Choosing the Best Cooler Bags for the Beach

best cooler bag for the beach

Spending time on the beach is a lot of fun and a great way to enjoy time with your family and friends. However, if you want to be out on the sand for an extended period, then you need to make sure that you have one of the best cooler bags for the beach so that your drinks and snacks can stay nice and cold. Not only will warm drinks and food be unappetizing but they can actually put you and anyone else who eats them in danger of getting sick. Buying a great cooler bag is a wonderful way to rest easy that you won’t run into health problems due to your food choices.

Unfortunately, not all cooler bags are the same and some just aren’t high-quality. Rather than wasting your time buying a bag that won’t last for a long period of time, you can rest easy that I have done all of the necessary research to give you three amazing options for a great cooler bag that won’t let you down. Any of these bags will help to keep your drinks and snacks cold while you play in the water so when it’s time to eat, everything will not only be delicious but it will also be safe and healthy.

Comparison Chart

YETI Hopper Flip 18 Portable Cooler Fog Gray/Tahoe Blue
blue sky BASICS MALIBU Beach Bag - 2 in 1 Mesh Beach Tote Bag with Cooler + Free Beach Gift
Wildhorn Tortuga Beach Bag Cooler Tote. 24 Can Easy Access Insulated Side Cooler Compartment, Large Drawstring Storage Space, External Mesh Pocket.
AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler with High-Density Insulation, Red, 24-Can
Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler with Removable Liner, Blue - 3000001313
YETI Hopper Flip 18 Portable Cooler Fog Gray/Tahoe Blue
blue sky BASICS MALIBU Beach Bag - 2 in 1 Mesh Beach Tote Bag with Cooler + Free Beach Gift
Wildhorn Tortuga Beach Bag Cooler Tote. 24 Can Easy Access Insulated Side Cooler Compartment, Large Drawstring Storage Space, External Mesh Pocket.
AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler with High-Density Insulation, Red, 24-Can
Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler with Removable Liner, Blue - 3000001313
from $239.99
$26.89
$39.99
$67.15
from $15.53
YETI Hopper Flip 18 Portable Cooler Fog Gray/Tahoe Blue
YETI Hopper Flip 18 Portable Cooler Fog Gray/Tahoe Blue
from $239.99
blue sky BASICS MALIBU Beach Bag - 2 in 1 Mesh Beach Tote Bag with Cooler + Free Beach Gift
blue sky BASICS MALIBU Beach Bag - 2 in 1 Mesh Beach Tote Bag with Cooler + Free Beach Gift
$26.89
Wildhorn Tortuga Beach Bag Cooler Tote. 24 Can Easy Access Insulated Side Cooler Compartment, Large Drawstring Storage Space, External Mesh Pocket.
Wildhorn Tortuga Beach Bag Cooler Tote. 24 Can Easy Access Insulated Side Cooler Compartment, Large Drawstring Storage Space, External Mesh Pocket.
$39.99
AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler with High-Density Insulation, Red, 24-Can
AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler with High-Density Insulation, Red, 24-Can
$67.15
Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler with Removable Liner, Blue - 3000001313
Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler with Removable Liner, Blue - 3000001313
from $15.53

Best Cooler Bags Reviewed

1. ​YETI Hopper: One of the Best Cooler Bags for the Beach

YETI Hopper Flip 18 Portable Cooler Fog Gray/Tahoe Blue

Review

Anyone who has ever researched coolers or cooler bags before has likely run into a YETI in their research. There’s a good reason why these coolers are so popular and this is that they really work. While most people picture the large, hard ice chest that made this company so popular, they also offer a more affordable and easier-to-carry cooler bag that will keep your drinks ice cold for hours no matter how hot it gets outside.

The foam used for insulating this cooler is closed-cell and offers some of the best cold-holding abilities of any cooler bags on the market, beating out soft coolers. Additionally, you can easily store a large number of drinks or food in this cooler bag without worrying about it leaking, thanks to the strong and durable zipper. Designed to resist UV rays, mildew, and punctures, your YETI can withstand almost anything that you want to do without being damaged.

Related: Top Yeti Coolers for the Beach

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PROS

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    ​It does a great job holding ice for days at a time
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    ​It is very easy to wipe out and clean
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    ​The straps are heavy-duty and durable and can be used to tie the cooler to an ATV or other vehicle

CONS

  • ​None - If you're in the market for a cooler bag of this size, it's an outstanding choice

2. ​Blue Sky Basics Mesh Cooler Bag: Store More Than Cold Drinks

blue sky BASICS MALIBU Beach Bag - 2 in 1 Mesh Beach Tote Bag with Cooler + Free Beach Gift

Review

This beach cooler bag ​does double duty in that it operates as much more than just a cooler. While most cooler bags only have room for snacks and drinks, which will then require you to bring a separate bag with all of the items that you need for a day at the beach, this bag has ample space for both, making it the only bag that you will need to bring with you.

With an insulated section at the bottom of the bag, you can rest easy that your drinks and snacks will stay cold while you play. The top of the bag has pockets so you can make sure that you always know where your keys or phone are and offers plenty of room for storing your towels and sunscreen. Being able to grab one bag when you head to the beach makes getting ready for an impromptu trip fast and easy.

