2023 Ice Barrel Review : Pro’s, Cons & What You Need to Know

Liz Smith

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Key Facts:ice barrel review

  • Holds 105 gallons of water
  • 55lbs Еmpty, 750lbs when fill with 80 gallons
  • Made in USA
  • 42” high by 31” wide, 25” opening ice barrel review

Want to purchase an Ice Barrel? Use code THEHIVE for $150 off your entire order

If you’ve come to learn more about the Ice Barrel, you’re probably already familiar with cold plunges and the benefits of cold plunge therapy. Its no secret that cold plunging, an ancient practice with modern science-backed benefits, is one of the fastest wellness trends among health enthusiasts, biohackers, and athletes. Benefits like increased energy, faster recovery, prime body composition and mental health are things we all want to have. And now more people are looking for ways to get the benefits of cold plunging at home. 

One particular product that’s making waves in the wellness world is the Ice Barrel. The Ice Barrel was designed with a single goal in mind: to create an accessible, convenient, and affordable form of cold therapy. In this Ice Barrel review, we’ll give a detailed look at the product, examining its design, features, performance, and why we decided to order one for ourselves. Whether you’re considering your first plunge or a seasoned cold therapy enthusiast, this Ice Barrel review will help determine if this product is the right fit for you. ice barrel review

What is the Ice Barrel?

The Ice Barrel revolutionizes the way you approach cold plunging. It’s designed as an insulated barrel-shaped tub that actually keeps the water cold without a chiller. It’s constructed from food-grade high-density plastic, ensuring longevity, structure and safety.

While it’s possible to do cold plunges at home, the Ice Barrel offers a solution different than any DIY you can throw together. And unlike other cold therapy products on the market, the Ice Barrel is sleek, easily portable with a compact design fit for most spaces. 

The Ice Barrel now comes in two different models: the Ice Barrel 300 and Ice Barrel 400. While they’re the same when it comes to price, they differ in just a few ways:

Ice Barrel 300 – New

Price: $1199 – currently on preorder for August shipping


Features: 35.5″ Wide; 30.5′ High

Fully insulated barrel and lid

Chiller ready without modification

Easy to step in and out of

Who it’s for: 

People up to 6’2” and 250 lbs

Best for warm climates due to extra-thick insulation ice barrel review

Ice Barrel 400

Price: $1199
Size: 31″ Wide; 42″ High

Upright design for full-body submersion

Ultra-durable yet lightweight

Includes a step stool for entry/exit

Who it’s For: 

People up to 6’6” and 300 lbs

Those who prefer a taller, more relaxed upright position

Why we ordered one

I’ve been incorporating cold plunges into my routine for over 10 years. It all started when I was a D1 college swimmer – our coach would fill up tubs with ice water after practices for recovery and injury prevention. 

Even after I was done competing I continued to do them in my bathtub. I’d fill up the tub with water, pour out the ice from my ice maker into it and sit for 8-10 minutes. For me, it gave energy as good (or even better) than a cup of black coffee. ice barrel review

Having ice cold tap water was no issue when I lived on the east coast, although here in southern CA, it doesn’t get nearly as cold. I also wanted to be more sustainable with my water use (especially since I now pay for my water bills) and having a tub that I didn’t need to fill up and dump out every day was ideal. 


The Ice Barrel was the perfect solution – its fairly portable (when not filled), doesn’t take up much space and checks off our boxes with what we’re looking for. Since my 6’5 husband is also a fan of cold plunging, we decided to go with the Ice Barrel 400 so that he can fit in there comfortably. Having the ability to do these in the comfort of our own home has been a game changer for our health. ice barrel review

My husband trying to keep a straight face…

Ordering & Delivery Process

Currently for the Ice Barrel 400, the product ususally ships within 3-5 business days of purchase. The 300 model, on the other hand, is currently on pre-order until mid-August. 

Within days of ordering our Ice Barrel 400, I received a phone call from the delivery dispatcher to schedule a day and timeframe for the delivery. The product comes in a large freight truck – something to consider depending where you live. 

The shipping was quick and I received it within roughly two weeks of the order being placed. Everything also arrived in one, fairly large-but-light box that I managed to push into my house on my own – they don’t set it up for you.

