- Using bags of ice or frozen peas to soothe injuries and sore muscles is wasteful and messy.
- Ice Legs was developed by a former pro cyclist, and are sleeves filled with re-freezable gel packs.
- I used them to rehabilitate a knee injury. At $125, they’re more expensive than ice packs but they’re reusable, adjustable, and much more practical.
Look at the bench of any sports game and you’ll see super-specialized sneakers, adaptive fabrics, and even tiny heart rate monitors worn on athletes’ wrists.
Among that sea of high-tech gear, you’ll also see plastic bags of ice strapped to shoulders, knees, and ankles.
Anyone who’s ever had an injury has been told to use ice to keep inflammation down. But bags of ice can be leaky, bulky, and wasteful, and filling a tub with ice is inconvenient – if you even have a tub. Nine times out of 10 when I’m injured, I skip icing the injured or sore area because it’s cumbersome and inconvenient.
I don’t have an ice machine in my fridge at home, so when I recently sustained a knee injury during a long bikepacking trip, I was forced to rely on bags of ice and the old standby of frozen peas from the store to try and get the inflammation down in my knee. While the peas worked better than bags of ice, they could be used once or twice before they’d freeze into a homogeneous mass.
They don’t really retain much in the way of edibility after a few freeze-thaw cycles either.
Former pro cyclist Phil Gaimon had the same experience.
He used ice baths to recover from training and injury but found the process of filling a bath or bag with ice really burdensome. So he came up with Ice Legs, an alternative to ice baths and bags that relies on re-freezable gel packs instead of single-use plastic bags.
I used the ice pack sleeves for a month to rehab a knee injury – they were much more convenient to use than ice or peas
These are basically sleeves that can be filled with re-freezable gel packs, and have adjustable straps that wrap around legs. I’ve been using the Ice Legs packs for about a month now to rehab my knees, and they’re certainly much more convenient than plastic bags.
The three included gel packs don’t take up a huge amount of freezer space and they conform much better to my legs than bags full of cubed ice or frozen peas. I freeze the gel packs overnight before using them and then just insert them into the sleeves, which use a simple hook and loop fastener to stay put around your legs.
The sleeves go from the top of my thighs down to my calves, and the three gel packs covered all the major muscle groups on my legs. My thighs are pretty skinny and I found there was enough room to adjust the ice packs to just where I wanted them. I have long legs, so I have the L/XL length meant for 31+ inch inseams; anyone with an inseam below 32 inches should be fine with the S/M size.
$125 isn’t cheap for a set of ice packs, but this is a lot more convenient than constantly stocking up on bags of ice for them to leak everywhere or frozen peas that you can’t eat for dinner. It’s less wasteful and messy too.
Check in with your doctor if you’re experiencing pain or soreness before icing, but if they come back and say it’s okay to use ice, I’d recommend these ice packs over bags of ice any day.