Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Best soft cooler 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated March 1, 2019
Best soft cooler of 2018
I have taken the initiative to educate you on the top three best soft cooler that you can buy this year. The best soft cooler will make your fairytale dreams come true!
Below you can find 3 reviews of the best soft cooler to buy in 2018, which I have picked after the deep market research. The above tidbits will bring you closer to selecting soft cooler that best serves your needs and as per your budget.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this soft cooler win the first place?
I also liked the delivery service that was fast and quick to react. It was delivered on the third day. The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch!
Why did this soft cooler come in second place?
Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made.
Why did this soft cooler take third place?
This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. I hope that the good reputation of the manufacturer will guarantee a long-term work.
soft cooler Buyer’s Guide
How we picked
Between the new models that had appeared in the past year, fresh updates to old designs, and the availability issues that we’d seen on our first choice, we felt it’d be best to start from scratch with this 201update. We started by looking at reviews and testing from reputable sources. Of the reviews I found, many did not include testing across multiple models, and there were no reviews that focused specifically on soft coolers. Good Housekeeping wrote up a collection of all types of coolers, though I didn’t consider its list expansive enough to carry much authoritative weight. Cook’s Illustrated did a roundup of both hard and soft coolers (subscription required), but the list of test models was very short. Slate as well had a review from eight years ago, which was too out of date to be very useful.
The simple fact is that there isn’t a whole lot of consumer research geared specifically to soft coolers. So I went to boating forums, The Hull Truth, The Malibu Crew, and Powerboat Nation. I looked at online reviews, and double-checked our research from last year, to find all the coolers that people loved the most. The goal: I wanted to hold and use as many soft coolers as I possibly could to truly understand the category and the features that make a cooler stand out.
No two coolers are created equally. While there are likely a slew of convenient features available for each and every one of the below listed options, the functionality and design of some of them are going to appeal more to your tastes than others.
So this should most certainly play a significant role in which of these you end up choosing.
Going green was never quite this easy. The material used for this cooler doesn’t have CFCs or HCFCs, which are common environmental pollutants.
Don’t have a spot for your drink? Now you do with the molded cup holders on the lid.
Stainless Steel Hardware
The inclusion of stainless steel further ensures that this product is going to stand the test of time without succumbing to the elements that claim the lives of so many other coolers.
Sturdy latches provide a tight seal for the entire cooler, keeping the cold inside where it belongs.
Soft Sided Coolers
That said, soft coolers can come in handy during your camping trip as a secondary cooler. If you spend a lot of time away from your campsite, you can pack lunch or drinks in a soft cooler and bring it along with you. Most are small, easy to transport, and can be carried over the shoulder or like a backpack.
Plastic coolers including the more premium rotomolded kind can keep your food cool for multiple days at a time without you putting in new ice, making them some of the top coolers for camping trips. But the exact time-frame they can stay cool depends on the size (something we get into a little later).
These are even more heavy duty than plastic coolers. Metal coolers are usually used by people like fishermen or hunters who need very durable coolers.
The metal covering protects the insulation well, but it does make the cooler heavier than plastic coolers. Metal coolers also tend to be more expensive than other coolers though there are exceptions to the rule like the retro ones from camping giant Coleman.
High-End Coolers vs. Traditional Coolers
High-end coolers focus on maximizing the insulating capability with rotomolding construction techniques, meaning they can keep food cooler and retain ice for longer periods of time.
Think of brands like Orca, Igloo Yukon, Grizzly, or Yeti Tundra. They are more expensive and more durable, though good alternatives for less money are available. These are good for really long camping trips or for people planning to bring home a lot of fish or meat.
A decent cooler for the camper, fisherman or outdoors person in your life can also make a thoughtful gift.
This cooler is what you probably remember from the time you were a kid; a rather plain,square box made from hard plastic. These types of coolers usually come with some sort of foam insulation which helps to keep things cool for a day, at most, but not much longer than that. The plastic exterior casing is usually glued to the inner foam walls which provide most of the insulation.
RTIC 30 Soft Pack
If you are looking for a quality soft cooler that you can easily and comfortably carry with you during your day trip backpacking trips, the RTIC 30 soft pack is one of the best options out there. With this cooler, you can easily fit 30 cans plus ice into the cooling pouch.A comfortable soft shell and strap makes for easy transportation.
The insulation on this little cooler is quality made, and RTIC guarantees that even despite its lightweight design, it will keep ice for up to days. There is inches of quality foam insulation packed into this design.
