Cool Yourself with IcePlate – Frozen Water Body Armor Insert

Having spent a fair amount of time encumbered (yet appreciative) in full battle-rattle, I can say that full armor, especially full military body armor is hot. The coverage required to keep one safe from high-velocity fragmentation also keeps the body from being able to exhaust heat in its normal ways. I can remember vividly, taking armor off with salt lines all over my utilities from where armor coverage met air.

Looking to help cool one in armor is Qore Performance with their IcePlate armor hydro-insert. The concept is basic yet entirely appreciated. Freeze water in the IcePlate, don armor with IcePlate installed, and simultaneously cool oneself and get fresh drinking water. Per Qore Performance:

Fill IcePlate with 50 ounces of water. Freeze IcePlate overnight. Wear IcePlate under your body armor for 3-4 hours (70+ watts per plate) of conductive + evaporative cooling and a full shift of hydration. As your body heat melts the ice in the container, you’ll have ice-cold water to drink.

The IcePlate is 12 ounces, empty and when filled is capable of carrying up to 50 ounces of water. IcePlate is 1″ thick. Construction is rugged, using thermopolymers to absorb impact. Note, it’s not quite ballistically rated, but can help when used in conjunction with standard armors (see video below).

iceplate_load_crop

For additional details, check out Qore Performance directly. IcePlate is available today, priced at $39 for either the front or back plates (only differences are the hoses at 21″ and 32″, respectively) or available as a pair for $77. Current colors include Wolf Grey and White, with Tan available soon.

 

 

Curious about its ballistic capability?

Details from Qore Performance:

Cooling + Hydration + Protection under your Body Armor.

Quick Specs: Full Spec Sheet | Breakroom Flyer

  • Weight: About 12 oz.
  • Capacity: 50 oz (1.5 L)
  • Dimensions: 10′ by 12′
  • Duration: Lasts 2-4 hours, freeze overnight (6-8 hours)
  • NTOA Member Tested & Recommended

Comes with Soft Armor Velcro Straps for External Armor
Zipties can be used for Hard Armor / Thin Shoulder Straps

Recommended Configuration

  • Front: for users who spend a majority of their time in vehicles and those who prefer a little bit more protection up front
  • Rear: for users who spend a majority of their time dismounted, outside of vehicles on foot, ATV, motorcycle, horseback, aircraft (crew or passenger) or boats, this is the recommended configuration
  • Pair: for users on extended, dismounted patrols where maximum cooling/heating and hydration are required
  • Order Industrial QD strap system (below) to wear IcePlate as a standalone backpack

Recommended Accessories:



Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • PK

    I’ve been doing this for years with those blue gel inserts, some armor companies even sell purpose made skinny packs. It’s nice to see a fresh take on the same general idea.

    Also, the price is very reasonable, even without the extra ability to drink the water as the ice melts.

  • iksnilol

    This is the coolest armor I’ve seen 😀

    • PK

      Ugh…. that was substantially more awful than usual.

    • rooftopvoter

      Chill

  • Joshua

    Just what I want…Another 1-2lbs on an already heavy chest rig.

    • Richard

      1-2lbs that you can drink.

    • Flounder

      if you have to carry water already… Then this doesn’t add much weight depending how you were planning on carrying it before. And you can freeze it and get some cooling action so this is a great water bottle! But that is all it is.

    • Actually 9.0 lbs. if both plates are filled and worn.

      • Qore Performance

        @valorius:disqus you are correct that a single IcePlate filled with 50oz. of drinkable water weighs 4lbs. However, it is still 50% thinner than a legacy water bladder when comparing equivalent volume. @s_a_r:disqus two full IcePlates carrying a total of 100oz. of drinkable water weighs 8lbs.

        • You’re right, I mis-typed 9 for 8.

    • valorius

      It’s over 4lbs when full, it seems. And 2″ more inches of bulk.

