As I am sure you have heard, breast milk is by far the best food source for your baby. It simply has everything that they need to grow and develop healthily. If you are a working mother, you also know the pains of pumping, and just how precious each and every drop of your breast milk is.
If you plant to go traveling with your milk in tow, you need to be sure that you have the best cooler for traveling with breast milk. Otherwise, all of your hard work might just spoil before you can give it to your little one.
Now, you might be wondering what exactly you should look for when it comes to a breast milk cooler. It can seem quite daunting, I know, especially since you don’t want to choose the wrong one and risk losing your milk. Well, don’t you worry! I have done all of the hard work for you on this one.
Best Cooler For Traveling With Breast Milk
Cooler For Traveling With Breast Milk
Medela Breast Milk Cooler Set *Best Choice*
(*) Below, you'll find my detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see prices and read customer reviews.
Types of Milk Storage
Before you select your cooler, you need to take into consideration what type of storage system you will be using for your milk. If you plan to travel with it in liquid form, then you’ll want a different kind of storage container than if you are taking frozen bags of milk along with you.
If you want to take your milk as a liquid, then the container can be relatively small in width but should be much deeper. You also need to make sure that it will allow you to fit your bottle type and an additional ice pack.
If you want to take your milk in frozen storage bags, then you won’t need the cooler to be quite as deep, but it should definitely be wider.
What To Keep In Mind When Looking For The Best Cooler For Traveling With Breast Milk
There are several key factors that you need to consider when you are on the prowl for the best cooler for traveling with breast milk. In this section, we will cover it all, so that you can rest assured that you have the perfect cooler for your needs.
Capacity – The capacity of the cooler that you select is one of the most important characteristics to take into account.
When it comes to traveling with breast milk, you really can’t have too much. Which is why I highly recommend that you look for a cooler that has a bigger capacity than you think you will need.
By choosing a cooler with a large capacity, you are setting yourself up for any sort of emergencies. Let’s say when you are traveling your ice packs break down and leak. With a larger cooler than you regularly need, you have space for much bulkier bags of ice to keep your milk cool.
Ice Pack Included – Another big part of picking a cooler for your breast milk when you travel is whether or not it comes with an ice pack. While this might add a bit of expense to your purchase, it will be well worth it, let me tell you!
By getting a cooler that comes with its own ice pack, you will be able to guarantee that it will fit into the cooler correctly.
If you have to purchase a cooler and an icepack separately, you might find it difficult to fit both your milk and the ice pack in the cooler together, which could be a huge problem.
Space For An Icepack – If you do have to purchase an ice pack after the fact, then you want to be sure that you select a cooler that has enough space built into it to fit the icepack.
While it is certainly better than nothing if there is enough room built into the cooler to fit your ice pack, it might not be a bad idea to find a cooler that has a specific area or section designed just for ice packs. That way, you can guarantee that your ice packs and your milk will fit together perfectly.
Length Of Travel – The type of travel that you intend to be doing with your breast milk will help to determine the type of cooler you are going to be using and the type storage system you need to use.
For instance, if you are going on a shorter trip, say just a few hours, then you can get by with a smaller cooler and whichever kind of storage system you desire.
If, however, you are going to be traveling for a much longer time, then you will need to adjust your choices. In the case of extended travel, you will need to keep your milk frozen and have a cooler with a bigger capacity for ice packs.
Milk Storage System – Certain bottles and milk bags will work with certain coolers better than others. You need to make sure that you take the size of your storage system into account.
That way, you’ll be able to make sure that your storage system and your cooler will work well together.
The last thing that you want is for something bad to happen to your precious cargo because your storage system didn’t fit into your cooler correctly.
Top 5 Coolers For Traveling With Breast Milk
1. Medela Breast Milk Cooler Set *Best Choice*
The Good: Not only is the possibly the best cooler for traveling with breast milk out there, but it is also a set! It comes with an ice pack that is specially designed to curve around your bottles of milk. This will give them the best chance possible to stay cold on the road, which in turn will give you the best chance to keep your milk edible for your little one at the end of your journey.
