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Equipment Review: Engel backpack coolers undergo major upgrade for 2017

Western Outdoor NewsPublished: May 30, 2017

New Fabrics, Components and Colors Add Durability, Function and Style to Versatile Soft-sided Supercooler


Engel, the leader in AC/DC fridge/freezers, high performance roto-molded coolers and outdoor adventure gear, has upgraded its popular soft-sided backpack coolers. With a heavier fabric shell, more color and camo options, and improved zippers, these upgraded softsided supercoolers are now an even better choice when you need to carry cold food and drinks to any outdoor activity.

“Our backpack coolers, recently rated number one in ice retention by Boating Magazine’s Boating Lab, by the way, have proven themselves in the field for all kinds of uses, from treks into deer camp to a day at the beach,” said Paul Kabalin, CEO of Engel Coolers. “The new upgrades to these bags make them tougher and more useful, they even look better.”

The basic design of the Engel Backpack Cooler has not changed. It is 19.5-inches wide by 17.5-inches tall. Its footprint of 1.5-inches by 8-inches tapers slightly from bottom to top. It’s ample capacity tops out at around 23-quarts, or more than 24 cans of liquid refreshment with room for ice or Engel Cooler Packs, so you can count on bringing along plenty of food and drinks.

Access to the inside cooler bag is easy, given the full-length top zipper. With the zipper opened, the bag flexes so you can easily reach inside, even all the way to the bottom of the cooler, without scraping your arm on the sides of the zipper. All zippers feature strong, flexible coil-teeth and a 3-mil water-resistant polyurethane coating to keep the cold and moisture inside the cooler, even if it tips over on its side. Sturdy rubber pulls make zippers easy to open and close.

Key to the superior performance of the Engel Backpack Cooler is its two-stage insulation. The Engel Backpack Cooler features one-inch thick batts of high-density foam insulation, welded together inside the top, bottom and sides of the cooler. Adding to the effectiveness of the insulation is a layer of foil between the outer fabric and the insulation. This foil layer effectively reflects the sun’s long-wave heat radiation and at the same time, deflects cold back on the inside. Recent testing has shown that the Engel Backpack Cooler can keep food cold for up to 3.5 days.

The Engel Backpack Cooler has four carry options, making it one of the most versatile cooler bags ever conceived. A rear carry handle is available to grab the cooler and longer tote straps make it easy to carry by hand or over the shoulder. Padded air-mesh straps on the back allow the cooler to be comfortably carried as a backpack; there’s even a clip-on strap with a shoulder pad for over the shoulder carry. All of the strap webbing is 1-inch or 1½-inch nylon and all seams are reinforced at the attachment point. When not in use, straps can be hidden away in handy slip pockets so they won’t catch or flop around.

Suggested retail price is $129.99. You may purchase coolers online. Enter code WON10OFF for a discount.

For more information on Engel Backpack Coolers or on any of Engel’s full line of AC/DC fridge/freezers, high-performance coolers or other adventure gear, visit

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