Ice Barrel Review from Real User: Pros, Cons, and If It’s Worth It

Philip Randazzo

Published: Nov 03, 2023

Last Updated:

I finally did it a few months ago

I got myself a cold plunge. And I decided to go with the Ice Barrel.

Before buying this particular product, I did a lot of research. I wanted to make sure I made the right choice.

So after a few months and dozens of plunges in the Ice Barrel, did I make the right choice? If I did it all over again, would I buy the Ice Barrel again?

This guide, and particularly the video (give it a watch!) will walk you through my thoughts.

Ice Barrel video review:

Who I am and where I live:

I'm Philip Randazzo and have had the Ice Barrel for a few months now.

I live in Reno, NV and as I’m sharing this review, it’s summer time. Reno doesn’t get as hot as Vegas but it definitely gets hot. See this week’s forecast, we’ve got a heat wave coming!

The fact that I live in such a hot place was a huge decision point for me. I wanted a plunge that would hold up in the heat, keeping the water cool and plunge-ready.

Overview of the Ice Barrel:

The Ice Barrel is a cold plunge option without power. Other options out there allow you to plug the thing in and keep it cold.

As you can see from the video, this tall and slender tub offers nice portability. It takes up minimal space and is easy to move around, making it a versatile choice for especially spall spaces compared to the longer tubs that require folks to lay down.

Here are some more details:


$1,199.97 USD (as of 7/12/23)

Features of the Ice Barrel:

1. Size and Design: The Ice Barrel is designed to accommodate most body types while allowing users to sit comfortably in an upright position for a fully immersive ice bath experience. With dimensions of 42" high by 31" wide and a 25" opening, this well-proportioned barrel holds an impressive 105 gallons of water, ensuring enough space for you to immerse yourself and reap the maximum benefits.

I’m 6’2” and +200 lbs and I fit in it no problem.

2. Easy-to-Use Drainage System: The Ice Barrel incorporates a convenient drainage system, making water removal pretty simple. You just release the plug, and the water drains

3. Durability and Eco-Friendly Construction: Crafted in Ohio, USA, using recycled materials, the Ice Barrel is sturdy. You can tell it’s got some quality to the build and not going to fall apart after a few uses.

It’s made from LLDPE (Low Linear Density Polyethylene). Basically what that means is that it’ll remain crack-free and resistant to material defects with proper usage and maintenance.
It’s also sustainable, which I like. 

4. Warranty: Ice Barrel offers a limited lifetime warranty. It’s a nice touch when you’re spending over $1,000 on this thing.

The warranty covers manufacturing defects, broken valves, and any issues related to shipping damages. If necessary, the Ice Barrel team will review the situation and offer appropriate solutions, such as a credit or replacement. It's important to note that the warranty does not cover cosmetic issues resulting from normal wear and tear, exposure to environmental conditions, or damage caused by improper installation, relocation, misuse, or unauthorized modification.

Included Accessories:

Your Ice Barrel purchase includes the following accessories:

  • Ice Barrel and Lid: The core components that form the foundation of your cold plunge sessions.
  • Barrel Stand: A sturdy stand designed to provide stability and support during your ice bath.
  • Protective UV Cover: Protects it from the elements, especially if your Ice Barrel will get a lot of sun exposure, like mine does.
  • Step Stool: Makes it easier to get in and out of the plunge.

Pros of the Ice Barrel:

1. Portability and Space Efficiency: 

One of the nice features of the Ice Barrel is its portability. At 6’2”, I appreciate how little space it occupies. Its design allows me to place it conveniently right outside my back door. It can be easily transported when needed. Despite its size, it is surprisingly lightweight and manageable to lift.

2. Low Maintenance: 

Unlike inflatable cold plunges that require frequent emptying and refilling, the Ice Barrel allows for extended water usage. You can leave the water in the tub for weeks, even months, thanks to the optional cleaning kit provided by Ice Barrel.

3. Additional Accessories: 

The Ice Barrel comes with some nice accessories that enhance the overall experience. For instance, the step stool provided improves accessibility, making it easier to get in and out of the tub. Living in sunny Reno, Nevada, the sun protection cover has been particularly useful, shielding the tub from prolonged exposure.

Cons of the Ice Barrel (with one major one):

1. Price Point: 

It's essential to address the price point of the Ice Barrel, as it may be a concern for some potential buyers. It’s not cheap!
At $1,199,, it falls on the higher end of the spectrum. However, I believe the Ice Barrel's durability and long-term benefits make it a worthwhile investment, especially when compared to inflatable alternatives.

2. Length of coldness (HUGE con!)

I get it, it’s hot here in Reno. But just 48 hours ago I went out and bought over 100 lbs of ice, which put me back almost $50.

And 24 hours later, the water temperature was still in the high 50s. Nice!

But just 48 hours later, the water isn’t cold enough to get a proper plunge in. It was in the high 60s. 

Meaning that if I want to do a plunge every few days, I’ve gotta spend hundreds of dollars per month on ice.

And cold plunges require a LOT of ice. If you’re curious, you check out this article that explains how much ice you need for a cold plunge.

Reminder, my plunge is outside and the outdoor temperatures here in Reno are in the 90s during the day.

4. Entry and Exit Difficulty: 

As a taller individual, I have found it somewhat challenging to get in and out of the Ice Barrel. The tub's compact design can make this process a bit inconvenient, particularly considering the effects of cold water on muscle flexibility. However, the tub's interior size comfortably accommodates my height once I am inside, allowing me to enjoy the cold plunge without feeling cramped.

3. Water Drainage Placement:

Another consideration is the placement of the tub for water drainage. Improper positioning can lead to water accumulation in undesired areas. Therefore, it is crucial to strategize and set up the tub in a way that facilitates water drainage.
Otherwise you might end up with quite a bit of water in your house.

Temperature Control and Experience:

One of the Ice Barrel's features is its ability to maintain consistently cold water temperatures during cold plunges. It can hold ice for an extended duration. The included thermometer allows monitoring of the water temperature, ensuring optimal conditions for a successful cold plunging. 

Additionally, the tub's solid structure and accompanying cover prevent contamination and keep the water clean when not in use.

Conclusion About the Ice Barrel:

In conclusion, my experience with the Ice Barrel has been positive, but not mind-blowing. 

Its portability, low maintenance requirements, excellent temperature control, and relative affordability make it a solid option.

However, if I were doing it over again, I would consider saving up for a tub that uses electricity to keep it consistently cold so I don’t have to run to the store to spend $50 on ice multiple times per week.


This review is based on my personal experience and opinions. Individual preferences may vary, so it is recommended to consider your own requirements and preferences before making a purchase.

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