Top 5 Soft Sided Coolers of 2022 [YETI, IceMule, Coleman]


Grill on the grill on the street. These easy-to-access, round coolers complete your next camping or tailgate trip.

best softside cooler

No road trip, RV camping trip, or tailgate party is complete without a Discovery Soft Cooler.

Not only are they the best way to keep your food or drink cool, they’re the perfect all-purpose belt to support your portable grill.

They can also serve as cooling containers to help rest grilled or smoked meats, allowing the juices and flavors to be locked in.

However you plan to use it, we’ve compiled a list of the best soft side coolers out there today for all uses. Our list of features to consider will help ensure YOU have selected the right ones for you.

Let’s get into that!

  • Best Soft Cooler: The YETI Hopper Flip
    is 100% waterproof with rigid, puncture-resistant exteriors and offers up to a day of ice storage
  • Second Place: IceMule 1014-OL Pro
    breathable mesh shoulder straps for heavy loads and incredible insulation that can hold ice for up to two days
  • The Best Budget Option: NorChill Voyager
    Slim and space-saving with excellent build quality, the 600D is robust and well insulated despite its low price

YETI Hopper Flip Portable

YETI Hopper Flip 18 portable cooler

See prices on Amazon

Widely regarded as the leader in the cooler industry, YETI offers some of the best soft-sided coolers on the market. Its price is very high and not for everyone, but if you want the best quality regardless of the money, check out the Hopper Flip.

The highlight of the YETI Hopper Flip is its construction. The DryHide shell is fully waterproof, as is the HydroLok zip. The radiator zip is quite difficult to open, but this is standard for waterproof zips.

The outer shell of the YETI Hopper Flip is quite stiff and also resistant to punctures, abrasions and mildew. The closed-cell foam rubber insulation also offers days of ice protection; With proper packaging, YOU can expect 2-3 days of ice storage from this unit.

What stands out about the Hopper Flip is the Hitchpoint Grid accessory attachment system. You can use YETI accessories like the MOLLE Zinger Bottle Opener or any other accessory that fits the loops.


  • Excellent quality and insulation.
  • Waterproof
  • Mounting grid for accessories
  • Clean design
  • Many colors and sizes.


  • Very expensive
  • The zipper is difficult to open and close.


  • The Hopper Flip 18 has ColdCell insulation, a closed-cell foam that…
  • It features a 100% leak-proof HydroLok zipper and high-density fabric that resists punctures and…
  • The DryHide Shell is waterproof and resistant to punctures and abrasions, so…

IceMule 1014-OL Pro

IceMule Pro cooler

See prices on Amazon

The IceMule Pro Cooler is a lot cheaper than YETI’s Hopper Flip, but has some cool things going for it.

This is a cool backpack, first of all, it has breathable mesh shoulder straps to make it easier to carry heavy loads.

In addition, the case of the Pro cooler is not as rigid as with the Hopper Flip. When it is time to read, it can even be folded, providing excellent space efficiency.

In terms of construction, the IceMule Pro cooler features a leak-proof body along with a zip-less closure. Because it seals the cap properly, this cooler will not let in water. The Pro cooler is also floating.

For a little extra storage, the IceMule Pro cooler also has elastic straps on the front that YOU can use for popsicles, a fishing rod or whatever.

In terms of insulation, the Pro Cooler should hold ice for a day or two, maybe longer if you don’t open the cooler often during your trip. However, remember that the tightness of the radiator is of paramount importance for its insulating ability.


  • Easy to thank you carry backpack design
  • Waterproof
  • Foldable when read
  • Elastic bands in front for accessories


  • The watertightness of this cool box depends on how well the closure is sealed


  • ROBUST AND BUILT FOR OUTDOORS: This outstanding…
  • EFFORTLESS HAND-FREE CARRYING: Lightweight backpack-style cooler bag with 2 air-mesh padded shoulders…
  • EASY ACCESS INTERIOR: The accessible roll-top design opens wide so you can load and find what you’re looking for.

