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Last Updated: February 12, 2024
Cold plunging is convenient with the compact, upright design of the Ice Barrel 300.
The insulated design helps keep the water at optimal cold-plunging temperatures longer.
Summary Ice Barrel 300 Review: The Bottom Line
Overall, the Ice Barrel 300 is one of the best cold plunges on the market for a number of reasons. The insulated design helps keep the water cooler longer. Even when using it outdoors, we were pleased at how well it held the water temperature at optimal temperatures for cold plunging. What’s nice about the Ice Barrel is that it can be filled with ice water or used with a chiller. Ice Barrel is offering a chiller to be purchased with the Ice Barrel 300 soon.
We have also thoroughly tested the Ice Barrel 400, a larger cold plunge, so we have a lot of experience with the brand. One of our favorite aspects of both Ice Barrels is the upright position you’re placed in while submerging. Many cold tubs are just that – tubs. These require you to lie down in ice water. We prefer the kneeling or sitting position that the Ice Barrel 300 is designed for. The built-in seat and armrests help keep you comfortable – or as comfortable as you can be while cold plunging.
If you’re a larger user, you’ll probably want to opt for the Ice Barrel 400, but the Ice Barrel 300 is excellent if you’re looking for a compact and insulated cold plunge that’s chiller-ready.
Freezing Our Tootsies Off To Bring You Reviews
Whenever we get in a product for testing, that’s what we do, we test it. We use it like you would at home, and then some. Whenever we get a cold plunge or cold tub, we make sure to fill it with ice and fully submerge in it to see how it really works. We also test how well it holds the ice and cold water temperature. Timing how long it takes to fill up and empty is another aspect of our testing process. Our team is passionate about all things health and fitness so we love trying out all of the latest fads and equipment, even if that means shivering in the process. Our goal is to help you make informed buying decisions so we put in time testing out every product we can get our hands on to provide you with full unbiased reviews.
Ice Barrel 300 Review Video
In-depth Ice Barrel 300 Review: Testing & Analysis
When you’re ready to hop in the Ice Barrel 300, the lid pops off easily. The fairly shallow design makes stepping in and out of the Ice Barrel 300 pretty easy for people of most heights. It doesn’t require a step stool like the Ice Barrel 400, which is much deeper. Once you step into the Ice Barrel, you can kneel or sit on the small seat at the bottom.
If you’re taller like Matt, who is 6’5”, you can sit down on the side of the Ice Barrel that doesn’t have the seat built-in to allow you to submerge further into the Barrel.
If he wants to dunk his head under the water, he has to lift his legs out of the Ice Barrel. This is where, if you want more room to fully submerge, the Ice Barrel 400 might be a good idea.
The Ice Barrel 300 is insulated though so it holds the water temperature better than the 400. To learn more and see our POV demo of the Ice Barrel 300, check out our video review above.
It can be moved around when it’s empty, but keep in mind the 300 weighs 61 lbs so it’s probably best to keep it where you plan on using it. When full, it weighs around 700 lbs. Make sure to have it where you want it before filling it because there’s no moving this Barrel once it’s filled.
The sides aren’t scratch resistant though, so be careful while moving it to not scratch the bottom and sides. We don’t recommend dragging or rolling it to move it. With the lid off, the Ice Barrel 300 is 35.5” wide and 30.5” tall. We recommend having enough floor space to fit the dimensions, plus keeping one side of it accessible to step in and out of and to fill and empty it. If you want to use it with a chiller, you’ll need to factor in extra room to attach that as well.
The Ice Barrel 300 has a sleek, matte black design. We appreciate the minimalistic branding of Ice Barrel’s logo on the side.
Ice Barrel states that the 300 is best for folks up to 6’2” and 250 lbs. Our tallest reviewer, Matt, is 6’5” and 240 lbs. He fits in the Ice Barrel 300, however, if you want more leg room and to be able to fully submerge easier, you might want to consider the Ice Barrel 400. This one is rated for people up to 6’6” and 300 lbs. The Ice Barrels do differ more than just their sizes though, so keep reading this Ice Barrel 300 review for factors you should consider and know.
When it comes to both Ice Barrels, I prefer the look of the Ice Barrel 300 over the 400. It looks less like a barrel and should look nice pretty much anywhere you decide to use it.
It’s also easier to get in and out of than the 400. The shallower design allows you to step in and out of it without needing a stool. At the bottom of the Ice Barrel 300, on one side is a small, built-in seat to sit on while cold plunging. The sides up by the top have built-in armrests for added comfort, too. You kind of have to pull yourself down a little bit to sit on the seat though, otherwise, you kind of float towards the top of the Barrel.
The Ice Barrel 300 is fully insulated with polyurethane foam. It’s also UV-resistant. The insulation makes the 300 more suitable for warmer climates than the Ice Barrel 400. During our testing, we filled the 300 with ice and used it with a chiller.
With 120 lbs of ice added to the water, the Ice Barrel 300 got down to 38 degrees. We kept the Ice Barrel in a temperature-controlled garage set to 70 degrees. The water temp maintained the 38 degrees for a day and after 7 days the water only increased to 52 degrees. After 11 days, the temperature only increased to 62 degrees. This impressed us.
Of course, if you choose to use ice, you can expect the temperature to increase over time, but the insulation helps cut down on the frequency at which you’ll need to add ice. It was easy for us to cool the water temperature back down. When it reached 52 degrees, we added 40 lbs of ice to get the temp down to 48 degrees.
