The 11 Best Lunch Boxes to Buy for Your Kids and Yourself This School Year
I was never much of a lunch carrier user until I graduated college. During the four years prior, I found myself tossing my lunch, dinner, and snacks into a small tote bag before rushing out the door to class. But this generally led to hot meals that desperately needed warming and cold snacks that quickly dropped to room temp. In short—my meals quickly became unappetizing and I’d toss more than I should have.
When I moved after college, my mom gifted me her Gaiam lunch bag (see below), which I’ve now happily used every day for over a year. It’s completely changed the game, expanding the types of foods I can pack and keeps my lunches fresh all morning long. Who knew the right lunch bag would make all the difference?
As the new school year rolls around (yes, it’s coming!), it’s time to reconsider your own brown-bag lunch strategy and look into replacing your kiddos’ tattered lunch bags from last school year. Here are our staff’s 11 favorite lunch boxes on the market—there’s a perfect pick for every member of your household.
For the No-Frills Luncher
This snack sack is the ideal size for packing your mid-day meal and pick-me-up snacks. It’s the most basic bag out there—just an insulated, leak-resistant tote with a velcro top—but it’s durable and will not let you down. Done and done.
For the Fashion Forward
This chic Kate Spade “out to lunch” tote bag is perfect for the those who can appreciate the lunch box as an opportunity to accessorize. With an insulated interior, gold zipper, and stylish polka dot design—everything about this lunch bag says, I have good taste.
Buy It: Out to Lunch Tote, $30
For the Practical Eater
If you want a classic look with all the keep-it-cool technology, then this is the lunch tote for you. The bag features two main compartments, high density thermal insulation, easy to clean lining, a comfortable carrying handle, and both a flap and zipper top.
For the Do-Good Gal
This adorable, double-handle lunch bag boasts a sweet ice cream bar pattern, a convenient side pocket for drinks, and a name tag to make sure your (or your kid’s) bag stands out from the bunch. Plus, every time you buy a Yoobi item, another will be donated to a classroom in need.
For the Pretty Princess
Your little one will love dining with 10 of their favorite Disney princesses every time the lunch bell rings. Choose from five lunch box styles that meet your child’s individual meal time needs, and add a touch of personalization with their initials inscribed on the front.
For the Color Lover
Designer Vera Bradley brings seven unique patterns to the lunch table this school year. The colorful lightweight exterior makes the back easy to pack, and the water repellent finish is essential to avoid stains.
Buy It: Lunch Cooler, $38
For the Future Mr. Incredible
If your little hero can’t stop running around asking, where’s my supersuit?, grab this bag today. With two large, insulated compartments you’ll have plenty of space to pack all of the fuel your kiddo needs to get through the day. Pair the lunch bag with this adorable 10-ounce Incredibles thermos for a complete set.
Buy It: Incredibles 2 Lunch Tote, $9.99
For the Meal Prepper
For the epic commuter who needs more than one meal on hand, this bag is the answer to your early morning prayers. The insulated duffel bag keeps multiple meals, drinks, and snacks at a safe temperature and comes with two 3-in-1 bento containers and three ice bricks to keep things cool.
For the Casual Toter
If carrying around a traditional lunch box isn’t quite your thing—we found something for you. The set can easily be masked as a simple tote bag, and includes one 2-cup container with ice pack, one 1-cup container, and one 20-ounce water bottle for perfect packing.
For Those Who Eat in a Galaxy Far Far Away
This glow-in-the-dark lunch bag will be the talk of the playground. Covered in illustrations of the Millenium Falcon, L3-L7, and the Kessel crew, your Star Wars loving little one will go crazy for this too-cool bag.
For the Outdoorsman
If your lunch break occasionally happens to be on the lake, this adult-sized lunch box is the way to go. Available in three timeless colors, this classic, rugged lunch bag will never go out of style. And with its easy-to-clean interior and durable nylon shell, it will last you for years to come.
Buy It: L.L.Bean Lunch Bag, $24.95