Does Icential Really Work?

Does Icential Really Work?
Does it realy work?

Does Icential work?Icential is positioning itself as the best way to keep cold foods and beverages cold. It says it’s better than ice packs, better than coolers, and will keep your stuff cold in an eco-friendly way. But how well do they really work?

Overview
Keeping things cool is a problem that generally pops up every summer, unless you live in a climate that has moderate temperatures year round. The standard method of using a cooler filled with ice, or a big bulky ice pack is what most resort to, with limited results. Nothing is going to get an aluminum can colder than keeping it on ice, but sometimes that’s not practical. And if you try to store food for a picnic or other even on ice, it can turn into a big mess pretty quickly, and generally doesn’t do the best job of keeping the food cold.

The Claim
The makers of Icential say that it stays cold for up to 10 hours, so you can leave the house feeling pretty secure that you’ll be able to keep your food and drinks cold enough long enough. They say the gel technology is supposed to be far superior to what’s currently out there. They say you can wrap the inner part of a cooler and it will function just like a big bag of ice poured in. This would be far preferable than ice, which melts, is heavy, and is expensive when buying it buy the bag, since it’s not reusable in any way shape or form.

The Hype
The hype is that you might be able to change the way you currently handle your daily packed lunch, or those times when you head to the beach or the lake, or out camping. This could really be a big part of your summer experience. Less so during the winter months, but since you can use these again and again they’ll be there for you next year.


The Cost
The Icential packs go for $33 and you end up with two sets of blue and two sets of pink. That’s a total of four of them, or about $8 each which includes having them shipped right to you. It’s understandable that these would go for more than a traditional ice pack. And when you consider that a 20 pound bag of ice is going to run you $4 a pop and only last you one day, it’s not a bad way to go if this can save you on buying ice just to keep a cooler full of food cold. You can decide whether you want to have all blue, all pink, or two of each one, which is pretty nice to be able to pick.

They say that this can save you up to $3000 a year, but it’s hard to imagine that you’re currently wasting even close to that amount in food and drinks due to a lack of ability to keep them cold, or spending that much in ice or ice packs to keep them cool. They are saying that because you opt for fast food for lack of better food options on the go, you’ll save that much in fast food costs. That’s a bit of a stretch, don’t you think?

The Commitment
This is billed as being a reduction in your commitment level because you wont’ have to go to the store, you won’t have to lug big bags of ice, and you won’t have to suffer the costs of those bags of ice. Also, the same goes for conventional ice packs that are big, bulky, and don’t seem to stay cold enough long enough to get the job done.

Evaluation
The Icential concept is a good one, and there does exist a gap that isn’t filled between conventional ice packs and bags of ice. The cool part about them is that they connect together, so you can tailor them to fit your needs. If you just need it for one beverage you just wrap up that beverage and it’s almost like a frozen koozie. When you start connecting them you can do pretty much whatever you want with them. For us, the killer app was being able to line the cooler with them. This seems like a far easier way to keep a cooler cold than a bag of ice, and you’ll have plenty more space for the actual food instead of having to budget so much space for the ice.

Also, when ice melts in a cooler it just ends up getting into everything that isn’t in a watertight container. This means that sometimes you get to where you’re going and your potato salad is swimming in melted ice water. Gross! These cooling pads should keep it cool without making a mess.

Final Icential Review

We like Icentials and think that they’ve done a great job to bring a useful and innovative product to the market, without charging too high of a price point. They have it set up so that you get the second unit free, and we like that they charge a reduced shipping charge on the second unit, so they’re not just trying to inflate the total purchase price.

Our Recommendation
If you’re tired of throwing your money away on ice, perhaps the most disposable product in the world, you owe it to yourself to try these out and see if it can solve the problem once and for all.

What do you think? Does Icential work or not?


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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebecca A July 26, 2013 at 8:07 pm

These are exactly what I need to keep my lunch cold – there is not a refrigerator in the part of the building where I work, so I have to keep my backpack in my office with my lunch. It weighs a ton because, since I can’t put regular ice in there, I have those frozen ice things that are actually HEAVIER than ice because of the thick plastic they’re wrapped in. Also – they’re just on the bottom of the bag, so I have to make sure I put whatever needs to stay coldest right next to it. I am ordering a set of these things today.

