Keep Drinks and Food Cold With These 5 Soft Coolers

beach gear including towels, a pail, and a soft sided cooler full of drinks

Why Should You Get A Soft Cooler? 

Camping, hiking, and outdoor day trips are supposed to be about fun, unwinding, and relaxing. Spending time outdoors is one of the recommended ways you can reduce stress and anxiety. Of course, being outdoors is only as enjoyable as how prepared you are. A relaxing hike can easily be derailed if you fail to keep your food or drinks at optimal temperatures. A portable cooler should be on your list of items to bring for any outdoor adventures. 

Just imagine, you packed your homemade potato salad or cold-cut sandwiches for your day-long hour hike. It’s been warm all day and your hiking pack has had very little protection from the sun. You pushed lunch back and when it comes time to eat, the food emits a sour odor. At this point, an off-putting smell is usually indicative of bacterial growth. 

Food safety standards recommend that to avoid the accumulation of bacteria and prevent food-borne illness, keep the cold food cold and hot food hot. No one wants to get a stomach ache, suffer dehydration, or get sick from food poisoning—especially when they are halfway through their camping trip. Investing in a soft cooler for your outdoor activities can help you avoid stress and stay healthy. Locating the best outdoor cooler is easier than you might think. 

For some ideas on how to stay safe with food storage while enjoying the outdoors, take a look at the following coolers. These are just some of the most popular soft coolers. They are designed to keep your perishables and beverages as cold or warm as you need. 

5 Popular Soft Coolers 

Whether your ideal outdoor time is camping and hiking or BBQs and tailgating, having a soft cooler is the perfect way to keep your food and drinks insulated. From hardbody ice chests to easy-to-haul soft sided coolers, you can find the right one for every type of outdoor adventure that you have planned. 

Need an ice chest that can handle a standard bag of ice? Are you in the market for the best cooler for ice retention? Maybe you prefer a soft pack cooler that is super-lightweight and durable. Want a simple camping cooler? These are just some of the best soft coolers around and should pique your interest. 

Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Hardbody Coolers

The Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Cooler is a super-durable hardbody soft cooler with a patented “flip open” zipperless lid for easy storage accessibility—just pull up the top to quickly grab the drink or snack you want. It is built using TPE Ripstop, a high-performance insulative material that helps reflect heat rather than absorb it. In addition to the radiant heat barrier, it features an ultra-safe, leak-proof interior lining. No more stressing about messy leaks from melted ice or bursting cans. 

The Arctic Zone Deep Freeze cooler is made with an FDA-compliant hardbody liner, which includes a removable smart shelf. Use the divider shelf to keep your cooler organized. Keep your meat and cheese separate from your fruits and vegetables. The cooler is also designed with two zippered insulated front pockets, which are great for storing your salad dressing, dips, or other condiments. The back-saver shoulder strap is adjustable and features an anti-slip shoulder pad for comfortable carrying. 

The Deep Freeze Arctic cooler is a compact, lightweight, durable soft cooler bag that comes in multiple colors including navy, moss, process blue, pine, citrus, gray, and blue lagoon. For small, medium, or large soft coolers, you can choose the 9-can, 16-can, 30-can, or 48-can size choices. The hardbody liner and triple layer ColdBlock base contribute to the impressive ice retention time of up to three days. 

Ever come across a fabric-lined soft cooler with seemingly permanent stains or a moldy odor? The Arctic Zone Titan hardbody, soft bag cooler has a water and stain-resistant lining. That means you won’t have to worry about food or outdoor stains or the buildup of bacteria and mold. The superior performance insulated lining makes clean-up between outdoor adventures a smooth, simple process. You can purchase your Arctic Zone Titan zipperless hardbody cooler for just $62.99.

Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Hardbody Coolers
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TOURIT Cooler Backpack

For an ultra-compact, lightweight backpack cooler, consider the TOURIT Cooler Backpack. Have an intense, mountainous hike planned? Want to spend all day on the boardwalk or relaxing on the beach? Ready to hit the trail with your dog? An easy-to-handle, super-light backpack cooler would meet all your needs. It’s a multi-function, stylish cooler backpack that can even be used as a daily lunch bag. According to Ashley Rodriguez, an author and camping expert, when it comes to a soft cooler, “[o]n the day-to-day, that’s the one that I grab most often. I can wear it on my back, and it doesn’t look like a cooler. I’m hands-free to carry my fishing pole.” 

