Best Portable Cooler Bags – (Reviews & Ultimate Guide 2019)

PORTABLE COOLER BAG REVIEWSUsing portable cooler bags can make your life easier. Whether you’re going to work or you’re spending time in nature, having some fresh sandwiches and cold drinks close at hand can be an advantage. But can a portable cooler bag be a feasible solution if you want to store something for a day or more?


The best portable cooler bags can maintain a cool temperature in their insulated compartments for 24 hours or more in 120-degree ambient temperature. And that’s not all. The compartment’s temperature is so low, it can keep the ice from melting.

Besides being very effective, the portable cooler bags are also easy to transport, so you can take them anywhere with you when you travel. This will offer you the possibility of keeping your drinks cold and your food fresh even if you visit remote locations.

Portable Cooler Bag Reviews

eBags Crew Cooler II

eBags Crew Cooler II

  • Price : $$$
  • Cold For : 24 Hours
  • Capacity : 12 Can
  • Dimensions : 8.5 x 15 x 10.5″
  • Made : Thick polyester
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Coleman 9-Can Cooler

Coleman 16-Can Cooler Bag

  • Price : $$
  • Cold For : 24 Hours
  • Capacity : 16 Can
  • Dimensions : 12.20 x 6.69 x 12.20″
  • Made : Soft PEVA
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MOJECTO Two Compartment Cooler Bag

MOJECTO Large Cooler Bag

  • Price : $$$
  • Cold For : 30 Hours
  • Capacity : up to 12 Can
  • Dimensions : 15 x 9 x 12″
  • Made : 840D Polyester fabric
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AO Coolers High-Density Cooler Bag

AO Coolers High-Density Cooler Bag

  • Price : $$$
  • Cold For : 24 Hours
  • Capacity : 24 Can
  • Dimensions : 17 x 10 x 12″
  • Made : Soft polyester canvas
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Coleman 30-Can Cooler Bag

Coleman 30-Can Cooler Bag

  • Price : $$
  • Cold For : 24 Hours
  • Capacity : 30 Can
  • Dimensions : 13.75 x 13.75 x 4.75″
  • Made : Durable polyester
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Everest Lunch Bag

Everest Cooler Lunch Bag

  • Price : $
  • Cold For : 24 Hours
  • Capacity : 300 in3 / 4.9 L
  • Dimensions : 8.5 x 7.25 x 6″
  • Made : 600D Polyester
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1. eBags Crew Cooler II

eBags Crew Cooler IIThe eBags Crew Cooler II is one of the most popular cooler bags currently available on the market. This model is made out of thick polyester that not only adds to the bag’s durability but also makes it more resilient to tears and easier to transport. And as a plus, the polyester is not itchy and it won’t scratch your skin.

This cooler bag has a good design that will allow you to store and transport anything you want in its large insulated and dry storage compartments. Two zippers secure the top dry storage compartment, allowing you easy access to anything you need to store close at hand. The top mesh is also secured with a zipper, allowing you to compartmentalize your items according to your preference and to keep some items out of the ice.

The cooler compartment is placed on the bag’s bottom and it’s surrounded by insulated walls from all its six sides. The PVC-free PEVA liner of the insulation compartment ensures that the melted ice won’t leak or seep through the seams, making the cooler bag easy to use on an everyday basis.

Even though this is one of the most popular models available now, you should be careful to avoid filling the cooler at it maximum capacity because this can put a lot of stress on the bag’s zipper which can get damaged over time.

2. Coleman 16-Can Cooler Bag

Coleman 9-Can CoolerThe Coleman cooler bag is a popular model that comes at a good price. This unit is large enough to hold 16 cans and sufficient ice or freezer packs to keep them at a cool temperature for a long period of time.

A good thing about using this model is that it’s highly portable. The cooler bag is collapsible, so you can store it inside a normal-sized suitcase when you travel. When you want to use the cooler bag, you’ll be able to carry it with ease thanks to its adjustable shoulder strap. The shoulder strap is also padded, so you can fill the bag to its maximum capacity and still carry it comfortably for a long time.

