River bag – too big – whaaaatttttt????

July 6th, 2015

America’s Test Kitchen/Cooks Illustrated have been very good to us in past reviews – they love the T-Rex almost as much as we do.

Last month they reviewed Insulated Shopping Totes on their site with one of our most popular bags used in this review.

The review on the River bag was not a fair comparison. Even though all the bags were Insulated Shopping Totes – they did the same test with the same foods in each bag.
However the River Shopping Tote is at least TWICE as big as the other bags. So the food placed into these bags are not going to stay as cold as they would in a smaller bag. It didn’t really make a lot of sense so we have pasted the review below and then our comment’s underneath.

So this is the review from them for the River Bag –
Product name:
The River by California Cooler Bags Insulated Shopping Tote Bag

Recommendation Status:
Recommended with “Reservations”

Testers’ Comments:
“Unlike regular reusable shopping totes, insulated shopping totes are designed to keep refrigerated and frozen foods cold on the commute home from the supermarket. We were looking for a comfortable, easy-to-carry tote that could keep our groceries at a food-safe temperature for at least an hour. To evaluate comfort and design, we loaded each with an identical assortment of bulky, heavy, and fragile groceries (12 items total) and took each bag for a 10-minute walk.”

“Those moderately sized bags were also the most comfortable, as bigger totes allowed items to shift during transport and felt cumbersome to more petite testers. But only one of these models also boasted wide, comfortable shoulder straps that made carrying a heavy load easier and freed up our hands. ”

Gotta respond WITH reservations on this review –

This is an apples and oranges review. Should not really have even been considered with the rest of the bags.

Our bag is almost TWICE as big as the others including the “one that shall not be named” that was chosen as the “best”.
Yes, the River is best for bulk and/or frozen items but not for 12 items. I don’t know about you but I can quite honestly say that it’s rare that I go to the grocery store and purchase 12 items?!?! Who has time for that? It’s a full load every time I go – one that FILLS up the River bag.

They said that a “generous amount of groceries left significant empty space” – ok, if you are going to be shopping for ONE then chose one of the smaller bags. Why the BIGGEST one we have? Packed correctly we have managed to keep foods cold for many hours. As stated throughout our site – the less food/drinks in these bags, the more space in the bag, the less likely it will stay cold.

Also we do have the thickest foam of all the bags… because it’s the BIGGEST bag we have available.

They wrote: “That large tote with thick walls would need a cart’s worth of groceries to be effective.” – Um yeh.” Maybe we should put that in the description – oh wait!

So there you have it – we reviewed ATK’s review – with “reservations”…

Top 5 Mother’s Day Gift List

May 6th, 2014

1 T-Rex Rolling Cooler: The biggest and best cooler EVER! A fav with Mom’s – sturdy wheels and large insulated compartment.

2. The RIVER Bag: Largest shopping bag available – pack tons of food and drinks.

3. Striped Insulated Cooler Bag: Trendy and stylish – a fav for the farmer’s market or short trips to the market.

4. 36 Can Collapsible Cooler Bag: Ideal insulated cooler bag for a day out with friends or a tailgating party

5. Picnic Cooler Bag Classy and stylish picnic cooler features an elegant plaid design and has a unique, waterproof, divided cooler compartment.

Collapsible rolling coolers – the best travel accessory

March 4th, 2014

We have a great selection of rolling rolling coolers. The are great for family picnics, beach get together’s, tailgating, camping, you name it.

One of the best coolers is the T-Rex rolling cooler . The largest rolling cooler available at Keep Your Cooler. Read the reviews and you will understand why it’s the best!

Great for busy parents going to the soccer/softball/football game – easy to pack for the whole family and since it has the nifty little velcro opening at the top – you can one-hand it. No need to unzip the whole cooler to get your drinks! And extra sturdy! With mega wheels.

The medium sized coolers are great for food transportation OR to take to the racing.

