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Dry Ice vs Ice Cold Gel Packs, A Comparison

Shipping products is a very unpredictable yet necessary part of the cold chain process. Changing weather conditions, shifting temperatures, and delays along the supply chain all happens daily. Before shipping your temperature sensitive package and “hoping for the best” there are many factors to consider, including the length of the journey, time of year you are sending the package, and finally, whether or not your shipping perishable goods.

Due to lockdowns, quarantines, and the rise in need for pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and perishable food, temperature-controlled shipping has become a hot topic throughout the cold chain process. By using the proper products and packaging you can add some stability to an otherwise unpredictable journey.

If you are planning to ship any cold packaging that can spoil or expire without being held at different temperature ranges this guide contains some helpful tips to help ensure your package arrives safely.

Dry Ice

Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide, or, co2 gas and is often used to store frozen goods like ice cream, perishables, and certain medical products. First introduced in the early 1920’s, it slowly grew in popularity after being used to famously transport a frozen dessert known as “eskimo pies” to people’s homes from their local grocers.

Dry ice might be the answer to your shipping needs, but keep in mind that throughout your packages travel, the dry ice will eventually convert back to carbon dioxide, meaning it doesn’t thaw or melt; it just gets gassy. This gaseous element absolutely needs to escape during the length of the journey, so plan accordingly and make sure your packaging is ventilated enough for the gas to escape.

Dry ice is perfectly safe to use as long as you follow these guidelines.

  • Never eat dry ice, even non-toxic packaging contains ingredients that can be harmful if swallowed.
  • Only handle dry ice in well ventilated areas. The fumes from dry ice can cause extreme irritation when inhaled.
  • Always label your packages clearly and follow guidelines set by your courier.


Shipping Gel Packs

Standard ice begins to melt quickly, leaving your dry goods wet and stored at an improper temperature. Once frozen, our standard Ice Cold Packs last up to 65% longer than regular frozen ice derived from water. Our Ice Cold Gel Pack has two main components; water and Sodium Polyacrylate, a sodium based gel that mixes with the water to lower the temperature of the pack without the need for pounds of dry ice.

Although the components inside our Ice Cold Shipping Packs are considered non-toxic you should avoid handling the contents inside your gel pack and wash any skin that comes in contact with soap and water.

The best way to determine if your shipment requires ice cold gel packs vs dry ice is to first consider the temperature you will need when shipping. If you need your package to be shipped cold but not quite frozen (30-60 degrees), gel packs are the best option. There are several rules and regulations to think about when shipping temperature-controlled foods and pharmaceuticals; however, shipping with cold gel packs is easier, more cost effective, and safer than traditional refrigeration methods.

Some of the other benefits of choosing Ice Cold Gel Packs;

  • ICGP are non-toxic
  • Our packs are reusable and safer for the environment.
  • The contents of our gel packs are kept secure and will not contaminate your product.
  • ICGP can be used to ship goods without the restrictions placed on items shipped with dry ice.


Temperature-controlled shipping solutions may not be new, but with the advancements made by our team, we can help make your experience much more effective, efficient and accessible, which is good news for any business.

While dry ice will continue to play a role in shipment for the foreseeable future, we hope to decrease reliance on it for shipping needs. Contact us to see how our non-toxic gel packs can innovate your shipping needs.

Ice Cold Gel Packs is the solution that your cold chain business needs to ensure your product stays ice cold! Whether itʼs food, pharmaceuticals, liquids, or any other perishable item, our gel packs are here to help you keep cold!

We currently offer 10oz, 16oz, and 24oz gel packs but custom sizes can be made upon request.

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