Best Backpack Cooler in 2020


If you are the outdoorsy type, like me, you’ll appreciate any companion item that makes your outdoor experience much more enjoyable. The backpack cooler is a practical and convenient thing for carrying and keeping your food cold (or hot) outdoors. It is also more portable and lighter than the typical camping coolers, and it leaves your hands free so you can carry other stuff or just enjoy not having to drag any plastic box around.

What’s the Best Backpack Cooler?

If you’re thinking about getting one for your next expedition, I have compiled the best backpack cooler reviews from my research to help you pick the right one for your needs. Also, please check out the FAQ section below where I answer a few of the most commonly asked questions about backpack coolers.

1. FORICH Soft Cooler Backpack

Price: 💲
Capacity: 30 Liters
Weight: 1.8 lb (0.8 kg)
Size: 17 x 12 x 8 in (43.2 x 30.5 x 20.3 cm)
What We Like
Multiple pockets to carry all your items,
Comes with a bottle opener,
Fashionable and stylish design

The lightweight design of this insulated backpack cooler is a big plus because it doesn’t add more weight to what you want to carry, namely food and drinks for your trip. It features an ergonomic design that makes carrying it comfortable and I like that it also has accessory compartments to carry snacks and my other stuff. It is my top choice because, for a budget backpack cooler, it does a great job of keeping the stuff cold or hot without leaking and condensation, as well as being easy to carry.


  • Durable construction
  • High-performance insulation
  • Lightweight and compact for long hikes


  • Leaks through the main zipper
  • Requires support to stay upright

2. YETI Hopper Backflip 24

YETI Hopper Backflip 24
Price: 💲💲💲
Weight: 0.8 lb (0.3 kg)
Size: 15 x 12 x 6.5 in (38.1 x 30.5 x 16.5 cm)
Capacity: 24 cans
What We Like
Excellent quality and durability,
Comfortable backpack design,
Hitch point grid to attach extra stuff

This premium cooler backpack has a large carrying capacity and an ergonomic design to help you with the weight. The ColdCell insulation feature is one of the best performing on the market, and it comes with a secure zipper that keeps any melted ice from leaking out. Additionally, if you cool it with ice before use, it will keep your food and drinks cold for much longer than its competitors. It;s by far the most expensive item on this list but it’s easy to see why it comes with a premium price tag.


  • Heavy-duty and durable exterior
  • Superior cold-holding performance
  • Generous carrying capacity


  • It is expensive
  • It gets heavy when full

3. TOURIT Cooler Backpack 30

TOURIT Cooler Backpack 30
Price: 💲
Capacity: 28 Liters
Weight: 1.1 lb (0.5 kg)
Size: 15.8 x 13 x 7.5 in (40.1 x 33 x 19.1 cm)
What We Like
Light and comfortable for hikes,
Multiple outside pockets,
Multifunctional aesthetic design

It just might be the best backpack cooler for beer on my list because not only can it pack 30 cans in its main compartment, it also comes with a beer opener if you decide to carry bottles. To protect the inner lining from tearing, you shall need to use ice packs, which will take up more space than regular ice. On the upside, you won’t have to worry about leaking melting ice cubes, and it packs quite a bit with all the extra compartments.


  • Features a leak proof inner liner
  • Breathable exterior material
  • Budget-friendly


  • Uses ice packs instead of loose ice

4. Buffalo Gear

Buffalo Gear
Price: 💲💲
Capacity: 35 Liters
Weight: 3.3 lb (1.5 kg)
Size: 17.1 x 14 x 4.7 in (43.4 x 35.6 x 11.9 cm)
What We Like
Rolls up to half the size,
Ergonomic design for easy carry,
Watertight outer and inner materials

This backpack chiller is designed without seams or zippers to keep it leakproof on the inside. The outer layer is equally watertight even if it gets submerged in water. I can recommend it for fishing trips or boat rides because you can float it with its contents if you capsize. It’s also comfortable with a padded back and strap design, but it is a little short on extra storage.


  • Features a double-layered insulation
  • Keeps ice cold for up to 24 hours
  • Leakproof welded seams and without zippers


  • Heavy to carry when full
  • Low performance on durability

5. Lifewit Insulated Cooler Bag Backpack

Lifewit Insulated Cooler Bag Backpack
Price: 💲
Capacity: 24 Liters
Weight: 1.2 lb (0.5 kg)
Size: 14.6 x 12.2 x 8.5 in (37.1 x 31 x 21.6 cm)
What We Like
Nicely padded handle and straps,
Generous main compartment,
Available in different sizes

This insulated backpack cooler is good for keeping your food chilled and fresh for picnics, hiking, and any outdoor activities. I like that it has a separate insulated pocket outside of the main compartment for snacks, and two side pockets for carrying drinks. It has a solid structure that sits upright, which reduces leakage through the seams and zipper. It also helps with leakage if you use it with ice packs instead of loose ice. Overall, it delivers decent performance and durability for its price.


  • Sturdy and durable straps
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable


  • Leaks through the stitches

6. Hap Tim Backpack Cooler

Hap Tim Backpack Cooler
Price: 💲
Weight: 1.8 lb (0.8 kg)
Size: 17.7 x 13 x 9.9 in (45 x 33 x 25.1 cm)
Capacity: 30 cans
What We Like
Leakproof interior,
Padded handle and shoulder straps,
Convenient wide opening

Although it is bulky, it also distributes the weight evenly so that it sits comfortably on your back. That is a plus for me because although I am not a big person, I can still carry more stuff with it without it feeling too heavy. I also like that you can use ice instead of ice packs and not worry about leaks. You can also use it as a convenient backpack fridge to keep groceries cold before you get home.


