Here's the best insulin travel cases in 2018, that can help keep your insulin cool. Their benefits, disadvantages and where to find them for purchase.
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When it comes to travelling with insulin, the one thing we need to sort before we start planning anything else is how to make sure our insulin is cool whilst travelling. Insulin is the drug that keeps us alive and helps us regulate our blood sugar to ensure we enjoy traveling, so without ensuring it stays at the required temperature, our insulin will die.
Insulin, like other medications to treat chronic illnesses, are sensitive to heat and need to be stored at a temperature of between 2 to 8-degree °C So, a good quality insulin travel case is the way to achieve this.
I’ve spoken lots of times about ways to keep our insulin cold when travelling, but I’ve mainly put my focus on Frio bags. I still believe Frio bags are fantastic, but I thought I’d venture out on the internet and search for other varieties of diabetic coolers for insulin that may be on the market.
Low and behold, I found a few other products, so here is a complete comparison of all the insulin travel cases I found on the web and the benefits of each!
It’s an insulin travel case that basically promotes a unique range of cooler bags that help keep your contents cold for up to 8 hours. They are described as durable, collapsible, easily stored, re-usable and environmentally friendly.
The front page recommends them for packed lunches etc, but I thought, wouldn’t it work for insulin for shorter duration's?? I did some digging. They do have a ‘Medical wallet’ specifically designed for holding medication.
They do both a large one, which looks as though it could hold around three-four insulin pens, so around 5-6 insulin vials. The smaller bag seems as though it would hold around two insulin pens and around 4 vials.
The bags are advertised as a short-term solution to keeping your insulin cool, and I would agree with that. The insulin travel cooler lasts up to 8 hours which is perfect if you’re heading out for the day in the sunshine, at the beach, or even take a long car journey.
As long as your travel duration doesn’t exceed the 8 hours, then this is a good product for those “in-between” moments of travelling. If however, you are taking 12-hour bus journeys or your insulin won’t be in a fridge for a full 24 hours, then it’s probably best to consider an additional product for those times.
I haven’t tested this product first hand, so I cannot vouch for its effectiveness, but if you have then let us know in the comments what you thought. Maybe I’ll get a chance to try it on my travels and let you guys know how it works.
Great insulin travel case for short-term journeys for up to 8 hours
Good for a beach day
Easy to use ( simply freeze the insulated pack in the freezer overnight for minimum 12 hours) and it’ll keep your insulin cool.
It’s light and easy to pop into a rucksack or day bag
Not a great variety of different sizes or styles
Not good for overnight insulin cooling needs or long-travel journeys such as a long-haul flight
Can’t hold long-term quantities of insulin for long trips away
These guys are an Australian company, but these products are available in the USA, Canada and further afield.
The next insulin travel case I want to look at is Medicool. Medicool actually is a website that houses a whole host of different insulin travel coolers and cases, so I’ll go through the ones I discovered on my searches and weigh up the pros and cons for traveling with type 1 diabetes. You get 20% off all medicool products when you purchase our new eBook or course! Check out the link at the bottom of the page.
Dia-pack: This is an insulin cooling case with a unique twist.
Not only is this insulin travel case fully insulated, but it comes with an electronic temperature display that reads the outside temperature! How cool is that? Pretty cool I thought. This product can keep your insulin cool for up to thirty hours, and it has the ability to carry needles, syringes and other medications you may require. It includes a re-freezable gel pack, meaning it can be reused, and a shoulder strap, which I guess is convenient if you want to hold it in your shoulder.
Keeps your insulin cool for up to thirty hours. This is good for flights, long car journeys, or even an overnight stay camping, at a hostel with no fridge etc. It’s also good for 24-hour bus journeys, but honestly, I ain’t going to recommend you even take one because they are so uncomfortable!
Comes in a range of different cases to suit different occasions, the elite, classic, deluxe and the day mate which is perfect for those day outs. You can buy replacement gel packs to reuse the cooler
They don’t seem very “fashionable” and not a lot of different colours on offer. You have to pay for replacement gel packs which means extra expenses to reuse
#3 Poucho: This insulin travel case is similar to Frio bags!
They are activated via water and are great for keeping insulin safe when it’s not being refrigerated.
It’s activated by water so pretty convenient when your travelling with diabetes
It can be re-used hundreds of times, which again is perfect for when you are on the road a lot
The cooler stays cool up to four days, which is good for city-breaks, camping trips etc
There are 6 different sizes to suit your insulin requirements.
There isn’t a lot of colour choice of product
4 days isn’t as long as other products
But honestly, I think this is a pretty decent product, and perhaps I’ll get the chance to try them someday, but they are essentially the same as Frio bags, but Frio bags stay cooler for longer, which suits me better when I am travelling long-term, but these are a great choice if you are heading off on holiday!
This is probably the least favourite of the insulin travel cases I’ve come across, not because I don’t think it’s useful, but I don’t think it’s a good choice for travelling with t1d. But, let's consider and look at the details.
The Medicool Insulin Protector Case can keep your insulin cool for up to 12 hours, so it’s definitely a good choice for a long road trip or flights or even a long day out at the beach. The problem is, it only holds up to two bottles of insulin, which really means, it’s not suitable for long-haul trips.
