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Best Overall: Cooler Shock Mid-Size Cooler Freeze Packs
The Cooler Shock Dry Cooler Gel Pack is a re-usable ice pack that can be stocked in coolers over and over. With the four pack of 9.5 x 10-inch pouches, you’ll be eliminating about 12 pounds of ice. Start by filling up the pack with 3.5 cups of cold water and use an iron to seal it shut. Place it in your freezer for up to 24 hours and you’ll get at least 24 hours of cold temperatures once in your cooler. The non-toxic, flexible gel packs change from a solid to a liquid at 18 degrees, so your food and drinks will stay cooler longer. In fact, if you keep drinks or foods directly next to the ice packs for an extended period of time, you will end up with a few frozen drinks.
Best Extra Large: Cooler Shock 3X Large Freeze Packs
If you are packing up a large cooler for a day in the woods or a night of car camping, use the extra large Cooler Shock Freeze Packs that stay cool for up to 48 hours. The re-usable packs can replace about 20 pounds of sweaty, dirty ice. Simply fill the bag via the screw cap with water, place in your freezer for about 24 hours and the non-hazardous packs will be frozen. The packs are 10 x 14 inches.
Best for Small Coolers: Fit & Fresh Cool Coolers Slim Ice Packs
Use one or two Fit & Fresh Cool Coolers Slim Ice Packs for small coolers or lunch boxes, or stack a few into a larger cooler to keep temperatures low and your food fresh. The small, space-saving packs are easy to clean and stay cool for up to 12 hours. One ice pack is 4.75 x 4.75 x .25 inches.
Most Durable: YETI ICE 2 lb. Refreezable Reusable Cooler Ice Pack
The YETI ICE Cooler Ice Pack is extremely durable, even break-resistant so it can withstand your most extreme adventures. Plus, because of its unique shape, the pack freezes in less time than other packs (about four hours) and stays cold for more than 24 hours. It doesn’t sweat, and is completely re-freezable and re-usable. The ice packs come in one, two and four-pound options. The one-pound pack is 8 x 3 inches; the two-pound pack is 8 x5 inches; the four-pound pack is 11 x 8 inches.
Runner Up, Best Overall: Nordic Ice No-Sweat Reusable Long-Lasting Gel Pack
The Nordic Ice Gel Pack is a re-usable gel ice pack that uses a multi-layer construction to eliminate annoying sweating in your cooler. With a no-sweat ice pack, your cooler will stay dryer and cleaner, and your food less soggy. Use these in your lunchbox or your beach cooler to keep snacks cool for up to seven hours. The pack is 1 x 5.5 x 6.5 inches and weighs one pound. The packs are biodegradable and non-toxic.
Best for Flexibility: FlexiFreeze Reusable Ice Sheet
If you are looking for an ice pack that is flexible, use the FlexiFreeze Ice Sheet. These sheets are completely chemical-free and instead are water-based ice sheets that you can cut to fit the size you need. Use the three pack in a variety of ways: keep one pack whole for your freezer and cut up the others to fit in lunch boxes, smaller coolers or insulated picnic baskets. Plus, even when frozen, the ice sheets are still flexible enough to mold and move how you need them to. One sheet is 1 x 19.25 x 15.5 inches.
Best Gel: Polar Tech Ice Brix Viscous Cold Pack
For a gel pack that is re-usable and moisture-resistant, opt for the Polar Tech Ice Brix Cold Pack.
The medium-sized packs use a gel substance for long-lasting cold temperatures in a leak-proof, heavy duty plastic pouch that won’t get your cooler soaking wet by the end of the day. The substance is non-toxic. The packs are 6 x 6 x 1 inches.
Best Variety: Arctic Ice Alaskan Series Cooler Pack
If you have a variety of coolers that you need to keep cold, use the non-toxic Arctic Ice Chillin’ Brew Series. The cooler packs come in a dozen different colors and four different sizes, so you can customize your ice cold needs to the size of your cooler. The packs take about six to eight hours to freeze and are ideal for keeping drinks cold for entire days. Each reusable pack freezes at 28 degrees to keep surrounding items colder than water's freezing point. Colors include black, blue, orange, grey, white, yellow, brown, purple and red. The packs are also dishwasher safe, just in case something in your cooler leaks all over them.
Freeze time How long an ice pack takes to freeze, as well as how long it stays frozen, are important factors to think about when shopping. Consider how frequently you plan to use yours and on what type of occasions you'll be using it.
Size Size is also something you should consider. Do you want big ice packs to cool a large cooler of food or smaller versions you can use for lunch boxes and other containers? Also, think about how much freezer space you have and how much of it you’re willing to give up to hold your ice packs.
Features While an ice pack’s primary job is to keep your cooler cool, some have features that may make them better for your particular purposes and/or make them easier to use. For example, some come with sweat-proof covers to keep your cooler from getting soggy, while others can be cut to fit your spaces precisely.