For moms who are pumping at work and need to make sure their breast milk stays in tip-top condition until they get home, or for moms who are out and about and need to take expressed milk with them, a cooler is an essential purchase.
However, as with many of the items you find yourself adding to your registry in the early days of baby-fog, finding the best insulated bag for breast milk is like trying to work out which Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream flavor you want from the chiller at the store: there are just too many choices! If you type into Google “best insulated bag for breast milk”, you’ll get about a thousand entries, which really isn’t that helpful.
But don’t despair; we’ve taken the hard work out of this part of the process and given you the best breastmilk cooler bags currently on the market.
In this article, we’ve chosen our favorites, picked apart their pros and cons, and rated them for you. Hopefully, we’ve provided you with the information you need to make an informed choice and left you with more time to decide on your ice cream (Ours is a pint of Cherry Garcia, by the way!).
Best Cooler For Traveling With Frozen Breast milk: Comparison Chart
Top 5 Best Cooler Bags for Breast Milk 2021
Here is a handy reference list for the best breast milk cooler bags. All our reviews are down below!
- Skip Hop Grab & Go
- LekeBaby Insulated Bottle Cooler Bag
- Medela Breast Milk Cooler Set
- J.J. Childress Twocool
- Nanobebe Bottle Cooler and Travel Pack
Best Breastmilk Cooler Bags on Youtube
Breast Milk Travel Cooler Bag Reviews
Skiphop built their brand in frustration at the babyish styles and designs of diaper bags on the market. They pride themselves on the fashionable unisex prints and colors of their products, meaning that dad won’t worry about carrying them around when he’s on duty (and neither will you!).
Sleek and stylish, this compact cooler is no exception. It fits two large bottles of milk, or sippy cups if you’re trying to hydrate an older child, so you can make sure that you have everything you need to keep the little one happy.
You can strap it to your stroller or your diaper bag without it getting in the way, and easily remove it when you need to. Using the two-way zippers to get one or both bottles out without raising the temperature inside too much. There’s a space for the included freezer pack to slip into the pocket down the back of the cooler, and an insulated wipeable lining.
The whole cooler bag is Phthalate-free and measures 6.75”x3.5”x9” – making it nice and compact for out and about travel.
Depending on the size of your breast pump you could also fit it in the bag along with the bottles should you need to.
Skip Hop claim that this cooler keeps milk cold for up to 4 hours, so it’s probably better suited for an afternoon trip out, or for transporting bottles home that have been in the fridge at work, rather than a day trip.
- Neat and compact
- Stylish design
- May colors available
- Not waterproof
- Ice pack prone to splitting
If you’re looking for something with more capacity, perhaps for a whole day of pumping at work, then the Lekebaby is perfect for you. It fits 6 8oz bottles, so it’s great for leaving in daycare or transporting your hard-earned expressed milk home from work. The ice pack is a pretty nifty little feature, contoured to rest in between the bottles and keeping them cool for up to 8 hours. You add water to the powder inside and freeze when it arrives.
Technologically impressive, the material is made up of 3 layers: a water-resistant outer fabric, waterproof aluminum foil on the inside, with EPE insulating foam in-between. There’s also a plastic “bottle bag” removable liner that you can slot all the bottles into and then lift straight out, although this may get stuck in the zip if you’re not careful when closing.
Coming with a shoulder strap as well as the sturdy carry straps, it also boasts a zip closed front pocket, giving space for pumping accessories, or your phone, and a waterproof pocket on the back for wet clothes or diapers.
This cooler bag is a bit on the large side, as you’d expect from something that can hold 6 bottles, this is your workhorse cooler, measuring in at 10.24 x 6.3 x 8.27 inches. But it still looks chic enough to carry as a bag without screaming “I just pumped milk!” at everyone you meet. And, as an added bonus, once you’ve weaned your little darling, this makes the perfect picnic bag for the whole family!
- Contoured ice pack included
- Long chill time
- Not leakproof
- Quite large
Specially designed for the Medela 5oz bottles (it comes complete with 4 of them), this travel cooler for breast milk fits inside the various different Medela breast pump bags on the market. The big news for this item? Rather impressively, it safely stores milk for up to 12 hours, making this the perfect option if you’re pumping during long shifts at work, or you’re out on the road trip of a lifetime!
You’ll find another cleverly contoured ice pack here, which not only keeps the bottles cooler and uses space more efficiently, but also keeps them in place while you’re traveling. This feels like the perfect opportunity to make a joke about not needing to cry over spilled milk, but I think we’ve all heard that one a little too often (and we know that it is completely justified to cry over something you’ve put that much effort into producing!).
Now, specifications. Made of microfibre, the bag measures 6.46” x 6.1” x 5.31”, so it fits into the larger end of our options. Both the bag and bottles are BPA free. The cooler will hold other (shorter) bottles, but because of its design, it is quite short, meaning a lot of bottles won’t fit. If you are planning to use it for anything bigger or taller, even moving up to the Medela 8oz bottles, then you may be disappointed. It is also designed to fit inside another bag and doesn’t come with a carry strap, so you can’t easily transport it around on its own. This is a great choice if you already have one of the Medela pump or diaper bags, but otherwise, we think there are better products out there.
