The Ultimate Guide to the Best Cooler for Outdoor Concerts

Are you tired of lugging around heavy coolers, struggling to keep your beverages chilled during those scorching summer concerts? Well, fret no more! We have scoured the market to find the ultimate solution: the best backpack cooler! Whether you're grooving to your favorite tunes under the sun or exploring the great outdoors, this cooler will revolutionize your outdoor concert experience. In this article, we'll not only introduce you to the top-rated backpack cooler on the market but also delve into our findings from testing various coolers. So, get ready to say goodbye to warm drinks and hello to chilled refreshments – it's time to discover the best cooler for outdoor concerts!

Best Backpack Cooler

Maelstrom Cooler Backpack

If you enjoy outdoor activities like hiking or camping, then this cooler backpack is a must-have for your next adventure. It has a durable nylon exterior that is not only waterproof, but also built to withstand the rugged terrain. The interior is leak-proof and well-insulated, ensuring that your food stays hot or cold for up to 16 hours.

The backpack also comes with several features that make it perfect for outdoor dining. It has an integrated bottle opener and multiple zippered pockets to hold cutlery or other accessories for picnics. The backpack is designed with ergonomic shoulder straps and a comfortable back panel, making it easy to wear for long periods of time.


  • Ergonomic and comfortable design
  • Adjustable, breathable, and padded shoulder straps
  • Waterproof exterior and leak-proof interior
  • Keeps food and drinks hot or cold for 16 hours
  • Available in five different colors


  • Not ideal for larger groups

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Other coolers we've tested

These coolers are currently available commercially, and we have tested dozens of them over the years. Here is a list with brief insights:

  • Lifewit Collapsible Cooler Bag 24L (25 quarts): A handle-carry soft-sided cooler. It's popular on Amazon, but doesn't perform well in keeping things cool.
  • Tourit Cooler Backpack (20 quarts): Another popular Amazon find. These backpacks aren't great for cooling, but at least this one is stylish and has a metal bottle opener.
  • OlarHike Cooler Backpack (23 quarts): Similar to the Tourit backpack, but less attractive.
  • Amazon Commercial Rotomolded Cooler, 20qt (20 quarts): Amazon's line of roto-molded coolers, which perform well but not the best.
  • Camp Zero 20L Premium Cooler (21 quarts): Average performance with neat color options and molded-in cup holders on the lid.
  • Frosted Frog 20qt Rotomolded Ice Chest (20 quarts): Excellent performance but not the best.
  • Klein Tools Work Cooler (17 quarts): Sturdy but better for keeping lunch cool than as a traditional cooler.
  • Orca Light Blue 40 Quart Cooler (40 quarts): Median performance with a high price tag.
  • Igloo BMX 52 Quart Cooler (52 quarts): Affordable but poor performance.
  • KENAI 65 Quart Cooler (65 quarts): Classic design with decent performance but not the best.
  • Frosted Frog 75QT Cooler (75 quarts): Reasonable price and excellent performance.
  • Bison Gen 2 Cooler (50 quarts): Keeps the coldest temperature but doesn't maintain it well.
  • Cabela's Polar Cap Equalizer Cooler (60 quarts): Expensive but previously awarded as the best large cooler.
  • Yeti Tundra 45 Cooler (33 quarts): Lowest temperature reached in the small cooler category.
  • Rubbermaid Ice Chest Cooler (48 quarts): Poor temperature performance for a mid-sized cooler.
  • Coleman Xtreme Marine Cooler (70 quarts): Large capacity and affordable price.
  • Coleman Xtreme Wheeled Cooler (50 quarts): Poor performance in tests but lower price.
  • RTIC 65 Cooler (65 quarts): Middle-of-the-pack performance with slightly higher price.
  • Igloo Island Breeze Cooler (48 quarts): Low cost but below average performance.
  • Igloo Latitude Wheeled Cooler (60 quarts): Largest size but lowest performance scores.
  • Igloo MaxCold Cooler (50 quarts): Good performance with attractive price.
  • Pelican Elite Cooler (50 quarts): Gets colder than most but doesn't hold it as long.
  • Yeti Roadie 24 Cooler (20 quarts): Average performance but maintains temperature well.
  • Yeti Hopper Backflip 24 Insulated Backpack Cooler (22 quarts): Backpack design but inferior performance compared to other coolers.
  • Coleman Portable Cooler (16 quarts): Affordable option but doesn't hold temperature well.
  • Pelican 20 Quart Elite Cooler (20 quarts): Not a strong competitor compared to others.
  • Coleman 24-Can Party Stacker Portable Cooler (23 quarts): Gets cold quickly but doesn't maintain temperature well.
  • Rubbermaid 45qt Blue Wheeled Cooler (45 quarts): Average performance and affordable price with wheels.
  • Xspec 60 Quart Roto Molded High Performance Cooler (60 quarts): One of the best coolers we've tested with top-notch features and performance.
  • Igloo Trailmate Journey 70qt All-Terrain Cooler (70 quarts): Feature-rich with excellent performance and slightly above average price.

Capacity considerations

When evaluating performance, it's important to consider the capacity of the coolers. While some sizes, like the 50-quart, are more popular, there is no standardization in terms of size and shape among coolers. The size and shape play a role in performance, as a larger cooler has a bigger job to do than a smaller one, assuming the amount of ice is the same.

To ensure accurate measurements, I tested each cooler's capacity and compared it to the manufacturer's claims. Instead of simply counting how many cans a cooler can hold, I filled each one with water to the point of water overflow when the lid is closed. This measurement is crucial when dealing with melted ice. The smaller and cheaper models generally underestimated their capacity, while larger and more expensive models didn't quite meet their claims.

For example, the $400 Rovr Rollr wheeled cooler claims a capacity of 60 quarts, but it only held 52.8 quarts of water. The $219 RTIC also fell short, holding only 39.6 quarts instead of the specified 45 quarts. On the other hand, the 55-quart Lifetime High Performance Cooler exceeded its claim, holding 62.4 quarts. The Yeti Hopper Backflip 24 had the smallest volume among the coolers tested, with an internal volume of 26.42 quarts, exceeding its claimed 22.5 quarts.

The worst offender in terms of capacity was the Tourit Backpack Cooler, which only offered 65 percent of its claimed 30-quart capacity.

In a world where outdoor concerts have become the epitome of summer fun, having the best backpack cooler by your side is nothing short of essential. Our extensive testing has brought us face to face with various options, but only a few made it to our top picks. From durability and insulation to convenience and style, these coolers have proven their worth. So, whether you're planning to jam to your favorite tunes at a lively festival or simply unwind under the sun, make sure you've got one of these trusty companions by your side. With the best backpack cooler in tow, you can revel in the music, enjoy icy cold drinks, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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