Reviews You Can Rely On

CleverMade Pacifica Collapsible Bag 30 Review

A tote-style cooler made of recycled materials for conscious adventurers
gearlab tested logo
CleverMade Pacifica Collapsible Bag 30 Review
Credit: Matt Lighthart
Price:  $40 List
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Manufacturer:   CleverMade
By Genaveve Bradshaw and Mallory Paige  ⋅  May 2, 2024
63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 19
  • Insulation - 30% 4.5
  • Convenience - 25% 9.3
  • Portability - 25% 6.5
  • Packability - 10% 7.7
  • Durability - 10% 2.4

Our Verdict

The CleverMade Pacifica Collapsible Bag 30 is a noteworthy tote-style soft cooler as it's made of recycled materials equivalent to eight water bottles. We love this bag not only for its thoughtful design but also its highly affordable price tag. That said, we only recommend this for picnics or trips to and from the grocery store, as it only lasted about two days in our insulation tests under 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If you're looking for an option that lasts several days for overnight camping trips, check out our review of the best soft coolers or our top-ranked coolers.
REASONS TO BUY
Collapsible
Easy to store
Eco-friendly materials
Plenty of space
REASONS TO AVOID
Not water-resistant
Not the best insulation

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award  Top Pick Award 
Price $40 List
$39.99 at Amazon
$63 List
$62.99 at Amazon
$30 List
$19.99 at Amazon
$55 List
$38.39 at REI
$40 List
$35.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
63
71
67
63
58
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Bottom Line An eco-friendly option that is ideal for conscious adventurersThis budget-friendly cooler lacks a zipped top, yet keeps its contents fresh among the restThis soft cooler has the lowest price tag of the soft coolers we've tested. While it isn't going to give you everything you need, it'll get the job done for quick and easy tripsA handy model that won't stop meltwater leakage but is a useful and comfortable solution for infrequent and casual useA budget-friendly soft cooler that has plenty of storage, comfy straps, and decent insulation performance
Rating Categories CleverMade Pacifica... Arctic Zone Titan D... Lifewit Large Insul... REI Co-op Pack-Away 24 Maelstrom Backpack 35
Insulation (30%)
4.5
5.2
3.4
5.3
4.3
Convenience (25%)
9.3
9.5
9.0
9.0
6.6
Portability (25%)
6.5
7.9
7.0
3.6
5.9
Packability (10%)
7.7
7.5
9.1
7.7
9.4
Durability (10%)
2.4
4.0
7.3
7.7
4.0
Specs CleverMade Pacifica... Arctic Zone Titan D... Lifewit Large Insul... REI Co-op Pack-Away 24 Maelstrom Backpack 35
Measured Capacity in Cans 38 cans 30 cans 24 cans 44 cans 36 cans
Measured Capacity 18.5 L 19.4 L 13.2 L 27.6 L 20.0 L
Food Shelf Life (Measured Days Below 40ºF) 1.9 2.1 1.6 2.2 1.8
Cold Beverages (Measured Days Below 50ºF) 2.1 2.3 1.8 2.3 2.0
Carry Style Lunchbox Lunchbox Lunchbox Pack Pack
Can a standard sized wine bottle fit? Yes, but only horizontally Yes Yes, but can only fit small bottles horizontally Yes Yes
Measured Dimensions L x W x H 16" x 9.8" x 13" 15.1" x 11.3" x 12.1" 10" x 6.7" x 8.3" 24" x 9" 18" 13.3" x 8.3" x 18.4"
Measured Weight 1.7 Ibs 3.6 lbs 0.8 Ibs 1.5 lbs 2.4 lbs
Closure Method Zipper Zipperless Zipper Zipper Zipper
Available in Different Sizes? Yes Yes Yes No No
Exterior Fabric Recycled polyester Polyester Ripstop Oxford fabric with PU coating Recycled polyester shell and abrasion-resistant recycled nylon bottom High-density insulation material
Additional Storage Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Removable Liner? No Yes No No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

At 16 by 9.8 by 13 inches, the CleverMade Pacifica Collapsible Bag 30 can fit 38 cans and a standard-sized wine bottle on its side with 18.5 liters of capacity. It carries like a lunchbox at 1.7 pounds. This cooler zips shut and is made of recycled polyester, so it's practical and eco-friendly.

Performance Comparison


clevermade pacifica collapsible bag 30 - the clevermade pacifica collapsible bag 30 can fit 38 cans and a...
The CleverMade Pacifica Collapsible Bag 30 can fit 38 cans and a standard-sized wine bottle if it lays horizontally.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Insulation


We examined the USDA Safe Food Temperature scales to tell us what temperatures are safe for our food and beverages. We came up with 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit as our thresholds for food and beverages, and we were not thrilled with this cooler. The CleverMade Pacifica Collapsible Bag 30 stayed below 40 degrees for 1.9 days and below 50 degrees for 2.1 days, which was far from the best-performing soft coolers we've tested, some of which topped four days.


