Pelican Dayventure Backpack: The Modern Personal Cooler

Introduced in early 2019, the Dayventure is one of several additions to Pelican’s line of portable coolers and is designed as a dual-strap, backpack carry. It offers all-day, separate storage for dry and wet goods, with materials to insulate and protect from rugged use.

Made with an overall exterior of puncture-resistant, double-coated Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU), the 21” (H) x 12.1” (W) x 7.1” (D) outer shell of the Dayventure has a denier rating of approximately 840D and is both lightweight and flexible.


At its front, the Dayventure has a 11” (H) x 9.5 (W)” accessory envelope pocket that is ideal for flat or immediate needed items. It is secured by a metal hook buckle that can be adjusted at various lengths to the segmented nylon band running down its center.

At the bottom of the front is a durable TPU handle to aid in moving the backpack if fully loaded. The base of the Dayventure also includes a rubberized and padded section to avoid accidental slippage.

Both sides of the Dayventure feature plastic slide-release buckles that are used to secure the backpack’s rolling lid. This cinch style helps ensure the dry bag’s contents remain water resistant.

The Dayventure’s top is a rolling lip that is secured via rolling inward on itself, then secured on the sides with slide-release buckles. As the top is rolled, a TPU handle remains at the top for ease of carrying, and the overall top can be further collapsed to limit excess space.

The rear of the Dayventure has two contoured, adjustable shoulder straps with closed-cell foam padding inside a nylon mesh to ensure moisture wicking and comfort. This padding material is extended to the back panel of the Dayventure to provide modest comfort to the wearer, as well as a lower lumbar pad if needed. The shoulder straps also include a sternum strap with a plastic slide-release buckle to help ensure proper fit and placement of the shoulder straps while worn.


The Dayventure features two separated storage compartments. The larger top compartment is tapered at the top and at its base measures 13.7” (H) x 12.1 (W)” x 7.1” (D) and with its seamless 19QT storage capacity, is intended for dry goods. The space can be further collapsed to reduce excess space or air. At the top of the upper compartment is a mesh sleeve for additional small-item storage.

The bottom compartment is a compression molded base, designed as an 8” (H) x 12.1 (W)” x 7.1” (D) dual-insulated cooler for wet goods. It features a double-lined, polymer zipper for true water resistance and avoids saturation along the zipper line. The bottom cooler is large enough to accommodate six standard 12-ounce drinking cans and can maintain temperatures for an extended time.

The Dayventure Backpack is available in Coyote (featured) and Light Grey.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • Cost – Average (3/5): At a list price of $249.95, the Dayventure is made dominantly of TPU polymer that gives it a fair degree of flexibility for comfort, while still retaining the factors that allow for dry and cold food storage. The use of these materials, or something similar, is a common application for these types of backpack coolers—but of somewhat different designs. In contrast, Yeti’s Hopper Backflip 24L Soft Cooler ($299.99) or its Panga Backpack ($299.99) are strictly single-compartment designs, as is Rtic’s Backpack Soft Cooler ($149.99) with approximately the same storage capacity. This illustrates that the Dayventure, while not the most expensive on the market, is appropriately (or of average) price point for its design and purpose.
  • Comfort – Good (4/5): The Dayventure had sufficient padding in the back panel and along shoulder straps that gave the bag a good level of overall comfort, even when fully loaded with food and ice. The bag itself lacked the dedicated frame (interior or exterior) of other traditional hiking backpacks, denoting Dayventure was meant more for shorter trips or distances. But for short camping trips, hikes, or on a day’s travel the Dayventure’s material was soft and did not chafe exposed skin or fatigue the body. Other hardware, specifically the roll-opening was easy to utilize and did as intended. Of note, when/if the bottom of the Dayventure is utilized for wet/cold items (i.e. liquids and/or ice), then the base was heavier and effected overall balance of the bag when carried via the top hand handle, and on the back. Users should be aware of this and account accordingly when packing it.
  • Durability – Good (4/5): The Dayventure was utilized on the range and on camping trips with the intent to bring a variety of food and drink as needed. The principle vehicle of transport was in the back of the truck along with a variety of other gear, and all of it was handled accordingly. Through it all the TPU outer shell held up remarkably well despite some concerns on its ability to resist puncture or abrasion—especially at the high-stress points where the shoulder straps connect into the Dayventure. No signs of tear, separation, cracking, or other detrimental wear was noted (aside from just nominal surface marring). Like many of Pelican’s products, the Dayventure’s exterior shell and materials proved to have a good level of durability for short, and all-day use.
  • Functionality – Good (4/5): Functionally, the Dayventure had the unique ability to split its role between both dry and cold/wet storage whereas other similar products only had a design that allotted for a single use. This placed the Dayventure in a unique position of being an all-in-one backpack cooler that also can be easily and comfortably carried short distances. One nice included feature was the interior of the dry storage compartment had a high-visibility liner that made sure even the deepest parts were easily seen. The wide polymer zipper of the lower cold storage space moved smoothly, and contoured around the corners easily. Otherwise, the cold/wet storage compartment maintained appropriate temperatures within a 24-hour span that kept drinks and food prepared as needed. One notable recommendation to Pelican would be the inclusion of elastic cuffs to the shoulder straps and the side slide-release buckles for the upper storage compartment. Tightening these left an excessive amount of material dangling, and the elastic cuffs would help minimize the excess material.
  • Weight – Average (3/5): Coming in at 9.30 pounds (empty), the polymer material of the Dayventure, and the double-lined storage spaces clearly played a factor into the bag’s overall weight. These features however, are what lend the bag to be used for its purpose of transporting a variety of foods and drinks for a short day’s adventure. In comparison, the Hopper Backflip 24L Soft Cooler (5 pounds), the Panga Backpack (3.9 pounds), or Rtic’s Backpack Soft Cooler (6 pounds) were all less than the Dayventure, but again most were of a smaller carrying capacity or held only a single storage space design that limited their functionality. As such the consumer can see the weight of the Dayventure as appropriate (or average) for its place and design in the market, and among its competitors.

Overall Rating – Above Average (18/25)

Product Link:

I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.