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We talk a lot about coolers on this blog. The ice chests, the soft coolers, and all that’s in between. And yet, especially for the hard coolers, I just noticed that we don’t give much thought to the prevailing model of what a cooler should be.
For the most part, hard ice chests are boxes in which you mix up your food and drinks with ice and then close them up hoping they’ll retain the ice for as long as possible. Fair enough.
But I want you to imagine a scenario: you’re going out to a simple tailgating party. You’ve got a few options. You can carry your beer over there in the case and drink it warm, or you can put it in a cooler, perhaps a soft or hard cooler, and take it over.
But there’s a problem here. Say you get there and you take the beer out of the cooler to enjoy it. What happens when it gets warm? Are you going to shove it back in the cooler and wait for it to cool down again? Are you going to get an insulated sleeve to keep each bottle cool in your hand?
Or what about if you don’t want to haul a bulky cooler around. If the tailgate isn’t too far from home, carrying a whole $300+ cooler seems like a bit of overkill, doesn’t it? Soft coolers aren’t much better because they require ice or at least ice packs.
In fact, there’s another annoying thing. All the coolers we have today require ice. It’s especially annoying for hard coolers because you need to refill the ice when it melts, not to mention it creates a slush when it melts. If you leave that slush in the cooler too long it gives off a despicable smell. Again, isn’t there a comfortable in-between?
Enter Kanga Coolers
The 5 friends who started Kanga had these exact same thoughts when they were trying to come up with an idea for a cooler that didn’t need ice and wasn’t too bulky.
Now Kanga Coolers is disrupting the cooler industry with this innovative new concept called the iceless cooler. Kooler than a cooler, baby!
Kanga Cooler Review
Kanga Coolers’ line of coolers is known as the Kanga Kase Mate and includes everything from a 6-pack to a 30-pack. They’ve also got a cool range of colors that includes the American flag. That’s a point for patriotism right there!
Now, let's start this Kanga cooler review by judging the way it looks. And boy, this bag looks remarkably stylish. For our sample, we bought ourselves a 12-pack, and it was very light and very portable.
It has a grip handle for easy carrying and a well-placed zipper that makes it easy to load and unload liquor. It’s the kind of thing you just carry into a party without feeling like you have an especially heavy load on your hands. It also has an easily accessible stealth pocket that you can use to store any valuables you might have.
The construction is especially good. The materials are durable and tough. The whole bag is woven with a synthetic body with nylon here and there.
The handle is built to last no matter how much it goes through, and the bag itself can handle the elements pretty fine.
On the inside, the bag uses 3 layers of polyurethane insulation to keep things cold, and it does it very well.
The procedure for using the bag is fairly straightforward. Start by getting a case of cold beer.
Now, naturally, since the bag doesn’t ice, your drinks should be cold before you put them in the bag. Have them spend a decent amount of time in the fridge so they’re chill by the time you’re packing them.
When the drinks are ready, take the case out of the fridge, open the loading zipper, and slide the Kase Mate onto the case of beer (now I see where the name Kase Mate came from). The bag was built to be slid onto the pack of beer via its side, which is very easy and convenient.
Once the beer is securely in the bag, zip it up and you’re good to go!
You can store any extra stuff you want to take with you, like your phone and keys, in the stealth pocket on the side. The stealth pocket is actually situated on the inside of the lip of the bag, so you have to put your stuff inside before you zip up.
Now, while I understand how having the pocket set on the inside makes it inconspicuous and a true ‘stealth pocket’, I thought this was a bit of a design fail. If I put something in the pocket that I regularly need to access, then I’ll end up unzipping the bag often, which isn’t good for keeping the contents cold.
You, therefore, need to put stuff in the pocket that you won’t frequently be pulling out. I suppose that rules out your phone.
Kanga Cooler Review – Cold Retention Test
No Kanga cooler review could go without an actual test, right? We put the bag to the test, just to see how long it would last, and we were pleasantly surprised, to say the least. The drinks were cold for a good 6 ½ hours.