Coleman Soft Cooler Bag

Coleman soft cooler bag

See prices on Amazon

If you don’t need a super-durable cooler, this model from Coleman might be the best soft-sided cooler for you. It’s significantly cheaper than the YETI and IceMule coolers and of inferior quality, but they should work fine for day trips.

Coleman promises up to 24 hours of ice storage with this cooler; In reality you have to work very hard to reach the 24 hour mark. Most of the time you won’t get more than 12 hours. And that’s okay for the price, but Coleman should have done better.

Although this cooler bag doesn’t have any fancy attachment points for accessories, it does have a small front pocket for dry storage. The lid also features a small built-in flap that allows you to access your items without having to open the entire cooler.

The construction of the Coleman cooler is okay, but offers nothing extraordinary. It does not resist abrasion or water, so be very careful where you take it.


  • Very frugal
  • Ideal for day trips.
  • Top hatch for easier access to your groceries


  • Not the best insulation
  • Not as durable as our previous picks


  • Holds ice for up to 24 hours in temperatures up to 90°F
  • Capacity for 30 cans.
  • Zippered main compartment is insulated to keep contents cold; The front pocket offers additional…

NorChill Voyager

NorChill Can Voyager Series Soft Sided Insulated Cooler

See prices on Amazon

The NorChill Voyager Soft Cooler is a slim, space-saving cooler with excellent build quality. The 600D canvas shell makes this cooler wear-resistant, while the thick insulation keeps the ice for 1-2 days.

Although Voyager is very durable, it’s not its toughness that makes it remarkable. The Voyager cooler offers several features YOU will not find in other soft-sided coolers.

One of those features is the corner spout, which allows you to easily scoop melted ice from the cooler. The liner can also be removed, which cleaning is likely.

Also, the beauty of the NorChill Voyager Soft Cooler is that it can be folded flat when empty to save even more space.

Best of all, the Voyager cooler is quite expected. Of course it doesn’t offer the same level of protection as YETI coolers, but for the money the Voyager is solid and should work for most needs.


  • Good price
  • Foldable when read
  • Wear and tear resistant shell
  • Great insulation
  • Different sizes available


  • Less spacious than other refrigerators of a similar size


  • The 600-denier tonneau cover is stain-resistant, abrasion-resistant and puncture-resistant…
  • Fusion welded liner seams are likely to eliminate the possibility of leaks from melting ice;…
  • The folding clips fit the bag in a traditional square shape, while the compact roll-up design…

Pelican Elite

Pelican Elite soft cooler

See prices on Amazon

The Pelican Elite Soft Cooler offers excellent performance at a not too high price. The Elite Cooler is not cheap, but certainly not as outrageously expensive as the YETI Hopper Flip Cooler.

This soft cooler has a design similar to the Hopper Flip. The Elite Cooler has a semi-rigid shell that is abrasion and tear resistant. The Elite cooler’s insulation is also made of high-density, closed-cell foam, similar to the Hopper Flip. In terms of ice retention, Elite is good for about 2 days.

The Pelican Elite Soft Cooler is also fully waterproof thanks to the leak-proof zipper. The zipper is like the Hopper Flip: it serves its purpose, but is difficult to open and close.

Interestingly, the Pelican Elite Soft Cooler also features special stainless steel attachment points on the front. This allows you to securely anchor the Elite cooler to your car or kayak. Lashing points also serve as bottle openers.

All in all, the Elite Soft Cooler is a worthy competitor to the Hopper Flip, even if it’s probably not as robust and high quality. There is also no accessory attachment system. But overall it’s a great option if you don’t want to pay extra for YETI coolers.


  • Waterproof and very durable.
  • Excellent insulation
  • Attachment points that double as bottle openers


  • The zipper is difficult to use.



Soft walled cooler with drinks and ice on a bench with fishing gear outdoors

We all love a good soft-sided cooler. The best buying decisions for them are backed by solid research. The more you know, the better your chances of buying a good one. In this guide we will answer some important questions and provide information about these refrigerators.

