Best Cooler Bags for Your Food and Beverages in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update June 23, 2018
Going on a hiking tour? Planning a picnic? Or just need to keep your lunch fresh? A cooler bag is a way out. It can hold a lot of stuff inside to provide you with chilled drinks or ready-to-eat meals during your getaways. Choose one of the best cooler bags and never drink warm beer or eat soggy sandwiches again! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
CONSTRUCTION AND MATERIALS
CAPACITY
KEEPS CONTENTS COOOL/WARM
CONVENIENCE
DIMENSIONS
WARRANTY
 
PROS

The capacity of this bag is 30 litres, which allows you to load food and drinks for a large family and set off a day trip.

CONS

You might need more freezer packs than are supplied in the box.

OUR VERDICT

The Polar Gear Cool Bag is an excellent choice for family picnics,  visiting sports events, or just sunbathing on the beach. The convenient shape of the bag allows you to carry it over your shoulder, in your hands, or in the basket of your bicycle. If necessary, you can load hot food and drinks as well.

detailed parameters
CONSTRUCTION AND MATERIALS

600D polyester, Thick thermal insulation and food-safe PVC free lining

CAPACITY

30 litres

KEEPS CONTENTS COOOL/WARM

~ 6-8 hours (without ice packs)

CONVENIENCE

Zipped main compartment, Front zipped pocket, Carry handle, Adjustable shoulder strap, Foldable design, Additional external pockets

DIMENSIONS

28 x 34 x 30 cm

WARRANTY

30 days

PROS

Top rounded compartment and main compartment are equipped with extra-durable YKK zippers to prevent jams and ensure smooth gliding.

CONS

The velcro fastener of the outside pocket is rather flimsy. 

OUR VERDICT

It's an excellent lunch bag that has ample of room for a day's worth of meals, snacks and drinks. It's pretty compact and can keep all your stuff neatly organized thanks to two separate insulated compartments and multi-pockets on front and back. It's available in 9 vibrant colours to suit everyone.

detailed parameters
CONSTRUCTION AND MATERIALS

600D waterproof Oxford fabric, Aluminium foil, Padded with 10mm EPE foam

CAPACITY

8 litres

KEEPS CONTENTS COOOL/WARM

2-6 hours

CONVENIENCE

Zipped main compartment, Adjustable shoulder strap, Top carry handle, Two outside pockets, Mesh pocket split into three, Rounded top zipped compartment, Foldable design

DIMENSIONS

22 x 24 x 16 cm

WARRANTY

30 days

PROS

It has two separate compartments. The upper section is good for sandwiches and other light items, while the lower one is perfect for lunch boxes.

CONS

It comes without a shoulder strap.

OUR VERDICT

The Thermos bag can easily hold a lunch for one person. Thanks to its plain design, both kids and adults can take it to school or work. It boasts reliable IsoTec premium insulation, so it will keep the contents cool/hot for several hours. And additional external pockets make the bag more convenient in use.

detailed parameters
CONSTRUCTION AND MATERIALS

500D and 300D polyester, IsoTec™ premium closed cell PE foam insulation, 100% PVC free with PEVA linings

CAPACITY

~ 7 litres

KEEPS CONTENTS COOOL/WARM

~ 4-7 hours

CONVENIENCE

Dual compartment, Front zippered pocket, Side mesh pocket, Top carry handle

DIMENSIONS

25 x 18 x 13 cm

WARRANTY

30 days

PROS

With padded shoulder straps and breathable padded sections on the rear, the backpack is very comfortable to carry.

CONS

It has no carry handle.

OUR VERDICT

The Greenfield Collection Cool backpack is compact and comfortable. It will be excellent for a day off with your family or friends outdoors. It has an insulated main compartment and tonnes of extra pockets for neat organization of lunch facets and personal items.

detailed parameters
CONSTRUCTION AND MATERIALS

600D Polyester and Ripstop Nylon, Foam padding insulation, Inner lining and aluminium lining

CAPACITY

16 litres

KEEPS CONTENTS COOOL/WARM

5-7 hours

CONVENIENCE

Zipped main compartment, Zipped pocket on the front with two small pockets, Slip pocket on either side of the cooler, Zipped pocket on the lid, Padded straps, Breathable padded sections on the rear

DIMENSIONS

36 x 30 x 20 cm

WARRANTY

30 days

PROS

The interior has heat-welded seams that will prevent liner leaks. And thanks to waterproof PEVA material, it's extremely easy to clean with a wet towel.

CONS

It might seem rather bulky.

