Best Ice Packs For Coolers: The Spill-Free Way To Keep Everything Fresh

Ice the norm that we all know when it comes to coolers. However, it is not the only way to keep all of your refreshments cold. 

An ice pack is an effective way of maintaining the coolness in your cooler, and since they take a little longer to melt, you can leave your cooler for a little longer and take on longer adventures.

After growing tired of ice melting and all the water residue created in the cooler, I started looking for something else that could potentially help to keep everything refreshed.

The best ice packs for coolers came to mind, and since they can are reusable, it has become a treat to use them instead of traditional ice.

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Editor's Choices
Cooler Shock 4 Mid Size Freeze Packs 10"x 9" Screw Cap - No More Ice! Reusable. You Add Water & Save*
3 Pack Large 18°F Cooler Freeze Packs 10"x14" - No More Ice! Replaces 18 lbs. of Ice and is...*
Best Selling
FlexiFreeze Ice Sheets, 88 Cube refreezable Flexible Chemical-Free, 3 Pack*
Size
10 x 10-inches
10 x 14-inches
19.25 x 15.5-inches
Ice Replacement
Approx. 8-pounds
18-pounds
7.5-pounds
Price
$21.95
$23.95
$21.99
Prime
Rating
Best Feature
Screw cap design makes it easier to clean and maintain ice packs
Durable reinforced nylon outer shell
Flexible and moldable to your liking
Editor's Choices
Cooler Shock 4 Mid Size Freeze Packs 10"x 9" Screw Cap - No More Ice! Reusable. You Add Water & Save*
Size
10 x 10-inches
Ice Replacement
Approx. 8-pounds
Price
$21.95
Prime
Rating
Best Feature
Screw cap design makes it easier to clean and maintain ice packs
3 Pack Large 18°F Cooler Freeze Packs 10"x14" - No More Ice! Replaces 18 lbs. of Ice and is...*
Size
10 x 14-inches
Ice Replacement
18-pounds
Price
$23.95
Prime
Rating
Best Feature
Durable reinforced nylon outer shell
Best Selling
FlexiFreeze Ice Sheets, 88 Cube refreezable Flexible Chemical-Free, 3 Pack*
Size
19.25 x 15.5-inches
Ice Replacement
7.5-pounds
Price
$21.99
Prime
Rating
Best Feature
Flexible and moldable to your liking

The Best Ice Packs For Coolers in 2019: My Recommendations

best ice packs for coolers 2019

Before diving into all of the features and what makes an ice pack work more effectively, you should start looking at some of the top ice packs.

With some diligent research and few field tests, I have managed to track down the top ice packs that can be used for cooling your cooler effectively this summer:

Cooler Shock Dry Gel Pack - Best Overall Ice Pack

Starting off this list, we have one of the best brands in the cooling industry. The Cooler Shock Dry Gel Pack is not only one of the best, but it is also available in a multitude of different ice packs. Since you will receive three large bags of 14-inches each, they should replace up to 18-pounds of ice in your cooler.

Once placed in your cooler, these icepacks tend to last a massive 48-hours before the thawing process starts. It can be reused over and over again, with nylon used as the primary material for the added durability.

According to the manufacturer, it should be 50% more durable than competitors should.

A unique formula has been added, allowing you as the user to unzip the bag and add water as it is needed. Once thawed, the water can be removed and the bags only need to be rinsed out. It makes it much easier to keep them clean and fresh.

The formula does not contain any harmful additives, and the durability seems to hold up, even when it is frozen over and over again. Using these bags, we have found that when it is placed in your freezer, it should not take more than 15-minutes to start turning into ice.

Unfortunately, these larger packs are a little more expensive than some of the others, but they will also last you much longer. They do have a 1-year limited warranty to ensure you get the best possible value for your money.