This is also one of those rare coolers which could also pretty easily fit most frozen milk storage bags. The large capacity of the cooler makes it great for short or long trips, giving you the freedom to roam wherever, and however far, you want to go.
The Bad: While Medela is one of the premier names in breast pumping due to their quality products, this will actually work against you a bit here. The ice pack and cooler are designed specifically for Medela brand bottles/bags, and might not allow you to fit another company’s products correctly.
The Long and Short of It: This cooler comes with everything you need to keep your baby’s milk cold and fresh. It can be used with either bottles or bags, as long as they are Medela brand.
The Good: Let’s say that you don’t have Medela brand bottles, but still want to have a high-quality cooler that will keep your milk chilled properly. It has the same large capacity of the Medela cooler but doesn’t come with an icepack, which will give you the freedom you need to try and fit your other brand of bottles or storage bags correctly.
The Bad: Of course, the biggest problem with this bag is that it doesn’t come with an ice pack that is specifically designed for the bag. You will have to purchase one on your own, which will add a bit to your upfront cost, though not too much.
The Long and Short of It: If you are in the market for a large capacity cooler that can easily fit your bottles or storage bags, then this is a good one to check out. However, you will have to make sure you get an ice pack too since it doesn’t come with one.
The Good: Now here is a cooler that is all about the storage bags! It is an especially deep cooler, which is perfect for large sized, frozen milk storage bags.
It also has two ice packs included that you can zip in and out of the cooler with ease. This allows you to keep your milk nice and cold, no matter how far you need to travel. This is truly a great cooler for an extra-long trip.
The Bad: Unlike some of the other bags on this list, this one is built for only one kind of milk storage system. While it works exceedingly well for its intended purpose, it would not work too well with milk bottles. There is simply too much room for them to move around and possibly spill.
The Long and Short of It: If you are going to be traveling for a long period and want to keep your bags of milk frozen, this is a great cooler to try out.
The Good: This breast milk cooler is one of the largest on the market. This large size makes it easy to utilize it for bottles as big as 7 ounces, which is great if you are traveling a short distance but still want to bring along a ton of milk for your little sipper.
It is also large enough to easily fit most milk storage bags while they are still frozen.
The Bad: While the large capacity of this cooler is great, it doesn’t have any partitions or holders built into it. This could allow the milk to swish and slosh around, which could cause your bottles to spill or your storage bags to break. Either way, you might lose out on some of your hard earned milk.
The Long and Short of It: The cooler is nice and big. It would be good for either large bottles or storage bags, though you would need to make sure that you pack it carefully, so there is no milk spilled.
The Good: One of the most essential things that you need to be sure you use with a cooler is an icepack. They help to keep your milk nice and cold so that it won’t spoil on your journey. Icepacks can be a bit bulky and might take up precious room that you need for your milk.
This cooler has a great solution to this problem. Instead of putting an ice pack into it, it actually is the ice pack! Before you travel on your way, all you have to do is put the whole bag in the freezer, and the embedded gel will freeze. That way you’ll never be without an ice pack.
The Bad: This cooler has a relatively small capacity, making it ideal for shorter trips. It also will only allow you to use smaller bottles and cannot be used for milk storage bags.
The Long and Short of It: This bag is really convenient for short trips since you can freeze the whole thing. It can only be used for smaller amounts of milk, although it will keep these small batches fresh and cold.
And The Winner Is...
After very careful consideration, I have concluded that the Medela Breast Milk Cooler Set is by far the best cooler for traveling with breast milk.
It is large enough to fit either storage bags or bottles. The ice pack that is included works especially well with bottles, since it has a curved design so that it fits right up against them. I highly recommend that you give it a shot so that you are ready for your next trip!
Now, doesn’t that just feel better! Hopefully you now know everything that you need to so that you can get the very best cooler for traveling with breast milk. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article. Have a great day and safe travels!