Ice packs are a lifesaver! They’re super easy to use, are convenient and affordable, and they keep your food and beverages fresh and chilled for as long as you want!
And let’s be honest, you’re probably wondering why you need so much information to buy an ice pack. After all, it’s not rocket science, right? Well, yes. But there’s a little more to it than what you think.
And if you’re gonna buy something, why not buy it right! Our list of the 7 best cooler ice packs in 2022 will help you make a decision.
Check out the top 7 Ice Packs for Coolers!
The stylish and sleek TOURIT Ice Packs are great for short trips. They’re compact and incredibly slim, meaning they will fit right into the smallest of gaps and keep your food chilled for hours!
They have a hard shell, BPA-free plastic casing so you don’t have to worry about the accidental puncture. They are also available in packs containing 4, 8, or 12!
TOURIT is our top pick because it is so compact and can be used everyday! At such an affordable price, you can’t complain!
- BPA-free hard casing
- Compact and affordable
- 2-year warranty!
- Some people may not find a small size suitable.
Our top pick for soft-casing, reusable ice packs is next on the list! Cooler Shock ice packets are extremely convenient and easy to use. They can be used almost anywhere. They’re also 100% non-toxic so you don’t have to worry about any hazards!
The only problem you could possibly encounter with this product is that it’s only available in one standard size. However, this product is so affordable that you can buy as many as your heart desires!
- Non-toxic, non-hazardous
- It is flexible and can be accommodated in any space
- Soft-shell casings can puncture
- Only one size is available
Another great option for everyday use. The Fit & Fresh ice packs are great for your kid’s lunch boxes or your work lunches. What I particularly love about them is that they’re so compact that you can always store a couple of them in your freezer, and you won’t have to remember to freeze them 8 hours prior!
Fit & Fresh is a great choice if you need a lightweight option. They’re food-safe and are specifically designed, keeping in mind your daily requirements. Campers can also choose from an XL version.
- Compact and slim
- Super lightweight
- Small in size
- Do not wait as long
Nordic Ice long-lasting gel packets are made from biodegradable material. They are completely safe for the environment and you. These packs come in three and are great for camping trips or school lunches!
They’re also enclosed with a multi-layered exterior that reduces the rate of condensation of the gel to a minimum. These ice packs are durable and will last for a long time. These ice packs, despite being soft-shelled are very hard to puncture. Customers also swear to their loyalty to the brand.
- Temperature-sensitive outer layers
- Exterior with multiple layers that provide long-lasting effects
- Accessible and affordable
- Convenient and compact
- Soft-shells can leak occasionally
- Try to stick together
The best thing about this product is its versatility and variety. Engel Coolers come with many sizes and freezing points.
Consider the fact that the brand itself is a premium manufacturer of coolers, you’d expect no less from its products. And I’m here to tell you that it delivers just that! Engel Ice packs are extremely durable and impact-resistant. Their hard outer shell absorbs shocks while transporting food and beverages from one location to the next.
It is completely safe and non-toxic. You won’t have to worry about the food’s safety anymore!
- Available in many sizes
- Long lasting and no-sweat
- Some users feel it’s too heavy for its small size.
The name says it all. The BentGo ice pack is specifically designed to chill your lunch boxes or work tiffins. They’re ultra slim and easy to handle, and come with a good grip so they’re easy to carry once frozen.
BentGo comes in four vibrant color options, so your lunch doesn’t seem boring. It comes in a pack of four so there’s plenty for everyone, and it can be used for a range of purposes like lunch boxes, coolers, etc.
- Compact and ultra slim
- Food safety 100%
- Easy to clean and leak-proof
- Not suitable for extended freezing periods
We’re ending the list with a bang! This multi-purpose pack of ice packs was created with camping trips and weekend getaways in mind. They’re extremely durable and shock-proof, meaning that they practically require zero maintenance. They also have a No Sweat technology that prevents moisture leftovers and condensations even after they thaw.
While the Arctic Ice long-lasting packs do fall a bit on the pricey side of things, believe me when I say that they’re worth the investment! And more so, in the long run, you’ll end up saving more than you spent. These packs are available in a variety ranges with variable freezing point for your maximum convenience.
- Durable and long-lasting
- 100% safe and completely non-toxic
- No-sweat technology keeps mess at bay
- Some people find it too big for coolers
Best Ice Pack Features (Buying Guide).
Now that you have a list of the best ice packs for coolers, the next question is easy. How do I choose the right ice pack for me?
Well, we’re here to help you with that too. Let’s have a look at our buying guide and find the one for you!
- Design (Outer casing).
The majority of ice packs on the market are either soft-shelled, or hard-shelled. The primary difference is the price and the outer shell material.
Softshell icepacks are made of a gel substance and placed under a thin plastic bag. This could refer to a variety of things. On the plus side, they’re easier to accommodate and more flexible. This gives you more space for food and beverages. Softshell ice packs can puncture easily and could cause food to be damaged.
Hardshell ice packets, on the contrary, are much safer and more trustworthy. They may cost more, but they’re long-lasting, puncture-proof, and do not make a mess.
- Size and shape
When deciding which ice pack to buy, it is important to consider the size and shape. Your ice pack will last longer if it is larger. But before you search for an icepack you should consider the size and shape dimensions of your cooler.
When buying an icepack, another important thing to consider is its weight. Trust me, you don’t want to end up buying the largest product and realize that you have no space left for anything else. NOt to mention the added weight you’d have to carry!
