The Coleman Maverick Ultra Backpack Cooler is an inexpensive cooler that performs surprisingly well. It’s relatively small and nimble but it includes two exterior mesh drink pockets, an exterior stash zippered pocket, and closed-cell foam for insulation.
We used it on a sunny 80-degree day on a 6-hour, 16-mile bike ride around a lake and it kept eight drinks cold with just a couple of reusable ice packs. That’s not exactly a scientific test, but I can tell you the Coleman Maverick Ultra Backpack Cooler worked better than expected.
Coleman Maverick Ultra Backpack Cooler Review
The Coleman Maverick Ultra Backpack Cooler uses a generous layer of closed-cell foam for its primary insulation. The sidewalls seem to be about 3/4 of an inch thick. The interior liner is FDA-compliant and prevents mold, mildew and odors.
The top lid zipper isn’t waterproof, but it’s smooth and works well. The interior of the lid has a small mesh slide pocket as well, good for plastic silverware or a small reusable ice pack for a bit of extra cooling.
The backpack straps are well-padded for the size, and the back wall of the cooler is also padded. The straps are widely adjustable — at least adjustable enough to fit a 220 lb guy with ease.
In terms of size, it’s one of the smallest backpack coolers, but it will hold up to 20 cans without ice. With ice, it’ll do pretty well for most of a day with 8-to-12 cans if you load up the remaining space with ice. Of course, every cooler works much better when you start with cold drinks.
The overall construction is pretty solid — not throw it down a steep rocky bank solid, but it seems more durable than what are essentially generic department store-branded soft coolers. If you need a cooler for several weekends each summer and some light-duty use for picnics or camping trips where your treat the campground like a base camp, the Coleman Maverick Ultra Backpack Cooler should hold up well. If you abuse your gear, you should get one of the more durable coolers in our guide to the best backpack coolers.
Last of all, Coleman includes a bottle opener, which is sewn to a strap on the side so you won’t lose it.
And that’s about it. The Coleman Maverick Ultra Backpack Cooler is a great backpack lunch cooler, shorter day-trip cooler and excellent all-around entry-level backpack cooler. It’s the best inexpensive backpack cooler at the lowest price point that’s still worth buying.