10 Best Soft Sided Coolers 2020 + Buying Guide

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It can be a challenge trying to find a soft-sided cooler that lives up to its promise as many of them do not. In this post, I am going to review the 10 best soft-sided coolers and offer you my recommendations.

If you stay till the end, I will also give you some helpful guides when choosing your soft-sided cooler and why they are better than hard-bodied coolers.

This makes them the ideal choice of coolers for most parents.

And finally some tips on how to maximize the performance of your soft-sided cooler.


Table Of Contents


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10 Best Soft-Sided Coolers Detailed Review


 

1. CleverMade Collapsible 30 Can Cooler Bag

Best Soft Sided Coolers - Clevermade coolers

Features:

  • Amazon’s Choice For Soft Sided Cooler
  • 2 ways To Carry – Top And Side Handles
  • Sturdy Wire Frame
  • Collapsible With Patented SnapHinge
  • Solid Board Base
  • Bottle Opener
  • Leakproof

Specs:

  • Color: Grey/Charcoal
  • Capacity: 30 Cans Or 20 Liters
  • Dimension: 15.5″ L x 10″ W x 12″ H
  • When Collapsed: 2.8″
  • Weight: 1.75 Lbs
  • Carry Capacity: 35 Lbs

Pros:

  • More Storage For Less Dollar Compared To Other 30 Can Coolers
  • 90 Days Warranty

Cons:

  • Few Products Leak
  • No Pockets

Besides being able to handle 35 lbs of carrying weight, the Clevermade cooler offers more storage for less dollar when compared to other 30-can coolers in this list.

The big storage means that carry a lot of groceries or drinks and sandwiches for outdoor activities such as your kid’s soccer practice.

This cooler can fit into any car boot and can be collapsed to 2.75 inches when not in use. This means more storage space for sports and camping gear.

Best Soft Sided Coolers - CleverMade Cooler Review

My Rating: 4.5/5

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2. Bison Coolers Soft-Sided Insulated 12 Can Cooler Bag

Best Soft Sided Coolers - Bison cooler

Features:

  • Tear Resistant Up To 375 Lbs
  • Sweat Proof Construction
  • Two Times The Insulation
  • Side Pocket For Dry Items
  • Bottle Opener Attached
  • Removable Shoulder Strap
  • Keeps Ice For Up To 24 Hours

Specs:

  • Colors: Black, Blue, Pink, And Sand
  • Capacity: 12 x 12 Oz Cans And 5 Lbs Of Ice
  • Dimensions: 13″ x 8″ x 11″
  • Weight: 2.64 Lbs

 

Best Soft Sided Coolers - Bison Photos

 

Pros:

  • Highly Rated For Durability And Sturdiness
  • 2-Year Warranty

Cons: 

  • The Zipper Is Not Leak Proof
  • Not Collapsible But Can Be Folded

Proudly made in the USA, this cooler boasts insulation that is nearly an inch thick and can maintain cold for up to 24 hours.

It is tear-resistant and can hold up to 375 pounds of weight which means it can withstand the harsh conditions of the outdoors.

The standard capacity it can hold is 12 x 12 Oz cans plus 5 pounds of ice which is definitely suitable for 1 kid and a parent for a 1-hour soccer training.

This is a good value for money if you opt to invest in quality products.

Best Soft Sided Cooler - Bison Cooler Review

My Rating: 4.6/5

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3. Carhartt Deluxe 6 Can Cooler Bag

Best Soft Sided Coolers - Carhartt Deluxe Cooler

Features:

  • Amazon’s Choice For Lunch Boxes
  • Dual Compartment
  • Heavy Duty Fabric
  • Zippered Front Pocket
  • Water Repellant
  • Handles And Shoulder Strap

Specs:

  • Colors: Carhartt Brown. 4 Colors Available
  • Capacity: 6 Cans
  • Dimension: 10 x 9 x 7 inches
  • Weight: 0.7Lbs

Best Soft Sided Coolers - Carhartt Deluxe Cooler Bag Photos

Pros:

  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Easy To Clean

Cons:

  • Shoulder Strap Not Detachable

 

This soft-sided lunchbox cooler is small enough for older kids to carry to their soccer training or school.

It comes with 2 compartments separated only by mesh. The top compartment is accessible by an exterior zipper and good storing fruits and sandwiches.

The bottom compartment can hold 6 cans plus icepacks.

There is a front pocket where you can store utensils, condiments, keys, phone chargers, etc.

This cooler bag is simple yet fulfilling what it designed to do.

Best value for money.