  • Extra storage pockets
  • Light and comfortable to carry
  • Comes with a bottle opener


7. IceMule 1006 Classic

IceMule 1006 Classic
Price: 💲💲
Capacity: 20 Liters
Weight: 2.2 lb (1 kg)
Size: 16 x 12 x 12 in (40.6 x 30.5 x 30.5 cm)
What We Like
Welded seams and roll-top opening,
Double padded sling strap,

The IceMule backpack cooler is similar to the Buffalo Gear with the air valve that makes it buoyant, and at the same time, allows it to roll up for storage. Unlike the Buffalo Gear, it features a single sling strap instead of shoulder straps and does not come with extra pockets. It offers high performance insulation to keep your food and drinks cold for more than 24 hours. That is a valuable feature to consider if you are going to be on a long trip with frozen food. The roll-top design ensures that nothing leaks and is more reliable than a zipper.


  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Retains ice coldness for 24 hours
  • Buoyant and waterproof


  • Has a single compartment only

8. Columbia PFG Roll Caster

Columbia PFG Roll Caster
Price: 💲💲
Size: 17 x 11.5 x 9.5 in (43.2 x 29.2 x 24.1 cm)
Capacity: 30 cans
What We Like
Multiple exterior pockets,
Breathable mesh back panels,
Easy to clean materials

The one thing you will love about this cooler backpack is the extra storage space and the elasticized gear straps to carry damp towels after a day at the beach. The main compartment is spacious and made of high-performance insulation with an easy to clean lining. However, it is more suited for ice packs to prevent leaking through the zipper.


  • Excellent insulation performance
  • Water-resistant outer material
  • Adjustable padded shoulder straps


9. T.O.M Horizons Cooler Backpack

T.O.M Horizons Cooler Backpack
Price: 💲💲
Capacity: 33 Liters
Weight: 2.6 lb (1.2 kg)
Size: 18 x 14 x 8 in (45.7 x 35.6 x 20.3 cm)
What We Like
Great size for long hikes,
Rugged tactical design,
Comes with bonus features

It is an extra-large backpack cooler that caters to long hikes. The insulation keeps food cold or warm for up to 18 hours. It is a heavy-duty and rugged backpack that can carry 40lbs of stuff. It has heavy back padding and straps for comfort, and has chest and abdomen straps to secure it well on your back. We love all the extras that come with this backpack cooler. To mention them briefly, it includes loops for attaching extra stuff, heavy-duty straps underneath to attach mats or blankets, and for survivalists, it comes with a bonus multi-tool.


  • Heavily padded and ergonomic
  • Generous loading capacity
  • No leaks or condensation


  • Available in only one size and one color

10. Arctic Zone Titan Guide Series Cooler

Arctic Zone Titan Guide Series Cooler
Price: 💲💲
Weight: 2 lb (0.9 kg)
Size: 22 x 12.8 x 12 in (55.9 x 32.4 x 30.5 cm) Capacity: 30 cans
What We Like
Water-resistant exterior material,
Multiple accessory pockets,
Padded back and shoulder straps

The Deep Freeze insulation makes this backpack chiller an excellent choice for weekend camping adventures and hikes. It is multi-layered to prevent intense heat from penetrating the inside, which keeps the cold for longer. We all like the ergonomic design with lots of padding and accessory pockets to keep all your stuff. It features a top hatch for easier access into the main compartment without having to open the zipper. It is a great buy, and it works better with ice packs.


  • High-performance insulation
  • Features a top access flap
  • Good value


The backpack refrigerators on this list are the best performers in the market. While everyone has their preference based on their needs, my top choice for the best backpack cooler is FORICH Soft Cooler Backpack.

To arrive at this choice, I considered its size with accessory pockets to carry all my stuff, how lightweight it is and comfortable to carry when loaded up, and its durability. However, I would love to hear about your top choice and why you like it, in the comments section below.

Questions and Answers About Backpack Coolers

What is a backpack cooler?

A backpack cooler is a more convenient and versatile type of a portable fridge. Unlike the more commonly known box coolers, backpack coolers are lighter, less bulky, and easier to carry, which makes them the best option for outdoor activities.

What should I look for in a backpack cooler?

It all depends on what you want to use the backpack cooler for, but I recommend that you look out for the following features:

  • Size and weight,
  • Durability and quality of materials,
  • Insulation performance,
  • Waterproof and leak proof features,
  • Comfort when carrying it,
  • Extra storage pockets and attachment loops,
  • Extras such as bottle openers

Can backpack coolers hold ice?

Yes, they can because ice is what keeps the food and drinks cold. However, I would recommend using ice packs instead of ice to prevent leaking when the ice melts in due course. Also, the insulation quality will dictate how long your ice will last.

How long will a backpack cooler stay chilled?

It depends on the quality of the insulation of the particular backpack cooler. A high quality backpack cooler can keep your drinks chilled for up to 24 hours.

Can a backpack cooler be used to hold hot food?

Yes, it can. The insulation works to keep the food warm in the same way that it does to keep it cold.

What situations are backpack coolers good for?

Backpack coolers are convenient to carry food for picnics, hikes, and camping. You can also get creative with different ways of using it. I sometimes use mine for carrying tubs of icecream to prevent melting on the way home.

Can you put dry ice in a backpack cooler?

You can use dry ice to keep your food cold or frozen for extended periods because dry ice has a more powerful cooling effect than regular ice.

Are backpack coolers easy to clean?

The backpack cooler will need to be wiped down with a damp cloth and put it somewhere safe to air dry. It will also come with easy cleaning instructions for the cleaning the external part of it depending on the material used to make it.

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