The TOURIT Cooler Backpack is made with 600D Oxford fabric and high-density foam. What does this mean for your drinks, food, and ice packs? It means the external fabric is durable enough to last whether you go on rough hikes or intense long-distance cycling trips. The high-density foam provides outstanding insulation. It’s able to keep your drinks cold or your food hot for up to 16 hours. It’s also large enough to store as many as 30 cans!

This cooler backpack is designed with two side mesh pockets, two large front zippered pockets, one zippered pocket on the lid, and one additional mesh pocket on the backpack strap. The backpack strap even features a built-in can opener for convenience. Want to consolidate what you need to carry on the trail? Just use the main compartment for your drinks and food. Use the side pockets for your water bottles. The other pockets can store your hiking knife, sunglasses, bandanna, phone, or anything else you might need for your outing. 

Need a soft cooler backpack that is leakproof? The TOURIT Cooler backpack is just the answer. In addition to the trusted insulation, the inner lining is totally leakproof. Love to pack hot soup or cold smoothies for your daytime adventures? You won’t have to think twice about anything leaking from your backpack and soaking through to stain your clothes. It comes in five different colors, black, gray, blue, dark gray, and tie-dyed black. You can purchase yours today for only $36.99.

TOURIT Cooler Backpack 30 Cans Lightweight Insulated Backpack Cooler
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Coleman Soft Cooler Bag

If you prefer a compact, insulated lunch cooler, then check out the Coleman Soft Cooler Bag. As a Coleman Signature product, this insulated cooler can keep ice cold for as long as 24 hours. The 15-liter cooler is spacious enough to carry nine cans packed tight with ice cubes or an ice pack. It’s the perfect choice for spending all day hiking the mountain, fishing on the lake, or relaxing on the beach. 

The Coleman Soft Cooler pack is made of high-quality, durable polyester materials to ensure maximum insulation. The main compartment can fit multiple food storage containers with even more snacks stored in the front zippered compartment. It’s a great lunch cooler for packing sandwich fixings, juice boxes, and an ice pack with your trail mix in the smaller zippered pocket. 

The Coleman Soft Cooler bag comes in two color options: red highlights with black and gray or blue highlights with black and gray. It also features a convenient adjustable shoulder strap for easy carrying. Polyester materials aren’t just durable, they are antimicrobial. The cooler lining is resistant to mold, odor, mildew, and fungus making the cleaning process between outdoor activities that much easier. 

The current sale price for the Coleman Soft Cooler Bag ranges from $20.80 to $32.58. The price all depends on the size you get. The compact nine-can storage capacity is great for mid-afternoon picnics or adventurous hikes. The medium-sized 16-can soft cooler would be a good choice for a backyard BBQ. The design also comes in a large 30-can option, which is perfect for your three-day camping weekend. 

Coleman Soft Cooler Bag
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Lifewit Large Cooler Bag

The best soft sided cooler for picnics, beach trips, work trips, and more is the Lifewit Large Cooler Bag. It’s constructed of Oxford fabric that features high-density lining which is one hundred percent waterproof. Unexpected heavy rain on your hike? Worried about your food getting soaked? Both the inside and outside of the cooler bag are waterproof. The waterproof material is also easy to wash, clean, and dry between uses.  

Ever forget to unpack your cooler only to find that the ice has melted and the water leaked everywhere? The Lifewit Large Cooler bag is one hundred percent leakproof. That means you won’t have to worry about leaks through the polyester fabric, nor from any seams or zippers. The cooler bag is 20 liters and spacious enough for 27 cans with ice packed in. The wide top pocket also features a dome zippered compartment for extra packing. 

The Lifewit Large Cooler also comes in two colors, black and gray. If you’re interested in a different size, the style comes in 23 liters, which is enough space for 32 cans, or the 30-liter soft cooler which can fit up to 48 cans. It features a side mesh pocket that can double as a cup holder. You can also store your umbrella, raincoat, garbage bags, or other accessories in it. The front zippered pocket is also great for storing your sunglasses and napkins or your trail mix and granola bars. 

The reinforced handles and detachable strap can be readjusted for three different ways to carry the cooler bag. It’s compact and simple to stack on top of your wheeled duffle bag. It’s collapsible, so you can fold it up and place it in your suitcase or the trunk of your car without taking up much space. The versatile Lifewit Large Cooler bag can keep your warm foods warm and your cold foods cold. Prices vary between $26.99 and $34.99 depending on the size and style you get. 