Best Soft Sided Cooler - Carhartt Brown Cooler

My Rating: 4.7/5

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4. Under Armour 24 Can Soft Cooler

Best Soft Sided Coolers - Under Armour Cooler

Features:

  • Amazon’s Choice For Under Armour Lunch Box For Men
  • Constructed With Durable 420D Polyester
  • IsoTec Premium Foam Insulation
  • Flex-A-Guard Liner Is Strong & Sturdy
  • Crush-Resistant
  • Easy To Clean
  • Exterior Zipper Pockets For Ample Storage
  • Molded Rubber Handle
  • Adjustable/Removeable Shoulder Strap
  • PVC-Free
  • Polyester And LDPE

Specs:

  • Colors: 12 Colors To Choose
  • Capacity: 24 Can
  • Dimension: 10″ x 12″ x 11″
  • Weight: 1Lb

Best Soft Sided Coolers - Under Armour 24 Can

Pros:

  • Exterior Pockets For Storing Personal Items
  • Voted As Easy To Clean

Cons:

  • Not Easy Easy To Use Due To Difficulties In Zipping And Unzipping

Ranking high in quality of material this Under Armour cooler is made of low-density polyethylene lining and PE foam insulation.

The handles are made of molded rubber so that it does not dig into the palm of your hands when lifting it.

The shoulder strap is also adjustable for easy carrying when out on the soccer sidelines.

This cooler is adequate to carry sandwiches, snacks, and beverages for your kid’s soccer practice.

Best SOft Sided Coolers - Under Armour 24 Can Review

My Rating: 4.6/5

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5. Tourit Cooler 30 Can Backpack 

Best Soft Sided Coolers - Tourit Cooler

Features:

  • Thick PEVA Material To Keep Cold For 16 Hours
  • Leak-Resistant
  • Padded Back For Comfort When Carrying
  • 2 x Side Mesh Pockets
  • 2 x Front Zippered Pockets
  • Pocket For Mobile Phone
  • Bottle Opener
  • Durable And Easy To Clean

Specs:

  • Color: Black, Grey Available
  • Capacity: 30 x 330 Ml Cans
  • Dimensions: 13 x 7.5 x 17.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.2 Lbs

Best Soft Sided Coolers - Tourit Cooler Photos

Pros:

  • Pocket On Right Shoulder Strap To Store Mobile Phone.
  • Pocket Compatible With iPhone 6s Plus
  • 4 x Exterior Pockets

Cons:

  • Few Products Leak

The Tourit backpack cooler is designed for long trips with minimal baggage.

Constructed of materials that are durable, waterproof, and lightweight ensures you don’t needlessly carry additional weight.

The exterior pockets can carry sports gear, personal items, and I like the pocket for mobile phone on the shoulder strap for quick and easy access.

Alternatively, this cooler bag can be used as an ordinary backpack making it a useful item for any trip you are on. Perfect for use as your kid’s soccer backpack.

This is a great cooler serving 2 purposes.

Best Soft Sided Coolers - Tourit Review

My Rating: 4.6/5

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6. Skog Å Kust 24-Can Soft Cooler

Best Soft Sided Coolers - SkogAKust Cooler

Features:

  • Constructed Of Strong 420D TPU With Welded Seams
  • Closed-Cell Rubber Foam Insulation Is 1 Inch Thick
  • Inner Lining Is Food Safe
  • YKK Aquaseal Zipper For 100% Airtight And Waterproof
  • Velcro Padded Grip On Handles
  • Removable/Adjustable Shoulder Strap With Neoprene Padding
  • Exterior Pocket
  • Reflective Nylon Webbing

Specs:

  • Color: Light Grey
  • Capacity: 24 Cans + 10-15 Lbs Of Ice
  • Dimension: 15 x 11 x 15 inches
  • Weight: 6.64 Lbs

 

Pros:

  • Very Thick Insulation
  • Airtight – Cannot Spill Content Or Leak
  • Lifetime Warranty

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Due To Thick Insulation, Loading The Cooler Can Be Tricky
  • Cannot Be Collapsed Or Folded

 

This cooler holds 24 cans plus 15 pounds of ice that are guaranteed to keep your beverages cold for a long time.

This cooler is easy to carry by its velcro padded handles or the shoulder strap that is padded with neoprene, making it very comfortable.

Known for its durability and sturdiness thanks to its 3-layer walling including the 1-inch thick insulation.

The YKK zipper makes the cooler airtight making it harder for it to leak or spill its content even when its upside down.

This caused some issues with its ease of use but that is you are willing to pay for quality

This is a cooler constructed of premium materials with a lifetime warranty. For the quality of this product, the price is well worth it.

