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How To Keep Your Cooler Bag Cold For Longer

Posted by Luke Green

If you’re planning an exciting outdoor adventure then you’ll want to make sure your food and drinks stay fresh and safe to eat for when you’re ready to enjoy them. With this in mind, the following guide on how to keep a cooler bag cold, is designed to give you all the best tips and tricks to help keep your favourite refreshments cold for as long as possible. Ultimately, this will make outdoor adventures a whole lot easier whilst allowing you to get the most out of your Red Original waterproof cooler bag.

How you pack and treat your waterproof cool bag will have a big impact on how long it stays cold for. That’s why it’s important to consider the following factors.


Make sure that both the cool bag and contents are as cold as possible before you start packing. For example, don’t take your cool bag out of a hot car and start loading it immediately. If the bag feels warm, cool it down with a cool block or some ice before thinking about loading food and drinks into it. Equally, you should take perishable food and drinks straight from the fridge so that they are cold to start with. The colder the contents and waterproof cool bag are at the start, the more likely they are to stay cold for longer. 

Fill the space up

Another key step in how to keep your cooler bag cold is to prevent as much warm air from filling the bag as possible. That’s why it’s important to fill up as many of the gaps as possible with ice or anything frozen like the reusable water bottle we mentioned a moment ago. 

Ice:Contents Ratio

When it comes to how to keep your cooler bag cold, more ice = longer-lasting ice. So, depending on how long you’re planning to be out for, a larger capacity cool bag that you can fill with more ice will keep contents cold for longer. In fact, our insulated cooler backpack retains ice for up to 48 hours whilst our 18L and 30L waterproof cooler bags retain ice for up to 72 hours. A few cool blocks will keep picnic food cold for the day, however, if you want to have ice for your drinks then we recommend using double the amount of ice compared to the contents. 


Chilling method

When discussing how to keep a cooler bag cold it’s also important to mention the importance of choosing the right type of ice. Granted, you might be thinking, well isn’t ice just ice? Well, the size and shape of the ice can actually have a big impact on the effectiveness of the cool bag. For example, whilst small, cubed ice will chill contents more quickly, a block of ice melts a lot more slowly as it has less surface area exposed to warm air.  That’s why we always recommend using cool blocks either by themselves or alongside ice cubes. Another great tip for how to keep a cooler bag cold is to freeze a reusable metal bottle of water and use it as a large ice block for your cool bag. As it starts to melt, you’ll also have yourself a refreshing drink of ice-cold water. 

Keep the bag zipped up & avoid direct sunlight

Where possible, keep your bag in the shade and out of direct sunlight. Of course, depending on your location, this might not always be possible, however, the cooler you can keep the bag, the longer the ice will last. Also, be careful to keep the zip-locked tight to keep warm air out and cold air in. Our insulated cooler backpack and waterproof cool bags are fitted with ThermalLock insulation and so this is an important step in getting the most out of your cool bag and when thinking about how to keep your cool bag cold. 

Trying these top tips on how to keep a cooler bag cold should have your favourite food and drinks staying fresher for a whole lot longer. You'll find guidance on how to choose the right Red Original waterproof cool bag for you on our website.