The BackTap is a stainless steel-lined cooler backpack from BruMate. It’s different from any other cooler we have reviewed as it can double as a regular backpack that holds ice to chill your cans OR simply hold up to 3 gallons of your favorite beverage! Revolutionary!
Let’s take a look and find out if the BruMate Cooler Backpack is actually any good.
Ice Retention Tests
The primary reason for using a cooler is to keep food and drinks below a certain temperature for as long as possible. The FDA recommends that when refrigerating food you should keep the temperature below 40° F to ensure food safety standards are maintained.
In the graphic below, you’ll see the internal temperature of the BackTap cooler over the 66 hours of our testing. A data point is plotted every hour of the test.
The BackTap was able to stay under the 40° F cut off point for 57 hours which is just under 2.5 days.
Design, Construction & Durability
The BackTap is a single compartment style cooler that looks like a bucket with straps. It’s not the most visually appealing backpack cooler that we’ve ever tested but for this model BruMate have definitely prioritized function over form.
The main body of the cooler is made from rotomolded plastic while nestled inside is a removable, stainless steel insert.
The base of the bag has four rubber discs that protect the plastic from the ground.
The bag features 3 carry strap options including:
- Thick, padded backpack shoulder straps with chest clip
- Sturdy, top level metal handle with comfortable grip.
- Single shoulder strap (sold separately). This retails for around $20.3
This backpack cooler has an additional ultra durable baseplate to protect from skids and scrapes during use.
The material has lasted really well despite regular usage.
Comfort While Carrying
The BruMate backpack cooler has multiple carrying options. A pair of padded shoulder straps, a metal handle with a padded center, and an optional single shoulder strap.
I found the double shoulder straps to be by far the most comfortable way to carry the bag.
Due to being made from solid plastic the bag is not as comfortable to carry as soft sided coolers like the RTIC Backpack Cooler but it’s not so bad that it would effect my recommendation.
- As it is a hard sided cooler this category is a little different than when we are reviewing soft sided bags. The rotomolded plastic of the body will obviously not allow any leakage. But what about the seal and tap?
- The BackTap is rated as ‘leak resistant’. If you’re using it as a regular cooler it will do a great job at keeping your ice and the resulting meltwater contained within the bag.
- When used as a drink dispenser so long as you keep it upright and make sure the tap button is always fully released you wont experience any leakage.
- It does not float in the way coolers like the RTIC or Tourit Backpack Cooler do.
A backpack cooler with a built in tap!? This is the thing we like most about the Brumate BackTap. To have the option of using it as a regular cooler to store ice and cans but with the flexibility to keep your favorite drink cold AND allow you to serve it up from the push-button tap is unrivaled by any other backpack cooler.
The removable, washable stainless steel interior compartment that keeps drinks cold and also allows for easy cleaning of the cooler.
This is the BackTap’s difference maker. It allows it to be used as a portable ice bucket or a 3 gallon beverage dispenser.
The lock-down lid gives the BackTap an advantage over soft side coolers that have zip or rolltops.
True Can Capacity
How many cans will it hold? A key deciding factor when choosing a cooler. Manufacturers make claims that can sometimes be confusing, does the number include ice, is that using special cool packs? We test our coolers to give you can totals for different can sizes and varying levels of ice included. So how many drinks can the BackTap hold?
Their website states that it can hold “4 slim cans (White Claw, Truly, Michelob Ultra), 12 standard 12oz beer cans, or 5 bottles of wine”.
12oz Beer Cans
12oz Skinny Cans (Truly, White Claw etc)
Value For Money
BruMate do not make cheap products. They have established themselves as the market leader in insulated drinkware.
With that reputation comes premium pricing. At $199.99 for the solid colors and $224.99 for the mixed colors the BackTap is in the upper tier of backpacks when it comes to price point. Compared to the priciest coolers available (the Yeti Hopper Backflip and Otterbox Trooper LT 30 Cooler are $100 more at $299 each!) you’re getting a great deal here.
The versatility and build quality of this bag makes the price solid value for money.
Performance Over Time
This should be the go-to backpack cooler for those who love to party. I’d recommend the BruMate cooler backpack if you like to go camping, to festivals, on boat trips, or any other outdoor adventures.
The versatility of being able to use it to store and serve liquids or use it as a regular cooler give this bag an edge over any other cooler we’ve reviewed.
- Quality feel
- Tight connective points
- Tap button pops back nicely
After 2 Weeks
- No new issues
After 1 Month
- No change – Bag is holding up well after multiple uses.