Actually, we had finished the drinks by the 5.5-hour mark and they were still fairly chill then so I’m pretty sure the bag could have kept them chilled for 6 or more hours.
The problem is we couldn’t keep our hands off the drinks for 6 or more hours. I guess we just like our beer!
As you can see, the Kanga Kase Mate is a remarkable cooler, and we love the concept.
But, we have to admit, it’s a niche product with advantages and disadvantages that render it especially useful in certain contexts and especially useless in others.
Kanga Beer Cooler – 6 pack
Kanga Iceless Cooler – 12 pack
Kanga Kase Mate Cooler – 24 pack
- The Kanga beer cooler is a portable one, so you can take it with you practically anywhere without feeling the burden of it. This makes it great for games, parties, picnics, tailgates, and so on.
- 7 hours of cooling time is also remarkable, especially when you consider that it isn’t using any ice.
- This bag is also super stylish. It looks like a fancy large koozie that you can carry around in one hand. I got a lot of second looks and compliments when I walked around with it.
- It gives you relief from having to refill your cooler with ice, like you would have to do with a conventional cooler. And while we’re on the subject of conventional coolers, you also get to preserve your precious space since conventional hard coolers would take up a lot more space than the Kase Mate cooler.
- This is NOT the kind of cooler you go camping with. It won’t keep your drinks cold beyond 7 hours, so it’s best for the party. The main problem here is that it’s built for a very specific purpose, which means you should still have a conventional cooler in hand for all other purposes.
- The Kanga Kase Mate is only for your beer. It’s not suitable for food, and certainly can’t be used as a lunch bag.
- Despite the cool colors, it could perhaps do with more variety in the color options.
- The position of the stealth pocket forces you to put things in there that you won’t frequently need. I think putting it on the outside would have been more practical.
Best Alternatives to Kanga Beer Cooler
Now, while we think the Kanga Coolers certainly are pretty unique, there actually are comparable products in the market and we feel obliged to show them to you. Here are the best we could find:
Childhood 6-pack beer cooler
This neoprene carrier tote essentially uses the same material they use in wetsuits for divers. It keeps cold beer bottles insulated for a long time and is also suitable if you want to keep bottled baby’s milk warm.
It also comes with a bottle opener attached so you don’t have to carry one in your pocket or ask for one.
StowCo Portable Soft Cooler
I really liked this one. It’s a portable soft cooler shaped like a laptop case. That’s right: it’s basically a small briefcase in which you hide your beer, wine, and other beverages.
It can carry 6 beer bottles, 10 beer cans, and 3 wine bottles. The closed-cell foam insulation will keep them chilled for about 5 hours, which is pretty good. My favorite thing about this cooler is the style. That alone is worth every cent.
AROUY Can/Bottle Cooler Bag
This is basically a golf cooler bag because it was designed to fit really well into a gold cooler. It’s actually shaped like a stylish kind of mini golf bag.
It has a great ergonomic top handle for easy transportation and a side zipper that you open to put the beer cans in. It will take 6 beer cans or about 2 wine bottles. It also has a side pocket on the outside in case you have any valuables you might want to carry.
Where to Buy Kanga Coolers
You can buy them on the Kanga Coolers website or Amazon. Of course, one place to buy would be the original website (BuyKanga.com), but we'd recommend you first search Kanga Coolers at Amazon, as shopping there has its own advantages.
Amazon is probably the largest online marketplace in the world. It's safe and you also get the benefit of seeing reviews by previous buyers, saying what they think of the product. This can help you make a more informed purchase decision. Amazon also has other perks, like same-day delivery for Prime members.
Kanga Cooler Review – The Bottom Line
And that’s the end of our Kooler-than-a-cooler Kanga coolers review. We actually loved this one and are happy to see the innovation going on in the coolers industry. The future looks really bright and we’re happy to be part of it.
Get yourself a Kanga if you like keeping the beer cold. There's a very good chance you won’t regret it!
Last update on 2020-09-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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