ICEMULE Classic Medium 15L ($80)

From light and portable designs to burly options for days on the water, we break down the best soft-sided coolers

Table of Contents

12 cans (with ice)

2 lbs.

6, 9, 18 cans

Very durable and fully waterproof—a great option for days on the water.

Collapsible design lacks structure.

The ICEMULE Pro model above is our preferred backpack cooler, but those who do not require shoulder straps could save dollars by purchasing the Classic. We prefer the mid-priced Medium 15L model best: It’s a great size to be a great choice for an afternoon excursion or an all-day trip, and comes with a well-cushioned and sturdy straps for cross-body carrying and is a close match to the sturdy and durable construction as the Pro model in the above. Water enthusiasts will be pleased with the air valve that is integrated close to the top that lets you inject additional air into the insulation layer to boost the buoyancy (ICEMULE states that it will float even when filled). If it’s time for you to pack the valve is able to let out air and then roll the cooler into a container for transport.

The issues we have about this model of ICEMULE Classic are like those we wrote in the Pro model previously The design isn’t a good fit for collapsible structure, isn’t distinctive in terms of insulation, and may be a bit rough when loaded to the max. It’s also at the lower dimension, though the capacity of 12 cans is sufficient for all day excursions (and ICEMULE does offer a larger version of the 18-can at $190). In addition the Classic does not have the external bungee system as well as the back panel that is ventilated like the Pro but it’s unlikely to cause any issues for the vast majority. The most important thing is that the Classic shares the same values and is priced lower than the competition and still providing the best combination of functionality in general performance.