Selecting the right backpack to keep your drinks and food cold on your next camping trip is an important matter. You need to consider how much food you’ll be carrying, how much a cooler will weigh you down, how it latches, and more. It can be overwhelming to look at the available backpack coolers and try to pick which one is the right choice for you and your camping gear.
To help make your buying decision easier, we made this ranking to take an objective look at the very best cooler backpacks.
If you want to know the best cooler backpack in a hurry, we recommend the Tourit Cooler Backpack for its large storage capacity, low weight, robust features, and affordable price point.
- Yeti Hopper Backflip 24 (High End)
- Coleman 28 Can Backpack Soft Cooler (Budget Buy)
- Tourit Cooler Backpack (Top Pick)
- RTIC Lightweight Backpack Cooler
- ICEMULE Boss Backpack Cooler
- OtterBox Trooper Cooler
Yeti Hopper Backflip
|Check Out on Amazon
Coleman 28 Cooler
Best budget-friendly option
|Check Out on Amazon
Tourit Cooler Backpack
Best value for the money
|Check Out on Amazon
|Best for smaller capacity
|Check Out on Amazon
|Best investment for long-lasting chill
|Check Out on Amazon
|Best for durability
|Check Out on Amazon
1. Yeti Hopper Backflip 24
Overall Score: 78
- Impressive capacity, given its weight
- Easy to use and effective latch system
- Full of features like Dryhide shell, ColdCell insulation, and more
For campers searching for a backpack with lots of capacity for storing their drinks, food, and even a supply of fresh ice, the Yeti Hopper Backflip 24 might be the right fit.
Even though this cooler backpack is comfortable to carry, it boasts an impressive capacity. Enjoy 56.8 liters of space. This is the equivalent of 20 cans of soda (2:1 ice-to-can ratio) or roughly 30 pounds of ice.
While it might get heavy to carry this many cans and this much ice, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that the backpack itself isn’t terribly heavy.
Though it’s packed to the brim with features, this cooler won’t weigh you down at just 25 pounds.
Yeti is well-known for its high-quality items, and the latch system on the Backflip 24 doesn’t disappoint.
It uses the Hydrolok Zipper function, a waterproof and leak-proof cooler zipper that they claim is the toughest on the market.
This keeps the cold air locked into the cooler so that your items stay cool and fresh without leaking into the warm summer air. Not to mention, it’s still easy to open and close.
The quality of a Yeti cooler can’t be overstated, and they’re packed to the brim with cool features that every camper needs.
First, they have a Dryhide shell, a high-density fabric that keeps your cooler in pristine condition. It’s waterproof, puncture-proof, and highly resistant to those harmful UV rays.
The Backflip 24 also has ColdCell insulation, a type of closed-cell rubber foam. While the cooler is considered soft, this material outperforms many other soft coolers on the market.
Plus, you have a hitch point grid on the exterior where you can attach other tools like a dry sack or a bottle opener.
It comes at a cost if you want the best of the best. Yeti isn’t the cheapest brand on the market, but it does perform extremely well.
For those who have a sizable budget and want a cooler backpack that will last for the long haul, Yeti is worth the investment.
Campers who are just getting started and may not use their cooler backpack frequently might want to pursue another item on this list.
2. Coleman 28 Can Backpack Soft Cooler
Overall Score: 84
- Lightweight and large capacity
- Storage pockets for dry items
- Comfortable to carry
- Extremely affordable
- No guarantees on ice retention
The Coleman is the right fit for you if you want to make the most of your available space in a cooler backpack without spending a small fortune.
It only has a 10-liter capacity, but it could hold up to 28 cans without any ice included in the backpack. It doesn’t promise good ice retention, but it can keep your items cold for longer.
One area where Coleman truly shines is in its weight. You won’t be weighed down at just a little over one pound (17 ounces) prior to adding your cans or other refrigerated goods.
Unlike the Yeti, which weighs almost four times as much, you’ll have a lightweight entry point with this option.
This backpack cooler is full of straightforward and no-nonsense features. As a result, you’ll find that it’s extremely easy to open and close this backpack.
Much like a traditional backpack, it’ll simply zip open and closed. It has one large main compartment, an outside pocket, and even side pockets for holding a water bottle while on the trail.
