Diabetes Tech

The 6 Best Insulin Cooling Cases Available In 2021

Written By:
Cazzy Magennis
Last Updated:
April 17, 2021

Looking for the best insulin cooling case to keep your insulin cool when you need it most? Look no further! We look at the best products available today..

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We need insulin to live, simple. 

So, it’s very important to ensure that we keep our insulin safe in everyday life. 

In certain circumstances, we can put our insulin at risk of dying; particularly when flying with diabetes supplies.

But thankfully there are ways to counteract this by using insulin cooling cases!

Below I’m going to take you through everything you need to know about insulin cooling cases and about keeping your insulin cold. 

What are the different options for keeping insulin cold? 

Thankfully we live in a world where innovation is high and that results in a lot of different options when it comes to keeping your insulin cold. 

Naturally, the best way to keep our insulin cold is via the fridge, but we don’t always have access to a fridge, especially if we are travelling, out shopping, camping, etc.

So when you don’t have access to a fridge, your next best option is an insulin cooling case! 

I’m going to take you through the best insulin cooling cases available on the market today, and show you what my favourite product is for keeping insulin cold. 

The best insulin cooling cases available today 

1. Frio - My #1 tool for keeping insulin cold

frio bags
My Frio bag!

Let’s start with the product I actually use.

I’ve been using Frio bags to keep my insulin cool for around 6 years, and I can honestly say, they haven’t failed me yet.  

Here is some information about the Frio insulin cooler to help explain what the product is, and what exactly it does. 

  • Frio bags are a unique product which is an evaporation cooling pouch that works by keeping your insulin cold when it’s not in the fridge. It’s simply activated by soaking it in cold water for a predetermined amount of time (it depends on the size of your Frio bag, but instructions are provided) 
  • It keeps your insulin between the temperature of 18-26°C (64.4-78.8°F) for 45 hours minimum, even in a constant environmental temperature of 37.8°C (100°F)
  • It can be reactivated for subsequent periods of 45 hours minimum for up to 28 days (however I personally have used them much longer than this)
  • They’re stylish and come in a range of designs and colours 
  • They actually work! 

Bottom line: This is my top recommendation for travelling through airport security with diabetes.

2. 4ALLFAMILY 72 Hour Insulin Cooler - Best insulin cooler for road trips

4allfamily insulin cooler

This is another insulin cooling case option that's pretty unique!

The guys at 4AllFamily have sent me one to try out and it's an insulin cooling device that is in the form of a stainless steel cup.

The unique thing is that it looks like a coffee cup, so doesn't look "medical" which is something appreciate.

I hate things that look too medical.

The 4AllFamily 72 Insulin Cooler works in two ways:

1. Firstly there is the Biogel bottle, which you can refrigerate for 6-8 hours in advance then put it in your cooling case along with your insulin and cover it up!

2. If you've got access to electricity, (even the lighter in your car) you can put the insulin into your vacuum bottle and cover it with the black cooling cap. You then connect it power with the USB (have it on 30 minutes before you put your insulin in).

This combination of two ways to keep your insulin cool while on the go means it will pretty much keep you covered for all situations. Whether you're road tripping in a car or campervan, backpacking Asia, or even just on holiday!

I think that's really cool!

Pros

  • Can keep your insulin cool up to 72 hours
  • It's versatile and offers a variety of cooling methods in one product
  • It can be used with in-car 12V when adapted to a USB so a brilliant option for road trips!
  • Comes with a 1 year warranty

Cons

  • They only seem to have it in blue (which is nice, but maybe not for everyone)

Pro tip: Use the code THATDIABETICGIRL to get 10% off your purchase!

3. Poucho by Medicool - Great for keeping insulin cold during power outages 

This is another cooling wallet available from a different company known as Medicare.

This insulin cooling case appears to work in a similar way to Frio bags, however, I’ve not personally used one. 

Here are the important facts about Poucho

  • It’s easily activated by placing in cold water 
  • They can stay cool for up to 4 days 
  • There are two different colours and 6 different sizes to suit insulin pens and insulin vials 
  • Great for keeping insulin cold during power outages (which is something you often forget to consider!)

