Are you a pumping mom looking for the best cooler bag for your expressed breast milk? Or perhaps a working mom who plan to return to work soon after your maternity leave ends.
Without doubt, when you need to pump breast milk while being away from your baby, you need a cooler bag.
But which breast milk cooler bag fits your need the most?
In this article, we’ll discuss about 7 most popular breast milk cooler bags. I tried my best to explain the pros and cons so that you feel confident before buying that this is the best cooler bag for you.
(1) Medela Breast Milk Cooler Set
Medela breast milk cooler bag is very popular to store breast milk at work.
It is compact, and comes with 4x 5-oz breast milk bottles plus contoured ice pack. This contoured ice pack works very well to give your expressed milk the cooling environment that it needs.
- comes with contoured ice pack
- Stay cold for 6-12 hours (depending on ambient temperature), suitable for storing milk for the whole day in the office (typical office hour)
- Can fit 4x 5 oz Medela bottles
- Fits the side pocket of most trending breast pump bag (Sarah Wells, The New Yorker, Kaylaa, and more).
- Plain black color, not so attractive (if style matters to you).
- It’s not tall, bottles with teats attached won’t fit. 8-oz bottles won’t fit as well.
- Cannot fit in the pump parts unless you only use 2 bottles or use breast milk bags to store the milk (dimension: 5 1/2" x 6 3/4" x 6 3/4" )
Medela is one of the leading brand for all things related to pumping. No wonder their breast milk cooler has received more than 500 positive reviews.
(2) Fridge To Go Cooler Bag
This cooler bag works like a portable fridge.
It was not specifically meant for breast milk, but the cooling capability is superior (your room-temperature milk can become cold just as if you put inside the fridge). That's why I include this particular cooler here.
- There are dedicated compartments to put the ice packs, so the space is maximized for bottles and other things. Depending on the model, you will get 2 - 7 ice panels. You can choose to freeze only the ice panels or put the whole bag in the freezer overnight.
- Ample of space (can fit 3x wide-neck bottles -more if stacked with ample room for breast shields). I used to bring 4x 4 oz Avent bottles and breast shields inside this cooler bag.
- Stay cold for up to 8 hours, can be more depending on ambient temperature. Suitable for storing the milk for the whole day (typical office hour).
- Come with a shoulder strap (easy to carry)
- Plain color option: black, blue, not so attractive if style matters to you.
- A little bit bulky ( dimensions: 6.75" x 6.75" x 8") compared to other cooler bags.
PS: I have written a more detailed review for Fridge to Go in this article (click here for more details and screenshots).
(3) Cold Gold Cooler Bag from Sarah Wells
Cold Gold is the recent product release from Sarah Wells.
Though Sarah Wells have breast pump bags featuring insulated side pocket for storing milk, I feel that having a separate cooler works much better.
- It's easier to organize the bottle to stay upright.
- The Cold Gold cooler stays cold longer compared to the insulated pocket in the pump bag (8 hours vs 6 hours).
- Pretty gorgeous pattern, to match the Sarah wells breast pump bag / wet bag.
- Comes with 1 big ice panel
- Stay cold for up to 8 hours, thus suitable for storing the milk whole day in the office.
- Comes with a buckle clip so that you can attach the cooler to other bag, stroller, etc
- Can fit bigger bottles (e.g. 8 oz) or even mason jars.
- Include one mesh pocket in the inner flap opening.
- A little bit bulky (dimension = 6.5 x 6.5 x 6.5 inches), but designed to hold taller bottles (e.g. 8 oz), won’t fit in the side pocket of Sarah wells bag (instead, put it in the main compartment next to the pump).
- Ice pack is not contoured (well this is actually not a problem unless you are so used with Medela contoured ice pack)
Even though it's less than 3 months since its release, this cooler bag has received great reviews from fellow pumping moms, making it the Amazon's Choice product.
(4) Ju Ju Be Fuel Cell from Ju Ju Be
This little cooler bag turns out to be not so little.
Though a lot of people buy this as a lunch bag, a lot of pumping moms swear by its use to store their expressed milk and pumping accessories.
Some even use this as a mini breast pump bag (especially if you have a portable breast pump model).
- A lot of designs to choose from
- High quality (it’s JuJu Be!)
- Ample of space (7 x 9 x 4.25 inches ). This cooler is bigger than Medela cooler bag. It can fit 4x 5-oz Medela bottles plus a portable pump (medela, Spectra 9, m1) and breast shields.
- Comes with strap with swivel clip (to hang in stroller or your other bags).
- Comes with clear zippered pocket on the top.
- Does not come with ice pack (must buy separately)
- Stay cold for only about 3 hours (so it is more suitable for breast milk storage during commuting back from work).
Check out how you can use your Ju Ju Be Fuel Cell as a complete breast pump bag in the video below.
(5) Packit Freezable Bag
This bag is special because it is foldable (when empty) and you don’t need to use any ice pack to keep things cold. The cooling agents were sewn inside. All you need to do is to put the bag in the freezer overnight and it will be ready to use.
- No ice pack needed
- Ample of space ( 5" D x 8.5" W x 10" H ) to fit up to 5x wide-neck bottles. Some moms can even stuff a 9-oz bottle here!
- A lot of design to choose from.
- Cheaper compared to the previous 4.
- Comes with adjustable strap and detachable clip.
- Though the manufacturer said this bag should keep things cold for up to 10 hours, most moms found it cold for only 3-5 hours. Use extra ice pack for longer cooling.
- Velcro quality is not so good (don't forget to buy one with zip closure to keep things cold longer)
(6) Skiphop Grab and Go Insulated Double Bottle Bag
Skiphop Grab and Go bottle bag is designed to fit 2 feeding bottles with teats, which is great if you need to send bottles of expressed milk to a day care regularly.
However, a lot of moms found out that this bag can fit even more bottles, and without the teats, there’s ample of space on top to throw in your pumping accessories.
- Fits 2-4 bottles with ample room on TOP to store bread shields / pump parts
- Comes with an adjustable strap
- Ice pack that comes with the bag is pretty small, may need to add extra
- Stay cold for only up to 4 hours (great for transporting breast milk while commuting from work)
- Not so many designs to choose from.
(7) All in one breast pump + cooler bag
OK, breast pump bags are becoming more and more popular now. There are so many stylish design to choose from plus the bag type. Most of them includes a separate insulated compartment to keep breast milk cold for up to 6 hours.
The price point varies across brand, from as cheap as $39.99 to somewhere close to $200.
- No need to get a separate cooler for breast milk. The insulated pockets can keep breast milk cool for about 6 hours.
- Pretty and elegant design
- Organised compartments
- The pocket shape is not regular cube. May need careful arrangements to keep the bottle standing straight.
- Does not come with ice packs, you need to buy separately.
- Tend to be more expensive.
I hope this article helps you to choose the most suitable breast milk cooler bag for your need.
I personally used Fridge to Go cooler bag for 2 babies, what about you?