What are the best ice packs for coolers?
…Well, I thought regular ice cubes would be fine, right? … and you’re correct to think so. However, with many outdoor enthusiasts, this is a heated topic.
Many of you must be confused about the idea of ice packs. Cut to the chase; ice packs have two advantages over crushed or normal ice cubes.
- They stay frozen for a longer period
- You don’t need to deal with watery mess upon melting
Looking for the best ice packs is not easy when you don’t have any prior knowledge. Don’t worry, that’s why we devised this guide on the best ice packs for coolers.
Best Ice Packs For Coolers Comparison
|Product Model||Ice Retention ||Price|
|Fit & Fresh Cool Coolers Slim Lunch Ice Packs||6 - 8 hours|
|Cooler Shock Cooler Freeze Packs||48 hours|
|Rubbermaid Blue Ice Block||7 - 8 hours|
|FlexiFreeze Ice Sheet||12 hours|
|Bentgo Ice Lunch Chillers||6 - 8 hours|
|Fit & Fresh Lunch Ice Packs||8 - 10 hours|
All ice packs for coolers are not same. The best ice packs for coolers differ in sizes, materials and ice retention capabilities. This section showcases the best ice packs available on the market that will keep your food and beverages chilled for a longer period.
Ice Packs Vs. Regular Ice Cubes
Regular ice cubes have its perks. For example, when it comes to cooling down beverages, there is no substitute of regular ice cubes. But when we need to store food like sandwiches, we cannot rely on crushed ice. If you are carrying a jumbo size cooler, use the combination of both types of ice for keeping food and cold drinks chilled.
One thing more, the cooler ice packs can be frozen again and again, unlike crushed ice.
Best Ice Packs for Coolers Review
If you are looking for best-valued ice packs, Fit & Fresh Cool Coolers Slim Lunch Ice Pack is what you need.
These cooler ice packs serve as most efficient and cost effective cooling solution. To be honest, the cost of these ice packs is nothing as compared to the value.
Because of small size (4.75” squares about ¼” thick), it is an ideal choice for small coolers and lunch box. Honestly, performance wise, these packs are mind blowing. But when you need ice bundles in abundance for gigantic coolers, this one is not for you. Precisely, it can serve a cooler with a maximum capacity of 25 quarts.
Durability is a strong point about Fit & Fresh Packs, which is why it has made it on the list of the best ice packs for coolers. Most people use it for on a daily basis. You can refreeze them daily for a small cooler or lunch boxes. It may sound an exaggeration, but this product is made to last forever.
Small size is beneficial when you need ice packs for your kid’s lunch box. Being a 100% non-toxic and BPA-free ice bundles, Fit & Fresh is an ultimate choice of parents. Furthermore, it is available in four different colors; making them adorable for kids.
If you desire the best reusable ice packs for coolers, the Cooler Shock freeze Packs are made for you.
Most people avoid these ice packs because they need an initial setup. This set comes in a pack of three having a dry mix in nylon sheet. You need to add water in the pack in specific quantity as prescribed on the back. Once done, just iron the edges for a permanent seal. That’s it; now you can refreeze the packs again and again.
The Ice retention and lower temperature are the highlighted features about Cooler Shock packs. It can keep the food fresh and chilled up to 48 hours. These ice packs can attain the lowest temperature of -8 Celsius degree.
Whether you need ice packs for jumbo coolers or smaller chests, this product is here to help. The material is non-hazardous, so one can use it for kid’s lunch box. Because of rounded corners, they are safer to use.
Want something compact and durable? Check out Rubbermaid Blue Ice Block.
These cooler ice packs are known for performance. This gel pack is made for hefty use that’s why it covers 7” square with 1.5” thickness. To be honest, this set is specifically designed to keep ice longer in coolers.
Ice retention is the best thing about Rubbermaid gel ice packs.
It takes longer to melt and does not melt like other ice packs. Furthermore, the gel is packed inside a hard plastic shell. So, there is no chance of occasional busting which would be obvious with soft ice packs.
This gel pack is non-toxic. So, you can use it for kid’s lunch box without any doubt.
