Do you like to travel with lightweight gear and are looking for an insulated container? Want to maximize your outdoor experience with the right storage equipment? We think an insulated bag will do the trick.
Basically, cooler bags offer a solution to the space problem of conventional coolers. That's why they're perfect for outdoor travel. Your food and drinks will stay cold or hot for an impressive amount of time while maintaining their quality. However, choosing this type of lunch bag can be quite tricky because of the many models on the market. And if you have never bought insulated bags before, choosing one becomes even more difficult.
Yet, to get the best cooler bag, you just need to focus on some unique selection criteria. These include weight, capacity, portability, insulation and most importantly, price.
You are not familiar with all these selection criteria? This comparison offers you to discover them in detail in the next few lines. But first, let's take a look at the top 8 best isothermal bags on the French market.
What is the best cooler bag on the French market?
The Grey Meal Cooler
There's something reassuring about this cooler bag. First, there's the rugged look and design reinforced by a variety of compartments.
With a padded shoulder strap and a wide opening, it offers a nice capacity of 17 liters. You can therefore hold all the snacks and drinks of your choice for a successful picnic. Apart from its main compartment, we also point out the presence of side pockets to keep your cutlery.
Further on, you can count on the waterproofness of this robust bag. Obviously, its zipper is completely waterproof and the exterior of the outer fabric is pretty smooth as butter. In a sentence, the container remains waterproof for people who love to carry liquid food.
As far as the thermal insulation of the soft cooler is concerned, it promotes long-term hot and cold retention. Technically, you can keep your meals hot or cold for at least 6 hours.
The Blue Soft Cooler 30L
The main strength of this isothermal bag is its capacity of 30 liters. This makes it the perfect equipment for people who want to share meals with family or friends. There is plenty of space in the large compartment for any type of food. Better yet, you have external pockets to keep your wallet, phone and keys safe.
And contrary to our beliefs, the bag remains light and easy to carry despite its imposing appearance. To this end, it has a removable shoulder strap reinforced by a soft carrying handle.
If you have a preference for hot meals, you should know that they can keep their temperature for at least 4 hours. With fresh food, you will need at least 6 hours with a possibility of increase if you use ice packs.
In terms of maintenance, the insulated bag has fabrics that are easy to wash after a day of use.
The Wine Bottle Cooler Bag
Are you a wine lover who wants to enjoy a weekend alone or with friends? We think this Healthy Lunch bag will meet all your expectations.
It features soft walls for a better preservation of your wine bottles. Specifically, the inside of the bag is made from Oxford, a totally insulated cover. Thus, your bottles will avoid the risks of cracking during the displacement while keeping a good temperature. In addition, you have two other compartments to fill for special occasions.
Regarding the preservation of freshness, the bag offers a duration of 6 hours for your bottles. And if you have ice cubes by your side, that's several more hours to refresh your palate.
The Isothermal Bag Meals Multicolored Sheets
Want to attract attention when you go to the beach? This bag is perfect for the occasion. It's a waterproof tote that can carry towels, sunglasses and even supplies for a day at the beach. Do you have any doubts about its temperature retention in the summer climate by the sea?
Our tests have proven that you can trust this food box. It will keep your products fresh for 8 hours, regardless of the ambient temperature. We don't forget to mention that its role is also bipartite, because the isothermal bag also keeps the heat of the food it stores. Here, we are talking about a 4-hour time frame. Finally, you will love its zipper closure that keeps the bag totally sealed.
The Spring Meal Cooler Bag
At Healthy Lunch, products not only adapt to your needs, but also to the seasons of the year. For a springtime free of food needs, don't hesitate to choose this model to store and transport your meals.
Thanks to its ergonomic dimensions and its strap, it will follow you everywhere like a travel bag. Whether you have a lunch at work, a recreational outing or classes at the university, it is the ideal partner. Its interior pocket designed with 600D Oxford fabric incorporates remarkable layers of insulation. In other words, this lunch bag can keep cool for up to 8 hours without any refrigeration elements.
Moreover, it is foldable and does not wrinkle like ordinary food bags. It is a real investment for spring that will save you time and also money.
