It’s summer—time for picnics, beach days, and toting your refreshments outdoors to enjoy the longest days and best nights of the year. Coolers have come a long way in recent years, keeping your cold items frosty for hours and hours, but they aren’t always tote friendly.


When you don’t want to be hauling around a heavy cooler, or you’re carrying only the essentials for you and a friend, the Cotopaxi Hielo 12L Cooler Bag might just be your best bet.


The bag is made from heavy-duty repurposed nylon/polyester shell fabric with a welded, waterproof liner and repurposed foam insulation. It measures 18 x 14 x 5.5 inches and can hold up to 12, 12-ounce cans. It’s bigger than lunch box size, but smaller than beefy coolers.

A wide-mouth opening with a metal frame gives you easy access to your snacks and beverages, and the roll top has a zipper closure as well as a buckle strap across it, for extra security. Carry the cooler bag using its padded side carry strap or back grab handle, and you can take it along to the campsite, beach, park, or swimming hole. An external water bottle pocket holds your reusable container, or even just your phone and keys.


I’ve used my bag as a carry-on tote when flying to destinations where I knew I’d be spending most of my time on the beach, and I’ve also tossed it in my truck for camping adventures. It’s also great for parents on road trips, when kids are hungry every 10 minutes.


Each Hielo 12L Cooler Bag lists for $100 and is one of a kind, made with Cotopaxi’s Del Dia high-quality, remnant fabric originally produced in other companies’ larger production runs. That keeps the fabric out of landfills and lets thoughtful adventurers give it a second life. No two bags are alike.

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