft coolers

Ice Retention / Insulation

Durability
Mobility

If you are looking for a soft cooler with higher capacity, this Wheeled Soft Cooler from Coleman is the way to go. It can accommodate up to 42 cans along with ice and features two wheels at the bottom, eliminating the need to carry the cooler.

The cooler features PEVA liner that is flexible, permanent and very simple to clean as well. Moreover, the plastic liner can be easily removed to enhance the carrying flexibility. Also, the liner is FDA-approved for contact with food.

The cooler is compatible with ice as well as other substitutes that offer a better cooling performance. With the high-quality liner and insulation, the cooler can easily keep your beverages and food items cold for more than 24 hours.

Materials and Design

This wheeled soft sided cooler features a telescoping handle with the help of which you can easily pull or push the cooler. Moreover, there are also side handles if you want to carry the cooler in your hand.
There are mesh pockets on the sides, additionally, there is also a zippered pocket at the front for storage purposes.

It also features bungee straps on the top portion of the cooler which you can use to carry towels, etc. right on the cooler. For enhanced stability, the front part of the cooler also features two stands that allow the cooler to easily stand on flat surfaces.

It is resistant to mildew, mold, and odors to ensure that everything you save in the cooler remains fresh and cold.

Coleman 42-Can Wheeled Soft Cooler Open - best soft ice chests

Dimensions and Weight

The overall dimension of the cooler is 11.42” x 12.6” x 21.26” and it weighs 6.61 pounds when empty. With a highly reasonable price tag, this Wheeled Soft Cooler from Coleman will be your perfect cooling companion for each of your outdoor adventures.

Pros
  • Can accommodate up to 42 cans along with ice or its substitutes
  • Wheels to eliminate the need to carry the cooler
  • Telescoping handle
  • Leak-resistant PEVA liner
  • Side handles and multiple pockets
  • Bungee straps
Cons
  • Some buyers have mentioned reviews that the ice holding ability of this cooler is not very impressive
  • Telescoping handles doesn’t feature a locking button
Leopard Cooler Bag - best soft coolers

Ice Retention / Insulation

Durability
Mobility

If you are planning to buy a stylish, soft cooler with reasonable capacity, this EVA Molded Cooler Bag from Leopard Outdoor can be an excellent choice. Having characteristics of a heavy duty cooler, this soft cooler is made from high-quality polyester shell and its bottom and top are EVA molded.
The top with molded cups, adds up to the user-friendliness of this bag, whereas, the bottom enhances its sturdiness.

In Addition…

The PEVA liner of the cooler bag is leak resistant and does an excellent job of keeping the beverages and food items cold for longer durations. Moreover, the liner is also FDA-approved for food contact, ensuring that your food will always be safe inside this cooler.
The seams of the cooler are heat welded to further enhance the durability of this soft cooler bag.

Leopard Cooler Bag Compact - best soft ice chests

Materials and Design

Inside the top cover, there is a mesh compartment for added storage. You can use this pocket for storing items, like napkins, keys, utensils, spoons, straws, etc.
Even the zipper is made from high-quality material to avoid breaking and also make sure that they do not dry up when the weather is very hot.

The lightweight cooler bag features two carrying handles with a comfy grip as well as a shoulder strap. As a result, you can carry the bag in your hands or on your shoulder with utmost ease.

Dimensions and Weight

The overall dimension of this cooler bag is 9.5” x 11.8” x 14” and it weighs only 1.2 pounds when empty. It is one of the most lightweight cooler bag currently available in the market.
An excellent combination of a highly reasonable price tag and flawless functionality, this EVA Molded Cooler Bag from Leopard Outdoor is sure to provide you with maximum bang for your bucks.

Pros
  • Can accommodate up to 24 cans along with ice
  • Polyester shell
  • Molded top and bottom
  • PEVA liner
Cons
  • Cannot hold ice for very long durations
California Innovations Soft Collapsible Cooler - best soft coolers

Ice Retention / Insulation

Durability
Mobility

Last on the list of the best soft coolers is the TableTop Soft Collapsible Cooler from California Innovations.
A perfect combination of style, functionality, and affordability, it is an excellent choice for every outdoorsman looking for a value-for-money product.

The interiors of this cooler bag are SuperFoam insulated to ensure that it is able to keep things cooler for longer durations.
Moreover, even the Therma-Flect radiant barrier lid of the cooler further improves the cooling ability of this cooler bag to make sure that all your beverages and food items stored inside the cooler are fresh and cold up to 24 hours.

Materials and Design

The liner of this cooler is treated with a layer of Microban antimicrobial protective coating to ensure that the food items remain fresh and safe for consumption. As the liner is leak-resistant, you will never face the problem of leakages even if there is a spill or when the ice melts inside this cooler.

The cooler has an excellent storage capacity and can accommodate up to 50 cans along with ice. One of the best features of this cooler is its top lid which you can also use as a serving tray.

The exteriors of this cooler are made from high-quality plastic which is impact-resistant and has a rugged, diamond-plated texture which enhances the durability and toughness of the cooler, allowing it to easily withstand extreme outdoor conditions.

The cooler can easily accommodate lunch for 2-3 people at a time; however, it is slightly larger than regular lunch boxes.

California Innovations Soft Collapsible Cooler Open - best soft ice chests

Dimensions and Weight

The bright use of colors on this cooler makes it look appealing and functions as the icing on the cake. The TableTop cooler easily collapses for storage when not in use.
It has an overall dimension of 11” x 11.75” x 17” and weighs only 1.5 pounds when empty. If you are searching for a stylish, functional and reasonably priced cooler.

Pros
  • Can accommodate up to 50 cans along with ice
  • Interiors are insulated with SuperFoam
  • Therma-Flect radiant barrier lid
  • Leak-resistant lining
Cons
  • Ability to hold ice is not at par with other best of soft coolers
  • No shoulder strap

Best Soft Coolers List – Conclusion

So, this brings us to the end of this post on the best soft coolers of 2017.
Go through the above-mentioned options carefully and select one only after understanding their features as well as drawbacks. This will ensure that the cooler you choose would actually provide you with the functionality you are looking for.

Ditch your old hard shell coolers and replace them with the best soft sided coolers of 2017 to experience enhanced convenience while still enjoying the same cooling features.