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If you’re thinking about taking a camping trip in the near future, then it’s important to remember to bring a cooler with you.
A cooler will keep your food cold and allow you to eat a more balanced diet when camping, instead of the traditional packets of freeze-dried food and warm drinks.
In addition, most modern coolers work without the need for electricity, making them a must-have when camping.
If you want to make sure your food stays cold in your cooler, then you’re going to have to invest in some ice packs.
An ice pack’s job is to keep your food cold when in the cooler. However, if you get low-quality ice packs, then your food is going to stay warm.
In this article, we are going to take a look at the 9 best cooler ice packs that will keep your food nice and cold when camping.
Check out this post for foods you can pack that do not need a cooler or refrigeration.
9 Best Cooler Ice Packs
- 1. Set of Cooler Shock Ice Packs
- 2. Kona Ice Packs for Coolers
- 3. Cooler Shock Ice Packs for Coolers
- 4. Fit & Fresh XL Ice Packs
- 5. Healthy Packers Ice Pack’s
- 6. TOURIT Ice Packs for Coolers
- 7. TrekProof Ice Packs
- 8. Below Zero ice Packs
- 9. Artic Ice Long Lasting Ice Pack for Coolers
One of the main benefits of the Cooler Shock Ice packs is they can last for up to 48 hours at 18 ℉ — enough to keep your food cold while you’re out there enjoying your camping trip.
In addition, once these ice packs are filled, you’ll never have to refill them again, making them convenient and super easy to use.
- Lasting Cold: Our durable ice pack for both coolers and lunch boxes are colder than ice at 18° F (-8° C) to keep your favorite sandwiches & soft drinks cold for up to 48 hrs
- Easy: Filling this 8-mil thick ice-cold pack is easy freezy! Add water once using the funnel, shake, screw cap on, & freeze until ready to use
- Strong: Voted #1 in the 2017-18 Wiki EzVid Ice Pack competition, these cooler and lunch box ice packs are nylon-reinforced for freezer-to-lunch bag trips
Similar to most other ice packs on the market, they do require freezing for between 12-48 hours prior to use, so make sure you remember to chuck them in the freezer a day or two before you set off for your camping trip.
Furthermore, you won’t have to worry about these ice packs becoming damaged on your travels, as the material they are made from is 50% stronger than other brands on the market — no wonder these ice packs are loved by so many.
If you aren’t 100% satisfied with the Cooler Shock Ice Packs, you can send Cooler Shock a message and take advantage of their 1-year money-back guarantee; however, we’re pretty sure you’ll never have to do this thanks to their great quality.
The only downside we have found with these ice packs is the edges can be a little sharp, so be careful when handling them.
- Last up to 48 hours
- Only needs to be filled once
- Money-back guarantee
- Loved by many people
- Edges can be a little sharp
If you’ve got a big cooler with lots of food and drinks to keep cool, then the Kona Ice Packs are perfect for you. You have the option to choose between a pack of 2, 4, 12, or 20. We wouldn’t recommend going for the 20 pack unless you have multiple coolers.
When you’re ready to use these ice packs, chuck them in the freezer for 25 minutes and you’re good to go. The reason they freeze so quickly is that they are very thin and don’t contain much water.
- BEST SIZE FOR COOLERS: Extra Large 13 x 10 and only 1/2 inch thick. Stop wasting space and increasing weight with ice and thick ice packs. Also use with reusable shopping bags, ice boxes, etc.
- RAPID FREEZE: Ready for use in under 25 minutes. Each pack absorbs a massive amount of heat keeping everything cold for a longer time period!
- LONG-LASTING and REUSABLE: These are tough and ready to withstand the test of time! Store your meat, fish, ice-cream, food and drinks with no ice-problems in mind!
That doesn’t mean they don’t do a great job at keeping your food and drinks cold.
In fact, their small and thin size can be a blessing, especially when camping as you want to keep everything as lightweight as possible.
