Canyon Nomad 20 Soft Cooler Review: Is This Cooler Worth It?

Soft coolers are more practical in some instances since they’re lightweight and portable while still providing the cooling retention you need. 

The Canyon Nomad 20 is one of the best choices available on the market. If you’re not that familiar with the brand yet, don’t worry! 

I’ll give you a comprehensive review of its specs, features, and pros and cons. I’ll even share 3 alternatives to compare to the Nomad 20 to!

Canyon Nomad 20 Soft Cooler: A Brief Overview

Canyon Coolers is a well-known brand that’s been in the cooler industry since 2011. They’ve been producing HIGH-PERFORMING and QUALITY coolers ever since. 

Canyon Nomad 20 sits among the product lineup of Canyon. It’s the smallest and cheapest among the soft cooler roster when compared to the Nomad 30 and Nomad Go.

Product Specifications

  • True Capacity: 21 quarts
  • 10.5″(W) x 15.5″(H) x 18″(L)
  • Weight: 4.5lbs
  • Closed-cell foam insulation won’t soak up water
  • Thick stretchy liner with fully welded seams
  • Hard-sided Ice Pack fits perfectly and helps you save space.

Unlike its cousins, which can hold 27 to 30 quarts, the Nomad 20 can only hold a MAXIMUM of 21 quarts (20 liters). 

It’s compact and lightweight because it only weighs 4.5 lbs. With its size and load, you can bring and stash it anywhere! Not to mention that it comes with an oh-so-comfy shoulder strap. 

The Nomad 20 is designed for people who don’t need much storage space and are looking for a small soft cooler to keep in their cars, side-by-sides, and other tight spaces. 


  • Lightweight and portable
  • Highly durable and leak-proof
  • Excellent cooling retention
  • Saves space
  • 1-year warranty coverage


  • Small storage capacity
  • Limited warranty coverage

What Are the Main Features of the Canyon Nomad 20 Soft Cooler?

There’s more to love about the Canyon Nomad 20 soft cooler, and I can’t wait to tell you about its amazing features! 

I’ll emphasize the 5 best features that stood out to me when I first laid my hands on the Nomad 20.

1: Closed-cell Foam Insulation

I like how Canyon built this bad boy with closed-cell foam insulation. Let me elaborate if you still need to get familiar with this feature. 

Foams are known to be one of the BEST INSULATION materials and are generally used by many cooler brands in their products. 

Closed-cell foams are infused with chemicals that improve their insulation capacity. 

It’s denser, and the gas bubbles within are not in contact with each other, making it difficult for heat to penetrate

2: High Cooling Retention

The Canyon Nomad 20 can keep its contents cool for almost 3.5 days in 90-degree temperatures. 

This is truly surprising for a soft and portable cooler. It even retains coolness BETTER than Canyon’s Outfitter 22 Hard Cooler. 

Aside from its insulation, another reason for the high cooling retention of this cooler is its trap-mouth design. This keeps the flap closed even if you forget to zip up the opening. 

3: Lightweight, Portable, and Durable

As previously mentioned, the Canyon Nomad 20 only weighs 4.5 lbs. It also has a width of 10.5 inches, making it very compact and easy to carry

Its padded shoulder strap also provides EXTRA COMFORT, even when you’re carrying loads of weight. 

And if you’re planning to kayak or ride a SUP board with the Nomad 20, you’ll never have to fear your cooler sinking because it can STAY AFLOAT on water. 

4: Durable

The Canyon Nomad 20 is also thoughtfully made, and manufacturers make sure that it lasts a long time

Its outer part is constructed with anti-abrasion TPU fiber fabric. It also has fully welded seams to avoid leakage, a common problem in cheap soft coolers.

On the other hand, the insides are lined with a premium, non-toxic liner to stop the soak and keep the food and beverages inside fresh.

5: Sh!t Happens Warranty Coverage

Your purchase is also secured with Canyon’s 1-year Sh!t Happens warranty coverage, which offers FREE REPLACEMENT of damaged parts.

However, it will not cover any damage caused by the following:

  • Commercial use
  • Loss or destruction beyond recognition
  • Abuse, misuse, or neglect
  • Accidents
  • Unintended usage
  • Repair or alteration
  • Acts of nature

But, even if this is the case, Canyon is still willing to give you a 25% discount if you need to re-purchase the Nomad 20 as a replacement for your old gear. 

Are There Any Alternatives to the Canyon Nomad 20 Soft Cooler?

Now that you already know about Canyon Nomad 20, let’s look at some alternatives to compare with it. 

Alternative 1: RTIC Soft Pack Cooler 

The RTIC Soft Pack Cooler is a great option if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, as it costs $50 less than the Nomad 20. 

It’s also very lightweight at 4 lbs. and can fit up to 30 soda cans + ice inside the bag. 

The outer layer is constructed with HEAVY-DUTY nylon, while the insides are insulated with 2-inch closed-cell foam. 

This cooler offers good insulation and cooling retention, plus it’s leak-proof!


  • Affordable
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Offers good insulation and is highly leak-proof


  • More limited features than other brands
  • Only available for online purchase

Alternative 2: YETI Hopper M30

YETI is one of the best brands offering premium-quality coolers. Their brand promise also translates to their soft cooler lineup, particularly with the Hopper M30. 

Its outer dryhide shell is also HIGHLY DURABLE, withstanding tears, punctures, and UV rays. Meanwhile, the insides are closed-cell foam insulated, providing incredible cooling retention. 

The Hopper M30 is also equipped with magshield access. This provides strong magnetic closures to seal it shut and ensure nothing leaks. 

To put the cherry on top, this cooler is constructed with a hitch point grid, where you can load your bottle openers, multitools, zingers, and other accessories. 


  • Excellent ice retention
  • Leak-proof 
  • Highly durable
  • Can carry extra accessories for outdoor use


  • Expensive

Alternative 3: Hydro Flask Day Escape

All the product I’ve reviewed in this article includes shoulder straps. I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. So, I considered including a backpack soft cooler. 

The Hydro Flask Day Escape is one of the best choices for this category. It’s super lightweight, making it easy to carry with an additional load. 

Its padded straps and back panels also ensure comfortable hands-free transport. 

This soft cooler is also WATERPROOF, and its outer shell is made of durable 600D polyester. 

It offers a 36-hour cooling retention. It’s more than enough if you’re only planning to use it for a short period.


  • Comfortable padded back panels and straps
  • Waterproof and durable outer shell
  • Leak-proof 
  • Lightweight


  • Average cooling retention
  • Small opening
  • Limited exterior storage

Final Verdict

So, is the Canyon Nomad 20 worth the buy? My answer would be a definite YES!

It offers good insulation and cooling retention, plus it’s guaranteed to last long since it’s made of high-quality materials and secured with a warranty. 

It might not carry too many loads like the other soft coolers. But it’s a great choice if you’re looking for a space-saver cooler that’s easy to carry around.

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