The heavy hitters from the bustling city of Hong Kong are back at it again with a new product offering, but this time, it’s not your typical backpack. With this offering, Able Carry has scraped their drawing boards and came up with a completely new product from the ground up, and boy are we all in for a treat! Designed for casual outings to the beach or the woods, let me introduce the new contender for the space in your arsenal of camping trips or just a day out in the outdoors, the Able Cooler.
This thermal pack is perfectly insulated and is able keep your drinks chilled, or warm, for hours at a time! The Cooler fits perfectly into any Able Carry backpack, or any backpack of your liking, or it can be carried as a sling with the carry strap. In this review, we’ll be looking at how well Able Carry’s cooler performs in more than just carrying drinks.
WHO ITS FOR
1. For the outdoor goers, that frequent the trails and nature, but want a compact solution of a cooler to bring along for the hike.
2. For the occasional picnic, or a night out with the boys, since its able to hold a six-pack or any beverage of your preference!
Capacity / Weight
• Capacity: 2.5L
• Weight: 250g (0.55lb)
• Weight includes strap
• Height: 25cm (9.7")
• Width: 25.5cm (10")
• Depth: 8cm (3.2")
OUTERSHELL FABRIC: White Alpine X-Pac X50
The team behind Able Carry has scavenged the best fabric in the market to be utilized for this cooler. They consulted the sailcloth master at Dimension Polyant and pulled their X-Pac X50 sailcloth fabric.
It features a DWR-coated Cordura 500D nylon, laminated with a custom 840D polyester X-PLY at 22° and 0.5 mil shiny polyester film backing. This makes the fabric waterproof, strong, durable, allows the pack to maintain its structure, and makes for an aesthetic plus with a killer X-ply grid showcased on the outside of the bag. X-ply for X-Factor. I’m personally a fan of this fabric, the 500D Cordura face gives it a better hand feel as well as some added peace of mind knowing it’s protected from scuffs and tears.
INNER LINING: Food-grade Foil Lining
The interior of the cooler is lined with silver-colored food-grade foil. Able Carry states that the foil isn’t completely sealed, so leaks may still permeate through it and the zippers, though I’ve not encountered such situations during my period of testing. It has held up remarkably well even when ice packs were used as additional coolers too, no leakage detected.
INSULATOR: Insulation Foam
The minds at Able Carry have brought out their A-game and decided to go with an insulation foam sandwiched between the outershell fabric and the inner lining. This foam provides the means of thermal insulation, keeping the temperature constant in the cooler, often hours at a time. All these technical stuff is happening behind the scenes while keeping a lightweight and minimal profile. There’s also some additional protection from bumps that comes from the thick foam padding.
The Able Cooler is able to maintain the cold temperature of a pack of six for a couple of hours, two and a half hours to be exact, during my period of testing. If you’re planning a longer hike, there’s some wiggle room in terms of width where small ice packs can be inserted. On a side note, the foil is relatively easy to clean if any spills were to occur.
Carrying the Able Cooler is an intuitive maneuver whether you’re holding it by the handle or if you decide to opt for the included detachable sling strap. The strap has a narrow width and is made out of a seatbelt-like material, sleek and durable. Each end of the strap attaches via a triangular gatekeeper clip to a thick webbing loop behind the Able Cooler, an easy operation on most occasions.
The included strap is more than capable of supporting a six-pack-laden Able Cooler. However, if you already have a favorite strap, the loops are designed to accommodate those, too. They're not only thick, but are also large enough to accommodate most clips. We'll leave it to your creative minds to figure out what else you can do with these loops. Some might even consider them as latching points, attaching the cooler to the outside of a pack.
Even without the strap, the top handle of the Able Cooler is thick and well-padded and is more than capable of carrying any drink of your choice. The handle runs across almost the entire length of the cooler’s top side, which means that it doesn’t squeeze into our hands whenever we use it like narrower handles do. The ends are also bartack stitched into the fabric in square patterns, indicating how over-engineered this cooler is.
The inside space is a foil-lined single unit cavity and is subdivided into three compartments by two dividers, via velcro. Each column of space can take in a stack of two cans of drinks for a total of six. In my experience, though, the fit along the top is noticeably tight, since the cooler taper upwards towards the zippers.
In cases where six drink cans are not required, the dividers can be adjusted or removed to free up more space. It really is up to your imagination on what you can store in this cooler, food containers or fruits should fare no problem! There was also an instance where I grabbed this as a make-shift camera bag, and it performed exceeding well too, given that its protected by foam padding throughout!
PROS VS CONS
1. Made with highly technical, water-resistant fabrics from our friends at Dimension Polyant.
2. It sports a thick, padded handle, and it comfortable to hold even for an extended period of time.
3. Exceeding versatile in its usage, and a perfect size for a sling too.
4. It has adjustable dividers, which could accommodate things of multiple shapes and sizes.
1. The seams are not tapped, so leakage of fluids is a possibility.
2. Slim profile may not fit some food containers, given the inverted taper of the silhouette.
The Able Cooler is Able Carry’s idea of a make-shift lunchbox: covered in durable X-Pac and specifically designed to carry a six-pack, or any beverage of your choice. Is it a bit over-engineered? Yes, without a doubt, but in a good, it’s-really-well-built kind of way. Exactly what we would come to expect from the team at Able Carry.
Check out Cooler Bag Here
Raised in the south of Malaysia, I was drawn to spending as much time as possible outdoors. While dwelling in the beauty of nature, it sparked my interest in photography as well as all things carry. My interest in bags have been solidified every since I’ve stumbled upon my first bag right here in our own backyard, Greenroom136. And I have been on the hunt for the perfect pack ever since.