The cooler bag’s interior lining is made out of soft PEVA, so it will prevent the melted ice from leaking through the seams and it will also prevent bacterial and fungal growth. The PEVA lining is also very easy to clean, so the bag has low maintenance.

There are three dry storage compartments you can use to store utensils, napkins, and anything else you would need. The front storage pocket is secured by a zipper, and the two side mesh pockets can be used to store water or soft drinks bottles. We found that the front pocket is large enough to hold a smartphone and a wallet, but it’s too small to fit a tablet.

3. MOJECTO Large Cooler Bag

MOJECTO Two Compartment Cooler BagThe large cooler bag produced by MOJECTO is a heavy-duty model that’s capable of withstanding anything you throw its way. This bag is made out of tear-resistant polyester and it comes with a high-density insulation liner that will keep your food and drinks at a cool temperature for a long period of time.

One of the advantages of using this model is that it comes with an extra insulation liner. If the original liner is somehow torn or ruptured, you can simply replace it with the second one and keep using the cooler bag. This will increase the bag’s durability, allowing you to use it for a longer time.

We were pleasantly surprised by this cooler’s storage space. There are two insulated compartments you can use to store whatever you need to keep cool, one of which is insulated with high-density foam from all sides. There are two zippered mesh pockets on the side that will come in handy when you need to store something close at hand, and a front pocket you can use to store clothing, gadgets, or other items.

Thanks to its design and good insulation proprieties, this cooler bag is suitable for long-distance travel.

4. AO Coolers High-Density Cooler Bag

AO Coolers High-Density Cooler BagThe cooler bag produced by AO Coolers comes in a large variety of colors, allowing you to choose one that fits your outfit or preference. This unit offers a storage capacity of 24-cans, which should be more than you need to pack food and drinks for a whole day.

A good thing about this model is that it comes with a leak-proof liner and double insulation walls that will keep your food and drinks cool for a long period of time. The cooler bag also features a side pocket for dry storage, and you can use that pocket to store gadgets, accessories, or clothing items when necessary.

This cooler bag comes with an adjustable shoulder strap that will allow you to carry it comfortably, even when you fill the bag at its maximum capacity. The bag is made out of a soft polyester canvas that makes it stain-resistant but soft enough to not scratch your skin when you carry it.

Thanks to the closed-cell insulation foam that make up the insulation compartment’s walls, this cooler bag will keep your food and drinks at a cool temperature for a long time. The manufacturer claims the bag can keep ice frozen solid for 24 hours in 120-degree heat. We didn’t test the cooler in these conditions, but we agree that it will keep the drinks you store in it cold for a long time.

5. Coleman 30-Can Cooler Bag

Coleman 30-Can Cooler BagThe Coleman cooler bag has a storing capacity of 30 cans, and it comes at a great price. This model is made out of durable polyester that’s specially designed to minimize the chances of tearing, increasing the bag’s durability and lifespan.

One of the good things about this model is that it comes with heat-welded seams. These seams will prevent the melted ice from leaking out of the insulation compartment, and it will also prevent any drinks that might spill into the bag from staining anything around it.

Another good thing about using this bag is that it comes with a specially designed antimicrobial liner that will resist any bacterial and fungal growth in the insulation compartment. Not only will this feature make the cooler bag suitable for everyday use, but it will also lower the unit’s maintenance, making it very easy to clean.

The cooler bag’s insulation compartment is secured with two zippers. To make the bag more user-friendly, the manufacturer installed an easy-access Velcro pocket on the top of the unit. We found the top access pocket very helpful, as it will allow you to reach into the bag and take what you need without opening the whole insulation compartment.

6. Everest Cooler Lunch Bag

Everest Lunch BagThe Everest cooler bag is also a popular model, and coincidentally or not, it’s also one of the cheapest high-quality cooler bags you can find on the market today. This unit comes in a large variety of colors, allowing you to match it with your sporting equipment or preferences.

One of the good things about this model is that it’s small and compact. This will allow you to store your lunch and drinks in the cooler bag and take it with you to work or to the gym every day of the week.

The bag’s front and side pockets can be used for dry storage. You can use these pockets to store things you want to have close at hand, like small gadgets, utensils, or napkins. Unfortunately, the side pockets are not large enough to accommodate a water or soft drink bottle, but it will hold smaller objects.