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PROS

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    ​The included waterproof pouch keeps valuables dry
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    ​The mesh helps ensure that the bag dries quickly and evenly
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    ​The combo bag approach is great for people who don't want to carry multiple bags at the beach

CONS

  • ​The cooler compartment isn't huge and may not work for people who want to take a lot of drinks or snacks to the beach

3. ​Wildhorn Beach Cooler Bag: Easy Access to Your Snacks

Wildhorn Tortuga Beach Bag Cooler Tote. 24 Can Easy Access Insulated Side Cooler Compartment, Large Drawstring Storage Space, External Mesh Pocket.

Review

This innovative cooler bag is comfortable to hold even when you fill it up with cans and ice, thanks to the thick and cushioned shoulder strap. I was surprised at how much room there really is in this cooler bag as it can actually hold up to 24 cans of soda as well as 10 pounds of ice without you worrying about whether or not you are going to damage the zipper when you close the bag. Because this bag is really flexible, you won’t have to worry about your snacks getting squished in transit to the beach.

The zippered valuables pocket ensures that you can keep your keys, wallet, and phone safe and hidden while you are enjoying the water and the bag comes with an easily-accessible mesh sleeve across the front so that kids can quickly grab a snack. Being able to adjust the shoulder strap ensures that you will be very comfortable when carrying your food.

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PROS

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    ​It keeps drinks and snacks cool for up to 18 hours
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    ​The interior seams are specially designed not to leak
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    ​The breathable mesh keeps the cooler from smelling

CONS

  • ​The soft sides make it uncomfortable to carry for long periods of time

​4. ​​AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler

AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler with High-Density Insulation, Red, 24-Can

Review

When you need to keep your food and beverages cool, the AO Cooler should offer the insulation that you need. It is designed to keep ice cold for up to 24 hours in 120-degree weather.

Soft-Sided Cooler with Twice the Insulation

The AO Cooler is available in various sizes and colors. You can choose from a 12, 24, 36, or 48 can capacity. It is a soft-sided cooler, which means that it does not have a molded plastic exterior. When you do not have anything inside, you can fold it down to take up less space.

The soft material is lined with twice the insulation compared to most other soft-sided coolers. It also features a leak-proof liner to ensure that you do not leak water all over the interior of your vehicle or tent.

The interior of the cooler features one large compartment. The sides expand outward as you fill it with more beverages, food, and ice. It also includes a side pocket for storing dry items.

Top Benefits of the AO Soft-Sided Cooler

The AO Cooler is a fantastic option for any outdoor activity. You can take it camping, boating, fishing, hunting, or to the beach. It is also great for sporting events and picnics.

The compact design is easy to carry, even when fully loaded with beverages or food. It even includes a removable shoulder strap for easy transport.

The main benefit of this cooler is that it can keep your food and beverages cold. The insulation is thick, durable, and leak proof. It is about 3/4-inch thick and made with high-density, closed-cell foam. The liner is made from a high-quality TPU liner, which is less prone to tears and abrasions.

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PROS

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    ​Holds ice for 24 hours
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    ​Expandable sides with clip-down ends
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    ​​Removable shoulder strap

CONS

  • ​A bit hard to carry when fully loaded

​5. ​Coleman 16 Can Soft Cooler

Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler with Removable Liner, Blue - 3000001313

Review

The Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler features a removable liner, so you can clean out the inside of the cooler if anything spills. The material is also treated with antimicrobial properties to help resist mold, mildew, and odors. These features make this cooler one of the more hygienic coolers.

Removable Hard Liner Creates a Versatile Cooler

The removable liner is a great feature that makes the cooler easier to clean. However, the primary purpose of this liner is to give you more flexibility. When packing the cooler with ice, you add the hard-plastic liner to support the cooler. If you skip the ice, you can leave the liner out, creating a soft cooler.

The cooler only weighs about two pounds and measures 11.8 x 11.8 x 6.7 inches. The compact shape offers enough interior space for holding about 16 12-ounce cans, which should be suitable for an afternoon on the beach.

When you remove the liner, the cooler can be folded into a compact shape for storage. It also has a shoulder strap for hands-free carrying when it is loaded.

Multiple Compartments for Sorting Your Food

While this is a 16-can cooler, it offers more than a single compartment. You get a large zippered main compartment, along with a zippered pocket on the front and two mesh pockets on the sides. The cooler is also equipped with a dry storage pouch for items that you need to keep dry.

This is one of the best coolers for keeping your food cold and dry. Besides the hard liner and the dry storage pouch, the soft material features heat-welded seams to prevent leaks.

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PROS

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    ​Removable hard liner keeps the soft cooler from collapsing
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    ​Heat-welded seams help create a durable, leak-proof cooler
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    ​Compact design is easy to store and carry

CONS

  • ​Tight fit for 16 cans may not allow much room for ice

​The Verdict

When you are looking for a great cooler bag to take with you to the beach, then it is important that you make sure that there will be enough space for all of your snacks and drinks and that it will be able to keep everything cool for a long time. The YETI Hopper is not only easy to carry with you, thanks to its durable strap, but does an amazing job keeping your food cold. You won’t have to worry about whether or not you’ll be drinking hot water by the afternoon when you opt for this rugged, durable cooler bag.

Recommended Reading: Our Top Picks for Beach Rolling Coolers

Choosing the Best Cooler Bags for the Beach

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