As the college and pro football seasons hit the home stretch, it’s prime tailgating time. Getting your drinks safely to the stadium is a key component of any outdoor party, so check out these handy beverage transport tools, the Mountainsmith Cooler Cube, Sachi Vino Wine Tote and GSI Outdoors Wine set.
I have a couple of portable soft-sided coolers, but I’ve never seen one as utilitarian as the Mountainsmith Cooler Cube. I especially like how it packs flat for storage, so that you can keep it in your trunk for spur of the moment use or to carry cold foods home from the grocery.
Even with its compact size, the Cooler Cube expands to hold at least a case of your favorite beverage and ice or cooler packs to keep it cold. (You’ll note that I have used ginger ale for these photos, but that is certainly not the only type of ale I’ve stored in here…) A comfortable strap helps to distribute the weight of your load while transporting your precious cargo.
It’s ironic that sometimes a tailgate is actually the least stable place to leave your can, since they are not necessarily designed to act as a flat table. More than once, I’ve been the culprit who spills his beer in the back of a buddy’s car or truck at a ballgame, much to the chagrin of whoever next drove the kids to school in the vehicle. Sorry your Subaru now smells like a tavern.
The Mountainsmith Cooler Cube solves this problem with a handy flip-down shelf that is concealed with a zippered pocket along the side of the cooler. If you don’t need this shelf, this pocket is the perfect place to store utensils, trash bags or snacks that don’t have to stay cold. There is also an external mesh pocket on the side to hold larger bottles.
There’s even a solution for the age-old issue of “Who brought the bottle opener?” that has led to grown men trying to harken back to their fraternity days while they attempt to remove the bottle cap using lighters or the sharp edge of a table or car door handle. That rarely ends well. Mountainsmith has thoughtfully included a bottle opener attached directly to the zipper where it should always be in close proximity to the beverages.
At a retail price of $34.95, the Mountainsmith Cooler Cube is worth a try. Pick one up at sporting goods stores or directly from the company’s website.
But man cannot live by beer alone, so there are also solutions for the wine drinkers out there. The Sachi Vino Wine Tote is a stylish solution to the issue of safely transporting a couple of bottles from place to place. Instead of those thin neoprene sleeves that just scream “This guy is carrying wine!” to anyone who sees you out and about, the Sachi Vino looks like an attractive messenger bag instead.
Inside is an insulated compartment with a padded bottle separator that holds two bottles securely while keeping them the proper drinking temperature. The panel velcros into place to allow for removal in case you just want to use the bag as a small soft-sided cooler.
Even full, the Sachi Vino is a discreet way to carry bottles to a friend’s house for a party or to a ballgame. It is available in two or three bottle configurations for less than thirty dollars. Pick one up at Sachi’s website.
For a picnic or an outdoor concert in the park, sometimes you just want to take along a single bottle, plus you’ll need some stemware when you get there. Here’s where the GSI Outdoors Terroir Wine Glass Gift Set comes in handy. In addition to a flask to hold a full bottle, the carrier also holds two included plastic wine glasses.
The glasses nest inside of themselves, with screwoff bases that attach securely to drinking vessel. Once attached, these glasses are plenty sturdy to hold up to outdoor usage, but also nice enough to set on any table. They are lightweight without feeling flimsy, which is always appreciated.
The collapsible wine flask holds a standard 750 ml bottle of wine, and is conveniently marked on the back side with the proper serving temperatures for different types of wines. While that’s sort of hard to manage when you’re away from your wine fridge, it is useful information to have around. The flask is also designed with a rewritable date bar on reverse to record varietal, vintage, vintner and uncorking date.
The carafe is topped with a unique, two-stage cap and wide mouth opening to make it easy to fill it up from the original bottle while the second, smaller opening makes dispensing the individual pours simple and splash free. A side benefit that the manufacturer is too proper to mention is that the entire carrier is made from plastic and neoprene, so the odds of setting off a metal detector are negligible. Y’know, if you’re into taking wine some places where maybe you oughtn’t…
The Terroir Wine Glass Gift Set is available for $34.95 at GSI Outdoors’ website. Check it or any of these products out and you’ll be ready to take your party on the road anytime, anywhere.