Hydro Flask Cooler

9.8 score
[Editors rating (9.8)] = (Gearweare.net) score (9.8)/10

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Editor rating: 9.8 / 10
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Hydro Flask Cooler Review Facts

If you’re not afraid to pay top dollar for the best, and you’re in the market for a portable cooler, then the 22 Liter Soft Cooler Pack might be what you’re looking for. Hydro Flask, the manufacturer, gives you all the bells and whistles you could ask for. And more.

For the capacity and how long it can keep contents cool, the Hydro Flask Cooler is a lightweight and comfortable pack. Great for day and weekend trips to the outdoors. This is perfect for long car trips when you can periodically stock up on some ice.

If this sounds interesting enough, make sure you take your time and read our detailed review on the Hydro Flask Cooler.

Editor's Pros & Cons

Very lightweight


Holds a lot

Keeps contents cold for up to 48 hours


Made of food-safe materials



Watertight zippers are harder to open

May not be comfortable, for everyone, on long hikes


Hydro Flask is another exciting company with a mission to provide quality products and care for the environment. It started in a part of the USA where people take what they drink very seriously. The company began in 2009, in Bend, Oregon.

Hydro Flask started with an 18-ounce bottle. Now they make a wide range of unique products, such as flasks, and growlers for keeping beer or wine cold. The materials they use, they claim, does not transfer its taste to the beer or wine. They also make food containers.

Hydro flask produces accessories for their containers, such as slings. Also, they’ve branched into apparel. Hydro Flask supports conservancy, outdoor activities, outdoor learning, and other community service programs.


Compared to a leading competitor in its class, the outer dimensions of Hydro Flask cooler pack are roughly same (19.5” x 12.5” x 8”). The inside dimensions are much smaller (15” x 11.5” x 7”).

And yet, the Hydro Flask caries the same number of 12-ounce cans (20) with ice. Without ice, the Hydro Flask cooler can hold up to 34 cans. This makes the Cooler Pack a serious contender.

Key Features

-“Smart Insulation” makes the pack light and the inside more capacious
-Waterproof 420D nylon shell
-BPA Free liner meets FDA standards for food safety
-The bottom of the pack is molded to stay upright
-Mesh pockets, that stretch, for water bottles or flasks
-Loops for attaching things to, or for tying the pack down to something else
-5 year warranty


The cooler pack itself weighs a mere 3.2 pounds or 1.5 kilograms. For its size and capacity, the 22 Liter Cooler Pack is just over two pounds lighter than its competitor. That’s about 40% lighter. Two pounds is a lot when hanging something off your back, then heading down a rocky trail.

Packed weight is an entirely different matter. Depending on how much sugar and other stuff is in your cans of soda or pop, twenty boxes are about 16 to 18 pounds or 7.1 to 8.14 kilograms. Cans of beer are about the same. Bottles are closer to 30 pounds or 13.6 kilograms.


The Hydro Flask Cooler has molded bottom, so it keeps its shape. That means you can set it down on a flat, level surface, and it will stay upright. You can also take it to the beach, for example, and set into the sand, and it will stay right. The extra insulation in the bottom will keep your stuff cold.

Some reviewers complained about it not staying upright when set down. It sounds like the weight was not distributed correctly, and the pack was top-heavy. It would be hard for Hydro Flask Cooler to correct for that without making the bag heavier.

The pack also has two tiedown loops. One on each side. You can use these loops to stabilize or secure the pack to something else. Like, keeping it from bouncing out of a truck bed. You can also hang something off it with, say, a carabiner.


Almost everyone who commented on their purchase raves about the Hydro Flask Cooler Pack. It keeps their food cold, is easy to pack and keep clean, and comfortable to wear. At most, 7% of the customers' comments had anything negative to say. Even then, maybe 1% regretted their purchase.

From what users say, the Cooler Pack seems very versatile. Use it for everything from picnicking to weekend hikes. With welded seems and waterproof zippers you shouldn’t have to worry so much about getting sand into your food, if you’re going to the beach.

One purchaser regularly uses the Hydro Flask Cooler Pack on long car trips. Loves it. Except, with the cooler on the back seat, the zipper is difficult to open while driving. Seriously? That’s distracted driving. Be safe. Even if it’s next to you, pull over.

Being able to carry it comfortably on your back makes the Hydro Flask Cooler Pack ideal for going to sporting events, be it watching from the stands, or out in the field watching a cross-country race. If you’re taking kids with you, that’s two more hands you can hold onto while in a crowd.

Ease of Use

The Hydro Flask Cooler Pack has a very wide opening at the top. And, when fully unzipped, the lid should stay open. That makes it very easy to pack, or retrieve items. Hydro Flask recommends use ice packs instead of regular ice, so there will be less water accumulating inside. Less messy.

There is one inconvenience. The bottom section is made of molded plastic. More space for insulation to protect from rising heat, especially when setting it down. This also keeps the pack stable. So, even though it is a soft cooler, you can’t really roll or fold it for storage.


The outer shell is made of a 420D, waterproof nylon. To give you a reference point, good tent material is in the neighborhood of 70D. Military-grade Cordura is 1000D. This material is, in other words, very light yet durable.

The zippers are waterproof and made by YKK. The seams are welded, not stitched, so there are no gaps for liquids to penetrate. Hydro Flask says their Cooler Pack will keep liquids in, the rain out, and your food dry. It’s even safe to put your cell phone in one of the pockets.


Visually, the bag looks sleek, not bulky. Rather attractive. Its design is vertical. Other companies’ products look like a freezer chest in a sling. It seems like they would easily get hung up on tree branches and stuff growing along side a trail. Little to catch the Hydro Flask Cooler Pack on.


The Cooler Pack comes in four different, and appealing, colors.
• Black
• Storm (a shade of blue)
• Goldenrod
• Mist (a kind of blue-gray)
Candy for the eye.


There are no accessories specifically for the Cooler Pack. Hydro Flask, however, makes a variety of related products. Such as water bottles, and flasks or jugs for everything from coffee to beer to wine. They also make slings and holders for their containers. And apparel.


Prices for coolers you can strap on your back often vary. The Hydro Flask Cooler Pack is at the high end, but not the most expensive. Not one of the reviews or comments complained about the price. It’s unusual not to read someone gripe about the price. From what people are saying about this product, you get a lot of value for your dollars. And, don’t forget, it comes with a five-year warranty.


When it comes to actually shouldering the Hydro Flask Cooler Pack on your back, most reviews and comments by owners are very positive. There were very few complaints. One woman said it was comfortable while hiking but otherwise would continue to use it for outdoor adventures.


The Hydro Flask Cooler Pack uses rugged materials and construction methods that protect what’s inside from the outside, and the outside from what’s inside. It’s also easy to clear. To top it off, you’re protected by Hydro Flak’s five-year warranty.

Bottom Line

The bottom line looks good. From what reviewers and customers say, Hydro Flask Cooler with Soft 22 Liter Pack is a high performer. It does everything you’d demand from a cooler that you can carry on your back.

From what everyone says, your drinks and food will stay cold for the weekend. It’s light enough and comfortable enough, for most people, that they carry it for weekend outings, and even hiking. Made of durable materials, you won’t have to worry about it falling apart.