Traveling with breastmilk can be tricky as you will need to maintain the breast milk state throughout the trip. Your main concern will be to pack enough breastmilk to cover all the meals your baby needs for the trip. But how you store the breastmilk during the journey is equally important.
The best cooler bag that you can purchase to help you when you travel with breastmilk is the UBBCARE one. It holds 6 bottles so you can be ready to feed your baby any time.
The most common item used when you travel with your baby is the cooler for breastmilk. This can be a lifesaver in such situations.
However, to get all the benefits that such a cooler can offer, you need to invest in a high-quality product.
This guide will walk you through what to look for, what are the best coolers on the market and their pros & cons.
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Why do we need a cooler for traveling with breastmilk?
Traveling with breastmilk for more than a couple of hours is risky. If you don’t store your milk in proper conditions, your milk will not have the conditions it needs to conserve its main nutritious properties. Here are a few reasons why you should use a cooler bag when you travel with breastmilk!
- It keeps the milk at the optimum temperature to not go bad. Breastmilk goes bad in four hours at room temperature. In the fridge, it can stay good between four and eight days and in the freezer for six months and even nine months. But what to do if you are not able to put the milk in the fridge or freezer? If you are traveling, you need a cooler to replace the refrigerator or the freezer to keep your milk cool enough not to go bad.
- A cooler helps you store your breastmilk too. Such a cooler bag is a vital storage option, as well. When you are traveling, it might be challenging to pack the breastmilk if you don’t have such a bag. Plus, in some of these bags, you have enough space to place your breast pump, pacifiers, and some wet wipes or diapers as well. A cooler bag will help you keep your breastmilk and the accessories you need for it safe and well organized.
- Such a cooler bag might keep your breastmilk warm too. We say “might” because not all the cooler bags you will find on the market have this capacity. But if you choose a bag that can keep your milk warm as well as cold, you will have a double advantage. You can keep your milk at the right temperature so your baby can drink it any time they want without you having to warm it up.
- However, keep in mind that this can be a useful option for short trips or daily use of such a bag. If you are planning to go on an eight-hour flight, you will not be able to use the warm feature because your breastmilk will go bad if it stays at room temperature or hotter temperature for more than four hours.
What to look for in the cooler?
If you never purchased a cooler bag, you might wonder what you should keep an eye on when you need such a product. Here are the main features your cooler should have so you can make the most out of it!
- Size of the cooler: This is definitely one of the most essential features. You want your cooler to be big enough to accommodate the bottlers you use for your baby. A cooler that can hold 8 oz bottles will also hold 5 oz bottles. But it can be very frustrating to have a cooler that can hold 5 oz bottles when you use 8 oz bottles for your baby. How many bottles can fit in your cooler is also very important. You can find coolers suitable to carry two, four, or six bottles.
- Useful Features: Some cooler have extra pockets so you can bring diapers with you. Others have a separate container for your breast pump and its accessories. These additional features can turn out to be very useful, especially if you are planning to keep the bag with you as you are traveling with your baby. If you check in the bag at the airport, these extra pockets might not help you much. But otherwise, they can be a lifesaver if you need a diaper change when you are on the road.
- Ice packs: Another important feature is if the cooler bag has or doesn’t have ice packs included. If your cooler doesn’t come with ice packs, you will have to invest in them separately. But a good cooler bag will come with reusable ice packs that will help you use the cooler right when you receive it.
- Cooler bag material: The material of the cooler bag is essential for several reasons. First of all, you want it to be well insulated with a leak-proof lining so your milk will stay safe and at a constant temperature. Secondly, but no less critical, you want a bag that is made of non-toxic materials. Choose one that contains no BPA or other harmful chemicals. You want to be sure that you use the safest and best cooler bag to store your baby’s breastmilk!
