JRC Defender cooler bag review, when carp fishing gear meets camping, is this the best budget cooler bag for day trips?
Buying a cooler bag can just mean hopping onto the internet and snapping up the first thing you see, a budget cooler for camping, a cheap unheard of brand which usually comes in colours more suitable for a day at the beach and not in the woods for a spot of bushcrafting or camping.
We think we’ve found one of the best budget cooler bags out there for the money and it’s from a company called JRC [a UK company based in Alnwick, Northumberland]. JRC offer a whole stack of carp fishing products and this is where fishing gear, or at least some of it crosses over into camping and overlanding territory.
There are a lot of products out there that have inflated prices just because they have ‘overlanding’ attached to them, it’s big business, marketing is clever but when it comes down to the basics there is also good gear out there perfectly fit for the job with far more realistic price tags.
Carp fishing gear has always been on our radar, the gear is good and when you think about it there is not much difference between a lot of it and comparible camping gear, the problem with the latter is that it is too commercialized.
Check out carp fishing seating and beds as well as bivvies which are a superb alternative to a ‘camping’ tent and something still on our list, you also have water carriers, coolers, storage solutions and a whole lot more. What we like is that most of the carp fish gear is subdued in colour with a lot of it also available in camo too.
Defender Large Cooler Bag
The JRC Defender cooler bag is well sized for carrying a day trips worth of food and drinks for two people if not three. The main compartment is well insulated and the bag keeps its stucture surprisingly well, it also does its job well too which considering price of around €35.00 euros is impressive. This cooler is a smart enough bag too, being green it’s subtle, it blends into your camp set up and doesn’t scream tourist…
- Length: 45cm
- Width: 24cm
- Height: 22cm
- Material: 500D green Polyester [Water resistant]
- Pockets: 1 x internal, 1 x external
- Carrying: Grab handles + detachable shoulder strap
- Weight: 600g
We took this cooler on a firewood collection trip, in Andalucia, in early September where by lunchtime the temeprature had climbed from 15 to 29 degrees, the Shogun was in the shade with the windows open and the cooler on the back seat. Three hours into the morning and diving in for breakfast everything was still ice cold as you would expect.
Five hours later and the contents were still ice cold and once home later that afternoon the bag was still performing well, we had two 1.0ltr water bottles in there which remained cold cold even after we’d arrived back home, the bag was in use most of the morning with it being opened regularly for water or milk. Overall, for the price it’s a good piece of kit that does the job well.
For ice we used 1 x 1.5ltr frozen bottle of water.
Who is it for?
The JRC Defender cooler bag range is targeted at anglers but is also suitable for campers and overlanders who don’t want to take the big cooler. We have the Dometic Cool Ice 42 which is overkill for a short trip or a half day so something smaller is just the ticket for a morning out or even a one nighter wild camp/solo trip.
The JRC Defender is a good choice for the budget concious, it offers performance in a good size without being too loud which is good if you like to keep under the rader when you’re out camping/bushcrafting/overlanding etc.
Note: I did contact JRC letting them know my thoughts on the product and recieved no reply other than the automated ‘we’ll get back to you’ which they never did. Disappointing.