THE 12 BEST COOLERS FOR TRAVELING WITH BREAST MILK
As a mom that breastfed for more than 14 months, one of the most important things to me while traveling was storing my liquid gold. Our guide for the best coolers for breast milk will help you travel easier.
Traveling with breast milk is easier than you think. All you need is the right equipment and information.
Before we get started, you can get through TSA with breast milk. There is no limit to the amount of breast milk you can take when you travel.
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The number one thing you need when traveling with breast milk is a good cooler to keep your breast milk cold or frozen. The best coolers for breast milk are lightweight, durable, insulated, and have storage.
My wife even flew to Cleveland, Ohio, from San Diego, California, with 1,400 oz of frozen breast milk for our six-month-old son, so we know a thing or two.
Our guide for the best coolers for breast milk will help make your journey, easier, and hopefully save you a lot of time, research, and frustration.
Do I need a breast milk cooler?
The short answer is yes. If you plan on traveling or being away from your little one for an extended time, you will need a cooler for your breast milk.
Breast milk is precious and one of the most important things in regulating and preserving the temperature.
How do you use a breast milk cooler bag?
Many people may think this is an easy question, but the most important thing when traveling with a cooler for breast milk is to leave it closed. Once you store your milk, do not open the cooler unless it is necessary.
When you continuously open and close the cooler, you are changing the temperature inside, especially if you are traveling with frozen breast milk. When my wife flew from San Diego to Cleveland with 1,400 oz of breast milk, it was still completely frozen, after the 10-hour journey.
My Favorite Breast Pumping Essentials
BEST COOLERS FOR TRAVELING WITH BREAST MILK COMPARISON TABLE
Our guide for the best coolers for traveling with breast milk is based on my experience throughout my breastfeeding journey. We speak from experience, so the coolers on our list are all great for moms on the go, whether you are pumping at work or traveling.
THE BEST COOLERS FOR TRAVELING WITH BREAST MILK
Traveling with breast milk isn’t as difficult as many people think. Most TSA and international airport security will let you by without a problem.
The most crucial thing is having the right cooler to keep your breast milk at the right temperature. The breast milk coolers in this section are great for traveling with fleshly pumped or cold milk.
Momcozy Insulated Baby Bottle Bag
The Momcozy Insulated Baby Bottle Bag is our favorite based on the price, features, size, and additional storage.
This is the cooler that I used while pumping at work. It was easy to clip onto my laptop bag and put it in the fridge when I finished pumping. I also like the additional space to store my pump pieces.
If you use a wider bottle, such as Como Tomo or Tommee Tippee, you can fit four of five bottles in this cooler, depending on the size.
We used the 5 oz and 9 oz bottles for our son, they were better for his tummy, and they helped with gas. Plus, as a bonus, it can fit wine bottles, that’s always a win.
Our blog is a no-judgment zone. You’ve earned it, so don’t be hard on yourself. You can keep your baby’s food warm or milk cold when needed. The option of the detachable buckle of should strap makes it easy to carry on the go.
My one drawback is that there is only one color available. Our cooler got dirty pretty quickly, but that may be my fault because I did throw it around a little bit.
Note: If you like this brand and want a different print, this Momcozy floral cooler bag, may be an option.
- Large capacity (up to 6 bottles)
- Can change from 2 layers to 1
- Detachable compartment
- Additional storage
- Shoulder strap included
- Thick insulation
- Not compact, like other bags
- Need to purchase an ice pack separately
- Only one color available
Elvira Insulated Tote Bag
The Elvira Insulated Tote Bag is a stylish cooler bag for moms, that want more style from their breast milk cooler. This cooler bag looks more like a purse, so if you want something fashionable, this is it.
The inside is lined with aluminum, so it’s easier to clean and will stay cold for longer periods. This cooler is easy to clean, so spills can be cleaned up quickly. The outside material is water and dirt-resistant, so overall this is a solid breast milk cooler.
