Easy-to-Carry Cooler Backpacks to Keep Food and Snacks Cold

A cooler lunch is waiting.

Woman carrying cooler backpack on beach.
Ditch the tote and pack up your sandwiches in an insulated backpack.Retha Ferguson, Pexels

From a picnic lunch to a potluck dinner, a cooler backpack provides insulation to make sure food and drinks stay temperature stable, and gives you hands-free flexibility. The right model for you depends in part on how much it holds. Some coolers can bring along enough food and drink for a whole family, while more compact options may be better for a couple or individual. Here, how to pick the best cooler backpack for your needs.

IceMule Classic Coolers Sunshine, Large (20L)

Ready to Go

Generous inside capacity holds 20 liters; roll-up design allows easy storage when not in use.IceMule

Consider how you’ll use your cooler backpack. If you’re planning to use it at the beach or on a boat, waterproof material is key. It’s also important to consider how the backpack opens and closes. A catchall without zippers may minimize leaks and make it less likely water from the bottom of a boat will get into your cooler.

SEEHONOR Insulated Cooler Backpack Leakproof Soft Cooler Bag Lightweight Backpack with Cooler for Lunch Picnic Hiking Camping Beach Park Day Trips, 30 Cans (Grey)

Pack It In

A 30-liter design also has space for necessities like your phone and towel and boasts multiple pockets to keep everything organized.SEEHONOR

If you’re packing for the day, consider a backpack cooler that can hold more than just your lunch. For example, some cooler backpacks have insulated compartments designed for food or beverages, giving you additional space to hold things that don’t need insulation, like towels or pantry snacks.

Coleman Soft Backpack Cooler

No Frills Quality

A 28-can capacity and insulated main pocket makes this model roomy, while looking like a “traditional” hiking bag.Coleman

A cooler backpack doesn’t need to break the bank. An economical option still gives you the basics you need, including insulation to keep your lunch and cans cool. If you’re planning a multiple-day camping trip or outdoor water adventure, it may be worth looking into models with more targeted features.