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arctic ease instant cold wrap

Do you like being overheated?

Do you like being hurt?

If you answered “no” to both those questions, as I did, you might be interested in something called the Arctic Ease® Instant Cold Wrap.

The company has been around a while, but I just found out about it recently when the company announced a partnership with IRONMAN, and boy did I get excited!

Because it’s not that I “don’t like” being overheated and hurting, I hate it! So if there’s a product out there that can help me recover from injuries and cool me down at the same time, I have to try it!

This Arctic Ease wrap is an incredibly simple but effective alternative to traditional cold therapy (ice packs, bags of frozen peas, etc..)

How does it work?

You wrap it around your injury, and it absorbs heat from your body. Rather than trying to force cold into your body, it draws the heat out, which results in a gentle cooling sensation. The heat absorbed by the wrap is then lost through evaporation, allowing the wrap to keep cooling your body for a few hours (or until it dries out.)

When the wrap does dry out, all you have to do is dip it in some water to rehydrate it, and it will work again! You don’t need to keep it in the refrigerator or freezer at all. You could keep it in your bedroom, in your gym bag, anywhere you might need it.

I should also mention that because this is a wrap, similar to the widely-known Ace bandage, it’s going to conform to your body without limiting your mobility. No need to sit still while using it!

Now let’s see if it works as promised…

Using the Arctic Ease Instant Cold Wrap

Going into this test, I really wondered what the bandage would feel like. I mean, I’ve had bandages get wet before, and they didn’t turn into fancy cooling bandages.

arctic ease wrapped on calf

How did it feel? Weird. I guess it was more surprising than anything. The material is totally different than I expected. It’s thick and solid, more like RockTape than a typical cloth bandage.

It felt kind of slimy on the edges, like the bandage was impregnated with some fancy cooling gel, yet it was dry to the touch. It didn’t leave a residue on my hands or wet spots on my clothing.

My first application was to my knee, and the 4″ x 60″ bandage was just big enough for the job. I wouldn’t mind if it was a little bigger, but the size is just right for wrapping knees, elbows, wrists, and ankles.

In a few minutes, I noticed my knee was slightly cooler than before. 15 minutes later, I got to wondering, “did I put this on backwards?” It didn’t get cold at all. I waited 45 minutes and nothing! Just a very slight cooling that was hardly even noticeable.

So I tried it on my arm, flipping the bandage over so the other side was against my skin. Still, the cooling was barely noticeable.

After these two uses, I noticed some dry spots on the wrap, so I decided to re-hydrate the bandage by placing about 1 Tbsp water in the jar (they say 1-2 tsp) and let it sit overnight (they say 2-3 hours.) In the morning, the edges of the wrap had rehydrated, but the rest was still dry.

You must have to shake it up!

I kept playing around with it, shaking it up, refreshing with 1 Tbsp water until the bandage wouldn’t absorb any more, and rotating the jar to expose all areas of the bandage to the water. (It’s not like the water costs anything so no biggie.)

Finally, after lots of water and five days of waiting, I wrapped the Arctic Ease around a sore calf. (Both my calves were sore from a weekend of backpacking.)

I could actually feel the coldness this time! It definitely chilled my leg quickly, where it hits a point that’s very cool, and almost, but not quite cold. Then after about 10 minutes it’s just cold enough that I’d consider it cold!

An hour later, my leg was still cool, but I kinda forgot I was wearing it. So obviously it’s not cold cold. (Which is fine – I’m not trying to get frostbite!)

Apparently the wrap wasn’t well hydrated upon purchase!

I now rehydrate the wrap like so:

rehydrating arctic ease wrap

And it works marvelously!

I’ve gotten numerous uses out of this wrap, and the material is still in good shape. It still sticks to itself easily.

I really like how you don’t need any tape, clips, or Velcro to secure it!

Just don’t let it dry out while it’s wrapped on your body. It gets stiff like a cast and cuts into your skin on the ends!! And it feels like it’s going to tear when you peel it off. Then it’s all stiff and crinkly as you can see:

dried out arctic ease wrap

Fortunately, a little water brings it back to life!

Arctic Ease Instant Cold Wrap In Summary

What you need to remember about the wrap:

  • Make sure the wrap is fully hydrated, even when brand new.
  • It sticks to itself, so it’s super easy to use.
  • It’s cool, not freezing cold, which is safer for your skin.
  • You don’t have to stay in one place – go ahead and move around while wearing it.
  • It’s odorless, unlike those muscle cooling creams.

That about sums it up.

But, did you know the Arctic Ease is not the only cooling wrap out there?

arctic ease vs physicool

Arctic Ease Cold Wrap vs Physicool Cooling Bandage

When I heard about this wrap, it made me think of a very similar “cooling bandage” I tested last year called the Physicool.

How does it compare?

Well, the Arctic Ease is much simpler to use. Unfortunately, it won’t get nearly as cold!

The Physicool, even when nearly dried out, was still colder than this thing when brand new! I only had to wear the Physicool for about 15-30 minutes, and then my legs would stay cool for another hour or more. With this Arctic Ease wrap, I have to wear the wrap for an hour or two to get that cooling sensation.

On the plus side, the Arctic Ease is cheaper upfront and in the long run. It’s only $14.99 for the bandage, and you can rehydrate it with plain water. The Physicool costs $30.00 since you have to buy the bandage and a special recharging liquid.

And, while the Physicool requires a Velcro strap to hold it tight, the Arctic Ease simply adheres to itself.

arctic ease cold wrap on calf

Another big win for the Arctic Ease wrap is that it’s antimicrobial, so even though you can’t launder it, it should stay germ-free.

Lastly, this one is made in the USA. The Arctic Ease company is actually based in my home state of Pennsylvania, while the Physicool was invented across the pond in the United Kingdom. (I just like to support a fellow Pennsylvania small business when possible.)

Having Fun With the Arctic Ease Wrap

Did I mention the great mobility? You don’t have to put your active lifestyle on hold while you take a break to ice.

Just look at me out paddling with the Arctic Ease wrap on my elbow:

arctic ease cold wrap on elbow

If I was using an ice pack, I’d be sitting on the couch watching TV!

Now, I can’t say that the wrap was super comfortable during the paddle. That would be a stretch! It was a little irritating to my skin to be honest. And it dries out extra fast when you’re out in the sun. But, if I had to choose between paddling with some discomfort and not paddling at all, I would happily wrap up both elbows.

My final verdict is…

This Arctic Ease cooling wrap is pretty darn cool (no pun intended). It’s cheaper and easier to use than the Physicool bandage, but not as cold. You’ll have to decide which one is better for your needs, but if cold therapy is part of your recovery plan, I suggest getting at least one type of cooling wrap/bandage!

Official website: www.ArcticEaseWrap.com

Buy online: www.Amazon.com

Product Review Details
Company: Arctic Ease
Product: Arctic Ease Instant Cold Wrap
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Date last updated: 2014-07-15
Obtained Product: Free sample from company.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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