eBags Crew Cooler II ReviewPrice: $50 List | $49.99 at Amazon Pros: Multiple pockets, removable/replaceable liner
Cons: Not as insulative or durable as other models
Bottom line: Great for an everyday lunch bag, but not designed for more rugged use and abuse
Capacity: 10 cans
Exterior Fabric: 840D Twisted Poly
While not a standout in any specific category, the combination of reasonable insulation, good portability, and a number of organizing compartments makes the eBags Crew Cooler II a great choice for an everyday lunchbox. If you're looking for something relatively inexpensive that can keep a bunch of beverages cold we would recommend the Polar Bear Coolers 24 Pack, or, if you need to carry them a long ways, the Ice Mule Pro. However, if you're looking for a simple lunch companion, the eBags Crew Cooler II has you covered.
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Our Analysis and Test Results
As the eBags Crew Cooler II is designed more for an everyday lunch scenario than long term insulation performance, it suffered a bit in our overall scoring.
In the sections below we review how the Crew Cooler performed in each of the tests that make up our overall scores.
The Crew Cooler was one of the poorer performers in our insulation test. It had only 5oz of its original 7lb bag of ice left after 48 hours. The only model that fared worse was the much cheaper Coleman 16-Can. However, we don't see this as too big of a knock against the Crew Cooler. It is definitely meant to be a lunch bag and not a long term beverage cooler. Unless you plan to leave your lunch bag in direct sunlight all day it has plenty of insulation to keep your sandwich and bag of carrots cool from morning til lunch hour.
Ease of Use
Though it earned a respectable score of 6 out of 10 in our ease of use testing, the Crew Cooler II found itself at the bottom of our ease of use score sheet. This was almost solely because of the Crew Cooler's liner. Most of the other coolers we tested are meant to be loaded up with ice and cans, so their liners are designed to be waterproof. This also makes them mostly impervious to stains and easy to clean. The Crew Cooler's liner is a bit more porous and more susceptible to stains getting into its fibers. eBags countered this problem by making the liner removable, and thus easy to scrub clean, but it is the only liner in our testing lineup likely to need this treatment. However, if you tend to keep your lunch neat, this won't be a problem.
Apart from the liner the Crew Cooler is perfectly designed for being a lunch bag. It has plenty of separate compartments for utensils and food items that don't need to be cold. The handle is comfortable to carry, and it even has a strap for balancing the cooler on top of wheeled luggage if you want to carry your cooler on to your next flight.
The Crew Cooler was one of the lowest scoring models in our durability testing. Generally the Crew Cooler is well built. We didn't find any manufacturing flaws and found few online user reviews that complained of durability issues. It is plenty tough enough for its intended use: carrying lunch to and from the office. However, it just can't match the durability of the other models we tested, most of which are meant for more rough and tumble use in the out of doors.
Here again the Crew Cooler was an average scorer. You'll have no trouble toting it from the car to the workplace. However, its shoulder strap lacks any padding, so carrying it for longer periods of time can be a bit uncomfortable if it is fully loaded, but you probably won't be carrying your lunch box long distances on a normal day.
At a list price of $50 the eBags Crew Cooler II is a bit pricey for a lunch bag, but thoughtful design touches and their added convenience make this a good value if you're packing a lunch to the office everyday.
The eBags Crew Cooler II can't match most of the other coolers we tested in terms of insulation performance and ruggedness, but it shines in its own niche as an everyday lunch bag.
— OutdoorGearLab Review Team
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Most recent review: May 26, 2017
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