The Classic Grey Lunch Bag
Do you feel that previous designs look flashy with overly bold patterns? Do you need simplicity, because it rhymes with your personality? We think you'll like this classic bag in gray.
To break down its functionality a bit more, the lunch bag stays cool for 8 hours. As far as heat retention goes, you'll need to count on a 4-hour performance. Specifically, it owes this great thermal resistance to its internal walls padded with premium quality materials.
Moreover, a quick look at the exterior of the meal box reveals that its fabric is water resistant. Technically, we would say that the bag is waterproof: it does not leak water and remains waterproof in the rain.
The Monstera Vintage Insulated Lunch Bag
This is one of the top of the line models from the Healthy Lunch brand. It easily stands out from the crowd because of its unique design based on the famous Monstera plant. Just like the Monstera plant, this lunch bag has a nice resistance against time and temperature.
Our tests revealed that this storage box has a wall involving three types of layers:
- An aluminum layer ;
- An insulating layer;
- A waterproof layer.
Definitely, you will not find such specificities on other insulated bags on the market. Thanks to these advantages, the Monstera Vintage keeps your food cool for 8 hours and your meals hot for 4 hours.
Further, the bag remains perfectly waterproof and easy to maintain. Even though it comes as a small bag of 11.5 liters, its storage spaces are optimized enough to hold the necessary.
The Green Isothermal Backpack 30L
This is the very first backpack model of this comparison and also the only one because it is the best. Even if it is aimed at a general public, it will still make the ecologists happy because of its strong points and its green color.
First of all, it is a question of an isothermal meal bag with a large capacity estimated at 30 liters. You will have the opportunity to carry everything you need for a day of hiking or a picnic. It is not a mini bag with a main compartment. Here, you can take advantage of the side pockets to keep accessories such as a bottle opener that comes with the bag.
Then, its 600D Oxford design material gives it a solid resistance as well as a better thermal retention. In the field, the cooler backpack keeps you warm for up to 6 hours, which far exceeds the competition. At the antipode, the cold is kept for a minimum of 8 hours.
How to choose the best insulated backpack?
This section details the important features you should consider before choosing your cooler bag.
The type of bag
There are three types of cooler bags on the market: lunch bags, strap-on bags and cooler backpacks.
What to remember about insulated bags?
This type of bag corresponds to small and quite compact formats. To give you an image, these are the traditional lunch bags that can hold a lunch for a day of energy work. Generally speaking, they are removable and offer easy maintenance. You can use them just about anywhere and rely on their straps for easy transport. Further, we love this bag because it targets a wide audience. However, lunch boxes are not the best allies for outdoor activities such as fishing or camping.
What to remember about insulated bags with handles?
These are food boxes that are known for their handles or straps. They are a bit bigger than the previous ones and can keep enough food for at least 4 people. It will therefore be suitable for small cruises or even beach trips. And despite their size, the shoulder bags remain flexible enough to fold and facilitate their storage in an enclosed space.
Moreover, the particularity of this type of bag is the possibility it offers to adjust its shoulder strap. Moreover, the latter is designed with materials that are both flexible and resistant. This way, you will not feel any physical pain when moving your lunch box. However, this is not a good enough reason to carry the bag over a long distance.
What to remember about insulated backpacks?
These are the bags for hikers, campers, fishermen and many other outdoor enthusiasts. Its biggest advantage is the freedom of movement it provides during its use. Their straps are padded with foam to allow your shoulders to breathe while walking.
Next to that, you'll have your hands totally free for other things like holding camping gear or your fishing pole. Finally, the insulated backpack can store more products than the shoulder bag. Better yet, its temperature retention time is also much better.
Always check the weight of the cooler bag before you buy one. Obviously, the cooler comes with an initial weight. Carrying your food and drinks in it will add extra weight. Without this criteria, you will find yourself unable to move your bag.
The best insulated bag is not necessarily the one with the largest capacity. On the contrary, it is the container that fits the storage needs of its owner. Therefore, the choice of the size of your lunch bag must take into account:
- The number of people to be supplied;
- The length of your trip;
- The distance to your destination.
These factors will help you determine the appropriate size for your needs: between 9 liters and more than 25 liters.