      • A single 50oz. IcePlate is just 1″ thick. For equivalent volumes, it is approximately 50% thinner than legacy water bladders (pics posted in other replies).

        • valorius

          I’m a dinosaur, we used canteens.

    • nelley

      A side plate version would be pretty sweet. Most people don’t bother with side plates, and it would be smaller and easier to refill. Nothing adding to bulk as nothing is in that armpit area. It could also be worn without armour as general water bottles.

    • Qore Performance

      @disqus_IxDFpivhkj:disqus and @Rfn2:disqus are both correct. IcePlate is a new shape of water bottle for water you already have to carry.

    • NoBeardNoTats

      Its not about the weight – its about working in extreme and/or oppressive heat conditions and trying to stay hydrated and now an added bonus of working to keep those core temps down. Some will get this concept because they’ve been there – some won’t. I think the axiom: “Some get it and some don’t” is a Law of the Universe – just look around.

      • You are correct. Water weight is fixed. We cannot change it. IcePlate simply provides a lighter weight container that allows end-users to get maximum utility (cooling/heating, hydration and protection vs. just hydration) out of the water they already have to carry.

  • Bill

    I don’t know – it will definitely screw with the fit of soft panels. And while it may end up with drinkable water, it looks kind of hard to clean. I’ve gone away from camelback type bladders just because I wasn’t sure that I could clean them, versus a wide-mouth water bottle, which while bulky is not likely to help me catch an intestinal bug.

    • MattCFII

      There are multiple cleaning kits out there for hydration bladders, the last one I bought was at Wal-Mart. Also the Source brand bladders claim that their bladders are some of the best at preventing bacterial growth due to their lining which is noticeably different from other bladders.

      • Bill

        I’ve got all the brushes and hangers and tabs and other miracle cures. I’ll have to give the Source bladders a shot.

        • Machinegunnertim

          I’ve got one and they are great. It’s co-extruded plastic with polyethylene on the inside instead of polyurethane so you don’t get that plasticky smell and taste.

    • Rusty S.

      Source bladders open wide at the top, super easy to clean and super quiet.

    • Swarf

      Bleach.

  • Joseph Goins

    This is the dumbest idea I have heard in a long time!

  • MattCFII

    Been seeing these around for awhile when they did a Facebook campaign and it showed up in my feed. While I do have a plate set, it is definitely a SHTF thing for me so I haven’t got one of these yet but I like the idea and on the wishlist.

  • Swarf

    I just want to commend the company for digitizing the 2 square inches of that hero’s visible face skin. His operator status remains tiger now, since all we can currently tell about him– or her!– is that it’s a white person with a tactical beard and tier-shades who prefers a sippy straw for field hydration.

    Good deal.

    • valorius

      Operators gonna operate.

    • billyoblivion

      You can tell he’s not a Navy Seal.

      The watch is too small.

  • A bearded being from beyond ti
    • Mazryonh

      A new way for your modern warfighter to stay chill!

  • M-Dasher

    Yes…because body armor isn’t bulky enough already…..let’s add another 2″

  • Jake

    Okay class, physics 101.
    What happens to stuff when you cool it then strike it?
    That is right! It SHATTERS.
    Can we have some science on the effects of cooling on kevlar?

    • Swarf

      How effing cold do you think these things get?

      Do you drink liquid nitrogen?

      • iksnilol

        You… you don’t?

        • Riot

          We don’t all drink in dodgy English winebars.

          • rooftopvoter

            Fern bars with that plant theme.

        • Twilight sparkle

          You have my favorite comments on this site.

        • billyoblivion

          Not more than once.

    • ozzallos .

      While I’m sure it shatters, I would assume most of the ice would be contained by the plastic storage sleeve. Might rupture that, but I doubt you’re going to take 2d6 ice shard fragmentation damage if that’s where you were going.

      In terms of cold, I’m seeing “Very low temperatures have no effect on Kevlar: DuPont found “no embrittlement or degradation” down to −196°C (−320°F).” Frankly, I doubt the ice layer is going to provide any signifigant ballistic protection, but another layer of something is better than nothing, I guess.