OUR VERDICT

It's a handy cooler that can hold up to 24 cans. So, it can supply two people with drinks for the whole day. Made of wear-resistant materials, it will come in handy at any picnic, barbecue, beach party, and other outdoor activities. Thanks to top handles and adjustable shoulder strap, you can carry it as you wish.

detailed parameters
CONSTRUCTION AND MATERIALS

600D oxford fabric, PEVA leakproof lining

CAPACITY

15 litres

KEEPS CONTENTS COOOL/WARM

~ 8-10 hours

CONVENIENCE

Zipped main compartment, Front zipper pocket, 2 mesh pockets, Carry handles, Adjustable shoulder strap

DIMENSIONS

26 x 28 x 20 cm

WARRANTY

30 days

Polar Gear 1115 231 Family

Looks Very Smart and Holds a Lot

The Polar Gear Premium Family Cool Bag is a really spacious picnic cooler. It offers you ample room for all your food and drinks. At 28 x 34 x 30cm, it has an incredible 30-litre capacity, which makes it suitable for a large family day out on the beach. It's extremely sturdy, so you can also use it for regular weekly shopping trips to carry frozen meat, fish, beverages, etc. For the convenience of use, it's fitted with a strong shoulder strap and handles. The bag is extremely flexible and lightweight. Its bottom lifts out for flat storage or transportation if needed.

This beach cooler bag is very well-built with tough and neat stitching, superior trim and detailing. It's made of durable 600D polyester with a stylish contrast piping detail. The bag has additional external pockets for snacks and other small stuff. The huge insulated food and drink compartment boasts thick thermal insulation, food safe PVC free lining, and heat sealed seams. Thus, it will definitely keep the contents fresh through the whole day. Moreover, the bag comes with Polar Gear ice packs that can keep your food frozen for several hours. The main compartment has 2 internal bottle holders to prevent your beverages from tossing around. Also, the bag features a handy little flap in the top for quick access to drinks or snacks. Functional and stylish, this bag is ideal for family camping, caravaning, and just visiting sports events.

Review of Polar Gear 1115 231 Family Cool Bag

 

PuTwo 601420326246

Keeps Your Meals and Drinks Neatly Organized

The PuTwo Lunch Bag large is ideal for those looking for a compact bag that can fit all their food and drinks for one day's worth travelling. This cooler is really great for its size. While most lunch bags can cope with a sandwich and a drink only, this one can fit your lunch, salad, drink, and even dessert. It has a main zipped compartment that is roomy enough to accommodate not only your meals but some ice packs as well. Also, it has a smaller rounded compartment on the top of the bag. You'll be able to put your lunch boxes in the main compartment and your bottle of water in the upper compartment. Both compartments are insulated, which gives you an opportunity to keep cold and hot items separately. Thus, you can have your lunch warm and your water cool, for example. If you need to increase the main area, you can unzip the panel that separates the large compartment from the top.

The manufacturer has equipped the bag with YKK Zips that are extremely sturdy and easy to open/close. On the outside, the bag features two small pockets which can be used for mini snacks, cutlery sets, and personal stuff. One of them has a flap and velcro closure, and the other one is just a slip pocket. At the back of the bag, you'll find a mesh pocket split into three. It's good for medication tubs, small packets of condiments, napkins, etc. Overall, if you want a bag that can neatly organize your meals, drinks, and snacks, this model can be the best bet. By the way, it's available in a variety of eye-catching designs that will appeal to adults and kids alike.

Review of PuTwo 601420326246 Lunch Bag Large Capacity for Insulated Cooler Bag

 

Thermos 148838

Affordable yet Usable

The Thermos Radiance Dual Compartment Lunch Kit is one of the best lunch cooler bags out there. It's a very neat-looking bag that can keep stuff inside fresh for somewhere between 4-7 hours. Manufactured from strong 500D and 300D polyester, it's very durable and well-constructed. Even after several months of daily use, it won't show signs of wear. The bag is ultimately sturdy with high-quality zips and seams. The interior is made of 100% PVC-free heat-sealed PEVA lining. And the thick layer of IsoTec premium closed cell PE foam insulation will keep the contents cool even if the bag is left in a hot car or the boiling sun.

The bag is great for lunches. You can keep sandwiches, apples, jars of milk, desserts, yoghurt, bars in the top section, and heavier items like water bottles or lunch boxes in the bottom compartment. In addition, you can pack a few freezer packs during those hot summer days to keep your items cooler. The bag has an exterior side mesh pocket for other bits like snacks, nuts, sauces, or spices. Also, there is a zipped pocket at the front that can be used for small items like pen, keys, phone and everything else you might need to keep at hand. We would like to note that the bag has a comfortable carry handle, but no shoulder strap. The bag feels well-made and strong to fit everything you need for your lunch. It has a plain design, low price tag, and is good both for adults and for teenagers.

