How To Keep Insulin Cold While Travelling? Best Tips To Keep In Mind!

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Many people who have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes find it very difficult to lead a flexible and spontaneous life. Most of them often find it difficult to plan their travels; be it short-term or long-term and one of the major reasons behind this is because they need to ensure that their insulin is kept cool and at the required temperature.

If the insulin is not maintained at the right temperature, it can prove life-threatening for the patient. Hence, it is extremely important to be aware of how to keep your insulin cold while travelling.

Like many other medications, insulin is also sensitive to heat and the ideal temperature that that is required to store the insulin and keep it cool is 2 to 8oC. Today, there are a number of diabetic coolers available in the market which makes it really easy for you to keep your insulin cold while travelling.

How To Keep Insulin Cold While Travelling

This means that you no longer have to worry during your entire trip about your insulin and rather focus on enjoying and creating memorable memories!

In this post, we have listed down some of the best diabetic coolers that are available in the market today and their pros and cons.

7 Best Diabetic Coolers to use while Travelling

1. Fridge-To-Go

If you are planning a short trip and are looking for a short-term solution, then the Fridge-To-Go insulin bags are a great option. Though they are usually recommended for packed lunches, they do come with a ‘Medical Wallet’ which works perfectly for you to store your insulins. Ideally, this cooler bag can keep your insulin cold for about eight hours.

You can either opt for the larger bag which can hold three to four insulin pens which five to six insulin vials or opt for the smaller ones which can hold 2 insulin pens which is about 4 insulin vials. Some of the key features of the Fridge-To-Go insulin bag includes environment-friendly, collapsible, easy storage, durable, and reusable.

This is an ideal choice if you are planning for a day trip wherein the duration does not exceed eight hours.

  • It is quite easy to use this diabetic cooler. You just need to freeze the pack for minimum 12 hours before using it.
  • It is lightweight and easily fits into a rucksack.
  • It is ideal for any short-term trips lasting up to 8 hours.
  • You will not find too many varieties in terms of size and style.
    • Definitely not an option for any overnight journeys.
    • Doesn’t have the capacity to hold huge quantities of insulin.

    2. Frio Bags

    This is one of the most popular insulin bags that you will come across which is extremely popular with type 1 or type 2 diabetes travelers.

    One of the key reasons behind its popularity is that it allows the user to keep their insulin at the required temperature, especially when there is no refrigerator around. This key feature makes it ideal to carry along when your are out camping, hiking, flying, etc.

    Depending upon your requirement, you can either opt for a small sized bag which can hold 2 insulin pens, a large sized wallet which can hold 10-12 insulin vials, or an extra-large wallet which can easily hold 15-17 insulin vials.

    Frio Bags
    • Frio bags are great at keeping your insulin cool and safe while travelling. You can easily achieve a temperature of 18-26 degrees which is the required temperature for in-use insulin.
    • You can get your hands on different styles of Frio bags which also come in vibrant colors like red and teal. You can easy pick up the one that suits your needs the best in terms of size and style.
    • The minimum usage time for Frio bags is 45 hours for up to 28 days. It can be easily reactivated as needed.
    • In order to activate these Frio bags, all you need is some cold water.
    • These bags are quite durable and can easily last for minimum 12 months. However, depending upon how well you care for it, the bags can last even longer than a year.
    • Based on multiple user testimonials, Frio bags hardly have any cons as they are suitable for both short-term journeys as well as long-term ones. 

    3. Dia-Pack

    Available on Medicool website, this insulin bag comes equipped with a unique feature. Apart from being completely insulated, it also has an electronic temperature display which is capable of reading the outside temperature. Other key features of this insulin bag include adequate capacity to carry all your medications, syringes, and needles, a re-freezable gel pack making this insulin bag reusable, and a shoulder strap which makes it easier to carry along.

    Ideally, the Dia-Pack insulin bag is effective in keeping your insulin cool for up to 30 hours.

    • This insulin bag is ideal if you are planning any long journeys such as an overnight car drive, flight or bus journey, camping, or staying in places with no fridge, etc.
    • You have the option to choose from different cases such as elite, deluxe, classic, day mate, etc.
    • You can reuse the diabetic cooler by purchasing replacement gel.
    • One of the major cons of this insulin bag is that you may find the design too be quite simple and not very fashionable as some of the other insulin bags.
    • Also, you will need to shell out extra if you wish to purchase replacement gels for your Dia-Pack insulin coolers.