Best Soft Sided Coolers - SkogAKust Cooler

My Rating: 4.7/5

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7. Lifewit 32 Can Cooler Backpack

Best Soft Sided Coolers - Lifewit Cooler

Features:

  • Constructed With Premium Materials
  • Extra Thick EPE Foam Insulation
  • 3 x Exterior Pockets
  • Padded Should Straps

Specs:

  • Color: Grey
  • Capacity: 32 Cans
  • Dimension: 11.22 x 7.87 x 14.96 inches
  • Weight: 1.35 Lbs

Best Soft Sided Coolers - Lifewit Cooler Photos

Pros:

  • Double Decker Style Compartments For Separating Food From Beverages, etc

Cons:

  • Some Products Leak

The Lifewit cooler comes with 2 separate insulated compartments at the bottom and the top.

This design solved the problem of putting beverage and food in one compartment that sometimes ends up with soggy sandwiches.

Now you can store beverages in the bottom compartment and food in the top compartment.

It has many applications such as for those who need to carry medication, baby feed, or separating alcohol from your kid’s beverage.

This cooler is great for the family when venturing outdoors to the park, beach, or soccer training.

Best Soft Sided Coolers - Lifewit Cooler Review

My Rating: 4.4/5

Lifewit Cooler button

 

 

 

 


8. AO Coolers Original 24 Can Soft Cooler

Best Soft Sided Coolers - AO Cooler

Features:

  • Amazon’s Choice For AO Cooler
  •  Hold Ice For 24 Hours In 120-Degree Heat
  • Leak-Proof Guaranteed
  • Durable Soft Canvas Material
  • Removable Shoulder Strap
  • 1 x Side Pocket

Specs:

  • Color: Charcoal. 5 Colors To Choose From
  • Capacity: 24 Can Plus 14 Lbs Of Ice
  • Dimension: 17 x 10 x 12 inches
  • Weight: 3 Lbs

Best Soft Sided Coolers - AO Cooler Photos

Pros:

  • Cooler Meets Airplane Carry-On Requirements

Cons:

  • The Last Time A Customer Complained Was On 8 Months Ago!

 

This AO soft-sided cooler almost has a perfect score on sturdiness, leakproof, and durability.

They definitely did something right in these areas which was a headache for users.

According to user feedback, this cooler can hold ice for up to 3 days using icepacks.

I definitely liked this cooler and its worth the money.

Best Soft Sided Coolers - AO Coolers Review

My Rating: 4.8/5

AO Cooler Button

 

 

 

 


9. eBags Crew Cooler II

Best Soft Sided Coolers - eBag Soft Sided Cooler

Features:

  • 840D Twisted Poly
  • Top “Dry” Compartments
  • Bottom “Cold” Compartments
  • Removable Liner
  • 2-Zipper Pulls For Quick Access
  • Zippered Mesh Pocket

Specs:

  • Color: Sinful Red. 8 Colors To Choose From
  • Capacity: 10 x 16 Oz Bottles
  • Dimension: 8.5 x 15 x 10.5 inches

Pros:

  • When Not Used It Can Be Flattened And Stored Away

Cons:

  • The Removable Liner May Not Work For Ice Cubes, Only Icepacks.

 

Favored by flight attendants and pilots, this is a perfect cooler for traveling due to its functionality, size, and portability.

The bottom compartment is for cold storage where you can store beverages, fruits, or medications that you need to be cold.

The top compartment is for “dry” storage where you can store foods that need to be dry yet fresh.

There are 2 mesh pockets on the side that are perfect for water bottles, umbrellas, or even sports gear. These pockets are secure and easily accessible to you.

The front zipped pocket is big enough to store items such as sunscreen, toiletries, and mobile phones.

Best Soft Sided Coolers - eBag Review

My Rating: 4.8/5

eBag Cooler Button

 

 

 

 


10. Under Armour 36 Can Soft Sided Cooler

Best Soft Sided Coolers - Under Armour 36 Can Cooler

Features:

  • PEVA Lining
  • LDPE Interior
  • Magnetic Lid
  • Strong Handles And Adjustable Shoulder Strap
  • Bottle Opener
  • 2 x Zippered Side Pockets

Specs:

  • Color: Black. White Is Also Available
  • Capacity: 36 x 12 Oz Cans
  • Dimension: 11.3 x 17.7 x 10.7 inches
  • Weight: 3.24 Lbs

Best Soft Sided Coolers - Under Armour 36 Cans

Pros:

  • The Magnetic Lid Save The Zipper Wear And Tear
  • Quick Access To Beverage And Food

Cons:

  • There Is 1 Cooler That Customer Claimed To Be Dirty
  • Otherwise None I can Find Since 11 Months Ago

 

This is a perfect big cooler that can store beverages and food for the whole family.

