‘Freezer blankets’ come in two forms and you will quickly be able to determine which is the one you are looking for based on your needs. The first type is freezable ice blankets and is commonly sought after by people needed to keep food or drinks cold. The second type are the insulated blankets that are placed over open store freezers to keep the cold air in overnight. If you are looking for a guide to buying either one of these simply skip to the appropriate section.
Cheap Freezer Ice Blankets Buying Guide
Favored by picnickers and party-goers these handy blanket-like ice bags are used to keep almost any food or drink cool, they can even be wrapped around larger kegs. These blankets have many small pockets of water that, when frozen, keep whatever you wrap in the blanket cold. The great thing about this is that you only have to buy one and you can keep re-using it, just throw it back in the freezer when you are done. If you are using this for kegs or other alcohol then you are going to save a small fortune on bagged ice cubes.
When buying a cheap freezer blanket it is tempting to go for the cheapest but if you do you are going to have a bad time. It’s very important to know what makes a good freezer blanket so you can buy the best one available for the cheapest possible.
The construction of the ice pockets is the first thing you should look at. Some cheaper versions have brick-sized pockets but these are a poor option as they cannot easily be wrapped around smaller objects or stored easily while frozen. The smaller the better and rounded pockets will offer better wrapping capabilities. It is also best if the pockets are filled with a freezer gel mix rather than just plain water as these will be cushioned whereas plain water will be quite hard.
The next thing to keep in mind is what materials the blanket is made out of. Plastic ones are cheap initially but they can end up being more expensive as you will have to replace them frequently. They are also less effective at keeping things cool for long periods of time. The best materials are a mixture of a thermal barrier and reflective metallic coating. One side should be waterproof to prevent condensation.
Finally, you should decide how you are going to use your ice blanket before deciding on a size. Larger ones can wrap around a keg more easily and will be cheaper than buying multiple smaller ones. However, a larger blanket will not fold up into a lunch bag or picnic hamper as easily as a smaller one.
Cheap Thermal Freezer Blankets Buying Guide
This second type of freezer blanket is what you are looking for if you are a store owner. Open-air freezers and fridges are a great way to attract customers and display food in an easy-to-reach fashion but they can end up being very expensive in electricity bills. The best thing you can do to save money on electricity is to cover these freezers with a cheap thermally insulating freezer blanket.
While you could use any old blanket to trap some cold air from escaping a properly constructed freezer blanket is going to save you a lot more money. The best blankets feature two layers of reflective polyester separated by a thermally insulating layer. This thermal layer will trap in a layer of air to prevent heat transmission just like weatherproof double pane windows do. The reflective layers will prevent radiant temperature from escaping.
Perhaps the most important factor in choosing your freezer blanket is, however, the size. If the blanket is too large, overhanging the freezer lip, it will allow warm air to enter the freezer. This happens because of the difference in air pressure between cold and warm air. A correctly fitting blanket will almost be ‘sucked’ into place by the cold air underneath it. Always make sure to correctly measure your freezers before purchasing.
Where to Look for Cheap Freezer Blankets (Ice and Thermal)
Ice blankets are available from many different retails stores; anywhere where party or picnic gear is sold is a safe bet. However, the best place to buy them is online either direct form the manufacturer or through major sellers like Amazon. Thermal freezer blankets are sold in outfitting stores and some hardware stores but it is far better to ring or visit the manufacturer’s website to order them. The reason for this is that you can order the exact correct size for your store’s freezers and you wont need to modify them.