Last updated on November 29th, 2023 at 01:20 pm
The transformative power of an ice bath has garnered significant attention from athletes, health enthusiasts, and those seeking natural ways to optimize their wellbeing.
Stepping into that ice cold water has shown many amazing benefits, from less stress, reducing inflammation, accelerating muscle recovery, boosting blood circulation, boosting the immune system and providing better mental clarity.
However, people (maybe you) don't want to spend thousands and thousands of dollars investing in a premium ice bath like Blue Cube or Morozko unless they're sure they even like it and are going to stick with it.
This is where getting the most basic version of an ice bath makes the most sense. A metal tub for ice bath is a great starting point (also known as a Stock Tank).
In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of ice bath tubs, examining the top three contenders for the best metal tub for ice bath on the market which make for a great cold plunge tub.
We have meticulously researched and compared various options to bring you the best overall choice, a close runner-up, and the best Canadian option for those seeking a locally-manufactured alternative.
Each of our top picks excels in durability, design, and value, and we will highlight their respective pros and cons to help you determine the ideal tub for your needs.
Whether you are an ice bath veteran or a curious newcomer, this guide will arm you with the knowledge and confidence to transform your ice bath experience into a truly invigorating and revitalizing ritual.
So, without further ado, let's dive into the icy depths of the top metal tubs for an ice bath, and discover the ultimate options for your ice-cold escapades!
Our Top 3 Picks:
What Determines a Good Quality Metal Tub for Ice Baths
1. Material and Construction:
High-quality ice bath tubs are typically made of galvanized steel, which is coated with a protective layer of zinc (G90 coating) to prevent rust and corrosion. This ensures a sturdy ice bath with long-lasting durability and resistance to harsh weather conditions. Additionally, the thickness of the steel and the construction techniques, such as 4-ply locked seams, contribute to the overall sturdiness and leak protection.
2. Size and Shape:
The size and shape of a metal tub for an ice bath play a significant role in meeting the user's needs. A good tub should offer a variety of sizes and shapes to accommodate different users, preferences, and space constraints. For an ice bath, a deeper and more spacious tub is ideal for full-body immersion and comfort.
3. Drainage System:
A well-designed drainage system is essential for easy water removal and maintenance. Look for ice bath tubs with drain plugs that are conveniently located and easy to operate, such as threaded plug assemblies or NPT drain plugs.
4. Comfort and Safety:
A good ice bath tub should prioritize user comfort and safety. Features like a smooth, crush-proof finish and rolled rims with reinforcement contribute to a more enjoyable and secure cold plunge experience. Avoid tubs with sharp edges or rough surfaces that could cause injury or discomfort.
5. Insulation and Accessories:
To maintain the ideal temperature for an ice bath, a quality metal tub should offer insulation options or come with a fitted cover. This not only helps maintain the temperature but also protects the tub from debris and external factors.
6. Local Manufacturing and Support:
Lastly, consider the origin of the ice bath tub. Choosing a locally-manufactured option not only supports local businesses but also ensures better access to customer support and replacement parts, if needed.
Best Overall: The Cold Protocol Cold Plunge
- Constructed using galvanized, rust-resistant steel
- High quality finish
- Drain plug conveniently located for easy drainage
- 2 different color options
- Manufactured in Canada
- Option to buy nylon tub cover (recommended)
- 1 year warranty
The Cold Protocol cold plunge stands out as the best overall option for a metal tub for an ice bath, boasting simplicity and high visual appeal.
We really like the black or white options, it provides a nice aesthetic to any environment you put it in.
Some people may not like that there aren't any size options but something about the one size, take-it-or-leave-it approach we like. They determined a size that is suitable for 99% of people and ran with it.
You can also buy a nylon cover for the tub to keep debris out and help with insulation, which we highly recommend.
Ice baths shouldn't be complicated, what matters is actually getting it done. Cold Protocols simplicity approach helps with this.
It's simplicity, sleek look and affordability make it a solid choice for those seeking a budget-friendly ice bath tub without sacrificing visual appeal.
Runner-Up: Urban Ice Tribe Oblong Ice Bath (with cover)
- 0.91mm G90 steel construction provides exceptional durability
- 4-ply locked seams ensure leak-free performance
- Smooth crush-proof finish for added comfort and safety during an ice bath
- Threaded plug assembly allows for easy drainage
- Manufactured in Nebraska, USA, supporting local businesses
- Fitted cover included for protection and insulation
- Depth options of 2'-2.5', length options from 3'-7'
The Urban Ice Tribe Oblong Ice Bath is our runner-up pick.
This ice bath tub is crafted from 0.91mm G90 steel, providing outstanding durability and longevity.
The 4-ply locked seams guarantee a leak-free experience, while the smooth crush-proof finish ensures comfort and safety during cold water immersion.
The threaded plug assembly makes drainage hassle-free, and the fact that it is manufactured in Nebraska, USA, supports local businesses.
