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Soft Coolers Buying Guide

Who would not want to enjoy cold drinks after a long hike or a rigorous activity on a hot summer day? Soft coolers keep your beverage at optimum temperature and safe so that you can carry them without any unnecessary hassle.

When it comes to picking the best cooler, you have to deem about certain aspects. These aspects are critical for the product and define its usability and performance.

Gathering information on these characteristics can become a demanding job when looking into various resources. Not only will you waste your valuable time, but you may also even get the wrong facts.

So, to solve this issue, we have prepared a buying guide that contains all the information in a well-organized manner. All you need is to analyze these points and pick the best option that caters to all your needs.

But before all this, you should know about the product properly. So, let us start with a quick introduction and then dive deep into this extensive guide.

What are Soft Coolers, and why should you buy them?

Are you planning to head out into the great outdoors? You will need a cooler to help fuel your next picnic, barbecue, canoe trip, or outdoor concert.

There are plenty of excellent beverage-chilling bags (coolers) in the market, but all of them don't offer the lightweight portability that soft coolers do. Soft coolers are best for keeping your drinks and food cold when you are camping, fishing, picnicking, or hiking.

They are a requisite part of warm weather outdoor activities that keeps your drinks chilled for many hours. They are light enough to quickly carry over the shoulder and flexible enough to store without taking much space.

The best part is you can easily take them with you on your kayak, to the beach, or on the sail. And if we compare soft coolers to hard coolers, soft coolers are easier to handle and take less space and accommodate as much as hard coolers.

So, next time before you head out on your summer for an adventure trip, picnic, sporting event, or barbecue, having the soft cooler can be the best option for you to feel more relaxed and comfortable.

But finding the best soft cooler can be a challenging task for you because there are plenty of options available in various designs, colors, shapes, and sizes offered by popular designs.

Still, you need to choose the best and the most suitable which will fulfill your needs.

Things to deem about while selecting appropriate Soft Coolers for your perfect picnic


Whether you are off for a day at the beach, a camping excursion, or on a road trip, a soft cooler is a perfect combination to keep your food fresh and your drinks chilled.

Not only drinks, but you can also use soft coolers as faux camber (A tool used by caterers and kitchen professionals to transfer food while keeping it hot or cold.) to keep your barbecue safe and hot for many hours.

Besides, you can also keep the ingredients of a recipe in a cooler bag and prepare a dish once you reach your destination. Such recipes include different varieties of salads.

Soft coolers are perfect for one-day activities or events, although some coolers can keep things cold for as long as three days.

These coolers come in different sizes. The smaller sizes of soft coolers are best for carrying lunch or some snacks, while the larger ones will hold a case of drinks to keep you and your friends hydrated.

There is also a standard size that you can carry anywhere for a bijou group of people. These coolers can hold 15 to 25 cans, and you can easily carry around compared to large coolers.

But finding a suitable soft cooler is not an easy task to do. It would help if you considered some of your requirements while selecting an appropriate soft cooler.


Another thing you need to deem while selecting appropriate Soft Coolers is to dissect the cooler's capacity/storage size.

Coolers come in disparate sizes, and it directly influences their portability and usage. Before making any choice for a more relaxed environment, it is essential to decide where you will be using it.

It means it depends on the objective you'll be using the cooler for. If you are going hiking with family or friends, you'll need a sizable cooler to keep cold water with you.

The big coolers are meant for a group of people, and these types of coolers are significant and can clench plenty of snacks and drinks.

These kinds of soft coolers are a bit heavy and are hard to transport, but they can cover up for it with the number of snacks /drinks they can carry. There are also standard size coolers to consider for your small outdoor excursion.

These coolers are very easy to carry and can hold 15 to 25 cans at one time. But if you are finding one to pack lunch, then getting a small cooler is sufficient for you.

But if you want a cooler just to carry drinks, you should consider the one which is specifically designed to hold a case of beverages.

Ice Retention

Whether you are going to the beach, camping in the wild, or tailgating before your favorite sporting event, keeping your drinks cold is the superb key.

Be it soft or hard, coolers are meant to trap cold air and keep your drinks and food icy. But this can't be done if your cooler is not capable enough to retain ice.

For ice retention, the cooler should need to be airtight with ice in it. So, that ice can keep producing cold air for the items in it.

Finding the best soft coolers, which are high ice retention features, can be the best to make. The prominent soft coolers focus on keeping ice longer than others.