Despite being a budget cooler, you still get some nice features from Coleman’s cooler backpack.
The main compartment of the cooler is lined with insulation and heat-welded seams that promise to keep your drinks and food cool.
The outer pocket is great for stashing items that don’t need to be kept cold, like silverware or napkins.
You’ll also find that this backpack is quite comfortable to carry. The straps are padded, and it has a hip adjustment point so that you can ensure a comfortable fit.
The price is where the Coleman solution truly shines. It’s easily one of the most affordable options on the market and is well within reach of campers on a budget.
This cooler backpack provides a lot of value and comfort for no money. If you’re looking for a deal, this is the backpack to buy!
Overall Score: 86
- Roomy interior holds up to 30 cans
- Ventilated back material
- Long cooling time (16 hours)
- No fancy latch systems to keep cool air in
- Does not hold ice directly (requires freeze packs)
The Tourit cooler backpack is a great option for someone who wants a roomy cooler without being weighed down.
While the Coleman could only promise to carry 28 cans, this contender for the top cooler backpack boasts even more room. It claims to hold up to 30 cans.
They consider this backpack “large capacity,” but it won’t weigh you down too much.
It’s important to look at the weight of a cooler before adding all of your goods. Like the Coleman option, the Tourit is close to one pound (1.1 pounds or 500 grams).
You’ll be able to carry it for days without feeling fatigued. If you have a long way to travel to get to your campsite or to reach your destination for a picnic, this is the way to go.
This backpack is relatively simple to use when it comes to the latch system. It has a no-nonsense zipper at the top of the backpack, where you can load everything.
Pay careful attention as you load it up with food; you’ll have to remove the top items to get underneath.
As a bonus, it has zipper pockets on the outside for chips and other dry items you don’t want in the main compartment.
Is there anything worse than spending hours on the trail with your clothes stuck to you simply because your bag was sweating?
One of the best features of the Tourit cooler is its ventilated material on the backside of the bag. This is designed to keep you from getting wet with condensation.
This bag is also known for keeping your items cool for long periods. It can keep drinks and cans cool with freeze packs for up to 16 hours.
Remember that it’s not designed for ice and should use freeze packs instead. Like the Coleman, it’s designed with your comfort in mind.
It has padded shoulder straps to make carrying the bag a breeze, even when fully loaded. Combined with the ventilation features, this is easily one of the most comfortable carry options.
Much like the Coleman, you’ll find that the Tourit won’t break the budget. This is the selection for you if you want something that’ll hold as many cans as possible without spending hundreds of dollars.
It’s budget-friendly and highly effective at keeping your items cold for the long haul.
Overall Score: 74
- Keeps items cold for up to 24 hours
- Lots of storage options on exterior of the bag
- Budget-friendly, given the features
- Heavy, given the smaller capacity
- Only holds 15 cans
The easiest way to ensure that all of your items stay cold is to pack your cooler to the brim with items.
If you don’t want or need thirty cans for a daylong hike, you might consider going with a slightly smaller cooler.
The RTIC fits the bill if you want something more low-key, as it holds just half of what most of the other coolers here provide. Fifteen cans are all you’ll be able to squeeze in.
Given that this is a smaller cooler, you might think it would weigh less. While the difference in weight is minimal, it’s a bit heavier than some cooler backpacks found here.
Despite its relative size, it comes in at two pounds. Campers who want an efficient cooler that won’t weigh them down too much might want to consider another option.
The RTIC cooler is similar to the Tourit regarding the latch system. It’s a top-loading pack with a strong zipper on the top.
While you won’t have to rummage around much in a cooler this small, remember to pack the items you are likely to need first on the top.
It also features the same durable zippers on the front and side pockets for items you need easy access to while on the trail.
Keep in mind that you don’t want to open the main section of the cooler too often, or you risk letting warm air in.
One of the best features of the RTIC cooler is its impressive performance. It compares closely with the Yeti cooler we looked at first, promising to keep items chilled for up to 24 hours.
If you have a long hike ahead of you and want something cold for breakfast in the morning, this option is sure to deliver. It’s also made from durable polyester, which is easy to keep clean and maintain.
The backpack is fully insulated with high-density insulation and FDA-approved food contact material. You won’t have to worry about the safety of your food when it’s in this RTIC cooler.
