10 Best Ice Packs for Runners Tested
Cool off overheated and sore muscles with a review of the best ice packs and CryoTherapy tools currently available for runners in this big review guide!
There is no denying that a bag of frozen peas can be a surprisingly useful ice pack. That said there are quite a few limitations a bag of peas is going to have (clumps of frozen peas, limited coverage). If you’re serious about taking care of your body you can do better than a bag of frozen vegetables.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Roscoe Medical
- Pack of 3 Sizes
- Easy to Use
- Moji MK2
- High Performance Material
If anyone needs a refresher on why ice is so important after strenuous exercise check here. Running is a sport of repetitive motion and with this repetitive motion comes a good deal of wear and tear. Ice is widely accepted to be the best treatment for not only addressing the general inflammation of running but any acute injuries that crop up as well.
As far back as records go, ice has been used to reduce swelling effectively and quickly reduce pain.
When using ice you must be aware of how long to use it because too long can result in tissue damage and/or very painful frostbite. If you don’t use the ice for long enough then the benefits are minimalized.
Brands employ experts who carry out extensive research to ensure the design and application methodology will give the maximum benefits without doing any damage.
Innovative protective materials to ensure skin comfort and protection are designed into modern ice packs/bags. Synthetic cold retaining materials are often used to ensure maximum benefits, ice packs are designed to have the flexibility to ensure they evenly contour over affected body area’s to evenly distribute positive therapeutic benefits.
There are even treatment packs which are capable of delivering hot and cold therapy to ensure maximum beneficial effects.
If you want to use an ice pack you can even find models which can be securely worn so that you can be hands-free and even mobile.
Most runners will at some point encounter some form of injury which involves bruising and/or swelling and it is worthwhile to include an ice pack system as part of your running gear.
We are sure that our current reviewed line-up of ice packs will include something for you, read on and choose.
10 Best Ice Packs for Runners
Roscoe Medical Hot & Cold Reusable Gel Pack
- Helps assist with a variety of aches/pains in different body parts
- Good for sprains, contusions, headaches and even toothaches
- Three convenient sizes
- Won’t freeze solid like a block, maintains flexibility
- Has a chemical smell at first
- User friendly, Convenient, self icing tool
- Plastic handle does not conduct cold temperature leaving your hands unaffected; simply fill cup with water toss in the freezer
- Can be used for sensory stimulation, splint cooling, or general muscle workover
- Indefinitely reusable (eco-friendly) easy to clean
- Easy to use, simple straightforward
- May start to crack after long use, due to repeated hot/cold transitions
Moji MK2 Knee Ice Wrap
- 2 part compression wrap made from pliable material
- Polartec high performance material, adjustable closures for variable pressure
- Convenience and mobility — walk around the house while you ice
- The Moji cold cell’s contours to the knee and stays in place
- The cold surface consists of 18 individual cells that secure the gel packets in place
- Some wished it was a bit larger
Polar Ice Foot and Ankle Wrap, Cold Therapy Ice Pack
- Polar Ice is great for cold therapy after surgery, when recovering from injuries, or for simple preventive maintenance
- Build to articulate perfectly around the ankle, providing as much coverage as possible
- Has hook & loop closure straps
- Surface has soft fleece covering to protect skin
- They make a similar ice wrap built for the knee
- It could be a bit more pliable
Pro-Tec Athletics Hot/Cold Therapy Wrap
Material: Polyester 45% Neoprene 55%
Size: Varies, depending on which option you choose
- Provides a deep penetrating cold and/or heat compress for therapeutic uses
- Is form fitting but does not constrict while applied
- Dual strapping system ensures uniform compression and holds the pack firmly in place
- Best for knees, ankles, feet, wrists and elbows — but can be used essentially anywhere
- Comes in two convenient size that will cover most people
- A few suggest that it be made a bit wider
TheraPearl Shin Wraps, Reusable Hot Cold Therapy
