We went on a hunt for the top rated ice packs on the market and came away with 6 of the absolute best ice packs for coolers. These picks all vary in different shapes, sizes and freezing techniques. So, one of these ice packs will be sure to suit your needs.
There were a few determining factors that helped us narrow down our search for final 6 best ice packs for coolers:
- Customer Satisfaction
Once we found all the ice packs on the market with features that exceeded these factors, we had our list of 6 best ice packs for coolers.
Our final step after completing the review process was preparing a buyer’s guide to get you well on your way to being a proud owner of a top-rated ice pack. This buyer’s guide will help you answer a few questions to get you matched up with the best ice pack for your needs.
However, if you already know what you’re looking for, you can go ahead and take a stroll through our picks for the top 6 best ice packs for coolers. If not, jump ahead to our Best Ice Packs for Coolers Buying Guide.
Best Ice Packs for Coolers
Best Ice Packs for Coolers Buying Guide
There are 3 things to consider when choosing the best ice pack to suit your needs:
What size of ice pack do you need?
The first step is to find out how big of a cooler you’re working with. Typically, the bigger the cooler, the larger the ice pack should be.
In the same token, with a larger-sized cooler, the more frozen goods are stored. So, a bigger ice pack is most likely in store for you.
However, you can also accommodate a larger-sized cooler by using multiple smaller-sized ice packs. And, this is especially functional when freezing smaller food items. The smaller-sized ice packs can wedge between these food items and create a more targeted freezing action.
And, of course, if you’re working with a small cooler, you really have no other option than using a smaller ice pack.
What’s the difference between refillable ice packs, gel packs and liquid packs?
Refillable ice packs are pretty much self-explanatory. You simply fill them with water, seal it and freeze it.
With gel and liquid packs, these contain additives to speed up the freezing action and increase the longevity of the freezing temperature.
Additionally, gel and liquid packs often times contain additives to prevent bacterial growth.
The advantage of the gel pack is if the pack breaks, the gel remains a thick consistency so you avoid contamination.
And, the good news is, with all of our picks, the liquid and gel packs are made with non-toxic chemicals.
So, it all comes down to personal preference whether you go with a refillable ice pack, gel pack or liquid pack.
Will you need a hard cover or soft cover ice pack?
Now, this question determines if you need an ice pack that will withstand some serious possible mishaps. This could include a tumble-down the mountainside, a quick game of cold ice pack instead of hot potato or any other instance where the ice pack could be endangered and literally spoil all the fun.
So, if you are anticipating a rough ride in the future, go with a durable, hard cover ice pack. If you’re just carting frozen goods from one kitchen to the next, you can get away with a less durable, but more flexible, pick.
The one advantage a soft cover pack has over a hard cover is it can wedge between the creases and crevices of food, allowing a more targeted freezing action especially when the ice pack begins to decrease in temperature.
If your lifestyle is more about living on the edge, we suggest going with the hard pack. If you like to stop and smell the flowers, you can go either way.
By now you should now have an idea of what type of ice pack you need to suit your needs. Now, comes the fun part. Picking out the best ice pack for you and your cooler.
Best Ice Packs for Coolers
YETI ICE Refreezable Reusable Cooler Ice Pack
The YETI ICE Refreezable Reusable Cooler Ice Pack is the most durable ice pack on our list for best ice packs for coolers. The claim? The word on the street is this ice pack is break-resistant. So, feel free to take it for a tumble-down the mountainside or throw it off a cliff.
This reusable ice pack is designed with a custom shape to reduce freezing time, with some consumers claiming it can freeze in just 4 hours.
The YETI ICE Cooler Ice Pack uses non-toxic, food safe “blue ice.” This helps to extend freezing time and reduce bacteria.
This ice pack comes in your choice of sizes: 1 lb: 8 inches x 2.625 inches x 1.625 inches, 2 lb: 8 inches x 5.375 inches x 1.625 inches, 4 lb: 10.75 inches x 8 inches x 1.625 inches.
This ice pack is extremely durable so you’re looking at reliability and longevity.
While the majority of consumers seem happy overall with the YETI ICE Cooler Ice Pack, some consumers have been unimpressed with its performance. In particular, the length of time this ice pack stays frozen. However, other consumers say that when paired with ice, it works fantastic. And, a quality cooler can also help keep this ice pack frozen for longer.