We can bet, you have not seen anything like FlexiFreeze. So what’s the big deal about them? First of all, these ice packs are water based. Easy to freeze and use. Although these sheets are water based, they provide great ice retention and do not sweat upon melting.
Unlike other ice packs, this product comes in sheets of cubes. They are already flexible to use. You can place them in any direction or shape. Not to forget, you can cut them. Yes, you can cut the sheet in any size as per your needs. No doubt, why people always fall for FlexiFreeze.
Despite being a water based product, this can stay cool for 12 hours depending upon the cooler type. Still, 12 hours is not bad.
Durability is an issue with FlexiFreeze. You got to be careful otherwise you will end up popping the ice cubes.
Bentgo Ice Lunch Chillers are known to be a sophisticated ice pack to keep food and beverages cold.
As the name implies, these ice bundles are designed for small coolers, lunch bags, and boxes. To be honest, don’t expect ice retention for a longer period. But if you need something with an affordable price tag to keep food chilled, this product is an ideal choice.
Durability is the key factor in choosing Bentgo. When we are using ice packs for lunch boxes, we need them every single day but for the smaller period. Any ice pack with ice retention up to 6 hours is good to go for lunch bags. But it must be strong enough to bear the wear and tear every single day. That’s why people always choose Bentgo.
Being a BPA free and non-toxic ice packs, parents choose this one for kid’s lunch boxes.
In short, reusability and durability are the main reasons for buying Bentgo Ice Bundles.
Its performance is as good as it looks. These ice chillers can keep the food fresh for 8 – 10 hours depending upon the type of lunch box and external temperature.
To keep up with daily routine, these packs have been built with strong material. They won’t leak or bust that easily.
Being a non-toxic and BPA-free ice packs, they are safe to use for kids especially.
What Is Dry Ice?
Simple answer, Dry ice refers to frozen carbon dioxide. It does not act like water based ice. Water ice would melt upon getting warmer, instead of dry ice does not melt as it changes from solid to gas directly. That’s why, when dry ice melts it gives off ‘smoke’.
At room temperature, water ice transforms into a liquid. The case is not same with dry ice. Carbon dioxide can be converted into liquid but at very high temperature.
Dry ice is mostly used when people want to avoid the watery mess of water-based ice cubes.
Suitable Dry Ice Coolers?
As the name suggests, certified dry ice coolers are built to keep the food chilled for a longer period using the dry ice. Dry ice has an advantage of not melting over a regular water based ice. For elite class parties or camping, people don’t want to end up with a watery mess. So, they prefer filling the coolers with dry ice. Although, a normal cooler would do great with dry ice. But if you choose dry ice coolers, the ice retention can be escalated by doing so.
In the market, different types of coolers are available. But you must choose coolers manufactured with rotomolded technology. As this technology molds the plastic instead of joining different parts. This way, a cooler gets stronger and durable.
To make the decision easier for you, here’s the closer look at best dry ice coolers.
|Product Model||Ice Retention||Price|
|ORCA Cooler||Up to 10 days|
|Engel High-Performance Cooler||Up to 10 days|
|Grizzly Cooler||4 - 5 days|
How To Use Dry Ice?
Most people ask where to put the dry ice, top or below the food. To be honest, it does not matter. But you must wrap the dry ice in newspaper or towel before placing inside the cooler. This will increase the ice retention. And don’t deal with dry ice without wearing gloves.
Dry ice is usually available in 10” square block that weighs around 10 lbs. Rule of thumb is that 10” square block is sufficient for 15” square cooler in length.
How Long Does Dry Ice Last In A Cooler?
This statement may disappoint you. But dry ice’s life span is much shorter than a water based ice. Even if you have used the best ice cooler on the market, dry ice cannot stay longer than 48 hours.
Best Ice Packs for Coolers – Final Verdict
Hopefully, our guide on the best ice packs for coolers will assist you in finding the best-valued ice chillers for your cooler. Getting the ice packs is not a rocket science. You just need to take care of few things. For example, if you need to keep food chilled for a longer period, choose Cooler Shock.
But is you are looking for ice packs for daily use like for lunch boxes, Bentgo is good to go. And how we can forget Fit & Fresh multicolored ice chillers, specially designed for kid’s lunchboxes!