- Shin wraps are perfect for shin splints, stress fractures and more
- Specifically engineered to hold temperature for the medically recommended period of time
- Simply pop in the freezer or toss in the microwave
- Made from non-toxic materials
- Latex and BPA free
- Some wish that they would adjust tighter
Raniaco Gel Ice Pack,Hot Cold Therapy Wrap
Easy to use
Perfect for sport injuries such as sprains and pulled muscles
Small and lightweight
It has Velcro straps to easily adjust the tightness and it keeps an ice in right place
It freezes really fast
Some users complained about too much gel in first section and less gel in two other sections
NatraCure Universal Cold Pack Ice Wrap
Fits perfectly wide feet
Takes less than hour to make it cold
Easy to replace the ice pack and adjust the tightness
Soft and flexible
It’s washable and removable
Starts to relieve pain in few seconds
You can wear it on the socks
Reviewers said it could held cold for longer
FlexiKold Gel Cold Pack
Covers a really wide area of the body
It stays cold for hours so there’s possibility to sleep with it
The material is easy to clean
There are many sizes available
It’s perfect to use it on your back
Buyers complained about not enough gel moving from side to side
Chattanooga ColPac Cold Therapy
Needs only two hours in the freezer to be ready
It stays really cold for about 30 minutes
The price is very attractive for such a big ice pack
It doesn’t slide and stays in one position
Very durable, doesn’t stretch after many usages
You shouldn’t sleep with it
This is only cold therapy so don’t try to put it in the microwave
Polar Ice Standard Knee Wrap, Cold Therapy Ice Pack, Wearable Ice Pack
Strategically arranged encapsulated-ice-packs containing purified-water and wrapped in fleece style material for soft comfort against the affected part of the body.
User-friendly adjustment system via the hook-loop system.
The ice packs will shape against the body and the soft insulation ensures no frostbite damage, very effective for sprains, bruises, post surgery and pain relief. The relief given has long-lasting results.
Realy user-friendly price, affordable
Suitable for different kinds of injuries
Easy to use
Perfect for post-surgical recovery
Ensure you place the ice evenly in the ice pack or you get less good effect
Ikisdo Care Therapy Wrap Reusable Hot & Cold Gel Beads
Reduces painful swelling through the cold ice and relieves pain from bruising, the heat effect gives deep penetration to bring on relief from pain. The gel beads retain heat or cold for a recommended time period to ensure maximum benefit for the user.
For the cold treatment, you put the pack in the fridge an hour before it is used or place it in the freezer and it will be ready for use sooner. Ensure that while the pack is being cooled that it is laid out fully on a flat surface to ensure all the gel beads are fully cooled.
For the hot treatment, the pack needs to be wrapped in a damp paper towel and then put the pack in the microwave and heat it for intervals at 7 seconds and do not exceed a total of thirty seconds. Apply the pack evenly to the area which requires treatment and do remember to avoid placing on open skin wounds or sensitive skin.
The beads are non-toxic and reusable and the pack forms and shapes comfortably over the affected area. Even when frozen the bead pack retains flexibility for applying to the body and you get a comfortable soft protective material.
This is affordable and worthy of consideration as part of your running gear.
Ice packs are inside a comfortable protective material
Good for painful swelling
Good for painful bruising
Can be securely attached to the body
Preparation time for cooling the pack for use could be quicker
Icing is a form of cryotherapy that can be practiced in a variety of different ways. Below we’ll be focused on the most basic one, good old-fashioned ice compresses and packs
But your self treatment need not end there. Of late professional athletes and celebrities have begun popularizing a form of cryotherapy that immerses your whole body (safely) in a machine that blasts you with sub zero temperatures for a short period of time. This is said to have the benefits of standard icing to an exponential power (among other things).
Their machines are quite expensive, but there are clinics starting to open around the US which offer this treatment on an outpatient basis. If you are interested in this read on more information is at the bottom of the article.
