Let’s admit it, lunch time is our favorite time may it be in the school or in the office. So how disappointing can it be to find that your lunch has either spoilt or has gotten too warm to enjoy? It contains your day’s meal and the nourishment you need to replenish what you used the first half and gain what you need for the rest of the work or school day. This is why an efficient lunch box is important.
So What Do You Need to Look for in a Lunch Box?
It has to maintain temperature well. Not entirely keep it frozen or smoking hot per se, but it must be able to keep your food at the right temperature – keeping it away from the danger zone or the temperature at which the bacteria in the food multiplies rapidly, causing spoilage and illnesses.
The lunch box will most likely be used 5 days a week, carrying your day’s meal and some snack, maybe a bottle of water and some juice packs – so it needs to be durable enough to withstand the weight it will carry, your daily transportation to work, and sometimes accidentally being dropped or bumped and the like.
Before getting a lunch box, think about how much food you have to pack in a day. Do you bring two meals, like a breakfast on the go and lunch? Does your little one bring extra snacks or an extra pack of juice? Do you need extra compartments for condiments, a water bottle or a medicine pocket? That should help you decide on the size of the lunch box you are getting. Something not too big that you or your child will have a hard time carrying or maybe something small enough to fit in your bag.
Especially for your child, you want a lunch box that is easy to clean. It must be at least stain and leak resistant, you cannot avoid sauces, soup or drinks to drip or spill on the bag so it’s best if the bag can either be wiped clean or machine washed. It’s less hassle, and safer for you and the kids to have a lunch box that is always clean and fresh before putting new food in.
This may not be a big deal for some, but it is important to note some things, for example: Avoid lunch boxes that are too bulky, if you commute to work – it will be a hassle standing on the bus or train carrying it, and it will be difficult to carry for your child since they also have a school bag to carry. It is best to get a lunch box that opens completely as it will give you or your little one easier access to the contents, and it will be easier for you to organize the containers or the drinks too.
Best Lunch Boxes to Keep Food Cold
MIER Expandable Lunch Bag
This is best for those who like to have a flexibility in their lunch bag. The bag is 7.5 X 3.5 X9.5 inches when compressed, and can be expanded to 7.5 X 6.3 X 9.5 inches if maybe you are working longer hours and needs to bring an extra meal or snack. The bag has three compartments, the main insulated compartment is for your meal and/or drink, it also has the mesh pocket for utensils or an ice pack, and in front you have a tiny zippered pocket for vitamins, medicines or keys.
The Mier Expandable Lunch Bag can be carried in three different ways, it has a horizontal and vertical padded handles, plus an adjustable and removable shoulder strap. It is easy to clean, and is pretty much leak proof except for the zipper parts so it’s best to carry it using the horizontal handle where you can also attach the shoulder strap.
Igloo Playmate Gripper Maxcold
Coming from one of the major brands in making coolers, the Igloo Playmate Gripper Maxcold has the patented tent-shaped top, which protects your food from getting crushed and acts as a secondary insulated compartment – most likely for your fruits or snacks. The main compartment has a thick insulation and a mesh pocket for your ice packs so your food and drinks will stay cold until it’s time for you to eat. You also have small slip pockets in front and at the back of the bag for little things like keys or spare change.
The inside of the bag is antimicrobial and leak-proof, keeping your food safe and the bag easy to clean. It measures 10.2 x 8.5 x 10.5 inches and is only 15.2 ounces so it will not be difficult to carry even if you are commuting to work or school daily.
Srise Lunch Box Insulated Lunch Bag
This classy, modern lunch tote is not just pleasing to the eyes, but it is functional too. The exterior of the bag is made with moisture resistant oxford fabric, so it’s easy to clean and will hardly harbor any stain. The insulated interior of the bag is leak proof, so you can put it inside your work bag and not worry about it messing up your documents or clothes inside.
The bag is 9.45 x 5.51 x 9.45 inches, giving you enough room to pack at least two lunch containers and still have a space for a drink, an extra snack, or an ice pack or two. The two outer zippered pockets on both sides of the bag can be used for utensils, medicines or keys.
MAZFORCE Original Lunch Box
This highly rated insulated lunch box from Mazforce has a sleek, casual design that will look good on you no matter what your fashion style is. It looks compact, but inside you can fit multiple food containers or snacks since it has a separate mesh pocket outside for your drinks so your sandwiches and fruits will not get squashed by it. There’s also a separate mesh pocket on the inside compartment for utensils or ice packs to keep your food cold.
Another thing you will notice is that the handle on the bag has a buckle on it, allowing you to attach it to your backpack or body bag for easier carrying. The lunch box is 4.5 x 8.7 x 10.2 inches and is leak and water proof so you can even just put it inside your main work or school bag without having to worry about spills.
