The Best Lunch Boxes and Bags

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Lunch bags are a big deal for kids. Not only are they cool to compare with their friends but they're also essential for holding all their favourite foods and snacks. Whether you're getting ready for school, or you're sending them off to summer camp, a good lunch bag is one of the most important tools they'll need, and one that you'll surely need to tick off of your checklist.

If you've come looking for a good, durable model for your kids, you've come to the right place. Or, if you're an adult that's come looking for one too — don't be bashful. We've highlighted a couple models that will work perfectly if you're going back to work, or if you're in need of an alternative lunch bag with some character and floss. Below is a list of some of the best lunch boxes — some water-resistant, some with really cool designs — for you to check out and buy. Let's get started:

1. Editor's Pick: Bentgo Lunch Bag (Blue) – Insulated Lunch Tote

1. Editor's Pick: Bentgo Lunch Bag (Blue) – Insulated Lunch Tote
  • Main compartment is very spacious
  • Top compartment contains a mesh pocket for storing snacks and drinks
  • Insulated: will keep lunches warm or cool up to four hours
  • PEVA thermal insulation material is leak-proof and food safe
  • Has front zipper pocket, padded carry top handle, and adjustable shoulder strap
  • Too bulky to fit into a standard kid-sized backpack
  • Outer fabric tends to acquire water stains

This lunch bag fits Bento boxes and rectangular-shaped containers well and is insulated, so it will keep your lunches warm or cool up to four hours.

The main compartment in this lunch bag is very spacious, and in addition to the main compartment, there is another compartment above it that stores small containers and snack foods. What's more, the top compartment contains a mesh pocket for storing snacks and drinks. Not to be outdone by its interior, there is also an exterior front zipper pocket, which can hold utensils, napkins, and other items. Additionally, it has lunch bag has a two-way zipper, PEVA insulation, a padded carry top handle with reinforced stitching for durability, and an adjustable, detachable shoulder strap for added comfort.

2. Runner Up: Bentology Lunch Bag and Box Set, Llama

2. Runner Up: Bentology Lunch Bag and Box Set, Llama
  • Affordable
  • Set includes insulated lunch bag, plastic Bento box, and five lidded containers
  • Bento box fits nicely inside lunch bag
  • Also includes matching ice pack and mesh pocket to hold water bottle
  • Multiple compartments for additional storage
  • Latch on lunch box tends to pop open
  • Some parents think this set is on the small side

This affordable set includes an insulated lunch bag, a plastic Bento box, and five other containers with lids. What's more, it also comes with a matching ice pack.

In fact, Bentology's bag comes in a choice of 12 bright colored patterns — something to suit any personality or style. Not only is it fully insulated and leak-resistant, but all of its materials are non-toxic and free of BPA, PVC, phthalates, and lead, making them 100 percent food safe as well.

The great thing about this lunch box is that all of its sub-containers with lids can be put in the microwave, and they're easy to clean and dishwasher-safe. One drawback is the latch on the lunch box tends to pop open, and some parents think this set is a bit on the small side, but there are plenty of workarounds if you can manage it.

3. Also Consider: Packit Freezable Lunch Bag with Zip Closure, Watermelon Party

3. Also Consider: Packit Freezable Lunch Bag with Zip Closure, Watermelon Party
  • Spacious and freezable lunch bag; Bento boxes will fit perfectly
  • Gel liner keeps bag below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for five and a half hours
  • Has a zip top closure that locks in dry, cool air
  • Fabric is non-toxic canvas, and the gel lining is food safe and water-resistant
  • Free from PVC, BPA, phthalate, formaldehyde, and lead
  • Heavier than most other lunch bags
  • Velcro closure in front does not hold well
  • Not safe in dishwasher or washing machine

This spacious, freezable lunch bag has a gel liner that allows the bag to remain below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for five and a half hours. Now you never need to buy separate ice packs or gel packs again; simply fold the bag flat and put it in your freezer for 12 hours before use —ready to chill.

