Having a soft cooler that is completely and utterly waterproof, both inside and out, can be extremely useful.
It means you don't have to worry about water leaking out of your cooler if it tips over in your car or sploshes around whilst you are carrying your cooler to your next destination.
There are now a lot of great soft sided coolers out there that have completely waterproof inner liners, outer material and a 100% leakproof zipper. Some of these coolers are better than others so I've compiled my list of the best waterproof soft coolers on the market today.
How Did I Decide Which Coolers Were Best?
I've personally written indepth reviews on almost every cooler on this list and also compared them head-to-head with leading brands.
I know the ins and outs of their ice retention, build quality and pricing.
This list starts with my most recommended coolers (the Engel HD30) and works it's way down to my least recommended cooler (the Ozark Trail).
To me, durability and performance are extremely important – but so is value for money.
While this list only features waterproof coolers I've also created a full list of the best soft sided coolers on the market as well as a list of the best cheap soft coolers under $100.
The top 3 coolers are the most durable coolers on here and all perform really well in ice retention tests and have a zipper that isn't likely to break in the short term.
As you work your way down the list you'll start to get coolers like RTIC and IceMule that are much more affordable but the build quality isn't quite as good or coolers like Otterbox and HydroFlask which are good coolers but for me the value isn't quite there and I believe you can get better coolers at the same price point.
Ultimately the best cooler for you will depend on your needs, what you value in a cooler and which one suits your budget best. Have a look through this list of the best waterproof and leakproof coolers and then pick the one that's best for you.
1. Engel HD30
The Engel HD30 is an all around amazing waterproof cooler. It has the best ice retention of any cooler on this list and both the interior and exterior are completely waterproof. Click here to see the list of the best soft coolers for ice retention (Engel is #1)
It has a rubber zipper that when closed is completely leakproof. The zipper overhangs the cooler a little bit which allows for a wider mouth opening at the top so it's easier to load your cooler and access your cooler.
The exterior is made from heavy duty nylon that is TPU laminated to make it extra strong and puncture resistant as well as to make it water resistant.
It has a reinforced base to handle the wear and tear of regular use as well as an exterior pocket for storing dry items, tie down slots, a removable shoulder strap, side handles and many other features.
Despite being one of the best performing coolers on this list the Engel HD30 actually sells for a discount of about $100 when compared to Yeti which is the most popular brand. Click here to see my Engel HD30 vs Yeti Hopper comparison.
This cooler offers high-quality exceptional performance and great value for money.
But if you're happy with the size then you really can't go wrong with this cooler. To see the latest price of the Engel HD30 as well as the difference colour options click my affiliate link below to see the product at Amazon.
2. Pelican Soft Coolers
Pelican are well known for making high-quality hard cases as well as high-quality roto-molded coolers. Their reputation for quality continues with their line of soft sided coolers which are completely waterproof.
The exterior is made from heavy duty nylon that is TPU laminated, this coating makes it completely waterproof so no water can get through the outer shell. The zipper is thick, durable and rubberised and when closed no water will leak out of it and no water will get into it.
This cooler is extremely similar to the Yeti Hopper Flip coolers and the only reason I placed them higher in this list is because they are slightly cheaper (you can save about $50) and they have a couple of extra features that Yeti doesn't have. Click here to read my full Pelican vs Yeti soft sided coolers.
They have buckles on the lid so you can easily open and close the cooler without having to use the zipper. They also have an external pocket for storing dry items. Other than this they are extremely similar to the Yeti coolers, they are just as durable and can hold ice for just as long. You can expect ice retention of about 2 to 3 days.
I like the fact that these coolers come in multiple sizes so you can choose the size that best suits your needs.
This is a really high-quality cooler that is likely to last you years. To see the latest prices as well as the different size options click my affiliate link below to see the product at Amazon.
3. Yeti Hopper Coolers
Yeti are by far the most popular brand of cooler and they were one of the first people to introduce a waterproof soft sided cooler to the market back in 2014 with the original Hopper.
All Yeti soft sided coolers are a made with 840 denier nylon that is TPU laminated to make them extra strong and to also make them waterproof.
The Yeti Hopper Flip and Yeti Hopper BackFlip coolers use a hydrolok zipper that is thick and durable and 100% completely leakproof. The Yeti Hopper M30 uses strong magnets to create a seal at the top of the cooler. The magnetic seal then folds over and clips into place to make it completely waterproof.
Yeti arguably make the best quality coolers on the market and their coolers are more durable and well made than any other cooler on this list. If money isn't an issue for you and you're happy with the ice retention and design of these coolers then I would definitely recommend going with Yeti.
Yeti are also a lifestyle brand and are the most recognised cooler brand on the market today. Branding is really important to some people and if you want to own the premium brand cooler then you need to own a Yeti, no other cooler comes close.
In my opinion, Yeti coolers are expensive but they are also worth the cost. To see the latest price of Yeti soft coolers click the link below to see the full range at Amazon:
4. RTIC Soft Pack Coolers
RTIC soft pack coolers are one of the most affordable coolers on this list and offer great quality and great value for money.
The exterior is made from a heavy duty vinyl and, while this isn't quite as strong and durable as the nylon used in Yeti coolers, it still does a pretty good job.
The zipper is rubberised and 100% leakproof so when closed no water can get in or out.
What really makes these coolers such a good option is the price. They are just so much cheaper than Yeti, Pelican and Engle and so for someone looking for a waterproof cooler on a budget this is the one that I would recommend. Click here to read my full RTIC Soft Pack cooler review and see the price comparisons between this cooler and other brands.
This cooler features a removable shoulder strap, reinforced base, carry handles as well as an external pocket for storing items you wish to keep dry.
