Where do I put my gel ice packs... top, bottom or sides?
Good question, but before we get into this please remember to pre-cool your Icey-Tek before you use it. This means placing something large and frozen (plastic milk bottles full of water and then frozen are ideal) into the cooler the night before you need to use it. This will chill down the insulation and cool box materials which ensures you get the longest cool times from your box. The alternative is warm insulation that sucks the life out of your gel packs and contents far too quickly. Not good.
The answer to the Gel Pack quandary is (as with many things in life) not entirely straight forward and depends a lot on your personal preference and what you are trying to achieve.
As we probably all remember from our school days, cold travels down and heat moves upwards. On that basis, with science in mind, you'd be best off with a layer of gel packs across the top of your contents so they continue to radiate cold down towards your food and drink. You'll need to move one or more of them out the way in order to access your contents.
If we take the above and build on it you can start to add gel packs below and also to the sides of your contents. This creates a surrounding layer of cold which gives a more even distribution. This approach, combined with loose ice and a pre-cooled Icey-Tek is the ultimate set-up to achieve longer periods of time.
As mentioned above, you can also use a combination of gel packs and loose ice. The gel packs produce strong, long and mess-free chilling whereas the ice will find its way in-between your contents to further enhance the amount of cold around the box. Icey-Tek cool boxes love ice!
Finally, if convenience is your number one priority and you don't need to achieve anything more than a long weekend of cold contents then it will certainly be easier to keep your gel packs at the bottom of the cool box. This saves having to move items around so much. You could always empty a bag or two of ice over your contents to keep things chilly if and when you need to.
We recommend the Icey-Tek Small Gel Packs for the 18 and 35 Litre Icey-Tek Cool Boxes and the Large Gel Packs for everything else across the Icey-Tek range. When you visit each of the product detail pages across our website you'll see suggestions as to how many of each gel pack to use for that particular cool box. For more top tips and a full user guide please visit this page.
Here's one more bonus tip: freeze anything that can be frozen. Juice, milk, meats, water.... all of these and more can be frozen to prolong the life of your contents. You'll just need to remove them to defrost.