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Today’s service members rely heavily on drinking cold water to thwart off heat-related ailments and improve cognitive function, endurance, and combat effectiveness in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan, where the average ambient temperatures can range between 95°F and 120°F. The Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) has developed an insulated container for bottles and bladder-filled water (ICB) to replace commercially available insulated coolers that became projectile hazards during improvised explosive device scenarios, due to soldiers being unable to restrain the coolers.
The durable, flexible, insulated cooler comes in small, medium, and large versions, safely secured with integrated tie-down straps on the inside or to the outside of a vehicle. All have handles for ease of transport and an integrated access flap, while the medium and large versions also have a removable waterproof liner, allow for access to the entire cooler volume when loading, and feature a custom high-density polyethylene tray sewn into the bottom for sliding the unit on a truck bed. The large version can allow for a spigot to come out the side for quick water access. In addition to being able to accommodate attachments, MOLLE webbing is sewn through several layers of the cooler, giving rise to the unit’s strength and form. These features have led to the TARDEC’s decision to include the ICB as a requirement for a particular platform of future Army ground vehicles.
Beyond allied military organizations and humanitarian relief efforts, this invention targets the needs of hunters, fishermen, and off-roaders.
- When exposed to ambient temperatures ranging from 100°F to 120°F, the hold time for water (0°F to 72°F) can extend upwards of 56 hours, depending on the size and composition of the unit
- Easily secured to vehicle and boats with the small one designed to fasten to the back of a seat. Portable for hand-carry and slide-able over hard surfaces.
- Ruggedized to withstand the elements, even blast tested to survive the most extreme IED scenarios
- US patent 9,265,318 available for license
- Potential for collaboration with Army researchers