Given the impressive specs on the RTIC cooler, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the price. This cooler comes in solidly in the middle of the pack.
It may not be the cheapest cooler you can invest in, but it isn’t likely to break the budget either. If you have some cash to spend on quality items, this one should make your list of must-haves.
Overall Score: 78
- Extra spacious, holds up to 24 cans plus ice
- Roll-top latch system for easy access
- Waterproof and can float
- Heavier overall weight
- On the expensive side
If you want something larger or more similar to the Yeti, then the ICEMULE might fit your needs. It’s extremely spacious and roomy and can hold up to 30 liters.
This translates to about 24 cans plus ice to keep everything cold. You’ll have no problem squeezing in all the odds and ends that make your camping trip more enjoyable.
Because this backpack is much more spacious than many of the contenders on this list, you’ll find that it also weighs a great deal more. It clocks in at 3 kilograms or roughly 6.5 pounds.
While it’s the heaviest cooler backpack on this ranking, it also holds the most cans. If you think you’ll use it to its full capacity, it’s worth the extra weight.
The latch system on this cooler is one of the more unique features of the ICEMULE. Instead of a top zipper that latches everything in place, it has a roll-top design.
This allows the backpack to open as wide as possible so that you can rummage around to find what you need. It also makes it much easier to load and unload.
The exterior pockets are traditional zippers – and you have plenty of them! It has front and side pockets for anything you need to keep dry, like silverware or napkins.
One of the best features of the ICEMULE is that it’s designed with your comfort in mind.
It has padded shoulder straps, a cushioned hip belt, and even a sternum strap to make carrying the heavy load of a fully-stocked backpack as easy as possible.
However, that isn’t the only benefit that this backpack features.
It also has welded seams and a PakShield waterproof zipper, which allows this backpack to keep your goods cold and completely waterproof.
As a bonus, it also floats so that you can attach it to your kayak or innertube and float down the river while keeping your drinks and snacks as cold as you want.
Of course, you can expect to pay more for a backpack like the ICEMULE, given its capacity and myriad features.
While it isn’t as expensive as the Yeti, it’s still an investment in your camping gear that you may be unable to make if you’re just starting out.
That said, an investment in this cooler upfront means you’ll have years of life left in it.
Overall Score: 80
- Holds up to 24 cans plus ice
- Can keep items cold up to three days
- Compound latch system
- Great price point for the features
- Heavier than most
OtterBox is known for making durable products that protect you well into the future. Their cooler is equally powerful and can help you make camping a breeze.
This cooler is relatively large, with an overall capacity of 20 quarts. This means you should be able to fit in about 24 cans plus ice to keep everything nice and chilled.
As you might expect from a heavy-duty cooler, the OtterBox is a bit heavy. This model weighs roughly 6.5 pounds, making it the heaviest cooler in our ranking.
If you don’t mind the extra weight or have a short jaunt to your favorite campsite, then the Trooper is a great addition to your gear.
This option is a bit more unique than many backpack coolers with waterproof zippers. It has a leak-proof seal but uses a compound latch system to hold all of your items in.
This protects the cooler’s interior from water or dust, keeping your food items as clean as possible. Not to mention, this makes it much easier to rummage around in the cooler.
Perhaps the best feature of this OtterBox cooler is its ability to keep ice frozen for extremely long periods under the right conditions.
You’ll have cool drinks and food for up to three days if the conditions are right. In mild weather and by keeping the cooler in the shade, you may even get a little extra time out of it.
You can also keep the lid closed on your cooler more frequently because it has everything you may need to access on the exterior.
It has a mounting system that helps you attach any of the accessories you need, such as bottle openers or bags for dry goods. Plus, it has a small exterior pocket for miscellaneous items like silverware or napkins.
While it’s not the most budget-friendly item found here, it isn’t likely to blow your entire budget on a cooler. It’s appropriately priced, given its features and overall capacity, with long-lasting chill abilities.
If you have some money to invest in a nicer cooler, the OtterBox may just fit the bill.
When you need a durable backpack cooler, you won’t be able to go wrong with any of the options found here.
Most are designed to be lightweight and durable, holding in the cool air that your food and drinks require.
We found that the Tourit Cooler Backpack, with its 30-can capacity, was the best selection for the money and will help you camp more comfortably well into the future!