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How to Choose the Right Type of Ice Packs for Your Shipping Needs

Ice packs reduce inflammation, numb pain, and help blood clot more quickly. They are also helpful in reducing the appearance of fresh bruises.

When choosing the correct refrigerant for a frozen shipment, consider your product’s temperature requirements, box size constraints, and shipping destination climate conditions. This article will cover the different types of ice packs and how to choose the best one for your needs.


Temperature Requirements

Keeping products cool or eco friendly reusable ice packs for cooler is the primary purpose of most cold packs. The type of refrigerant used and the packaging will impact performance. Most ice packs use food-safe gel refrigerants made with water and other ingredients such as salts or polymer gels. They are often sold in freezer-safe bags, ranging from small, pocket-sized ice packs to large bricks of saturated floral foam.

Dry ice requires specialized packing and is a poor choice for many products, especially those not exposed to the extreme temperatures produced by its sublimation process. Instead, a good substitute for this product is gel ice packs that can be frozen to below-freezing temperatures but do not get as cold as dry ice. Depending on the product’s weight and starting temperature, they typically maintain the package in the 2 to 8 Celsius range.

Using the correct number of ice packs will ensure your shipment stays cold throughout its journey. Too few will leave your perishables susceptible to thawing and spoiling, while too many may cause the product to be frozen too tightly, which can reduce its shelf life.


There are many different cold packs, each with benefits and drawbacks. Some need a very high freezing point to remain effective, while others are designed to be more flexible and can fit into tight spaces in coolers and pan carriers. Cost is also essential, as some ice packs may be more expensive than others.

One of the most common types of ice packs is gel-based. These ice packs are flexible even when frozen and easily cut to fit inside containers or bags. They are ideal for small insulated coolers and lunch boxes but can be less effective in larger shipments or hot environments.

Another type of ice pack is dry ice. This option suits shipments that need to be kept cold but not frozen, such as baked goods. However, it is a hazardous material that requires special shipping restrictions and safety protocols to adhere to.


Finding the suitable ice pack that suits your needs is essential since there is no one-size-fits-all option. If you plan on using it for a lunch box cooler, choose a product that fits perfectly without taking up too much space. The suitable ice pack can ensure that your food or drinks stay cold for up to 24 hours.

The amount of ice packs you need depends on the temperature requirements for your product and the size and wall thickness of your shipping cooler. It would help if you also considered the distance and duration of your shipping time. By accurately testing your ice pack-to-cooler ratio before sending, you can prevent product damage from having too few ice packs or overusing them.

If you are looking for an ice pack that will stay cool for an extended period yet not take up too much freezer space, try foam brick ice packs. These sturdy ice packs will not melt or thaw in transit and are ideal for soft-sided or plastic-insulated coolers. They are a popular choice for meat shippers since they can keep perishables within frozen or refrigerated temperatures without maintaining a hard deep freeze.


When shipping perishable items, it is essential to ensure they remain calm throughout the shipment process. Choosing the correct type of cold packs can ensure that your products arrive fresh and in good condition when they reach their destination.

Dry ice is an excellent option for keeping perishables cold during shipping, but it can be dangerous if not handled correctly. Additionally, it can only be shipped using specific shipping companies that allow frozen deliveries.

Reusable ice packs are a great alternative to dry ice because they can be used multiple times and don’t create extra moisture in the package. If you’re searching for a cost-effective substitute for dry ice, reusable ice packs are an excellent choice. They are available in various sizes to meet your shipping requirements, and they can also keep your food and beverages cold while you’re on the move. Whether spending a day at the beach or taking an impromptu road trip with your buddies, reusable ice packs are a practical solution to ensure your drinks and snacks stay chilled. These packs are designed to be small enough to fit into most coolers without taking up too much space. Holistic chef Niki Connor recommends the Fit and Fresh XL reusable ice pack for its ability to stay calm and fit in smaller spaces, but it only holds up as long as the 24-hour Cooler Shock packs on this list.


The best ice packs for shipping are made of materials that keep them cold for a long and remain flexible after freezing. They should also be easy to clean and safe for storage and handling.

Dry ice is an excellent cooler, but it can burn skin and must be handled with special care. It can also damage items that are fragile or sensitive to extreme cold. It should be shipped in an airtight container and accompanied by an insulated liner and a warning to the recipient that the package contains dry ice.

Gel ice packs are safer and easier to handle than dry ice but may require specific packaging. Some contain chemical reactors that could cause harm if swallowed, such as ammonium nitrate, calcium ammonium nitrate, or urea. They can also cause dilation of the blood vessels, which reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches the body’s organs. It’s essential to check with your supplier to ensure they use a safe chemical.