The freezing process in unsaturated packed beds has been investigated experimentally and theoretically. Water transport to the frozen front plays an important part on freezing. The rate of the absorption of water into frozen layer depended on the freezing heat flux and the water saturation at the freezing front. As a result, ice content in the frozen layer was related to the rate of the absorption of water and the freezing heat flux. A one-dimensional freezing model in unsaturated packed beds has been presented, accounting for the water transport. The predicted water saturation and temperature distributions in the body and the thickness of frozen layer were compared with the experimental results using a porous bed composed of glass beads. 12 refs., 10 figs., 1 tab.