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If you’re going on a camping trip, especially during the summer, you probably want to take some drinks and food with you, and you want to keep them nice and cold for a while. Portable fridges might be expensive; nonetheless, you might go for a cooler filled with ice.
However, there is a better option than that to cool down your drinks – ice packs. Here we will tell you all about the best ice packs for coolers and why you should get them.
Top 3 Best Ice Packs for Coolers
1. Cooler Shock Zero°F Cooler Freeze Packs
The thing I like the most about this pack, and the prime reason to buy it, is how cool it can get. It is significantly cooler than regular ice and can cool down anything in a flash. It gets as cold as 18 degrees, making it the best choice for food items that need to stay far below freezing to not get spoiled.
Another reason to get it is its size – it is one of the largest ice packs out there, and you get three of them when just one is enough to cool down almost anything you can think of.
It is also completely safe, and you can re-use it as many times as you like without having any issues.
You do need to be extra careful when handling them, though, since you might rip the bags if you’re too rough. If you do that, it’s no one’s fault but your own.
- It’s quite large, so you can cool a lot with just one pack if you want
- It is completely safe and reusable so it can last for quite a while
- It is cooler than ice and cools at 18 degrees Fahrenheit
- The bags might tear if you’re not careful which leads to leaking
- It costs quite a bit more than other ice packs, though the size might justify that
- You need a day or two to get them ready
2. Fit & Fresh Cool Coolers Slim
You should buy these ice packs if you have a smaller cooler and need something that will fit almost anywhere. They are quite compact, and you won’t have trouble using them in any container you might think of.
Another good thing about them is that they are completely reusable and you can freeze them and get them ready for use in a few hours at most. With some others, you might need days to get them ready. Here, that is not the case.
They are also completely safe, so you don’t have to worry about that aspect.
You might find that they don’t cool evenly though, and they are quite thin, so you might not want to use them for larger coolers. However, for smaller coolers, combined with regular ice, they are simply great.
- Compact packs that can fit almost anywhere you might need them
- They are highly reusable and completely free of toxins
- You can get them ready for use incredibly quickly
- The liquid inside of them can shift, so it doesn’t cool evenly
- These packs are quite thin so you might need to use multiple ones to keep everything cold
- It doesn’t take long for them to melt
3. Rubbermaid – Blue Ice Brand Weekender Pack
You should buy these ice packs if you want something that is reasonably affordable and will last for a long time. You can easily keep reusing these packs for years since the package is quite durable and it won’t start to spill stuff.
The packs also stay frozen for quite a while, so you can get quite a lot of cooling out of them if you use them properly. It will also be able to fit into most coolers without a problem since they are of medium size.
However, the package is thick, so you might have trouble fitting them into some tighter spaces. Still, that isn’t something you will encounter that often.
The other problem is that these packages can sweat a lot, so make sure not to use them with stuff that might get damaged if it gets wet, and it will all be fine.
- It takes quite a while to melt so you will get a lot of cooling out of it
- The packaging is sturdy and highly reusable
- It’s not too big or too small, and you will be able to fit it in most coolers
- It ‘sweats’ quite a bit when it’s melting so it might cause a soggy mess
- You will find it to be quite thick, so you might have trouble fitting it in some places
Why Use an Ice Pack?
The obvious answer here would be “to keep stuff cold, of course” but that’s not what most of you are really thinking of when asking that question.
The real dilemma here is – why use an ice pack instead of a bag of cubed or crushed ice? What is the benefit? Well, I’ll tell you.
For starters, the main benefit that ice packs grant over just a bag full of ice is the fact that they just last much longer since they don’t melt so fast. Why is this so?
Well, they last longer because of the solution used to make the ice, which melts slower and takes longer to reach room temperature. The packaging is also designed in such a way that ice packs cool the air more regularly, providing even cooling for everything inside.
The other significant benefit is that using an ice pack is far less messy than using a bag filled with ice. Your cooler will be far easier to clean out, and it won’t be a soggy mess after the ice melts.
This is especially helpful when you’re carrying something like a bunch of sandwiches or something akin to that in your cooler – getting such things wet would ruin them.
Another great benefit to ice packs is that they are often reusable. You can just put them in the freezer and use them again. After a few times, you should get a new one, but you can probably get five or six uses out of one ice pack, making them more than worth the money.
The Optimal Way to Use an Ice Pack
Depending on what kind of cooler you have and what you want to cool while out on a camping or fishing trip, you will want to use your ice packs in different ways to get the most out of them.
If you’re using them in a large cooler to cool off a bunch of drinks, for example, you should combine them with some crushed ice for maximum effect. This will easily double the ice retention span and will drastically decrease the temperature inside the cooler.
On the other hand, ice packs are best used by themselves in a smaller cooler and if you want to cool down food. In that case, they will be more effective than regular ice and won’t take up as much space while providing you with better cooling.
What to Consider When Picking an Ice Pack
Before buying an ice pack, you should consider a few different things to get the best deal.
The size of an ice pack is important, as the larger, it is, the longer it will take to melt and the more it can cool. However, smaller ice packs are more compact and can be used in many different ways, since you can fit them anywhere.
You should consider the size of your cooler or coolers and compare it to the size of the ice packs you want to get.
The material used for making the ice inside the ice pack is an important consideration since that affects how effective and safe the ice pack is.
Originally, most materials used in ice packs were petroleum-based, and some still are. While these materials are effective, they are also a potential health hazard and you ought to consider that before buying.
These days, ice packs using phase-change materials or PCMs are far more widespread. They are safer than and just as effective as petroleum-based materials, making them the best choice around right now.
The best part about them is that they take quite a long while to melt because the entire block needs to reach melting temperature before it starts to melt, unlike normal ice which melts at a regular rate.
This refers to how long you can use an ice pack for, how many times you can re-use it before you need to replace it.
You should try and get an ice pack that you can re-use many times and possibly get months or even years of use out of. It will benefit you on a lot of camping trips.
Of course, ice packs that are highly reusable might also skim on the quality a bit and won’t offer the same amount of cooling over their lifetime, so you should check some user reviews to see how they fare in the long run.
What we consider to be the best ice pack for coolers on the market right now are the Lg. Zero°F Cooler Freeze Packs. They are most certainly worth their price, and you won’t find better and cooler ice packs out there.
When compared to others they cool at a far lower temperature and for a longer time. They are also large, so you won’t have to use more than one most of the time. Overall, they are the best you can get, and you won’t regret buying them.