Also, it has a long strap so your child can carry it easily. And there is a buckle handle which your child can use to clip it to their backpack. It has a zip top closure that locks in dry, cool air. Its fabric is non-toxic canvas, and the gel lining within the bag is food safe and water-resistant. Free of PVC, BPA, phthalate, formaldehyde, and lead, this bag is available in dozens of other fabulous patterns and colour combinations like Aqua Tie Dye, Batik Ombre, and Mermaids.

4. Sleeper Pick: Rubbermaid Lunch Box, Medium, Black Etch

4. Sleeper Pick: Rubbermaid Lunch Box, Medium, Black Etch
  • Budget-friendly and perfect for elementary school-aged kids
  • Small and lightweight, yet spacious
  • Insulated, to keep food fresher for longer
  • Fits well in a backpack
  • Has comfortable grip handle and removable shoulder strap
  • None mentioned by users

This small, lightweight lunch bag is budget-friendly and perfect for elementary school-aged kids.

It is designed to hold Rubbermaid LunchBox food containers or any other Tupperware you might have in your home. Simply insert an ice pack — The bag is also insulated to keep your child’s food fresher for longer — and stick your Tupperware containers, packed and ready for a road trip to the beach, or a day of camp for your kid. What's more, this bag comes in a choice of four designs in blue, black, and purple, and it has a side zip closure, which makes it convenient to put in items and take them out. There are also two mesh pockets — one on either side — where you can stash additional food or a water bottle, and lastly, it has a comfortable grip handle and a shoulder strap that is removable.

5. Best Non-Dishwasher Bag: Wildkin Lunch Box, Big Fish

5. Best Non-Dishwasher Bag: Wildkin Lunch Box, Big Fish
  • Insulated lunch bag enables you to pack a hot or cold lunch and maintain freshness
  • Kid-friendly and comes in more than a dozen cute designs
  • Spacious enough to fit a few plastic containers or a Bento box
  • Has inner tab to store water bottle
  • Has interior mesh pouch and exterior zippered front pocket
  • White interior stains easily
  • Zippers tend to get stuck
  • Not dishwasher-safe

This lunch box is an insulated fabric bag. It is kid-friendly and comes in more than a dozen cute designs — one to match any personality!

If you're looking for an insulated, spacious lunch bag, this one sure does it trick. It's spacious enough to fit a few plastic containers or a Bento box, and it has a mesh pouch inside where you put an ice pack, utensils, or napkins. With an inner tab to stash a water bottle, and additional front-pocket storage for snacks and other items it's made of durable, polyester fabric and an interior moisture-resistant nylon lining that makes it food safe and free of PVC, BPA, and phthalates. While it's not dishwasher-safe, it's fairly easy to clean — IF you clean it after each use.

What to Look for in a Lunch Bag

Before buying, it's important to consider some of the features and qualities to think about when looking for one for your child. We've highlight a list of things to think about below:

Quality: Always look for a lunch box or bag that has a reputation for good quality. Often you can find out this information by reading the reviews. You want a box or bag that will last season after season, rather than one that will fall apart after one wash. Also look for a box or bag that will seal well and keep your food fresh.

Safety: Safety is very important whenever you are buying something for your little one. Make sure the hinges and latches are set properly and won’t punch or cut your child’s fingers.

Stainless-steel options are always a good choice, but there aren’t many lunch boxes made of this material, so look for ones that are free of BPA, PVC, phthalates, lead, and other harmful chemicals or additives.

Function: Function is super important when choosing lunch boxes and bags. Choose a container that will work with the types of lunches your child likes to eat and you like to make. Check if there are enough compartments to hold everything and keep the items apart, including a spot for a water bottle. Above all, it needs to be leak-proof. And make sure your child can open and close all the compartments and pockets. Also check that the lunch box or bag will fit into your child’s backpack, or to see if they'll have to carry it. For some kids, that can make a huge diffenece.

Fashion: This is the fun part. There are literally hundreds of different designs to choose from. There is something out there to fit any child’s tastes.

Accessories: Some lunch boxes and bags come with a plethora of supplies and tools to make and carry an exciting school lunch. Examples might include matching water bottles, ice packs, utensils, and packing tools. Have fun shopping for a lunch box or bag for your loved one. By comparing brands and considering quality, safety, function, fashion, and accessories, you are sure to find one that suits both your needs!

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Have you tried one of these lunch boxes? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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