When I first came across Salt Lake City-based Cold Shoulder Bags, I emailed the founder Andrew Bevins: "Love your bags because I love cold beer and going places.” It worked. Just a few short days later we had a bag in hand to review and not long after we added the brand to our store.
I wasn’t teasing Andrew either. The only thing better than cold beer is being able to take cold beer with you.
My first impression of the Cold Shoulder beer cooler backpack was that it had a lot of thoughtful design touches. The cooler is removable. The roll top closure is quick and easy to use. The buckles are simple and effective. And, I let out an audible sound of delight when I found a fleece lined pocket big enough to hold my laptop, coozies and a bottle opener. I was ready to roll.
The Cold Shoulder bag got its first real test on a recent family vacation to Kauai. It all started when my wife was concerned that we wouldn’t have a cooler for the beach unless we bought one when we got there. We were aiming to keep our family of four to just one checked bag. I knew right away I was going to have to “steal” the Cold Shoulder bag from our office.
When my wife saw the bag she said ‘oh, that can be my carry on!’ That alone is a serious testament to the bag's style and functionality. The cooler portion of the bag folds flat and didn’t take up much room in our checked bag and the backpack worked great as a carry on, beach bag, and defacto purse for my wife while we were traveling. We had it packed full of games, toys, etc. for the kids on the plane.
The moral of the story? This beer cooler backpack also works great for carrying other things. While in Kauai we packed full lunches everyday for the beach, including turkey sandwiches, apples, cheese, oh and beer. The rest of the bag held towels, sun block, and other beach goodies.
The bottom line: I recently asked Andrew what inspired him to create Cold Shoulder Bags. He said he was looking for more than just a standard cooler bag, something that was more functional, versatile, and stylish. Job well done.
Cold Shoulder Bags Pros:
- Versatility. Use it as Backpack with a cooler inside, just as a backpack, or take the cooler bag out and use that if you don’t need the backpack.
- High-quality straps and buckles.
- Pockets. My cell phone fits perfectly in the shoulder strap pocket and my laptop and tablet fit in the large fleece lined pocket,Which means I could bring beer to work. (Hmmmm ... Amy are you reading this?)
- If I was headed off to college this could be the do-it-all bag: book bag, weekend gear bag and frat party bag. But since I'm not, I'll use it for music festivals and my kids' sporting events instead. (Gatorade people).
- The color choices are a bit drab - black, tan, grey or blue.
- I couldn’t decide if this was a pro or a con but the bag looks much better in person than it does in photos and videos.