No matter your summer outdoor activity of choice, getting the most out of your experience comes down to two factors: staying cool and being mobile. Bringing cold beverages with you is the best way to accomplish both, and an insulated backpack cooler makes this a breeze. YETI backpack coolers are the staple with their unparalleled insulation and spacious design (36 cans!), but several well-known outdoor brands have developed worthy competitors. These are broken down below, pointing out the meat and potatoes of each so that you’ll know exactly what you’re getting.
What Makes a Backpack Cooler Essential for Outdoor Enthusiasts
When it comes to outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and road-tripping, a backpack cooler offers the convenience of carrying chilled beverages and snacks hands-free. With features like padded shoulder straps and back panels, the packs ensure that comfort is not compromised during whatever it is that you do in the outdoors. And with durable materials, a backpack cooler can withstand rough outdoor conditions.
An insulated backpack cooler should be packed with the coldest, wettest items on the bottom–think beer cans with deep blue mountains. Next up is food and other slightly heavy items, and on top, you can put anything that may be more fragile or use the extra space to bring along a blanket or chilled aluminum mug.
The Best Backpack Coolers
Igloo Trailmate 24-Can Backpack: A balance of performance and affordability
This Igloo backpack cooler strikes a perfect balance between performance and affordability, making it an excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts. With its spacious interior, you can pack plenty of food and drinks (up to 24 cans) for your outdoor activities. The backpack design allows for easy transportation and hands-free carrying, providing convenience on the go. Made with high-quality materials, this cooler provides insulation to keep your items cold for hours. Whether you’re going on a picnic, hiking, camping, or enjoying a beach trip, the Igloo backpack cooler is a reliable companion.
The Igloo Trailmate is made with sturdy and rugged materials designed for use on the beach, in the mountains, or on the water, ensuring durability and long-lasting performance. Its leak-resistant liner keeps contents cool and the adjustable padded shoulder straps provide comfortable carrying. With a spacious interior and multiple pockets, it offers ample storage space. This Igloo backpack cooler utilizes innovative cooling technology, including insulated walls and a leak-resistant lining, to keep your beverages and snacks fresh. Adjustable padded shoulder straps allow for easy transportation, and there’s a quick-grab handle on each side for when you only need to lug it a short distance.
Carhartt 24 Can Insulated Two Compartment Backpack: For the tough and rugged
The Carhartt 24 Can Insulated Two Compartment Backpack combines style and functionality, keeping your drinks and food cool for hours during outdoor activities like hiking and camping. Its durable, water-resistant material withstands rough handling, and the backpack design provides hands-free convenience. With multiple pockets and compartments, it keeps your belongings organized and easily accessible. Plus, its sleek design complements any outfit or occasion.
This Carhartt cooler backpack is crafted using 600D heavy-duty polyester and a water-repellent coating, making it tough and resilient. It can handle any outdoor adventure from hiking to camping or beach trips. The backpack has a spacious main compartment that can hold up to 24 cans, keeping them cold for up to 24 hours with its fully insulated interior. Plus, it features multiple exterior pockets for extra storage and organization, such as a front zippered pocket, two side pockets, and a top lid pocket. With its sleek design, adjustable shoulder straps, and convenient grab handles, the Carhartt Cooler Backpack is a perfect blend of style and functionality.
Titan Deep Freeze 26-Can Backpack Cooler: A worthy budget option
The Titan Deep Freeze 26-Can Backpack Cooler is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a heavy-duty cooler that doesn’t cost much more than the drinks they plan to put in it. With its durable design and multiple compartments, it can store food, drinks, and ice packs. The insulated interior keeps everything cold for hours, while breathable mesh panels keep you from profuse sweating, even though that’s also the role of the cans within the pack. The Titan backpack cooler ensures maximum ice retention, keeping your food and drinks cold for up to two days. Its durable for such a low-priced pack, and is also surprisingly compact, making it ideal for hiking. With ample storage space, this cooler is a must-have for your adventures.
The Titan Backpack Cooler is built to endure rugged outdoor conditions. Its heavy-duty materials, like the tough nylon exterior and leak-proof liner, protect your food and drinks. With high-density insulation, it keeps contents cold even in hot weather. The backpack design makes it easy to carry with padded straps and a comfortable back panel.
Coleman Backroads 30-Can Soft Backpack Cooler: A compact companion for outdoor activities
Looking to keep your drinks cool while on the go? The Coleman Backroads 30-Can Soft Backpack Cooler offers superior cooling performance with high-density insulation, keeping ice frozen for up to 24 hours in temperatures as high as 90 degrees. Its backpack design with padded shoulder straps and a comfortable back panel makes it easy to carry. With a large main compartment that can hold up to 30 cans, multiple pockets for extra storage, and adjustable bungee cords on the front, you can ensure your refreshing beverages stay chilled wherever you go. This Coleman backpack cooler features adjustable straps for a customized fit, making it comfortable to carry even on long hikes or bike rides.