Cooler bags are cool. They’re bright, useful, desirable and ideal for displaying your brand. And because they are almost indispensable to modern life, they have a high reuse value, making them an ideal promotional or advertising platform at the camp-site, picnic, beach or supermarket.
A custom-printed or bespoke cooler bag gives your business a cool and colourful way to stand out from the crowd.
But even if it’s cold outside and the autumn leaves are turning golden, it’s always the right time to talk about Cool Bags—or thermal containers—as they are more correctly known. Simply put, their purpose is to delay or even stop the contents becoming the same temperature as the world outside.
Cool boxes—and hot boxes—have been around for centuries in one form or another. The Romans used straw-lined boxes to protect the alpine snow that they liked to serve with fruit syrup—the original Slush Puppy. And as recently as the 1930s, Iceboxes—literally hollow-walled containers with tin or zinc and packed with various insulating materials such as cork, sawdust, straw or seaweed and chilled by blocks of ice — were used to keep food fresh and palatable in ordinary homes. Many Americans still call their refrigerators the “ice box” today.
The familiar portable ice chest, or Esky, was patented in 1951, although its plastic Styrofoam lining was only introduced in 1957. But the fragility of the Styrofoam insulation and the large thicknesses required meant that Eskies were large rigid boxes, and you needed a vehicle to port them round.
Sixty years later, modern technology means Cool Bags are now light, thin, flexible and practical for all sorts of uses, from keeping the lettuce crisp and drinks cool for a family picnic, to ensuring that expressed breastmilk stays good for baby or that diabetics can safely take their insulin while they travel on holiday. Highly-insulating polymers and reflective surfaces will keep temperatures stable for many hours, and they can be found in a range of colours, shapes and sizes.
Thermal bags to keep pizzas hot as they travel to the front door only date back to 1983, but perhaps a smaller personal cool bag is just the thing to keep those baked potatoes warm on the way to the festive firework display.
Putting cold food straight from the fridge into the cool bag—and the use of gel ice packs—can mean that the contents will saty cool for hours or even days, depending on how often the bag is opened and warm air is allowed to get in.
For the real foodie, there is also the sous vide cooking method which is perfect for a thermal bag. Food is brought to the desired temperature, sealed in a non-PVC bag and placed inside the thermal bag where it maintains the temperature to within a few degrees for long periods.
Sous vide produces results that are almost impossible to achieve by traditional means. Beef ribs braised at 58C for 72 hours melt-in-the-mouth but remain pink and juicy, while the delicate, custard-like texture of a precisely poached egg is amazing.
For long trips, the wise traveller brings one cooler for beverages and another for food because beverage coolers are opened more frequently allowing the warm air to enter and warm the bag. The food cooler then stays colder for longer.
And don’t fill soft-sided coolers with loose ice because sharp edges can rip the lining.
You should also note that full cool bags keep food at safer temperatures for longer than half empty ones.
One final tip for everyday use. As tempting as it might be, don’t put your soft cool bag into the freezer. You run the risk of cracking the insulation and destroying the bag.
Bags should only be washed with warm soapy water and occasionally disinfected with an equal mix of water and white vinegar. Even mild bleaches such as surface sprays can lead to rotting of insulating material. To avoid odours, leave your bag to dry in the open air with the lid open. Putting your cooler in the dishwasher is also likely to ruin the bag.
At Bags of Ideas we have a wide range of Cooler Bags for all customer needs, from the small school lunch cooler or multiple drinks can container for the car boot to larger models ideal for a family picnic or day at the beach, or to carry home the frozen peas and sweetcorn back from the supermarket. The perfect travel accessory with the perfect capacity, cooler bags make the perfect promotional gift for any business.
Other design-focused totes in the Bags of Ideas range feature external pockets or zipped compartments to stow other items for the dedicated traveller.
All our cool bags feature sturdy handles, and many come with adjustable straps to make them easy to carry on your travels.
And with Bags of Ideas’ unrivalled bespoke design service, you can be sure that your cool fresh custom-printed giveaway—in polyester, PVC or woven fabric—will be the perfect promotional tool.
Remember that because of the need for waterproofing with cool bags, there is no alternative to man-made materials, ruling out the popular eco-friendly alternatives of Jute and Canvas. But Polypropylene (PP) being a thermoplastic is both recyclable and re-usable. You can see a full explanation of the properties of PP at http://bagsofideas.co.uk/blog/woven-or-non-woven-which-way-do-you-polypropylene/
We will guide you through the complete process from the selection of bag style, colour and material, to ensuring that your brand message gets the best display.
Remember that with bespoke bags, delivery can take between 6-12 weeks after the artwork has been approved. To find out more about custom bags, have a look at our Bespoke Bag Page.