We did the same test with 120 lbs of ice in the Ice Barrel 300 with it placed outside. We live in the desert with temps reaching the low 50s at night and 90s during the day this time of year. The hose water was around 68 degrees when we filled the 300. Once the ice was added, the temperature cooled to 38 degrees. 24 hours later, the water was 42 degrees. Another 12 hours after that, it raised to 45 degrees. 4 days after adding the water and ice, the temperature was above 60 degrees. Although this wasn’t during peak summer temperatures, we were pleased that the water temperature held for as long as it did below 60 degrees.
When filled, it holds 77 gallons of water. It takes about 10-12 minutes to fill it, depending on how high you want to fill it. Larger folks will probably not want to fill it to the top, otherwise, some of the water will spill over the sides when you hop in.
This pushes the water towards the drain when you want to empty it, making that process easier.
The Ice Barrel 300 also comes with an insulated lid. The lid is the same matte black, UV-resistant, recycled plastic material as the Barrel. It has a small notch in the lid to fit securely to the Barrel, so you don’t have to worry about it blowing off.
You can attach a hose to it to make draining out the water more convenient. This way you can control where the water drains out to.
This means it has three-quarter-inch ports on the top and on the bottom where the spigot is. This way, you don’t have to drill holes to attach a chiller to keep the water at a set temperature. On the inside of the Barrel is a pre-filter so when the water is circulated with a chiller, you don’t have to worry about debris flowing into it, in case the Barrel happens to collect some debris when the lid is off.
The cover slips over the Ice Barrel 300 with the lid on top, to provide extra protection.
Although the Ice Barrel 300 is chiller-ready, it doesn’t come with a chiller. Ice Barrel is coming out with a chiller soon that you can purchase separately. We have a chiller that we’ve hooked up to the Ice Barrel 400. When we have it set up to the 300, we’ll update this review to share our experience using our own chiller.
Ice Barrel sells other accessories separately like the silicone ice blocks.
There is also a maintenance kit for cleaning, a cleaning brush, a net, a thermometer, soap, a water stabilizer, and lavender Epsom salt available to buy separately. You can purchase a replacement lid and cover for the 300, too.
Cleaning the Ice Barrel 300 is pretty simple because of its compact design. Since you can step in and out of it, you can scrub it easier than the Ice Barrel 400. You can add chlorine to the water or purchase Ice Barrel’s water stabilizer to help keep the water clean.
We recommend changing out the water and cleaning the Ice Barrel 300 every 3-4 weeks to keep it clean and properly maintained.
Cold Water Therapy Benefits
Cold plunging is all the rage right now, for good reason. Plunging into water below 59 degrees has been proven to help boost your immune system, speed up muscle recovery, and help reduce stress and anxiety. It’s great for reducing inflammation in the body.
I personally appreciate that it helps strengthen you mentally. We experience all kinds of stressors throughout the day, both good and bad. Things like exercise and cold plunging are considered good stressors. Cold plunging definitely requires some mental toughness to do and using your breath is a great way to control how your mind reacts to the cold water. For instance, focusing on and controlling your breath is a great way to push yourself to submerge in the water and stay in it long enough to experience the benefits of cold plunging.
Plus, once you can handle hopping into cold water, you can handle anything else that is thrown your way throughout the day!
Ice Barrel includes a limited lifetime warranty with the purchase of the Ice Barrel 300. We like the confidence that this helps to instill in the overall construction.
Should You Buy The Ice Barrel 300?
The compact, insulated design of the Ice Barrel 300 makes it one of the best cold plunges out there, in our opinion. Ice Barrel has thoughtfully designed this cold plunge with features like a chiller-ready design, pre-filter, built-in seat and armrests, and a sloped bottom for easy draining. We love that its sleek, matte black design will look nice wherever you use this cold plunge and that it comes with a lid to help keep the water clean.
Although it isn’t quite large enough for really tall folks because of its compact size, Matt who is 6’5” was able to fit in it. If you want more leg room though, you might want to consider the Ice Barrel 400. Keep in mind that the 400 isn’t insulated like the Ice Barrel 300 though. In our testing we found the insulation to be really helpful in keeping the water cooler for longer. That and having the ability to attach a chiller, is convenient. Plus, Ice Barrel will be selling a chiller of their own soon, so you can get set up to cold plunge whenever you want with the Ice Barrel 300.
Ice Barrel 300 Review FAQs / Q&As
How long does the Ice Barrel 300 stay cold?
When we tested the Ice Barrel 300, we put 120 lbs of ice in it to cool the water to 38 degrees. In a temperature-controlled garage, the 300 stayed below 59 degrees for 11 days. Even after 11 days, the temperature only increased to 62 degrees. Outdoors with 120 lbs of ice, the water stayed under 60 degrees for 4 days.
What is the difference between the Ice Barrel 300 and 400?
The Ice Barrel 300 is smaller than the 400. It is also insulated and compatible to use with a chiller. The Ice Barrel 300 is a good option for warmer climates, while the 400 is best for larger users and cooler climates.
Is Ice Barrel worth it?
The Ice Barrel 300 and 400 are worth it if you are looking to regularly cold plunge. Both designs are durable and convenient to regularly submerge in cold water.
Does the Ice Barrel 300 have a seat on the inside?
The Ice Barrel 300 has a small seat built into the bottom of the Barrel. You can sit or kneel inside of it. There are also armrests built in for added comfort.
Is our Ice Barrel 300 review a paid review?
Ice Barrel did not send us the Ice Barrel 300 and they didn’t pay for us to compile this review. We purchased the 300 to test and compile this review with our unbiased thoughts. We do have affiliate links with Ice Barrel so if you purchase through our links we receive a commission. We test equipment, cold tubs included, from several different brands so we can ensure the products we recommend are the best on the market.