- Types of cooler bags
- Design and volume
- Determine the quality of the material
- With or without battery?
- Additional equipment
- Useful tips
Planning a trip and not knowing how to keep food on the road? Or do you have a picnic, outing or hiking on nature? Or maybe a trip to the country, where there is no refrigerator? In such a situation, a thermo bag can truly help you out, preserve freshness and extend the shelf life of your food. In this article we will answer the question: how to choose the right cooler bag so that the purchase is really worthwhile and useful for you.
Types of cooler bags
Cooler bags are very different. And coming into the store, it is difficult to immediately correctly determine which model is needed. The main difference is the capacity and thickness of the insulating layer of bags. That is why all bags-refrigerators can be divided into:
- Thermal bags - products mainly from dense fabrics with thin layers, differ in a small volume - from 300-400 g to 2-3 liters;
- Thermal containers - have a rigid frame and reinforced thermo-layer, volume - from 3 liters, made in the form of backpacks, suitcases on wheels, bulk carrying bags;
- car coolers are capacious boxes for transportation in the trunk of a car, connect to the car battery and keep the cold for a long time.
Actually, it is worth considering the fact that the thermal capacity, unlike the autorefrigerator, does not produce, but only supports the cold. That is, the bag itself does not freeze food, but only maintains a low temperature inside. Therefore, to call the bag a refrigerator is not too correct, however, this commonplace name firmly stuck to this relatively new accessory. All products and capacity itself must be cooled or frozen before use - for better and longer preservation.
Depending on the thickness of the thermal layer and the volume of the bag itself, the cold inside can persist for 2-3 hours or for a longer period - up to 20 hours or longer. Heat exchange between the internal contents and the environment is still taking place. But the thicker the layer is, the slower the heating occurs. Based on this fact, thermal capacitances with a layer thickness of 0.8 mm and above are the most efficient.
Design and Volumes
How a thermo bag will look like - it's up to you. Today, manufacturers produce all kinds of models of this accessory - in the form of small lunch boxes, carrying bags, backpacks, containers, etc. Coloring can also be chosen, whatever. You can choose a thermo bag in sober colors or vice versa - take a variegated and bright one to immediately catch the eye.
However, be sure to pay attention to the convenience of transportation - the thermal container must have strong and reliable handles, a zipper closure, covered with a velcro flap.
In order to select a suitable model for the volume, you must take into account the number of people you need to store products for. The larger the company - the larger should be your cooler bag. If you buy a small container for a student or office employee - pay attention to the small thermo-boxes, which can fit just a couple of sandwiches or a light snack. Take with you on a trip of products to an ordinary family of 3-4 people - choose a thermal capacity of 4-5 liters. Coming with a large company to nature - it is best to take a thermal backpack or a container on wheels with a volume of 8-10 liters.
Determine the quality of the material
If you decide to choose a thermo bag, then we advise you to immediately buy a good model from a reliable manufacturer. After all, you are probably familiar with the phrase: "Miserly pays twice."A high-quality thermo bag will last you longer, and show itself as effectively as possible - you can really count on the long-term preservation of the low temperature inside.
A quality bag will immediately stand out among the one-day models with its sturdy performance. The outer material is dense, wear-resistant and water-repellent. For example, nylon, polyester or polyvinyl chloride. Before you buy, be sure to examine the quality of the seams - a responsible manufacturer will certainly show itself with a clear, even stitch and firmly stitched handles.
The inner layer, as a rule, consists of a reflective dense material resembling a dense foil. If in the proposed model there is no such coverage - it is worth thinking carefully before buying and not in a hurry to part with the money.
We already mentioned that the thickness of the thermal layer should exceed 0.8 cm. Otherwise, your bag will be able to keep the cold in the middle for only about 2 hours.
With or without battery?
Usually, along with a good thermo bag in the kit, cold batteries are also sold - small containers with saline. If there is no such device in the thermal capacity - the cold batteries can be purchased separately. Batteries do not freeze, but are able to give cold in the process of defrosting. It is with the help of batteries that the products inside the thermo bag remain chilled or frozen longer.
Externally, the cold accumulator is a flat flask. The filling can be liquid or in the form of a gel. It is helium cold accumulators that heat up longer, but mortar batteries cost much less.
In principle, the life of such a battery is unlimited. Before loading food products, freeze the containers in the home refrigerator. However, if the container with saline cracked - with such a battery should immediately say goodbye.
A properly selected container with a salt refrigerant can keep the temperature 25 ° lower than the environment for 18-24 hours. Remember, for 1 liter of products 50-60 g of refrigerant should be used in the battery.
Many modern thermo bags can boast with additional equipment - a set of dishes, special compartments, pockets for bottles, etc. To buy such a bag or not is a private matter. It is worth considering that a set of plates, forks and glasses may not be useful to you in nature or in the country, and it is not known how often you will use such a service. But such a bag will cost much more expensive.
More practical in this regard are the fixers for the products. Even if your bag fell or turned over - the products inside will not be damaged and will not fall out.
In order for the low temperature inside your thermal capacity to hold as long as possible, you should follow some simple guidelines.
- First of all, cool the bag before use. For example, the bag itself can be put in the fridge or held inside a bottle of frozen water.
- If you use cold accumulators, you should also freeze them. This will take you at least 10-12 hours.
- Before laying down, refrigerate or freeze the desired products.
- Stack up products extremely tightly, make sure that there are no voids, and do not forget to place in the middle a couple of cold accumulators.
- It is better to transport thermal capacity among other things, if the situation allows and the size of the bag. Large auto coolers should be transported in the trunk of a car.
- Open the bag as rarely as possible - because warm air gets inside and increases the temperature inside the cooler bag. Especially if there is a hot summer outside, and you brought food for a long picnic.
As you can see, nothing supernatural, but following these simple rules will allow you to extend the life of your portable thermo bag.
Thermal insulating containers and bags are useful not only for picnics, but also on the farm. You can take it with you on a trip or on a trip to nature. Also in such a bag you can carry frozen food from the store home. And if you need to defrost the refrigerator - just put the contents of the freezer in the bag prepared in advance and do not worry about the safety of products.
We hope that now you know exactly how to choose a cooler bag, what to look for before purchasing and how to properly use the new purchase. Be careful when choosing and present yourself with a really practical and convenient thermo bag.