My son, Josh, did an awesome Study Abroad this summer. He had to keep 3 months worth of insulin vials cool for his insulin pump. This was a huge concern, thinking access to insulin might be tough if something happened. He used the Frio bag for his trip.
What is a Frio bag?
It is a cooling bag that has a cooling center with an outside bag that keeps the water and condensation inside. It maintains a consistent cool temperature for insulin. To activate the cooling center, it is soaked in water for a few minutes. It lasts 24 hours! It is reusable and cools again simply by rewetting.
It comes in several varieties. We got the extra-large Frio for vials. Here’s some of the other options available:
It would be great for insulin pens for a beach vacation or somewhere warm where someone was worried about it getting too warm.
We invested in the Frio Cooling bag and it was a great investment. Josh said it worked great. I asked Josh to do a review for everyone, so here’s his thoughts on it after using for a 3 month period:
Pros of the Frio Bag:
Ease of Use:
It doesn’t take up that much space and I was able to keep 3 months worth of insulin safe and at the right temperature the entire time. I only needed to wet it every 2-4 days depending on what country and climate I was in.
In the hotter parts of Europe I had to do it every 2 days, but in Norway and the Netherlands I didn’t really have to wet it at all, though I did it every 4 days anyways. It only takes about 5 to 10 minutes maximum to soak. I set a timer on my phone for whatever time I deemed fit, in order to prevent over soaking it and damaging it.
After letting the little excess water drain from the main Frio bag, I would place it in the secondary carrying sack. As long as there was no water leaking from the main bag and both were shut, nothing leaked at all. Not once over a 3 month backpacking trip did any of my things ever get wet.
It worked and kept the insulin cool!
It definitely made the trip less stressful because I wasn’t constantly worried about finding a refrigerator in the next country I traveled too. Even when I had refrigerators available I normally stuck with the Frio in order to keep all my things in one place. That was especially helpful in hostels and my university dorm in Spain because the refrigerators were shared. I never had to worry about someone stumbling upon my very valuable, and life saving medicine. It gave me peace of mind and kept the medicine at the necessary temperature. Overall it was probably the best thing I brought on my trip.
If someone made an actual portable refrigerator the same size as the Frio bag, yes I would buy that instead. Currently though, the Frio bag is the best thing available on the market for this. Ingenious product and I’m curious to see what other markets their invention will spread too.
Hope that helps anyone debating whether to try it out! What other methods have you tried? Comment below or like the Facebook page and join the discussions!