by maipham

August 11, 2022

best portable breast pump for travel

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Pumping while traveling or when you are away without your little one is essential if you don't want to remember the pain from clogged milk ducts, the wet bras and nursing pads, and most importantly, lower your milk supply

However, it is a hassle to carry a big breast pump along with all the accessories for every travel. And sometimes it is even impossible to find an electric outlet or a private place to pump. 

Imagine walking around with a big suitcase and a full nursing bag. Sounds tiring, doesn't it?

However, it doesn't need to be that way. There are some portable breast pumps that are small, compact and convenient.

"Fail to prepare is prepare to fail". Let's get you prepared well enough for your next trip with our review on the best portable breast pump for travel.

What we recommend

For overall traveling, we recommend Momcozy breast pump.

If you are away for a few days but not sure if you have good facilities at your destination, we recommend shipping your milk back home. 

How Do You Pump Breast Milk When Traveling?

Choose the right pump and milk storage method

Choose the right pump and milk storage method

There are many different kinds of breast pumps: electric breast pumps, manual breast pumps, wearable breast pumps. Each kind has its own pros and cons. Some might fit your traveling needs, some might not.

To select the right pump and how to store the pump, ask yourself some following questions:

  • Do you travel by plane? Or car?
  • How long is the commute? Few hours? Half a day? A day?
  • If you travel by car, what is your route?
  • If you travel by plane, do you need to transit?
  • Do you need an electric outlet with your pump? Or spare batteries? 
  • Can you find some private room to pump?
  • How can you store your breast milk? 
  • How long do you need to store your breast milk until it can make it to the fridge?

Answer those questions thoroughly, then you are likely know what kind of pumps to get and how you will store your milk.

If you’ll be spending hours driving through the desert heat, a plug-in car cooler may be your best bet. If you only need an hour or two driving, dry ice can be a cheap and effective option.

For air travel, skip the dry ice and use a small cooler and ice packs. If you’re going to be gone for three weeks, consider mailing batches of breast milk home throughout your stay.

Research in advance

Pump breast milk for travel

Don't wait until the last minute when you are packing to think of below things:

  • What will you need? From pumping to sanitizing your pump and storing your milk.
  • You might need some cleaning wipes to use with your pump, some nursing pads to avoid milk leakage and hand sanitizer to clean yourself before pumping.
  • Call your destination to see whether a refrigerator is available to you.
  • Reserve a hospital-grade pump at a local hospital if needed.
  • Check if your airline will exempt your breast pump from carry-on baggage limits as a “medical device”. And whether they count your cooler as a bag.
  • Confirm with an HR representative of the office you’ll be visiting to see if they have a mother’s room.

The more information you have, the better you can prepare — and the more confident you’ll be on your trip.

Pump breast milk when traveling

Pump breast milk when travel

Finally, before you leave, look at your schedule and make a mental plan (or even a written one) of when you will pump your milk.

Read more: 

Pumping And Breastfeeding Schedule For Newborn: (Almost) Everything You Need To Know

Simple Breastfeeding And Pumping Schedule For Working Mom

Exclusive Pumping Schedule For Newborn: How To Set Up The Right One

You can schedule alarms on your phone, to remind you to pump.

If you want to maintain an abundant milk supply, on average, every 3-4 hours, you have to empty both breasts or pump all the milk to create more new milk. Milk comes in according to the law of supply and demand: milk runs out and is full again! So on average, you pump 5-6 times a day.

When going out, you can reduce your pumping schedule by 1 or even 2 times as long as ensure your baby’s needs. Reducing the pumping session in 1-2 days of travel may not have much effect on your milk loss. 

In case the outing period lasts from 3 to 7 days, the milk will decrease a bit. But in return, your spirit is comfortable. Eating delicious meals will compensate and balance the amount of milk right away.

Moreover, you should arrange to pump milk early in the morning, at noon, in the afternoon before eating, and at night before going to bed. 

Here are some tips for pumping in public places:

  • Ask the front desk or an employee if there’s a mother’s room.
  • Choose a quiet corner, and pump under a nursing cover.
  • Pump in a bathroom stall or lounge.

How To Choose The Best Portable Breast Pump For Travel

The first and foremost priority to choose the best portable breast pump for travel is that you need to know your detailed traveling plan. How long will you travel? What kind of facilities can you get access to during traveling?

From your detailed traveling plan, then you can shape the features of the breast pump that fit your need.

Below are some features to look at to decide the right breast pump for travel.

Choose the best portable breast pump for travel

Size and weight

First, the idea of a portable breast pump for travel is that it should be as compact, small in size, and as light as possible. Some come equipped with a belt clip or lanyard for increased portability. It makes pumping even more convenient when on the go.

