Make Grocery Shopping Easier & Safer With These Insulated Bags

Amazon / Bustle

It’s not just inconvenient when your cold or frozen groceries begin to thaw on the way home from the supermarket — warming food can also lead to spoilage, which can make you sick. Fortunately, the best insulated grocery bags keep your cold groceries cold on warm days and even keep your to-go food piping hot when you’re picking up an order from a restaurant.

When shopping for an insulated bag, your number one priority should be to find one that has crucial insulating layers. The best insulated bags use a combination of foil linings that reflect heat back toward the food, plus foam or other insulating materials to reduce heat transfer, helping to keep your items at a food safe temperature. Your bag should also have a zip closure so that you can seal it shut when you’re not packing or unpacking it.

In general, most readily available insulated grocery bags will have an interior capacity of 7 to 10 gallons and hold around 30 pounds. Single-use plastic grocery bags typically have a much smaller capacity, which means one reusable insulated bag can hold multiple plastic grocery bags’ worth of stuff. If you tend to buy lots of groceries at once, you may find that you need multiple insulated bags (or one extra-large insulated bag) to hold all your items.

Whether you’re looking for a tote-style bag, a budget-friendly pair of bags, or a stylish bag with a shoulder strap, here are the best insulated grocery bags to make grocery shopping easier and safer — and they’re all available on Amazon.

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The Best Insulated Shopping Tote

Capacity: 10 gallons

This Rachael Ray Jumbo ChillOut Thermal Tote Bag is constructed with Triple-Tek foam insulation and reflective Temperfoil lining to keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. The bag is treated with Sanafor to stave off mold and bacteria, and its lining has sealed seams to prevent leaks. It has a traditional tote-like shape with a zipper closure, but you can also adjust the handles to carry it horizontally, which is super convenient for sheet cakes and other flat items. The exterior features a slip pocket for small items.

The weight capacity isn't listed by the manufacturer but, according to Amazon reviewers, the Jumbo ChillOut Thermal Tote Bag can handle at least 20 pounds. Available in seven colors, this bag folds up for easy storage and can be wiped clean if it gets dirty.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “This is an amazing tote. Where we live you have to have something to keep the cold groceries cold on the way home or you had better be ready to eat all the frozen items immediately. I was amazed at how much the tote could actually hold and still zip the zipper. I definitely will buy another one.”


The Best Budget Insulated Grocery Bag

Capacity: 7.8 gallons

These VENO Bag Insulated Reusable Grocery Bags are a steal. While they may be slightly smaller than the above Rachael Ray Jumbo ChillOut Thermal Tote Bag, each rectangular bag can manage 30 pounds of food. They also have dual tab zippered tops for convenience and fold flat when not in use. If they get dirty, you can simply wipe them clean.

The bags are made from recycled fabric and are lined with an aluminum-covered thermal insulation. They aren’t reinforced with stiff cardboard or plastic siding, which means they can be floppy when they’re not full. But that's a small price to pay for a budget-friendly two-pack of bags that have hundreds of five-star reviews.

These bags are available in six colors and can be purchased in packs of two or three, or in a jumbo pack that includes a set of reusable produce bags.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “Love the fact that they zip and keep food cold for awhile. I usually pick up groceries on Saturday, right before running other errands, and when I get home a couple hours later, items are still nice and cold.. Perfect size, you can get a lot into these bags.”


The Best Insulated Grocery Bag That's Worth Splurging On

Capacity: 8 gallons

The CleverMade SnapBasket Thermo LUXE Tote proves that insulated reusable bags can be legitimately chic. The 8-gallon bag can carry up to 30 pounds and has a supportive, rigid bottom. Its thermal insulation and reflective foil lining help preserve the temperature of your groceries.

Unlike the other bags on this list, the CleverMade SnapBasket Thermo LUXE Tote features a long shoulder strap in addition to sturdy top handles. Plus, the bag's patented SnapHinges keep the tote upright when in use — when the bag is empty, just push in the side hinges to snap it down flat.

It comes in two colors with a shoulder strap, plus six more colors without the shoulder strap. You can snag a cheaper non-insulated version of the bag, too, if you need something to carry nonperishable items.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “I love not only the look of this shopping basket, but its functionality. [...] I feel like I probably save at least 3 plastic grocery bags each time I use this basket. Just used it yesterday and the store employee even commented on how much it holds. Snaps down and up easily, and it has been holding up well over the past couple of months. I highly recommend this basket, especially for those who go to the store frequently!”


The Best Extra-Large Insulated Grocery Bag

Capacity: 20.9 gallons

If you need a large-capacity insulated bag, the NZ Home Food Delivery Bag is the one for you. It can carry a whopping 20.9 gallons' worth of groceries and has a weight limit of 45 pounds — yet it only weighs 3 ounces and folds up when not in use. The exterior is constructed of a thick polypropylene fabric with lightweight PE foam insulation; inside, you'll find an aluminum layer and a reinforced bottom. It has two sets of durable, comfortable handles, an exterior transparent pocket, and a zippered top.

The NZ Home Food Delivery Bag is a fantastic option for bulk grocery shopping as well as deliveries and catering or carrying food on weekend trips. Because of its sheer size, this bag can get really heavy when it’s full, so consider keeping it in the car and loading smaller reusable bags into it after a grocery run.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “We hate melted ice cream and warm milk caused by a hot trunk on the way home from the grocery store. The NZ Food Delivery bag is a perfect solution so that I don't need to keep a big plastic cooler in my car, yet have a big insulated storage container when I need it.”