Keeping refrigerated food cool can be achieved by putting the goods into a cool box or cool bag that's more generally known as a cooler. These are ideal for taking to picnics, where snacks such as cooked sausages, pork pies, cheese and other items need to be kept below the ambient temperature. Coolers are also the perfect accessory for camping holidays, especially if there is no room in the vehicle for a small fridge. Children can be equipped with small cool bags to keep their lunch in for school, and cool boxes are well suited for taking to a warm, sunny beach with lots of cold drinks in them. Another good use for coolers is to keep food bought at a supermarket or shop as cold as possible for as long as possible, especially if it is frozen and it may take some time to drive home. For this type of use, a powered cool box is extremely handy. It can be plugged into a car’s cigarette lighter and take the interior temperature of the box down to around 15°C below the temperature outside, or even further in some cases. Coolers that are not powered usually contain frozen ice packs, often known as freezer packs, which should be put in with the food to maintain a cool temperature for as long as possible.
Portable coolers were initially developed in the early 1950s in the United States of America; the first patent was applied for in 1951 and was issued in 1953. Known in the beginning as portable ice chests, they were developed as an insulated box simply to keep foods cold. They were made of plastic for the exterior and interior shells, and the two shells had hard foam in between them to provide the insulation. A galvanized cooler was introduced in 1954, followed by coolers with a plastic liner in 1957. Coolers are sometimes known as ‘thermal bags’, and these were introduced into Europe around the mid-1980s when commercial stores wanted customers to be able to take home either cold or hot food items that would maintain their original temperature. Just like thermos flasks, cooler bags are still used to transport warm or hot items despite the name.
The development of cooler bag design led to soft materials being used in addition to the hard plastics, and sizes changed as consumers became more interested in smaller options for specific purposes. Soft materials also made the coolers lighter, and thus they became easier to carry. Few households today will be without some type of cooler, especially if family members are camping enthusiasts or have children who need the use of a cooler bag for school.
Since the 1950s, the technology for making insulated containers has developed so that there are a number of different types of materials currently in use. Hard coolers made of plastic are efficient but can be quite heavy, depending on what is packed into them. There are many lightweight materials now that are used to make coolers, including nylon, polypropylene, polyester, vinyl, PVC, and canvas. Coolers made of softer materials are insulated with foams to preserve the coldness – or the heat where appropriate – for as long as possible.
The original models of coolers were made with plastics, and this durable material is still very much in vogue. Plastic can be used time and again because it does not corrode, and it is chosen consistently for manufacturing both hard and soft coolers. As a synthetic material, various organic polymers form plastic. These include PVC, polyethylene, and nylon. Although hard plastic coolers may be a little heavier, they provide very good insulation and larger ones can carry a considerable amount of food and drink.
Developed as an alternative to silk in the 1930s, nylon is a synthetic fabric that is manufactured from petroleum products. It was first used for toothbrush bristles and then, very famously, for stockings. Nylon is a very lightweight material, so is very useful for reducing the weight of coolers. It is also very strong and durable, as well as being resistant to damage. Nylon was a major material in the making of ropes and parachutes in World War II, and campers like items made of nylon because they are very quick to dry.
Canvas is a useful alternative material for making the exterior of coolers. This is quite a heavy-duty fabric, noted for being used in the making of tents, sails, and marquees. Canvas was originally made of hemp, but the modern material is generally made of a mixture of linen and cotton. Used also for backpacks, shoes, and handbags, canvas is a sturdy material that helps to prolong the life of items, such as cooler bags, that are made from it.
A versatile form of plastic, vinyl is probably best associated with the record industry; however, it has numerous applications, including being used in the manufacture of coolers. Vinyl – known also as polyvinyl chloride, or PVC – is resistant to corrosion and chemicals. As a lightweight material, it has many and varied uses outside the textiles industry. Vinyl coolers are easily portable and can be easily cleaned by being wiped down.
Coolers can be carried by handles or as a backpack for ease of movement. They also come with wheels, just like travel luggage, and some types come as tote bags for carrying smaller items.
Level of Use
If a cooler is to be only for occasional use, it does not have to stand up to as much wear and tear as one that will be used for regular camping, hiking, or fishing trips. For hiking, weight becomes an issue. The choice can be narrowed down in terms of material, size, and ease of carrying.
Making a choice about size is important in its own right. A small wine cooler may hold one or two bottles of wine, but if there is a picnic or party planned at the beach or in the park, a much larger container will be needed. Cans of beer, soft drinks, and water can all be fitted into appropriately sized containers. Larger coolers may also be chosen for transporting cold and frozen groceries back home from the shops. These can be essential in very hot weather – nobody wants the ice cream to melt before it can be put into the freezer. Smaller coolers can be used for lunches, whether for children or adults, and there are also options available for travel coolers that can help maintain essential items at the right These can be carried by hand, slung over a shoulder, or put into hand luggage.
Find Coolers on eBay
There are sturdy, hard-shelled coolers and lightweight ones that are brightly decorated with designer brand logos. Buyers who carry out research on eBay into what is available will get lots of help to determine which is the most appropriate cooler. The key to getting a good deal is to decide which type of cooler will be best suited for the purpose for which it is going to be used, and then find out what is available and appropriate for that use. Bidders can ask questions of sellers to confirm the description of items and to feel confident that the item is exactly what is required. They can also use their research skills to explore the general marketplace for coolers and see if the prices being quoted by sellers are within the appropriate ballpark figure. Checking the feedback given to a seller is also helpful, and this can be accessed by clicking on the numbers in brackets that are next to the seller’s user ID on the listings page, while the extensive menus and sub-categories mean that buying and finding coolers on eBay is a safe and transparent process. Find coolers on eBay either by directly searching for the item using eBay’s search bar or drill through the list of categories. From the Home & Garden page, hover over the Furniture & Dining tab, and then click on Cookware, Dining & Bar. On the left side of the resulting page, find Food & Kitchen Storage and click on it. Finally, click on Lunchboxes & Bags. Once on this page it is possible to refine the search further by typing ‘cooler’ into the search box. Ebay will only search for items matching the term within the Lunchboxes & Bags category giving more accurate overall results.
When bidders are considering options for buying coolers, they should decide first of all what type of cooler, in terms of size, style, weight, and materials, would suit them best. There is a choice to be made too as to whether a thermoelectric cooler would be a good investment, which plugs into a vehicle’s cigarette lighter socket, as opposed to one that uses freezer packs. Whatever the decision, bidders will find a vast range of coolers available as they explore what eBay has to offer. Using eBay’s advanced features will ensure that everybody can find the perfect cooler at the lowest price. Keeping refrigerated food cool can be achieved by putting the cold goods into a cool box or cool bag, known generally as coolers. These are ideal for taking to picnics, where snacks such as cooked sausages, pork pies, cheese, and other items need to be kept below the ambient temperature. Coolers are also the perfect accessory for camping holidays, especially if there is no room in the vehicle for a small fridge. Children can be equipped with small cool bags to keep their lunch in for school, and cool boxes are well suited for taking to a warm, sunny beach with lots of cold drinks in them.