Pros
  • Durable reinforced nylon pocket
  • A non-hazardous formula for keeping water frozen
  • Last up to 48 Hours
  • Replaces up to 18-pounds of ice
Cons
  • Clunky materials can make them a little inflexible

Cooler Shock 4 Mid Size Freeze Packs - Best Value For Money

We always need something that will fit inside and the Cooler Shock 4 Mid Size Freeze Packs are small enough to allow them to fit in anywhere.

These smaller ice packs have also been constructed from durable nylon, with three layers to help limit the condensation and keep everything fresh for a more extended time.

The ice packs each weight around 2-pounds when they have been fully frozen, and this will give you a combined weight of 8-pounds of ice that has been replaced.

Since they freeze to a temperature of 18-degrees Fahrenheit, one can easily find that they will last up to 48-hours in your cooler.

Once again, Cooler Shock has added a formula that will keep the ice packs fresh and freeze normal water much faster than others. It should not take more than 15-minutes to have them frozen entirely and ready for use.

Instead of relying on the old ziplock method of keeping something frozen, you can now use the screw cap. This makes it easier to ensure it is fully sealed and prevent any leakages. However, I did not find any leakages in the materials, the cap, or the seams.

Cooler Shock is one of the more profitable brands, and these ice packs are a little more expensive than what you will be used to paying. They are backed by a limited 1-year warranty and will give you some peace of mind. I would recommend them for all size coolers.

Pros
  • Easy to use screw cap design
  • Triple layered for more durability
  • No need to clean the bags
  • Backed by a limited 1-year warranty
Cons
  • Lacks a little flexibility
  • A little too large for lunchboxes

Nordic Ice NOR1038 Gel Pack - Best Eco-Friendly Ice Pack

The Nordic Ice NOR1038 Gel Pack is one of the top options. It has been constructed from biodegradable materials that are not harmful to your foods or the environment. Since it has a triple layer construction, the ice pack limits condensation, and this will keep it frozen for longer.

The ice pack itself cannot be opened, but the substance on the inside has been designed to retain the cold temperature for up to 12-hours. It should also replace up to 15.3-pounds of ice once it is fully frozen and ready to use.

The ice pack itself is one of the smaller ice packs on the market today, and while you will receive 3 of them, you still might need to have a couple more for a large cooler.

The best part is the fact that even when these icepacks have been frozen, they still have some degree of flexibility.

If you find yourself strapped to a tight budget, these are some of the most affordable ice packs on the market today. Compared to some of the leading brands, you can have multiple of them for the same price.

I would recommend them for lunchboxes and smaller coolers that need something flexible to fit inside.

Pros
  • Replaces 15.3-pounds of ice
  • Does not need to be cleaned
  • Made from biodegradable materials
  • Extremely flexible
Cons
  • The materials can lack some durability

FlexiFreeze Ice Sheets - Best Flexible Ice Pack

Flexibility is fundamentally essential for your cooler, and if you have a few cold drinks, you need to wrap the ice packs around them to make sure everything remains cold. The FlexiFreeze Ice Sheets will be your way to ensure you have the best in terms of flexibility.

Since each sheath has its own 88 ice cubes, it is much easier to have it wrap around your drinks.

Additionally, you can even cut up the sheets to make them smaller and allow them to fit into your lunchboxes as well. With one sheet being 19.25 x 15.5-inches, it is easy to see why it is an excellent tool to have in your cooler.

According to the manufacturer, these ice sheets should last you around 12-hours depending on the cooler you have and the insulation. This ice sheet is not only designed for your cooler.

With the flexibility, it is used for things like keeping ice on your injuries or being wrapped up in bandages.

My only complaint is that they take a lot of time to freeze. If you always open and close your freezer, they won’t be fully frozen overnight.

However, this will depend on the freezer you have and the temperature it runs on.

As for the price, these sheets are a little expensive, but this will all be worth it. They won’t let you down since they are reusable over and over again.

I like to keep one of these sheets for potential injuries, while the others keep all the drinks cold.

