All Ao Cooler Reviews

This is a listing of all Ao Coolers for sale that have been reviewed and we also list what we think are the best Ao Coolers with our internal ranking system.  Ao is known for specializing exclusively in soft-sided coolers and have a pretty wide and varied selection to choose from.  These are widely considered one of the higher-end soft-sided coolers on the market and for good reason: they are known for being of great quality, having attractive looks, and most importantly having good and efficient cooling ability despite what many would consider a “shortcoming” in not having hard, plastic insulation.  Sometimes finding the proper soft-sided cooler can be quite a challenge but we definitely recommend you check out Ao if you are in the market for one.  Also, we recommend that you check out some of the other companies that we have reviewed that specialize in premium soft-sided coolers such as Arctic Zone and Polar Bear.

Our Top Rated Ao Coolers

 Ao BackpackAo CarbonAo Vinyl
ao backpack cooler new thumbnailao carbon thumbnailao vinyl thumbnail
Our Rating3.5 star3 star3 star
Price by Volume (Amazon)$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Ice Life12-24 hours12-24 hours24 hours
Our Full ReviewLinkLinkLink

Great Mobility

One thing that all Ao coolers do quite well is excel in their ability to easily be moved around.  Since they are made of lightweight materials and are also quite flexible it means that they can be conveniently transported by just about anybody and it also opens them up to tons of great applications where mobility might be a limiting factor.  Examples of this include being stored under a car or boat seat, being tucked on the back of a motorcycle, or being inserted into a locker.  They are often used for picnic trips or to pack a lunch for the ballgame, and the larger sizes can even be used for a short weekend excursion.  There are plenty of people who don’t need the extra long-term cooling capabilities of the bulky plastic coolers on the market and just need something to keep their items cool for a day of tailgating or lounging by the pool.  Giving up a few days of ice retention for something that is much more mobile is a fair trade off to a lot of cooler maximize performance

Easy to Carry

Nearly all Ao coolers have multiple carrying handles, which means that they are a breeze to transport.  You can typically choose from an overhead carrying handle or the larger shoulder strap.  And since they are made of such lightweight construction you don’t have to worry about straining much, even when they are full.  Also, you don’t have to dread the hard plastic banging against your side or your knees while carrying, which can be a common annoyance when carrying a cooler around.  The fabric used is soft and much more shin and arm-friendly.

Variety of Colors and Styles

Looking for a unique color or fabric to stand out from the crowd?  Ao has quite a few styling choices which mean that no matter what sort of aesthetics you are into they likely have a design that fits your needs.  Many people also consider them to be quite sleek as they don’t have a bunch of side pockets and features to take away from the core look.  You don’t have to settle with a plain white cooler anymore!  There are even different fabric textures so a black carbon series will look totally different than a black vinyl series.  Many of these look quite professional and would go well in a business setting.

Big Range of Sizes

ao cooler size range

When people typically think of soft-sided coolers they picture small products that can only handle a few drinks or an individual’s lunch.  Ao breaks the mold and offers a pretty nice variety of sizes, ranging from tiny bags all the way up to coolers that can fit 48 cans!  This means that no matter what your needs are there is likely a size that will work for you.  And all sizes stick to the same general design and approach that Ao has stood by for years.

Keep Things Simple

Ao, for the most part, is very straightforward with the design of their products.  You won’t find tons of gadgets and external pockets on these coolers.  The vast majority of the storage will come from the primary insulated storage area.  This is actually a bit refreshing since it is obvious Ao knows what they need to focus on what areas to keep out of their designs.

General Product Information

Products Reviewed: Ao Backpack, Ao Carbon cooler, Ao Vinyl Cooler, Ao Canvas Cooler

Range of storage sizes: 12 quarts to 60 quarts

Range of estimated ice life: up to 24 hours

Materials used: plastic, nylon, and vinyl

Price range: Intermediate to Premium

Wheeled options? No

Company website:

Links to ALL of our Ao Cooler Reviews can be found below:

Ao Backpack

ao backpack cooler new fullA great-performing backpack that has an acceptable cooling ability and is tough enough to hold up to typical wear and tear for quite some time.  It is a bit expensive for the amount of storage that it has, but if you are willing to pay the premium price it should meet most of your needs.

Pros:Mostly water-resistant, extremely mobile, uses tough materials, very attractive look

Cons:A bit short on ice life, quite expensive

Read Our Review of Ao Backpack Cooler

Ao Carbon

ao carbon series cooler reviewOur Rating: 3 star

This is a very classy-looking cooler that does an alright job of ice retention and the build quality and materials are good enough, albeit it is a bit on the large side for a given size.  Also, the price is somewhat high so we wouldn’t mind if its performance was bumped up a notch or two.  It’s still not a terrible choice, however.

Pros: Waterproof, multiple carrying options, strong fabric, very attractive

Cons: A bit large for what it carries, not many external features, a bit expensive

Read Our Review of Ao Carbon Cooler

Ao Vinyl

ao vinyl cooler reviewOur Rating: 3 star

A tough product that has a good ice life for being a soft-sided cooler, while adhering to some of the benefits that those types of coolers bring.  It does fall a bit short in the looks category, though.  However, for someone looking for a rugged but still somewhat mobile cooling solution this should do the trick.

Pros: Great cooling ability, two carrying choices, strong material

Cons: Still prone to scratches, not many external features, looks are questionable

Read Our Review of Ao Vinyl Cooler

Ao Canvas

  Ao Canvas cooler reviewOur Rating: 2.5 star

A very “average” cooler in just about every sense of the word.  It will keep items cool for long enough period of time to be useful and the build quality isn’t terrible, but there are several minor complaints that we wish weren’t there for its intermediate price.

Pros: Acceptable cooling ability, multiple carrying options, many color choices

Cons: Fabric is prone to tearing, weak should strap, occasionally has odd folds in material

Read Our Review of Ao Canvas Cooler

TheCoolerZone tests and reviews various coolers to find the best products for you. When readers buy our reviewed picks, we earn affiliate commissions that help to support the site.
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