The 4 Best Soft Coolers Tested by GearLab

The REI Pack Away 24 fits in this group because we tested it in its most convenient configuration — a cube — which we measured just under 20L. Meander through the wilderness more easily with a backpack cooler. For the weekend warrior, the rugged adventurer, the daily luncher, the boater, the weekday commuter, the beach-goer, the Sunday hiker, the park picnicker, the snack provider …the list goes on.

We loved the soft interior liner and the waterproof zipper that prevents any leaks from the top. The shape and weight feel easy igloo trailmate to move around, and the handles are comfortable. We appreciate all of the pockets to help us keep odds and ends organized.

Color options for this cooler include slate blue and tan, sandstone and red, and tank green and black, which should blend in depending on what environment you’re exploring. Ice bags weigh between 1 and 3 lbs for an easy carry, and you can carry up to 30 cans, depending on which bag you choose. The locking and telescoping handles make sure that users have a tight grip when carrying the cooler. Several compartments are included in all variations for extra storage, and leak-resistant liner is included so that no water escapes and leaves the inside warm.

With a unique spin, the cooler is compatible with a removable insert called the KeepR ($150), which organizes fare into different compartments like a golf bag. The dividers are secured via Velcro, so the compartments are adjustable. The center of the basket has a circular sleeve for the 3L Icer ($50), a double-wall vacuum-sealed ice holder with a 3.5-pound capacity.

igloo soft cooler

Yet underneath this unassuming exterior, this is a totally decent soft cooler that’s simple to use and easy to love. Thick foam surrounding the entirety of your contents provides reliable insulation for an above-average amount of time. A single opening that’s longer than the interior of the bag makes it uncomplicated to load and later locate what you’re seeking. On the outside, there is a large zippered pocket that provides a well-above-average amount of dry storage, and its duffel-style handles can be joined together for easy transportation.

According to our ice retention test, the REI Co-op Haul is capable of holding ice for up to 60 hours. To put the size in perspective, this cooler could fit one dozen 12-ounce cans. Ultimately, due to the ice retention, this tote is a solid option for errands and small trips but be sure to cool the bag before use. According to the ice retention test, this cooler can retain ice for 40 hours.

According to the ice retention test, the Takeout can retain ice for 21 hours. To put the size in perspective, this cute igloo soft cooler cooler could fit six 12-ounce cans. One of our favorite products overall was the Snow Peak Soft Cooler ($170).