Cotopaxi Hielo 12L Cooler Bag ($100)

From light and portable designs to burly options for days on the water, we break down the best soft-sided coolers
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12 cans (without ice)

1 lb. 9 oz.

Great packability and fun styling in a sustainably built package.

A little pricey for what you get.

Hydro Flask’s 20-L Insulated Tote is our top small soft coolers for daytime excursions, but the Hielo 12L from Cotopaxi is also a well-known alternative that stands out in a few areas. The first is style: Cotopaxi is known for its vibrant and colorful designs and the Hielo has the multi-colored pattern that stands above the other options (bonus that each cooler’s color pattern is distinctive). Another aspect is sustainability. Each Hielo is constructed from recycled materials. The brand’s climate-neutral, Certified B Corporation reflects their continued commitment to tackle environmental, social, and economic concerns. We also like the closure of the roll-top with zipper that secures using buckles and makes packing simple and quick, even when it’s full to the brim.

How does the Cotopaxi Hielo12L fall short? Although we like the playful design and sustainable slant, it’s not an excellent value for $100. For just $35 it’s worth you can get the Hydro Flask Insulated Tote comes with a waterproof outer that is also a bit more durable (the Liner of the Cotopaxi is waterproof and welded however the exterior fabric isn’t). The bag also has an additional pocket for keys or other small items in contrast to the Hielo is only equipped with a water bottle pocketthat isn’t as practical for many. In addition, we like the standard straps of the Insulated Tote in comparison to the Hielo’s messenger straps that look like bags and the one grab handle that makes it more difficult to carry when full. Also, keep at heart that neither is particularly impressive in regards to the retention of ice. That’s why the Hielo costs quite a bit for the features you get, yet it’s an easy to carry, lightweight and attractive alternative for afternoons spent at the beach or in the park.

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