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Keep Your Food Fresh and Cool With the Best Cooler Ice Packs
Last updated: 28 Oct 2023
Food is the ultimate comfort, and for many of us, it can be the highlight of our day. Imagine finally getting to your lunch break after a rough morning at work, hoping to enjoy a cold drink to revitalize you, but alas, your lunch is warm… and so are your drinks!
This is where a reliable, high-quality cooler ice pack comes in. These packs are made of durable, easy-to-clean material (like high-density, BPA-approved polyethylene) that can withstand numerous drops, and they’re filled with gel or some other substance that helps regulate the cooler’s temperature for as long as necessary. If you don't want your food and drinks spoiled by a warm summer day, here’s a list of some of the top cooler ice packs of 2023 that can keep you happy by keeping everything inside your cooler nice and cool.
Who doesn’t love a cool, refreshing beverage on a hot summer’s day at the beach? Almost everyone does, but not everyone knows that you need a high-quality cooler ice pack to be able to do so. The type of ice pack you need depends on what you’re trying to cool and the type of cooler you have, so to help you out, here’s our ultimate buyer’s guide to help you find a great cooler ice pack in 2023.
What is a Cooler Ice Pack?
If you’re into camping and outdoor adventures, you probably already know what a cooler ice pack is. For those who don’t know, a cooler ice pack is a packet with coolant inside of it that’s designed to keep food cold. You can put these ice packs in your cooler, carrier bag, lunch box, and so much more, making them a super convenient way to enjoy fresh, delicious food and drinks.
You might be thinking, “Why not just use ice?” Unlike crushed ice, cooler ice packs don’t turn into a liquid mess when they reach room temperature. They can also keep your food cooler for much longer, and they’re a lot easier to fit inside a freezer. If you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy cleaning up and wants the easiest cooling solution available, a cooler ice pack will be perfect for you.
Types of Cooler Ice Packs
Cooler ice packs come in many different types. The first difference between them is what their cooling agent is.
Some ice packs use water as a coolant since it freezes quickly and stays frozen for longer. Water is perfect for people who want rigid ice packs to fill their coolers
Other cooler ice packs are filled with gel, which stays cool for longer but never entirely freezes into a solid state. These packs can easily fit into coolers and containers with less space since you can compress them a little
Apart from cooling material, you can also tell ice packs apart by their usage. Here’s the main difference between them:
There are some ice packs on the market that are single-use. They cool down instantly when snapped in half or by some similar mechanism. These packs usually have chemicals inside them that absorb heat when used, allowing them to cool down food
The most common type of cooler ice pack is a multi-use pack with a coolant gel inside. You can pop them in the freezer and use them numerous times, but their cooling properties will decrease with each use, and you’ll eventually have to replace them
Lastly, there are reusable cooling packs. These are flat bottles that can be filled with water and frozen as needed, and they come in handy when packing food for a long journey
What to Look For When Buying a Cooler Ice Pack
The first thing you should consider when shopping for a cooler ice pack is size. Depending on your cooler’s size and how much space it offers, you can select your desired size from the many options available. If your food is typically stored in flat containers, get a larger pack. If you’re looking to cool cans and bottles, go with smaller, softer cooler ice packs.
Color and design
Although this aspect doesn’t add much to their function, it’s always fun to have cooler ice packs in your favorite colors or that match the design of your cooler. Based on your needs, you can also go for cooling packs that come in specific designs, like circular, hollow, or zippered.
Whether you need cooler ice packs to keep your food cool on a long road trip or you’re simply looking to take a short walk to the park, you won’t want them to melt on the way. This is why you need to check the cooling duration of your chosen pack — most cooler ice packs tend to keep your food cool for about two to six hours.
Food storage containers can be pointy and sharp, which is why you’ll need durable cooler ice packs that aren’t easily punctured. It’s also important that your cooler pack doesn’t explode if you forget it in the freezer overnight, so make sure the one you choose is durable — gel-based cooler ice packs are a good choice as they’re unlikely to rip at the seams.
Ease of cleaning
No matter how careful you are packing and unpacking foods, spills and messes are bound to happen. It’s for this reason that cooler ice packs need to be easy to clean so you can simply pop them back into the freezer ASAP. Plastic or synthetic fabric cooler ice packs are easier to clean than other options since they don’t stain or absorb spills.
