An Enjoyable Ice Bath?

Yep, you read that right, folks!  I have figured out how to harness the healing powers of an ice bath without all the swearing, avoiding, and shivering!!  And, it’s all thanks to my friends at Mountain Stream Elite.  I discovered this great new Canadian (yay!) company in iRun magazine, and was really pumped about the product description.  I had recently been prescribed frequent ice baths to protect my tendons, and I was dreading them.

“Mountain Stream Elite leg wraps are an ice bath alternative for athletes. They are designed to surround an athlete’s legs in a blanket of ice to deliver the same recuperative and analgesic effects of a traditional ice bath.  After a quality workout, take out the Mountain Stream Elite leg wraps from your fridge or freezer.  Wrap them snug around each leg in seconds.  There is nothing to plug-in, pump up or insert.  Sit down, relax and wear them for 10-15 minutes.   When you are done using the leg wraps, fold them up and keep them in your freezer so they are ready for your next intense workout.  A pair of the wraps folds to a compact size that is similar to a cereal box.”  A pair of MSE leg wraps sells for $139 online.

leg wraps wearing

Lounging in icy cool leg wraps!

Well…that sounds good?!  Much better than lugging a bag of ice up to my tub, wearing woolies from the waist up, and taking the polar plunge! Yuck!  This was definitely worth a try.  And so, one happy day, I arrived home to find a box of MSE leg wraps waiting on my doorstep.

I’ve put them through the paces after both running and cross-training, and here’s what you need to know!:

The Good:
I love the simplicity of these!  Even for someone like me who lacks the building/engineering brain, I quickly learned how to fold/unfold these properly, and I only had to resort to the diagram once!

I love the ease-of-use!  I don’t have to torture myself to get them on, and I actually look forward to wearing them when I come home, just because they are so easy.  Remove from freezer, sit down, velcro on, relax.  When you’re done, unvelcro, fold ’em up, and put back in freezer.  No tub to drain, no ice cube trays to refill, no toweling off required.

I love the quality!  You can tell that the product is very well made: the velcro and outer fabric are nice and heavy, and the wraps stay cold for quite a long time.  I generally remove them after about 20 minutes, but they definitely hold their cool temperature for at least that long.

I love the end result!  I have been battling injuries for a few months now, but still have ambitious training plans for the rest of the year.  And I feel really good after using these.  Like, no-need-to-visit-the-massage-therapist good.  This product has allowed me to ice more surface area and for longer than I ever would have before – it was just too much work, and too uncomfortable.  But now, the leg wraps combined with a bit of foam rolling have me back-in-action by the next day, and I am loving it.  The pain is so much less, and my output can be so much more, thanks to this reduction in downtime.

The Not-As-Good:
I’m not totally certain, but I think the wraps might have absorbed some odors from my freezer…I think they smell a bit fishy, and that might have something do with their freezer neighbours, the frozen shrimp.  This should be  a pretty quick fix though; step 1) move the shrimp, step 2) Febreeze the wraps.  Definitely not a deal-breaker, but just a point that deserves some attention.  I never thought to prevent this by moving the smelly items in advance…probably because I don’t typically store “clothing” items in my freezer!!

Things to Consider:
I would consider myself to be a girl with a fairly hefty-sized leg, and these one-size-fits-all wraps do fit me.  However, I would also consider myself to have a fairly short leg (I can buy 29″ W x 29″ L pants!), and they just nicely cover me from ankle to hip.  If you are a longer-legged or larger-legged person, you may need to consider MSE’s custom-sized wraps for $169.  Size allowances for the standard pair are listed online, so you can measure if you aren’t sure they would fit.

leg wraps folded

Leg wraps folded for storage.

They do take up quite a bit of space.  MSE says they fold to “a compact size…similar to a cereal box,” but I would suggest that they are more like 2 cereal boxes, stacked.  I did have to sacrifice a fair chunk of freezer space for these babies.  Thankfully, I have a deep freeze in addition to my fridge freezer, so that only required minor shuffling of items.  Overall, I think the product is worth the shelf space.

If you’re still on the fence, check out these other reviews by iRun’s panel of testers.

~ Princess Lindsey
* Disclaimer: The purpose of Prairie Princess Runners product reviews is to provide information based on real- life use of fitness products in order to inform readers and help them make shopping decisions. The product reviews in this blog are based on our own opinions and experiences.  Unless otherwise stated, all reviewed items have been purchased for our personal use.  The product reviewed here was graciously provided by Mountain Stream Elite; acceptance of donated products does not influence our reviews.

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