Review of Thermos 148838 Lunch Kit Cooler Bag

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Greenfield Collection CB004H

Neat and Comfortable

If you're into cooler backpacks, you'll definitely like this one from Greenfield Collection. It's a luxurious backpack cooler bag that is perfect for a single meal setting. It's actually not too capacious but still, it easily fits a lunchbox and a water bottle. It's designed for light lunches or occasional outings, not for a full-blown picnic. The main compartment has a good level of insulation and can keep food and drinks cool or warm for 5-7 hours. Plus, the cooling time can be further increased if you pack in some ice packs. Unlike bulkier backpacks, this one is well-proportioned and holds its shape really well. So, the items will stay put just how you want them to be. The main section has a strong two-way YKK zip closure for quick and secure access. Additionally, the backpack has got external non-insulated pockets to carry lunch facets or your personal belongings like keys, phones, wallet, iPods etc.

Made of 600D Polyester and Ripstop Nylon, the cooler is durable, lightweight, and smart-looking. With the breathable padded sections on the rear and padding on the straps, it's very comfortable and sits well on shoulders even when fully loaded. And if empty, it doesn't collapse, sink, or fold inwards like most other backpacks. Cute and compact, it's great for spending a day with your family and friends outdoors.

Review of Greenfield Collection CB004H Backpack Cool Bag

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

MIER 15L Large Insulated

Perfect Cooler for Travelling

The MIER 15L Large Insulated Bag is a really smart soft-side cooler for outings. Although it's not a family-sized bag, it's big enough for a picnic for two people. The main compartment of the bag has thick thermal walls and is fully lined with PEVA. It can keep your food and beverages fresh for at least 8-10 hours, and the cooling time can be increased if you put some ice blocks inside. The lid features a zipper that runs all the way around, allowing you to fold the lid back for easy access to the contents. The bag has side mesh pockets for cutlery, handkerchiefs, napkins etc. The front pocket is zipped and is good for valuable things like phones, keys, and wallets.

The bag boasts good build quality and can last for ages even with heavy use. All zips work smoothly, and the stitching is well-done. The bag has ventilation holes that prevent mould and mildew. And thanks to waterproof PEVA lining, the interior is very easy to clean of fruit stains, beer leaks, and food residue. For comfortable carrying, the cooler comes with top handles as well as a detachable adjustable shoulder strap. The bag can be folded down flat to take little space when not in use. The manufacturer offers it in stylish Orange, Green, and Black designs. All in all, this nice-looking bag will be useful for short road trips, BBQs, and small picnics.

Review of MIER 15L Large Insulated Lunch Bag Picnic Cool

 

What Is a Cooler Bag?

If you're a hiker, a camper, or a tailgating enthusiast, you definitely need a high-quality cooler bag. There are different types of coolers on the market, however, we have reviewed only soft-sided bags for this comparison chart. Soft coolers are all about mobility! They are usually quite lightweight and designed with detachable shoulder straps. Soft bags can be easily carried in your arms or over your shoulder, tucked under a car seat or secured at the back of a canoe. When not in use, soft cooler bags can be usually folded and put away for neat storage. They are made of durable materials with thick insulating linings. Yet, the main questions are how long they can keep your stuff cool and how much they can hold. Surprisingly, the premium soft-sided bags can keep as many as 40 cans cool for up to 5 days. More affordable models have thinner insulation and are quite OK for keeping your lunch boxes and snacks fresh all day long. By the way, thanks to a good insulation level, these bags can keep your food warm as well. We have rounded up various insulated cooler bags for any need and budget. So, it's up to you to decide which one will fit your purpose (and your wallet) best.

Another accessory that might come you in handy during your weekend trips is a picnic blanket. It will add even more comfort to your outings.

Sources:

1. Braun Davidson 11 Stupid-Easy Cooler Hacks For A Better Beach Trip, Delish.

2. Eric Pickhartz 8 Tips For The Most Effective Cooler Use, Wide Open Spaces. May 7, 2014.

3. Sarah Rae Smith Still Using Bagged Ice in Your Cooler? There's a Better Way! Kitchn. July 21, 2016.

4. Tips on Packing a Cooler – Learn How to Pack a Cooler, What’s Cooking America.

5. Kristin Wong Pre-Chill Your Cooler to Keep Drinks Cool Longer, Lifehacker. July 6, 2015.

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Publish Date: 2018-04-05 07:29:41