- Frozen milk option: If you are planning to travel with frozen milk that you intend to maintain frozen, you will need a different type of cooler, however. The best ones to use in these conditions are the coolers that come with a gel wall instead of ice packs. This is the only difference between regular coolers and coolers that are great for frozen milk. The gel wall will offer the proper insulation and maintain lower temperatures than other cooler bags.
Best Cooler for Traveling with Breastmilk
The following coolers are the best that you can invest in. They have amazing features that will make traveling with breastmilk so much easier!
Lekebaby Breast Milk Cooler Bag with Contoured Ice Pack
One of the best coolers that you can invest in is this one from Lekebaby. It is not just a very functional cooler, but it also has a modern design.
- You can use this bag to keep the breastmilk both cold or warm, according to your needs. It has a great insulated lining that will maintain the temperature constant. However, it is not indicated if you expect your milk to stay frozen for the trip.
- The ice packs that come with the bag will keep the milk cool for up to eight hours.
- This bag comes with empty ice packs that you will have to fill with water. Make sure you fill them up to three quarters so they can expand as you put them in the freezer.
- You can place up to six bottles of 8 oz each in this cooler bag. This is a generous quantity that should save you from the following eight meals.
- The strap of this bag helps you carry it comfortably on your shoulder. So, you can bring it with you everywhere you need a milk supply handy.
- In the back of the bag, there are waterproof pockets that will serve great for storing diapers or wet wipes.
- All the materials used to put this cooler bag together are approved by the FDA, and they are water-resistant. You will be able to use it for a long time with no maintenance concerns.
Medela Breast Milk Cooler and Transport Set
Medela also offers a high-quality cooler bag that will help you tremendously as you need to travel with breastmilk storage.
- This is also a cooler bag that is recommended by experts in the industry, so you have a reason more to rely on it.
- You can use this bag as you are traveling or when you go from work to home or to daycare.
- You can fit in 5 oz bottles in this bag, and you also receive the ice pack to use with this bag. The capacity is for four bottles, so you can carry a decent amount of milk with this cooler.
- Inside the package, you receive all you need to start using this cooler bag right away, including four bottles to use.
- This bag has an ergonomic design that will allow you to carry it easily and comfortably.
- If you are planning to keep your milk frozen, however, this bag will accommodate this need but only for four or five hours. After that, the milk will start to defrost along with the ice packs.
Breast Pump Bag – Mini Pump Backpack with Pockets for Cooler Bag Built-in
Another excellent cooler bag that you can use is this model from Gogoso. You will love the fact that it has a charming and efficient design.
- This is both a cooler bag and a breast pump bag in one product. You can have your breast milking kit with you at all times with this product.
- It is perfect for traveling but also to use it daily as it can ease your life a lot. However, it is not the type of cooler that will keep your milk frozen.
- You can choose this product in different colors according to your preferences.
- This bag can be used as a backpack as well, which makes it even more efficient. You can match it with different outfits as well.
- The main space inside the bag is designed for carrying your breast pump, and it also comes with insulated pockets to keep your milk cool as you need to.
- There is not as much storage capacity as other coolers offer, but considering that you can carry your breast pump with you, you might not feel this as a disadvantage.
- There is also a USB charging pot that might come in handy, especially when you are traveling.
- This product is made of resistant polyester material and a very sturdy zipper. You should have no problem using this item for years to come.
- You shouldn’t wash this bag in the washing machine. But it is relatively easy to clean it by hand with a little detergent. It will dry faster if you hang it upside down.
Tommee Tippee Insulated Bottle Bag and Bottle Cooler
This Tommee Tippee product is very efficient for everyone who needs to travel with breastmilk. It is just what you need to be all set for your trip.
- You can bring two bottles in this cooler bag and not worry about them not staying at the constant temperature that you want.
- It is made of a resistant synthetic material that shall last for a long time if you maintain it well.
- A great thing about this bag is that you can put each bottle in different compartments. This allows you to keep one bottle cold while the other one stays warm.
