How Long Does Block Ice Last in a Cooler

If you’re camping with your cooler then probably this question must be in your mind- how long does the block ice last longer in the ice cooler? In this guide, we’ll talk about ice coolers and various factors that help to keep your food fresh for a longer duration.

The block ice tends to last longer for 3-5 days in a perfectly insulated ice cooler. However, if you take precautions and use some preservatives on the ice blocks, it roughly lasts longer, up to 7 days.

If you are using cubed ice, then it won’t last more than two days. How long the block ice remains in the cooler will depend on certain factors such as insulation, the type of cooler you use, the size of the ice block, and what you do to improve the shelf life of the block ice in the cooler.

In this article, let us explain how long the ice will remain in the cooler and what methods you can use to prevent it from melting so that it stays longer.

How Long Does Ice Last in the Ice Cooler?

Block Ice

After testing a few models, we found that the ice typically lasts longer for only two to four days if you use it naturally without any preservatives. However, if you put a lot of ice blocks in the cooler, it will last up to 10 days and even more.

If you improve the insulation, then the ice can stay longer than 7-8 days.

  • The block of ice will last about 18-24 hours in a small size cooler with a single insulation cover.
  • If you are using the cheaper ice cooler, then it may only last about a few hours.
  • The block of ice remains for 2-3 days in the steel belted cooler.
  • The ice block lasted in the double insulated cooler for about 3-5 days.
  • The ice blocks will stay for longer in the larger ice cooler in which you can keep the maximum number of ice blocks.

Is Size of the Cooler Matter?

Yes, the size of the ice cooler matter when you are trying to keep the ice blocks for a longer time. Usually, the ice in the cooler will last for two and half days in an ordinary size cooler.

The ice cooler with a 150-quart size can help keep the ice for 7-8 days. If you open the cooler frequently, the ice blocks will melt away faster and not retain for more than three days. 

Does Insulation Impact the Ice Melting?

Yes, the insulation can impact the melting of the ice blocks. If you use the double insulated ice cooler, then a block of the ice will melt slowly and last longer for 7-10 days.

Double insulated walls prevent the evaporation process and maintain the ideal temperature inside the cooler.

This is why the blocks of the ice will stay longer for more than seven days. The cooler with poor insulation can only last for two days and even for 24 hours only.

So, if you are using the ice blocks to transport the food material, make sure to use a large number of ice blocks. It would be great to use large size ice blocks as they melt slowly. Also, stacking the ice blocks over each other.

Moreover, you can use dry ice in a cooler to keep your food fresh for a longer duration.

What If the Temperature Outside is Higher?

If the temperature on the outside is higher than the optimum temperature, the ice blocks will melt faster, and ice blocks don’t last longer than two days If the insulated cooler is kept under the sun’s direct heat.

Aside from this, if you open the ice cooler frequently, the ice blocks will not last longer than 24 hours. Therefore, it is advised to keep it in shady places to avoid the melting of the ice. 

Do The External Insulated Cover Prevent Melting of the Ice?

Double insulation is always excellent to prevent the fast melting of the ice blocks. If you cover the ice cooler with the insulated cover, it will help keep the ice for more than seven days.

But make sure to maintain adequate ventilation in the ice cooler so that ice melts slowly. Furthermore, you can use an extra quantity of ice to transport the food to a large distance.

What To Do to Make Ice Last Longer in The Cooler?

If you want that the ice blocks will stay longer in the ice cooler, then you can follow these simple tricks, which are as follows:

1. Add Extra Insulation

To increase the shelf life of the ice blocks, then you can add extra insulation. Wrap the inner wall of the cooler with aluminum foil or newspaper. This will help improve the insulation, which can help keep the ice for a longer time.

In addition to this, you can keep a wet towel on the top of the ice cooler. This will prevent the air from escaping out, which improves the insulation and keeps ice lasting longer for more than seven days. 

2. Pre-Chill the Food

Pre-chilling the food items and beverages before you keep them over the stack of the ice blocks in the ice cooler is helpful to retain the ice for a longer time. Overnight pre-chilling is always helpful to improve the shelf life of the ice and it keeps your cooler cold without ice.

3. Reduce the Flow of Air

Less the flow of air, less heat will be generated. In simple terms, if you reduce the airflow inside the ice cooler, it will help improve the ice blocks’ shelf life. The ice blocks will last longer than five days. 


So, now you get how long the ice will stay longer in the ice cooler. However, there are many factors that you need to consider if you want to improve the shelf life of the ice and prevent it from melting.

Always choose the ice cooler with double insulation if you aim to transport goods at a longer distance.