As a tailgating blog you can imagine how often we get hit up to test out and review the latest and greatest cooler the manufacturer or distributor claims it to be. Most of the time the cooler being pushed is not all that unique and the handle that clicks out vs. folding up kind is the only major difference from all the other coolers you have already seen everywhere else. When we were contacted by the folks at Sport-Brella about a new iceless cooler that claimed to keep beverages cold for up to six hours without ice, we were intrigued. That is how we got the opportunity to test out and review the Flip-Box Cooler.
Take a look at their promotional video to see the features of the Flip-Box Coolers
As you saw in the video, there were plenty of examples of how to use it while out tailgating. We decided to put the Flip-Box Cooler through our tests to make sure their claims were not just a bunch of hot air.
First we received the Flip-Box Cooler in one piece. Although you can disassemble it and wash the parts and pieces in the dishwasher, the unit arrived in one piece. That was a good first impression because nobody like to assemble things no matter how fast and easy they are to put together. Upon flipping up the side walls and locking them into place, the cooler was set up and ready for beverages in literally five seconds. We liked that it folded down into a smaller space for ease of storage when not in use.
They claim that the Flip-Box Cooler can keep beverages cold for up to six hours without any ice accompanying the beverages. I found that hard to believe. Armed with my trusty digital thermometer and about six hours on a Saturday, I decided to put that claim to the test. Here was my plan to test the Flip-Box Cooler how it would be typically used at a tailgate.
I loaded the cooler with 20 canned beverages that ranged in different sizes included a few 12 oz. beers, some diet sodas and even some 16 oz. energy drinks. In addition to the cans I also placed about six beer bottles in the Flip-Box Cooler. The bottles were a little too tall for the cooler in order for the lid to close so I placed the bottles on their sides. The taller 16 oz. energy drink cans fit nicely but the beer bottles were just a little too tall to fit.
I placed my digital thermometer in the fridge for about a minute to see what was the starting temperature of the cans and bottles as they came out of the fridge. The internal temperature of the fridge was 42 degrees. Most people would agree that is the perfect temperature for drinking a beer so with that in mind, that was our starting point. All of the contents of the Flip-Box Cooler started at 42 degrees. The ambient air temperature was around 82 degrees so we were testing this cooler on a warm day.
I took notice of the time of day and then set my timer on my phone to alarm every 12 minutes. At each 12 minutes interval I would open the Flip-Box Cooler and remove two to three bottles and cans and then close the lids. I did this for two reasons. The first is to simulate the opening and closing of the cooler while out tailgating. Two or three beers will probably get removed every 12 minutes as people are eating and enjoying the tailgate. Removing the beverages also might bring down the temperature inside with less contents keeping it cold but would simulate a real tailgating environment.
The second reason for going in and out of the cooler and removing cans and bottles every 12 minutes was to let the air escape and be replaced by the ambient air. This also happens while tailgating and I wanted to see if the Flip-Box Cooler was able to withstand the temperature changes it would go through while out in the tailgate parking lot. Tailgating does not happen in a vacuum and it is unfair to test a cooler without opening and closing it because that would never happen during the course of a tailgate.
After two hours I decided to test the temperature of one of the sodas I took out. I placed the digital thermometer in the opened can and was highly surprised to see that after two hours of opening and closing the cooler 10 times and removing cans and bottles, the can had gained only four degrees in temperature. It read 46.8 degrees to be exact. To be honest with you, I was stunned that the can was that cold without any ice in the cooler.
I then continued testing the cooler by opening it every 12 minutes and removing bottles and cans until another two hours had passed. By this time it was a grand total of four hours since loading the cooler and I removed the last can. I followed the same process as the other soda can in that I placed the digital thermometer in the can to read the temperature. This can after four hours and opening and closing the Flip-Box Cooler 20 times, was 14 degrees warmer than the 42 degrees it started at when it went into the Flip-Box Cooler.
Just to be fair and to see if a “regular cooler” would not do the same thing, I tested this same technique up against my little Playmate Cooler by Igloo. I placed six cans that were 42 degrees and right out of the fridge into the cooler without any ice. I did this to see if the insulation on a regular cooler without ice would work just as well. Every 12 minutes I opened the cooler and removed one can. After an hour of doing this I was left with one can. I opened up the remaining can and much to my surprise, the can was about 57 degrees. You can figure it out already that in one hour’s time the can in the regular cooler was warmer than the last can in the Flip-Box Cooler after four hours. Color me impressed.
After thoroughly testing the Flip-Box Cooler it is safe to say that it is “Tailgate Approved“.
We liked the fact that it is compact in size when not in use but is sturdy and durable when in use. The real clincher was the amount of money you will save by not having to buy ice. Also, the hassle of having to dispose of ice after the tailgate is over has been eliminated because after the last can is taken out, you simply fold down the sides and pack it away. No need for a hard sided plastic cooler to take up room in your car that is empty.
As demonstrated in the video, the Flip-Box Cooler also insulates to keep hot food hot. You can easily take casseroles, dips, wings or other hot foods and keep them hot while transporting them to the tailgating parking lot. Another idea that occurred to me was for those tailgaters in the cold winter months can use the Flip-Box Cooler to prevent their beverages from freezing. Places like Green Bay and Buffalo where the temperature can get so cold the tailgaters need to find a way to prevent their beers from freezing, the Flip-Box would insulate those cans and bottles and prevent the cold air from getting in and freezing them.
The Flip-Box Cooler sells for less than $30 and is available at Lowe’s or you can buy it online by clicking HERE.