We test and review fitness products based on an independent, multi-point methodology. If you use our links to purchase something, we may earn a commission. Read our disclosures.
As an Olympic weightlifter of over two decades, I’ve tried lots of different recovery methods, including the best home saunas and massage guns. I’ve been told by my fellow athletes and coaches that any way to recover that gets you just a little bit better is helpful to get you to the top of the podium.
So, what’s the best cold plunge tub to add to your recovery? Well, weightlifting isn’t the most lucrative sport for most, so I often didn’t have access to high-end cold plunges early in my career. Most of the time, gyms would use horse troughs filled with water and bags of ice for their recovery.
That method hasn’t died out, either. For instance, there is the Tuff Stuff Super-Duty Oval Stock Tank, a 110-gallon tank that’ll fit just about anyone. Add a few bags of ice during the summer, and the water will be freezing for your recovery. See if this ultra-budget DIY solution is right for you in our Tuff Stuff Stock Tank review.
We’re Not Chill About Testing Fitness Equipment
Our team of product testers includes certified personal trainers, lifting coaches, and competitive athletes; we’ve had a lot of experience with fitness equipment and recovery tools. We’ve tested several cold plunge tubs at this point, noting certain aspects of each product, such as:
- Footprint and portability
- Construction and durability
- Delivery and setup
- Ergonomics and features
- Cleaning and draining
- Overall value
GGR’s head of content Kate Meier, CPT, USAW-L1, CF-L1, owns a Tuff Stuff Stock Tank at her gym and has had her gym members use it over the past year. She shares with me her thoughts on the stock tank after extended use of it.
Since I was about to write a review and am an avid user of cold plunges—particularly of DIY stock tanks—I had to try it myself, testing it out on a brisk winter day with 39-degree temperatures. If any pictures taken while trying out the plunge look like I’m in pain, disregard them; that’s how I show I’m enjoying an ice bath!
Tuff Stuff Super-Duty Oval Stock Tank
- Utility stock tank
- Can be used as a cold plunge tub
- 110 gallons
- Made from sturdy low-density polyethylene
Pros & Cons
- Affordable cold tub
- UV, heat, cold, and crack resistant
- Plug for easy draining
- No BPA
- No temperature regulation
- No insulation
A Quick Look at the Tuff Stuff Oval Stock Tank
The 110-gallon Tuff Stuff Stock Tank is available at Tractor Supply, the location of our top recommendation for the best horse stall mats for home gyms. Another DIY love of ours, this stock tank is not typically used for ice baths or cold plunges. Instead, the Tuff Stuff Stock Tank is often recommended as a watering tank or as a trough for horse feed.
Although it’s not necessarily made for it, the stock tank can handle all the things you need for a cold plunge, namely water and extreme temperatures. Kate adds, “This tank isn’t necessarily meant for ice baths, though the description does talk about using it for bathing large dogs, so there you go.”
Plus, its heavy-duty plastic construction makes it very durable for outdoor use. Kate has had the tank for her gym for about a year now and stores it outside during the winter cold and summer heat of the Carolinas, and it has held up extremely well so far.
I’ve used a few stock tanks for ice baths during my time as a competitive Olympic weightlifter, and the Tuff Stuff Stock Tank is probably one of the better ones I’ve used. The longer, 53-inch oval shape allows for a bit more legroom than most others I’ve used. The smooth edges around the tank also don’t leave uncomfortable points of contact. Although this isn’t designed for ice baths, it still gets a 4 out of 5 for ergonomics.
Before You Buy
- The Tuff Stuff 110-gallon tank can be purchased online through Tractor Supply, but it’s also available for store pickup. The tank can be shipped to your local Tractor Supply, so you can pick up the bulk storage tank with your next purchase of dog food, fertilizer, or other outdoor products during store hours.
