Review: Siberian Sidekick Soft 32

Most daytrips don’t require a cooler that costs more than my first car, and takes two people to lift when empty. That’s why the Sidekick Soft 32 from Siberian Coolers caught my eye. It slides easily under the bench in my driftboat, but still has ample storage—the 32 in the name is the number of 12-ounce cans this 22-quart cooler can hold, and since my days of downing that many beers in one sitting have long since passed, I’ll have plenty to share.

With Siberian’s three-layer insulation, my friends and I can keep drinks cold for up to 72 hours, though that varies depending on the amount of ice and the outside temperature. It also depends on how often the cooler is opened, which can take some time with the Sidekick’s airtight, waterproof zipper. But that's a small price to pay, as the zipper prevents leaks when the cooler falls over while knocking around in my truck bed. Once unzipped, the flip-over lid lets me quickly retrieve items. The exterior is tear-resistant and waterproof, so my fried chicken won’t get waterlogged if the cooler falls in the river or I get caught in a downpour.

Carrying the full cooler is easy, with either the shoulder strap or dual padded handles, and there’s a waterproof pocket for my phone and keys in the front, plus a bottle opener and mesh pocket in the back for anything else I might need (like a 33rd beer).

The Sidekick is portable, durable, and versatile, making it a no-brainer for daytrips. Lastly, it's aptly named: it's become my new sidekick in the raft, at the trailhead, and at friends' backyard barbecues.