Ice Barrel Review 2023 | The Hive

What’s included

  • Ice Barrel + Lid
  • Barrel Stand
  • Step stool
  • Protective UV cover (helps regulate water temperature)
  • Drawstring pack with a user guide

How to Set up The Ice Barrel

Setting up the Ice Barrel couldn’t be easier. I removed all the plastic coverings, placed the stand exactly where I wanted the barrel to go (we have it out on our back patio) and placed the barrel on top. I also made sure the drainage spout was accessible so that I could access it without having to rotate the barrel once it was filled with water. 

There were a few plastic shavings inside the barrel that I quickly wiped out before filling up with water. Filling up takes about 15-20 minutes, and I filled it up about 3/4 of the way and the rest with about a bag and a half of ice. 

Ice Barrel now offers Ice Blocks – large, silicone ice molds that are reusable and dishwasher safe. they’re a great way to keep the barrel water cold for longer periods of time. 

How to keep ice barrel water clean

  • I use an ozonator once-monthly to keep our Ice Barrel water clean. I’ll set our ozonator on a setting for 30 mins (it auto-shuts off) to ozonate the water to naturally disinfect it from mold, bacteria and other junk. Ice Barrel also sells a maintenance kit, although we opted out of buying it. Use code LIZF10 for a discount on this ozonator.
  • If we’re going away for a period of time we’ll empty out the barrel and spray it down with Branch Basics to give it a good clean. 
  • We also keep our cover on it while we’re not using it to keep any pollen or debris from getting on or in the barrel. 

Comparing Ice Barrel with Other Cold Plunges on the market

When compared to more expensive models, such as the plunge tubs offered by leading brands, the Ice Barrel holds its own. While the pricier models may offer ideal features like auto filters, chillers and heating options, the Ice Barrel delivers the core cold plunge experience at a fraction of the cost. While it may not have some of the features those other plunges have, you can save yourself thousands of dollars if you’re willing to put in some extra work. 

On the other hand, cheaper models like inflatable pools may fall short in terms of durability and insulation. While they may provide a more budget-friendly entry into cold plunging, the Ice Barrel’s robustness, and superior insulation justify its higher price point.

Ice Barrel Pro’s 

  • Price Point: This comes as a pro and con. The Ice Barrel is way more affordable than other models, making it more accessible to regular practitioners. Investing in an Ice Barrel is also more affordable than going to a wellness clinic or spa regularly. 
  • It’s extremely easy to set up. It was light enough for me to push into the house and assemble without the help of my husband. 
  • Easy drainage. You can attach a hose to the drainage spout and drain the water wherever you want. 
  • It’s fairly compact and doesn’t take up a ton of space. This is really ideal for those who live in an apartment or have a small yard (like us). 
  • Sleek design. Its a cool addition to our yard and doesn’t stick out in a way a bath tub would. 

Ice Barrel Cons

  • Price point: It’s an investment and more steep compared to a DIY tub.
  • It doesn’t stay as cold as other models. Because it doesn’t come with a chiller, you’ll need to regulate the water’s temperature depending on how quickly the water warms up. For some people it lasts a few days, for some people less. The temperature regulation will vary widely depending on where you live and what season you’re in. If you’re trying to use this in Phoenix in the summer, you’ll need to have regular access to a decent amount of ice. 
  • Getting in and out is a little more difficult than other models. You’ll need to lift yourself up and out, which can be difficult depending on your fitness level. 
  • No filter attached, which means you’ll need to keep it clean. I highly recommend getting this affordable ozonator to freshen the water and kill off bacteria and fungi. 

Overall thoughts – is the Ice Barrel worth it?

To sum up, the Ice Barrel offers a great balance of quality, usability, and value for money. It delivers the essential cold plunge experience without the hefty price tag of premium models, yet surpasses cheaper alternatives in durability and design.

I believe the Ice Barrel makes an excellent addition to any wellness regimen. It is an innovative, reliable, and well-constructed cold therapy solution that delivers on its promise. Whether you’re an athlete looking for effective recovery methods, or someone seeking holistic health improvements, the Ice Barrel comes highly recommended. 

Get $150 Off Your Ice Barrel Purchase with code THEHIVE

Ice Barrel 300, $1199

Ice Barrel 400 | The Hive

Ice Barrel 400, $1199

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Editor’s Note: This article is not medical advice. We encourage you to consult with your trusted healthcare provider before making any decisions regarding your health & wellbeing. There are also some affiliate links throughout the article -The Hive uses commission from our affiliate advertisers (not from you) to fund operations of the business. 

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