SkyMall Monday: Remote Control Beverage Cooler

Summer’s here and it’s time to kick back by the pool with some ice cold drinks. The problem with spending time outside, however, is that you end up far away from your refrigerator. How is one supposed to keep himself refreshed when all of the Zima is chilling in the kitchen (assuming, of course, that said kitchen is in Japan, where Zima is still produced)? You can’t be expected to get up from your chaise lounge, walk several feet, endure the arctic blast of air conditioning once you enter your home and then retrieve a beverage that is held captive behind some heavy refrigerator door. It’s 2011, after all. Here at SkyMall Monday headquarters, our dog butlers deliver all of our drinks to us, but we understand that such service is not an option for everyone. Thankfully, SkyMall has just what you need if your domesticated animals have yet to learn how to deliver cold liquid refreshment to you. Put your feet up, stay out of the kitchen and quench any thirst with the Remote Control Beverage Cooler.For decades, we’ve been told that robots would make our lives easier in the future. Well, the future is now. From Rosie in The Jetsons to the robot in Rocky IV to Vicki on Small Wonder, robots have promised us easier and more fulfilling lives. Now, the time has come for the rise of the machines. What’s the worst that could happen?

Think that getting up to grab a beer isn’t hard work? Believe that modern conveniences are making us lazy? Well, while you try to open a bottle with your teeth, we’ll be reading the product description:

Get up and walk all the way over to the cooler for a cold one? Not necessary. Just point your remote, and get your drink delivered, no cabana boy required. This fun remote-control cooler holds up to a dozen bottles or cans plus ice, plus collapses for easy storage; make it go forward, back, turn or spin just by adding batteries.

It’s perfect for when your cabana boy is on strike (stop asking for dental insurance, Raúl!) or for when you want to spin your beer in circles to make it explode upon opening.

Of course, the best reason to purchase the Remote Control Beverage Cooler is because you’re a raging misogynist.

Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.

Sexy titanium travel accessories from Snow Peak

The spork is one of those things you really shouldn’t leave home without. Yeah, it’s dorky and has funny name, but it’s your friend when you want a yogurt from the corner market and all you have to eat it with are those stir sticks in the hotel coffee condiment package.

And the refillable coffee or other beverage canister, well, are you really still taking your coffee to go in a throw away paper cup? It’s not like you can’t find those refillable things as swag at every other conference you attend, right?

Say you’re not too uptight to reuse your own coffee container, but you don’t want one that says “large software company” or “weird beverage with additives” on the side. Say you want something that’s mad stylish, sexy even. Say you want your spork to express the fact that you are traveling light, practical, and know your metallic elements. Snow Peak has the gear for you and it’s dead sexy stuff, too.

Here’s what hot about the spork: The colors, for starters, those yummy brushed metal colors. They’re not painted, the color is bonded to the metal through some kind of crazy magic, so while yeah, they’ll fade over time, they’ll still hold that shiny blue, that that glowing purple, that sparkly green.There’s a punchhole on the handle so you can put it on your key ring. And really, it’s pretty. Also, for now, there’s no mention of the mighty spork on the TSA’s prohibited items list — I checked.As for Snow Peak’s Kanpai bottle/canister, it’s super sharp too, and super light weight. It’s got three lids for it — one for hot, one for cold, and one with a sliding valve for drinking. You can store the cold lid in the freezer, making your canister the perfect tiny icebox for one can of soda (or, uh, adult beverage). The drinking lid has a tight enough valve on it that it’s not going to leak when it’s in the water bottle pocket on the outside of your daypack. It comes in silver white, or red, and it’s also a very sharp looking piece of gear.

Snow Peak makes a lot of other smokin’ hot gear — their Hozuki camping lantern won a Travel+Leisure design award. The gear in the Snow Peak lines isn’t cheap (the spork comes in at a modest $9.95, but the canister retails for $69.95.) but it’s well designed. It’s the kind of stuff an outdoorsy person like me wants someone to give them as a gift, or that you’d want to give to someone that’s got everything but might appreciate a really good one that’s meant to last forever. (See also: Cafe latte set. Want.) Super lightweight. Serious style. Yeah, I like pretty much all of this stuff. It’s the truth.