Features to Consider

Soft-sided coolers are a great way to keep food fresh and drinks cold when you’re on the go. If you’re an avid outdoors lover looking for the best camping gear style=”vertical-align: inherit;”> or the perfect addition to your portable RV grill, you’ll surely enjoy having some of these in your arsenal. There are certain characteristics to look for in a soft-sided cooler. You need it to be efficient and do what you need to do. Let’s take a look at some of these features. 

Lining Material

Soft-sided coolers must have a specific coating to be effective. They are made of soft materials that allow YOU to fold the cool box and transport it more easily. For this reason, they are referred to as soft-side coolers. The inner material must have insulating properties and be light so that it does not weigh the bag down. It should also be waterproof and easy to clean if something spills on it. 

Most garments are made of polyurethane and foam. Others may be made from dual TPU coated nylon which is known for its durability. It has antimicrobial properties and is also leak proof. The best materials for the inner lining are Kavas, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) types and TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) types.

Weight and Portability

In order for the cool box to be easy to move, it must be light. The materials from which it is made add significantly to the overall weight of the cooler. If it’s going to be portable, it needs to be lightweight so it’s convenient and convenient to take on the road, in the car, at the beach, or wherever you need to go where your drinks and food can get hot. 

When it comes to exact numbers, some of the lightest coolers on the market weigh around 3 pounds and can carry around 14 liters. The included accessories keeps the transport going. For example, additional reinforced shoulder straps make it easier to carry more weight. Sturdy handles also help support the cooler. 

If you’re buying an extra large cooler, having wheels on the cooler might be a good idea so you can move it around quickly without straining your back. 

Storage Space

When it comes to storage, DO check the dimensions when folded and how many liters or ounces the bag can hold. The dimensions when folded give you an idea of ​​how easily YOU can transport the bag when not in use. The less voluminous sea, the better. Large cooler bags must hold 16, 18 or 24 cans. 

Some coolers can even hold up to 48 cans. But if portability is important to you, this might not be for you. Keep in mind that the listed capacity may be higher or lower depending on the size of the cans or bottles you pack in the bag.


All refrigerators must have some form of insulation. It’s a bit of foam placed between two walls. Manufacturers use different technologies to find the right type of insulation with the highest efficiency. Use cool closed-loop insulation foam to keep temperatures inside the bag down. 

The best insulation comes from a combination of the right materials and construction. By this I mean you surely want the cooler to hold as much excess heat as possible. The moment heat IS introduced, cool temperatures are lost and the purpose is defeated. 

Most bags are insulated with foam that traps gas bubbles. The gas does not conduct heat the way other materials do. In general, you will find that many refrigerators on the market can maintain low temperatures for up to a few hours. Few can perform many days. A soft cooler can keep things cold, at 90˚ for about 4 1/2 days.


Durability is crucial if you want to buy an efficient cooler. You want to make sure the cooler is made of a durable material. This includes the inner and outer layers as well as the handles. Nylon is a standard fabric used for the outside of soft side coolers because it’s strong and doesn’t tear easily. 

Shoulder straps are a useful feature that is often found on a cooler bag. Look for a soft, flexible strap that is also seaworthy. If you go hiking with the cooler, you may be better off with a dual strap cooler that allows you to carry the cooler on your back. Vacuum valve technology helps keep the cold inside. As such, this IS a feature that YOU should be aware of. 

Hard Sided vs. Soft Coolers

Go for the hard side or the soft side, that’s the question here. These are the two classifications YOU are likely to come across when purchasing a cooler. Both are great options, but your choice should be based on what you intend to use the cooler for and for how long. But what’s the difference?

Benefits of Soft-Sided Coolers

  • Keep food and drinks cold on the go
  • slightly-missing
  • Cheaper than rigid fridges
  • Easier to transport compared to hard coolers
  • Lightweight

Disadvantages of Soft-Sided Coolers

  • You don’t have much protection.
  • It doesn’t have as much capacity and space as hardside coolers.

Advantages of Hard Coolers

  • Adequate insulation.
  • Robust exterior.
  • Large capacity.
  • More durable and can be placed anywhere.

Disadvantages of Hard Coolers

  • Expensive
  • It cannot be folded or folded.
  • Hard to carry

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