Dear Natalie: Try Outxe’s Cooler Backpack

Ask Natalie Banner Dear Natalie: Who else does this?

By Natalie McCarthy

Dear Natalie,

I can’t stand coolers. They’re difficult to lug to campsites, and even walking from the parking lot to the picnic spot is a hassle. They’re inevitably always red or blue, with a flimsy plastic handle, and the lids often get stuck. I have about three gathering dust in my pantry right now. With so much technological innovation in other fields, why has the cooler industry lagged behind? Do we have any other options?

Sincerely,

Coolers aren’t cool

____________________________________________________________________

 

Dear CaC,

I agree. Coolers aren’t cool at all. In fact, recent scientific studies show that 91% of people carrying a “Li’l Playmate” cooler look like total doofuses.

 

cooler backpack 1

 

And you’re right – the flimsy plastic handle is not conducive to easy carrying. Like, at all. Like, it’s so unconducive, this teensy box that fits two beers and a sleeve of crackers requires handling by two adult humans, or else it flips over and spills its contents.

 

cooler backpack 2

 

Is there a better way? Can we hope for a brighter, cooler future?

We can. Bring in Outxe’s cooler backpack.

You might remember Outxe from past reviews of their nifty 3-in-1 rugged lantern and super-useful rugged power bank. They hit another homerun with their new cooler backpack, which is exactly what it sounds like: An actual wearable backpack that is, in fact, a cooler.

The cooler backpack, from the outside, looks like a typical day pack: durable black fabric; wide, comfortable shoulder straps with ample padding; a chest strap for stability; side mesh pockets for water bottles (or, if you’re me, bear spray); and several zippered compartments. It’s definitely stylish, and a bit more understated than the standard day-glo colored hiking packs. It looks a bit like a commuter backpack, so it would not stand out in the slightest for daily use at work or school.

cooler backpack 3
© 2018, Outxe

 

“We’re looking good so far,” I thought, assessing the stylish-yet-standard situation the pack had goin’ on. But then… but then! But then I unzipped the main compartment, and…

 

cooler backpack 4
© 2018, Outxe

 

WHAT?!? It’s a fully insulated, fully lined cooler that can hold up to 30 soda cans, with room for snacks. I tested this with cans of La Croix and I, uh, ran out of cans. (Look, who keeps more than two dozen cans of La Croix in their fridge? Hardcore addicts, that’s who. I can quit whenever I want.)

Outxe estimates the cooler can maintain temperature for 4-6 hours, but that can be extended – or, in very hot weather, assured – by using ice or cool packs. They also report that it’s leak-proof. Always a skeptic, I poured water in it and walked around my house. Outxe was right, and I ended up watering my plants with backpack water. Nothing leaked.

Let’s do a rundown.

 

Drawbacks

  • If you pour water in this cooler backpack, and then literally flip it upside down, water will leak through the top zipper. Honestly, if you are doing this, you need help.
  • It’s a teensy-weensy bit heavier than the standard backpack – probably due to its super effective insulated lining.

 

Benefits

  • Comfort! I mentioned the wide, padded shoulder straps and the sternum strap, but I failed to mention that there’s also a hip belt. I had no problems hauling this up onto my back and walking much farther than I could have skipping along with a regular cooler.
  • Outxe says the pack is made with 600D polyester fabric. I have literally no idea what that means, but I can tell you, this pack will not rip anytime soon.
  • This is a 28L pack, which is more than enough room for a full picnic and hiking essentials.
  • The pack comes with its own rain cover, so if you’re hauling 23 cans of La Croix and a Macbook Air in a thunderstorm (which, duh, of course you would be; what else are you doing when it rains?), your electronics will be safe and your drinking water will remain non-acidic.

 

Cooler backpack 5
© 2018, Outxe

 

I’m not being overzealous when I say that I don’t know how on Earth I tolerated old coolers for so long. I am so delighted with this backpack, I want everyone to have one.

Stay cool, my friends,

Natalie

 

 

 

 

Resident Columnist and Reviewer at | Website

“Ask Natalie” host, Natalie McCarthy was born and raised in the urban American rust belts of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Cleveland, Ohio, in a not-particularly-outdoorsy family. She discovered the outdoors in her early 30s and now seeks out new ways to adventure.

Natalie earned her master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work. She works as a licensed supervisory clinical social worker specializing in the treatment of co-occurring substance use, general mental health, and trauma-related disorders. While her professional practice is where Natalie spends most of her time helping people with their problems, she was an online advice columnist in the past.

In the early 2000s, she was the go-to answer girl on a now-defunct website called New Girl Order. Her column there led her to research a diversity of topics, from May-December romances to why on Earth plucking our eyebrows makes us sneeze.