In addition, the Kona Ice Packs don’t need to be refilled with water as they come pre-filled with an environmentally-friendly water-based solution, saving you time and energy.
In terms of downsides, we discovered that these ice packs melt faster than some of the other brands you can find.
That’s why you need to get as many as possible, as the power is in the quantity, not the freeze time.
- Multiple pack options available
- Takes 25 minutes to freeze
- Made from a special water-based solution
- Full refund if not satisfied
- Melt faster than other brands
If you’re going to be driving over rough terrain with your cooler, then these ice packs won’t let you down. They are made with a durable outer shell and able to withstand the harshest environments.
In addition, they are easy to use. Simply add water, put them in the freezer, and once frozen, they’re ready to be used.
They will keep your food and drinks cold for anywhere between 24-48 hours before they need to be put back in the freezer.
- Long Lasting - Our polycarbonate ice packs for lunch bags and coolers have an ultra-durable shell with radiating ribs that make them perfect for any situation - no matter what you're cooling off.
- Cooling Technology - Once frozen, these cooler ice packs stay at 18 degrees F for between 24-48 hours. Just add water and place in the freezer - our Cooler Shock formula takes care of the rest!
- Screw Cap Closure - Don't stress a spill! The screw cap on our ice packs for cooler accessories stays tight on even the bumpiest rides and adventures.
The only downside we found with these ice packs is the fact that each one weighs 5 pounds, which is great for outdoor sporting events; however, it may be a little too heavy for a camping trip.
That being said, they are still a great alternative to ice, as each 5-pound pack replaces 7 pounds of ice.
Furthermore, the outer layer of the Cooler Shock Ice Packs is made from ultra-tough polycarbonate, which is food-safe, reusable, and made in the USA, so you can rest assured you’re getting the best quality.
- Easy to use
- Last between 24-48 hours
- Can be a little heavy at 5 pounds a pack
When buying a pack of Fit & Fresh Ice Packs, you will have the option to choose between colored or uncolored packs, depending on your preference.
Regardless of which color you choose, you will get 4 XL ice packs, which is enough for most coolers.
- XL ICE PACKS: Whether you’re headed back to work, school, or just want to escape the house, these XL Ice Packs are perfectly sized for any bag. Measuring at 7" x 4.5" x 0.50" these ice packs are...
- VERSATILE DESIGN: These extra-large ice packs help keep food and drinks cool & fresh even longer. The versatile design allows you to pack them on the bottom and/or sides of your lunch bag or cooler....
- LONG-LASTING: These reusable ice packs are designed to last long so you can head out knowing that what you pack will stay cool and fresh until you are ready to eat. For maximum cooling power, freeze...
Although these ice packs are long, they are thin which makes them super versatile and easy to store in your cooler without taking up too much space, leaving more room for food and drinks.
In addition, if you want these ice packs to stay cool for as long as possible, we recommend freezing them the night before your camping trip, which will make sure they are as cold as possible.
You’ll also be glad to hear they are made from non-toxic materials, so you don’t have to worry about your health.
Also, keep in mind these ice packs can only be washed by hand. Don’t put them in the dishwasher, as they may become damaged.
- Choose between colored or uncolored
- Includes 4 ice packs
- All ice packs are extra-large
- Made from non-toxic materials
- Reputable brand
- Can’t be washed in the dishwasher
When buying these ice packs, you will be able to choose between a pack of 4 or a pack of 8. We recommend sticking with the 8 pack, as they will keep your cooler colder for longer.
Similar to the other options on this list, these ice packs are also slim enough to fit in your cooler without taking up too much space.
They are also super-lightweight, which is great if you’re one of those people who like to camp as lightweight as possible.
- Slim Lightweight and Long Lasting - Set of 4 slim, reusable and versatile hard gel ice packs. Each ice pack measures 7 x 4.7 x 0.5 inches. Keep your insulated cooler bag freezer-cold for longer!
- Super Versatile - Perfect chillers for everyday use in lunchboxes, breastmilk bags, bento boxes and coolers. Great for kids to take to school in their totes, adults to the office or for outdoor...
