Summer is here, and now is the time for picnics, cookouts, and festivals where you’re likely to want to keep your food or beverages cool. Most any cooler will be able to keep your food cold, but only some will keep you posted about the temperature inside the cooler. In this GCoolers Smart Cooler review we’ll talk about a smart way to keep an eye on the contents of your cooler.
- SMART: Transporting of temperature sensitive perishable foods. When you want to make sure the food you’re transporting is safe, do it wirelessly by checking your phone (powered by CR2016 Battery)
- PREMIUM: Construction of the gCooler featuring reinforced Ballistic Nylon, 1680D Polyster, insulated cooler bag, and TPU liner. Maximizes comfort with dual adjustable shoulder strap with reflective strip for safety and visibility
- HEFTY: size allows up to 24 cans and ice. Heavy duty zippers with rubber handles keep everything secure, and the bottom plastic shock absorbers to prevent unnecessary wear and tear
- 18 HOUR ICE RETENTION: Keep ice unmelted in the bag for up to 18 hours with the high density insulation. The 0.5 inch thick closed cell foam allows creates a barrier from heat getting in
- SAFE: Children’s Products Common Safety Standard A A.4 at Industry & Environment Research Center
What’s in the Box
- GCoolers Smart Cooler
- Bluetooth sensor
- Sensor user guide
The GCoolers Smart Cooler is really made up of two parts: The cooler itself, and the Bluetooth thermometer sensor that keeps track of the temperature. Let’s start with the cooler.
The cooler comes in a nice neon orange color with black edging and black and white handles/accents. The exterior is made out of ballistic Nylon, and the handles and removable strap have a slightly softer feel, but still feel quite sturdy and durable. The rugged zipper runs across the middle of the top of the cooler, and it is definitely very solid. The zipper takes just a little bit of effort to open or close due to the large, thick teeth. Wrapping around the rest of the cooler is a decorative black & white strip which ends in a plastic ring where the removable strap can attach. The bottom of the cooler features four diamond pattern plastic feet, which gives the cooler a stable platform to stand on. The front of the cooler includes a label with the GCoolers name mark, while the back has a zippered pocket — though with a more normal zipper — across the entire back with a small tag showing a thermometer icon. Both zippers have a nice large rubber pull tab with the GCoolers icon, and both are easy to grasp and pull.
The inside of the cooler features a thick TPU lining. The lining seems somewhat loose, with flaps and folds clearly visible, though the insulation is also nice and thick. On the back portion of the inside is a small flap with two snaps where the Bluetooth thermometer clips to the bag (more on that shortly). Overall the cooler is very nicely designed, and very big. Measuring in at approximately 14” x 11 ½” x 7 ½” GCoolers suggests that it will fit 24 cans as well as ice, and though I didn’t try that specifically I’m inclined to believe them. I was easily able to keep an entire week’s worth of lunch (sandwiches, chips, etc.) in the cooler all at once.
The Bluetooth thermometer is a very small chip, about the same size as a quarter — though in a rounded square shape — and maybe two quarters thick. It includes the GCoolers name mark and logo on one side and the battery cover door and temperature sensor on the other. The sensor slips into a thick plastic pouch, with two heavy-duty zip top zippers to keep any liquid away from the sensor. The pouch then snaps to the top inside of the cooler in order to keep track of the temperature inside.
Ease of Use
Getting started with the Bluetooth thermometer sensor is just as easy as you’d probably expect. Just download and install the GCoolers app for iOS or Android, and open the app with Bluetooth connected. The app should eventually find the sensor as long as you’re within Bluetooth range. A blank window will pop up, and the sensor address will eventually show up in that window, but the first time may take just a little bit longer than you might expect. The first connection ended up talking around 30-45 seconds, though subsequent connections were a little bit quicker.
The GCoolers app is available on both iOS and Android, and is very easy to navigate. When you first open the app, you’re greeted with the device selection window. Depending on how far away from the sensor you are, it may take a few seconds to register. Even sitting only a few feet away it can take a short time to find the sensor allowing you to connect. Once connected, you’ll be able to see the current temperature recorded by the sensor. In the app you’re able to set up alerts including over temperature and disconnection, see a graph of the recent temperature for the sensor, and check your connection status with the link icon.
The app doesn’t really need to do much more than it does, and it gives you all pertinent information quickly and easily without having to tap through a bunch of screens.
Since you’re connecting to the sensor via Bluetooth, there’s a definite limit to the range you’re going to be able to expect. If you’re right next to your cooler you’ll connect without issue. If you’re even across the same room you should be able to connect though it may take a bit longer. Too much farther and you can forget about it, and even with the cooler inside a refrigerator you’re probably not going to be able to establish a connection. At a picnic or other outdoor event, as long as you’re close to your cooler you shouldn’t have any problem keeping an eye on your temperature.
The temperature monitoring works quickly once connected, and you’re able to see changes in temperature in real time. As long as you keep the zipper closed, the GCoolers Smart Cooler should hold its temperature pretty well. They claim that ice will remain un-melted for 18 hours, though if you’re opening and closing the bag that timeframe will obviously be reduced. The thick lining and insulation does do a good job of holding its temperature though. Even with the top of the bag unzipped I only saw a drop of a few degrees over about a 5 minute span. With ice or some other cooling element in the bag you should be able to keep your contents cool for nearly any event.
The Bluetooth sensor runs on a standard CR2016 watch battery, so you should be able to get at least a few months before you’ll need to change the battery. Once it’s time to change, the hardest part will likely be getting the sensor’s zip top container unzipped, because the top has very little extra material to pry open. Otherwise, replacing the battery is a snap.
You can pick up the GCoolers Smart Cooler with Bluetooth sensor on Amazon for $69.99 USD, or the GCoolers cooler on its own without the sensor for $49.99. The cooler itself is very large with thick lining and insulation, so the price is pretty respectable. The addition of the Bluetooth sensor adds functionality that you can’t find in other standard coolers.
If you’ve got any picnics, festivals, etc. coming up and you need to keep something cold, the GCoolers Smart Cooler will help you do just that. If you want to be able to keep an eye on your cooler’s temperature without continuously opening and closing your cooler, GCoolers has got you covered there too.
*We were sent a review sample of the GCoolers Smart Cooler for the purposes of this review.
GCoolers Smart Cooler$49.99$69.99 USD and USD
- Good size
- Great construction
- Very thick insulation and lining
- Easily monitor the internal temperature via Bluetooth
- Sensor takes just a bit longer to connect
- Sensor container is rather difficult to open