29 thoughts on “Dear Natalie: Try Outxe’s Cooler Backpack

  • November 29, 2018 at 3:19 pm
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    I have a couple cooler backpacks and they are definitely a life saver! I carry all my personal stuff and snacks for my kiddos. I’m not breaking my back anymore with rolling those big bulky coolers. Thank goodness

    Reply
  • November 22, 2018 at 10:45 am
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    Brilliant idea for travellers! Thanks for sharing!

    Lots of love,
    Whit

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  • November 22, 2018 at 9:50 am
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    Wow..It looks like a great cooler backpack! This is perfect for picnics and hiking adventures. I will check it out.

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  • November 21, 2018 at 9:20 pm
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    Omg, this sounds so good. I go camping regularly and would love something like this! Thanks for highlighting it.

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  • November 20, 2018 at 10:51 pm
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    I definitely love this, however don’t know why it’d be advertised as leak proof if it will leak so easily! They could have ran a zipper to one side then another over the top to the other side to prevent that.

    Your post is very well written as well, great job! You have good voice & personality which is great. I also like how you included the honest comparison between the two.

    However in my opinion, it’s not the best thing for hiking, personally. If I was going on a 8-16 mile hike, I definitely don’t need the extra weight from insulation & ice, I can drink warm water and certainly don’t need a 30 pack of water, other’s on a long hike can carry their own!

    But! This would be awesome for a quick hike to a waterfall, or party spot, full of beer! Or to the beach…There’s no way to roll a cooler in sand! Walking around the Vegas strip, a pool party.

    Good post!

    Nicholas Alexander Adams
    True Arizona

    Reply
  • November 20, 2018 at 10:37 pm
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    I love how useful this bag is. Me and my husband love camping and this looks something that we will love.

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  • November 20, 2018 at 8:36 pm
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    These sound brilliant for long walks and hikes. Perfect for over the holidays, I’d love to try one.

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  • November 20, 2018 at 3:21 pm
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    Honestly, I need to have this backpack with me since we are traveling a lot and need to bring drinks and food in every road trip I can really say that this backpack is the best for our family.

    Reply
  • November 20, 2018 at 2:49 pm
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    Backpack definitely a better option! Handheld box looks ugly and tiring! Goonnna check this out on blackfriday sales!

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  • November 20, 2018 at 12:51 pm
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    This looks and sounds great. it sounds like something I would use with my hiking due to its multi-purpose. I’ll definitely have to check it out now. Thanks so much for the review!

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  • November 20, 2018 at 12:50 pm
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    I love going on a hike and this is something that can be very useful with my trips. It looks really awesome and very easy to carry.

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  • November 20, 2018 at 6:31 am
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    This cooler backpack is what I need. Easy to carry and spacious enough to store things in it. Thanks for sharing.

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  • November 20, 2018 at 4:15 am
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    Wow this cooler looks so cool and unique. So good that it can be carried like backpack! This is perfect for picnics and hiking adventures. Love this!!

    Reply
  • November 19, 2018 at 11:09 pm
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    This is an awesome invention! I need one of these for work. Thanks for your candid review.

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  • November 19, 2018 at 6:40 pm
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    This is such a cool and practical product! It also looks great and more stylish than carrying around a giant plastic box with you! I will definitely be reccomending this to all the outdoorsy people that I know :3 Thank you for sharing :3

    Reply
    • November 20, 2018 at 1:16 am
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      Thanks Ruth! Agreed that it’s much more fashion forward.

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    • November 20, 2018 at 1:16 am
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      So much easier on the ol’ back and wrists!

      Reply
  • November 19, 2018 at 4:58 pm
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    I have never heard about backpack cooler and it sounds pretty awesome for a traveler and the best camping buddy. I will absolutely check this out.

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    • November 20, 2018 at 1:17 am
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      Yes! It’s tops for campers.

      Reply
  • November 19, 2018 at 2:20 pm
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    What a great backpack. I love the fact that there is more than enough storage. Just what I need.

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    • November 20, 2018 at 1:18 am
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      You and me both. Roomy enough for all the essentials and then some!

      Reply
  • November 19, 2018 at 8:21 am
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    This bag is definitely a very convenient and stylish alternative for the cooler itself. Great to have someone to come up with this.

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    • November 20, 2018 at 1:19 am
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      I’m grateful! What a great alternative.

      Reply
  • November 19, 2018 at 5:36 am
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    I’ve never heard of a backpack cooler before but this looks awesome! So much better than hauling a heavy, bulky plastic cooler around.

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  • November 18, 2018 at 10:12 pm
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    This seems like a cooler that would make life a whole lot easier! Keeps things cool–can be carried like a backpack–and the contents won’t spill onto the ground. A win-win-win.

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  • November 18, 2018 at 9:32 pm
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    Just love being in nature and enjoying the outdoors and anything like this which makes the trip more enjoyable. Need to check this cooler backpack out…so handy!

    Reply

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