CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert deal-hunting staff showcases the best price drops and discounts from reputable sellers daily. If you make a purchase using our links, CNET may earn a commission.

My Favorite Backpack Cooler Is Sturdy, Stylish and 20% Off for Prime Day

Come summer, you'll thank yourself for bagging this rugged, leakproof cooler pack. It's perfect for hauling food and cold beverages around in style.

David Watsky Senior Editor / Home and Kitchen
David lives in Brooklyn where he's spent more than a decade covering all things edible, including meal kit services, food subscriptions, kitchen tools and cooking tips. Before, during and after earning his BA from Northeastern, he toiled in nearly every aspect of the food business, including as a line cook in Rhode Island where he once made a steak sandwich for Lamar Odom. Right now he's likely somewhere stress-testing a blender or the best way to cook bacon. Anything with sesame is his all-time favorite food this week.
Expertise Kitchen tools | Appliances | Food science | Subscriptions | Meal kits
David Watsky
2 min read
cooler backpack

Five years of regular use and my IceMule cooler pack is still in excellent condition. 

David Watsky/CNET

I don't know who first thought up the cooler backpack, but it's a real lifesaver. Drinks are heavy and arms -- at least, mine -- get tired quickly. I've tried a few, but my favorite cooler bag and trusty sidekick for five years running is the sleek and sturdy IceMule Jaunt. It's currently down to $72 (normally $90) on Amazon for Prime Big Deal Days and lands as my pick as the best home deal so far. 

The IceMule is a perfect gift for anyone who makes regular treks to the park, beach or campground. It's also an ideal cooler bag for day hikes and other outdoor adventures since it's light, mobile and leakproof.

man with icemule backpack on back

My all-time favorite cooler backpack is 20% off during Prime Big Deal Days.


There are two IceMule models on sale for Amazon's October deal days sale. Here's a quick breakdown.

  • The premium IceMule Jaunt in a 9-liter size is down to $72. The larger 15-liter bag is down to $88, normally $110. This is the bag I own and it's served me well for five summers of camping, hiking and general fun. The 9-liter bag holds about nine or 10 cans with room for ice.
  • IceMule's Classic model is also on sale for $52, down from $65, in the smallest 9-liter size. While I haven't tested this cooler bag, it seems to be made from a softer material to be more collapsible, but could also mean it's less sturdy and durable than the Jaunt. The Classic features one cross-body strap, whereas the Jaunt has two traditional backpack straps for a little added support.

I love the roll-and-buckle closure

No shade toward zippers, but you just never know when one is going to crap out on you, especially on a piece of outdoor equipment that may see its fair share of abuse, moisture and general wear. IceMule removes the potential for zipper failure with a roll-and-snap closure. This feature also allows you to squeeze all the air out of the semisoft cooler bag, meaning the cold stuff inside will stay cold longer.

There's a built-in pour spout for easy draining

When ice does eventually melt, you can easily tip it out through the top or use IceMule's built-in spout to drain the cooler bag and keep on truckin'. This also saves on meltage and keeps the bag as light as possible. 

 man with cooler bag on

IceMule makes several cooler backpack models in a range of sizes and colors


Looks cool and it's made to last

Lastly, I just plain love the way this cooler looks. The Jaunt sports a simple, minimalist design, crafted from thick material that hardly shows any scuffs or signs of wear in the more than five years I've owned it. Both models are available in a range of fun colors and patterns, from simple matte black to tie-dye and camouflage.