To see just how affordable these coolers are and how much money you could save click the link below to see the latest prices of RTIC soft coolers at Amazon:
5. Polar Bear Deluxe
Polar Bear Deluxe coolers have a heavy duty tarpaulin exterior as well as a heavy duty YKK #10 splash proof zipper which is completely leakproof.
The zipper is heavy-duty so it will last you a long time, but it's also quite easy to open compared to some other brands. The zipper extends out the sides of the cooler allowing the top to open wide so you can easily load and access the cooler.
Other than the Engle HD30 these coolers can hold ice longer than any other cooler on this list. They also sell at a significant discount compared to Yeti coolers so you can save some money by going with Polar Bear. Click here to read my full Polar Bear cooler review.
Another benefit of these coolers is that they come in multiple different sizes so you can get a small 12-can size cooler all the way up to a large 48-can size cooler.
To see the latest prices as well as the different colour options of Polar Bear Deluxe coolers click the link below to see them on Amazon:
6. IceMule Coolers
IceMule coolers use a different design to most of the other coolers on this list. They use a roll down top, similar to a dry bag, in order to make their coolers waterproof.
The roll down design is more durable and less likely to break however it can be quite tedious at times to open and close the cooler. When open it also makes the cooler quite deep which can make it more difficult to access.
I love the fact that these coolers start at an extremely affordable price and I also love that they are really light weight. They are one of the lightest and easiest to carry coolers on this list and they come in both shoulder sling and backpack variants.
They don't hold ice quite as long as brands like Yeti, Pelican and Engle but you can expect 1-1.5 days of ice retention. The exterior of the cheaper classic versions are also not as durable but the pro version has a tougher tarpaulin exterior which can handle much more abuse.
To see just how affordable these coolers are click the link below to see the latest prices at Amazon:
7. HydroFlask Unbound
HydroFlask are known for making their high quality stainless steel bottles and tumblers and they have recently brought out a range of soft sided cooler is that are completely waterproof.
These coolers are good quality and have a range of exterior pockets which makes them very practical. They also come in a range of bright and fun colors and I can really see these appealing to a younger demographic.
The downside of these coolers is that they are expensive but the quality is not quite as good as other similar priced soft sided cooler's. The exterior, while made from a heavy-duty and waterproof nylon is not quite as heavy duty as brands like Yeti, Pelican an Engle. Click here to read my full and detailed comparison of HydroFlask vs Yeti Hopper soft coolers.
The Hydro Flask Unbound coolers also have less insulation than other high-end coolers. This means they can only hold ice for about 1 to 1.5 days where is other coolers of a similar size can hold ice for a full 2 to 3 days.
They do sometimes go on sale making them more affordable. To see the latest prices and whether or not these coolers are on sale at the moment click the link below to see them at Amazon:
8. Otterbox Trooper
The OtterBox trooper is a combination of a soft sided cooler and a hard sided cooler. While the majority of the cooler is soft sided it does have a hard plastic lid that closes firmly and latches into place.
The lid of this cooler is completely waterproof when closed and it's really easy to open and close which is one of the main benefits of this cooler over a cooler with zippers.
OtterBox are known for making high-quality products and this is a high-quality cooler. However, it is quite expensive compare to other colours on this list and has a very similar price to yeti coolers.
I'm just not personally a huge fan of the hard plastic lid (see my full thoughts in my Otterbox Trooper review) but if you like it then this cooler will perform great and is extremely durable and will last few years.
To see the latest price of these coolers at Amazon click the link below:
9. Tourit Soft Coolers
Tourit coolers a decent quality and perform similar to Yeti coolers. They have a waterproof exterior, waterproof in aligning as well as a rubber 100% leakproof zipper.
They are a brand that is primarily sold at Amazon and while they sell for a decent discount compared to Yeti coolers I believe other coolers on this list offer similar quality and performance for a more affordable price.
Still these coolers are quite popular and have a lot of positive reviews. Click here to read my full review of the Tourit cooler and whether or not I think it's worth buying.
If you're looking for a cheaper soft sided cooler and you aren't happy with any other brands then check out the latest prices of tourist coolers by clicking the link below:
10. Ozark Trail Coolers
The Ozark Trail coolers are extremely affordable waterproof coolers and they are by far the cheapest cooler on this list.
It's actually really impressive that they can offer a cooler that is waterproof both on the exterior, interior as well as the zipper is 100% leakproof so no water will get in and out.
These coolers come in multiple different sizes and overall have similar specs to colours that are much more expensive. The big downside with the Ozark Trail coolers is the fact that the quality of these coolers is questionable. Click here to read more of my thoughts on the Ozark Trail coolers.
While some customers have had great experiences with these coolers there are a number of customers who have complained about quality issues with them. The zippers seem to be highly likely to break and the inner lining also has a tendency to pull apart exposing the foam installation. Both of these issues make the cooler no longer waterproof.
Overall it just doesn't seem like Ozark Trail coolers are very durable and I wonder if they would last you a long time or if they would break really quickly.
If you're looking for a really cheap waterproof cooler than these coolers are the cheapest you will find. I just want you to be aware of what you're buying and as long as you're happy with the quality of these coolers then they can offer great value for money.
To see how cheap these coolers are at Walmart simply click the link below:
What Waterproof Cooler Will You Buy?
There are a lot of great waterproof soft sided coolers on this list. Each of them offers something unique and each of them has different features, different performances and sell for a different price point.
Ultimately which cooler is right for you will depend on what you want the cooler for as well as what your budget is and how much you're willing to pay.
I hope this list has helped you in your search for the best cooler for you.
There are also a number of high-quality coolers out there that have great durability and ice retention but aren't 100% waterproof.
Or if ice retention and being able to hold ice as long as possible is your top priority then click here to see my list of the top soft sided cooler for ice retention.