These coolers are ideal for long trips. If the cooler you have selected to buy has welded seams, no-leak zippers, or put together with the heat, it indicates that it has excellent ice retention features than others, and you have made the right choice.

If you are off for a long drive across the city, then these coolers with the excellent ice retention features are perfect for keeping drinks frosty and snacks.


Durability is the crucial part that needs to be checked before shop anything. It depends on how imperishable the product is, which means how long it will accompany you.

When it comes to soft coolers, keep one thing in mind is to check the cooler's durability.

Softshell coolers classify as any cooler made of soft material, which means that coolers can fluctuate in the material they are made out of.

Different organizers use different materials on their coolers depending on their capability. The durability level depends on what you want to do and what your usability is, or you often go on an outdoor excursion.

Depending on your requirements, the level of your cooler's durability may change.

It is atypically a great idea to get the most durable soft cooler. Still, the durability might impact your pocket as sometimes durability comes with a price that most people can't afford.

However, having a durable cooler is essential because durability indicates that your soft cooler is nature proof.


Most people don't give that much importance to the zipper when selecting appropriate Soft Coolers.

But the fact is zipper has a lot to do with how deftly your cooler actually stays cool. Many of you might think that durability is the only thing that needs to be considered when purchasing.

However, it is completely wrong! Other features need to be considered, and checking the soft cooler's zipper is one of them. Soft coolers come with different zipper designs that help trap cold air in and warm air out.

Another work of the zipper is to help the cooler remain airtight, which helps maintain the cooler's inner air temperature and lets your drinks stay chilled for a long time.

Apart from this, there is nothing worse than an evil zipper. If the soft coolers' organizers don't say anything about how well the cooler's zipper works, then it probably is not a superior one.

Using low-priced zippers are easy for companies to cut costs. Having soft coolers with a cheap zip material on them won't be able to keep it airtight, and this results that your drinks and food will start getting warmer faster.


Certain things come to mind when it comes to leakage on coolers. No one wants to leak soft coolers; for prevention, you need to look at the product's description before purchasing one.

Coolers are meant to trap cold air and keep your drinks and food icy. But a little leakage might create an issue as it will make your cooler not as cold.

A leakage in the cooler can also ruin the enjoyment of your excursion as when you reach the place, you won't find your beverages and food fresh enough to eat or drink.

This not just spoils your mood but also wastes the money that you have spent on purchasing a soft cooler. As once it starts leaking, it won't be able to perform well even if you repair it.

You will need to buy a cooler with seams put together by heat or welded together; by doing this, there is no room left for air to escape between fabrics. The only thing you need to think about is releasing the air when you open the cooler.


Cleaning your soft cooler is important, especially if you keep snacks and food in it. Because after some time, food starts stinking if you keep a cooler uncleaned.

So it's your job to clean your cooler after every use. There are many coolers available in the market which are odor-proof. Still, they need maintenance because spoiled food can start to smell after some time, even if the cooler is odor-free.

There are different ways to keep your cooler tidy. Here are a few simple steps.

  1. Air Dry Coolers

After using a soft cooler, before storing it, you need to clean it carefully and let its lid slightly open, so it can dry naturally. Natural air helps the cooler to remain dry and reduces the unwanted smell of spoiled food.

  1. Clean the Interior and Exterior

Cleaning and maintenance are essential after every use of your soft cooler. You need to clean the interior of the cooler by using mild soap and lukewarm water.

You can also make use of water and baking soda to clean the hard stains from the interior. Exterior needs to be cleaned with the hands after every use, especially when you take a cooler near saltwater.

  1. Remove Unwanted Odors

The water and chlorine bleach solution is the best way to vanish a strong odor of the food from your soft coolers. You can also use a cloth dipped in vanilla extract to wipe the interior.


Most people choose soft coolers over hard coolers because of their portability. Soft coolers come in different designs and strap types.

Most of them are backpack style, shoulder style, and lunch box style. Each one has its own properties and utility. For making any choice for one, you need to know about your requirements.

If you are not that often with outdoor excursions, then you don't need to buy the pricey cooler as this might not be a good purchase for you to consider.

But again, it depends on your need. The majority of the people always choose backpack style the most as they are flexible and portable enough to move quickly anywhere.


Another important thing you need to check is the insulation. The main motive for buying soft coolers is to keep your stuff fresh and cool so that you can enjoy your day out excursion.

And insulation plays an essential part in keeping your drinks and foods cool even in hot summer weather.