- Keeps milk cool for an impressive 12 hours
- Contoured ice pack included
- No carry strap
- Only fits 5oz bottles
We’re big fans of clever design and the lining of this cooler bag is pretty clever. Firstly, it’s heat-sealed, which means it’s leakproof. And secondly, it pulls up out of the bag, so you can properly clean it and avoid stale milk smell or mildew. It’s also lead, PVC, and phthalate-free, keeping you and your baby safe.
The cooler, as the name suggests, holds two bottles of milk. And keeps them cool for up to 8 hours (unless you’re riding on camels through the Sahara). Combined with its smaller size, we think this makes it the best cooler for traveling with breast milk. It’s perfect if you’re traveling by plane, or on a long car journey, or if you need to keep bottles cool at work all day. You definitely won’t need to worry about taking up room in the office fridge!
The Twocool includes an 8oz, solid-freeze re-usable icepack. At 6” x 4” x 9” it’s compact enough to fit in a diaper bag or handbag, or even in your hand luggage. Although, being tall and narrow and with a curved front edge, some customers report that the bag can be slightly unsteady whilst unsupported on a counter.
This nifty little bag also comes in different designs that co-ordinate with other JJ Childress products so you can match all your baby accessories.
- 8 hours cool time
- Easy-clean pullout lining
- Not as stable upright on a surface
- Only holds 2 bottles
Another great travel cooler for breast milk by nanobebe. Designed to fit the compact and stackable shape of nanobebe bottles (it can fit 3 of these), this portable cooler can also hold other accessories you may need (think teats or pump parts).
According to reviews, the shape also suits the bottles that come with the Elvie portable breast pump. Stylish gray with a funky turquoise zipper, this cooler will look chic hanging from any stroller or diaper bag. Like several of our picks, it features two-way zips so you can get a bottle out without changing the inside temperature too much.
A made to fit freezer pack is included, with everything coming under the Nanobebe promise of 100% non-toxic materials. BPA and Phthalate-free, it will be perfect for sippy cups and baby food as your little one grows. It’s airtight and spillproof, but there is some concern that, even with its three-layer insulation, the freezer pack isn’t enough to keep the milk cool for very long.
It measures in at 5.11” x 5.9”, so you can pop it into pretty much any bag without much hassle – perfect portability. But, and we can’t stress this enough as busy moms, by far the best feature of this discrete bag, is that it’s machine washable – you can just throw it in to get rid of any milk splashes or dirt and not have to worry about wiping it down and leaving it to dry over the drainer.
- Machine washable
- Compact design
- Concerns over effectiveness of ice pack
- Designed for specific-shaped bottles
The Verdict is in!
It’s a crowded field, the world of cooler bags for breastmilk. There are lots of different things to consider, and everyone’s lifestyle and needs are slightly (or very) different. So it was tough to choose just five products to show you, let alone pick one winner. But, it’s our job, so here we are!
We found that the Lekebaby Insulate Bottle Cooler Bag is the best cooler bag for breast milk. It is the go-to breast milk cool bag for all-round brilliance and usefulness. It’s large enough to fit in a whole day’s worth of expressed milk or a couple of bottles and some food for you! It’s clever, contoured ice pack keeps bottles steady, and cool for an impressive 8 hours. We really do think the design is genius, and shows that this company really is talking to mums (and dads) who use their products.
So we think it’s also the best cooler for traveling with frozen breastmilk, given this chill time. It has extra waterproof pockets so you can throw in your pumping accessories or diapers and bibs for your messy pup, which means that you don’t have to worry about lugging four other bags to fit all of your gear in.
It’s also stylish enough that you can carry it around with any outfit and still feel like you’ve got a proper handbag, even if it is full of breastmilk and pacifiers. No-one will know (unless, of course, you get your wallet out to pay for a coffee and pull out a pacifier instead. But we can’t solve everything!).
Now, we’ll be honest, if you’re an exclusive pumper, or you are carrying a lot of milk whilst traveling, then best cooler for frozen breast milk is the Lekebaby. But, as we’ve mentioned, it is on the large side. If you’re looking for something smaller, for example, If you’re popping out for a few hours with a couple of bottles of milk, then we think that the JL Childress TwoCool is a perfect, smaller solution. Boasting impressive cool time and a pull-out easy-clean lining give it many points in our book. We think this is the best cooler for traveling with frozen breast milk, as you’ll probably only need a couple of bottles, and it’s compact enough to fit in your carry-on luggage.
So, we’ve technically cheated and given you two winners, but we hope you’ll forgive us. Either way you’re looking at really helpful pieces of kit that should make your pumping journey a lot easier, and make sure that you are keeping your precious milk safe and unspoiled ready for your little one to guzzle down.