Hydro Flask Day Escape Soft Cooler Pack | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Hydro Flask Day Escape Soft Cooler Pack | Review

An insulated cooler bag for both on-the-move and post-hiking campfire beers

Why We Chose The Hydro Flask Day Escape Soft Cooler Pack: Exceptionally leakproof, easy to carry, and great for group excursions in nature

The Day Escape Soft Cooler Pack incorporates Hydro Flask’s unique cold-retaining properties used throughout their popular flask collection, creating a backpack cooler for on-the-move. 

Very insulating, water tight, decked out with useful features and comfortable to carry, this is an impressive new launch from the U.S. brand.

Photo: Chris Johnson

Who Is The Day Escape Cooler Pack For?

As one of the lightest cooler packs on the market, this is a pack that’s going to suit those social occasions that require a bit of a hike in and out. Beach BBQs, picnics in the park, fishing trips – that kind of stuff. 


The Hydro Flask cooler has a volume of 20 litres and a massive can capacity of 36 (stubby size and excluding ice). 

 “Liquids can neither get in nor get out of the bag.”

With dimensions of 17.70 x 13 x 7.80 inches (height x weight x depth), this could easily be mistaken for an average backpack, though most backpacks won’t offer 36 hours of cold insulation.

It has a comfortable harness system that involves a padded back panel, padded shoulder straps (which are removable) and then a sternum strap which can be adjusted horizontally and vertically. 

On either side of the top there are useful loops that make for handy grab handles or gear attachment points. These have been cut with lasers and are welded onto the bag for optimum durability. You then also have extra attachment loops across the front and sides, which, while primarily designed to accommodate one of Hydro Flask’s Dry Storage accessories (purchased separately), can also be used to, say, fasten the pack to a SUP or kayak using a bungee or webbing strap.

As for pockets, there’s one waterproof zipped one then and a stretchy pocket on the side for your water bottle.

Photo: Chris Johnson
Photo: Chris Johnson
Photo: Chris Johnson


The Day Escape Cooler Pack has a super durable 600D polyester shell, and an FDA food grade and BPA-free liner, making it incredibly lightweight, entirely waterproof, and fully safe to use. The thickest part of the insulation will be found at the bottom of the bag where it’s most susceptible to external temperatures. This also means that the cooler is self-standing, so you needn’t worry about drinks toppling out into the campfire.

A TRU Zip is also incorporated with welded seams to ensure leakproof travels. This is engineered to pull silently and is ‘self-healing’, so if the zipper slides off, it can easily be reattached.

Hydro Flask also have an 18-26L tote bag version, and sell extra accessories including dry storage bags and ice packs.

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, editor of Outdoors Magic

“I loved the previous backpack cooler that Hydro Flask released a few years ago (the Hydro Flask 22L Insulated Soft Cooler) and have had a heck of a lot of use out of it. The insulation was very effective and the free-standing design was super handy. I would say, however, that it wasn’t the most comfortable of rucksacks to wear. I could never get it to sit right.”

Photo: Chris Johnson

“This new version is slightly smaller in volume but the back panel has a much larger surface area and I think it’s a definite upgrade, being much more comfortable to carry. I also think it looks a little more casual and rucksack-like than the last one, which was a bit space-agey. What’s more, it’s a lot cheaper than that last bag (though it’s still not particularly cheap, admittedly).

“The insulation really is very good. Guaranteed cold beers, no matter how long the hike from the car is.”

Photo: Chris Johnson

Hydro Flask Day Escape Soft Cooler


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