Looking for a way to keep your food cold until lunchtime rolls around? Thrive has the perfect solution — their small cooler ice packs! Each of the four freezable cooler packs in this set sports a fun design, and they can be a great way to keep your food cold for up to eight hours. Cleaning these cooler ice packs is a breeze, and they’ll be able to easily fit in most lunchboxes and large coolers.
Even better, though, is the fact that these BPA-free cooler ice packs are made from safe, durable materials, so you won’t have to worry when tossing them in next to your lunch. You can reuse them again and again without worrying about damage or waste, and they’re even approved by the TSA for when you need to keep medication or breast milk cool while traveling. Thanks to their high-quality, durable design, these cooler ice packs are our top pick.
If you’re looking for a fun, fresh way to keep food and drinks cold, look no further than the TruHealth Cooler Ice Pack. These small versatile packs can be used in lunch boxes, coolers, travel bags — you name it —, and because they’re BPA-free and eco-friendly, you can feel good about using them, too. As a nice bonus, each set of these cooler ice packs comes with four fun, colorful patterns.
Boasting a slim, compact design, these ice packs can be a great choice for almost any lunchbox or cooler. They’re made from durable materials that help them keep food fresh and cool without the risk of leaks or sweating, and they’re completely reusable, so you can enjoy them for years to come — just clean them up and pop them back in the freezer to prepare these cooler ice packs for your next adventure.
Nothing beats a chilled beverage or a fresh, delicious lunch on a hot summer day. With the Komax Cooler Ice Pack, you can keep food and drinks cold and fresh for up to 15 hours, no matter where you go. These puncture-proof freezer packs are safe, durable, and made from high-quality, non-toxic gel compounds, making them ideal for lunch bags, coolers, and other food storage containers.
But what sets these cooler ice packs apart is their innovative design — with a slim, flexible profile that makes them easy to stack and store, these ice packs can be the perfect choice for anyone looking for convenient, long-lasting cooling power. Don’t let their slim look fool you, though, as these cooler ice packs are extremely durable and can withstand even the roughest outdoor adventures.
Imagine your lunch and snacks staying fresh and cool all day long, no matter where you go. With an Igloo Cooler Ice Pack, that’s exactly what you can expect. Its reusable, non-toxic design features ultra-therm gel to provide maximum cooling performance for your meals and snacks, so no matter where you are, you’ll pretty much always be able to count on this cooler ice pack.
The ice pack itself is extremely durable, with a convenient size that fits easily into most coolers and lunch boxes. To reuse it, simply pop this cooler ice pack into the freezer and enjoy cold, fresh food and drinks, time after time.
A warm day at the beach just got a whole lot cooler! Designed to keep food and drinks cold and fresh, the Healthy Packers Cooler Ice Pack is a slim, long-lasting cooling solution for all your outdoor adventures. Made from 100% BPA-free materials, these packs are safe, durable, and easy to clean, and because they come in a set of four, these cooler ice packs can be a great choice for the whole family.
Because these cooler ice packs are reusable, they’re a good way to stay cool without wasting resources. Their gel is highly efficient, keeping food and drinks fresh for hours, while their compact design won’t take up much space, allowing you to use these cooler ice packs in the smallest lunch boxes and freezer bags.
A: On average, it's good to have at least four cooler ice packs in your home. This will be enough to keep a medium-sized cooler cold, and you can use fewer packs for smaller carriers. If you have a large cooler, you’re better off with around six to eight cooler ice packs.
Q: Can cooler ice packs be used as hot packs too?
A: Some cooler packs can double as hot packs when you microwave them or place them in hot water. These are good for use throughout the year, but their cooling/heating properties tend to fade after a while.
Q: What do I do if my gel ice pack gets punctured?
A: If your gel ice pack gets punctured, you won’t be able to use it anymore. Throw it away immediately, as it could potentially poison your food or cause an allergic reaction if the liquid comes into contact with your skin.
The Mighty Moms Reviews Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you tackle motherhood and everything that comes along with it. The content is created by The Mighty Moms Reviews Team. Mighty Moms’ editorial staff is not involved. Mighty Moms is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.