There’s nothing better than an ice-cold drink after a long hike, paddle, or cycle. And luckily for us, companies have created waterproof cooler backpacks to make transporting food and drink on adventures even easier.
To kit you out for your next trip, we’ve curated a list of 12 of the best waterproof backpack coolers that are sure to keep your items cold for lengthy periods of time.
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The YETI Hopper Backflip 24 Cooler comes with a substantial price tag, but you really are paying for quality. The one we have mentioned today is their Backflip 24 cooler which can hold up to 24 cans. If you’re after a slightly smaller pack, they do offer smaller versions, albeit in non-backpack versions.
YETI designed their Backflip 24 Cooler with a dry hide shell made from a high-density fabric that is not only waterproof but also puncture-resistant and protected against UV rays.
As the main purpose of a cooler is to keep your food and drinks cold, YETI created their backpack with cold cell insulation. This type of insulation offers greater cold-holding than that of your average soft backpack cooler. The closure of the Hopper Backflip comes in the form of a hydrolok zipper which prevents any water from entering or exiting the bag.
Finally, YETI released their cooler in seven tasteful colors meaning there is an option for everyone, no matter your style preference.
The IceMule Boss Backpack Cooler has a 30L main compartment that can hold up to 24 cans and ice.
To create their cooler backpack, IceMule used an ultra-tough muleskin exterior and interior, as well as closed-cell polarlayer XT insulation to provide over 24 hours of cooling. This lengthy cooling period is what makes it the perfect pack for long adventures.
During the designing process, they decided upon a tri-fold roll-top design which not only gives you easy access to the pack's contents, but also prevents water from seeping in, or out of the bag. In fact, the bag is so waterproof that it can even remain buoyant when placed in water.
Not only is the main compartment of the bag waterproof, but so are the three exterior pockets. They are all fitted with waterproof zippers and make the perfect storage space for personal items such as your phone, wallet, and keys.
Alternatively, the boss backpack cooler also works effectively as a fishing cooler backpack hybrid as the pockets and exterior bungee system can be used to house essential fishing gear, rods, and nets.
The IceMule Boss Backpack isn’t just appealing to look at, but it also comes with a high level of comfort in the form of padded air mesh shoulder straps, a cushioned hip belt, and a sternum strap to help distribute the weight from your shoulders to your hips.
Pelican created their versatile backpack cooler with 840D nylon that is puncture-resistant, water-resistant, and durable.
In order to give the bag more structure, Pelican split it into two separate compartments. The first, is the top lightly insulated compartment that can hold up to 13L of belongings. It can also act as an additional cooler compartment if you happen to be carrying a large amount of food and drink.
The top compartment of the cooler pack features a wide-roll top design that not only keeps the contents dry but also makes packing and removing your items a breeze.
The lower compartment of the insulated cooler backpack is solely dedicated to being a cooler. It is kitted out with high-density closed-cell foam insulation and a leak-resistant zipper to keep 6 cans and ice cold throughout the entire day.
What makes the Dayventure Soft Cooler one of the best backpack coolers on the market is the compression-molded base that allows the bag to remain upright once it is set down. This feature ultimately prevents any ice or drink spillage and also works to keep the bag clean from any debris.
Ergonomic shoulder straps and back padding were fitted to the bag to improve comfort and make carrying the cooler a breeze. The company also included an exterior pocket on the bag for smaller personal belongings that you want to keep in an easy-to-reach place.
Hydro Flask don’t just specialize in water bottles, but they also create high-quality portable coolers that can keep your drinks cold for up to 39 hours.
The Hydro Flask 20L Day Escape Cooler comes in an incredibly simple design but it does an amazing job of insulating the pack's contents, and let’s be honest, that’s the main thing we look for in a backpack cooler.
Hydro Flask ensured the bag is leak proof by designing it out of 600D polyester and welding the seams of the fabric. They also added a TRU zip zipper to prevent any water from getting in or out of the pack unless the pack is opened.
To make their backpack cooler and more versatile, they included a removable cross-body strap so you can choose to wear it on your back like a regular backpack, or over the shoulder like a duffel bag.
IceMule has taken an average dry bag and elevated it into a soft-sided cooler backpack that is suitable for a wide range of activities. If you’ve ever seen a dry bag, their main purpose is to keep your belongings dry while participating in water-based activities like paddle boarding, snorkeling, and kayaking.
The 1000D tarp Collapsible Cooler follows the properties of a dry bag and prevents water from seeping in or out of the bag. Similar to their IBoss Backpack Cooler, IceMule designed their Collapsible Cooler out of Muleskin fabrics and welded the seams to create a waterproof fortress.
This Muleskin fabric is then accompanied by an interior PolarLayer insulation to ensure the 23L compartment keeps your drinks and ice cold for up to 24 hours. IceMule conveniently placed bungee straps on the bag’s exterior for additional accessories that don’t fit inside the pack.
Something interesting that IceMule added to their Collapsible Cooler is the IM AirValve that allows you to blow air into the pack. This additional air improves insulation and also increases the pack's buoyancy meaning it can float along next to you during water sport activities.
The next cooler on our list is the Igloo Waterproof Backpack Cooler. Igloo also went with an extremely simple design for their cooler, only having a large main compartment for drinks, food, and/or belongings.
Although the Igloo cooler is streamlined and basic, it is the perfect pack for outdoor adventures. The company welded together premium waterproof and abrasion-resistant materials and added a compression-molded base to improve the bag's overall structure and stability.
The bag does, however, feature three exterior handles and padded shoulder straps to help transport the bag from A to B.
Igloo’s advanced insulation can keep food and drink cold for up to two days and as the leak proof zipper stops water from entering or exiting the bag, it also helps enhance the pack’s overall ice retention.