Thanks to its compact design, this cooler bag is comfortable and easy to transport. Even though the nylon shoulder strap doesn’t have padding, the weight of the bag won’t be too uncomfortable to carry even if you fill it to its maximum capacity. The small and compact design of this cooler bag makes this model suitable for adults and children alike.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Portable Cooler Bags

Portable cooler bags offer the obvious advantage of being easy to carry. These units are usually small and lightweight on their own, so you won’t have any problems fitting them in a suitcase or in a backpack when you travel.

1. Advantages

  • Easy To Carry – One of the main advantages of using a portable cooler bag is that it’s easy to transport. These units come with comfortable shoulder straps that will distribute the weight of the bag across your back and shoulder, so you will be able to carry them comfortably for a long period of time, even when you fill them to their maximum capacity.
  • Good For Everyday Use – These units are large enough to hold enough food for the whole day and some drinks besides, but they are small enough to take with you on your daily commute. Whether you’re traveling by car, train, or bus, these cooler bags are small and comfortable enough to carry with ease.
  • Good For Children – Portable cooler bags are good for children because they are small enough for them to carry comfortably. These bags are especially useful for those who practice sports or those who like to spend their time outdoors. Instead of searching for a good place to snack, you can just pack them some sandwiches and be sure they have something to eat for the day.
  • Good For Campers – The portable cooler bags are suitable for campers. They are capable of maintaining a cool environment in the insulation compartment for a good period of time, so you can take them with you when you go camping.
  • Good For Beach Goers – When you go to the beach, you need to have something cold to drink once in a while. Using a portable cooler bag solves this problem and it is especially important for those who prefer going to isolated beaches that are more difficult to access and don’t offer any facilities.
  • Good For Athletes – People who like spending their time working out have to make sure they stay hydrated. But when you’re working out outdoors, keeping your drinks at cool temperature can sometimes be difficult. This problem is solved by the portable cooler bags, and using one will ensure you will always have a cold drink close at hand.
  • Dry Storage Compartments – Portable cooler bags come with one or more compartments for dry storage. This is an advantage, as it will allow you to store gadgets and utensils in the bag alongside food and drinks.

2. Disadvantages

  • Limited Storage Space – Portable cooler bags have to be, first of all, portable. That means they can’t be too heavy. Because of this, most manufacturers limit the maximum storage capacity of the bags. Portable cooler bags are more spacious than the small ice chests, but they still have limited storage space.
  • Limited Cooling Period – Even though some portable cooling bag models like the AO Coolers High-Density Cooler Bag can maintain a cool temperature for 24 hours or more, the cooling period is still limited. Portable cooling bags do not rely on external power sources like the electric coolers, so they will only maintain a cool temperature for as long as the cooling agent permits.
  • Not Very Versatile – Unlike the backpack coolers you can hold without using your arms, portable cooler bags will most often block you from using one of your arms at maximum capacity. This can be a disadvantage when you travel or when you have more luggage to carry.

How Could A Portable Cooler Bag Be Useful?

best portable cooler bags

First and foremost, a portable cooler bag is useful because it’s easy to transport. However, this type of cooler can be useful in more scenarios.

  1. Sports Events – Some sports events like kayaking, parasailing, cycling, and more are held outdoors, usually far away from stores. Sometimes the event hosts arrange some kiosks that sell food and beverages, but these kiosks either practice unreasonable prices, or the lines people form in front of them are so long you miss half of the event waiting at the line. Instead of spending a lot of money or losing the event to get a cold drink or something to eat, you can simply pack everything you need in a portable cooler bag and enjoy the event.
  2. Spending Time In Nature – Spending time in nature can offer multiple health benefits. But if you want to experience these benefits, you will have to take the time to go to a remote location, and actually be surrounded by nature. Since the location is remote, the chances of finding a diner or a store when you can buy cold snacks or drinks are also remote. Using a portable cooler bag is a great solution for this problem, and it will allow you to spend as much time as you need in nature.
  3. Eating Lunch – Even though some people prefer browsing social network platforms instead of eating lunch, lunch still remains one of the important meals of the day. Eating lunch offers a lot of health advantages, and it gives you the energy you need to carry on with your day. Packing your lunch and some ice in a portable cooler bag can make it easier for you to have a fresh and healthy meal close at hand.
  4. Traveling – You need to stay hydrated and feed yourself when you travel. But if you choose to travel to a foreign location finding a shop or a restaurant can be difficult at times. Using a portable cooler bag will keep your food fresh on long trips. This will also allow you to pack enough water to hydrate yourself until you find a restaurant or until you get back to your hotel.