- Tuff Stuff is available on the company website in larger and smaller oval sizes than the 110-gallon tank—going up to as much as a 180-gallon capacity. If you shop on their website, however, you’ll have to call in your order and know the Tuff Stuff product’s item number, or SKU (the 110-gallon stock tank is KMT100).
- The Tuff Stuff Stock Tank can be great for small gyms, as the tank can fit two grown men, so long as they’re comfortable with close quarters. Even as a larger athlete myself, I fit in the stock tank fine, although to get my arms and shoulders submerged, I had to sink forward and bend my legs to fit.
Is the Tuff Stuff Stock Tank Worth It?
Cold plunge tubs can be expensive, with current prices ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 on the low end, but costing as much as $10,000 in some cases. Young athletes and home gym users may simply not have the budget or floor space for a high-end cold plunge.
If that’s the case, the Tuff Stuff Stock Tank can very much be worth it. At $100, the stock tank is one of the cheapest options available, plus it has a pretty reasonable footprint for a tub—53 inches long by 36 inches wide. Furthermore, the stock tank can be stored outside, as its plastic construction allows it to endure the extremes of weather.
It won’t have the temperature regulation that high-end tubs will have, and you’ll have to add your own water and ice for each bath (especially in the summer), but if you’re looking for an inexpensive alternative, this is a great choice.
Kate rates its value 4.5 out of 5, saying, “As long as you’re good with making your own ice bath each time, this is a great option. I think it’s best for places like small, niche, gritty gyms where multiple people want to take ice baths, but you aren’t making a ton of money, or you don’t have the space for a bougie tub.”
- Athletes needing a budget-friendly way to recover
- Small gyms that don’t have the space for a cold plunge tub
- People wanting a tub that stores and lasts well outside
Not recommended for:
- Those not wanting to get ice for every cold plunge session
- Anyone wanting to control the temperature of their ice bath
- Users wanting a cold plunge that they can fully stretch out in
Tuff Stuff Stock Tank Specs
|53” L x 36” W x 20” H
|Portable, 1/2″ flush drain plug included, UV resistant, BPA-free
|Plastic low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
Using the Tuff Stuff Stock Tank
The steps to using the Tuff Stuff Oval Stock Tank for an ice bath is pretty similar to other cold plunges. You fill up the tub with water and ice and then situate yourself in the tub. The 53-inch length allows most users to sit with their legs extended easily—a feat that some premium cold plunge tubs simply can’t do (like the Renu Therapy Cold Stoic). Kate has even had two athletes in the cold plunge together, although they had to be comfortable with the close quarters.
Although the Tuff Stuff Stock Tank is fairly spacious for a plunge tub, it doesn’t have many features or conveniences, like its higher-end counterparts. There’s no temperature control, and you’ll have to purchase ice for each use. It’s a decent trade-off for its price point, though. Kate adds, “This is a great cheap option for people who want to occasionally sit in very cold water and don’t mind the legwork of buying ice.”
RELATED: How to Cold Plunge
Kate continues with a tip to save on ice: “One thing we do is keep frozen water bottles in the fridge in the gym, and we’ll throw those into the tub to help chill the water and cut down on how much ice we need.”
Durability and Construction
The construction of the Tuff Stuff tank is pretty simple: An oval-shaped tub that angles out slightly from its base. It’s made of a sturdy plastic known as LDPE, or low-density polyethylene. This plastic compound is heavy-duty and can withstand the harsher environment of the outdoors—UV rays, extreme heat, and colder temperatures, as well.
Kate has had the stock tank stored outside of her gym for about a year now, and notes no issues. “We have left it sitting outside during the Carolina summer and freezing temperatures in the winter for close to a year now, and haven’t had any problems,” she says.
RELATED: The Cold Plunge Review
“It’s made of plastic,” she continues, “so my hunch is that we might eventually see some warping or cracking issues, compared to tubs made of other materials. For now, though, this is about as good as it gets in terms of a lightweight, portable cold plunge tub.” She rates the durability and construction of the stock tank a 4.5 out of 5.