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Josh B July 27, 2013 at 3:49 pm

It looks like an elaborate attempt to replace ice which I’m sure could become useful for those summer activities but when winter comes it sounds like they’re not going to be all that useful. But do you really need to keep many drinks cold during the winter that your fridge or freezer couldn’t do? That’s something to think about when considering these. I would also like to know how long they’d actually last in the long term. Their effectiveness is also something to take into account. Will they effectively keep your beverages cold like a 20 pound bag of ice would? If not, you’re better off with the bag of ice.

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Barb July 27, 2013 at 6:51 pm

It’s interesting what you can watch on TV when you’re not able to sleep. I came across an infomercial for Icential. At first I had my doubts because I have purchased similar products in the past that didn’t work. I wanted something that I could use inside an insulated lunch tote to keep my salad and drink cold each day. I ordered the Icential (and got a second set for free) and gave it a try. I was actually impressed with this product! My salad was actually cold and my drink was cold, not icy cold, but certainly not lukewarm. I would recommend Icential for anyone who is looking to keep food and drinks cold. I think the price is a little high, but obviously I was willing to pay it.

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Claude July 27, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Regular ice packs don’t really measure up so the question is – do these? If they are as advertised, then four of them should do a pretty good job. I know on a long-weekend camping trip, we could literally run through a $100 in ice. So it would seem that just doing one trip like that a year, would make these pay for themselves already.

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Vanessa B. July 27, 2013 at 11:08 pm

This is definitely something that would come in handy for me. We have cookouts often and bring lots of meat, drinks, etc. We stay out for most of the day, and inevitably the ice packs become unfrozen after a few hours and the drinks and cold foods have nothing to keep them cool. If these really work for 10 hours like they say they do, they would definitely be worth the $8 each. However, I wonder how many are needed to keep a cooler full of food cool. Will I have to buy two packs of four to keep my two coolers cold, or can I keep a full cooler cold with one or two individual packs?

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Allison July 29, 2013 at 12:38 am

I had a similar gel pack when I was growing up but the gel formula must have been less than unique because the chill didn’t last very long. I am really interested in trying the Icential because of the convenience of being able to use something other than ice! Like the article mentions, ice is messy and requires continuous replacement. If I can purchase 4 packs for only $33, that would be great! And I am a fan of how shipping for the second item is slightly reduced because I won’t feel like I’m being taken advantage of through shipping.

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Lynda Schab August 1, 2013 at 2:14 pm

While at first it sounds like a rip off, price-wise, I can see where it would actually save you money in the long run. It’s not like you can keep an entire cooler of beverages cold, though, so for a trip to the beach or a day-long picnic, I don’t know that it would be much of a benefit unless you’re only planning on bringing along a couple of drinks. For lunches, however, these would be wonderful. But every place I’ve worked and had to bring a lunch, they’ve had a refrigerator. I agree it is an innovative product, though, and worth a try.

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RLG August 4, 2013 at 4:48 pm

I am going to try Icential when I do my grocery shopping. I carry the insulated bags, but I do all my errand running on one day and I am going to use the Icential to put in a cooler for ice cream and dairy products to stay cold while I finish my errands. I hate having to run home and unload the groceries, then head back out to do errands. This would allow me to do all my shopping in one day. I will let you all know if it last as long as they claim. I want it to last at least 4 or 5 hours.

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LS August 5, 2013 at 4:31 am

The beginning of this review mentions that the product is eco-friendly. I like that, but can someone please explain how exactly this product is eco-friendly other than the fact that it is reusable? There are plenty of reusable ice packs that I have used with success, but I hate the moisture that pools up around them, so I am certainly considering getting this product and giving it a try. I just hope that it will be as effective as they claim. Thankfully, it is pretty affordable, so even if it doesn’t work, I won’t be too mad.

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