Girl in Gym Supply Co IcePOD MAX cold plunging

Is a cold plunge pod worth the hype?

Our editors Hansa Tote and Eve Davies tested out the IcePOD MAX from Gym Supply Co

What started as a recovery method for pro-athletes is now a social media trend. More and more people are buying cold plunge pods for their gardens, posting and swearing by their daily dips. 

It seems that if plunging is a daily essential, but getting to safe open water is not always an option, a cold pod is the best alternative. These are insulated, inflatable and portable ice baths that bring the beach to your back garden.

Cold pod provider Gym Supply Co kindly gifted us their IcePOD MAX portable ice bath to see the benefits for ourselves. The IcePOD MAX is 85cm X 85cm, making it fit for people up to 6-foot-7 inches. With five layers of thermal insulation, it can keep up to 350 litres of water cold. Which is about the same amount of water as a full bath tub.

It arrives as a deflated pool with six poles to keep it upright, a lid and cover to keep out the creepy crawlies and stray leaves; and a hand pump to inflate the rim. Also included is a thermometer, a microfibre towel, and a tap for easy emptying. Access to a hosepipe is definitely preferable for filling it up – unless you’re willing to run between the garden and kitchen sink.

For something that can fit a person over 6-foot comfortably, the small box that arrived in the post left us slightly puzzled as to how it would all come together.

So, through trial and error, we have figured out how to assemble our new ice bath.

Hansa assembles the pod in 10 minutes

Step 1
Lay out the deflated pod and fully insert the poles into the designated holes.

Step 2
Fit the insert cap inside the drain hole.

Step 3
Close the drainage hole at the bottom of the tub. This makes sure your tub actually fills up and you don’t end up flooding the garden or patio.

Step 4
Insert the black valve into the air nozzle of the inflation ring.

Step 5
Connect the white end of the pump to the air outlet and inflate the tub’s rim with the hand pump. This only takes a minute.

Step 6
Attach the pipe to the outside of the drain hole.

That’s it! Your cold pod is ready to be filled up with cold water and ice. To get the most out of the pod, Gym Supply Co recommends using two bags of ice to get the temperature below 15C. They say the thermal insulation will ensure the temperature remains steady for long periods, and you can monitor it at all times with the handy thermometer.

What’s more, the company suggests a temperature-to-time ratio of 1:1. This means that if your water is five degrees, five minutes in the pod is enough to reap all the benefits.


Unbox our new ice pod with us! Thank you to @Gym Supply Co. for gifting us the pod, we can’t wait to fill it up and take the plunge 🥶✨ #plungemagazine #gifted #coldwatertherapy #icebath #coldplunge #coldwater #fyp

♬ original sound – Plunge magazine

Eve puts the pod to the test

Following Hansa’s guidance, I assembled the pod and filled it with icy hosepipe water on Friday evening, then left it to ‘chill’ overnight. Yes, I’d rather be leaving a bottle of white to chill on a Friday evening too – alas we’re in our ‘wellness era’ at Plunge

After a run the following morning I got ready to dip.

First a temperature check. Thanks to the handy thermometer included, I measured the water to be 10C. Squirming at the thought of staying in the water for a whole 10 minutes (remembering the recommended 1:1 ratio), I decided to try and make the water colder to slash off a few minutes – I was going for the rip-the-bandage-off technique, hoping that getting the plunge done sooner wouldn’t make it as painful. So, I emptied my fridge’s dispenser of ice cubes into the pod. It was now 6C and I got dipping.

I made sure my Oodie and Uggs were in reach for me to whip on the second my plunge was over. Image credit: Eve Davies

Crouching in the pod, I dared to put my shoulders under for a few seconds at a time and this was when I really felt the cold. My mum acted as camera woman, shivering just watching me. 

All intentions of staying in for six minutes went out of the window about 30 seconds in. Three minutes was ample. At 90 seconds, my skin was tingling and red, I could feel the blood pulsing in my thighs, and my hands turned pale. By the two-minute mark it was a matter of counting down the seconds. 50 seconds to go. 40. 30 . Deep breath. 20. Now my fingers were close to white. 10. Five. Four. Three. Two. One. Over in no time.

Once out and wrapped up I felt great, and despite my little dramatic episode, I will admit that the plunge was not half as bad as it first seemed. I felt awake and my muscles felt looser than they usually do post-run. I can certainly see why the cold pod craze is catching on.  


Our content deputy editor Eve has put the @Gym Supply Co. ice pod max to the test with a 3 minute dip at 6 degrees! 🧊✨ #plungemagazine #coldwatertherapy #fyp #coldwater #coldplunge #gifted #icebath

♬ Move on Up – Curtis Mayfield

For an easy-to-assemble option that looks slick and comes with all the accessories needed, I would recommend Gym Supply Co’s IcePOD MAX. Beware, though, that the water would need changing every two-to-three days.

You can purchase the IcePOD MAX from Gym Supply Co here. Psst – it is currently on offer for £99.99.

Other ice pod brands include Lumi, The Cold Pod and Myo Master.

Happy dipping and leave a comment below if you try/own a cold pod!