How to Choose Your Best Cooler Bags

ResolutionResolution Community Edition User
edited September 2021 in General Discussion

Are you a party lover? A travel lover? A student? Or an office worker? Whatever the case may be, one of the top-rated cooler bags will follow you anywhere to supply you with fresh food and refreshing drinks. You can also use them as storage items. While they work to insulate heat like small coolers, these products are more lightweight and fashionable.

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If you are reading this post, we assume that you have an idea of the advantages of these products and desire to get the most suitable one for your needs and preferences. The guide below covers just about anything you need to know to select the right model. 


What will you use them for? Do you need them to pack your lunch? If you do, you may prefer Coleman units or a bigger bag that can fit a beverage box. Will you be making trips alone for a couple of days and want something that provides a little more convenient packing? Then, a YETI cooler bag is probably your favorite.

These products come in different sizes. For example, personal ones often can hold nine cans, and their dimensions are about 7” x 8” x 10”. For small units, you can take 12 packs, and the size is usually 7” x 12” x 14”. Medium coolers are typically 24-can ones at 10” x 18” x 12”. The larger products come in sizes of at least 13” x 25” x 19”.

Sometimes, you get quart units, where the dimensions are expressed in quarts. Personal categories have no more than 16 quarts. A small one may differ from 17 quarts to 35 quarts. For the medium products, their capacities are from 36 quarts to 59 quarts. The large ones hold from 60 quarts to 99 quarts. For the giant sizes, the sizes are 100 quarts or above. 

Now that you understand more about the sizes, how much should be enough? It is a matter of your needs. For example, small bags are suitable for a big individual lunch, small picnics for two people, beach excursions for two or three people, and the like. Do you regularly have family picnics? If so, you may like to own a 24-can bag. 

Purposes of usage

It is essential to know that the cooler bag for your trip and the one which you sometimes use as a storage bag or lunch box are two different items. In most cases, various features serve different purposes. For instance, if you wish to take the bag on a boat trip, the model from Icemule, which can float, will be suitable. Still, if you take it to work as a lunch box, the Freddie and Debbie bag could be your best choice. For those who want a trendy and smaller one, Yeti products may be your choice. 

Besides, if you are looking for convenient models for your long trips, you should select a soft cooler bag made of high-grade material with comfortable and long-lasting handles.

Exterior materials

Coolers are well-known for their style, insulation, and durability. Though various brands use different materials, two of the most popular exteriors are nylon or vinyl. They are water-resistant, which makes them appropriate for use under various weather conditions, inclusive of snow, rain, and intense sunshine.

While vinyl bags are less expensive than nylon, the latter is more breathable. The breathability enables your cooler to maintain the freshness of your food. At the same time, it lets steam escape. 

Vinyl items do not breathe that easily. That is why moisture possibly becomes trapped inside, leading to a little quicker food deterioration. Therefore, this category of cooler is suitable for shorter destinations.

This Content: Best coolers on the market - Top Rated Coolers

Foam insulation

There are three primary types of foam insulation that the brands use in their cooler bags; they are polyester, polyurethane (PU), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC is long-lasting and cost-effective. You can find it in both soft and hard forms, but soft PVC is commoner in insulating models. It is incredibly flexible, owing to the higher plasticizer concentration than that of hard PVC. Plus, it is resistant to chemicals, grease, and oil, making it a great choice for all-day picnics. 

For polyurethane, this polymer is typically impressively resilient, flexible, and long-lasting. It is amazingly versatile, as well. PU is breathable because it has an “open-cell” design. In other words, it is also mildew-resistant and will not trap odors. It is a light material. 

Polyester foam is known as a polyurethane type. Its tensile strength is higher than that of polyether (its polyurethane foam counterpart). That is why it is as lightweight, breathable, and flexible as the conventional polyurethane while being excellent cut-resistant.

These three types of cell foam insulation have their perks and downsides. To simplify the points, let’s refer to the summary below.


  • Breathability: No
  • Closed or open-cell: Semi-open
  • Cost: Least expensive


  • Breathability: Some
  • Closed or open-cell: Open
  • Cost: More expensive


  • Breathability: Some
  • Closed or open-cell: Open
  • Cost: Most expensive


Before you think about buying any particular cooler bag type, you should first know what kinds are available. According to cooler bag reviews, the soft-sided ones are great choices if you have limited space and are not bringing a whole lot of beverages and food with you. They have been the most versatile thus far because of their availability in different styles. 

Shoulder bags are a typical style as they provide pleasant flexibility. Also, they are easy to use. Carrying handles and shoulder straps are often inclusive. A zipper helps seal up your bag. These coolers can fit a decent amount of food and/or drinks while being able to fold up to a much smaller size than hard coolers.

Lunch box style is popular among workers. They usually do not come with numerous unique characteristics except for removable plastic liners, which makes cleaning the inside easier. They can feature shoulder straps. Handles are usually available. Overall, these bags are most suitable for those who take enough items for a single meal. That being said, they can also hold some drinks for long car rides. If you attend a beach party, this cooler may not be the best option.

Another typical style is a backpack. It is not just convenient but insulative enough to keep your food fresh. It is suitable for people who are searching for a portable design. These coolers enable hands-free transport, which is not awkward and cumbersome.

Other considerations

Apart from the above factors, you may want to find a product that is easier to use. Technically, the better the item is constructed, the simpler it is to use. 

Also, decide on the budget for your cooler and select among the ones in such a price range. If you are looking for top-quality and durable models, a Yeti bag may be the right choice. For those who need a more economical option, you can consider the cooler from Coleman, whose quality is high. 

You may also want to look into other features such BPA-free (safe for storing food inside), ease of cleaning, and ease for storage.

Find More Information: Best coolers for keeping ice Thekinglive.com

The bottom line

Now that you have a better idea of how to choose the best cooler bags on the market, you can select your best fit more easily.

Do you also count on a cooler for outdoor activities? What do you think is the most decisive factor(s) to your buying decision? Do tell us in the comments section below. Also, if you find the post to be helpful, please do not forget to share it with those who may be interested in it.


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