Or travel – the smaller ones (32 cans) are ideal for travel (fits most carry on guidelines to bring aboard airlines).

They all easily collapse (when empty) for easy storage but make sure to check the sizes (all the sizes are in the description field) to make sure that these items will fit your needs.

Happy Cooling!

Cooler of the Month – Feb

February 12th, 2014

Combo Backpack Cooler

A NEW Backpack Bag for 2014 – cool convertible cooler/backpack/tote combo.

Main generous sized zippered main compartment with a large zippered front pocket.Zippered nylex-lined media pocket located on the front. Open front pocket. Two large side mesh pockets.
Adjustable padded backpack shoulder straps unclip and fit inside a back panel when not in use. Heavy-duty tote straps.

Cooler of the Month – Picnic Bag

January 8th, 2014

This stylish picnic cooler tote bag is fully insulated and has a cool sporty design.

With a spacious main compartment that can hold enough food for 2-4 people.

Comfy handle straps for easy carrying.

This tote bag has a picnic set for four which included plates, glasses and flatware.

Ideal for a friendly get together.

Bag of the Month

December 20th, 2013

The River Insulated Shopping Bag is our cool bag of the month!

This bag is excellent for bulk shopping trips – a great bag for transporting food.

Since it’s the largest bag we have available, it has thicker insulation thus keeping foods/drinks cold for longer.

Straps are long enough to fit over your shoulder. Pockets in front for extras. This bag is also great for keeping foods warm.

Every little bit we do helps the environment. Bringing your own shopping bag with you is one way. And this bag will hold a LOT of food.

Outside vinyl material makes it very easy to clean. Fold it up and keep in in your car – it does not take up a lot of space when folded.

Inside material also very easy to clean – keep a spray bottle of half vinegar, half water – spray inside, wipe up and you are good to go for the next shopping trip!

Cocktails for Thanksgiving

November 14th, 2013

Thanksgiving is right around the corner – you already have your food organized so let’s get some drink recipes for your feast – toast away with family and friends.

Below you will find Keep Your Cooler favorite Thanksgiving cocktails. There are no measurements since we mix to our tastes.

You can always carry your drinks in this handy collapsible basket.

This is a take on an Apple Sidecar martini.
Apple cider concentrate
Fresh lemon juice

Directions: In a cocktail shaker, stir everything together. Fill shaker with ice and shake well. Pour into sugar-rimmed cocktail glasses.

Try this fancy drink:

Pomegranate juice
Grand Marnier
Sparkling wine (Proseco, maybe) as needed
Simple syrup (IF you like really sweet)

Directions: Pour the juice and Grand Marnier into a Champagne glass or flute. Top with sparkling wine and add a few pomegranate seeds.

How about one of the Martini & Rossi’s (there is both dry or sweet) on ice? Very popular in Italy – serve Cinzano too (Bianco or Rosso).

And finally – our very favorite and very easy:

Caramel Martini
Caramel vodka
Vanilla liqueur OR White Godiva Chocolate liqueur (if you want a creamier martini)

We swirl the martini glass with caramel sauce. Then shake the ingredients together with ice. Strain them into the glass. Delish!

A classier way to bring your own lunch.

November 12th, 2013

The carefree days when we thought nothing of splashing out on lunches every day are over. These days we are looking for ways to save money. We think twice about treating ourselves to expensive treats and look for ways to save in other areas.

Keep Your Cooler insulated coolers can be used for just that. By packing your own food, drinks and snacks you will save money and eat healthier.

Lunch box coolers are ideal for the busy office worker or those traveling. It’s so easy to run out to the food court and grab some food but it can get very expensive and it’s not very healthy.

In this economy, it makes sense to invest in a cooler and pack your own lunch and it’s so much healthier. If you have a lunch cooler bag there is no excuse.

Make it easy by preparing your lunch the night before. Maybe a Lean Cuisine/WW meal, packet of popcorn and a small packet of almonds (for that afternoon snack attack). Add some fresh fruit, yogurt or dried fruit. In the morning, pack up your cooler and head to work.

