• Smash Gel Ice Packs Review

    by  • July 27, 2014 • Hide on Home Page, Product Reviews • 1 Comment

    smash gel 2Review

    When travelling on business, professionals will not only need to keep their food fresh, but they will also need to consider weight, ease of packing, and whether you can get them through security without being confiscated.

    So which ice-packs are suitable when you need to take food on business trips?

    We tested Smash gel ice packs for safety, reliability, durability and how long they can keep food fresh when travelling, along with likelihood of passing through security, weight and ease of use.

    Smash gel ice packs are relatively new on the market.  They are a fitting alternative to the traditional ice block, mini or otherwise.

    When compared to other ice packs/blocks the Smash gel ice packs performed relatively well.  They are advertising as gel ice packs, providing a reasonable expectation that they were an alternative to the traditional ice block.  The virtue is made clear in their lighter weight/size, with comparative freezer and thaw time.  Constructed well, they are easy and relatively safe to use.    

    Smash Gel icepacks come in a ‘neon’ colour with a choice of red, blue or yellow.  Each packet contains three of one colour.  We tested the set of three packs together for performance in thawing and keeping foods chilled.

    Are they safe, reliable and will they stand the test of time?

    Smash gel ice packs are non traditional in design.  They are made with a thin transparent plastic which allows some flexibility when not frozen solid.  The liquid is reportedly non toxic and can be clearly seen through the plastic.  There is no statement as to the nature of the content nor is any compliance with safety standards listed.   

    While the pack states ‘no leakage’ it doesn’t appear as resistant to piercing and damage as some other ice blocks.

    When tested for freezing, Smash gel packs froze quicker against other ice packs, although slightly slower than ice block varieties.  They begun to freeze around 2 hours and were completely frozen at 41/2  hours.  

    When tested for thawing performance (in cool bag without food), these gel packs (3) stayed frozen solid for approximately 2 ½ hours and thawed in approximately five hours.   This compared better than some other ice blocks. 

    Are they lightweight and easy to use?

    Each ice pack is approximately 75 grams in weight.  By using three packs spaced between food, they may offer a more even chill factor whilst only being a combined total of approximately 225 grams

    They freeze easily at approximately around 4 ½ hours to be frozen solid, and around 2 hours to be semi-solid.  Due to this relatively quick freeze time, they can be frozen solid with only a half a days notice or semi-solid within a few hours prior to travel.

    Their size is handy and they fit easily into an insulated lunch bag or lunch box.   They do not take up a lot of room and are subsequently easier to carry or place into a lunch pack compared to the standard block.

    How well do they keep food chilled?

    We used three ice packs together as supplied, in one insulted bag to test thawing and chilling times.  Overall they keep food chilled well.  As a three pack they took around 5 hours to thaw in an insulated bag (without food) and kept food fresh around 4 hours.  

    In comparison to other ice blocks we tested, these took the second longest time to thaw and keep food chilled for only a slightly less time than the larger ice blocks.

    Are they likely to be confiscated at security?

    Smash gel ice packs are only 75 grams.  The plastic outer is transparent and you can clearly see it is filled with a ‘neon’ coloured liquid.  

    Unfortunately, even though it fits within the airline guidelines of less than 100 mls, the actual capacity is not labelled on pack so it would be difficult for airport security to ascertain its exact weight under 100 mls of liquid.  

    Out of all the ice packs/blocks tested, this offered one of the best chances to get through security, with a good performance of keeping food chilled. 

    Part A: Test information

    Product Name: Smash Global gel ice packs
    Product Model: Gel ice pack of 3
    Item model number: 16671
    Brand: Smash
    Test dates:
    22 June and 6 July 2014 for freezing
    13 July and 17 July 2014 for thawing
    Target Market:  Executive users flying or travelling

    Part B: Specification

    Type: gel ice pack, small
    Weight: 75 g
    Size: 9 x 1.5 x 12.5
    Height: 9.3 cm
    Width: 1.5 cm
    Length: 12.5 cm
    Shape: Oblong
    Colour: red, blue or yellow
    Material: clear plastic with non toxic liquid inside.
    Volume: 75 ml per pack
    Boxed: as a pack of three, colour may vary but usually only one colour per pack
    Manufactured: China (Australian company, distributed in the UK)
    Regulatory compliance: non stated
    RRP Price £3.49 Amazon.co.uk plus postage

    Part C: Test results

    Criteria Overall rating Star rating
    Design 7/10 gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star
    Likelihood of passing through security 8/10 gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star
    Performance includes 7/10  
    Time take to freeze   gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star
    Time taken to thaw   gold-stargold-stargold-star
    Reliability 8/10 gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star
    Durability 6/10 gold-stargold-stargold-star
    Ease of use 8/10 gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star
    Lightweight 8/10 gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star
    Safety 7/10 gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star
    Accuracy of description 6/10 gold-stargold-stargold-star
    Instructions for use 7/10 gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star

    One Response to Smash Gel Ice Packs Review

    1. Avatar
      Martin Miller
      February 3, 2016 at 9:52 am

      We purchased these packs for my 3 year old Son for his playgroup lunchbox. However after a few uses, he came home with his lunch bag full of blue liquid. The plastic sleeve had ruptured. His bag is only removed from his shelf for lunchtime, so at no time had the pack been squashed. Then the second pack we used started to ooze from one of the sealed corners, we only used this one once. There is probably a fault with the heating part of the manufacturing process, and if these items were tested rigorously for pressure, it may bring to light this failing.
      We purchased these from Dunelm Mill, so these are genuine products, and not a cheap imitation.
      I shall be emailing the manufacturer, although I cannot find this particular product when searching their web site. Although the concept is good, and when they work, they do the job. When they go wrong the content stains.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.