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Cool boxes...

(30 Posts)
YellowDinosaur Tue 07-Jun-11 22:58:10

We have a couple of cool bags but they are a bit shit tbh and certainly no good for the 4-7 day camping trip we plan this summer.

There seems to be such a range in price for these though and I'd be interested to know what the difference is and whether it is worth paying for an expensive one.

Also the plug into the car cigarette lighter ones - do these have to be plugged in the whole time (and if so how does the battery not wear down?!?!!) or just when you are out and about?

Cheers in advance!

feetheart Tue 07-Jun-11 23:10:35

We have used a cheapo Asda one for the past 18mths. Found it was much better than a bigger one though packing/unpacking it to get anything is an art form smile
Just back from a 10 day trip and it was fine for 4 of us - me, DH and DC (8 and 5)

Site had a small fridge with freezer bit and we re-froze our freezer blocks alternately ie one in coolbox, one in freezer.


sleepwouldbenice Tue 07-Jun-11 23:37:38

Just to say that Aldi are doing a cheap one for £34.99 that seems to get good reviews on various sites. So if the feedback you get here is to get one it may be a good option ( I cant advise as not got ours yet!) . limited offer though


DontCallMeBaby Wed 08-Jun-11 08:07:49

Electric ones - you couldn't keep it plugged into the car the whole time, as most cars won't charge/power an electric item unless the engine is running. A few will, but I suspect powering something as energy hungry as a coolbox would run the battery down pretty quickly.

We borrowed my parents' one for our last camping trip, because it can also be mains powered and we had EHU at the site. We kept it switched on during the day and off at night as it's quite noisy - we had a couple of ice packs in it as well, just to try to maintain the temperature overnight.

It was fine to borrow, but I wouldn't buy one. I don't think it would be very useful without EHU, and I want the option to go without, plus it only takes the temperature down 20 degrees from the outside temperature, and I'm hoping for a heatwave!

As to passive ones, I'll be keeping an eye on this as I'm currently trying to decide between quite expensive (Coleman Xtreme) and very expensive (IceyTek) and am tying myself up in knots!

overthemill Wed 08-Jun-11 08:30:01

dont have electric one (thinking about it) but when these were relatively 'new' ie about 8 years ago? went camping with friend who proudly showed off her new one. plugged into cigarette lighter in car in boot. and by the next day the car battery was completely flat (newish passat). so i wouldn't use one that only powered off car

FlubbaBubba Wed 08-Jun-11 08:40:22

lurking to steal ideas ;)

jamaisjedors Wed 08-Jun-11 08:53:46

Lurking too. Am hesitating about icey-tek (but the site haven't got back to me about delivery to France) or the maxcold - but they all look quite big to me.

The icey-tek 25l looks good but won't hold a standard bottle of water (1.5l) standing up.

But then maybe I wouldn't put water in it?

We are going for minimum 10 days to the Vendée, what do people do about drinking water on site - just buy big bottles and drink them luke-warm?

overthemill Wed 08-Jun-11 09:22:19

we just use the tap water from the taps outside the tents - don't buy bottled water in france....

jamaisjedors Wed 08-Jun-11 09:24:27

Ok. We buy bottled water at home (France - DH is fussy about the taste) but if there are taps nearby that will be fine. I thought the taps would only be at the shower blocks so miles away.

Slubberdegullion Wed 08-Jun-11 10:07:54

If you are going to go down the electric route then get a proper one that will plug into your EHU, or one that runs off gas. With pretty much all things gadgety and outdoorsy you are going to get what you pay for. Better efficiency, quieter, better insulation, better hinges, handles etc.

If you only want to keep a small amount of food in your box (like milk and a bit of butter and a few yoghurts), and are happy to shop most or every day then a small coolbox with a couple of ice blocks is fine. Pack bubble wrap over the top of the food and it will keep your food cool no worries, unless you are camping in Iran or somewhere uber hot.

We have moved from small to big because we want to drink cold wine and beer abroad, but if you are a UK camper you can get similar results by keeping your wine or beer in a bucket of cold water in the shade with a damp tea towel over the top.

overthemill Wed 08-Jun-11 11:25:37

ime tent camping usually has a tap reasonably near to tents too. depends whereabouts i guess but have never been more than 4 tents away from tap in france, unlike uk!

jamaisjedors Wed 08-Jun-11 11:45:39

Great, thanks overthemill.