    • Mazryonh

      Not if the ice is “pykrete” (a composite of ice and wood pulp). There are some vids that show how a block of pykrete kept below freezing temperature can resist quite a bit of small arms fire without shattering, because it has the strength of concrete.

  • USMC03Vet

    mall ninja gear.

  • Stephen

    Is it April 1 already?

  • John

    Aaaand yet another, “why didn’t I think of that” moment.

  • rooftopvoter

    After reading all of this, I have to go pee.

  • NoBeardNoTats

    I’ve got zero experience in the Military but have crossed trained with a bunch during my almost 30 yrs in the LE world. When the ice plates first came across my radar I immediately thought “why not try it?”. In the friggin oppressive heat of the south central US I can 100% say this thing REALLY works! I wish these things were around when I sucked a hot Camelbak dry during summer desert ops in SO CAL.

    • Mazryonh

      Not the first time something similar has been tried. In WWI, machine gun crews actually used the water from machine gun cooling jackets (after firing a few rounds) to make tea to stay hydrated, and then made up for the lost coolant by collecting and pouring in their urine.

      • Nashvone

        That’s not a life hack that should be tried more than once in a day.

        • Mazryonh

          People do odd things in wartime conditions. They used to cook rations in steel helmets too before the adoption of composite helmets and MREs.

          • Nashvone

            Nothing like drinking tea steeped in a hot cup of piss if you forget to change the water.

          • Mazryonh

            I think most of the machine gun crews back then remembered only to use their own urine once the original cooling water was gone (they used to have to fire for days on end to stop infantry offensives, pausing only to reload ammunition and change barrels once they got too worn down). Store the urine in a separate container, and use it for emergencies.

    • Wow!

      There is also a company that makes kind of like a vaccum nozzle that fits under your vest to blow air on your chest. Kind of gimmiky though.

    • raz-0

      Replying to you because you have actually tried it or something similar.
      I would think there would be issues with wearing these for cooling without a proper layer between you and the skin.

      I have some cooling gear for working in the hot, and it’s all either evaporative, or based on oils/fats and does not get as cold when frozen as water ice. Most of the medical literature I have found on the subject says don’t do ice due to constricting blood vessels and thus trapping heat you want to be radiating. Which I can vouch for being a thing using ice chilled water on the head and neck, but based on a couple of nasty experiences with that have avoided trying the same with torso worn stuff. From the research I’ve seen, ~50F against the skin seems to be the sweet spot for max cooling with little to no side effects. Not sure how that compares ot a pair of these in a cheap chest rig for actual use. I can tell you the price is competitive with any of the decent fat/oil based products and definitely less delicate just form the pics.

  • Question – What about additionally freezing your AR500 plates?

    • Risky

      It wouldn’t draw away enough heat to be worth the effort. The reason ice is so good at cooling is because changing state of matter from solid to liquid actually uses the heat to break the bonds between molecules… or something like that.

      • Indeedy!

        I’m still mildly curious and may stick one of my 3/4″ gongs in the freezer then against an ice pak or two to see whether it would have an effect on something similar and larger.

      • Wow!

        Water has high specific heat. Takes a lot of energy to change from one state to the next, which means good energy retention, or in this case, good retention of absense of energy.

        • @disqus_L2fO33hZTm:disqus Absolutely correct. Water is super efficient this way in that it is consumable but also has incredible energy storage properties. Tough to beat.

  • Mazryonh

    Inb4 someone tries putting “pykrete” (a mixture of wood pulp and ice that when properly made and kept below freezing has the strength of concrete and can deflect small arms fire) into this product and tries to use it as another layer of body armour for arctic warfare.

    Also inb4 someone tries to cool a hot gun barrel by placing on one of these IcePlates.

  • Peter (BE)

    OK, isn’t this thing TOO cold?