Insulation is actually a fabric that is made of microfibers that are the size of synthetic insulation. It is used in the three layers of the cooler bags.

The outer layer offers a waterproof surface, which ensures that there is no sweat. The middle layer has a high-density foam, and the last interior layer is for leak-proof material.

It is a great fabric used to make soft cooler bags so that the inside temperature remains the same. This insulation helps you to keep your drinks and food cool for up to 3 days.


Space in your soft coolers is a vital aspect to consider before purchasing one. Cooler bags are based on their capacity than the dimensions.

But when it comes to soft coolers, the capacity is calculated in terms of the number of cans it can hold. Your selected cooler might be armed with full features required to be the best soft cooler.

But if it has insufficient storage, then there will be no point in buying them. Your cooler bag should have enough space to carry a sufficient amount of food and beverages.

Sometimes when you don't have any space left in a cooler bag, you have to carry some things in your arms, which is a significant burden on yourself.

This is the reason why you shouldn't need to hurry while shopping for a soft cooler. Make sure to briefly check the storage of your soft coolers before buying them.


The warranty check is always essential before making any purchase for yourself. Never waste your money on low and cheap quality products which will never give any guarantee for any products.

Whenever you purchase a soft cooler for yourself, make sure the organizers will offer you the one with a warranty.

Warranty is a kind of clean chit about the product provided by the vendor, which shows you are getting a quality product.

Warranty works as a self-satisfaction for you, as it gives you leverage to use a product for such a limit. If you find any kind of dissatisfaction within the time limit, you can return or replace the product (depends on what the organizer is offering).

Pockets and Compartments

One of the best things about soft coolers is they come in pockets and compartments compared to hard coolers. Hard coolers generally have one main compartment, and you have to put your whole stuff in that one compartment.

But thanks to soft coolers, they come in different compartments and pockets. Soft coolers tend to come with extra outside pockets/compartments for additional storage.

If you are going to use your cooler, especially for a day trip, road trips, or picnics, then having extra storage space can be a plus for you.

There are different pockets inside the cooler, which are specially designed to carry cans and bottles. Apart from this, in some coolers, you will find a separate chamber to place food and other snacking stuff.

Having a soft cooler with different pockets and components will allow you to keep your stuff correctly. Soft coolers are more compatible and flexible than hard coolers and can be easily moved anywhere.

Guidelines To Improve Soft Coolers Performance

Camping trips, cookouts, Spending a day on the beach- they all are games and fun until you pop open the lid of your soft cooler bag, only to see the soggy sandwiches, melted ice, and spoiled salad.

It is a kind of disappointment you will see if you did not maintain your cooler. Maintenance matters a lot, especially for soft coolers, because one small mistake can ruin your excursion's fun and can also impact the performance of the cooler.

Here are some of the guidelines you can follow to improve the performance of soft coolers.

  1. Line The Cooler With aluminized bubble wrap

To increase soft coolers' performance, you can line your cooler with the aluminized wrap from inside. The method proves to be very effective when you open it repeatedly after some time.

  1. Build an Ice Block

Get a plastic container (airtight if possible) and add ice into it. If you want to freeze it, then keep it in the freezer. Place this plastic container in the center of the cooler.

Keep all your items organized near this ice block, and you will see the difference in cooling yourself. This method will help you keep beverages and food cold for quite a long time.


  1. Which is the most portable style in soft coolers?

The backpack style is the most portable style. It is easy to access and does not add any extra pressure to your shoulders. You can maneuver it with ease and enjoy your drinks anytime you want.

  1. Should I remove the liners from the insides of the cooler while cleaning it?

Yes, if the liners are removable, then you should remove them before starting the cleaning process. This will protect the liners from rough cleaning, and you can adequately clean the cooler's insides.

Never use any abrasive cleaners to clean the product. It may deteriorate the quality and finish of the cooler. Always read the instruction manual before starting with the cleaning process. This will aid you in cleaning the product properly and maintain its long life.

  1. Can I use the coolers on the beach? Will they be effective?

Yes, the soft coolers will keep your drinks cold, and due to their fabric construction, they will sit tightly in the sand without tumbling here and there.

Final Verdict

Soft coolers will present a portable and effective way to keep your drinks safe and cold. Here in this guide, you will find every necessary detail to make an informed decision.

With all the information under your hand, all you need is to pick the best cooler for your expeditions. Purchase an elite product and enjoy your drinks whenever you want. / - © Copyright 2020