Yeti Tundra 35
The Yeti Tundra 3is one of the top high-end coolers on the market today. If you are looking for one of the best coolers for all around performance and long term insulation, this is the option for you.
The Yeti Tundra 3is built like a tank, and will most likely be the last cooler you ever buy.Its extremely sturdy design is built to stand the test of time and even resist the jaws of a hungry and curious grizzly bear. Of course, this product is extremely heavy, so you will most likely only be taking it with you wherever your car can get to. The T-Rex Tundra Lid Latches are built completely water proof to help you avoid unwanted spills.
Kootek Cooler Pad Chill Mat 5
The Kootek Cooler Pad Chill Mat has a silly name. It doesn’t have extra USB ports. But it offers a level of cooling capability that easily surpasses that of every other cooling pad we tested. Internal temperatures dropped more than 30 degrees (a combined average across multiple tests and laptops), and external temperatures were reduced by 1degrees. While air cooling can’t do much to substantially improve performance, this pad does keep things cooler better than its peers, and that’s enough to garner the top spot in our reviews. The pad has an adjustable stand, with angles between 0 and 2degrees, and the whole thing is covered by a generous three-year warranty.
Targus Lap Chill Mat AWE55US
The Targus Lap Chill Mat AWE55US is not the best laptop pad we saw for cooling your laptop; in fact, it reduced internal temperatures by only a degree or two. What it does do, however, is provide a cooling solution that will work on your lap as well as on a table. The wedge-shaped stand has open sides for open airflow and is covered with a soft layer of neoprene for unrivalled comfort when used in bed or while kicked back on a couch. A lot of the heating problems that people experience arise from setting a laptop on a blanket or pillow for casual use, so the Targus is one of the best solutions we’ve seen to the most common overheating problem.
Tree New Bee Cooling Pad TNB-K0025
You probably haven’t heard of Tree New Bee, but the company’s cooling pad is pretty good. It reduced external temperatures by an average of 1degrees Fahrenheit and reduced internal heat by a full 1degrees, making it one of the better coolers we saw for actual cooling.
Unfortunately, it also rattled like an angry snake when we first turned it on, thanks to a slightly warped chassis that caused one fan to strike the cowling on every rotation. A little manual flexing fixed the problem. The feature set is fairly plain, with one extra USB port and an adjustable angle that has two height settings.
Cooler Master NotePal X-Slim
A USB pass-through connection built into the USB power cable means you can still access all of your laptop’s ports, but we wish it offered something in the way of adjustable fan speed. Mercifully, it is one of the few coolers we reviewed that doesn’t light up like a blue glowing Christmas tree when plugged in.
Belkin CoolSpot F5L055
The Belkin CoolSpot is simple, but even in a category in which simplicity is to be expected, this pad is a bit too spartan for our liking. The small laptop cooler is made for laptops up to 1inches in size, and it comes with a single 70-millimeter fan, with no adjustments for speed or angle.
Polar Bear Soft Cooler
Polar Bear Coolers is quickly gaining popularity in the high end cooler market. The Polar Bear 2Pack cooler will retain ice for up to 2hours in 100 degree temperatures. This cooler is leak-proof, sweat- proof, and built to be durable and tough. The outer shell of the cooler is constructed of luggage grade 1000 denier Cordura nylon, at it is designed with heavy duty zippers, a padded shoulder strap, and side pockets. The Polar Bear soft cooler also includes a wrap-around handle made of Velcro and a built in bottle opener. It is offered in a variety of attractive colors.
AO Cooler Soft Cooler
The AO Soft Cooler is offered in four different sizes as well as multiple colors and is guaranteed to retain ice for 2hours in temperatures up to 120 degrees. It is also guaranteed to be leak-proof. This cooler includes a removable shoulder strap and meets airline requirements for carry-on luggage. The liner is constructed of high quality vinyl and extra-thick insulation which results in superior ice retention. The smallest cooler AO offers can hold up to cans with ice, and the largest cooler they offer can carry up to 4cans with ice.
Koolatron Soft Electric Cooler
The Koolatron Electric Travel Cooler is conveniently cooled by plugging into your car’s cigarette lighter and is able to cool to 30 degrees below the ambient temperature. You won’t have to worry about restocking the ice or draining melted ice while traveling on the open road. However, you do have the option to use ice or icepacks as the Koolatron electric cooler is insulated and can be used either way. This soft sided travel cooler holds up to 20 cans or two liter bottles, and it’s perfect for cars, offices, and hotel rooms.
