Even if you are not planning to travel around the world with a cooler in your hand, avoid back pain by choosing a carrying solution that is appropriate for your mode of transport, the volume of the cooler (i.e. its size) and the final weight of your cooler loaded with food. For this, pay attention to the type of carrying handles, or shoulder strap system, which are essential accessories of a good cooler.
Carried on the back, on the shoulder or in the hand
Every self-respecting cooler has one or more carrying handles. And yes, otherwise it would just be a big cube or a big rectangular parallelepiped (a 3D rectangle, if like me, your geometry lessons are a distant memory).
On the other hand, most rigid coolers have a single carrying handle that often also serves as a "lock" for the lid. These coolers are not very pleasant to carry alone, and even less so with two people.... especially if they have a large volume and are full of food or liquid (a reminder: 1 litre bottle of water = 1 kilo... that can go very fast!).
However, there are flexible coolers that are easier to carry for larger volumes. For example, the Quechua 35-litre inflatable cooler has a shoulder strap and two handles, one on each side, so that two people can easily carry it. There are also 10-litre mini soft coolers that can be slung over the shoulder like a satchel, perfect for keeping your drinks cool.
In short, if you're looking for a cooler that performs well, takes up little space and has multiple carrying handles, you can choose the inflatable cooler with your eyes closed.
If you're going on a hike, efficient and practical
backpack coolers keep your picnic lunch cool for up to 5 hours without using ice packs. With this 2-in-1 innovation, you don't have to worry about carrying your cooler, you'll have it on your back and end up forgetting it.
It's perfect for short family outings! One person will carry a standard backpack with everything the whole family needs (mac and warm clothes just in case, compass, map, first aid kit, etc.) while the other carries lunch.
All other coolers are equipped with straps so you can carry them over your shoulder.