Coolers- Soft Coolers Cooler Boxes

And where the Yeti’s inner temperature increased by about 6 degrees over 24 hours, the Orca’s went up by about 13 degrees. Still, if you’re looking for a cooler that has the aesthetics, design, and durability of a Yeti but don’t want to spend quite the amount (we don’t blame you), the Orca is a solid igloo soft cooler alternative. This tried-and-true model boasts impressive insulation for a small cooler. Its shape and size are convenient and easy to use with a simple design that simply works. Yeti products are known to be strong and primed to tackle all your wild adventures, and this one is no exception.

Just make sure to read the specs carefully and assume that max can carrying capacity listed is for only cans in most cases. Despite looking like a Yeti—and having thicker insulation on its lid (by half an inch)—it didn’t quite have the same performance as the Yeti Hopper. At the end of our 24-hour ice test, the Orca had no remaining solid ice, while the Yeti had some.

igloo soft cooler

Our testers loved this pack’s comfort compared to other large backpack coolers, thanks mainly to the extra padding and chest and waist straps. Any gear’s durability comes down to a few simple factors—the quality of its materials and components, the method of construction, and the overall design. The coolers we tested feature a wide variety and quality of materials. We assessed durability over months of use, paying attention to how they handle daily rigors. We threw them around, dropped them on the ground, and filled them to the brim with heavy drinks. We also packed, emptied, repacked, and bounced them around in back seats and truck beds, left them out in the sun for hours, strapped them into water-logged boats, and anything else we could think of.

For a variety of conditions, the soft coolers in this guide provide enough cooling power to serve a range of recreation needs. We also performed a controlled in-house ice retention test to verify brand claims. For the experiment, we filled each pre-cooled cooler igloo trailmate approximately 70% with fresh, frozen cubed ice and set them in a shaded, dry indoor space at a steady average of 65 degrees. Brand new to the soft cooler scene, RovR just bridged their long-standing hard cooler craftsmanship into their sister category.

Many longer-lasting soft coolers weigh between 5 and 10 pounds, which gets heavier as you add heavy liquids and ice. Consider how long you need a cooler to retain cold and how far you might be carrying it on an average outing as you balance weight and performance concerns in your purchasing decision. While we tested during cooler fall temperatures, the Walker delivered days of ice retention versus the hours we got from flimsier bag-style soft coolers. Those times would be shortened in direct sun and high temps, but the thick walls of the Walker are more than enough for a day at the beach. In our lab, the temperature inside the tote actually dropped 8 degrees between two hours and 24 hours after filling it with ice. The clear winners in this category are the backpack-style coolers, as this distribution of weight across both shoulders and resting behind you will almost always beat out a unilateral carry.

They’re also generally much smaller than hard-sided designs, typically offering around 30 liters of capacity at the high end. With this in mind, soft coolers have limited appeal for multi-day outings. Instead, they’re best-suited for weekend getaways or day trips to the park or beach, tailgates, afternoons on the water, or quick errands like grocery store runs. They can also be a great supplement to a larger hard-sided model, providing additional space to store extra food or beverages when camping with a larger group.