Additionally, the Urban Ice Tribe Oblong Ice Bath comes with a fitted cover, offering protection and insulation for a more enjoyable ice bath experience.
Although this option has a higher price point and limited size options, its superior quality and performance make it well worth the investment.
Best Canadian Option: Livestock Equipment Canada Galvanized Round End Stock Tank
- Made with certified G90 20-gauge galvanized steel for durability
- 4-ply lock seam and sealant ensure maximum leak protection
- .875" steel pipe rolled into the top rim adds strength and rigidity
- Wide variety of sizes available
- 3/4" NPT drain plug included for convenient drainage
- Depth of 2', with width options of 2'-3' and length options of 2'-10'
The Livestock Equipment Canada Galvanized Round End Stock Tank is the best Canadian option for those looking for a locally-made metal tub for ice baths.
This ice bath tub has been the industry standard for decades and is made with certified G90 20-gauge galvanized steel, ensuring durability and longevity. The 4-ply lock seam and sealant provide maximum leak protection, while the .875" steel pipe rolled into the top rim offers strength and rigidity.
Although not specifically designed for ice baths, this stock tank features a 3/4" NPT drain plug for easy water removal.
To optimize this tub for ice baths, you may need additional insulation or accessories, but its durability and Canadian-made quality make it an excellent choice for those looking to support local businesses.
*BONUS: The Penguin Cold Therapy Chiller & Tub - An Exceptional Metal Tub Alternative
When exploring options for cold water immersion, the Penguin Cold Therapy Chiller & Tub emerges as a stellar alternative to traditional metal tubs for ice baths. This package is a game-changer for those seeking a hassle-free, iceless bath experience while reaping all the benefits of cold therapy.
- 100gal Tub: Measuring 53" x 31" x 26" externally and 47" x 25" x 26" internally, this tub offers ample space for a comfortable soak.
- Attached Filter Canister: Comes with a 150-micron washable/reusable filter, ensuring clean and clear water.
- Inline Screen: A coarse filter to catch hair and large debris before it reaches the chiller.
- 3/4HP Cold Therapy Chiller with Built-in Pump: The heart of the system, keeping the water consistently cold.
- Quick Connect Hoses: For easy setup and maintenance.
Effortless Cold Therapy Experience:
Gone are the days of lugging ice to maintain the perfect ice bath temperature. The Penguin Cold Therapy Chiller eliminates this burden, consistently keeping the water in the low 40°F range, and potentially even in the high 30°F under the right conditions. This consistent cold temperature leads to more frequent and effective ice bathing sessions, enhancing the overall experience.
Cost-Effectiveness and Maintenance:
The operational cost is surprisingly low, with an estimated monthly expense of $18-$28 at $0.12/KWh. This efficiency is due to the chiller's design, where the compressor and fan activate only when needed, reducing power consumption. Additionally, maintaining cold water continuously helps control bacteria growth, reducing the need for frequent water changes and lower sanitizer doses, contributing to overall maintenance ease.
- Power and Efficiency: Utilizes 110 - 120 Volts / 450 Watts / 3.9 Amps
- Size and Weight: Compact at 14”W x 20”D x 12”H and weighing 52 pounds
- Noise Level: Operates at a fairly quiet 56 dBA
- Safety Features: Includes a 10′ power cord with GFCI protection and is rainproof (note: disconnect and drain in freezing temps)
- Warranty: Comes with a 1-year product warranty
- Made in the USA: Proudly manufactured in the United States, ensuring quality and reliability
The Penguin Cold Therapy Chiller & Tub is an excellent choice for those looking for a more advanced, efficient, and user-friendly alternative to traditional ice baths. With its robust features, low maintenance requirements, and energy-efficient design, it represents a significant advancement in cold water therapy, suitable for both newcomers and seasoned ice bath enthusiasts.
Conclusion: Best Metal Tub For Ice Bath
When it comes to selecting the best metal tub for ice baths, the Cold Protocol stands out as our top choice offering exceptional durability, comfort, and performance. The Urban Ice Tribe Oblong Ice Bath is a show stopper of a runner-up, while the Livestock Equipment Canada Galvanized Round End Stock Tank is the best Canadian-made alternative. Those looking for a great metal tub alternative with a little higher budget should look no further than the Penguin Cold Therapy Chiller & Tub combo.
By considering factors such as material and construction, size and shape, drainage systems, comfort and safety, insulation, and local manufacturing, you can confidently choose the perfect metal tub for your ice bath needs.
With the right tub in place, you'll be well on your way to reaping the benefits of cold water immersion, transforming your wellness routine, and experiencing the invigorating effects of ice baths.
Whether you're a seasoned cold plunge enthusiast or just starting on your cold water therapy journey, this top metal tub for ice bath - along with two other great alternatives - will provide the ultimate foundation for a refreshing and revitalizing ice-cold plunge.
So, brace yourself for the chill and prepare to dive into the world of cold plunge tubs with confidence, knowing you've made the best choice for your icy water escapades!