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ICEMULE Boss Backpack Cooler Review

Icemule Boss backpack cooler with backpack straps

The “Boss” is ICEMULE’s gift to people on the go!

Every once in a while a product comes around that completely obliterates all expectations and pushes far beyond the competition – that product is ICEMULE’s Boss large backpack cooler. When faced with packing heavy gear while searching for the perfect beach spot, a backpack cooler can save your ass and your back. Hands-free soft coolers are the way to go these days, especially when you need to be mobile, such as fishing, camping, hiking, tailgating or spending time with your family on the beach. 

If you’re like me and responsible for carrying drinks, chairs, umbrellas and beach toys for the entire family, then you absolutely need a well-built backpack cooler such as the ICEMULE Boss. I’m responsible for the safety and well-being of a family of five and have to ensure that everyone in my crew stays hydrated and fed when we go to the beach or go camping. Juice boxes, water bottles, beer and snacks can weigh a ton, especially once you add ice. While I may have been able to pull a wheeled hard cooler like the Yeti Haul across the sand in search of the perfect spot on the beach in my younger days, I simply can’t do it anymore and the ICEMULE Boss backpack cooler is a lifesaver. 

Whether you’re into fishing, hiking, tailgating or like to bring plenty of drinks while camping, a backpack cooler could be your best option. Tough as they come with additional pockets for extra gear, the ICEMULE Boss is packed with incredible insulation and a design that will keep your drinks and food ice cold and ready to consume even in blazing hot weather. In fact, the Boss is the best cooler for when you don’t need your ice to keep for 10+ days, but still need superior ice retention in a portable package. While this bag’s ice retention isn’t the same as say a Yeti hard cooler, you don’t always need that much protection and the Boss easily outperforms other backpack coolers. 

Tall and deep, the ICEMULE Boss is the best size to carry plenty of drinks while you’re on the go. Muleskin, welded seams and waterproof properties make this a tough backpack cooler that can actually float! You can even use the air valve to blow additional air into the Boss and float it righty next to you while swimming, kayaking or enjoying your standup paddleboard. 

Designed for the toughest elements, the ICEMULE Boss Backpack Cooler will get you where you need to be.

Coolers can get pretty heavy once you account for drinks, food and ice needed for a family or group of friends, which is why your backpack cooler must have a sturdy design and comfortable straps. ICEMULE took it up a notch with the Boss and designed the most comfortable airmesh straps of any backpack cooler I’ve ever seen! Not only does it have two incredibly comfortable airmesh straps, but also a cushioned hip belt to relieve pressure from your shoulders and a sternum strap that keeps your backpack in place to keep your arms free so you can carry gear, fishing poles, umbrellas, paddleboard or other cool toys. In fact, you can slip the Boss over your shoulders, latch the hip belt, secure the sternum strap and you won’t even have to think about your backpack cooler again until you need it. I’m a huge fan of pockets, MOLLE and storage space and ICEMULE answered our requests and put plenty of storage options on the Boss. Three pockets with waterproof zippers, a bungee cord and MOLLE on both sides lets you customize and bring even more gear on your next trip. Many backpack coolers are simply cooler that carry on your back, but the Boss has enough extra space to be used as a daypack so you don’t have to load your pockets or bring an additional bag with you. 

Our favorite features of the BOSS

I wanted to test the ICEMULE Boss in one of the hottest climates to see how it performed in an all-day field test, so I took it to the beach. We loaded up the Boss with enough beer, juice boxes, water, snacks and ice to last a family of 5 in an all day adventure at one of the hottest beaches on the planet – Dauphin Island, Mississippi. 

Perched on top of a huge sandpile, my ICEMULE Boss soaked up the sun over a period of at least 6 hours in direct sunlight. Instructions say to keep it covered to increase your ice retention, but I wanted to make it hard on the Boss to see how it could handle extreme heat.

Pleasantly surprised doesn’t even come close to how I felt about this backpack cooler after a grueling day in the heat with kids constantly opening the roll-top to get more drinks. In fact, I don’t think I have ever seen a backpack cooler that could come close to the Boss’s performance. I’m still nursing an injured back from a training accident and knew there was no way I could lug a hard cooler across the beach and figured this would be the perfect time to test out my new ICEMULE Boss in real-world conditions. 

Once loaded to the brim with a fresh bag of ice and drinks, I put it on the tailgate of my truck so I could back up to it and secure it to my back to begin my journey across the barren wasteland of sand, sun and kids running back and forth while I lugged enough gear for the entire family. Waterproof side pockets housed my fixed blade knife that I always bring in case of emergency and I was able to safely store my phone, cash and other valuables in the other zippered pocket. 

I’m not sure how much it weighed after I filled it up, but the weight distribution was perfect thanks to the padded straps, hip belt, and chest strap. In fact, I barely even felt it on my back and could have easily walked miles with it strapped to my back. Tough handles and the roll-top opening made picking up and moving to a new spot easily and quick.

Portability was the main reason I chose a backpack cooler, but I was unsure whether or not they would be tough enough for what I needed. Many brands make cheap bags with flimsy straps that aren’t effective where I live. However, the Boss has destroyed any negative thoughts I had about backpack coolers. I love the roll-top design, the comfortable straps, the waterproof pockets and many other features that are too many to list. It’s now become my main cooler since I’m on the go all the time and a heavy-duty hard cooler just doesn’t always make sense. 

How to Close the ICEMULE Boss

My favorite part about this awesome backpack cooler is the roll-top design that allows you to stuff everything you need in there and roll the top to keep it cool. This is the best way to store more items and to create a barrier between your ice and the sun. However, you have to close it properly to get the most out of your ICEMULE Boss. Simply roll it a few times and secure the buckle. While it may take some practice, it’s pretty easy and there is a video that can show you exactly how to do it. 

Our Take

Get the ICEMULE Boss Backpack Cooler! If you want a backpack cooler that can hold enough ice and drinks for your family or friends, this is the one you want. Cheap backpack coolers are a waste of money and will fail when you need them the most. Buying premium coolers, such as the Boss, with a proven track record of excellence will actually save you money in the long run. Perfect for travel or packing ice to your favorite spot, the Boss is the perfect backpack cooler for any outdoor adventure.