Cooler Shock ice pack test results that are easy to understand:

Cooler Shock ice packs were originally designed for the transportation of blood. Our ice pack process involves phase change engineering, increasing mass, density and heat exchange rates. Once we developed the high performance non-toxic cooling gel, we had to figure out a way to manage the intense cooling capability since blood must be maintained in a given temperature range, and cannot freeze. We came up with a dual pack solution that solved that problem.

Through this experience we realized that our extreme cold could be a benefit in other markets. Moving into the cooler market allowed us to unleash Cooler Shocks full cooling potential, becoming the first reusable ice pack to have the ability to completely replace ice. On the right is a graph of Cooler Shock versus ice and some simple examples of how effective Cooler Shock is.

  • Example one:
    Place two full size ice packs on either side of four 12 oz water bottles in an average cooler on a 85 degree day. Close the lid and wait 6 hours. Open the lid and the 4 bottles will be frozen.

  • Example two:
    Place 24 12 oz beers from the grocer fridge in an average size cooler and surround them (bottom and two sides) with 3 large ice packs at 11am. They will be 33 degrees at 5pm. Let’s say that your guests drink only 12 of them and you leave the other 12 in the cooler,  they will be slushy cold the next morning.

  • Example three:
    Boating? Fill your cooler with food and drink for 6 people. Surround it with 3 cooler shocks ice packs at 9am. You’re on the lake at 1pm and folks are reaching for drinks and lunch for the remainder of the day. The food is cold, fresh and dry, the drinks are colder than any previous cooler experience you’ve had and by the end of the day, the drinks that we’re in direct contact with the cooler packs have ice floating in them when opened. You leave the lake at 6pm. When you get home all the food is perfectly cold and usable and the ice packs are still sub freezing. Stick them back in the freezer for next time.

Why is it faster than ice?

Cooler Shock (CS) gets your food and beverages colder faster due to the bags specific design for high energy transfer, the large surface area of the bag, and the fact that CS is colder than ice. Ice is typically at 31-32°F while CS is at 18°F for extended periods. Items in your cooler actually get colder. Check out our section about why it’s colder detailing the concept of phase change for more information.

With our ice packs being colder and having a larger surface area, they can absorb heat from your food and beverages very quickly, while the ice pack stays at a constant cold temperature of 18°F. This causes accelerated cooling, since the packs aggressively cool your items, while not getting warmer themselves. It can be compared to using a gallon of gas in a race car versus a 4-cylinder compact car. The same gallon of gas can be made to perform very aggressively. Once the items come down in temperature, less energy is needed to keep them cool, so Cooler Shock continues to perform better than ice.

Cooler Shock ice packs chart compared to ice

This chart shows three large ice packs (12lbs.) compared to 12 pounds of store bought ice over a six hour period. This test was conducted in two identical 48-quart conventional coolers tested side-by-side with identical contents.  The test was conducted in an 85°F environment.

How is it colder?

Cooler Shock is designed to provide extended cooling at 18°F. Extended cooling is the temperature at which an item phase changes, causing it to stay at that temperature for 5 – 12 hours depending on the quantity, cooler, and contents. Ice provides its extended cooling at a much warmer temperature of 32°F. This is not a very cold temperature when trying to get your items down to 35°F (typical cold food and beverage target).

 This is made possible by leveraging phase change, which is a change from one state (solid, liquid or gas) to another without a change in chemical composition. During this process the material going through this change of state becomes “stuck” at it’s phase change temperature until the process is complete.

All ice and ice packs (including Cooler Shock)  start out at freezer temperatures (0-10°F), and then climb from there. Ice climbs steadily and quickly to 32°F (its phase change temperature) while Cooler Shock climbs to 18°F (its phase change temperature) and stays there for hours (extended cooling described above).

It’s an interesting science but the fact is that ice and most ice packs do not offer the kind of cooling that you need to keep food and beverages in a safe temperature range. Fridges and freezers operate at a much colder temperature than 32 degrees in order to get the food down to a safe level. A fridge will have air pumped into it in the 10 to 25°F range in order to keep food at 35 to 38°F. A freezer will have air pumped into it in the -15 to -10°F range in order to keep food at 0 to 5°F.

Cooler Shock is designed to phase change at 18°F thereby offering you the effects of a fridge or freezer for extended periods. You can see this happen in the phase change video on our product video page. FYI, in the video, the thermometer indicates an ice pack temperature in the low 20’s due to the fact that the temperature sensor is on the outside of the ice pack. If it were inserted within, it would read 18°F. There are losses associated with the sensor being on the outside.

Why does it last longer?

Cooler Shock (CS) will perform better over time compared to ice when CS is used in equal weight to the ice you would have used. This will lower the weight and improve the space efficiency in your cooler. The science behind this is called heat of fusion.

If you read the section on why it’s colder and why it’s faster first, you will have the foundation for how it lasts longer. Besides the colder temperature cooling things early and therefore needing less energy to keep items cool, there are advantages in the fact that the ice pack is not melting and making direct fluid contact with the sides and bottom of the cooler. The cooler is a big energy sink and the direct contact that ice creates as it melts works to send energy right out of the sides of the cooler. The advantage of an air space is lost and energy escapes quickly.