Effective thermal management and removal of the waste heat generated at diode arrays is critical to the development of high-power solid-state lasers. Thermal design must be considered in the packaging of these arrays. Two different packages with heat dissipation through spray cooling are evaluated experimentally and numerically. Their overall performance is compared with other packaging configurations using different heat removal approaches. A novel packaging design is proposed that can fulfill the requirements of low thermal resistance, temperature uniformity among emitters in the diode array, low coolant flow rate, simplicity and low assembly cost. The effect of temperature uniformity on the pumping efficiency for gain media is examined for our novel packaging design. The thermal stress induced by temperature variation within an emitter is also considered.