Stylish working moms will love this cooler to keep their breast milk cold while traveling. Plus, the additional front and back pockets give extra storage space for pump pieces.
- Additional storage pockets
- Different colors/prints/designs available
- Shoulder strap included
- Waterproof material
- Need to purchase an ice pack separately
- Uncomfortable/short handle
Mommy Knows Best Breastmilk Cooler Bag
The Mommy Knows Best Breastmilk Cooler Bag doesn’t fit as many bottles as the other cooler bags on our list, but it is perfect for moms that use tall bottles. You can easily fit four Dr. Brown’s bottles inside of this cooler.
The additional front storage pocket is perfect for keeping additional breast milk storage bags. This cooler bag is small enough to fit inside your breast pump bag, so there are no additional bags to carry. Your milk will stay colder longer, with the double insulated material.
Overall, if you are looking for an affordable option to keep your breast milk cold, then this is the best breast milk cooler bag for you.
- Decent capacity (6 bottles)
- Front pocket for storage
- Fits into breast pump bag
- Shoulder strap for carrying
- Uncomfortable carrying strap
- No bucket to clip onto stroller or bag
- Lining is not waterproof
Medela Breast Milk Cooler and Transport Set
The Medela Breast Milk Cooler and Transport Set is one of the most popular coolers for breast milk. If you use a Medela breast pump, then this may be the perfect cooler for you.
This cooler set comes with everything you need, such as four 5oz bottles with lids, a contoured icepack, and a waterproof cooler bag.
If you plan on pumping at work or need something for short trips, this may work for you. Since this cooler set is for Medela products, if you use another brand of bottles, this may not be for you.
Unlike some of the other coolers on our list, this one isn’t great for long-term use. If you need to keep your milk cold for more than 6 hours, this isn’t the cooler for you. Also, the carrying strap is short, and there isn’t an adjustable buckle to clip the bag for easy transport.
- Perfect for Medela pump users
- Contoured ice pack and bottles included
- Best for short term travel
- Only fits Medela 5 oz bottles
- Ice pack melts quickly in hot temperatures
- Small carrying strap
Skip Hop Insulated Breastmilk Cooler
The Skip Hop Insulated Breastmilk Cooler is one of the best-selling coolers for breast milk because it is more versatile. Unlike the Medela cooler, you can use different bottles with this cooler bag.
Although you can’t fit many bottles in here, it’s perfect for work, daycare, or while running errands. The dual two-way zipper allows you to access one bottle quickly if needed. You will need to include an additional ice pack if you want to keep your breast milk colder for longer.
My grip about this cooler bag is that it is not waterproof. If something spills or leaks inside of this bag, it is annoying to clean up. I used it for a few weeks but decided to return it because it wasn’t large enough for us.
- Quick access via two-way zippers
- Freezer pack pocket
- Interior mesh pocket
- Handle with a buckle for easy transport
- Different colors/designs/prints available
- Can only fit 2 bottles inside the bag
- Requires additional ice packs to keep cold
- Reports of tearing of stitching near the handle
- Not waterproof
Sarah Wells Cold Gold Breastmilk Cooler Bag
The Sarah Wells Cold Gold Breastmilk Cooler Bag is a popular brand for moms, not just for their cooler bags, but also for their diaper bags and breast pump bags. This brand offers the cutest cooler bags if the style is important to you. You get style and functionality, all in one.
According to the website, this cooler should keep your milk cold for up to eight hours, depending on some external factors. Since this cooler for breast milk is taller, you can fit up to four 8 oz bottles inside. If needed, there is enough room for additional packs to keep your milk colder, longer.
There have been complaints about the icepack, which is why this year, they released a new and improved version. Plus, this cooler bag comes with a lifetime warranty, so if you have any issues with the workmanship or material, contact customer service.