The Carhartt Cooler Backpack looks extremely like a traditional backpack and in some ways, it is. They conveniently split the bag into two sections, with the top compartment housing belongings and non-perishable food items, and the bottom being a dedicated cooler.
The cooler section can hold up to 12 cans and an ice pack, keeping all food and drink cold for over 24 hours. During the making process, Carhartt created their 2-in-1 cooler backpack out of heavy-duty poly and coated it with a rain defender water repellent to prevent the contents of the pack from getting wet.
For additional storage, they added two mesh side pockets for water bottles and items of a similar size, and a front zippered pocket for important personal belongings like your phone or keys.
Wise Owl also took the dry bag approach with their backpack cooler and lined the bag with layers of waterproof insulation.
For durability, they used heavyweight PEVA nylon that is not only waterproof but fully submersible, making it a great pack for those who love the outdoors.
Like most backpack coolers, the Wise Owl Backpack is a versatile bag so if you aren’t using it as a cooler, you can pack it full of fishing gear, camping equipment, or personal belongings and take it on the go with you.
The backpack comes with adjustable straps and an air valve that can be used to inflate the bag. Similar to the IceMule Collapsible Cooler this air valve can increase the insulation or make the pack more buoyant on the water.
Everlasting Comfort manufactured their backpack cooler out of a PEVA material and a thick layer of insulation to keep drinks cold for up to 24 hours. What makes this bag unique from the rest, is the amount it can hold in its large main compartment.
If you’re heading out on a big family trip and are looking for a backpack that can hold drinks for the entire family, then the Everlasting Comfort bag is for you. In the large main compartment, you can store 54 cans as well as four pounds of ice and the bag even has side mesh pockets to hold an additional four wine bottles.
To ensure their bag remains leakproof, Everlasting Comfort installed a leak-proof hardliner and waterproof zippers so you can confidently fill up your pack with ice and not worry about any leakage on your journey.
Some other cool features of the insulated cooler backpack are the included keychain bottle opener, front zippered pocket for personal belongings, and zip-out wine covers to conceal your wine bottles in the side mesh pockets.
As this bag can hold a tremendous amount of weight, Everlasting Comfort added adjustable padded straps to improve comfort while carrying the bag over long distances.
The Titan Deep Freeze Backpack Cooler can hold up to 20 cans in its large main compartment and has the ability to keep ice cold for up to three days.
Like a dry bag, the Deep Freeze has a roll-down closure that not only keeps water from entering or exiting the bag but also allows you to compact the size of the bag down when you’re carrying smaller items.
Arctic Zone included an integrated radiant heat barrier and a triple layer ColdBlock that’ll keep your drinks ice cold no matter how hot it is outdoors. They even went a step further and lined the bag with a leak proof stain-resistant lining to improve the bag's overall quality and to make it easy to clean.
The exterior of the deep freeze has an insulated front pocket, a neoprene handle, and adjustable padded shoulder straps for optimum comfort.
The Seehonor Insulated Cooler Backpack is made from 100% nylon which makes it water-resistant and not fully waterproof. Although the exterior of the bag will absorb some of the water, we thought it was important to mention it on our list because it is extremely budget-friendly and can hold up to 45 cans.
See Honor insulated their cooler backpack with a leakproof PEVA liner that’ll keep the contents of the bag hot or cold for long periods of time. For the exterior of the bag they used a heavy-duty nylon that won’t rip, tear, or scratch and also added high-quality waterproof zippers to prevent any leaking.
Not only is there a large main compartment but the bag also features two side mesh pockets, two front zippered pockets with dividers, a zipper storage pocket on the lid of the bag, and a mesh zippered pocket on one of the padded shoulder straps for your phone, keys, or credit cards.
One of the best budget backpack cooler options on the market is the Tourit Insulated Backpack Cooler. This pack has a 25L main cooler compartment that can hold at least 28 cans and a front zippered compartment for accessories like your bottle opener, cutlery, or small personal belongings.
The Tourit cooler backpack was constructed out of 600D Oxford fabric and fitted with a leak proof insulation material to keep food hot or cold for hours. Although the exterior fabric of the bag isn’t fully waterproof, it is water-resistant meaning your belongings will remain dry unless the bag is fully submerged in water.
Adjustable padded shoulder straps and a padded back panel provide ultimate comfort and allow the wearer to carry the pack over long distances without any issues.
Tourit also included two side mesh pockets on their soft cooler backpack to store larger items or additional bottles that don’t fit in the main compartment.
Most backpack coolers have water-resistant tendencies, however, not all are completely waterproof. The interior sections of a backpack cooler will, however, be waterproof to insulate the contents and contain all the water from melted ice. The exterior fabrics, on the other hand, could be water-resistant, or not waterproof at all.
Completely waterproof backpack coolers will be made from materials similar to dry bags which are usually tarp or PVC.
When purchasing a waterproof backpack cooler pay special attention to the materials it is made out of as that’ll give you the true indication to whether it is 100% waterproof or just water-resistant.
The Ice Mule Boss Backpack cooler is up there with backpack coolers that can hold ice the longest. Ice Mule has claimed that their Boss Backpack has multi-day ice retention meaning your drinks and food items will remain cold for your entire weekend trip.
All of the coolers we have listed today are completely leak proof meaning if and when the ice in your pack melts, it won’t be seeping out into the rest of the bag. Here are our top 12 waterproof backpack coolers that’ll prevent any leakage while you’re out on your adventure:
The best backpack cooler comes down to personal preference but we have curated a list of 12 amazing waterproof backpack coolers that’ll not only suit a wide range of wants, needs, and budgets:
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