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Ice Barrel Review: Mind (And Pain) Erasing

ice barrel empty

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs about 55 lbs. when empty… closer to 750 lbs. when full
  • It’s a plastic barrel that you put ice in, and then yourself
  • Props to Ice Barrel for using recycled materials and making it in the USA
  • Get ready to become a frequent ice shopper over the summer
  • Available now for $1,200 (save 25% by using code BITR25 or the shop links below)

NOTE: All reviews are done in exchange for product and no compensation is provided to Believe in the Run for any review. However, we may make a small commission on some affiliate links, so thank you for supporting us if you decide to purchase something through our site!

THOMAS: When you think of cold plunging or ice baths, you think of Joe Rogan, Tony Robbins, or, depending on how hardcore you are into the trail scene, Craft-sponsored athlete David Laney. I’ll never understand how David looks so at ease in a tub of ice going over the details of the latest Craft trail shoe. The moment I get in the Ice Barrel, my brain wipes clean. I wouldn’t be able to tell you my name as much as go over the details of a shoe. You wouldn’t hear what I was saying over the chattering teeth anyway. So why do all these type-A people make Ice baths a regular part of their daily lives?

Ice Barrel will tell you that the benefits include resetting your mind (I can attest to this one). Ice cold water reduces inflammation and pain by constricting blood flow to muscles, thus improving mood and activating the nervous system. Cold plunges help you flex your self-control muscles. It takes strength to intentionally put yourself into an uncomfortable environment and even more to stay in the freezing water. Stack that behavior up daily, and you develop something people call self-discipline.

In my experience, the cold plunge immediately changed how my body felt after exercising. Typically after running, my body slowly eases back to its regular status. However, the Ice Barrel shocks your system by constricting blood flow. After a minute in the barrel, my sore muscles reset. I can’t explain how satisfied I feel after getting out of the barrel, but I haven’t gotten out of the barrel without a smile. Granted, the smile might be from getting out of the Ice Barrel.

ice barrel above

Either way, I’m in good spirits long after I get out. There’s still a smile on my face while getting out of the shower, downing my second cup of coffee, and getting ready for work. If you’re still unsure, Ice Barrel has compiled the science behind cold plunging here. While I’ve been using the Ice Barrel in the winter so far, I’m even more excited to try it after long Summer runs.

In the past, I would use the bathtub to create an ice bath, and there are lots of things you can turn into an ice bath, so why use an Ice Barrel that costs $1,200? It comes down to having a specific tool to complete a particular task.

The Ice Barrel is lightweight when empty, only tipping the scales at 55 lbs. Once filled with water, it’s closer to 750 lbs. The Ice Barrel sits on a stand with a tap to quickly drain straight out or attach a hose if you need to get the wastewater to grass or a flower bed, and it has a lid to keep dirt out, which makes using it in the winter fantastic. I fill it up once and let the freezing temps make the ice for me.

In the summer, I’ll need to visit the ice factory, which is conveniently around the corner from our house. Depending on where you live, that could get pricey, since the barrel isn’t double-walled or insulated. Just be sure to keep it in the shade. The barrel’s upright design allows you to sit comfortably while you’re uncomfortable in the freezing water.

So, how do you get in and out of the barrel? Simple, it comes with a step stool. I was happy that getting in and out was relatively easy, but it isn’t set up well for someone lacking upper body strength. You’ll need your arms to give a pretty good boost in and out.

It also had… quite an effect on our team, which you can check out below. I don’t think we’re all converts, but maybe. This also might explain why we had to use some of Ice Barrel’s images — we couldn’t hold the camera still from shivering.


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A post shared by B E L I E V E In The Run (@believeintherun)

I was skeptical about the Ice Barrel at first. A more economical solution would be a large garbage can. However, I should have considered the filling, draining, getting in and out, storage, and durability. Plus, the Ice Barrel looks better in my tiny courtyard than a garbage can. It even comes with a cover if you want to cloak it completely. I intend to continue using the thing even though I hate getting in it. The pros outweigh the cons. Did I mention Ice Barrel is made in the USA from recycled materials and has a lifetime guarantee? I’ll be freezing my ass off for years.

You can pick up the Ice Barrel for $900 by using our link below (normally $1200, discount is automatically applied through the link).

Shop Ice Barrel

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