Coleman Backpack Cooler
14 quart sizes (approx.)
Plastic, rubber, and fabric composition
Pros: Very affordable, Extremely mobile, Multiple storage areas
Cons: May not be enough storage space, Very limited ice life
Large zippered front pocket, padded back and straps, adjustable shoulder and waist straps, overhead carrying handle, mesh side pockets
Coleman Backpack Cooler Review
We recently came across the relatively new Coleman Backpack Cooler. We are always looking for new coolers that have higher mobility so we were eager to try it out. Coleman advertises that this product can carry up to 28 cans and it also has some additional non-insulated storage on the front and sides for non-perishable items.
Other notable features include the padded straps as well as a comfy waist strap that helps to minimize how much movement the cooler will experience while transporting on your back. It is only available in one color combo (that we are aware of) and has around 14 liters of potential storage space. It is primarily constructed of plastic, rubber, and fabric.
Insulation ability –
As with most soft-sided coolers, the ice life will be noticeably less than a typical cooler. In addition, this backpack isn’t really intended on keeping ice for very long as the insulation that is there is extremely thin, if not basically non-existent. The only real modifications that we could find that made this product ice-friendly was a waterproof liner that would help to keep melted ice from leaking out. This feature is only available in the larger pocket so we don’t recommend attempting to store ice or any cold items in the smaller front pocket.
And due to the fact that ice will melt pretty quickly and then be sloshing around in inside, we also recommend sticking to ice packs if you plan on using anything. You can expect ice/ice packs to keep things cool for around 4 to 6 hours and after that, you will need to replace them. If you decide to go without ice, this product is more or less just a way to carry the items. It is also worth mentioning that if you decide to fill it with ice or ice packs, the “28 can” capacity goes down noticeably.
Mobility and durability –
Being a backpack, the Coleman Backpack Cooler is extremely mobile. However, just stopping there really wouldn’t do it justice. This backpack comes with both a padded underside as well as padded shoulder straps which are very comfy. You might not think that you need a backpack with such aggressive padding but most people don’t realize just how heavy a backpack full of 12-liter cokes/beer really can be. When you are talking about 30 pounds or more in weight you are carrying around, having those pads comes in handy.
In addition, this product comes with an adjustable waist strap. Essentially, you can wrap this waist strap around your waist and snap it into place. This helps to keep the backpack much more secure. We could see this feature coming in handy while hiking. As for storage space, Coleman states that you can put around 28 cans inside of it. However, if you decide to do this, you won’t have much room for anything else. Even if you have the front pocket empty, the back zipper, when full, sort of “pushes” the front pocket forward and makes it very challenging to access.
That being said, we do appreciate that Coleman has included some additional storage in the front and sides for your non-perishable items. As for build quality, this backpack is surprisingly robust given the price point. While you won’t get the level of toughness of many of the premium soft-sided coolers on the market, this backpack should be able to handle typical wear and tear for a few years before the fabric unravels/pieces come apart/etc.
Visual Appeal –
There is only one color option here (that we are aware of). It is sort of a light brown and silver blend with bright orange lacing. While we don’t mind the color scheme, some people may wish for more options than this. Also, the backpack is somewhat “odd” looking compared to your typical backpack.
In order to fulfill its requirements of being a cooler backpack, the walls are more pronounced and it sort of shoots out like a turtle shell. People will definitely be able to tell that this isn’t a standard backpack while you wear it. Whether or not that is a big deal will vary from person to person.
The asking price of the Coleman Cooler Backpack is very aggressive and among the most affordable cooler backpacks, we have come across. This makes it a great value buy and should fall within the budget of just about everybody. No, you won’t get the extra-long ice life or superb toughness of a Yeti or RTIC soft-sided cooler but you are paying a fraction of what they cost here.
Overall Rating –
Whether or not the Coleman Cooler Backpack is the right choice for you will really depend on what you are after. If you are looking for something that can keep your ice chilled for a day or more then this product isn’t for you. In addition, if you are looking for a large and robust bag that can carry all off your food and drinks for the weekend across rough terrain, then this bag also isn’t for you.
Who this bag is for are people who want a simple, effective, and affordable way to carry a few drinks or perishable items for a half-day excursion. It is also good for those who want something smaller and comfortable to wear. While there are some performance boosts and additional features we wouldn’t mind seeing, at this great asking price we can’t be too picky.