Techni Ice Gel Packs
High tech ice packs
Techni Ice Gel packs are high tech ice packs that are literally very cool. A full sheet is made up of 4 x 6 2″ cells with the full size of the sheet at 11″x16″. The main difference between these sheets and the usual ice bricks are that they cover a significantly larger surface area, they flex so you can wrap them around things, they occupy less vertical space in the cooler leaving more room for cargo, and they just hold the cold longer. The best part is that they really do keep your items ice cold even after they have begun to soften after a long day. They can be used to maintain a freezer at home in a super-cold state, and can even be microwaved to keep things hot. Another bonus is that they are flexible enough to drape around sore muscles or a sports injury while either hot or cold.
Techni-Ice gel packs arrive completely dry and flat. In order to get them prepped you submerge them into a sink half full of warm water and knead the individual 2″ cells for a while, or let them sit for a time after which the cells will swell to a thickness of about 1″. After this, you simply put them into the freezer and use them when frozen. Though the gel packs can reach temperatures far colder than traditional ice packs and can be used as a replacement for dry ice (they are usable down to -190C or -310F) in order to get them exceptionally cold you would have to use other methods besides your standard freezer.
I first learned about them from Joe the Fish Man at a local farmer’s market in Phoenix. He needs to keep his fish frozen all day in temperatures that reach 110F in the shade and 140F in an enclosed vehicle and he does so with the help of his Techni Ice Gel packs.
One word of caution when buying these online. There are several different models. The type you want to buy are the new three color (blue, red and yellow printing on white background as pictured above) 4-ply full sheets. If the seller does not explicitly specify, find someone who does. Some will try sell older models using outdated technology, disposable 2-ply sheets, and even partial sheets so buyer beware.05/5/10