Having a functional breast pump bag is crucial when you need pump outside of your house. However, it can be hard to know what exactly to look for in a bag – how big of a bag do you need? Do you need insulated compartments? And what are the best breast pump bags for Spectra pumps (which are larger than other breast pumps)? Here is what to look for in a breast pump bag, plus six of the best breast pump bags for working moms and exclusive pumpers.
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How to Choose a Breast Pump Bag
Here is what to think about when deciding on the best breast pump bag for you.
Size of Your Breast Pump
Probably the most important thing to consider is whether or not your breast pump will fit in the breast pump bag that you’re considering!
While some pumps (like the Medela Freestyle) will not have issues fitting into any breast pump bag, others, particularly the Spectra S1 and S2 and hospital-grade pumps (like the Medela Symphony) may not work with all bags.
Trade off Between Size of Bag and How Much You Can Fit in It
A big pump bag can be great, because you can fit all of your stuff in it – but it can also be really heavy once you get everything loaded up. Think about where you’ll be using the bag, and if a lot of weight in one bag (versus distributed in multiple bags) will be an issue.
For example, if you commute using public transportation and have to walk quite a bit, having to haul a really heavy bag might not be ideal. On the other hand, if you drive to work and don’t have to walk far, being able to have everything in one bag might be simpler than packing up a pump bag, laptop bag, and a lunch bag, for example.
Type of Breast Pump Bag: Tote versus Backpack
Another thing to think about is how you prefer to carry the weight – using a tote bag (either with a shoulder strap or carried), or a backpack.
A heavier bag might be easier to carry on your back; a tote might look more professional.
Quality of Construction and Warranty
If you’re like me, your breast pump bag goes everywhere with you for months. This means it has to be durable and able to handle being constantly zipped open and closed, things being thrown into it, getting spilled on, etc.
Some bag manufacturers offer warranties and will replace bags that are defective, so that’s something to keep an eye on if you’re concerned about that.
Style and Where You’re Planning on Carrying Your Bag
If you work outside of the home, some bags might work better than others, style-wise. If you work in finance or law, for example, a black professional-looking breast pump bag might be best. However, if you’re a stay at home exclusively pumping mom or work in a more casual field, a pattern can be fun.
Insulation and Compartments
Most breast pump bags have compartments for storing your breast pump, and some have an additional compartment for storing bottles. Often these areas are insulated to protect your pump and keep milk cold. Consider how you want to use your breast pump bag, and whether you’d rather have a separate cooler (to put in your work fridge, for example) or just use a compartment in your bag with an ice pack.
Best Breast Pump Bags for Working Moms and Exclusive Pumpers
Here are six of the best breast pump bags for working moms and exclusive pumpers.
Sarah Wells Kelly Convertible Breast Pump Bag
Type: Convertible – Tote/Backpack
With this Sarah Wells bag, you don’t have to choose between tote and backpack, because this one can switch back and forth! (The video in the amazon listing I linked above shows how this works starting at 0:46.) It comes in three colors/patterns.
- It has tons of pockets so that you can organize all of your pumping and work gear.
- It fits all breast pumps, including hospital grade pumps and the Spectra S1 and S2.
- It fits a 15 inch laptop.
- The pockets collapse down so that when you’re done pumping, you can use it as a normal bag.
- Sarah Wells products have a lifetime warranty.
- Some reviewers noted that reinforced or padded straps would be helpful given how heavy the bag can get when packed.
Breast Pump Bag Tote for Work
This breast pump tote bag is pretty large, and it can fit everything you need to bring to work, so that you can carry one bag instead of three. It has two insulated compartments, one for your pump and one for bottles. The larger compartment does fit the Spectra.
- This bag is really big and can fit all your pumping gear plus a laptop and whatever else you need
- It comes with a staging mat (similar to the Pumparoo) that you can put your pump parts on while you get set up to pump.
- It’s one of the more cost-effective bags that fits the Spectra.
- As with the Kelly bag, it can get heavy and the strap isn’t well padded, which can be somewhat painful if you need to carry it long distances.
- When the cooler/pump pocket are full, it can be hard to find smaller things that fall into the spaces around them in the main part of the bag.
The New Yorker Breast Pump Bag by Charlie G
The Charlie G breast pump tote bag by Charlie G is one of my favorites! It has two compartments; one larger one that fits all personal pumps (including the S1 and S2), and one smaller one for storing your cooler. Both compartments are insulated.
- It’s a really well-organized bag, with a bunch of dedicated compartments so that you won’t lose things in the bottom like some of the other bags listed.
- Fits laptops up to 14 inches.
- It looks really classic and professional and doesn’t look like a pump bag.
- It is sturdy and doesn’t flop around.
- The shoulder straps are comfortable.
- You can fit everything into this one bag.
- The price point is on the high side.
Idaho Jones Breast Pump Backpack
This breast pump backpack fits all breast pumps (both portable and hospital-grade), including Spectra pumps.
- It has a cushioned slot for a laptop, up to 15 inches.
- You don’t need a separate cooler to keep your bottles cold in the insulated compartment – just put an ice pack in it and you’re all set.
- This bag can transition to a diaper bag when you’re done pumping.
- It has a 12 month warranty and satisfaction guarantee.
- If you’re on the small side, this bag might be a little large for you.
(Note: Idaho Jones reached out to me with a coupon code – you can use EXCLUSIVEPUMPING10 at checkout for 10% off on any bag on their website, both pump bags and breastmilk coolers.)
Teamoy Breast Pump Backpack
This backpack differs from some of the others in that it has two large dedicated compartments, one for breastmilk and one for your pump.
- Most affordable breast pump backpack option
- Large enough to fit Spectra pumps easily
- It’s a very functional bag, but maybe not the most attractive or professional
Sarah Wells “Lizzy” Breast Pump Bag
The Sarah Wells Lizzy breast pump bag has two compartments – one bigger one for your pump and one for your cooler or bottles. Both compartments are insulated.
- When you’re done pumping, the Lizzy bag works really well as a general tote/carry on bag/diaper bag/etc. (You can just push the compartments down flat.)
- It comes in a couple of cute patterns.
- It’s big enough to fit all your pumping gear plus whatever else you need to carry with you.
- It’s durable, well-constructed, and has a lifetime warranty.
- Because the main bag opens up into the bag with the insulated compartments, it’s possible for small things to get lost in the sides of the pump/cooler compartments. There is a zippered side pocket for keys/wallets that can help with this, though.
(I have one and really like it!)
Did I miss a breast pump bag that you love? Share a link in the comments!