- It comes with a strap that makes wearing this bag very convenient. Plus, you can place it anywhere you want with this strap as well.
- It is BPA free, and it contains no phthalate either. This non-toxic material is safe for both you and your baby.
- You will find this cooler very useful daily but also when you are traveling long distances. It is not recommended if you want to transport frozen milk as it is not insulated enough for such a task.
PackIt Freezable Baby Bottle Cooler for Breastmilk
PackIt offers you this irresistible cooler bag that you will fall in love with. Every feature of this product is designed to help you travel with breastmilk supply easier.
- You can choose between four different designs that look very attractive and easy to maintain.
- This bag has a capacity of four milk bottles of 5 oz each so you can bring enough breastmilk or formula with you to not have to worry about several meals.
- You don’t need to invest in ice packs because this bag has freezable gel on the walls of it. This is one of the newest technologies that allow you to save money and keep the milk cold for several hours. You can even use it to transport frozen milk for up to six or eight hours thanks to the insulated ice walls. However, you will need to consider the weather conditions as well because your milk might defrost faster than six hours on hot summer days.
- You have to fold the bag and put it in the freezer to be able to use it as a cooler. It takes 12 hours in the freezer to get the gel in its walls frozen.
- If you need to store more bottles, all you have to do is flatten the divider in the bag. You will be able to carry it easily thanks to the handle that it comes with as well.
- The materials used for this bag are non-toxic as well as resistant to water. You can count on it for both your safety and your baby’s safety.
J.L. Childress 6 Bottle Cooler, Insulated Breastmilk Cooler
This cooler bag from J. L.Childress will not disappoint you either. You can use it as a lunch bag as well, so you will definitely make the most out of it!
- You can choose between different patterns according to what you like. All the designs are beautiful and modern.
- This cooler has a generous capacity that can accommodate up to six bottles of 8 oz each. You might be able to pack some snacks on top of that as well. You can bring it with you every time you leave the house for several hours with your baby.
- It is not the type of bag to use if you are considering transporting frozen breastmilk. This is not an option because it will not resist the insulation of the bag, and it will defrost rather fast.
- Along with this bag, you will receive ice packs that you can reuse as well as a useful strap to attach to it. The strap allows you to carry the bag easier wherever you go and in a more comfortable way.
- The lining of this bag will prevent leaks, and it is also heat sealing. It is made of safe materials that contain no chemicals that could be harmful to you or your baby.
- In the top compartment, which is placed on top of the bottle compartment, you can store up to three jars of food.
- If you want, you can decide to store your breast pump in the second compartment as well.
Sarah Wells Cold Gold Breastmilk Cooler Bag with Ice Pack
This Sarah Wells cooler bag is so cute and efficient that you will love using it every time you need to travel with your little one!
- There are ten different designs to choose from, but this floral one is simply breathtaking.
- This bag has high-quality insulation, and it comes with the ice packs you need to keep your milk cold for many hours. You can maintain a cold temperature for the breastmilk for up to eight hours. This time might vary according to the outside weather conditions. It is not recommended for traveling with frozen milk; however, so you might want to use it only to keep your milk cool.
- The bag is easy to clean as it is made of a resistant nylon material. It also has various pockets to help you store as many items in it as you might find useful.
- This product was tested for safety hazards, and it respects the highest international standards. It doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals or toxic materials that could present any type of danger.
Breastmilk Cooler with Ice Pack Healthy Baby Daycare Set
This cooler bag from V-COOOL is just as efficient as you would expect it to be! On top of that, you can use it for other purposes as well since it has very functional features!
- You can choose this cooler bag in a dark blue or purple shade. Both colors are beautiful and very easy to maintain, so you will not have to wash the bag too often.
- You can store up to six milk bottles of 5 oz each. This is a significant capacity even if 8 oz bottles will not fit in this cooler. So, pay attention to the size of the bottles you use as well.
