Indago8 Backpack Cooler Review
Our friends over at Indago8 sent us their newest cooler backpack to try out. This soft-sided backpack is designed for those who value mobility while not hitting the wallet too hard. In this review, we will go over some of the features of the Indago8 Backpack Cooler, discuss its build quality/performance, and determine if it is a good purchase for you.
- 1 Indago8 Backpack Cooler Review
Indago8 Backpack Cooler Features/Build Quality
This is a pretty straightforward backpack cooler. We have tried out certain soft coolers that were covered in many different features: but the issue with those was excess weight/size and a typically higher asking price.
Indago8 has decided to take a much simpler approach in their backpack cooler.
You will find two different storage pockets. A smaller front pocket with a zipper that is accessed from the front and a larger pocket with an overhead zipper as you would normally see in a traditional backpack. And both of these pockets come with a stain-resistant inner liner, making them good for carrying food or beverages.
It is worth noting that, while stain-resistant, these liners are not intended on holding ice. There are stitched seams as opposed to heat-welded seams so water will be able to pass through. Because of this, the manufacturer recommends that you stick with ice packs instead of ice since ice packs don’t melt.
Also, only the larger of the pockets are insulated. The front pocket does not have insulation so will not be as equipped to keep your items hot/cold. However, for short trips, it can still be used for carrying these types of items.
Within the larger compartment, there is also a mesh pocket located on the face. This is good for carrying items that you don’t want to be as exposed to direct contact with the ice pack.
In addition to the inner mesh pocket, there are also side mesh pockets located on the outside. We found these pockets a good solution for carrying your cell phone, umbrella, or keys. And it really makes this backpack cooler have an impressive amount of storage volume despite its smaller stature. In total, you have around 28 liters of volume to work with. And, according to the manufacturer, this is large enough to store 30 cans of beer/soda and still have some room to spare for a couple of ice packs.
In the first image above, you will also see a bungee cord that is secured on the face of the backpack. Not only does this add an attractive flair, but its primary purpose is to provide additional places that you could hang items from. This could include your keys, small flashlight, or any other lightweight item that you want quick access to.
The zippers are pretty standard offerings. There is a small stringed item that hangs from them, but it really doesn’t serve a purpose. The zippers are easy to open and close and, in our testing, never snagged up.
As you might expect, this backpack cooler comes with two straps for carrying on your shoulders. While the straps are plenty wide, there isn’t a ton of padding to work with. This typically won’t be a huge deal since you shouldn’t be carrying enormous amounts of weight with this. But despite this, many people still prefer the added comfort of thicker padding. There is also a buckle strap that you can snap in place to provide additional stability while carrying. This strap is designed to snap around the center of your body (which is essentially your center of gravity). This is a nice touch and something that we are used to seeing in higher-end camping backpacks.
As for overall build quality, it isn’t bad considering the price. We have seen reports of the stitching around the straps unfurling after a short period of time but we didn’t experience anything like this in our testing. Obviously, if you plan on carrying a lot of heavy items in this backpack and walking around with it then the stitching will be put under a larger load. This could, in turn, shorten the life of the backpack cooler.
Indago8 Cooler Backpack Ice Life
Since this product isn’t really designed to transport actual ice, we weren’t able to perform a traditional ice test on it. Instead, it is recommended that you use an ice pack. Since there is so much variance in ice pack sizes and quantity, specific results will vary.
We will say that, with a couple of normal 5” x 5” ice packs, you can adequately keep items cool for an afternoon in the sun. Conversely, any warm items that you want to keep warm should do so for 2 to 3 hours. While this is nowhere near the performance of many of the larger, more expensive premium soft coolers that we have tested, it still isn’t terrible for a low-cost, portable alternative.
Indago8 Cooler Backpack Styling
All in all, this is a pretty attractive backpack cooler. We like the gray stitching and how it accents well with the black zippers and bungee. Our only issue is with the lack of color options. Currently, there is only the gray model to pick from. We hope in the future that Indago8 decides to expand their colors to more choices.
Indago8 Cooler Backpack Price
One of the biggest positives of this product is the price. It is quite affordable for a backpack cooler. And, despite the low asking price, there are no glaring issues with quality. The fit, finish, and feel of this cooler are all of the acceptable calibers. Of course, don’t expect this model to last as long as a Yeti which costs 5x as much (if not more). But for someone who isn’t able or willing to drop hundreds of dollars on a cooler backpack, this is a nice substitute.
Indago8 Cooler Backpack Review
Pros: Very affordable, Plenty of Storage, Quite Mobile
Cons: Insulation is a little thin, Only one color to choose from
Features: Insulated main pocket, Stain-resistant inner liner, Mesh side pockets, Bungee cord, Padded shoulder strap, Chest buckle
The Indago8 Cooler Backpack is a small, simple, affordable backpack for those who value mobility over maximum ice life. It comes with plenty of storage volume to packing all the items that you would need for a small afternoon excursion or to a typical sporting event. It currently comes in one size that has around 28L of storage volume.
Insulation Ability –
Your ice retention performance will come thanks to a thin layer of insulation that can be found on the main compartment. This insulation, while nothing amazing, is enough to boost the performance over a normal non-insulated backpack. That being said, this model is not designed to carry ice in it. Instead, you should be using ice packs since they don’t melt. Specific “ice life” will vary greatly depending on the size and quantity of ice packs that you use. However, in our tests, a couple of small ice packs are enough to keep your drinks cold for a half day or so. Conversely, any warm items that you are trying to keep warm should stay so for 2 to 3 hours.
Features/Build Quality –
This is a pretty straightforward backpack cooler: it isn’t adorned with numerous features as we have seen in some of the higher-end units that we have tested. Its main selling points are its surprisingly large amount of storage volume that is thanks to multiple pockets including three different mesh pockets. You will also find a bungee cord on the front for hanging items off of.
The shoulder straps, while nothing special, should do the trick unless you really plan on weighing this down with drinks. And the snap buckle was a nice touch for providing much-needed stability in the case that you plan on hitting some elevated terrain with this backpack.
Build quality isn’t terrible. We have seen some issues with stitching coming undone around the shoulder straps but this, unfortunately, is a common issue for just about all soft-sided coolers that utilize stitching. If you plan on transporting a lot of items and doing a lot of hiking with this, anticipate that the straps may not last as long as you would want. But for more casual use, they should hold up just fine.
While we like the simplistic styling, we do wish that there were a few more colors to choose from. The gray is nice but having some other mono and multi-color schemes would appeal much better to the masses. But we must admit that the gray on black look is always a winner.
This is a very competitively-priced backpack cooler. While you will find examples that outperform this, they will typically cost multiple factors more. Build quality and ice retention are fine given the low cost. And we feel that strikes a nice balance between asking price and versatility.
Overall Rating –
The Indago8 Cooler Backpack is a fine addition into the low-cost low to mid-level cooler backpack range. There is plenty of storage for a single person and even enough for a small group’s outing for a day. Build quality, while nothing spectacular, is adequate given the asking price. We do wish that the insulation was a bit thicker, the stitching with a bit more robust, and that there were a few more colors to choose from but this would likely drive up the price quite a bit. And, as such, given the affordability, we can’t complain.