Best Bag Ever: eBags Crew Cooler II

ebags crew coolerebags crew coolerebags crew coolerebags crew cooler

ebags crew cooler

The eBags Crew Cooler is a very popular bag with Flight Attendants, pilots, and others who spend much of their life on the road.  For a long time it was one of those secrets whispered about on the jump seat as we’d watch – with great envy – as a co-worker would pull out the crew cooler, perfectly packed with delicious food for their trip.

Word passed from one crew member to another and we all started ordering a bag for ourselves.  As airlines started eliminating food, and duty days got longer, more and more of us starting filling up the crew cooler with nutritional meal choices and snacks.  I’ve seen coolers packed so efficiently that I swear could feed a family for a week!

Then the crew cooler disappeared!  As the bags wore out  or were damaged, we couldn’t get them replaced.  Those who had thought ahead and purchased a couple could gift them to friends and quickly cement their BFF status.  And we continued to grouse and complain among ourselves about what happened to the crew cooler.

Now it’s back!

And it’s still the Best Bag Ever!  Oh sure, a few improvements have been made, and they are bright pretty colors for those people not bound by the necessarily of a uniform black, but our dear bag has returned and we can once again pack up all our food.

So what makes this bag the best?  Here are a few of the specs from the eBag site:

  • Designed specifically for the unique needs of Flight Attendants and Pilots
  • Top “dry” compartment has two zipper pulls for easy access and is perfect items that do not need to be kept cold
  • Zippered mesh pocket in the lid keeps napkins and other small items in place
  • Bottom “cold” compartment is insulated on all six sides and has a welded BOPET liner that is replaceable
  • Front tip-out pocket has two zipper pullers for easy access and side pleats to prevent contents from spilling out
  • An elasticized mesh pocket against the body is great for packets of mayo, mustard, etc. plus there is zippered mesh pocket against the front – a perfect place for silverware
  • Unzip the special pouch pockets on either end to reveal mesh drop-bottom water bottle carriers
  • There are three ways to carry the Crew Cooler:  with its padded web handles, with the removable shoulder strap, and with the pass-through pocket to stack on your roll aboard.

You can chill the cold compartment with an ice pack, plastic bags filled with the ice, or do as a lot of us do, and fill one of those first aid ice bags.  Ice can always be replenished on board the plane or at your hotel.

interior of crew cooler bag top section of crew cooler

The bag is also great for road trips, picnics, or packing a lunch wherever you might be going.

Sale priced at $29.99 through January 31st, 2011, and available in black, slate blue, grey and red.  Buy one for yourself, and pick one up for your favorite traveler, too!  This is the BEST BAG EVER!

Photo credit:  eBags

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Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.

10 Responses to “Best Bag Ever: eBags Crew Cooler II”

  1. January 25, 2011 at 5:22 am #

    I might have to get one of these! I’m not a flight attendant, but when we travel I’m always tucking my favorite healthy food away into my suitcase. I always worry that something will get busted or broken in there and make a mess all over my clothes. I double and triple bag everything, but this would be perfect!

    • January 25, 2011 at 6:40 am #


      You certainly don’t have to be a crew member to use this bag. Whether you’re traveling across the country or just to the office, it will come in handy. It was very practically designed. It’s great for traveling with kids, too, as you can pack everyone’s goodies all in one spot.

  2. January 28, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    Thanks for the info. I was surprised when it was discontinued. It was so popular. I had the travel pro one, and really like it also, but it’s not as heavy duty (if this new ebags one is just as thick as before) and the strap isn’t removable which is a pain when going down the aisle with it piggybacking on your roll aboard. Just a heads up though, it doesn’t look like the cooler was on sale, or if so has expired (1/28/2011).

    • January 28, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

      Give it a try again – I just clicked through and it is still at the introductory price of $29.99. I’m not sure how long the introductory price will last, though, so you may want to order quickly. I bought another the other day as the one I currently have is looking pretty beat up. Try this link:

  3. January 29, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    How weird…the links don’t seem to show that price for me. It’s not a big deal, but strange. Since you have the original bags crew cooler, can you tell a difference in the outer material/seams? When they discontinued it, I purchased one that had the identical style from another company and the seams ripped within a week or two without over stuffing. I thought I got a defective one, replaced it and it did the same thing. I was hoping their newer crew cooler kept everything original other than the added features since quality of ebags’ was so great. Thanks!

    • January 30, 2011 at 8:11 am #

      That is so bizarre! I just took a look again at it’s at the lower price! I haven’t received my new one yet, but as I understand it they’ve kept all the basic features. I know the liner now zips out (much easier for cleaning). I don’t think there are other changes.

  4. January 29, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

    Thanks to you, I just bought one for my dad for his Dad’s Day gift (he’s hard to buy for). But, like Tina, it didn’t give me the $29.99 sales price (I paid $33 for it). But I ordered two and got free shipping, so yay!

  5. October 8, 2011 at 5:23 am #

    I am wanting to buy one for my husband who is a pilot. I wish I could get his input, but it’s a bday present. So would you definitely recommend this product over the Travelpro one? If so, why?

    • October 8, 2011 at 7:09 am #

      @Amy Jo,

      I don’t have any experience with the Travelpro cooler, so I can’t speak directly to the differences. What I can tell you is this: With years of flying under my belt, and many miles of having to deal with healthy food, this is the bag that Flight Attendants keep coming back to.

      It’s well laid out, easy to clean with the removable lining, and the right size for our kings of trips. Not too small, not too large. I’ve tried other bags, and while a smaller one is fine for a turn or quick overnight when you’re only packing a snack, for multi-day trips, I still turn to the eCooler.


  1. 10 Travel Snacks that are Healthy, Easy to Pack, & Will Get Through Airport Security - January 29, 2011

    […] I usually assemble a selection of these favorites and keep them handy in my carry on.  If I’m headed on a road trip, or must back for longer periods of time, I use the Crew Cooler. […]

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