Best Insulated Food Bags: What are they?
Insulation is a good thing if it keeps your body warm when outside or cools down when inside. It is not necessary to wear clothing in order to insulate yourself from the cold. If you have some extra clothes, then put them on over your thermal underwear. You will still feel comfortable even with just your thermal underwear on!
The most common type of insulation used for keeping food warm is called a thermal blanket. Thermal blankets are basically thin cotton sheets that are wrapped around the perimeter of the container in which you intend to store your food. They provide warmth without adding unnecessary bulk to your container.
Another popular kind of insulation is known as an insulated cooler, which consists of two separate containers connected together using a series of plastic pipes and fittings (see figure 1). These insulated containers are filled with ice cubes and sealed with freezer tape. When you want to use the insulated cooler, simply remove the ice from one container and place it into another. Once the water freezes, you can drink out of either container.
Figure 1: An Insulated Cooler
How do I choose an Insulated Food Bag?
There are several types of insulated food bags available today; however, there is no single best choice for all applications. When choosing an insulated bag for your food storage requirements, consider the type of food you intend to store and the level of insulation you will require.
If you intend to store highly perishable items such as meat and fish, you should consider a double-insulated container with a thick layer of high-density foam insulation. A single layer of foam insulation will provide a reasonable level of protection for non-perishable items such as fruits, vegetables, and dairy.
A good quality double-insulated bag should provide adequate protection for your food when it is stored in a freezer with an average temperature of -10 degrees Fahrenheit. For extended periods in a deep freezer with a temperature of -40 degrees Fahrenheit, you should consider using an industrial grade container.
Do I Need a Food Container with a Lock?
If you need to store food in your vehicle or a warehouse, it is highly recommended that you choose an insulated container with a lock. If the need arises you can use these containers for food transport without having to transfer the contents into another container.
Insulated food bags with locks can also be used as personal coolers for a day at the beach. They can hold up to six cans of soda, a lunch, and a few snacks. You can also use these containers to store food in your hotel room while on a trip.
Insulated food bags are also great for family camping trips. You can pack the container with ice and store it in your tent. This will keep your food and drinks cool for the entire weekend.
Insulated Bags or Hard-Sided Coolers?
The main difference between an insulated bag and a hard-sided cooler is the portability of these products. An insulated bag will not provide as much protection from extreme external temperatures as a hard-sided cooler; however, an insulated bag can easily be transported in the back of your car or truck.
A hard-sided cooler is designed to be used while stationary. If you are using a personal vehicle to transport your food and don’t plan on leaving the vehicle, a hard-sided cooler will provide more than adequate protection.
Insulated food bags are also more affordable than hard-sided coolers. This is very important if you plan on leaving your food in the container for an extended period of time. If you frequently buy bulk quantities of food, you will save money in the long run by using an insulated bag instead of a hard-sided cooler.
How Should I Clean and Maintain my Insulated Bag?
When cleaning your insulated bag, use warm water and a mild detergent. Never use bleach to clean the container. Once you have finished cleaning the inside of the container, allow it to air dry. It is not necessary to place the container in a sunny location to dry.
The outside of the container can be cleaned with warm water and soap or you can wipe down the outside of the container with an alcohol solution (isopropyl alcohol works best).
Sources & references used in this article:
Insulated food container by N Tector, JV Curley – US Patent 4,225,052, 1980 – Google Patents
Combination insulated carrying soft bag and plastic jug by I Harold – US Patent 2,954,891, 1960 – Google Patents
Insulated bag by Z Henry – US Patent 2,960,136, 1960 – Google Patents
Insulated lunch bag by JH Campbell – US Patent 4,211,091, 1980 – Google Patents
Foldable insulated food box by JR Maxwell – US Patent 6,976,602, 2005 – Google Patents