Ice Barrel Review

Barrel roll into this Ice Barrel review, and discover the benefits of this cold plunge.

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Cold plunging may have quite the buzz around it in the modern fitness climate, but people have used the benefits of cold water therapy for hundreds of years. Companies like Ice Barrel are offering a designated area to cold plunge instead of using your bathtub in your home. A cold plunge is when you submerge your body into temperatures under 59 degrees for around three minutes. Among the many potential benefits of cold plunging are faster recoverymental clarity, and maybe even a boost in immunity

A lot of cold plunges today feature a filter and temperature regulator on the side of the tub, but these can dominate a lot of space, and will cost you over $2,000 most of the time. The cool thing about the Ice Barrel is that it is literally shaped like a barrel, so you have more flexibility in your placement, and it only weighs 55 pounds when empty — which means you can always “change locations” like Drake and Future. This plastic barrel is insulated, and when you have the lid and cover on, you can expect your water to stay icy cold for up to three days (though possibly fewer days in the summer). If you’re looking to add cold plunging into your routine but you’re tight on space, the Ice Barrel is definitely an option worth considering.

Main Takeaways

  • The Ice Barrel only weighs 55 pounds when empty, so you can always store it or move it around when you’re done plunging.
  • The lid and cover are designed to keep your water cold for up to three days, and may not even need ice in colder winter months.
  • The compact design here (42” tall x 25” wide) means you can place the Ice Barrel almost anywhere you’d like.
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Ice Barrel
Ice Barrel
Ice Barrel

To use the Ice Barrel, simply fill it with water and ice, then climb in with the added step-stool to take a dip. With dimensions of 42 inches high by 31 inches wide, this product was designed to mimic the actual size of a barrel. Code: BARBEND

Ice Barrel Video Review

Our Reviews Writer, Jake, hopped into the Ice Barrel to test it out for himself. He walks you through its pros and cons, pricing, and features in this detailed video review.

Ice Barrel Highlights

While the Ice Barrel is an investment as it’s priced around $1,200, it’s still a cheaper alternative than spending well over $2,000 on a competitor’s luxury cold plunge. Due to its compact build, we believe this is going to be a good purchase for anyone who is a dedicated cold plunger but doesn’t have a whole lot of space at their disposal. It doesn’t feature a water filter or temperature regulator, but its insulated design (paired with the lid and cover) can help keep your water cold for about three days. While this time frame can be impacted by the hot summer months, it’s likely you won’t need to add any ice during the winter if you live in a colder region.

Ice Barrel Highlights
Ice Barrel Highlights

Since the Ice Barrel doesn’t require any electricity, installation is quite easy. Simply unbox your barrel, give it a quick rinse, and you’re good to fill it up with water and ice to start plunging. Since you don’t have a water filter here, you’ll need to change the water pretty frequently — but this is also a simple process thanks to the hose hookup on the drain at the front of the barrel. You may want to snag the water maintenance package they offer as well, so you can reuse your water and be less wasteful. Since you do have to use a good amount of ice (especially in the summer), it’s worth noting that you will have to spend an additional chunk of change on ice in order to use this product. 

Who Should Buy The Ice Barrel

  • Anyone who is tight on space will love the compact design of the Ice Barrel.
  • Those who want to be able to move their plunge around will be happy to learn that the Ice Barrel only weighs 55 pounds when empty. 
  • Folks who want to experience the benefits of cold plunging without spending over $2,000.

Who Shouldn’t Buy The Ice Barrel

  • While it’s more affordable than some competitors, $1,300 may still be too much for some people to spend on a plastic barrel. 
  • Those who live in a hot region may be more interested in a cold plunge with an acrylic or fiberglass build, which may be able to keep their water colder for a longer period. 
  • Anyone who doesn’t want to waste water and ice may want to spend more money on a cold plunge that will regulate your temperature and keep your water clean on its own. 

Price

Even though the Ice Barrel is more affordable than some of the competitor cold plunges, you’re still going to be spending around $1,300 once you factor in the cost of shipping. Since you don’t have any features other than the steps to the barrel, the drain, and a cover, this can be a steep price tag for some buyers out there. You could make the case that it’s worth spending an extra $900 or so on a cold plunge that regulates your water temperature, and filters your water for you — but those luxury options are also much larger. They’re also heavier, so you can’t move them around as freely, or place them almost anywhere like you can with the Ice Barrel.

Ice Barrel Features
Ice Barrel Features

For anyone interested in financing this purchase, Ice Barrel will allow you to do so with Klarna or Affirm, so you may want to check out the various options available from both companies. Since the Ice Barrel doesn’t feature a filter to keep your water clean, you’ll likely want to purchase the water maintenance package for an additional $130. This consists of a water stabilizer, cleaning soap, a scrub brush, Epsom salt, a skimmer net, and a thermometer. You can always purchase each of these individually, but that will force you to spend more money in the long run. 

The water stabilizer is priced around $50, the cleaning soap, Epsom salt, and thermometer are all three about $15, the brush is around $10, and the skimmer net is about $20. You can also purchase a replacement step stool, cover, stand, and lid if you ever need to. The stool is about $45, while the cover, stand, and lid will run you around $100 each. 

Overall Build and Quality

Ice Barrel uses 100 percent recycled plastic to make their barrels, and you have the choice between black and tan color ways. The barrel itself only weighs 55 pounds, so it’s easily portable, but it can weigh as heavy as 750 pounds when full. The plastic is insulated, and when it’s paired with the lid and cover, it’s meant to keep your water cold for a few days, depending on the outside temperature. It can hold up to 105 gallons of water, and it’s just under four feet tall and two feet wide, with an opening of just under three feet wide. 

