When testing soft sided coolers, the Polar Bear line of coolers have consistently been top performers. (See Our Video Reviews Embedded Below). Not only can Polar Bear back pack coolers hold ice for days at a time (confirmed via our testing), they are also some of the most versatile soft sided coolers. Offering hands free carrying, these are the perfect solution for a hiking cooler, day to beach, or even in marine applications like kayaking.
Jump To> Polar Bear Sizes & Colors⇒
What Is a Backpack Cooler?
Just like any other backpack, this is a cooler you can wear on your back. Most Polar Bear coolers can carry several cans (up to 24) of your favorite beverage and still have room for ice. When testing these we found that Polar Bear’s can hold ice up to 3 days. Another option many choose with soft sided coolers is using cooler ice packs. Although ice packs won’t keep internal temperatures cool as long, they won’t ruin dry good when melting. This is a big concern as space is usually limited in this style cooler.
Our Polar Bear Backpack Video Review
-Ice Challenge Results (3 +Days)–
Polar Bear coolers also claim to never sweat, and when seeing the durability of the liner, it is easy to see why. Most models have extra pockets. This is perfect for when you are out on a long hike, you can easily carry your necessities without having to carry a separate backpack. For many, carrying a cooler on their back is much easier than carrying it on their shoulder or in their hands. As long as you are capable of carrying a hiking backpack, you should be able to carry a cooler with comfort.
Updated Ice Retention Test
The testing above took place in early winter in Central Florida. We ran a similar test, with even more coolers, in the middle of summer. Afternoon temperatures were regularly hitting 90°+ and lid temperatures were into the 110-120° range. Yet still, the Polar Bear was able to maintain ice for 2.5+ days. Because of the cooler size, this is likely to be longer than most would need to to hold ice. In fact, this is just short of how long a hard sided, roto molded cooler can hold ice.
Why Choose Polar Bear Coolers?
Polar Bear has some of the best, high-quality, soft-sided coolers available. All coolers are designed in the USA, and are protected by a lifetime warranty. A variety of sizes and styles are available. In our test, we tested the H2O series which offers a waterproof zipper and superior insulation. As you’ll see in the video, the walls of this cooler, even though it is a soft cooler, are thicker than many others. The biggest selling point for us, is the versatility of these coolers. When not in use, they take up a fraction of the storage space a traditional cooler would, yet can hold ice nearly as long. If you’re tight on space on your boat, in the car, or on a camping trip, Polar Bears deserve a look. Below we’ve outlined the most popular sizes and styles that Polar Bear offers in a backpack cooler.
Polar Bear Backpack Cooler Variety
This cooler is 18×12 inches. It is 7 inches at the opening. It has a weatherized rubber coating on the zipper to ensure heat does not get in (or cold air out). It also can hold up to 18 cans as well as a bag of ice. If you are curious as to how long ice will stay; Polar Bear advertises a full 24 hours ( 3 days in our test) in 100 degree temperatures. If you want to carry something warm, it can maintain a temperature of 200 degrees for several hours. Either way, it will not leak or sweat. Most importantly this is built to last through many hiking trips and the lifetime warranty is a testament to that. The backpack cooler is available in a variety of styles and colors. See Color Schemes Here⇒
One of the most popular Polar Bear Coolers backpack is the orange 18x12x7inch cooler. It is created using 1000 denier Cordura nylon as well as a very high density open celled foam. When not in use, it easily collapses down and stored. When empty it weighs less than 3.5 pounds, which means that even if you pack it to capacity, you will not have to worry about the extra weight of your backpack. This is also offered in a variety of colors and patterns including a camo pattern. See All Colors Here⇒__________________________________
The H2O series is one of the most durable soft sided coolers available. This is a fully waterproof cooler thanks to its’ Tarpaulin exterior and water tight dive zipper on the top. The H2O series also offers 1 inch thick closed cell insulation, which produced 2.5 Days worth of ice retention in our testing. This is also one of the most stylish soft sided coolers offering a unique Polar Bear print design. You’ll also notice that this cooler is loaded with attachment points for additional gear or to be used as tie down points in the back of a truck or UTV. The H2O series currently comes in Blue, Charcoal and Orange. See Color Schemes Here⇒
READ: Our other Soft Sided Cooler Review⇒