The mediocre insulation of this cooler means that it's not the best for a long weekend trip. However, it does last about two days, so you can take it along for a Saturday and Sunday if you're headed to the beach or mountains. Just be aware that if you need a cooler to last you longer, this isn't going to do the trick. There are also other coolers with much more space to provide you with food and beverages for more days.

clevermade pacifica collapsible bag 30 - the clevermade pacifica collapsible bag 30 stayed cool for just...
The CleverMade Pacifica Collapsible Bag 30 stayed cool for just about two days.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Convenience


The CleverMade Pacifica Collapsible Bag 30 was one of the most convenient options of the soft coolers we tested. The entire top portion unzips open, and the cooler is easy to store as the soft walls can easily collapse. The lid and the base of the cooler are the only “hard” sides, and they fold right into the strap on the base. You don't need to give it too much elbow grease to break this thing down.


This cooler stands upright on its own, and it's not as deep as some of the other coolers that we tested. The walls snap into place as well, so they're satisfyingly easy to pop up and stay in place. We didn't have any trouble dumping ice into this cooler. Because it opens up completely, you can easily pack it up without touching the sides. Plus, you have a pouch on the side of the cooler for extra storage, where you can fit your keys, a phone, or a slim wallet.

clevermade pacifica collapsible bag 30 - the clevermade fits 38 cans, and it keeps them cold.
The Clevermade fits 38 cans, and it keeps them cold.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Portability


The CleverMade Pacifica Collapsible Bag 30 is quite portable, too, although it's nothing to write home about. You can carry it by the strap, which has an adjustable pad, so you can slide it to where it sits comfortably on your shoulder. You can also remove the strap by unclipping the two carabiners on either side of the cooler. They have a wire gate, which feels sturdier than the gates on some other coolers we tested.


There is another set of handles over the top of the lid of the cooler, which have some thin padding. They don't velcro together, though, so they can be hard to hold together with one hand. It's also worth noting that the handles feel a little too long to carry in some positions. The cooler can also be carried like a crossbody bag.

clevermade pacifica collapsible bag 30 - the handles at the top of the cooler offer convenient carrying.
The handles at the top of the cooler offer convenient carrying.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Packability


The CleverMade Pacifica Collapsible Bag 30 is 16 inches deep, but it opens completely, so it's easy to reach the bottom without having to go shoulder-deep. You can easily pack up 38 cans in the 18.5 liters of space. And you can also fit a standard-sized wine bottle in this cooler if you lay it on its side.


There is one pouch on the front side of the cooler where you can pack more belongings with quick access. This pouch doesn't have any closure method, though, so be sure to keep an eye out for valuables like your phone or keys if you're lugging this cooler around. With pockets that don't have zippered or buttoned closures, it's easier to drop items in the sand or on the trail.

clevermade pacifica collapsible bag 30 - almost two inches of water seeped through in our water-dunk test.
Almost two inches of water seeped through in our water-dunk test.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

Durability


We tested the durability of CleverMade Pacifica Collapsible Bag 30 by dunking it in water and knocking it around. Unfortunately, this was one of the least-durable coolers we tested. While it didn't get damaged during our testing, we can foresee it getting damaged over a longer time period.


The CleverMade soaks through when submerged in water.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

When we dunked this cooler in water, it was soaked. While we didn't expect the material to be completely dry immediately after submerging it in water, we also didn't expect it to be as drenched as it was. The material was fully soaked through, which meant that everything inside the cooler also got soaked and flooded from the bottom up. The only part of the cooler that didn't get fully drenched was the long strap. That said, the Clevermade seemed to dry somewhat after a half hour, although it remained damp.

clevermade pacifica collapsible bag 30 - this cooler can fit a lot of items, but they'll get soaked if you...
This cooler can fit a lot of items, but they'll get soaked if you add ice and leave it for hours on end.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

Should You Buy the CleverMade Pacifica Collapsible Bag 30?


The CleverMade Pacifica Collapsible Bag 30 is a convenient, eco-friendly model that is great for traveling but doesn't have top-tier insulation performance. If you are looking to make a more eco-conscious purchase, this bag is certainly the most eco-friendly soft coolers that we've tested. Each cooler, made of recycled materials, makes up the equivalent of eight water bottles—so whatever carbon footprint you leave along your adventure, you can at least rest assured that you're neutralizing it in some capacity. Just be sure not to leave water bottles behind on your journey.

If you care less about having a recycled cooler—and more about having an option that can withstand the elements (read: water)—then this is not the cooler for you. The CleverMade is not your friend for water activities or wet conditions like rainy-day adventures.

The Clevermade is built for picnic-goers.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

What Other Soft Coolers Should You Consider?


The CleverMade Pacifica Collapsible Bag 30 is notably the worst cooler we tested in terms of durability. If you are looking for an option that you can take with you into wet conditions, like a boat or kayak, this is not it. However, you can consider the IceMule Jaunt 15, which is an awesome choice for a personal adventure bag. It's comfortable, portable, and water-resistant—plus, it is available in a variety of fun colors.

Other more durable options are the RTIC models, like the RTIC SoftPak 20 and the RTIC Backpack 30. These coolers scored very well in terms of durability, and while they do cost more than the CleverMade, they are still more accessible than the most durable coolers that we've tested.

If you aren't quite sure what you're looking for in terms of a soft cooler, be sure to check out our full list of the best soft coolers and best coolers we've tested.

While the CleverMade is a smart option for eco-conscious adventurers, it's not the most durable, and water will easily leak out.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw


Genaveve Bradshaw and Mallory Paige