- This cooler bag has a lightweight, and it is easy to bring with you everywhere you go with your baby.
- The lining is waterproof, so you can count on your breastmilk staying safe in this cooler. However, you can carry food, drinks, medicine, and whatever you use as well.
- If you want your breastmilk to remain cool for up to 12 hours, you will need to use ice packs with this bag. Keep the ice packs in the freezer between six and 12 hours for better results. This is not a recommended cooler for keeping your milk frozen for several hours.
- This bag cooler shouldn’t be washed in the washing machine. Avoid using bleach when washing by hand. You shouldn’t iron it either!
UBBCARE Breastmilk Cooler Bag with Ice Pack Breast Milk Cooler
This UBBCARE breastmilk cooler bag will turn out to be a great item for all moms that are traveling with their babies.
- You can choose between a black and a grey version of this cooler bag. Both of them are neutral colors that go with everything you might want to wear.
- Because the inside wall of this bag is made of a resistant aluminum foil, it will offer an excellent thermal resistance. The outside material is both water-resistant and dirt-proof, so you will not have to worry about cleaning this cooler bag too often.
- Besides the big bottle space, this also has a small pocket where you can carry other useful items. There are two ways to access the bottles in this bag according to what is more convenient for you.
- This cooler bag has a handle as well as a strap that you can adjust so you can carry it comfortable. You will not experience shoulder pain from carrying this bag thanks to its ergonomic design.
- You can keep the milk cold or warm as you need in this bag. If you want your milk to stay cold for up to eight hours, use the ice packs included in the package. It will not maintain the breastmilk frozen, however, so you will only be able to keep it at refrigerator temperature.
Zohzo Breastmilk Compact Cooler Bag with Ice Pack – Insulated Breast Milk Cooler
The last but definitely not the least cooler bag that you can use is this model from Zohzo. It comes in a black design that will go perfectly with all your outfits too!
- This bag is made of resistant polyester material. It is easy to maintain and clean as you will most likely use it often.
- It is the perfect cooler bag for traveling with breastmilk but also for daily use. You can use it every time you need to keep your bottles of milk cold.
- The compact design makes this cooler bag very easy to carry everywhere you need to. You will find it very comfortable every time you use it.
- Inside the package, you will find one insulated cooler bag, a wet/dry bag, and reusable ice packs. This is all you need to store your milk safely and at the best temperature. If you want to keep your milk frozen, this bag might be challenging as it is not intended to be used with frozen milk.
- You can use this with any 5 oz milk bottles and store up to four of these bottles. But the bag can be used to transport other things as well, such as food or medicine that needs to be kept at a specific temperature.
- There is also a see-through pocket in front of the bag where you can slide a paper with your name so that your breastmilk doesn’t get lost! This can turn out to be very efficient when you are traveling with it!
There are many reasons why the UBBCARE cooler bag could be considered the best one to invest in.
- The materials used to create this bag are of very high quality. It is made of Oxford fabric. This resists to dirt and stays clean for a longer time. Considering that you will be traveling with this bag, a low maintenance material can be a real blessing.
- Unlike other bags, you will love the fact that this one has two opening ways. This allows you to get your milk out even when you are in an uncomfortable position while traveling.
- The dimensions of this bag are 10.6 x 7.3 x 3.9 inches, which makes it compact and easy to bring with you.
- The small pocket of this bag will also turn out to be very useful. You can hold wet wipes or pacifiers in this pocket, so you have them handy!
Even if traveling with breastmilk for your baby might not be comfortable, having a good cooler bag can definitely make it easier.
The cooler bags in this guide will help you in longer or shorter trips, and you will not have to worry about your milk going bad.
Investing in a cooler bag can be one of the best investments you make as a breastfeeding mother!
- “Travel & Breastfeeding – Chapter 7 – 2020 Yellow Book | Travelers' Health | CDC”. Accessed February 08, 2020. Link.