YellowDinosaur Wed 08-Jun-11 20:23:06

Thanks everyone - more food for thought! Might just buy a cheapy from Asda then and see how it goes as don't fancy a flat battery for the car!!! Would need to make sure it will take bottles of wine as warm white in the summer is crap

Lovecat Thu 09-Jun-11 11:00:32

Can I just recommend this from Lakeland if you're after keeping things cool? We put a pack of butter into it out the fridge (which in hindsight was a mistake, would leave the butter out of the fridge for 5-10 mins to soften before putting it in there in future) and it was still unspreadable rock hard 5 days later when we were coming home - it didn't need to go in the coolbox at all. Yes, it's a bit pricey, but it's been invaluable bit of kit to me when camping/picnicking/doing cream tea cake sales etc. and I've had it years. And the glampy ponce in me likes having a proper butter

PandaG Thu 09-Jun-11 11:59:12

having camped with a cheapy cool box a few years back (in England) when not onky the butter melted but the cheese melted to beacuse of a heatwave, we splashed out on a gas powered small fridge. We run it and our cooker off one gas bottle, or if we have EHU it runs off electricity instead. Also useful as a beer fridge at home when hosting a party!

PandaG Thu 09-Jun-11 12:00:09

oh heck - only, too and because. I can spell but not type it appears!

Playdohinthewashingmachine Thu 09-Jun-11 12:10:24

We have a gas-powered coolbox which is great for keeping things cool but pretty bulky, and you need an extra gas bottle.

Also it has a pilot light at the back, aka naked flame and therefore you shouldn't put it in your tent. And you shouldn't put your cooker next to it. And you really really shouldn't change the gas on your cooker, next to the fridge. Because that might cause things to go up in flames ... blush

(it was only a small fire and the tent didn't catch blush )

Funtimewincies Thu 09-Jun-11 13:07:41

I've bought a cheap Asda one (£6 shock) a few weeks ago for our first camping trip and it was great. We had 2 blocks in the box and 2 in the feezer and then changed them over each day. Doesn't hold masses, just the basics of milk, juice, a few beers, butter, ham, cheese and some choccy but for that price I thought that I'd take a chance.

itsnicetobenice Thu 09-Jun-11 17:05:16

funtimewinces does your lid fasten really tight as ours also the asda cheapy is really loose and im questioning if its because its cheap and nasty or if its a fault - our old one it was almost air tight when you sealed it but this kind of wobbles still.

Funtimewincies Thu 09-Jun-11 18:10:39

This one 'locks' when the handle is put down one way (i.e. the lid stays on). It seems to be tight enough, obviously not as sophisticated a system as the more expensive one.

itsnicetobenice Thu 09-Jun-11 18:48:00

yeah this locks but just doesnt appear airtight - oh well perhaps im just being a picky grin

YellowDinosaur Sat 11-Jun-11 09:08:39

For the lurkers thinking about the coleman xtreme they are 20% off with a discount card until tomorrow at Go outdoors - about £43 plus £5 for the discount card which lasts all year and gives you access to a lot of deals

DontCallMeBaby Sat 11-Jun-11 12:49:14

But not available for home delivery or in stock at all branches. sad

Lovecat Sat 11-Jun-11 14:42:26

They have them here for £48 plus free delivery.

I'd love one, but DH would kill me, so we're stuck with our £9.99 H&B one for the minute...

dobby2001 Sat 11-Jun-11 14:52:35

Can I just mention a couple of top tips i was given for keeping cool without electrics?
1.) Get a lerge 2 ltr bottle and 3/4 fill with water - freeze and use instead of cool packs -it can be pleaced hroizontally across coolbag and stays cold for ages - and then you have chilled water grin

2.) freeze anything that will not be using in the first 24hours - milk,cheese,sauages,meats etc - again saves on cool packs and means when it it defrosted it will be cold rather than warm smile

3) be scary strict with the kids about opening the coolbag. Not allowed unless essential and then adult does it - ensures there are no accidents with it getting left open/lid loose.

4.) Keep in darkest,shadiest part of tent and cover with rugs/towels/anything that will help insultate and slow down the warming.

I have used this technique whenever we have gone away and found we have easily lasted 3-4 days with no problems, sometimes longer. But if you can get cool packs frozen onsite you will easily last longer with no electrics smile

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