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Packing It In

Packing It In

Innovations to keep your beers (or wine) safe when traveling.

If you’re traveling with beer (doesn’t everyone carry some craft beer home?), here are some alternatives to the bubble wrap/smelly sock and plastic bag systems currently in vogue:

The Jetbag™ (www.thejetbag.com)
$15.00 for three. A twist on a padded envelope. This is a simple, drop-in-thebottle bag. It has a Ziploc closure at the top and a diaper type insert that protects the contents and absorbs the liquid in the event the bottle breaks. Packing a bottle takes about 3 seconds. One handy tip for you – use some masking tape around the wire cage on the corked and caged bottles. It keeps the cage from snagging on the padding when taking the bottle out. The pack is reusable, although the plastic feels a little thin.

WineSkin® (www.wineskin.net)
Under $10.00 for three. This is a thick, plastic bottle-shaped sleeve with a bubble pack insert that cushions the contents. It’s easy to use and reasonably priced. The bubble insert tends to slide out when the bottle is removed. It’s a minor annoyance but since the Wineskin is designed to be used one time, its really not much of a problem. The bag is sealed with a bottom flap and tape strip on the bottom of the bag. I think this could easily be made into a reusable bag by replacing the tape strip with some Velcro.

VinniBag (www.vinnibag.com)
$28.00 each. The VinniBag is an inflatable plastic bag that encases the contents in an air cushion and provides protection against leaks if the contents are damaged. It took me less than 10 seconds to blow it up, roll it up and buckle it up. The design is pretty clever, the bag has four chambers that center the contents and customize the fit for odd shaped items. The air cushion increases the overall diameter, making it somewhat bulky when it is fully inflated. If you’re environmentally aware, see the company website for information on recycling any damaged or worn bags. The company will turn them into garden hoses.

WineHug™ (www.winehug.com)
$19.95 for the Sport Version. In my humble opinion, this should be called the BeerHug. The WineHug is made of a Cordura® rip-stop nylon skin with a high-density foam core. As the name implies, the bottle is placed in the center of the self-inflating pack. I found it difficult to get the bag completely uninflated. It took my feet and both hands to make it deflate. The edges secure with a hook and loop strip running down the center and the ends fasten to create an adjustable carrying handle.

If you want to purchase any of these bags, please visit the the respective websites or online retailers like Amazon.com. Wishing you safe travels during the upcoming holidays!

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