It is rated highly for its ease to clean, durability, and it is quite sturdy for a big cooler.

The magnetic lid is useful especially for kids who might be having a hard time with the zippers.

This also lessens the wear and tear on the zippers, which is a good thing.

The 2 side pockets are large enough to hold items you don’t want to store in the main compartment like sunscreen, forks, plates, and cups.

Or, you can store your kid’s soccer gloves and shinguards

The shoulder straps are adjustable and there are 2 handles as well making this cooler easy to carry.

This is a good cooler if you are going to spend the whole day outdoors because it can hold a lot of beverage and food.

Best Soft Sided Coolers - Under Armour 36 Cans Review

My Rating: 4.7/5

Under armour 36 can button

 

 

 

 


My Recommendations

I could not find any soft-sided cooler that is 100% perfect because there is none. If you should find one, please let me know.

Each cooler has its own strength and weakness and you have to decide whether you should go for durability, sturdiness, size, or price.

Below are my takes on these soft-sided coolers

Durability

I find that the Skog A Kust is a durable cooler but you have to spend $190.

In fact, its durability causes issues with customers when try to load drinks because of the 3-layer thickness of the cooler.

If you on a budget then my second best is the 24-Can AO Coolers.

Portability And Ease Of Use

A good cooler should be easy to use and comfortable to carry even when it is fully loaded.

The cooler that I find with good handles and shoulder strap is the Under Armour 36-Can Cooler.

Closely behind is the CleverMade 30-Can Cooler.

On The Go

For those who only want to pack a few sandwiches and drinks, the eBags Crew Cooler II is your choice.

The cheaper option is the Carhartt Deluxe 6 Can Cooler Bag.

Best Value For Money

When you want to maximize your dollar for your cooler’s capacity, the best cooler for your money is the Bison 12-Can Cooler

 


How To Choose The Best Soft-Sided Cooler

The type of cooler you choose should satisfy your requirements and circumstances.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing the ideal soft-sided cooler:

Size Of The Cooler

The size of the soft-sided cooler will depend on how much food and beverage you are going to take with the kids.

You must consider the duration of the event when buying your soft-sided cooler.

Is it a 1-hour soccer training or a tournament that will last the whole day?

A 1-hour-training might not need a lot of food and beverage compared to a whole day tournament.

If you are taking more than 1 kid and your spouse for a 1-hour training then you will still need a lot of food and beverage.

If it is going to be a whole day event then you must make sure each kid has enough food and beverage.

Therefore, it is important to take note of the size of the cooler.

Quality Vs Quantity

Top-quality coolers are generally charged more dollars per storage volume because they use premium materials, and sometimes, or simply for the brand name.

The best thing is you generally have a cooler that is better in design, features, durability, and good after-sale customer support.

It is not easy finding a top-quality cooler that is cheap but you can find the right balance by researching the 100s of soft-sided coolers out in the market.

In this review, I am helping you in pointing out the best soft-sided cooler for you.

 


Advantages Of Soft-Sided Coolers

  • Collapsible when not in use. It does not take up valuable space in the trunk or garage.
  • Easy Transportation. These coolers have nylon strap handles and shoulder straps. While others have wheels you can pull rather than carrying it.
  • Lightweight. Compared to coolers made of rotomolded plastic, soft-sided coolers constructed of lightweight materials
  • Soft and flexible. The overall structure is soft and flexible so it will not cause scratches in the trunk of the car

 


Tips On How To Use Your Soft Sided Cooler

  • “Warm” up your cooler beforehand – Prepare your cooler by putting in ice an hour before actually putting in beverages and food.
  • Refrigerate beverages and food in advance – warm beverages and food take time to get colder in the cooler and sometimes may not be as cold as you would have liked.
  • 2-1 Ratio – for maximum performance, the amount of ice should be twice the amount of beverage and food.
  • Completely fill-up the cooler – the less air in the cooler the slower the ice will melt
  • Use icepacks instead of ice cubes – it is tidier and does not leave a large pool of cold water in your cooler at the end of the day.
  • Always close the cooler lid – your cooler’s function is to maintain its current cold as long as possible. If the lid is not properly sealed then your beverages and food may not be cold for too long.
  • If the ice in your cooler has melted do not drain it yet until you have consumed your beverages and food.
  • Always follow the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer

 


Conclusion

I hope this review helps you in your quest to find your perfect cooler.

Remember, when choosing your cooler you must consider how many people are going to use it.

Top-quality coolers are not cheap and if you are not willing to invest in one then you need to do a bit of research.

There are advantages of owning a soft-sided cooler compared to a hard-bodied cooler.

Finally, follow my tips on how to fully maximize the use of your soft-sided cooler.

Let me know what you think.

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