Two bottles of insulin would typically last me, around 20 days, give or take, which of course is fine for a 2 week holiday, the only problem is, that leaves me no room for spares, and it’s imperative that you take spares with you whilst travelling with insulin.
However, if you are on a short-term trip, then maybe this is the choice for you. It also comes with two cooler packs so you can refrigerate one whilst using the other. You can get it here.
MediFridge is an insulin travel case that really is a complete all-in-one package, but it does have its drawbacks.
The MediFridge is basically an insulin travel case that’s a portable fridge. It uses a Peltier Effect to create cold with moving parts or gas and the latest version of the fridge has been adapted perfectly for most heat-sensitive medication, including insulin. It’s a little pricey, coming in at a whopping £83, and it’s also bulky- ie not good for a backpacker.
I can’t find any information on how much insulin it will hold...but since it’s a mini fridge, I am going to assume a decent amount.
The company who produced this fridge are French and they also produce a range of other insulin travel coolers that keep your insulin cool and I’ve picked out my favourite.
UPDATE 2018: It seems these are no longer stocked anywhere online, so cannot provide links to purchase.
This product keeps your insulin cool for 12, 24 or 36 hours, (depending on which version you buy), but it can be reactivated for another 24 hours, and so on so forth.
The thing I really like about this product is that it has the space to organize around three weeks supply of your medication….which is a really great amount. Therefore, for example, if I am heading off on a trip to live in Austria for a month, (which I did), then it will keep my insulin cool until I arrive there and transfer it to a fridge, and it will have the amount of insulin I need!
However, it is an expensive choice coming in at 65 euro. But as far as insulin travel cases go, I’d say this doesn’t seem like a bad one.
They also offer a range of small cool bags for medication too, which means you can find something to suit you. But, it doesn’t have a wide range of colours and looks a little clinical. (I’m not sure if you have realised but I don’t like things looking clinical!)
Last, but by no means least, I’ll give a review of Frio. As you might well know, this is my product of choice and I have used it for 4 years now, (the same bags), and I have never had any insulin die. I think this reflects just how well they work. For me, they work even better than they actually recommend!
So, what are Frio Bags?
If you haven’t already checked out my other babblings about Frio, then you might not know that Frio bags are a device that keeps your insulin at the required temperature when you don’t have access to a fridge, so either flying, camping, hiking, etc.
Frio bags keep your insulin cool and safe, the required temperature for in-use insulin is 18 to 26 degrees, and this is exactly the temperature that Frio bags aim for.
They look good. I don’t think Frio bags cool “clinical”, which is one of the main reasons that I like them. I don’t like to look clinical, I like to look fun, and their awesome range of colours mean my diabetes can stay cool in purple and pink tones.
Sometimes I need one Frio bag, sometimes I need two...and on a three-month trip, I need three! I like that you can get a full range of different sizes to suit your trip. (I also like that I can fit in more than they recommend! :P)
Frio wallets can be reused OVER AND OVER again! The Wallet can be reactivated and used for subsequent periods of 45 hours minimum for up to 28 days- however, I have used mine for over three months at one time and I have never encountered any issues.
They are so simple to use: you simply activate them with cold water- nothing fussy! They say they last up to 12 months or longer, depending on your usage, but I have had my oldest Frio bag for three years and it’s going strong.
I personally think Frio is the most reasonably priced for the style, quality and use you get from them!
Plus, you can shop around on Amazon, and other outlets to compare prices to find a cost that suits you- either way, you're still getting a Frio bag! I’ve purchased one of mine direct of Frio, one off Amazon, and another I was given to review by Frio themselves (Thank you!) I used them before I got given one to review (it was their newest design), so that doesn’t make me biased BTW! :P
I really can’t give any major cons to the Frio bags, because it’s the thing I use every time I am travelling, so if I thought there were any major concerns I wouldn’t use it! They also have their newer Insulin Travel Case which has multiple compartments to hold all your Frio wallets, diabetic supplies and a sharps bin.
They are have a beautiful range of wallets that are fashionable and stunning! Check out mine here.
This isn't a insulin travel case, rather it's a sensor that helps you track whether your insulin is at the required level to stay alive. It's a really cool sensor you pop into your fridge, or beside your insulin, or inside your chosen insulin cooling wallet and it can test if you insulin is too cold, too warm, or just right!
This is a perfect device for travelling to destinations that are known for their heat or cold and great for if you are backpacking and using dodgy hostel fridges. It tracks your insulin via an app on your phone and right now you can get a generous 20% off a sensor when you purchase our eBook or course. The sensor battery lasts for nine months, and it can be replaced so can be used for as long as you need it!
I have completed a full review on this product here. If you would like to purchase one, you can do so below:
So there you have it, my guide to the best insulin travel cases I could find on the market in 2018. Comment below if you use any of the products above, OR if you know of any other insulin cooling cases that I can add to the list!
Happy Travels, and as always, Dream big, and travel far!
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As the type 1 diabetic half of Dream Big, Travel Far, I'm passionate about encouraging fellow type 1's to travel the world and not let their diabetes hold them back. I'm proud to now be a full-time digital nomad. Meaning I live my life working and travelling all over the world and am here to help you achieve your dreams as well in any way I can.
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