Traveling with a Cooler Bag:  soft coolers make the best travel companion.

You’re almost there! Reservations have been made. Packing lists have been started. You know you’re not going to be skimping on the food and drinks this time around. You know that a trip is not meeting its potential for perfect without carefully packed wining and dining supplies. You know you’re going to want a cooler bag as a centerpiece for good times ahead. The question is, what kind of travel cooler bag? They’re not just made of styrofoam anymore. And you’re certainly not limited to the ever painful-to-drag-around, hard plastic variety that full of beer, requires two people to lift at all times. You’re looking for something more sleek and compact than that.

We introduce you to the question of whether you should plan your travels to include a soft sided cooler or a soft cooler bag. “What’s the difference?” you ask. The two are like night and day, and we’re going to tell you the key advantages and disadvantages of both. In short, a soft sided cooler has bulk and structure to it and it can be packed up like a carry-on suitcase with all your other necessities, and then unpacked and stuffed with all the yummy goodness upon arrival. A soft cooler bag is lighter, less-structured, fully-collapsible and intended to be folded, rolled up, and packed amidst the rest of your belongings in your suitcase.

Here’s our extensive description of both options so you can decide which is best for your unique situation:

Voyager Series Soft Sided Coolers

This option is heavier, bulkier, and more like to the shape of a classic hard-plastic cooler than its lighter, unstructured cousin the SlidePak soft cooler.. Thus, to carry heavier items like a six-pack of beers, ice packs, Pyrex casserole dishes and the like, a cooler with enough grit to handle the weight is going to be your best option. A soft-sided cooler is going to be more robust in construction, with stronger materials that can withstand any conditions. All kinds of extra perks like zipper pockets and details like extra padding in the straps and handles are going to be emphasized with a soft-sided cooler that serves simultaneously as luggage. In short, the soft-sided cooler is intended to function as far more than a cooler. It’s intended to hold your sunscreen, your water, your keys, and your phone too– all while having a total on keeping your precious food and drink items at the optimal temperature with the latest insulating technology.  You also need to consider what else you’ll be packing for this trip. If you’re bound for a weekend in the tropics, your clothing and other necessities are sure to fit inside these coolers easily. In contrast, if your travels require you to bring full-sized luggage on wheels, you’d want a more minimalist cooler that can be rolled up and stuffed inside it.

SlidePak Backpack Soft Cooler Bag

Now let’s talk about soft-sided Voyager’s lighter weight cousin. While not compromising on the molecular points of quality and insulation technology, you’ve got to keep in mind that the soft cooler-bag is intended to be far more minimalist. It lacks the structure to stay erect on its own because it is intended to be folded and compacted, thus it’s best for lightweight carrying options and has no pocket for things beyond your wine opener and silverware. The thing is, it’s versatile. To be minimalist where it’s called for, and in times when it’s not, makes you a fluid, adaptable traveler who’s lighter on your feet and ready to take on any adventure. Lots of these lightweight options are optimally designed to slide seamlessly into any backpack. A truly top quality cooler-bag is engineered to house heavy items like your six-pack of beer, but the ideal situation is going to be where the bag is placed within another bag. It’s not going to have its own set of ultra-padded straps because they would be extraneous, bulky, and superfluous to the traveler who’s already got such key components on their hold-all backpack. They are shaped specifically to make packing other items around it in a larger piece of luggage a breeze. Another point to consider is that you’ve got lots of other luggage to carry your dry goods. You might reserve the cooler just for the items that absolutely need temperature control. A minimalist cooler is also easier to clean and more straightforward to store at the end of your journey. Some extra perks to this type of cooler are that it features a roll-top that makes the device expandable and contractable depending on the amount of space your food and drink items need compared to the amount of room you have in your pack or suitcase. The avid athlete and sportsperson was at the forefront of these softer cooler designs. That’s why you’ve even got a camouflage option so that you won’t be without your drinks and your lunches while out on a turkey hunt. When all is said and done, roll up the cooler, place it in your pack, and you’ll hardly recognize that it’s there when it’s empty.

Outstanding Engineering and Technology

The great thing is you’re not sacrificing the technology used in the bags to keep your goods temperature-controlled no matter which version you choose. Both types of coolers come with generous warranties to ensure you are satisfied and that you get the most out of your product. Additionally, soft coolers of both types are advantageous on boats because they are not going to scuff up or otherwise damage your exteriors like a hard plastic cooler might. Both types of soft coolers are infinitely attractive to the eye and both come in a variety of not only colors but stylish textile patterns. Every soft cooler is fully equipt with a strap to throw over your shoulder, and a lot of styles come with far more options than just that. There are numerous sizes to choose from so you can maximize your space and choose a cooler to suit every group size. All coolers feature only the best YKK zippers that are the strongest and most reliable in the world to keep everything in its place and last for years to come.