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My Mum bought me this for a weekend camping trip I was going on with friends some time ago now. I have used the bag on a number of occasions since that camping trip and have always found it to be an excellent way to keeping things fresh and cool. I normally use the cool bag when either on a long drive, such as my trip to Orkney last summer or a weekend camping trip. I would normally pack the cool bag up the morning I am setting off and food and drink has always been nicely chilled when I have arrived that evening and also the following morning. Whenever I use the cool bag I normally place four ice blocks which I have frozen in the freezer prior to my trip in the bag. I have found with these ice blocks and the state of the art Flectalon lining, which apparently was something NASA came up with, the cool bag keeps things fresh for at least 36 hours. I haven't ever had the need to chill things for longer than this time period. I have also used this cool bag down the beach, where I have often struggled to keep the bag in the shade. I have found that items in the bag remain chilled even when the bag is in direct sunlight. As well as keeping things cool once removed from the fridge at home, I have found that you can also chill a beer from room temperature down to a nice cold drinking temperature. Perfect for those summer day BBQ's. The bag itself is navy blue in colour and costs £26.99 from Lakeland. It has a capacity of 20 litres which I have always found to be more than big enough. In fact, I have often found myself thinking that it would be great if Lakeland produced a smaller 12 - 15 litre bag. I would say that the 20 litre bag is more suited to families or groups of 4 or more. It's a little on the large size for a couple. The dimensions are 45 x 18 x 30cm and it folds up easily for storage. Also any spillages are easily wiped off the bag. There is a zip at the top of the bag and it comes with two handles. One thing I would quite like is to have a shoulder strap for this bag as the bag is quite large and can be quite heavy when full. This is a fantastic bag which has never let me down. It definitely gets my seal of approval - 5/5.
The Lakeland cool bag is one that I inherited a little while ago and is what introduced me to the Lakeland brand. This is a 20L cool bag, which is blue in colour and has a Flectalon lining insulation. The bag can be folded down for storage, is lightweight and is easily cleaned for any spillages or accidents. This bag was given to me by my Mum who had it for a couple of years and loaned me it for a picnic once, eventually I kept it and now I'm staying back at home for a while I've unpacked lots of things and been finding things from the past and either using them or selling them on. This cool bag has a zip towards the top of the bag and this is just undone, food/drink stored inside it and then zipped back up. There is a handy handle as well which goes over the top of the zip which is fairly comfortable and easy to hold. The bag works very well at keeping food and drink cold even when it is in direct sunlight and when I have gone on picnics in the past I have found that everything stays fresh for many hours and I've had no disappointments at all with this bag. It is well designed, strong, sturdy and best of all it really does work very well! The bag is currently priced at £25.99 from Lakeland stores or www.lakeland.co.uk but I think this is a very reasonable price for something that works so well and is no doubt going to last for many years to come. It is ideal to take on picnics and recently when we went away camping we used this to take food and drink and to keep things fresh and hygienic while it was hot outside. I am going to rate this cool bag 5/5 as it's just fantastic, it works so well and can even be washed if needs be. It's ideal for families and just couples and works incredibly well, even on those hot summer days that we so rarely get!
You may know from some of my previous reviews that I am a great fan of the homewares company Lakeland! I think I fell in love with them when I first discovered the origins of their company. In the 1960s deep in the Lake District they were selling amongst other items made from plastic sheeting little coats called lammacs designed for new born lambs to wear to keep them warm on cold hillsides. They have moved on from humble beginnings but the genesis of them is in these hills, and today they are a family company selling everything you could wish for in the kitchen and more. I spend an eternity travelling up the M6, A1, M74 and the winding roads of Scotland as I holiday in The Outer Hebrides and regularly visit my daughters who both live in Scotland and this involves as much as 16 hours on the road sometimes with an overnight stop. This is where this coolbag is second to none. I have tried so many over the years and when I found this one I stopped looking. It is made from a material called Flectalon which was developed by NASA for the space programme. Sometimes in our car on sunny days it gets really hot and even in direct sunlight the contents are still chilled and fresh on arrival! So for a day on the beach it is perfect. It's a roomy bag but it folds flat for easy storage. Its dimensions are: 45 x 18 x 30cm H. (17¾" x 7" x 12"). 20 litre What I do is to freeze cartons of orange juice, some snack size, and some large and I also freeze milk too and I use these as ice packs instead of buying them. The great thing is that if you are staying overnight by the next morning they are thawing nicely and you can have them in tea/coffee or on cereals. It saves so much money especially if you have a large family. When I had 4 children all living at home going on these journeys it was a real bonus as it saved the expense of using motorway service areas to buy sandwiches and treats. It is also really useful if you go somewhere and want to bring back food. I know people who go to the Outer Hebrides and want to bring back Salmon and I am sure this would travel perfectly. Being veggie I haven't tried this myself but I do stop off at a place on Skye which grows beautiful watercress and this travels beautifully in the bag. I actually have two of these and I often pack one with salad and fresh cheeses and smoothies which I leave unopened so it is like a starter pack for our holidays. We don't then have to arrive and start searching for supermarkets straight away! Priced at £23.99 it isn't cheap but it is everything it claims to be and soon pays for itself. It wipes clean beautifully and I usually leave it to try in the sun for a few minutes before storage. If you look on the Lakeland website you can read a review by a lady who says she has used this as a fridge for 3 months! It is that good. So in conclusion I think this is the best product of its type on the market. You can purchase direct from lakeland by mail order, or visit one of their shops which are sprinkled round the country. www.lakeland.co.uk
Holds 20 litres.