4. Eono by Amazon - great cooler for day trips

Eono is a new product developed by Amazon and it works in a similar way to the other insulin cooling products I’ve mentioned. However, it uses ice-packs rather than a smart in-built cooling system. 

There are some advantages too it, including the fact it’s available on prime, and cheaper.

But let’s see how it compares in terms of ability:

  • The insulin carrying case has the ability to hold 4 ice cooling packs and a variety of insulin pens and vials
  • Before use you will need to put 2 or 4 cold gel and freezer to shape for 6-8 hours
  • The frozen ice pack could ensure the inside temperature at 2-8 degrees around 6-8 hours and keep it at the same condition for about 3-4days under 20 degrees
  • I would say this cool bag for insulin would be more suitable for day trips rather than long extended trips 

5. Glucology - Low budget way to keep insulin cool

Glucology offers a bespoke brand of diabetic cooling cases and products developed in Australia. 

The products look really good and very well built, so I’d definitely like to try these in the future. No ice pack is required, so they work in a similar way to Frio bags. 

Let’s look at the details. 

  • After activation, our insulin cooler pack is designed to keep your insulin cool (below 28˚C) for up to 40 hours at a time
  • It’s activated by placing in water
  • You can reactivate it if needed by soaking and it will keep your insulin cool for another 36 hours
  • It can hold 5 x insulin injection pens - either pre-filled or refillable pens or 15 x 3ml or 1.5ml cartridges or 6 x 10ml vials of insulin and syringes 
  • 12 month warranty if you’re not satisfied 
  • Small so can fit in a backpack for travelling with diabetes

6. Lekesky - Another great option for shorter trips

This product is another insulin cooling case that makes use of ice packs. 

This means I would personally recommend Lekesky for shorter travel days and trips, and generally less stressful situations. Here are the facts: 

  • Keep insulin at 2-8℃ for 6-8 hours. Keep insulin at 25℃ for 48-72 hours
  • You need to freeze two cooling tablets in the freezer for 6-10 hours beforehand and the insulated panels help keep them cooler for longer periods
  • It comes with a unique and innovative Temperature Indicator which means the temperature of the insulin can be seen directly without using a thermometer
  • There is a 1 year warranty with the product for satisfaction 

BONUS: Medangel One Sensor - Fantastic tool for all bags 

the medangel one sensor

MedAngel is not a specific insulin cooling travel case, rather it’s an innovative piece of technology that allows you to track the temperature of your insulin in different situations. 

It can even make sure your insulin cooling case is working properly as you can pop the Medangel One Sensor into the case and monitor the temperature. 

The Medangel one sensor can also be placed in your fridge to ensure the temperature is correct and remove the risk of your insulin freezing. 

The sensor is synced up to an app on your phone via Bluetooth and it will give you alarms as to when your insulin is too warm and too cold. 

It’s a really great product to have when travelling, especially if you’re giving your insulin to a hotel fridge, or basically any fridge you don’t typically use. 

It’s also a worthwhile investment because you only need to replace the battery when it runs low. 

Or get 20% off when you purchase direct on the website (shipping restrictions apply) with the code:

DREAMBIGTRAVELFAR20

Why do we need to keep insulin cold? 

keep insulin cold in heat

Insulin is a live product that keeps us alive, and in order for it to function well we need to keep it at a certain temperature.

If our insulin is exposed to extreme heat or cold, and fluctuates between these two temperatures, then it can destroy the insulin which will make it no longer suitable for use. 

Before you look at ways to keep your insulin cold, you actually need to consider whether it needs to be kept “cold”. 

What I mean by this is that if you’re taking your insulin away for a day and you aren’t expecting any crazy temperatures, then your insulin will be completely fine in your diabetic supply bag or purse, whichever you use, rather than an insulin cool pouch. 

But, if you’re visiting somewhere very cold, or warm, then it’s best to take extra precautions with an insulin cooling case to help ensure your insulin stays safe. 

