How To Choose The Best Soft Cooler – A Review Guide

The best soft cooler can come in handy in a plethora of different situations. You can use it every day as a lunch bag, while you can use it only in the summer for barbecues, camping trips, fishing trips, and outdoor events like sports or concerts. It should be able to keep your drinks cold, which is an important source of relief during the hot summer months. You'll definitely be glad you bought a cooler once temperatures rise but you don't want to be cooped up at home in from of the air conditioner.

best soft cooler

So how is it any different fro a hard shell cooler? For one thing, it's a lot easier to fit into the car or the overhead compartment on a train, bus, or plane. Hard shell coolers tend to take up a lot of room, which might be inconvenient especially when you're going on a long trip and you have a lot of stuff to bring. A lot of people opt for a soft cooler if bringing a hard shell cooler just isn't practical.

There are a lot of different soft coolers out there. They differ in size, shape, style, and the features they offer. They have their own strengths and weaknesses, but the one thing that they should all be able to do is to effectively keep your food and drinks cool. Some can keep things cool for a day, while some can keep things cool for a lot shorter than that. Make sure to check the cold retention of the coolers you're buying.

To help guide you through the process of choosing a soft cooler, here are the top five soft coolers on the market.

Best Soft Cooler Candidates​

eBags Crew Cooler II

Durability is the hallmark of the best soft cooler, and also of this soft cooler. You can use it everyday for years and it will hardly show signs of wear. It was originally designed for pilots and flight attendants, so it's perfect for people on the go. Its contents are easily accessible but secure, and it has pockets that can make it easy for you to organize your things. The bag is also in the perfect size; it's not too small, and it's also not too big or bulky. The insulation is also great, especially considering the size of the bag.

However, some have had problems with the insulation, in that the insulation seems almost nonexistent. This problem can affect the temperature and quality of the food and drink stored in the bag.

Coleman 9-Can Soft Cooler With Hard Liner

Coleman 9-Can Soft Cooler With Hard Liner

The one thing that makes this cooler great is how convenient it makes things for you. For example, the inner plastic lining is actually removable, making cleaning the inside and organizing the contents so much easier. The lining also has anti-microbial properties that can dispel odor and mildew. There's also a lot of storage space because of the flexible lining, but also because of the pockets on the sides of the bag. You can store so many things while keeping them organized as well.

To keep the contents cold, you need to use ice or an ice substitute. The cooler is also a little too small for some, but it's also the perfect size for others. It may depend on what you'll be storing in it.

Polar Bear Coolers Holds 12 Pack Soft Cooler

Polar Bear Coolers Holds 12 Pack Soft Cooler

The outer covering of this cooler is very durable and heavy duty. It's similar to the material used for suitcases. As such, this cooler is designed to be durable and to last for a long time without displaying signs of wear and tear. The cooler works very well in keeping its contents cool for longer periods of time that usually expected of soft coolers. You can use it as a lunch bag every day for a long time and it definitely won't let you down.

When you receive the package, remember to read the tag with the cooler about what to do to make the cooler have the right amount of storage space. Make sure to read and follow these instructions properly.

Coleman 42-Can Wheeled Soft Cooler With Hard Liner

Coleman 42-Can Wheeled Soft Cooler With Hard Liner

What sets this cooler apart is that it has wheels and a handle much like a wheeled suitcase. It also has a removable plastic liner that makes cleaning and organizing easy. It also protects the contents from being crushed or misshapen and keeps the shape of the bag intact. The liner also has antimicrobial properties that repel odors, mildew, and microbes.

This cooler is great for events like barbecues, tailgates, sports events, camping, and more. You can use ice or ice substitutes to keep the bag cand its contents cool.

One problem you might have with this bag is leaks. It's best to keep it upright or at least secure, especially when you travel with it.

AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler with High-Density Insulation

AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler

This is the best soft cooler in terms of cold retention. It has a leak-proof lining that can keep ice for 24 hours in temperatures of up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This comes in useful in outdoor events on warmer days, like outdoor parties, camping, fishing trips, and the like. The amazing cold retention works even in high summer, and you won't have to worry about your food or drinks getting too warm.

The lining, however, can be a little too big to fit inside. A few folds on the lining might form at the bottom or corners, and it might disrupt the way you want to pack the contents in.


There you have the top five soft coolers you can buy. You'll see that each cooler may have similar materials, but each one does have something that sets it apart from other coolers. They are also somewhat versatile and can be used for a variety of applications, though each cooler has its own shortcomings. Of course, no soft cooler is perfect, and it's simple a matter of gauging whether or not a cooler's shortcomings outweigh its good qualities.

Remember to consider what you'll be using the cooler for before you make the final decision of which one to buy. That way, you'll definitely be buying the best soft cooler that fits your needs and lifestyle.

Steven Conte

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