Additionally, the cold plunge tub has a built-in half-inch drain plug for easy and quick drainage, located on the side of the tub. Tractor Supply recommends twisting the plug off using a coin, but Kate has used a drill, which makes easy work of the plug when it’s time to drain the water.
Footprint and Portability
“It’s incredibly lightweight when empty, which is great because we can move it all around our space depending on where we want it,” Kate says about the Tuff Stuff Stock Tank. Although the product page on Tractor Supply says the product weight is 46 pounds, it feels much less than that while empty, making it fairly easy to maneuver.
RELATED: Inergize Cold Plunge Tub Review
Its lightweight nature makes it easy to flip, turn, or move while cleaning, adding to its convenience.
Kate also notes that although they store it outside, the tank would fit through most doorways with ease, should you want the ice bath benefits inside your home gym. Its portability is one of the tank’s best features, as Kate rates it a 5 out of 5.
Ergonomics and Conveniences
If there is an area where the Tuff Stuff Stock Tank may falter, it’s in its ergonomics and conveniences. Its ergonomics aren’t amazing because it’s not a tank made for people to lie in, unlike other cold plunge tubs. Still, it’s not an uncomfortable experience, especially since you have the leg space to stretch out a bit. Still, if a larger athlete like me wanted to submerge my arms and shoulders as well, I’d have to shift forward and bend my legs to fit.
Aside from the plug to allow for drainage, there are no real conveniences to the Tuff Stuff Stock Tank, leading Kate to rate the convenience a 1 out of 5. She says, “You have to get your own ice and chill your own water. We don’t have a thermometer or anything to gauge the temperature, either; it’s pretty much guessing, ‘yeah, this feels cold.’”
RELATED: Ice Bath vs Cold Shower
Tuff Stuff Stock Tank vs The Cold Pod
The Cold Pod
- Single-person cold tub
Pros & Cons
- Easy setup
- Cover and carrying case included
- No temperature control
- Long shipping times for US customers
For this comparison, we’ve taken another budget-friendly option, the Cold Pod. Although we’ve yet to test this cold plunge tub out ourselves, its price is very comparable to the DIY solution of the Tuff Stuff Stock Tank, at about $150 or so, depending on money conversion rates. Both lack high-end features like temperature control, but they each offer a simple drainage system to empty water.
The Cold Pod is definitely more compact of a tub, with a maximum capacity of 85 gallons and a diameter of 35.5 inches. This seems like a less viable option for larger athletes…although the Cold Pod does offer an extra-large 116-gallon version.
A major positive for the Cold Pod is that the tub is actually insulated, made of a foam middle layer surrounded by PVC on the inside and nylon on the outside. This insulation with a lid will be sure to keep your water fresher and cooler for your next session.
Does this added insulation make it the better budget option? It depends; the stock tank is a bit more roomy, so for larger athletes needing to stretch their legs, the Tuff Stuff tank might be the better value. If you’re wanting to preserve the temperature of the water longer, however, the Cold Pod might do the trick.
|Tuff Stuff Stock Tank
|The Cold Pod
|Under $150 (price varies due to conversion rate)
|53” L x 36” W x 20” H
|35.5” L x 35.5” W x 30” H
|Portable, 1/2″ flush drain plug included, UV resistant, BPA-free
|Portable, easy flow drainage system, fully insulated, cover
|Plastic low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
|PVC inner layer, nylon outer layer, and pearl foam middle layer
Although you probably won’t need customer service for a basic tub like the Tuff Stuff Stock Tank, Tractor Supply has outstanding customer service, earning a 5 out of 5 here.
Still, the warranty, returns, and financing options are very basic, earning only a 3 out of 5. As far as financing options go, you won’t need it for this stock tank’s price point of under $100. The tank is backed by a one-year warranty, and Tractor Supply allows for 30-day returns. For returns, you’ll need proof of purchase.