Another important factor is portability. Sturdy side handles will be welcome if you're likely to carry heavy, fully loaded bags on your trip. On the other hand, shoulder straps or slings can be extremely useful for lighter loads, especially if you're carrying other equipment. The goal here is to make your user experience easier in terms of transportation.
Get insulated bags with optimized compartments. Technically, this can be a main compartment with pockets as reinforcement.
They help a lot if you intend to carry salad, cold cuts or fresh fruit, in addition to drinks. In short, having each type of food in a different space becomes possible in a bag with different compartments.
Probably the most important criterion is the insulation. The point of having insulated bags is pointless if you choose one that doesn't keep your food items cool or warm.
That being said, check to see if your bag has thermal barriers that help protect your food. Also, pay attention to the number of layers of insulation that the inner walls sport. Of course, it's always better to have more layers. However, you should be aware that thicker insulation will tend to increase the amount of storage space required for your stuff. So it's important to weigh things carefully before you decide.
Before you spend your money, it is essential to think carefully about how you will use your cooler bag. The type of use you expect from it is also a criterion to consider. It will be more than enough to have a reasonably priced model if you are looking to use the bag occasionally. Pay more for a highly durable model if you need an insulated bag that can withstand extreme outdoor conditions. At Healthy Lunch, all criteria are taken into account to provide you with bags that offer excellent value.
How does the cooler bag keep the temperature?
Insulated bags are designed with an inner wall that incorporates layers of insulation. It is these layers that allow it to keep the temperature as long as possible. And to offer a high performance, there are two types of insulation:
- Closed cell insulation: this is the best insulation system an insulated bag can offer your food with ordered insulating cells.
- Open cell insulation: this is achieved through polyurethane foam which is a highly insulating material.
How to use an insulated bag?
A cooler bag is an investment you need to take seriously. It's not enough to just buy one and put a bunch of food products in it. For best use, you need to know a few key tips:
- Preheat or pre-cool your food before inserting it into the cooler bag: this is a great way to allow the bag to do its job as a temperature accumulator.
- Keep the cooler bag out of the sun: sunlight will not enhance the long-term heat retention of your soup. On the contrary, it may alter its quality.
- Avoid using ice cubes: Ice cubes will tend to melt inside the bag. The sensation of such a result is not always pleasant. On the other hand, you can prefer ice packs.
Frequently Asked Questions about the best cooler bags
What is the best cooler bag?
This is a difficult question to answer because the answer is subjective. Obviously, the best cooler bag is the one that meets all your expectations based on the criteria listed above. It can be a mini bag for occasional use or a large bag for your family outings.
Where to buy your isothermal bag?
Cooler bags are available on the virtual physical markets. You can go to a store and meet a salesperson who will help you make a customized choice. On the other hand, online stores like Healthy Lunch save you time and money. You'll find a wide range of cooler bags to suit all profiles.
How much does a cooler bag cost?
Generally speaking, the price of cooler bags varies between 5 € and 50 € depending on the model. The backpacks remain the most expensive because of their specificities. However, you can get discounts if you bet on online stores; they sometimes offer promotions.
How long does the insulated bag keep the temperature?
The answer to this question depends on the type of material the bag sports. The more insulating layers the fabric design offers, the longer the preservation. Some manufacturers will make the promise of a 12 hour retention, but admittedly this is not possible. Insulated bags are like flexible coolers and their maximum retention time is 8 hours.
How to clean an insulated bag?
There are two ways to wash your insulated bag. The first is to use a dishwasher while the second is to wash it manually. With a sponge, water and dishwashing liquid, you can ensure an excellent cleaning. And if you notice persistent stains on the inside, simply use baking soda.
Can the best cooler bag hold ice?
Yes, it is possible to insert ice into the inside pocket of the best insulated lunch bag. The purpose of such action is to extend the shelf life of freshness. However, we recommend ice packs, as they do not melt like ice cubes.
Does the insulated bag retain odors?
It is unlikely that your container will absorb odors from your food due to the quality of their design materials. Likewise, the insulated bag cannot be a haven for mold or bacteria that could lead to unhealthy odors. However, if such situations occur, it is certainly due to a very poor maintenance of the lunch bag.