  • valorius

    I’ll just say this to all: you have not met hot until you’ve done MOPP4 at NTC.

    • Qore Performance

      So true!

    • Wow!

      I have never been in the military but I assume you are talking about those NBC (CBRN, whatever) protective jumpsuits with the SCBA? RIP. nice and toasty without the nice. The longest I ever used those was for 6 hours (not on SCBA, but PAPR) and it was hell, but I hear that for some in the military they have to wear it 24/7 sleeping and drinking etc in protective gear. I can’t even imagine. Although I guess you kind of forget the uncomfortable moist and exausting feeling after a while.

      • valorius

        MOPP4 is full NBC protective gear. You never get used to being in MOPP4, IMO.

        • Wow!

          I guess it also makes it worse for you guys since you have to carry all your gear on top of all that. I also don’t know how the military stuff seals up but on the civilian side our stuff has a degree of leaking no matter how correctly you don your equipment so whatever is in the air, if you are around it long enough you are going to catch some of it. And for what you guys are training to handle, that can probably be unnerving on top of the discomfort. And on top of that if your respirator doesn’t but up against you mouth well you get this wall of fogging (again, not sure if the military versions fixed this). NBC and other PPE always is cool to me (like a spacesuit in a way) but I never want to use it if I can avoid it.

  • When I get super hot in heavy gear I like cool water, but not super icy water. I’ve found going from really hot to really cold can cause muscle cramping. Having these ice block under your armor adds bulk (more difficult to maneuver), and could cause excessive condensation making everything wet, something you don’t want to experience when carrying 50+ pounds of gear.

    • Qore Performance

      @s_a_r:disqus you are correct that IcePlate condensates in humid environments because condensation comes from the atmosphere. However, it is worth noting that in dry climates like AZ, CA, CO, UT, etc. IcePlate does not condensate. Hopefully this helps. Please feel free to reach out if you have any additional questions!

      • Mazryonh

        It sounds like somewhere in the documentation the tendency towards condensation is noted. Probably next to a notice saying that the IcePlate is not to be used for other cooling purposes, such as hot gun barrels.

  • brinny

    Maybe one made of tin steel would be a better option? Although difficult to make durable it would also act as a heatsink for the body, unlike the plastic which is an insulator.
    In addition, chest ice packs have been proven to not cool the body more quickly, its largely a psychological effect only. Problem is probably due to the chest having no major arteries passing through it and any compression there constricts blood flow and impinges the icepack from cooling the body through blood circulation.
    But regarding centre of gravity, bulk and weight burden on the spine. The bulk isn’t realy a problem unless you need to crawl under a car or something. The centre of gravity if balanced would be much closer than a camelback sitting up ontop of a backpack. Reducing the burden on the spine. In addition, these would serve as semi usable water bottles outside of wearing them, which is less the case with camelbacks, which require all those harnesses and tubes and are much more delicate..
    In a real war scenario I don’t think that item will standup to any long term use, but perhaps with the right plastic.

    • CommonSense23

      Bulk is definitely a problem. Going prone, climbing, CQB in small passages, getting into and out of vehicles.

  • All the Raindrops

    Lol this is dumb. Nobody ever said they wanted more rigid bulk.

  • Charles Valenzuela

    Active shooter? Wait, I’ll just run by the morgue and pick up my frozen inserts! Ever hear of hypothermia? This is the dumbest idea I’ve ever seen.

    • Mazryonh

      I don’t think that amount of ice is going to cause hypothermia, unless you’re soaked by heavy rain or in an arctic warfare environment.

  • Jayste

    Wouldn’t the protection level drop when it thaws out/ is drank?

    • Mazryonh

      The majority of the protection is coming from the ballistic plate you put in front. Ice of that thickness doesn’t stop bullets well. “Pykrete” on the other hand, however . . .

  • Mazryonh

    Is this a publicity photo from your website? It appears the IcePlate is the one on the left.