One of the hard parts about breastfeeding and homemade baby food was making sure bottles and meals stayed cold on the go. We used a Skip Hop lunch box with much success until we switched to the Klean Kanteen bottles with the Born Free spouts. Since these aren’t designed to go together, they leak when laid on their sides. Our sweet little owl lunch bag very quickly started smelling like spoiled milk. Gross.
We needed an upright solution. Enter the PackIt lunch bag. I saw an infomercial for it and liked the idea but doubted their claim about it being “non-toxic” and “earth safe” (I doubt everything about infomercials!). But when I got an email from MightNest a week later saying that they were introducing the PackIt to their site, I knew the claims must be legit. If MightyNest says it’s safe and green, I believe it.
My lingering question was, “Does it really keep things cold for 10 hours like the infomercial claims?” I had to test it, and Mighty Nest was gracious enough to send me a sample (yes, FCC, that’s a free sample). When it arrived, I was pleased with the pattern (I got the pink one!) and the design. It folds up very compactly and fits snuggly in my freezer door. I also liked how roomy it is and that it has a carrying handle (although the handle doesn’t unsnap like my Skip Hop one—a surprisingly useful feature!).
I have to admit, on my first test run, I wasn’t impressed. I put one 9 oz bottle in the well-frozen pack and put it in the hot car. After just a few hours, it wasn’t very cold any more. But then I recognized my problem. Like any cooler, it’s more efficient when full. So, on subsequent outings I either packed it with more stuff (two bottles, lunch, etc) or stuck in an extra cooler pack. This did the trick!
I pretended to be a scientist last weekend and did a little experiment. My PackIt left the freezer at 9:12 am and I put in two Klean Kanteens full of milk at 43 degrees Fahrenheit (I did not use an extra ice pack). At 12:33 pm (after a trip to the California Academy of Sciences!) the milk was 37 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s even COLDER than my fridge! At 4:03 pm, the remaining bottle’s milk was 46 degrees Fahrenheit. A three degree rise over seven hours seems pretty impressive to me!
It’s also worth noting that this product receives MightyNest’s Trusted Seal (as must every product they sell). This means it is free of known toxins such as BPA, PVC, phthalates, lead and other heavy metals, melamine, formaldehyde, chemical flame retardants, parabens and other harsh chemicals.
The Bottom Line: An excellent lunch box when packed full. If using with only one bottle or something else small, include an extra ice pack.
The PackIt retails for $19.95.