Features

The Ice Barrel is pretty basic in terms of features. It doesn’t feature a chiller to regulate your water temperature, so you’ll have to use a lot of ice and water to reach your desired temperature. It also doesn’t come with a filter, so it’s going to be important to drain the water periodically, and you might want to consider purchasing the water maintenance package to help. The drain on the front of the barrel features a hose hookup, so it’s really easy to direct the water away from your plunging location. 

Temperature Control 

Since the Ice Barrel doesn’t feature a chiller to control your temperature, you’re going to need to use a lot of ice to create that frigid water you’re looking for. This could be difficult in the summer months. When we first filled our barrel up, we had to use over 100 pounds of ice since it was around 90 degrees outside. This shouldn’t be as much of a problem during the colder winter months — your water should stay pretty consistently icy then. 

Draining

The hose hookup allows you to direct your water away from your plunge when you’re ready to drain it. Just attach your hose to the drain, and turn the knob to allow the water to flow.

Ice Barrel Drainage
Ice Barrel Drainage

You will likely have a little bit of water that lingers since the drain isn’t directly on the bottom of the barrel, and the opening of the barrel has a lip — this means that if you flip it upside down, the water can’t fully dump out. However, we didn’t find this to be much of a burden in our time with the barrel.

Filtration

Since you don’t have a built-in filter to clean your water, it’s crucial that you stay on top of this. This is where the water maintenance package is going to come into play. This is going to be the best way to keep your water clean from bacteria, and is going to cost you about $130. 

Accessories

The only accessories included with the Ice Barrel are the stand, step stool, cover, and lid.

Ice Barrel Accessories
Ice Barrel Accessories

Other than that, you can purchase an additional water maintenance package to help keep your water clean, or replacements for the accessories that come with your barrel initially. 

Water Treatment

While it’s an extra $130, Ice Barrel does offer a water maintenance package that can help keep your water clean from bacteria. This is a necessary purchase for anyone who doesn’t want to change their water after each plunging session. It comes with Epsom salt, a water stabilizer, cleaning soap, a scrub brush, a skimmer net, and a thermometer. The Epsom salt is meant to help relieve muscle soreness, and it’s infused with eucalyptus to assist your mental relaxation. The water stabilizer is going to reduce calcium and scum line buildup and control odors. 

Product Specs

The Ice Barrel is made from 100 percent recycled plastic. It’s just under four feet tall and just over two feet wide at the base with an opening just under three feet wide. It weighs 55 pounds when empty, and up to 750 pounds when full. Since it’s not a tub, we thought people over six feet tall may have difficulty sumberging their body without heat pockets forming. However, our team didn’t find that to be a problem in our time with the barrel. Due to its compact design, we think this is one of the better options for anyone who is tight on space.

Materials

The Ice Barrel is made from 100 percent recycled plastic. This is going to make it easy to clean, and easy to move around when empty. 

Dimensions

The Ice Barrel is just under four feet tall, the base is a shade over two feet wide, and the opening is just under three feet wide. The majority of users should be able to fit comfortably in the Ice Barrel without the fear of heat pockets forming (unless you’re well over six feet tall), allowing you to recover from a hardcore leg day

Since you can’t sit, you’ll have to have a slight bend in your knees to go chest deep in the water. We didn’t have a problem with this, but it’s worth mentioning that without a step/seat in the Ice Barrel, it was a little tricky to make our way out of the tub when we felt frozen after our plunge.

Weight

The Ice Barrel only weighs 55 pounds on its own, so you can easily store it when you’re done plunging, or move locations as you please. However, it does weigh 750 pounds when full, so you’ll have to drain it to move it. The barrel can hold up to 105 gallons of water, but with ice added, we imagine you’ll be using around just 80 gallons. 

Warranties

Ice Barrel throws in a limited lifetime warranty on their product with your purchase. This is going to cover any manufacturing defects, such as a crack in the barrel or a broken valve on the drain. You can check out their warranty section for more information. 

Places to Buy

You can purchase the Ice Barrel directly through the Ice Barrel website.

Company Information

Based out of Sugarcreek, Ohio, Ice Barrel’s mission is to create the “most accessible and effective cold therapy solution to help you get colder and feel better.” To reach out to their support team, you can email them at [email protected], or you can give them a call at (330) 539-3375.

Final Word

From recovery to combating anxiety, we believe everyone can benefit from plunging into some ice cold water every now and then. Ice Barrel has created a compact option for anyone who is tight on space at home, but wants a designated area to plunge and speed up their post-workout recovery. Unless you’re well over six feet tall, we think you will be able to completely submerge your body without the fear of forming heat pockets in your hamstrings. The insulated build paired with the included cover and lid can keep your water cold for up to three days (depending on the temperature outside), and the lightweight build makes it easy to move.. 

While you will need to use a lot of water and ice to create the ideal temperature, you will save money up front as opposed to spending over $2,000 on a cold plunge with a filter and chiller. However, it’s still not cheap considering you’ll be spending around $1,300. At the end of the day though, the plastic material makes it easy to clean and move around whenever necessary, and we think it’s a solid option for anyone looking for a compact piece of equipment to supplement their cold plunge routine.

FAQs

What are the benefits you can receive from an ice bath in the Ice Barrel?

Ice baths are a great way to speed up the recovery process of sore muscles since they can reduce inflammation, but they can also be super helpful for your mental health and help combat anxiety.

What are the temperature limits with the Ice Barrel?

Since there is no temperature regulator with the Ice Barrel, you will not be able to create a hot tub unless you dump a bunch of warm water in the barrel. However, you can make your ice bath as cold as you see fit by tossing in more ice.

Can I put my Ice Barrel outside?

Yes, you can 100 percent place your Ice Barrel outside. In fact, that’s probably the best place for it as water may spill when you’re hopping in. You may want to keep your cover on it though to help keep the color from fading over time.