Battery life

Second, if you are likely to be out and on the move through the day, you may not get the chance to charge your portable breast pump at all. It’s a good idea to opt for a portable breast pump for travel with a good battery life that holds the charge for the whole day. You could also get one with USB charging when you are on the move.

Suction preference

Third, this is completely a personal choice and depends on the suction power that you are comfortable with. Some women are okay with a strong suction power while others would prefer a gentler suction.

Flexible setting

Normal breast pump for travel

Fourth, you should go for a portable breast pump for travel that has similar features and offers cycle speed control. Though it will have limits as compared to a hospital-grade model.

Automatic pumping

Fifth, a automatic and convenient breast pump. Some breast pumps enable you to record different pumping programs and memorize your pump settings. All you have to do is turn it on, choose your pre-recorded program, and you are good to go.

Noise level

Sixth, a silent breast pump that is discreet and doesn’t disturb people around you. Silent models of portable breast pumps that vibrate while doing the job are definitely available. You have to check the specifications and read through reviews to double-check.

Pump parts

One thing I don't like about my regular pump is that there are too many parts to put together before I can use it. Of course it doesn't take that much time, but still inconvenient, especially while I am on the run.

When it comes to the best portable breast pump for travel, the less installation, the better.

Best Wearable and Portable Breast Pump For Travel

1. Momcozy Wearable Breast Pump

Instagram ads and KOLs have been raving about this hands-free Momcozy Wearable Breast Pump.

Imagine you don't need to attach to a wall to pump your milk. You will still be able to get dishes done, run the vacuum, cook something while pumping.

Especially if you have an older child at home that requires your constant attention, not needing to sit down and attach to a wall, being able to play with your older child while producing milk for your little one is so neat!

Features of Momcozy Wearable Breast Pump:

  • Wearable: this is the most impressive features that actually is a make-or-break for choosing this pump. It also has built-in bra adjustment buckle helps to tighten or loosen the pump.
  • Momcozy wearable breast pump has 2 modes & 5 levels. You might try it yourself all the modes and levels to see which ones suit you.
  • Good materials: Momcozy breast pump accessories are made of soft food-grade silicone, promising safe quality of milk, avoid having micro-plastic get into your milk. 
    What's more, silicone is generally easy to clean.
  • Quite quiet: everyone knows that pumping near a sleeping baby sometimes can be a pain if your baby is a light sleeper. Good thing is, Momcozy breast pump is likely not disturb a sleeping baby. 
  • Sizing is important: it can contain up to 120ml of milk. Dang!
  • Good battery capacity: up to 4-6 pumping times (around 80 minutes once fully charged).

What we like

  • Wearable
  • Physical buttons can last longer than general touch screen.

What we don't like

  • Some moms complain that it still leaks.
  • Some moms said it didn't stimulate milk as their regular pumps. However, it could be due to wrong flange, wrong mode, etc.
  • Cleaning can be a pain if you don't know how to take it apart.
  • More expensive than other types.

2. TSRETE Wearable Breast Pump 

Once you are introduced the Momcozy wearable pump, this one doesn't come in with a shock.

I meant, I was really in uttermost shock when hearing about the Momcozy wearable breast pump, but when someone told me about the TSRETE wearable pump, the only thing I could think of is: "What is it different from Momcozy?"

I really hate when I read through so many reviews and literally no information at all.

I believe you also hate that too. 

So even though I don't personally use all of these pumps, I spent hours and hours searching for the hands-on experience from other users, so you don't have to.

Let's just take a look at the differences of TSRETE and Momcozy.

  • 2 modes and 9 intensity levels. Cool, good one TSRETE!
  • Quieter than Momcozy. Another point for TSRETE.
  • Cheaper. Awesome

What's more, going through what people have experienced with this pump, there are a lot less moms complaining about getting lower milk amount during a pump.

What we like

  • Affordable

What we don't like

  • Not found yet.

3. OMFMF Wearable Breast Pump 

The differences that this OMFMF Wearable Breast Pump make:

  • 2 modes and 5 intensity levels (same as Momcozy)
  • Support the semi-lying position (love this idea). 
  • Louder than Momcozy (even though the specs said otherwise). 
  • Similar price to Momcozy.
  • Automatically stops after 30 minutes (10 minutes longer than Momcozy).
  • Maximum capacity is 180ml.

What we like

  • Not very quiet and discreet

What we don't like

  • Battery runs out faster than others.

Best Manual Travel Breast Pump

1. Haakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump 

The ingenious Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump is one of the most popular products.  And is a must-have breastfeeding tool for each mama.

Silicone Breast Pump with food-grade silicone is super simple to use. Squeeze, press to your breast, and let the pump do the work for you as it draws your milk using natural suction!

Haakaa Silicone Breast Pumps are the most portable pump you’ll find. 