- Different design/prints/colors available
- Fits a lot of milk storage bags
- Ice pack included
- Lifetime warranty
- Buckle for easy transport
- Doesn’t fit wider bottles (2)
- Ice pack reported leaking or explode
- No additional pockets
Sarah Wells Accessories
BEST COOLER FOR FROZEN BREAST MILK COMPARISON TABLE
The coolers in this table are especially for traveling with frozen breast milk. There is a difference when traveling with chilled vs. frozen breast milk.
These coolers will help keep your milk frozen when traveling a long distance, either by plane or car.
Best Ice Packs for Traveling with Breast Milk
THE BEST COOLERS FOR TRAVELING WITH FROZEN BREAST MILK
The RTIC Soft Cooler is one of the best coolers for traveling with frozen breast milk. This breast milk cooler has 2-inches of closed-cell foam, which keeps the items inside colder for longer periods.
If you plan on traveling a long distance or long-haul flight, I recommend using this cooler bag. It’s close to the Yeti cooler, without the price.
There are some complaints about the zipper, but it’s airtight to keep your breast milk frozen while traveling. This cooler ships with zipper lube, so follow the instructions and apply as needed.
Depending on how much breast milk you need to travel with, there are different sizes available. The smallest should be enough for you to travel with a few hundred ounces of breast milk.
If you are looking for a breast milk cooler comparable to the Yeti, this is the best cooler for traveling with breast milk at an affordable price.
- Large capacity
- Multiple sizes
- Easy to clean
- 2 inches of closed-cell foam
- Zipper issues
- No padded shoulder strap
Luxja Breastmilk Cooler Bag
The Luxja Breastmilk Cooler Bag is one of the highest-rated cooler bags on our list. With 4.8 out of 5.0 stars, this is a breastmilk cooler bag that moms love.
I would consider this our second favorite cooler for moms traveling with frozen breast milk.
What many moms like about this cooler, are the pockets in the front and back. That gives you more storage space for anything you need while pumping. The included ice pack keeps your milk separated, plus it keeps the bottles cold.
This is one of the tallest cooler bags, so if you need to transport taller bottles this is the perfect cooler for you. You can fit up to six 9 oz. bottles inside this cooler bag.
There is more than enough room in this cooler to fir your freshly pumped breast milk, along with the pieces to your breast pump.
- Different ways to carry
- Fits larger bottles
- Icepack is included
- Additional pockets
- High capacity
- More expensive than other coolers
- No aluminum lining
NorChill Marine Boat bag Soft-Sided Cooler
If you travel frequently and are away from your little one, the NorChill Marine Boat bag Soft-Sided Cooler is one of the best coolers for keeping frozen milk cold for up to 2 days. Although I don’t recommend leaving your breast milk in a cooler for that long, you can with this cooler bag.
This was the bag that my wife used when she traveled with over 1,400 oz of milk. When she arrived in Cleveland from San Diego, the breast milk was still frozen solid.
We used the 24 cans, and I used higher capacity breast milk storage bags, which made packaging easier.
The zippers are heavy duty and the bag can take a lot of damage. I’ve thrown it around a few times, and haven’t had any problems.
Inside is a gator skin liner that makes it waterproof, just in case, there is a spill. I think the best part is the pour spout. If there is a spill, pour it out and wipe the inside clean, it’s almost too simple.
- Pour spout for water
- Heavy-duty zippers
- Padded shoulder strap and handle
- Can fit over 10 bottles
- One color option
- Need to purchase ice packs separately
PackIt Freezable Baby Cooler
I think the PackIt Freezable Baby Cooler is one of the most interesting coolers on our list because the icepacks are built into the cooler bag. Instead of placing icepacks in the bag, you put the entire cooler in the freezer. There is a freezable gel lining inside the wall of the bag that keeps your milk cold for hours.
According to the reviews, this bag does great at keeper your milk cold for hours. Plus, the designs are cute too.
The only drawback with this technology is remembering to put it in the freezer flat every night. The manufacturer recommends placing it in the freezer for at least 12 hours, for the gel to completely freeze.
