Finding the best insulated grocery for your shopping trip may not be the top item on your to-do list. However, it’s an important purchase to ensure the freshness of the food you spend at the store every week.
A mid-summer grocery trip can turn into a race against time to beat the heat and keep your food from going bad. Some of you may say I’m being dramatic, but if you’ve ever opened your trunk to find your newly-bought frozen chicken is almost defrosted, you know exactly what I mean.
An insulated grocery bag can help keep your refrigerated and frozen items cool until you get home. We’ve reviewed some of the top sellers in the market and found our two favorite brands. Both are durable as well as attractive and get some of the best reviews from customers.
Bringing your own bags to the store also prevents the need of getting extra paper and plastic bags conserving resources and preventing unnecessary waste.
There are so many to choose from – which one is the best? We’re going to share a few of our favorite bags to help you find the right one.
Our Favorite Insulated Grocery Bags
Click on any of the links below to jump to the individual review in this article.
- Earthwise Insulated Reusable Grocery Bag – Colorful and Large
- Nook Insulated Grocery Box – Neutral Colored with Zippered Close
- Oversized Market Tote Bag – Prettiest Insulated Bag & Made in the USA
- Boon Insulated Grocery Bag – Best for wine bottles or walking trips to the market
Earthwise Insulated Reusable Grocery Bag
Made by the reputable brand Earthwise, these grocery bags are reusable and have some nice features that make them a pleasure to use.
Earthwise Insulated Tote Features
- Reinforced bottom panel
- Zipper lid
- Available in fun colors
- Additional side handles
- Comes as a set of two
- Folds flat
- Complete insulation
- 10″H x 14.5″W x 10″D
The Earthwise tote features complete insulation – and that includes the lid. Available in fun, bright colors, you can also use this bag for picnics, trips to the beach, camping, and day trips.
The reinforced bottom panels keep the tote open and upright for easy packing and unloading. They also make the bag more stable, so you never have to worry about the bottom of the bag bowing while in transit.
Each bag can hold up to 30 pounds.
The bottom insert is removable and folds down for added durability. When not in use, these bags can be stored flat in the trunk.
The bag features two long straps and two side handles for easy carry in any situation. And you get two totes with each purchase, which means you can store hot and cold items separately. The large capacity interior also means that you can pack more.
- Holds a lot of food
- Virtually every inch is insulated
- Folds flat when not in use
- Reinforced bottom keeps the bag open and upright
The main drawback we found was the Earthwise insulated totes are not sealed on the inside. So you can use the bag as a standard cooler with loose ice since it will leak. You can use ice packs or just put the ice cubes in bags.
Earthwise provides a great value with their insulated totes because you get two with each purchase. Great for grocery shopping and traveling, each one can hold a lot of food. They fold flat when not in use, so you never have to worry about them taking up too much space in your car or home.
Nook Insulated Grocery Boxes
If you prefer an understated version of the Earthwise Insulated Shopping Boxes, take a look at this option from Nook Theory. These study color boxes have a thick canvas exterior available in four classic color options.
- Reinforced insulated walls and cover
- Zippered top to keep the temperature constant
- 30 Liter Capacity with a Leakproof Interior
- 2 Side Pockets
- Big and Roomy, the measurements are 16″ x 9″ x 13″H
Available on Etsy from Nook Theory based in the USA.
In addition to shopping trips, these insulated boxes work well for picnics, road trips, and delivery drivers.
Market Tote Bag by SugarMoon Boutique
If you want a smaller bag to take with you to the farmer’s market, this elegant shopping tote is a good choice. These pretty market bags are padded with foam to protect your groceries and gusseted on the side to fit bulkier items. They can also be taken to the park or beach.
Elegant and simple in style, this lightweight tote is a nice choice for the eco-friendly shopper.
- Handmade in the USA
- Oil cloth exterior makes it easy to clean
- Makes a great gift
Available on Etsy by Sugarmoon Boutique
The fabric style varies by season, so if you see one you like, be sure to get it quickly!
The size is 13 inches tall and wide with an 8-inch base, a nice medium size tote to carry to your local market or take with you to the beach and park.
Boon Navy Striped Insulated Grocery Bag
This sporty insulated grocery bag is another great choice to keep groceries cooler while you are on the move. Excellent for people that like to walk to the market, the bag blends with most casual styles.
it is sized for taller items such as wine bottles, soda, or a carton of milk. This is also a good choice for shopping at the farmer’s market and won’t crush your fresh lettuce, kale, or herbs.
- Zippered top closure and foil lining for better insulation
- Polywoven plastic material on the outside that is easy to wipe clean
- Tall & Compact, the measurements are 18″ H x 14″ W x 9″ D with a 9-inch handle
If you like to walk to the grocery store or bring chilled wine to a picnic or party, the Boon Insulated Grocery Bag is a good choice.
Do I Really Need an Insulated Grocery Bag?
Do you like the idea of getting sick from eating spoiled meat? Do you want to drink milk that’s been sitting in a hot car for 30 minutes or more?
If you answered yes to either of those questions, you’re more adventurous than most.
Before you roll your eyes, there’s something you should know:
- Car interiors can reach 113 degrees after an hour of being in 80-100-degree weather. And if you’re parked in direct sunlight (hello parking lots), temperatures can shoot up to 172 degrees.
- The National Dairy Council says you should never leave milk at room temperature for more than two hours. Room temperature is a lot cooler than the trunk of your car.
- The Food Safety and Inspection Service says you should not leave raw meat un-refrigerated for more than two hours. And if the temperature is above 90 degrees, that window drops down to one hour.
While your kale and eggplant may be a little wilted and squishy after being trapped in a hot trunk for 40 minutes, your meat and dairy could very well be close to spoiled by the time you get home.
An insulated grocery bag can help keep your food cooler for longer, so you don’t have to risk running red lights just to get home in time to pop those chicken breasts in the freezer.
All of these insulated grocery bags are durable, easy to carry, and effective at keeping foods cool/warm. Weigh the pros and cons of each one to choose the right one for you.