FAQ about Portable Cooler Bags

  • Are portable coolers soft?

A big part of them really are. Since they are portable models, they have to be stored easily and be readily available when you take them on a trip. So, many portable cooler models have soft materials to make sure you can pack them and transport them wherever you need with no difficulty.

In addition, portable cooler bags have zippers. Unlike your typical cooler that has a plastic lid to secure the contents, zippers make it easy for the cooler to be folded and carried to the place you need to use it.

  • Are portable coolers expensive?

They’re not too expensive, although it depends on the particular product you need, and which has grabbed your attention. You should expect products of very high quality to increase in price compared to other models, but in general, you should be able to find something affordable as well. Many portable coolers come for less than $100, meaning there are very high chances of finding something for a decent price and of high-quality on top of that. If you might want to know more about ice-making check out Ice Making 101.

  • Can a portable cooler bag leak?

In general, no – a portable cooler bag should not leak. It should be made in such a way to prevent leaking. But if you notice that yours is somehow leaking, the chances are that yours wasn’t done very well and you may need a replacement. More often than not, there’s a liner on the inside of the cooler bag, and if leaking occurs, it most likely has to do with an issue on the inside liner.

If you can’t purchase one right now because of financial reasons, you can always try to stop it from leaking – at least for the moment. You could add a small towel inside so the water doesn’t leak through the bottom anymore – you could also use some aluminum foil to stop the leaking. These are not permanent solutions, so use them until you can afford a new, high-quality portable cooler.

  • The zippers are waterproof – do I have to lubricate them?

Not necessarily. Usually, waterproof zippers are already lubricated at the time you purchase your product, so lubricating again is not a requirement. Still, there are times when some zippers are harder to tug and pull, which could mean lubricating is a must. So, if that’s the case, you should purchase some proper lube and take care of the zippers.

  • How do I clean my portable cooler bag?

First of all, you should remove all drinks, food and any potential food particles from the cooler if you intend to clean it. Wipe the interior of the bag with a damp cloth, so no trace is left inside. Let it dry and mix warm water with baking soda in case you notice mold or stains, and wipe the interior with a cloth damped in this solution. Afterward, use a clean sponge to clean the interior by using some water and dishwashing detergent. Let it dry, and the portable cooler bag will be clean.

Best Portable Cooler Bags Comparison Chart

MOJECTO Large Cooler Bag
$$$30 Hoursup to 12 Can15 x 9 x 12"840D Polyester fabric
AO Coolers High-Density Cooler Bag
$$$24 Hours24 Can17 x 10 x 12"Soft polyester canvas
eBags Crew Cooler II
$$$24 Hours12 Can8.5 x 15 x 10.5"Thick polyester
Coleman 30-Can Cooler Bag
$$24 Hours30 Can13.75 x 13.75 x 4.75"Durable polyester
Everest Cooler Lunch Bag
$24 Hours300 in3 / 4.9 L8.5 x 7.25 x 6"600D Polyester
Coleman 16-Can Cooler Bag
$$24 Hours16 Can12.20 x 6.69 x 12.20"soft PEVA

Wrap Up

Portable cooler bags are gaining in popularity, and it’s easy to see why. These units offer you the possibility of having a home-prepared meal with you anywhere you go, and they also keep your drinks cool throughout the day.

The best portable coolers can maintain a low temperature in their insulation compartments for 24 hours or more, and they can be the perfect solution for those who like to travel and to spend time in nature.

And to add to the benefits they offer, these units also have dry storage compartments, so you can use them to store clothes, gadgets, and other utensils beside food and drinks.

If you believe that portable coolers are not the right option for your needs, there are plenty of other models you can choose from.