Since this is one of the short cooler bags on our list, larger bottles over 6 oz will not fit, unless they are on their side, instead of standing up.
- Built-in ice packs
- Different patterns/colors available
- Fits inside breast pump bag
- Need to purchase separate ice pack to keep colder longer
- Have to remember to place the bag in the freezer 12+ hours
- No shoulder strap or adjustable buckle
Teamoy Breastmilk Cooler Bag
You can see based on our chart that the Teamoy Breastmilk Cooler Bag is our favorite cooler for traveling with frozen breast milk. This cooler is one of the most purchased from our blog, and we get emails from moms thanking us for recommending this breastmilk cooler bag.
There are so many things to love about this cooler bag. It is affordable, has a high capacity, includes an ice pack, and has a padded shoulder pad for additional comfort.
Honestly, I couldn’t think of one con for this travel cooler. It has everything moms pumping moms need to transport their breast milk.
- Can fit over 6 bottles
- External storage pockets
- Different colors/designs/patterns available
- Includes contoured icepack
- Padded shoulder strap
- No cons
YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler
The YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler is the most expensive cooler on our list, and I usually do not include an item so expensive, but I decided to provide the option for a more durable cooler for storing your breast milk. The closed-cell foam can keep your milk cold for up to 12 hours.
Let me start by saying I only recommend this cooler for specific people. I recommend this cooler if you plan to breastfeed for an extended time, travel long distances without your baby, are an avid camper, go on frequent picnics, or outings that require a cooler. If any of these apply to you, then you will get your money’s worth out of this cooler.
One major drawback for me is the need to purchase the ice pack separately. It is recommended that you buy the brand’s icepack for it to work at its best. To me, that is disappointing, given the price of the cooler, an ice pack should be included.
Many of the reviews complain about the zipper as it malfunctions frequently.
Just know, if you have an issue with the zipper, it should be covered under the warranty. All you need to do is contact customer service before throwing away or purchasing another cooler.
- Can keep milk cold for up to 12 hours
- Can fit 8 bottles bottles
- Perfect for long or frequent travel
- Different colors available
- Padded shoulder strap included
- Very expensive
- Reports of zipper failure (covered by warranty)
- Need to purchase Yeti brand ice pack separately
BREAST MILK COOLER BUYING GUIDE
When we decided to go to China with our infant, I began frantically searching for the best cooler for traveling with breast milk.
I researched for several months before deciding on the best cooler for traveling over 20-hours with frozen breast milk.
The number one thing I look for in the best cooler for breast milk is insulation. In my opinion, insulation is the most important factor when traveling with breast milk.
The type of insulation will depend on your needs. If you only need to transport your milk to and from work, you don’t need a heavy-duty insulated cooler.
On the other hand, if you are like up us and need to travel long distances, then I recommend a cooler that is insulated with heavier material, but there are a few tips for keeping your milk cold/frozen while traveling.
The size/capacity is the second consideration you have to make when finding the best cooler for traveling with breast milk. If you plan to use breast milk storage bags, the size isn’t a huge concern. On the contrary, if you plan to use bottles, you will need to determine if your bottles will fit.
We used Tommee Tippie bottles, and a lot of coolers could not fit the bottles. For parents planning to use Tommee Tippee, Como Tomo, Philips Avent, or any other wider bottles, I recommend using a wider cooler. Also, if you want to store your pump pieces in the cooler as well, you may want to consider a 2-layer cooler.
Having additional storage is more of a per than a requirement. It made things easier for me to transport all of my pump pieces to work, and as we traveled. I had quick access to everything I needed without having to open the main compartment.
You can’t forget the style, especially since you’ll be carrying this cooler bag around a lot. There are bags for every preference from lunch box style, backpacks, and tote style.
Having a cooler with a clip makes it easier to attach to a bag or stroller is needed. Shoulder straps make it easier to carry like a purse. Whatever your preference, there is a cooler style to fit your needs.
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Last update on 2021-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API