- Safe and Durable - Our Cool Packs are made with 100% BPA-Free Non-Toxic materials. They stay cool as ice for many hours and keep your food fresh and your body fit. These small babies sure pack a...
While they might have a slim design, they still pack a punch and will keep your food and drinks cold for hours on end.
In addition, the Healthy Packers Ice Packs are made from 100% non-toxic materials, so you can rest assured you’re getting the best quality.
In the rare case that you do experience any issues, you have the option to contact Healthy Packers and receive a full refund, with no questions asked.
The only downside we found is that they aren’t great at keeping liquids cold; however, they will keep them cool enough to enjoy.
- 4-pack and 8-pack option
- Slim design
- Pack a punch
- Made from non-toxic materials
- Not great for keeping liquids cool
Before we even dive into the benefits, the great thing about these ice packs is they are available in multiple colors. You can choose between blue, green, and grey; or orange, red, and yellow.
You can also get these ice packs in a 4-pack, 8-pack, or a 12-pack, depending on the size of your cooler. We recommend sticking with the 12-pack, as it’s always better to have more ice packs than not enough.
- Slim, Convenient and Long Lasting Ice Packs: Set of 8 slim, reusable and versatile hard gel long stripice packs. Each ice pack measures 8.75 x 1.5 x 1.25 inches. Keep your insulated cooler...
- Long-lasting Gel: The powerful gel filled ice pack retains coldness much longer than ordinary water injected ice packs. They stay cool for many hours and keep your food fresh and your body fit.
- Instructions: Before using, put Ice packs in the freezer compartment of the refrigerator at least 8 hours until it is completely frozen. Store in a cool, dry place away from sunlight, perfect chillers...
In addition, these ice packs contain a special infused gel that will stay cooler for longer than ordinary water filled coolers, making the Tourit Ice packs some of the best on the market.
When you’re ready to use them, put them in the freezer for at least 8 hours to get them as cold as possible. After 8 hours, they are ready to be used in your cooler.
Furthermore, they can be broken apart into strips, allowing you to easily store them in your cooler without taking up too much space.
In terms of downsides…
We found that due to their stick design, your cooler will require more of these ice packs than they would regular ones.
That shouldn’t be an issue if you’ve gone for the 8 or 12 pack option.
- Multiple colors available
- Multiple size options available
- Keeps cooler for longer
- Ready to be used in only 8 hours
- Can be broken into strips
- Require more ice packs due to their slim design
If you’re looking for eco-friendly and reusable packs, then these guys won’t let you down. They are made from 100% non-toxic materials and can be used for years to come, as long as you keep them in good condition.
In addition, not only do these ice packs perform great, but they also look good as well. Each pack contains a green, purple, blue, and red ice pack.
Furthermore, the Trekproof Ice Packs are designed to be as lightweight as possible, so you can enjoy your camping trip without having to deal with ice packs weighing you down.
- Keep it Fresh & Cold – These multicolored reusable ice packs for lunch bags and coolers help keep food, beverages, and snacks crisp and delicious with hours of cool refreshment for healthier meals.
- Reusable & Ecofriendly – Crafted using BPA free, nontoxic materials, our highly-efficient thin ice pack for lunch box can be used over and over for kid’s lunch bags or as cooler ice packs.
- Travel & Daily Use – TrekProof freezable reusable lunch box ice packs is also great as a reusable ice pack for cooler that you take outdoors to the beach, picnic food bags, and so much more!
Their thin design also makes them compact, allowing you to store them in your cooler without taking up too much space.
After you’ve finished using these ice packs, they’re going to need a clean, especially if you’ve taken them camping with you.
Luckily, Trekproof has made the cleaning process as simple as possible. You won’t need a dishwasher or even a sink to wash these guys. Simply, clean them will a wet wipe and they will be as good as new.
So now we’ve discussed the benefits, we’re sure you interested in hearing the downsides.
The only issue we found is that they bulge when stored in the freezer overnight. This isn’t anything to worry about; however, it does take up a little extra space in your cooler.