They fit into any handbag or baby bag. It lets you pump on long-distance trips, planes, at family BBQ, or anywhere. You can express discreetly and quickly. They don’t need any cords, cables, or batteries and are 100% silent. That is super safe for mums, babies, and our environment.

Read more: How to use Haakaa

However, it doesn't mean it is the most effective manual pump. What I find Haakaa do best is to catch milk while I breastfeed my son from the other side.

You know when milk letdown comes during breastfeeding, the tickling feeling from the other side means that your milk is coming out. To avoid pressing it or wasting it, simply apply Haakaa to collect it.

What we like

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Easy to clean
  • Suction is gentle

What we don't like

  • Mainly good for catching milk, not for emptying your breasts.

2. Medela manual breast pump

Medela manual breast pump has the most common design of breast pump, with lever handle so that you can manually adjust the intensity of the pump.

It includes a 24mm breast shield, which is also a common size. However, if you are different size, you have to buy it separately.

Many moms love this breast pump as it can effectively empty them. But some don't.

However, the effectiveness of anything sometimes doesn't depend on its design but on how we use it. I find it the same for this pump.

Sometimes I had a problem emptying myself when using Medela manual breast pump, but sometimes it is my go-to solution to relieve clogged milk ducts.

What we like

  • Easy to use and clean
  • Effective
  • Small and compact

What we don't like

  • Not for everyone
  • The tiny O-ring in the handle that can become worn easily.

3. The Lansinoh Manual Pump 

Same design as the Medela manual breast pump, but this Lansinoh manual pump comes with 2 sizes of ComfortFit Flange (standard 25mm and large 30.5mm).

What's more, it is even compatible with their milk storage bag, that allows you to pump directly into the bag without using main bottle. It is ideal for moms with high milk supply, as they can empty their breasts and store it right away, reducing the hassle of taking it apart and cleaning.

What we like

  • Easy to use and clean
  • Effective
  • Small and compact

What we don't like

  • You need to purchase different size separately.
  • The suction sometimes doesn't do the job right.

4. Elvie Curve Manual Wearable Breast Pump 

For those who are fond of the wearable breast pump but don't like the noise of electric wearable breast pumps like Momcozy, this is ideal.

It is wearable and manual. You just simply press on the silicone pouch to increase suction to your desired level then allow it to work itself. If you press too hard, you can decrease the suction using the control valve on the top of it.

It is kick-proof, which means it won't be knocked off if your little one kicks it.

Elvie Curve is dishwasher safe, BPA free, and made with food-grade silicone. It is safe for mother and baby.

Backed by a limited manufacturer’s warranty for 90 days. The warranty does not cover purchases from non-authorized resellers.

What we like

  • Wearable

What we don't like

  • More like milk collector.
  • Too expensive.


Can I use a portable breast pump to build my milk supply?

A portable breast pump for travel can be more effective than a regular breast pump some times.

Yet it is only better for maintaining milk supply as opposed to building milk supply. In cases you are living with low milk supply, a heavy-duty breast pump is a better option. You can do use a portable breast pump throughout the day. But they tend to deteriorate faster and you can have to replace them soon.

Is a portable breast pump good for exclusive pumping?

Some mothers do use a portable breast pump for exclusive pumping as it’s easier to pump on the move or even at home. But these mothers usually combine a heavy-duty breast pump for use at home and a portable breast pump for use on the go. It is also a good idea to keep a couple of portable breast pumps in case one stops working.

Can I travel with pumped breast milk?

As long as you store your pumped breast milk properly, you can travel with it. Yet, milk must stay frozen and not too long during travel. 

This ensures the milk keeps good quality and avoids contamination.

How do you keep frozen breast milk on a road trip?

I recommend one of some ways to keep frozen breast milk on a road trip: 

  • Buy a small travel fridge that you can plug into your car. Store milk in this controlled environment.
  • Bring a large cooler and pack it down with ice or dry ice. You can refresh the ice as needed, which will keep the milk frozen solid.
  • If you’re spending the night in a hotel on your road trip, bring the milk inside with you. And if you can, put it in the freezer of the hotel.

How long will breast milk stay frozen in a cooler?

A cooler can keep breast milk cold for up to 24 hours, depending on the temperature you are in.

Breast Pump for Travel

Final thought

Pumping while traveling, even though it is a hassle, it can be done. You don't have to worry about low milk supply, clogged milk ducts, and when you get home, you have a little bit of gift to your little one.

Just make sure you select the right one for you and for your trip. 

About the author 

Mai Pham

Mai Pham discovered her passion for writing a few years ago and she never stop thinking about it ever since. She finally took the leap and created Live a Worthy Life to brag about her smart ass (mainly just for fun). Enjoyed the fun writing brings, now with her new interest in everything-baby-related, she created Mommy Instinct, to tell mamas that it's ok that they mess up, that they don't know what the hell they are doing, and that it's okay to sit back and relax for a while.

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