- Freezing Temperatures
Ice packs come in two freezing temperatures – 32 degrees Fahrenheit and below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
The latter is more effective than the former. Therefore, the lower your freezer point, the longer your packs will freeze. These ice packs can be used to freeze frozen foods or beverages, or to keep them super chilled for long periods.
Unless you don’t want your food to freeze, choose ice packs with a moderate freezing point.
You might also like these: How to Keep Food Cold When Camping
- Dedicated features
If you’re looking to freeze specific foods like seafood, meat, or even beverages, you can choose to buy dedicated ice packs that are designed for specific purposes. Some ice packs even come with a ‘No-sweat’ feature that ensures that everything stays dry even after the ice packs begin to thaw.
Now that you know how to choose the best ice packs for coolers, let’s look at how they compare against regular ice!
Ice Packs vs Regular Ice – What’s The Difference?
The main difference between the two is the fact that ice pack do not make mess when they are thawed to room temperature.
Ice packs are made from water, silica gel, propylene glycol. This allows them to increase the freezing point and keep it frozen for long periods. Reusable ice packs are also available! Although they do cost more than regular ice, they’re a cheaper option in the long run!
Ice, on the other hand, is very messy to handle and won’t last very long. Plus we don’t want our lunch to be soggy and covered in water once our ice melts now do we?
What are the Benefits of Ice Packs Compared to Regular Ice?
There are too many to name, but let’s look at a few!
- They’re more convenient to use
- They’re travel-friendly!
- They can be reused every time.
- Once thawed, they don’t make a mess.
- They’re cheaper in the long run and save you effort!
- Keeps food colder than regular ice
Can Dry Ice be used instead?
Well, you can. But that wouldn’t really be a sensible choice.
Dry ice is carbon dioxide frozen. It turns to gas when left under room temperature so there’s no mess left behind. It can even stay cold for longer periods. But here’s why people still prefer ice packs over dry ice.
Dry ice can be very expensive. It can come cheaper if bought in larger quantities but you don’t always need that much of it.
It is simply too cold! Dry ice can reach temperatures as low as -190° Fahrenheit. This means that your food will be frozen at all times, and unless you want to eat frozen foods at your picnic this won’t suit you.
Finally, frozen ice must be handled with care. If not handled properly, it can cause serious freezer burns. Ice packs are a better choice!
How can I make my ice pack last longer?
You bought the best ice packs for your cooler on the market. Is there a way you can make it last longer? Yes! Let’s look at each of these tricks!
- Buy a high quality cooler
This is a fact that everyone knows. A cooler of high quality will be able shield the heat and warm air much longer than other coolers. Your cooler will be more efficient at insulating your interiors if its walls are thicker.
- Do not keep your cooler under direct sunlight
I know what you’re thinking, duh. This one is often forgotten in the midst of all the moving and camping. The first thing you gotta do once you’ve reached your destination is looking for a spot for your cooler.
You want a spot that’s away in the shadows, possibly surrounded by greens to shield off the heat.
- Pre-chill your cooler
It’s amazing how much coolers can make a difference. It’s unbelievable!
Fill your cooler with ice or ice, and leave them to sit overnight the night before. Refill your cooler with ice packs the next day and it will stay cold for up to two more days!
- Avoid opening the cooler lid too many times
My mom used to scold me as a child for opening the fridge too many times. I have never understood the reason, except that I now do. The same logic applies to coolers.
When you open the lid of a cooler too many times, you’re allowing the cold air to escape and the warm air to enter the cooler. This causes the ice to melt faster. So it’s better to take out everything you need at once instead of going back to it too many times.
- Use chilled food & drinks
A chilled cooler can help ice packs stay cool for longer. However, using chilled food and beverages will slow down the thawing of ice packs. Let your food and drinks cool overnight before letting them thaw in the cooler.
- Pack your cooler tightly
The important thing to remember is that you only need to buy a cooler that fits the size of the food you’ll be carrying. If there’s any headspace left once you’re done putting in the food and ice packs, the air will more freely circulate through the extra space and fasten the thawing process. Make sure you pack everything tightly.
- Layer your food correctly!
Once it’s been a few hours since you packed the cooler, the cold air will sink to the bottom and make way for warm air at the top. Your meats should be placed at the bottom of your cooler. Regular items such as sandwiches and drinks should be at the top. To delay further thawing, you can add additional insulation between the food items.
You can even look at this You can watch the video to see more tips on how to keep your cooler super-cold!
How much should I spend to buy cooler ice packs
Sets of ice pack can cost anywhere from $5 to $50. The important thing to consider is whether they’re non-toxic and reusable.
How many coolers ice packs do you need?
Ice packs are usually as large as you need to fill your cooler. Place one at the bottom and one on the sides. Then, place the rest between each food layer.
Gel packs are better than ice?
On On average, ice packs are preferred to gel packs by most people. Ice packs are safer than gel packs and keep you colder for longer periods.
How long can a cooler filled with ice keep food chilled?
As a general rule of thumb, the larger your ice packs, the longer they will stay cold. Block ice can last for about 5-7 days. In a well-insulated cooler, smaller ice packs can last for about 4-5 days.
No matter which ice pack you choose, make sure to check the food safety ratings! Follow our tips to ensure you have chilled beverages for days next time you camp with the best ice pack for coolers. You can also visit this video for a DIY ice pack technique!
We hope that we have helped you make the right decision. If you have any other questions, please leave them below.