Ordering and Assembling the Tuff Stuff Stock Tank
The Tuff Stuff Stock Tank earns a 4 out of 5 for its delivery and setup. Although the tub itself comes in one piece and can be easily picked up from your local Tractor Supply, it’ll still require a bit of labor on your part: ice.
Kate explains, “All you need is about 8 bags of ice and a hose and voila—ice bath time. Bringing your own ice does require some manual labor compared to a fancy tub that chills water for you, though.” The ice can be worth it for the money saved, though.
The Tuff Stuff Stock Tank has pretty solid customer reviews, with an astounding average of 4.8 stars out of 5, out of 1,403 reviews at the time of this writing.
Positive reviews spoke of the tub’s versatility in holding liquids and that it was easy to clean and drain, mostly due to the tub’s drain plug. Coincidentally, many of the negative reviews also spoke on the drain plug, and several people had issues with leaking and needed a replacement plug.
With that said, we never experienced any leaking in our use of the stock tank. If there are issues with your stock tank, the 1-year warranty should cover it; contact Tractor Supply to resolve the issue.
Final Verdict of Our Tuff Stuff Stock Tank Review
While it doesn’t have the fancy UV cleaning or temperature regulation of high-end cold plunge tubs, the Tuff Stuff Stock Tank does do a couple of things well, most notably fitting most athletes comfortably and getting cold enough for a recovery session. Although it may lack some bells and whistles, if you’re looking for an affordable alternative to premium tubs, the Tuff Stuff Stock Tank is a worthwhile product with a low, low price point.
Tuff Stuff Stock Tank
While a utility stock tank is most often used for gardening or farming, we see no problem using it as a cold plunge tub. The tank has a 110-gallon capacity, it’s made from sturdy low-density polyethylene (which is UV, heat, cold, and crack resistant), and it has a plug for easy draining. It might not offer temperature regulation or a ton of insulation, but it could be a great cold therapy hack for budget-conscious folks.
Product Brand: Tuff Stuff
Product Currency: $
Product Price: 99.99
Product In-Stock: InStock
Tuff Stuff Stock Tank: FAQs
What are the dimensions and the capacity of the Tuff Stuff Heavy-Duty Oval Stock Tank?
The stock tank by Tuff Stuff is 53 inches long, 36 inches wide, and 20 inches tall. It has a 110-gallon capacity.
How do I properly clean and maintain a Tuff Stuff Stock Tank?
To prolong the use of the water in a stock tank, GGR head of content Kate Meier uses epsom salt during her athletes’ cold plunges. Regular draining of the tank is one of the best ways to maintain and clean the tub. As any impurities start to line the walls of the stock tank, you’ll want to scrub down the walls of the tank, too.
How can I get a replacement part for the drain plug?
Quite a few customer reviews claim the drain plug for the Tuff Stuff Stock Tank was leaking upon delivery. If your product is still under warranty, I’d mention it to Tractor Supply so that they can hopefully resolve the issue. If not, you can get a replacement plug at most hardware stores: Home Depot or Lowes, for example. Just remember that the plug is one-half inch wide in diameter.
The Torque Endless Rope Trainerturns a typically difficult movement to do in a home gym, into something convenient with no setup time. I love doing rope pulls for both back/bicep hypertrophy as well as conditioning work, but it’s cumbersome to set up. The Torque Endless Rope Trainer is extremely well done, very compact, and a piece of equipment I will use every week. It is a bit spendy, but it’s well done. Read more
Is creatine or protein better for elevating your fitness goals? Find out as GGR's expert nutrition team settles all things creatine vs protein. Read more
Learn about the BCAA benefits and whether or not you should consider adding this popular supplement to your stack. Read more
Make every day of the fit life grind just a bit sweeter—these are the best protein bars for men looking to build muscle, lose weight, and crush healthy snacks. Read more