    4. Poucho

    This is another great insulin bag available in the market that you can use to keep you insulin cold while traveling. It can be easily activated with water and is ideal in situations where you don’t have a fridge to keep your insulin.

    They are available in five different sizes – Single Pen, Double Pen, Small, Large and Xlarge.

    • Activating this insulin bag is quite easy and all you need is water which makes it the perfect travel companion during your travels.
    • The Poucho coolers stay cool for close to four days. So, you can easily use them if you are out on a camping or hiking trip, any long overnight journeys, etc.
    • Depending upon your requirement, you can choose from the five different sizes available.
    • One of its main advantages is that it can be reused as many times as possible.
  • Though its ability to remain cool for four days is quite good, you may find other coolers which can last longer such as the Frio bags.
  • Color-wise you may not find too many options.
  • 5. ICool Prestige

    This diabetic cooler is apt for both short-term as well long-term journeys. This is because they offer different versions such as packs which can keep your insulin cool for 12 hours, 24 hours, or 36 hours. Also, you can reactivate them for a period of 24 hours and so forth. Space-wise this insulin bag ranks among the top which makes it perfect for long journeys.

    ICool Prestige
    • As mentioned earlier, one of its main advantages is definitely the space as it can easily hold your medical supplies worth three weeks. So, you can easily plan a long trip and have the required amount of your insulin with you and then store it in the refrigerator once you reach your destination.
    • They also have a selection small bags for you to keep your other medications.
    • Compared to some of the other insulin bags available in the market, this insulin bag is slightly more expensive.
    • They come in standard colors and may not suit your needs if you are in the market for something stylish and fashionable.

    6. MediFridge

    Imagine carrying a portable fridge with you! Well, that’s what you get when you purchase the MediFridge diabetic cooler. It is an all-in-one insulin travel case which comes with the required heat-resistant feature that helps in keeping your insulin cool.

    It operates on the principle of Peltier Effect which creates cold through gas or moving parts.

    • The latest version of MediFridge has been further improved to ensure that your insulins remain heat-resistant and cool.
    • It has a good capacity to hold your insulins and other medications.
    • The design of this insulin cooler is quite bulky which may not suit you if you are on a backpacking trip.
    • Compared to other insulin bags, the MediFridge insulin cooler is quite expensive.

    7. MediCool Insulin Protector

    If you are planning for a long road trip or a day outing trip, then you can opt for this diabetic cooler which is capable of keeping insulin cool for 12 hours. It also includes two cooler packs which means that while you are using one of them, you can refrigerate the other one.

    MediCool Insulin Protector
    • It is ideal for a short-term trip or any day outings.
    • It has the capacity to carry only two insulin bottles which means that you will not have the option to carry any spares which is not ideal for a long journey.
    • Appearance-wise it is quite bulky and standard-looking.
    • It does not come in different styles so you may not prefer this if you want a stylish insulin bag.
    • You cannot fit any pre-filled insulin pens.
    • It is quite overpriced considering the features it offers.

    So, these are some of the best diabetic coolers available in the market today which can definitely help you in keeping your insulin cool while you are travelling. All these insulin bags come with different features, so you need to do a thorough research and invest in the one that suits your requirement the best.

    You no longer have to live a life dictated by your type 1 or type 2 diabetes. A little bit of planning and investing in the right insulin-protectant equipment can go a long way in enabling you to enjoy a flexible, spontaneous, and fun-filled life. Now you can embrace your inner traveler and enjoy all your travel desires with the help of the right diabetic cooler.

    Dr. Julia Hermos is a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, an organization that seeks to develop doctors’ interpersonal skills and a Bariatric physician. She received her medical degree from the State University of Newyork. Dr. Hermos has a master’s degree in education and was a teacher for many years. Now she joined the Medical counsel team to provide effective communication through her articles and reviews. She encourages her patients to ask questions on their queries. So feel free to go through the articles in this blog and share your thoughts using the comment section available in all pages.

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