Ultimately whether or not you decide to try out a cryotherapy machine investigating which ice packs are best for runners is definitely worth a couple minutes. The way a pack is designed and cut can have a drastic impact on its effectiveness, not to mention its level of user-friendliness
The Criteria that we used for finding the best Ice Packs
We’re working really hard to make our readers happy with their choices. Here’s the list of the important factors that you should consider before purchasing the products
Time of working and using it hot
This is a crucial question that needs to be considered. Many people complain about products not staying cold for a long time. The good ice pack should be put on your body for about 20-30 minutes. Many buyers also tend to look for products which are also hot packs- this means that instead of putting it in the freezer you put it in the microwave.
While choosing the best size for your product, you should consider what’s the aim of its usage. If you’re going to use it on small parts of your body like knees or hands, you don’t need to purchase a big one. It’s the different story if you look for a relief for your back, shoulders or arms. You must be aware that ice pack must fit around the whole area of the arm, leg and etc. It’s usually better to buy a bigger one because it may be a little heavier but it will still work with smaller parts of the body. Remember also that even for the back, a product shouldn’t be too heavy because you may have a problem with keeping it in the freezer.
The material of the Ice Pack should be high quality, durable and very pliable in order to fit the body correctly. Seams must be well-made and they can’t split or in another way, you and your clothes may be colored by the gel or any other substance. After taking it out of the freezer, the gel or any other substance should be flexible to easily fit the shape of the limb. Avoid products in which liquid substance stays only on one side of the pack.
Other important factors worth considering
How often and who will use it?
This may be a less important aspect, but for us, it’s quite crucial. On the market, there are two main types- for single use and for regular use. There’s also a question if you’re going to be the only one who uses it? Maybe other members of your family want to try it out. You should contemplate these two points and decide which option is better for you.
Many people may think that Ice Packs shouldn’t be very expensive and they really aren’t. You have a wide range of prices- from 20 dollars products to those which price may be higher than 50 dollars. However, the most expensive products aren’t always the best ones. You should personalize your product. We would recommend checking the price after considering the other important factors. Remember also that if you need Ice Pack for back it won’t cost the same as an Ice Pack for the wrist.
CryoTherapy Frequently Asked Questions
Who developed this technology?
Cryotherapy is a technique that was developed by Japanese scientists to treat patients with arthritis. It has gained popularity and has been studied further throughout Europe.
How exactly does Cryotherapy work?
Cryotherapy utilizes the gaseous form of nitrogen to cool a person’s skin to a temperature that is thirty to fifty degrees lower than normal for approximately two to three minutes. There is no actual contact between the person and the nitrogen gas. The gas is only used to cool the chamber. When the skin begins to feel the extremely cold temperature, the brain begins to fire regulatory functions and also releases endorphins and natural anti-inflammatories.
Who uses full body CryoTherapy?
This treatment has the potential to be of benefit to anyone. The Cleveland Cavaliers and celebrities such as Tony Robbins have been known to use it. The average consumer will likely not afford a CryoSauna of their own, but clinics are always an option as well.
Is it comfortable?
It’s a more than tolerable process. You are required to wear some protective cover on your extremities — and the worst you are likely to face is some pins and needles afterward.
How will my body feel post-treatment?
Everyone’s experience is different but ideally, you will feel relaxed, more energetic and in a good mood (due to the release of endorphins and hormones). Not to mention the easing of accumulated inflammatory wear and tear on the body.
Can I catch a cold because of this procedure?
No, a CryoTherapy session raises your body’s internal temperature for just a short time, which is meant to stimulate your immune system, potentially increasing your ability to fight off a cold.
We like to provide a balanced view of a topic and there is no doubt full body CryoTherapy has its skeptics. WebMD has offered a few helpful opinions (some positive, some skeptical).
Here are some great sources we came across while conducting some of our research:
- Cold Call, Running Publication, Dec 01, 2009 ,
- Runners And Ice Packs, Clinical information, ,
- STOP Icing Your Running Injuries Right Now, Running information, ,
- Burning Runner: Don’t Take Ice For Granted Read more at http://running.competitor.com/2011/03/injury-prevention/burning-runner-dont-take-ice-for-granted_23050#gSf66UM5jfhuxkE8.99, Sports & Fitness publication, Mar 14, 2011 ,