Insulin can react adversely in cold temperatures. It can easily freeze when exposed to temperatures that it isn’t suitable for. 

I once put my insulin in a hotel fridge (or what they told me was a fridge) and it froze my insulin, solid. You cannot use it after it defrosts.  

The insulin is dead and needs to be disposed of. 

Insulin can also react in warm temperatures. The heat can cause insulin to go cloudy or form clumps, and these are both indications that your insulin has died from exposure to the heat and it should again be disposed of. 

What temperature should insulin be unopened? 

For unopened insulin, which is still in the box, and hasn’t been used yet, the ideal place for your insulin is in the refrigerator at a temperature of around 2-8 degrees C [ 36-46° F]. If refrigeration is not possible, it can be kept at room temperature [15-25 degrees C] for 28 days. 

What temperature should insulin be after opening? 

insulin cooling wallets
The Medangel tracks the temperature of your insulin! 

For insulin that’s already been opened and that you are currently using the ideal temperature is 56°F and 80°F (13-26 degrees C).

And the insulin cooling cases we will discuss below will help you ensure your insulin stays at this temperature range. 

Other things to do note about insulin temperatures 

Insulin is supposed to have a 28 day expiration date, for in-use insulin. However, I honestly do believe this is just a guideline. 

Because I travel around the world with the same bottles of insulin for up to 4 months at a time, and my insulin has never, ever expired. 

So, I would simply use your insulin and if you find your blood sugars aren’t in range, or you don’t feel like it’s working well, then you will know it has expired. 

It’s also recommended that in-use insulin should be kept at room temperature, and NOT in the fridge, but again, I keep my in-use insulin in the fridge and have yet to have any problems. 

This is a statement from the insulin company I currently use: 

Eli Lilly – Manufacturers of synthetic insulin's – ‘human’ and analogues.

"Our Humulin range has regulatory approval for in-use out of the fridge for 28 days. We have also performed our own in-house studies, however these were also completed after 28 days. Therefore, we do not have any data on in-use of Humulin vials after 28 days and thus, although we have no information to suggest that there is any problem with in-use vials stored in the fridge after 28 days, without data to support this we currently can only recommend in-use for 28 days."

Remember that insulin has an expiry date which is different from the 28 day use date.

Don’t use expired insulin. 

Some insulin's last longer than others, you should check with your doctor, or the insulin manufacturer themselves to find out how long your insulin is supposed to last. 

Choosing the best insulin cooling case for you

As I mentioned above, the only product I’ve used consistently is the Frio insulin cooling case and I also use the Medangel One Sensor, which has proved useful when I’ve been travelling. 

It’s saved my insulin a few times now which is great! 

So if I had to choose one product out of them all to choose, then it would naturally be a Frio bag! But that’s not to say that I won’t try other products in the future, but for now, the Frio bags have never let me down, so I don’t need to change products just yet. 

Before I found these products, I used to simply find a picnic bag and put some ice blocks inside them. 

I did this when I took a trip around South America, and it was honestly the most awkward and worst thing I could have done. 

I had to carry a bulky bag with me, which was unnecessary, and every day I had to keep re-cooling these massive ice blocks. 

Thankfully, when I did some proper research, I found these great products instead. And now that there is lots of choice on the market, you’ll definitely be able to find something to suit your insulin cooling needs and if you're looking for a diabetic friendly gift, these insulin cooling cases are always a good choice!

So there you have it! 

My guide to the best insulin cooling cases available on the market today to help keep your insulin cool.

If you’ve got any other products to recommend, then definitely pop them below so we can recommend them to others too. 

Have you used any of these insulin cooling cases before? How did you find them? Let me know below! 

Check out some other useful posts:

Cazzy Magennis

Living with type 1 diabetes for over 10 years has given me a lot of life experience, challenges and opportunities. I’ve had ups and downs, but I’m proud that I can live out my dreams whilst managing t1d. I hope my stories can help your daily life with diabetes too!