By Tim Newcomb
August 12, 2014

Frozen compression. And without the distraction of chemicals, ice or clunky bandage wraps.

Coolcore, the parent company behind Dr. Cool, has used its patented technology to create Dr. Cool Recovery-On-The-Go wraps, an effort to keep athletes moving—and cooled—no matter the nagging injury.

To get the compression wraps cool—and by cool, we mean frozen cold, but still pliable— users simply wet the wrap, roll it and toss it in the freezer for 20 minutes. Crafted with a hollow-core fiber, a key component to the cooling efforts, the three sizes of wraps absorb the water into the fibers. The 20-minute freezer allows the fibers to freeze without losing any of the moisture through evaporation and then, when the wrap hugs your knee, wrist, torso or even head, it can still conform to the shape of your body. The air around the fibers circulates to activate the cooling and the fibers regulate evaporation by not releasing all the stored up frozen relief at once, creating a prolonged cooling effect.

Bell's High-Tech Helmet Shifts From Aerodynamic to High Ventilation

As Dr. Cool says, the on-the-go wraps act “like a bag of ice woven into a bandage, just without the mess.”

The wraps are 95 percent polyester and 5 percent spandex on the front with a 100 percent plyamide—a yarn found commonly in the health care industry—on the backside. The wrap’s open anchor point works equally well over a knee or elbow or anchoring on a thumb while the Velcro attachment easily locks down the wrap no matter the placement on the body.

Dr. Cool claims the combination of ice and compression into one flexible wrap represents a first in the industry. The wraps come in seven different lively color options and double as dry-compression wraps, if you choose to skip the freezer step. The advantage to freezing them first ensures athletes experience a reduction in swelling during activity with the wraps acting to “speed recovery mid- or post-activity.”

Coolcore, based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, worked with the Hohenstein Institute in Germany to analyze its fabric, the first company to use a new machine developed specifically for testing cooling fabrics. The result gives us a new way to actively compress. A cooler way, if you will.  

Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and gear for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.