If you’re searching for the most convenient way to bring ice-cold beverages on a sunny day adventure, why not consider a backpack cooler? The Polar Bear H2O is a fantastic backpack cooler that can go anywhere with you. The best thing about this soft cooler is its construction – the tough shell and the leak-proof liner make this backpack completely waterproof and incredibly durable.
In addition to being fully leak- and sweat-proof, the Polar Bear H2O backpack comes with excellent insulation, allowing it to keep ice frozen for up to 3 days. The liner is FDA-approved (without any harmful substances), so it’s perfectly safe for keeping drinks or food inside. It can hold up to 18 cans (12oz) of beverage in combination with ice (or ice packs), of course.
This backpack cooler really has a lot to offer, which is why it’s so popular among outdoor enthusiasts of all types. The combination of performance and durability easily makes it one of the best backpack coolers you’ll come across. If you like it so far, be sure to read the rest of our review and learn more.
The Polar Bear H2O cooler brings with it a huge number of great features. We already mentioned the tough shell and liner, but it’s also all the smaller things like high-quality zippers, well-placed pockets, and multi-functional buckles that make it so enjoyable to use. Take a quick look at everything this backpack cooler has to offer:
- The exterior is made of completely waterproof materials
- Backpack cooler floats on the water even when full
- Efficient closed-cell foam insulation for 3-day ice life
- YKK #10 zippers prevent water from getting into the cooler
- TPU liner is FDA approved and has anti-microbial properties
- Side release buckles (aluminum) double as bottle openers
- Bowtie daisy chains for attaching carabiners
- Rubberized anti-slip bottom
- Mesh pockets on the sides
- Zippered pocket on the front
Height: 18 inches
Length: 7 inches
Width: 12 inches
Weight: 5 pounds
Insulation: High-density closed-cell foam
Lining: TPU double-coated nylon
Capacity: 18 x 12oz cans + 7 pounds of ice
Ice Life: 72 hours
Warranty: Lifetime warranty
Colors: Charcoal, Blue
Materials and Construction: When it comes to materials used for making this cooler, users agree they are top-notch. The outer shell is made of Tarpaulin, which is known for its strength and water-resistance. People say it’s very hard to damage, so you can use the cooler without constantly worrying if you’re going to rip or puncture it. The shell and the #10 YKK splashguard zipper guarantee that no amount of water can leak into the cooler, even if you dip it in water.
As for the liner, it’s made of double-layer TPU nylon. The material has been tested by the FDA and certified completely safe to use with food or drinks, so you have nothing to worry about. As a bonus, it has anti-microbial properties. The liner is fully watertight too, so melted ice won’t be able to leak out of the cooler.
Unlike many other backpack coolers, the liner on this one can be turned inside out when you want to clean it. This is incredibly convenient, and many people pointed it out as a big plus. Finally, the insulator used is high-density closed-cell foam. It has proven to be incredibly efficient, and a great choice for this type of cooler.
Capacity and Performance: This cooler can fit 18 pieces of 12oz cans inside. While this is good for a few people spending a day at the beach, it won’t be enough for large groups. This being said, most people were more than satisfied with the capacity, as it suited them perfectly. Unlike some other models, the H2O backpack cooler comes in one size only since a larger pack would be inconvenient to carry on your back.
As we mentioned earlier, this backpack comes with three pockets – two open mesh pockets on the sides, as well as a proper zippered pocket on the front. This is great for all the small items you need to take with you, such as keys, wallets, money, or anything else. A neat thing is that the buckle on the side doubles as a bottle opener, so you can save space by not bringing a separate opener.
Users are generally really impressed with the performance – it gives you a longer ice life than most other backpack coolers. According to the manufacturer, it’s able to keep ice frozen for up to three days in 90°F heat. Of course, these tests were done in a controlled environment with not much opening and closing, so the results, in reality, might be a bit different. Still, it goes to show you that the backpack will definitely keep ice frozen for a day, maybe even two.
Both the users and the manufacturer have advised on how to make ice last longer and the cooler more effective, which can be useful to know before packing. You should fill it up with ice as much as possible because of the air inside speeds up the melting process. Also, always fold down the opening sides and attach the buckles.
The cooler works best if the items you are putting inside are already cold. Keep in mind that it’s best to have a 3 to 1 ratio of ice and products inside, so they are at optimal temperature. As an alternative to regular ice, you can also use ice packs for coolers. These are great since they won’t melt all over, and many of them can remain frozen longer.
Portability: The portability of backpack coolers is a clear advantage compared to standard ones. The Polar Bear H2O cooler sits comfortably on your back even when fully loaded with ice and beverage. The reason for this is the 2-inch padding on the back panel, significantly increasing the comfort. The shoulder straps are easily adjustable, and the users say that the weight of the backpack itself is fairly light, and not much heavier than most small coolers.
A nice addition to this backpack is the daisy chains added to the front. They are not related to the portability of the cooler, but they can be used to attach carabiners and hang some of your other equipment, making your whole gear package more portable.
Durability: Customers are more than satisfied with the strength and durability of this cooler. Thanks to the high-quality materials used, you can count on it not to fall apart after just a few uses. Tarpaulin shell is very resistant to wear and tear, and the TPU liner lifts the bar even higher, being puncture resistant and flexible even when frozen. It’s truly an excellent soft cooler, and the lifetime warranty from the manufacturer is proof enough that you’re getting a great product.
- Excellent backpack design
- Durable waterproof materials
- Thick insulation throughout
- Handy pockets for other items
- Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
- Relatively small capacity
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- Price: 90% – When discussing price, this backpack soft cooler falls somewhere in the middle. However, we think this is a fantastic deal since it gives you much more compared to other coolers in this price range. It can easily be compared with high-end YETI coolers, with the main difference being that Polar Bear is significantly more budget-friendly.
- Material: 100% – The high-quality materials are something that defines this cooler. The combination of Tarpaulin and TPU nylon (with the thick insulation layer in between) not only guarantees that it stays cold, but it’s also the main reason why this backpack is so long-lasting.
- Design: 100% – What’s not to like about a cooler backpack? Especially when it’s designed like this one. It’s compact and very practical to carry on your back. We like the adjustability and the padding, allowing anyone to comfortably wear it. Besides, the pockets and the daisy chain fabric are nice touches.
- Overall: 97% – All things considered, this is a great cooler. The only limitation might be the size, as you won’t be able to bring a whole day supply of drinks for many people. Other than that, it’s tough, easy to use, looks great, and, most importantly, keeps the contents cold for a really long time.
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The Polar Bear H2O Backpack is a reliable cooler from a manufacturer who is constantly trying to bring innovations and improve their products. Having a cooler on your back instead of your hand reduces the strain on your body, and your hands remain free if you need to grab something else.
People use it for beach picnics, or even kayak camping trips. You can use it however you want because you can count on it to work. And let’s not forget that it looks great too. If you’re after a mid-size cooler with excellent quality, you’ll certainly appreciate this one.
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