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My ideal summer evening is a sunset happy hour in the park spent barefoot while dog watching, snack nibbling, and sipping a glass of chilled anything. But the glorified padded tote I’ve been wielding as a wine cooler since the early days of the pandemic cramps my style. It’s basic—and, no, I don’t mean “basic” in a cool, vintage-Igloo way. When searching for a much-needed replacement, I was on the hunt for something that would be a) easy to carry, b) provide proper storage for all my picnic bits and bobs, and c) actually keep my beverages cold. Enter Corkcicle’s Beverage Bucket Bag.

Corkcicle, of normie wine chiller fame, recently unveiled several new coolers—hard and soft, backpacks and sling bags—that don’t make you look like a camping gearhead or fake you out with excessive features. While its Chillpod model seemed like the just-right beach-cooler-as-a-side-table moment, I ultimately fell for the more malleable Beverage Bucket Bag, thanks to its chic colors and materials, plus its portable size and shoulder strap. Here’s my take on it after a spur-of-the-moment park picnic one 75-degree-and-sunny day. 

Corkcicle Beverage Bucket Bag

Crafted from 100 percent recycled materials—a vegan leather base and a durable yet soft neoprene outer—the Beverage Bucket Bag comes in periwinkle (my choice), orchid, black, and navy-black camo (jury’s still out on that one). It features a clover-shaped design supported by four feet that allow the bag to remain elevated from the ground, meaning no dirty bottom. Its four sizable pockets, said to hold up to 12 cans and one wine bottle, were roomy enough for my park blanket, four glasses, a corkscrew, a New Yorker, and two bottles of wine, while its insulated food-safe center housed a five-pound bag of ice, with room for so much more. While I felt that its removable strap could use a bit more grip, extra padding, and adjustability, it never weighed too heavily on my shoulder.

After parking in a sun-dappled spot, I dropped the ice in the cooler and turned on a timer (scientific, I know). Three hours in, we still had solid ice with barely any water to drain. I’m sure we could have stayed for three more, into sunset territory, with perfectly chilled wine.

Playful Picnic Essentials