There’s no shortage of backpack coolers that you can use to carry drinks on your back while keeping them chilled for extended periods. Problem is, most of them actually look like coolers, so everybody knows you’re hauling the refreshments every single time. If you prefer your wearable ice box to be a little more nondescript, you might want to check out the Hydro Flash Unbound Soft Cooler Pack.
Sporting a rather neutral design, the soft cooler actually looks like a regular backpack – you know, the kind you’ll use to carry gear and supplies, instead of food and refreshments. There are no boxy corners, no hard surfaces, and no excess straps like most backpack coolers in the market. Seriously, this looks nicer than a lot of backpacks we’ve seen, making it the kind of gear you can bring to school or work without looking out of place.
While it looks like a regular backpack from the outside, the Hydro Flask Unbound Soft Cooler Pack is a fully-functional ice box where it counts. Food-grade watertight liner on the inside will keep all the moisture contained, while a similarly watertight zipper will ensure no leaks seep out from the closure. Simply put, no water goes in and no water goes out whenever this thing is closed, so all the contents stay inside unspoiled regardless of what the elements send your way. Up to 24 cans can be stashed inside the cooler’s 22-liter compartment, so you can load it with a good load of refreshments fit for a small group of friends.
It comes insulated on all sides, including the lid, so it’s able to keep as much of the cold air inside, with additional insulation at the base where, according to the outfit, cold air is most susceptible to loss. A layer of compression-molded plastic sits right under the base insulation, allowing the bag to stand freely unsupported when set down on the ground.
The Hydro Flask Unbound Soft Cooler Pack comes with enough insulation to keep its contents cold for up to 48 hours, making this great for weekend trips and overnight adventures. We’re not entirely sure how long it will be able to retain ice, although we’re guessing more than 24 hours, since the drinks stay cold up to two full days. Seriously, that’s quite impressive for a cooler that genuinely looks like a book bag. The shell is scratch-resistant for shrugging off brushes with rough objects, making it ideal for bringing along in rough outdoor settings.
Dry pockets on the inside allow you to keep small items on the chilled compartment without getting them wet, while side pockets on the exterior can stretch wide enough to accommodate water bottles and similarly-sized gear. Features include a hinged top that zips all the way around for easy access to the contents, welded seams to keep the water in, and welded nylon attachment mounts. It comes in four colorways: black, storm, mist, and goldenrod.
Want one? The Hydro Flask Unbound Soft Cooler Pack is priced at $274.95.