- 100% non-toxic materials
- Each ice pack is a different color
- Compact design
- Easy to clean
- They tend to bulge when freezing, making them less compact
If you’re considering buying these Below Zero ice Packs, you’ll be glad to hear they are some of the best on the market. In fact, they are so good at keeping things cold that they are used to keep blood cold when it’s being transported — It can’t get any better than that.
While we could end this review here, there are some other great benefits that you’ll want to hear about.
- SCIENCE and NATURE COMBINED | Patent Pending | Designed to make the Coldest and Longest Lasting Cooler Pack with patent pending technology ONLY by Below Zero Ice.
- BASED ON TECHNOLOGY USED TO KEEP BLOOD COLD | We have taken the hospital technology and improved it. Food and drinks stay colder than using ice or other gel packs.
- CONTAINS NATURAL PLANT PROTEINS | Natural proteins have been added to make only Below Zero gel packs stay cold even longer for over 48 HOURS. Safe and non-toxic.
Firstly, this ice pack is so strong that it needs to be stored in your freezer for up to 48 hours before it reaches its maximum cooling temperature, which is below zero degrees.
In addition, the brand that designed these ice packs (Below Zero) have put in extensive research, ensuring they are some of the best on the market — hence why they’re used to transport blood.
Furthermore, if you’re unsure whether to choose this ice pack or ice, then you should know that the Below Zero ice pack can actually reach a colder temperature than ice when frozen for 48 hours.
Ditch the ice and get one of these guys.
- This exact ice pack is used to transport blood
- One of the coldest on the market
- Reputable brand
- Colder than ice
- Reaches below zero degrees
With a brand name like ‘Artic Ice’, you can be sure these guys know a thing or two about making an ice pack that will keep your food and drinks cold for a long time.
This state of the art ice pack is designed to be used multiple times. In fact, Artic Ice did a test and concluded that it can be used up to 100,000 times before being replaced, which means unless you’re camping every day, this ice pack will last for you for a lifetime.
In addition, you can choose between multiple sizes including small, medium, large, XL, and XXL.
If you need to keep your food and drinks cool for a few days, then sticking with the XXL option is your best bet; however, make sure your cooler is big enough, otherwise, it may not fit.
Furthermore, as you can only buy one of these ice packs at a time, many customers get multiple and have said it helps to keep their food colder for longer.
- Reputable brand
- Can be used 100,000 times
- Multiple size options
Ice Packs VS Regular Ice: The Difference
If you’re thinking about using ice for your next camping or hiking trip…
Let me stop you right there.
Using ice is a terrible idea, especially if you’re going to be in the great outdoors. The reason for this is because ice melts, and when it melts, you will be left with a cooler full of water.
Plus, all your food will be soggy and wet.
The solution to this is a high-quality ice pack. While ice packs might not keep your food as cool as ice, it won’t get destroyed in a stream of water.
What To Look For When Buying A Cooler Ice Pack
If you want to get the best cooler ice packs, then their are some things you want to take into consideration.
Let’s discuss them below…
Depending on the size of your cooler, you’re going to want to invest in an ice pack that can fit without taking up too much space, otherwise, you won’t have enough room for your foods and drinks.
If you’re going to be taking your cooler with you when camping or hiking, then you want to keep it as lightweight as possible.
That’s why it’s important to spend your money on ice packs that don’t weigh too much, otherwise, the extra weight could end up ruining the whole experience.
When you buy an ice pack, you don’t expect to get another one for at least a few years. With this in mind, it’s important to make sure the ice pack you purchase is durable enough to last for years to come.
If you want to keep your food and drinks cold and edible, then a high-quality ice pack is a must-have.
If you use a cooler without an ice pack, then you’re setting yourself up for disaster.
Not only will your food get warm, but it will also turn bad within a few hours, especially if you’re camping in a hot climate.
In conclusion, if you have any questions regarding coolers or ice packs for camping, drop a comment below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.