Whether you are going camping for a weekend, traveling for a few hours, or fishing for the entire day, a cooler that can’t maintain its cool, simply does not work. That is why people often load their coolers with bags of ice. However, ice can get messy and even messier when it melts. This has led to many people seeking other options. To help you, we have reviewed the top rated ice packs for coolers and what they may be able to do for you.
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Top Rated Ice Packs
Why Ice Packs For Coolers Over Regular Ice?
Although some coolers are rated to hold ice for several days at a time; what many do not show is how much the cooler will sweat as the ice melts. Manufacturers also do not point out that you may have to put your hand down into the ice cold water to get your favorite beverage or how water may seep in and ruin your hot dogs among other items.
With ice packs, you will not have any of these issues. Some coolers may still sweat on the outside, but it should be minimal. The best part though, is that no matter how many ice packs you put inside, you will never again have to stick your hand into icy water nor will you have to worry that your lunch meats will become waterlogged.
If you have heard of or considered dry ice, you may also want to opt for ice packs instead. Dry ice works great for some things, but if you are trying to use dry ice in a cooler that you will spend a lot of time opening and closing, you will not be satisfied with the performance. Dry ice is a gas and each time you open the cooler, you are letting the coldest gases out. This is why many people choose to use it for shipping perishables or in a cooler that they will not open very often.
Do Cooler Ice Packs Work As Good as Regular Ice?
Ice is most effective when it melts and turns the water around the contents cold. This is believed to be what makes coolers so great. The cooler simply keeps that melted water cold on the sides and the remaining ice does its part as well. This is why some question whether cooler packs are as good as regular ice.
In most cases, ice packs can be better for your cooler. The key is understanding how an ice pack works. Admittedly, they may only cover a small area, but the chill will spread out if you put in a little extra effort, thus they will be able to maintain a chilled environment.
For instance, if you plan to carry a lot of soda or beer in a cooler with ice packs, you may want to chill your sodas before you load the cooler. You may also want to consider layering the beverages and ice packs so that all of them can touch. If you are carrying lunch meats, hotdogs, or other items in the cooler, many people will freeze them before putting them into the cooler. This will allow them to thaw gradually while they work as an edible ice pack.
Top Four Reusable Ice Packs
Instead of asking why choose ice packs over regular ice, you should find out about the variety of ice packs for coolers that are available. Not all of them are tiny little blocks of plastic covered gel.
This set of four ice packs is a popular choice for many users. They are great for lunch bags and boxes. They are small at only 4.75” square and .25 inches thick. The pack itself has a hard plastic shell that surrounds the nontoxic gel inside. It is best suited for keeping a small area cool. However, with these packs, if you use all four at one time, you can increase the space that it is able to cool. This means you could even use them effectively in a larger sized cooler.
This gel pack is larger than most at nearly 7 inches square. It is over 1.5 inches thick as well and designed for camping and cooler use specifically. Some people consider it to be the best when it comes to cooler ice packs because it takes a long time to melt and it does not sweat as much as some of the other options available. It is made with a hard plastic outer shell so that you do not have to worry about it busting easily.
The best cooler ice packs for many people are simply sheets of ice. They are chemical free and 100% water based. They provide flexible coverage for anything inside your cooler and they can be cut down to ensure a fit that still leaves you room in the cooler.
These sheets last hours longer than regular ice. They have a 3 ply material to keep the frozen material inside of each of the little squares. When frozen you can bend it and twist it to fit your cooler or you can cut it down to fit even better. It is nontoxic and will not drip. You can even use this ice pack to relieve muscle aches. All you have to do is soak it in water and then freeze it. You cannot get much easier than that.