SkyMall Monday: Handy Cooler

This week’s edition of SkyMall Monday comes to you from Bali, Indonesia. I’m on the tropical island attending a wedding and, while doing so, am also sweating on a professional level. It’s not that Bali is all that hot (it’s been in the high 80s since we arrived) but, SkyMall Almighty, it’s humid. As cliches go, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity” is one of the more accurate turns of phrase. I’m constantly wiping sweat out of my eyes and seeking out water (or another ice cold Bintang). After a long day of exploring, I’m a damp, lethargic mess. When we finally arrive back at our house, I scurry into our air conditioned bedroom to get my core temperature back down to something that allows my internal organs to function properly. What I wouldn’t give to take that cold, climate-controlled air with me everywhere we go. Paper fans just move hot air around and asking people to gently blow on me gets lost in translation. Thankfully, SkyMall has come to the rescue. Now, when things get hot we can all stay cool thanks to the Handy Cooler.Strapping a commercial air conditioning unit onto your back is simply impractical. That’s why you need to think small when it comes to staying cool. Being able to carry around a personal cooling system is the key to comfort whether you’re in Bali, at a barbecue or eating kung pao chicken.

Think that a little heat shouldn’t slow anybody down? Believe that staying hydrated is all it takes to push through a heat wave? Well, while you pass out from heat stroke, we’ll be reading the product description:

Trying to stay cool is not always easy. Misting fans will get you too wet. Cheap personal fans only move around the air that is already hot. Now, your problems are solved with Handy Cooler, the first ever battery operated, handheld evaporative air cooler that uses a water-soaked cooling filter to provide a continuous flow of cool air. Stay refreshed at the gym, office, home, anywhere you go. Compatible with your favorite aroma oils to double as a diffuser.

It’s about time that evaporative air coolers – like microchips, cell phones and my chances of dating Shakira – got smaller. Surely no one at the office will mind you cooling yourself during the weekly budget meeting. And your fellow passengers on the bus will love it when you pop in some aroma oils.

If you’re still unsure of whether you should strap the Handy Cooler to your palm before heading out into Hades, take a look at this informative video:

I sure wish I had known about the Handy Cooler before I flew halfway around the world just to sweat like a whore in church. Learn from my mistake and pick up the Handy Cooler today.

Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.

Bring a collapsible cooler for easy dining out – Packing tip

An investment of a few dollars saves countless travel bucks!

A collapsible fabric cooler takes basically no room in your luggage, since it flattens when packed. Easy-to-carry coolers have shoulder straps, and some may even double as backpacks. Many coolers store wine upright; half of the top flips up to accommodate the taller bottle. Expensive snack items and beverages bite into travel funds, but one trip to the hotel ice machine and one stop at the local convenience store add up to extra cash. These coolers can turn an ordinary picnic lunch into a wonderful travel memory.

Bonus: you can use it as a dirty clothes hamper at the end of your trip!

Going to Yosemite? Don’t take the minivan!

One of the great draws of visiting a National Park like Yosemite in California is that you can get very close to nature and see animals in their own habitat. But there is a limit to just how close you want to get to certain animals, especially black bears, which can be dangerous to both humans and cars as they look for food.

There are several ways to reduce your risk of having an unpleasant encounter with a black bear, and as it turns out, not driving a mini van may be one of them.

A study done by the Journal Mammology over a 7 year period in Yosemite has shown that black bears in the region seem to prefer minivans as their vehicle of choice when looking for a snack. But, the study reveals, it’s not actually the car style and size the bears are attracted to (and no, they don’t care about the car’s crash safety ratings either), it’s more about fuel efficiency. And by “fuel efficiency”, they mean which cars provide the most food for the bears.

It seems that minivan drivers are more likely to be traveling with a family and toting around small children – children who inevitably leave open snack containers in the car or who leave a trail of chips and cookies behind them.

The researchers also hypothesized that minivans that often carry small children may have stronger food odors even when there is no food inside, because kids are likely to spill, and that minivans may be more likely to contain a cooler of food, because they are larger and can accommodate one more easily. The researchers also wondered if minivans were just easier for the bears to break into.

Out of 908 cars broken into in the 7 year period, 22% were minivans, 22.5% were SUVs, 17% were small cars and 13.7% were sedans.