Cooler Shock Cooler Freeze Packs
This 3 pack, extra-large bundle uses gel to speed up the freezing action and keep it colder for longer. The Cooler Shock Cooler Freeze Packs will reach a cooling point of 18 degrees Fahrenheit.
And, to further ensure the longevity of the cooling point, these 7.5 milliliter thick packs have 3 layers of foil and nylon.
To use, all you need to do is add water to the CS Dry Mix in the pouch. Then you can either zip & iron it shut or use the screw cap to seal it shut.
The Cooler Shock Cooler Freeze Packs comes in two different options: 13.5 screw cap or the 14 inch zipper seal.
These ice packs keep food cold for a long period of time.
Some consumers found adding water to the CS Dry Mix was a little messy.
Arctic Ice Chillin Brew Series Reusable Cooler Pack
This particular ice pack comes in 4 different sizes. Choose between .75 lb, 1.5 lb, 2.5 lb or 5 lb. Additionally, it comes in your choice of a multitude of colors.
The Arctic Ice Chillin Brew Series Reusable Cooler Pack is filled with all natural liquid derived from vegetable oils and animal food stocks. And, in the rare instance of leakage, this liquid is biodegradable and non-toxic. Additionally, the active ingredient inside this cooler pack has been tested to handle up to 1,000 freeze and thaw cycles.
This ice pack pictured above measures 10.925 inches x 8.661 inches x 1.85 inches. But, like we mentioned previously, it comes in 3 other size options.
When paired with ice, consumers say this ice pack works great and keeps drinks and food cold for a long time, even for up to a day.
When not paired with ice, some consumers have complained that it doesn’t hold its temperature for very long.
FlexiFreeze Ice Sheet 3-Pack
This pick is a great alternative to ice packs. The FlexiFreeze Ice Sheets are a chemical-free, water-based, flexible way to keep your food and drinks cold.
In addition, these ice sheets can be cut down to size to fit any size of cooler. Also, they can be cut so you can wedge the ice sheets between items in the cooler to get a more targeted freezing action.
Each of the FlexiFreeze Ice Sheets measure 15.5 inches x 19 inches x .62 inches.
These ice sheets can be cut to accommodate any size of cooler. Additionally, they are flexible so they can also wrap around the cooler or around the items in the cooler for a more targeted freezing action.
Some consumers have stated the FlexiFreeze Ice Sheets don’t stay cold for a long period of time. However, the majority of reviewers have stated otherwise. Be sure you have a quality cooler, this will help keep the ice sheets colder for longer.
Rubbermaid Blue Ice Block
This pick for best ice packs for coolers is filled will non-toxic gel to keep items cooler for longer. The Rubbermaid Blue Ice Block is reusable and will stay frozen for longer than just plain ice.
The Rubbermaid Blue Ice Block measures 3.7 inches x 1.7 inches x 6.8 inches and comes in your choice of a 1, 2, 3 or 4 pack.
According to consumers, this ice pack keeps things cool for a long period of time, with some consumers claiming it lasts up to 12 hours.
A couple of consumers have had this icepack leak while in the cooler. Additionally, the Rubbermaid Ice Block has a tendency to sweat. To avoid a possible mishap or sweat, keep the ice block in a plastic zip-lock bag.
Rubbermaid Iceolater Reusable Ice Pack
Our last pick for ice packs for coolers is one that can double as a divider. The Rubbermaid Marine Ice Chest is specially made to fit in the Rubbermaid Gott Marine Cooler. However, if you already have a cooler, this ice chest will work in most 150 quart coolers.
The Rubbermaid Iceolater Reusable Ice Pack is FDA approved and works by filling with water and freezing.
This Ice pack measures 15.928 inches x 13.980 inches x 2.150 inches.
With the right cooler, this works great for keeping items cold. And, because it also works as a divider, it helps to keep items organized.
Additionally, the Rubbermaid Iceolater Reusable Ice Pack is a durable option that will withstand some abuse.
This really isn’t a one-sizes-fits-all option, it is made for a specific size of cooler. However, if this fits your dimensions, this is actually a positive for you.