Pros
  • Flexible design
  • Ice blocks can be cut to fit in smaller boxes
  • Stays cold for up to 12-hours
  • Works well for injuries
Cons
  • They don’t always freeze overnight

Cool It Ice Packs - Best Budget Ice Packs

Last but certainly not least, we have another distinctive brand in the refrigeration industry. The Cool-It Ice Packs are designed with the same idea in mind as the Cooler Shock Alternatives. They have a size of around 10 x 9-inches, and balloon tip will ensure you don’t have any leakages.

These ice packs have been designed from top quality materials that will last and keep the condensation to a minimum. Since they freeze at a temperature of 15-degrees Fahrenheit, they should last up to 12-hours when tightly packed into an insulated cooler.

However, they take around 24-hours before they are fully frozen.

These ice packs have no harmful chemicals added to them, and since they are non-toxic, you can place them among your food items. Users will receive six bags, and this will replace a combined weight of 12-pounds of ice that would have caused a massive stir in your cooler.

I would recommend them if you need many ice packs for your cooler.

These ice packs are reasonably affordable, and they offer some excellent value for your money.

Pros
  • Perfect size for most coolers
  • Great value for your money
  • No spill design
  • Remains frozen for up to 12-hours
Cons
  • Takes 24-hours before they can be used

What You Need To Know Before Buying An Ice Pack

Buying the ice pack is the easy part, but finding the right one is not. However, I have used many ice packs in a variety of coolers and boxes. 

To help you make the best decisions, here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

1. Time It Needs To Remain Frozen

best gel ice packs for coolers

Before you buy an ice pack, you need to ask yourself how long you need it to remain frozen.

Depending on the materials of the packages, your times will vary.

However, most ice packs have a lifetime of around 12-hours before they melt. The cooler you choose will also have a massive influence


2. Flexibility

If you are carrying a few drinks, you might need something flexible. Most gel ice packs or even water-based icepacks are not adjustable. 

A sheet should suit you much better, especially when you can cut it up into smaller sizes for lunch boxes.


3. Size

best ice packs for camping coolers

The size links to the flexibility, and you need to determine if you need an ice pack for a cooler or a lunchbox.

The size of the icepack will also have an influence on how long it takes to thaw, with smaller icepacks melting much faster than larger ones.

Icepacks Vs. Regular Ice: Which One Is Better?

Most people only resort to choosing an icepack once they are done or fed up with all the spills of regular ice. However, ice can also be expensive if you are using it often for your cooler.

The icepack is a once off payment that can help you save in the longer run. Insulation on the inside of the packs will slow down the melting process.

However, the reusability factor is the main reason why someone would consider choosing an icepack over ice. If you spend many hours using the cooler, the icepack can save you a lot of extra money in the long run.

best ice pack for lunch cooler

Which One Is The Best?

With all of these icepacks being great for something, choosing the best one can be daunting.

But, Cooler Shock 4 Mid Size Freeze Packs are some of the best, and they are the perfect size for small and large coolers. Since they last up to 48-hours with the right insulation, they will be your best friend in the summer.

Cooler Shock 4 Mid Size Freeze Packs 10"x 9" Screw Cap - No More Ice! Reusable. You Add Water & Save*
  • Better than Ice - 2 lb. mid-size gel pack makes items in cooler slushy cold Only Cooler Shock is 18° F so packs last 24-48 hrs.
  • Reusable - Click the blue "CoolerShock" at top of this page to see all versions - Coldest pack available
  • Accelerates cooling with burst cooling at 18 degrees - 8 mil thick flexible 3-layer purpose built pack rapidly transfers energy - Fully reusable
  • Ships with CS dry mix, you hydrate and save. 2lbs gelled - simple instructions or see our website video Made in USA with Non-toxic ingredients, child safe. Lasts up to 48 hours depending on use
  • Great reviews, tell me about the bad reviews. What if I'm not happy? What about warranty? Full details below in the description section

Wrap-Up

Now you should have all the information needed to ensure you choose one of the best ice packs for coolers you own.

We want to encourage you to share some of your thoughts and let us know which of these are the best for you.

If we have missed any other icepacks you like for your cooler, let us know in the comment section as well.

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