Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Accessories

Arctic Ease Instant Cold Wrap

Through magic, the tape turns ice cold without refrigeration, and stays frigid for about two hours.

Lock Icon

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

All-Access
Intro Offer
$3.99 / month*

  • A $500 value with 25+ benefits including:
  • Access to all member-only content on all 17 publications in the Outside network like Rock and Ice, Climbing, Outside, Backpacker, Trail Runner and more
  • Annual subscription to Climbing magazine.
  • Annual gear guides for climbing, camping, skiing, cycling, and more
  • Gaia GPS Premium with hundreds of maps and global trail recommendations, a $39.99 value
  • Outside Learn, our new online education hub loaded with more than 2,000 videos across 450 lessons including 6 Weeks to Stronger Fingers and Strength Training for Injury Prevention
  • Premium access to Outside TV and 1,000+ hours of exclusive shows
  • Annual subscription to Outside magazine
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

Arctic Ease Cold Wrap

On Saturday, I finally used my middle finger one too many times. I was crimping when crunch, snap! I partly tore the A2 pulley on my flipper. A quick Google informed me that I had about 60 days recovery before I could crimp again. When you’re as old as I am, that’s like 10 percent of your remaining life spent just rubbing your finger.

Arctic Ease Cold Wrap | $16 | arcticeasewrap.com

Fortuitously, or perhaps forebodingly, the day before my little mishap I had received two rolls of ArcticEase Instant Cold Wrap tape. Normally I would have tossed the tape in the closet, or given it to an intern to figure out, but this day I saw it as a gift from a friend.

The tape—blue, rubbery, slimy and cold—feels like a dead eel. You cut ArcticEase to width and length, and wrap it around your injured part.
Briefly holding the tape in place causes it to stick to itself, forming a sort of flexible cast. Getting the wrap just so is tricky, and really a two-handed
operation as the wet, slick tape has a mind of its own, but I managed. Through magic, the tape turns ice cold without refrigeration, and stays frigid for about two hours.

When I first wrapped my hot and throbbing A2, I could feel the tape suck the heat right out of it. This was better than using ice or a bag of frozen peas, as the tape provided a 360-degree cooling effect. It was better than a dunking in ice water, as I didn’t have to torture my entire hand for the transgression of a single digit, or find a bucket of ice water and carry it around with me. The stretchy tape also performed a mild-compression therapy—it got cold and squeezed my wounded thing at the same time!

I used ArcticEase tape for three days, which is about as long as you want to ice/cool an injury, reapplying as necessary. A jar (essential so the magic
doesn’t escape) of 2.75-inch tape comes in a roll three feet long, enough for three or four finger injuries. The wider four-inch roll would be the
ticket for a rolled ankle or a sore elbow.

Did the tape work? Cut me off in traffic and you’ll find out.