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  1. #1
    hbridge is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Default Cooler/Lunch "box"

    We took our first road trip of the summer this past weekend. It was so nice to get out and be somewhere new!

    I have a ton of complicated diet restrictions. DH did all the research and found a restaurant that was safe for me and excellent for all of us. However, it did start me thinking about bringing my own food on summer adventures. There will not always be a safe place for me to eat.

    With summer heat, leaving my current lunch box/small coolers in the car in the heat is concerning.

    I need to find a fairly compact, easy to carry lunch tote/cooler that will keep things cold for a LONG time.

    Yeti is out of my price range, but I could afford up to about $80.

    Anyone have something they love that maintains the ice?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I eat lunch in the car between clients, and my lunch has to stay cold in the hot summer heat. I think I posted here looking for recommendations when I was frustrated with this problem a couple of years ago. I ended up with the HydroFlask lunch tote, which not only keeps things cold, but is also cute.
    https://www.amazon.com/Hydro-Flask-R...65&sr=8-3&th=1
    It is really only big enough to fit lunch for one person though. When we have lunch for everyone at the beach, we use the Rachael Ray grocery bag cooler. https://www.amazon.com/Rachael-Ray-I...29&sr=8-6&th=1

  3. #3
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    I've purchased lunch boxes at Costco (Arctic Zone brand), and they come with gel packs that keep lunches COLD when the packs are frozen overnight. My kid has 0th period, so I pack his lunch around 7am, and by the time he gets home around 3:30pm, any leftovers are still cold and the packs haven't even thawed all the way. I once measured the internal temp of the lunch box after school with a thermometer, and it was reading in the 30s. I couldn't believe it. I have full confidence those Arctic Zone boxes are keeping my kids' lunches at a safe temperature for a long time.
    DS1 2006
    DS2 2009

  4. #4
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    You cant use actual ice. You need fancy ?ice packs.? Industrial grade. DS1 is on an injectable med that needs to be refrigerated and it?s sent to us fed ex during all sorts of weather. Even when it was shipping from Arizona in the summer, the meds arrived cold.
    DD (3/06)
    DS1 (7/09)
    DS2 (8/13)

  5. #5
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    Will you be carrying it with you during the day? If not, I would just use a decent cooler in the car. I think mine is Igloo or something similar advertised as staying cold for 2-3 days and it really does keep stuff cold a long time. I refill empty water bottles and freeze them and they last way longer than ice cubes.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    DS 2/14
    DD 8/17

  6. #6
    o_mom is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by hbridge View Post

    Yeti is out of my price range, but I could afford up to about $80.
    The Yeti lunch box is $80.

    One suggestion I don't think I saw was to pre-freeze the lunch bag so that your ice/food aren't having to cool it down. Not just the ice packs but store the whole bag in the freezer and take it out to pack in the morning.
    Mama to three boys ('03, '05, '07)

  7. #7
    hbridge is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by o_mom View Post
    The Yeti lunch box is $80.

    One suggestion I don't think I saw was to pre-freeze the lunch bag so that your ice/food aren't having to cool it down. Not just the ice packs but store the whole bag in the freezer and take it out to pack in the morning.
    The Yeti lunch box is too small . I need something that I can back a whole days worth of food in for me and have it stay cold. We have a large Yeti, but I need something for me when we are on day trips and even overnights.

    DC is having surgery in the next couple of weeks and will be in the hospital for a few days. I am already concerned about food since I have a very limited diet and will react to any cross contaminations.

    I did just order an 18L Hydroflask Tote. They had the Day Escape 18L on sale for under $80 (1/2 off). Hopefully that will work with our Yeti Ice Packs.

    For work I use a Scout lunch bag which works great, but it is inside a climate controlled room. I need something more heavy duty for the hot car or a long day/overnight.

    Thanks everyone.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hbridge View Post
    The Yeti lunch box is too small . I need something that I can back a whole days worth of food in for me and have it stay cold. We have a large Yeti, but I need something for me when we are on day trips and even overnights.

    DC is having surgery in the next couple of weeks and will be in the hospital for a few days. I am already concerned about food since I have a very limited diet and will react to any cross contaminations.

    I did just order an 18L Hydroflask Tote. They had the Day Escape 18L on sale for under $80 (1/2 off). Hopefully that will work with our Yeti Ice Packs.

    For work I use a Scout lunch bag which works great, but it is inside a climate controlled room. I need something more heavy duty for the hot car or a long day/overnight.

    Thanks everyone.
    I love Scout bags but their coolers are crap. I don't even think they should call them coolers. I hope the HydroFlask works out for you!

  9. #9
    hbridge is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by candaceb View Post
    I love Scout bags but their coolers are crap. I don't even think they should call them coolers. I hope the HydroFlask works out for you!
    Yep, the Scout is good for four'ish hours in a climate controlled room, but that is about it... Even with the Yeti ice pack.

  10. #10
    Gracemom is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    I got one from Walmart that looks like a tote and it is very large and well insulated. I think it was Ozark brand. Definitely under $20.

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