Don’t want processed foods? How about a yummy sandwich/wrap. Pre-prepared sandwiches can get soggy sometimes so below we have added some tips on the best way to enjoy a healthy, fresh sandwich. Again, this can be prepared the night before.

Tip for a non-soggy sandwich is to pack everything separate. Whole wheat bread in one zip lock. Deli meat or cheese in another. Lettuce and tomato (or veggie of choice) in another bag – (don’t cut the tomato until ready to eat). So when you stop for a break, you can assemble your healthy sandwich – it will only take a minute and taste delicious and fresh! Ziplocks can be washed and re-used every day.

Remember to bring paper napkins, a knife (for the tomato and to spread mustard). This lunch box comes with utensils and is a favorite amongst our customers: Hot and Cold Lunch Box. It also comes with a napkin and the cutest little salt and pepper shakers. Don’t forget your beverage. Water is always the best choice!

If you don’t want to carry a lunch cooler – how about one of the tote bags? They can double as a purse since there are pockets in front and look really chic. Want a more casual look – they the cool backpack coolers. Some come with 2 sections.
The collapsible cooler bags are a favorite with those that travel throughout the day. There are many sizes and shapes to choose from.

On your lunch break, walking away from your desk is always best. It gives you a chance to breathe and really take a break. Find a nice location outside. Maybe a park bench or even a mall close to the office. Somewhere you can relax and enjoy your healthy lunch.

It’s really easy to pack your cooler however it must be packed properly in order to keep your food and drinks cold. Packing properly is essential. Throwing food into a cooler and hoping for the best is not going to keep your food/drinks at the correct temperature.

Check out our other blog entries for the best way to pack (you can also find more detailed info under our “how to pack your cooler” section).

Hiking bag of the month.

October 28th, 2013

The Insulated Cooler Backpack with removable cooler is the hiking bag of the month!

Great for all day hikes (post on Lake Tahoe trip to follow) or just daily backpacking.

The top section has a lot of space for dry goods. A sweater, maps, extra socks or a small towel. Padded backpack straps and a padded back – which really helps on long treks. Makes it comfy to carry.

There’s an inside pocket to hold your valuables (money, car keys and so on).

The bottom section is an insulated cooler. You can detach from the top and then you have a lunch cooler with a handle. Bottom section has a small ice pack holder and a small front zippered pocket for extras. The insulated section holds from 12 soda cans.

The Pot Luck Wonder Bag

October 22nd, 2013

My friend and I go to pot luck dinners each week. A chance to get together with our pals, chat, vent and eat. I usually buy something from Costco and everyone always enjoys whatever I bring.

My friend is a baker. She makes great desserts every week and last week she made these incredible apple dumplings. I’m not that keen on apple desserts but let me tell you – THIS was AMAZING!

Several months ago for my friends birthday, I gave her this Insulated Casserole Carrier. She had an older insulated bag but it was very big and did not work for her desserts. She makes this incredible dessert (recipe below) – bakes it in a casserole dish, takes it out of the oven, covers in foil then places in the casserole carrier. It’s supposed to be eaten hot. An hour and a half later – she serves them. The apple dumpling were still very HOT and just incredible! Of course, I took the credit for it since I gave her the carrier :)

Anyway, you must try this recipe for your next get together. Your friends will thank you!

From All Recipes

Country Apple Dumplings

2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
2 (10 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
1 cup butter (I know! As I said – AMAZING!)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle Mountain Dew ™

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
2. Cut each apple into 8 wedges and set aside. Separate the crescent roll dough into triangles. Roll each apple wedge in crescent roll dough starting at the smallest end. Pinch to seal and place in the baking dish.
3. Melt butter in a small saucepan and stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Pour over the apple dumplings. Pour Mountain Dew™ over the dumplings.
4. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.