Rubbermaid LunchBlox Lunch Bag
Don’t be fooled by this lunch bag’s petite look as it definitely packs a punch! Although specifically designed to carry Rubbermaid’s LunchBlox line, it can also accommodate several of your regular lunch containers and a couple of ice packs. You can put your utensils or ice packs on the mesh pocket located on the innder side of the flap and it even has mesh bottle holders on each side so you can carry a water bottle and a coffee tumbler on the other.
It measures 5.4 x 8.8 x 8.9 inches and weighs only 7.2 ounces despite its heavy duty insulation. The bag has a comfortable handle on top and has a removable and adjustable shoulder strap too.
Everest Cooler Lunch Bag
Meticulously designed by the experts at Everest comes their cooler lunch bag, this is surely something that both you and your little one can share the love for! Being made by a major brand, you are guaranteed that the materials used in this lunch bag is high quality and durable enough for daily use.
It has fun designs to choose from for the family and has the perfect size at 8.7 x 6.3 x 7.5 inches to fit a whole day’s meal may it be for school or for work. The zipper goes around the bag giving you easy access to the roomy main compartment, making it a breeze to organize your food containers before and after eating. There’s a front zipper for utensils, keys or medicine, while the side mesh pockets can be used for water bottles and other drinks.
PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag with Zip Closure
If you are looking for a bag that is packed with features, then this is the one you are looking for! PackIt’s Freezable Lunch Bag can be folded flat and left on your freezer for up to 12 hours so that the built in patented freezable gel in the bag is ready to cool your food and drinks for the rest of the day. It allows you extra room for snacks or drinks as you will not need to put it ice packs to keep your food chilled.
You can purchase this freezable bag for you and your kids as it has more than THIRTY varieties to choose from anywhere from plain colors to simple patters to fun designs for the little ones. It has a buckle handle allowing you to attach it to your child’s backpack or to your work bag easily.
Thermos Soft Lunch Kit
Another trusted brand in making high quality food and drink containers, Thermos introduces their Soft Lunch Kit for Kids (and kids at heart). The lunch bag is equipped with Thermos’ exceptional foam insulation to guarantee your little one’s food stays fresh and yummy by the time their snack time or lunch break arrives. There’s over forty character designs for your kids to choose from, anywhere from Star Wars, Hello Kitty, Minions, Barbie, Unicorns to Fire Trucks and Police Cars – this will definitely make them more excited to go to school every day.
The bag is made with durable materials that can withstand “kid-handling” and have ample amount of space for a day’s worth of meal and snacks. It measures 3.8 x 9.5 x 7.5 inches and weighs 6.4 ounces just big enough that a little child will not have trouble carrying it with the help of its padded handle.
Wildkin Kids Insulated Lunch Box
The Wildkin Kids Insulated Lunch Box is thoughtfully designed to carry most bento boxes in the market such as Bentgo and Yumbox, and also matches with Wildkin’s Kiddie Backpack and Nap Mat making it easier for you to make a theme for your kid’s school gears. This lunch box offers more than a dozen fun designs your little one will enjoy choosing from, and it is also eco-friendly making it safer to use to put their food in.
The exterior of the bag is made with high quality fabric that is easy to clean, while the interior has superior insulation allowing it to retain the food’s temperature better and a Velcro strap for drinks to avoid squashing sandwiches or fruits. It measures 7 x 3.2 x 9.8 inches, you can easily fit in a bento box, some snacks and a drink, and weighs only 6.4 ounces light enough for your child to carry.
Skip Hop Zoo Kids Insulated Lunch Box
It helps to have a friendly face on your child’s first day in school, and what best way to give them that than their cute favorite animal holding their well-loved snacks and juice inside? The Skip Hop Zoo Kids Insulated Lunch Box is best for toddlers and little kids just starting to get used to school or day care, it has vibrantly colored cute animal designs that the young ones will surely love.
This kiddie lunch box measures 9 x 7.5 x 3.2 inches and is lightweight at only 2.4 ounces. The main compartment of the bag can fit a sandwich container, a juice box and a fruit or snack comfortably, the inner flap has an interior mesh for their utensils or napkin and also holds a nameplate tag where you can write their name. The handle of the bag is adjustable and has a buckle so you can clip it on their backpack or stroller.
There’s more to choosing a lunch box than just a cute design, it’s important that it is able to keep your food fresh and safe to eat. It’s great that nowadays, it’s not that hard to find one that can do both, with all these brands making better and better products each time. Hope you have an amazing time choosing a lunch box with your little one! If you are always on the go and in the construction industry, please read our post about the best lunch boxes for construction workers.
Last update on 2019-11-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API