Lifewit Large Cooler Bag Insulated Lunch Bag
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Lifewit Collapsible Insulated Cooler Bag

The Lifewit Collapsible Cooler Bag works perfectly as a lunch cooler, especially when going on a long walk, a hike, or a trek along the river. It easily collapses for even more compact storage. It comes in two colors, gray and black. The Oxford fabric and interior PEVA foil lining are easy to clean. The insulation is 6mm EPE foam within the PEVA foil lining providing top-notch thermal resistance. 

The Lifewit Collapsible Cooler Bag is constructed of premium materials, making it water-resistant, dirt-proof, and highly durable. The main compartment can hold loose ice and keep your cans and food cold for over 12 hours. It features two side mesh pockets that can be used for storing water bottles, your hydro flask, bottle opener, hand sanitizer, and more. 

If you want a camping cooler, the Lifewit Collapsible Cooler Bag is fit for your next camping trip. Not only is it easy to carry and store, but it’s also perfect for enjoying lunch out on the lake while fishing. Just pack the main compartment with your favorite snacks and drinks and use the deep front pocket to store your fishing bait. That front pocket is designed to help keep things insulated which means it can be used to keep your live bait cool. 

You can choose either the 15-liter size or 24-liter size. The 24-liter bag has a 40-can capacity and is a great pick for a BBQ party cooler. It’s available now for only $32.99. The 15-liter option is only $19.99 and can store 24 cans, which would be a great alternative cooler bag for a tailgate party. If you want double the collapsible cooler bags, take a look at the CleverMade Collapsible Cooler Bag which comes in three colors and has a similar sales price of $39.99.

Lifewit Collapsible Cooler Bag Insulated 24L
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Portable Coolers, Rotomolded Coolers, and More

Want to shop for more top-rated coolers? For more soft sided cooler choices, consider checking out the Polar Bear Cooler, Orca Walker Tote, AO Cooler, and the Bison Cooler line. Yeti also makes soft coolers like the Yeti Hopper product line. 

Don’t forget, with most soft sided compact coolers, you want to make sure you have enough ice packs to keep your drinks and food cold. Getting some cooler shock ice packs will keep you prepared for every trip. These cooler shock ice packs are also perfect for small-sized coolers. For instance, if backpack coolers are more your type, then be sure to explore the Icemule Pro Cooler line. These compact portable cooler bags are similar to the TOURIT Cooler Backpacks and have just as many convenient features. 

For heavy-duty, hard-backed ice chests, take a look at Yeti coolers like the Yeti Tundra line. The Yeti Tundra is a highly popular rotomolded cooler that’s tough enough to hold dry ice. Another hard sided ice chest worth your attention is the Coleman Xtreme Cooler which can keep ice for as long as five days.

Coleman Xtreme Portable Cooler
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Helpful Cooler Tips 

Like bringing dinner leftovers or hot soups for your picnics, park days, or early morning hikes? Sometimes, it’s not easy to keep your food warm without using a thermos. To keep your soup as hot as possible or your pizza warm to the touch, consider including a thermos for your hot liquids and wrapping your solid foods in aluminum foil. 

How much ice do you need to chill your drinks? Did you know it can take over three pounds of ice just to cool a six-pack of cans that you picked off the grocery store shelf? If you pack frozen meat, like steak, it can take two days for it to fully thaw inside of a cooler. Keeping cold food and drinks chilled for as long as possible means getting the right type of ice packs or sufficient amounts of ice cubes. 

However, before throwing in any ice, drinks, or food, it’s suggested that you pre-cool your cooler. Using any cooler that has been sitting in your hot car, garage, backyard, or shed means the material is going to be hot. It doesn’t matter if it’s plastic, polyester, or a multi-material fabric cooler. If it’s already warm, it will only prolong the time it takes to chill your drinks. Try filling your cooler with cold water and ice and let it cool for a couple of hours before packing it.

Want More Options? 

If you struggle with finding trusted outdoor pack coolers, like long-lasting soft-sided coolers, tough hard-sided coolers, or an electric cooler, then check out At My Outdoor Gear, you can keep up with the latest news on the most recommended ice chests, hardbody coolers, or soft, portable coolers. 

Planning an extravagant outdoor adventure and need more camping items? Once you have your cooler situation taken care of, you might as well take a look at some other outdoor-ready products on My Outdoor Gear. There you can find more information on camping gear, hiking shoes, tents, water bottles, and other camping essentials

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