It is a familiar design where you can see them at any grocery or hardware store. These models feature foam insulation, which is kept between plastic shells and are glued together. The lids will be attached with screw on hinges, and you can snap shut using internal mechanism. Traditional models will be available at an affordable cost.
High-end Design Coolers
If you require an enhanced performance in insulation and better durability, you can prefer high-end camping coolers. Top-notch models are best camping coolers because they are more durable than traditional one and food will remain cold for more than six days. These models use Rotational molding process, which is injected with insulating foam. They can be pricey.
These models work with electricity. You must plug them into a car cigarette lighter or a wall socket. They will have an indeterminate cooling capacity until they are electrically connected. These coolers are ideal for those who stay outdoors, especially in hotel rooms.
Insulation performance – The main purpose of a cooler is to keep things cold, so one most important factor to consider is the performance of insulation. High-end model coolers with thick wall provide good insulation.
The size of the cooler – Coolers is available in different size. Decide how much you will be required to store inside the cooler. Ice will take about one-quarter of the space. For multi-day camping, you should buy a bigger cooler around 66-qt to 7qt. If you are planning a day trip, 28-qt to 54-qt cooler will be enough.
Durability – The cooler you buy should be durable enough to be taken for a week long camping trip several times in a year. The more durable cooler, the more it will be expensive. Buy a cooler made of tough plastic and able to withstand all type of weather condition.
Practicality – Large plastic coolers can be heavy to transport when filled. So, prefer buying a wheeled cooler that can be towed from one place to another. If you are going for a hiking trip, choose a lightweight, comfortable cooler with carrying straps.
The latches burst often making it cumbersome to open and close.
The cooler fails at its prime purpose to retain ice for long possible hours.
The Pelican ProGear is the most rugged cooler on the list – Without a doubt, Pelican proves its mettle with this ice chest.
From making phone and computer cases, pelican has also gotten their hands mixed with coolers. The ProGear elite is a piece of genius from a company that has its hands over multiple ventures.
With a rugged exterior, the cooler can resist substantial impacts. Thanks to the premium plastic build, the latches and extended handles wouldn’t fail even after continuous use.
With that said, the ProGear utilizes sturdy latches that are simple to use. The mechanism is superb, just push a button to release the latches, take it back by pushing it down.
Impressively, the ProGear features a high-end plastic extension on the drain which helps minimize splashing and dripping while it drains quickly.
Overall, the product is built for long ice holding periods, durable parts, efficient insulation, tight seal and ease of use. If you want a cooler that promises all that and more, then this cooler is for users looking for a rugged, rotomolded ice box which keeps your stuff cold and fresh.
Handles and hinges are not durable.
Fear not, the Orca cooler has been tested and proven to be a heavy-duty rotomolded cooler that can hold anything you throw at it.
The Orca comes in a 58-quart, there’s enough space to put all you need and still fill ice in. The best part is you can also store food in this cooler as it maintains a staggering 40F for six days.
Designed with durable & hard insulating materials, this cooler ice chest can withstand extreme temperatures. Surprisingly, Orca can keep ice and drinks for up to days, meaning you’ll get a week of cold refreshing beverages and cocktails.
While most coolers can have inefficient drain plugs, the orca is designed to drain water thoroughly, enabling your food to remain dry while decreasing the ice melting period.
The handles make use of a semi-rigid rubber handle with nylon webbings. The result is a handle and amazing flex movement enough to distribute weight and carry comfortably. With that out of the way, the lid is stable, while the latches are hard and durable.
On the downside, some users complained of the lid, which can inadvertently snap shut, this shouldn’t be a problem cause you can always keep one hand on the lid when groping for drinks or beverages.
All in all, Orca coolers have a reputation for high insulation, robust exterior, roomy space and overall quality. Rest assured, this cooler is no exception.
Wheels make it easy to roll a Giant Cooler without going through the stress of carrying it, be glad cause the Coleman Xtreme wheeled gives that relief.
Let’s find out
When you set your eyes on this cooler, what comes to mind is the ample interior space and beautiful exterior. As soon as you open the chest, the storage space in it gives you a respite to put all you need for camping trips.
In general, the durability of the cooler is under scrutiny, flimsy plastic handles and hinges are likely to break from sharp impacts. Latches are replaced with a press fit lid you can lift.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your soft cooler wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of soft cooler
- №1 — AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler with High-Density Insulation
- №2 — Buzio 36-Can Portable Soft Cooler
- №3 — AO Coolers Water-Resistant Vinyl Soft Cooler with High-Density Insulation