breastmilk bottle with mother and baby in the background

Breast Milk Coolers For Work Or Travel

Pumping: almost universally one of the least favorite parts of the newborn process for mothers.  Both stay at home moms and working moms often need to pump breast milk so that other caregivers can feed the baby.  There are even mothers that exclusively pump milk because of feeding issues.

Especially for working moms or mommas on the go, a cooler bag stores, transports, and keeps the breast milk fresh for many hours. With so many brands out there it can get confusing knowing which coolers are the best and will suit your needs. This article looks at some of the best coolers that you can find to help make traveling with breast milk a breeze.

TSA flying guidelines for breast milk

For short or even extended trips away from the baby, moms need to pump at minimum for comfort to relieve engorgement, or stash away more breastmilk.  Typically the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) lets you carry liquids on the plane as long as they are in containers less than 100ml. The rule is different however, for mothers with young children to feed. They are allowed to carry breast milk in quantities greater than 100ml in carry on as long as they submit the milk for inspection.

Know your rights though, the milk does Not have to be x-rayed and can just pass visual inspection.

How To Choose A Cooler

  • Capacity
  • Portability
  • Discreet and compact
  • Fits neatly into a handbag
  • Can fit up to 2 thin bottles or several zip lock bags
  • Freezable
  • Is not big enough to store more than 2 bottles

Price $$

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This is a lightweight, compact, freezable wallet sized cooler measuring 4.5”x 2.3”x 8” that can easily fit into your handbag! It can carry two small hospital bottles (those thin 3-4oz bottles), and several breastmilk storage or ziplock bags. The seller has reported that it should comfortably hold 3 full 5 oz breastmilk bags.  Moms have reported being able to store 4 of the lansinoh bags with 3-4 oz each.  That gives it a capacity of 10-13 ozs at least, though there have also been reports of more.

It contains 16 cubes of purified water that can be frozen as an ice pack.  These help to keep the pack cool for about 8 hours.  One hack is to cut out some of the ice cube packs to be able to increase capacity, but clearly the cooling ability will go down.

Billed as ideal for working mothers who want to discreetly carry and store their breast milk while on the go.

Nenesupply Bottle Cooler Bag -"The Normal Cooler"

  • Compact
  • Spacious interior
  • Insulated lining with aluminum
  • Can carry up to four 5 ounce bottles
  • Includes 3 ice packs
  • Inside pocket to securely hold ice packs
  • A few issues with the ice packs leaking

Price $$

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This is a compact size cooler bag that will fit into most breastpump carry bags. It’s capacity can fit the 5 oz Medela bottles, which There is insulated lining made from aluminum that helps keep the breast milk cold for 6-8 hours. The side pocket has a name tag so you can fill in your name and contact information; this would be very helpful when using at a daycare center.

The product itself comes with 3 ice packs and 25 pre-sterilized breastmilk storage bags.  Due to some reports of the ice packs leaking, it may be advised to store those in bags.

  • Includes freezer pack
  • Free from phthalates and BPA
  • Can carry two large bottles/sippy cups
  • Features two way zippers
  • Interior reportedly more difficult to clean

Price $$

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This insulated bag by Skip Hop can hold up to two large bottles or sippy cups. Size (inches): 6.75 length x 3.5 width x 9 height.  It is tall enough to fit 8oz bottles and two way zippers allow for easy bottle access.  If flanges need to be stored it’s possible to store three 5 oz bottles and 2 flanges (not attached).

The polyester lining helps keep your bottles hot or cold depending on your need. However there have been a few reports of the interior base being more difficult to clean.

A freezer pack is included and there is a mesh pocket in the interior for storage. The cooler is free from BPA and phthalates and the adjustable strap means you can hang the bag anywhere while on the go.

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  • Made from microfiber bag
  • Free from PVC
  • Can hold four 5 ounce bottles
  • Includes contouredicepack
  • Includes four 5 ounce bottles with storage lids
  • Not very tall so 8 oz bottles will not fit

Price $$​

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One of the perhaps most popular brands in the breastmilk pumping industry, Medela also has a reliable cooler to keep your breast milk fresh while travelling between work, home or daycare. It easily fits inside the Medela breast pump bags and comes with four Medela bottles with lids. It also includes a contoured ice pack that perfectly fits around the milk bottles and will keep your milk fresh for up to 12 hours. The cooler bag is free from PVC.

Zerlar Cooler Bag - "The Stylish Bag"

  • Can hold 3-6 bottles or 6 storage bags
  • Versatile - can be used for many purposes
  • Insulated
  • Easy to wipe clean
  • Height of bag is less so certain bottles do not fit

Price $$​

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This versatile tote bag is perfect for many uses – it is ideal for use as breastmilk cooler, a picnic bag, a lunch bag or a beach bag. The insulated interior ensures that your breast milk or food items stay fresh. It is easy to wipe clean and has a large zip opening for easy access. It is extra-large in size–22.5 cm x 17.5 cm x 12.5 cm and can carry up to 6 bottles (normally 150–180 ml), although the height is less, so certain tall bottles might not fit. However 4-6 Medela 4oz bottles plus pump parts will fit.

Gifort Baby Bottle Cooler Bag - "The Quality Cooler"

  • Exterior of bag made from water resistant, dirt proof nylon fabric
  • Interior made from food grade aluminum foil
  • Front pocket for extra storage
  • Easy to wipe clean; waterproof
  • Adjustable shoulder strap
  • Large size which fits into most breast pump bags
  • Insulated interior that keeps milk fresh for up to 10 hours
  • Initial plastic smell inside bag when first purchased

Price $$​

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This large size cooler bag can easily hold 6 large bottles. The exterior of the bag is made from nylon material which is durable, water resistant and dirt proof. The shoulder strap is adjustable and the bag can be carried in three different ways–hand bag, shoulder bag and cross body. The insulated interior will keep the milk fresh for up to 10 hours. The interior is padded with EPE foam which is great for thermal resistance.


Knowing that your precious liquid gold is safe during transport is worth its weight as a mama.

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