Our Favorite Lunch Boxes For Adults Fully Reviewed
Many runners also really enjoy the outdoors. This means camping, hiking, and days at the beach. A good adult lunch box can make these experiences that much better. Some lunch boxes are insulated, while others are made for quick meals on the go. The type of lunchbox you purchase is really based on your needs. We reviewed a huge range of different products and listed the best of the best for our readers to check out.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 17 hrs of research
- Large enough to carry a days worth of food
- Separation of dry and cold food
- Portable and durable
Our Favorite Lunch Boxes For Adults
- Large enough to carry a days worth of food
- Separation of dry and cold food
- Portable and durable
- Size can be too big
- Top compartment is bigger than bottom
This thermal tote lunch bag is roomy enough to fit a whole day worth of meals. It’s all about the organization with its double-decker design that keeps hot and cold foods separate. It’s eco-friendly, easy to clean, portable and affordable.Read more
This lunch box makes packing lunch, drinks, and snacks in a neatly fashion possible. The upper section is made for holding fruit and other snacks and dry food, whereas the bottom is ideal for a Tupperware container, with enough room for two cans of soda or a large bottle of water. Complete with insulated PEVA lining, there is enough room to add an ice pack, although it will keep food slightly chilled on its own. The pocket in the front is great for holding utensils and napkins, and there are pockets on the side for additional storage.
This option comes with a handle and shoulder strap that is detachable and weighs in at only 13.6 ounces. It’s large enough to fit plenty of food, but that means it is almost the size of a backpack.
Its interior lining helps to prevent leaks. It is not dishwasher safe, but simple to take care of—just wipe to clean.
2. Coleman 9-Can Soft Cooler
- Great quality, especially for price
- Plenty of room for drinks
- Ideal option for portable cooler
- Lining can wear over time
- No top handle for carrying
- Smaller for some when packing drinks
Lightweight, but big enough to hold nine cans inside, this lunch box is known for delivering high quality for an affordable price. It’s perfect for packing lunch and is easy to clean with antimicrobial properties to ward off germs and odors. Plus it has a removable liner.Read more
This option can fit nine cans when placed on their side, or four standard size water bottles standing upright. This cooler has four places to put water bottles, plus has front and side pockets for additional storage. There is enough room for lunch with extra room to spare (when not filled with drinks), perfect for adding an ice pack with the hard plastic liner or ice substitutes without it. It is also equipped with a bungee cord on top.
Weighing at just under a pound and combined with its adjustable shoulder strap, this is one portable option that can be used also as a cooler to take to the beach or sporting event.
The FDA-approved liner is safe to store foods and drinks and is made with antimicrobial properties that make it easy to clean. This also prevents mildew, mold, and odors.
- Compact, yet spacious
- Many color choices
- Great price
- No handle strap
- Vinyl inside can wear and tear over time
This insulated bag may look small, but looks are deceiving. There is ample space for lunch, snacks, and drinks. It has a vinyl interior, which makes it easy to clean, an adjustable strap for travel, and comes in many different colors for a great price from a brand you can trust.Read more
The main insulated zippered compartment is deep and spacious enough for storing a sandwich or Tupperware. There is a front pocket that zippers for napkins, utensils and dried snacks, as well as two side mesh pocks that are great for holding drinks or condiments.
This cooler bag features an adjustable strap for carrying. It weighs only 12 ounces, which is ideal for taking to and from work and the gym.
The interior is lined with vinyl, helping to make it easy to clean in case of spills.
4. Evolutionize EDC
- Enough room for three plus meals
- Strong ripstop fabric
- EPA foam insulation for keeping food cool
- Slightly heavy
- Large, yet compact
Made for those who love to meal prep, this lunch box can fit up to four take-out containers without being overly bulky. It has room to bring protein shakes and is organized to separate fruits from utensils. Plus it comes with three meal prep containers, meal prep bag and gel pack.Read more
This is the best option for those who want to bring enough meals to last a day on the road with them. Because it is so massive, it can hold three full-size meal prep containers (included) and a gel pack for keeping things cool in the main compartment. The top compartment is big enough to fit a fourth container or other snacks, keeping non-perishable foods separate. The side pocket can hold two protein shakes, with other mesh pockets available for extra storage.
Although this is a full-size lunch box, it isn’t overly bulky. However, it is a little heavy at 2.7 pounds. It comes with a seatbelt webbing handle and strap for carrying.
The containers included are a freezer, microwave, and dishwasher safe. The durable bag itself has extra thick PEVA inner lining to make messes simple to clean by wiping it down.
Comes with no-leak meal prep containers
Insulation works well
Handy shoulder strap
Includes shaker cup, ice pack, and a pill box for supplements
Some users felt it was too small
This lunch box is a great option for meal planners. It comes with six reusable dishwasher and microwave safe plastic containers, a shaker cup, and even a 7 compartment pill box, as well as an ice pack. The bag itself is well insulated and has a shoulder strap making it easy to carry. Reviewers loved the quality of the bag, saying it is well-made and durable, however, a few customers felt that it was too small.Read more
The bag has double walled insulation and can be used for hot or cold meals. Most people found it kept foods cold for long periods of time as long as the food was already cold. Trying to put cool down food inside of any cooler isn't a great idea for food safety reasons.
It looks like a typical gym back. The graphic logo is eye-catching and the stitching and construction are high-quality.
Users found that both the meal prep containers and the bag itself were well-made and long-lasting. Really the only major complaint that we found was that a couple of people felt the meal prep containers and the bag itself were too small, but this seems to be an isolated instance and most people were really happy with the size and said it helped them to control their portions perfectly.
The bag has a comfortable shoulder strap making it easy to carry. It's also fairly compact so bringing it with you shouldn't be an issue.
This one has durable no-leak containers with four-sided snapping lids, an external carrying pouch for the shaker cup, and comes with everything you need including an ice pack.
- Slim and small enough to fit into a bag
- Comes with “World of Bento” recipe book
- Not ideal for salads
This is a more trendy option, designed to be like Japanese Bento Boxes, featuring one large and two small isolated compartments. Great for keeping meals separate from snacks, it is leakproof, easy to clean, and comes with a recipe guide for delicious meals. The body can also be left in the freezer overnight to keep food cold the next day.Read more
This leak-proof lunch box has three compartments that portions and keeps foods separate and sealed from each other. This is ideal for preventing foods from getting soggy. It allows the user to keeps snacks or carbs in the smaller box, with the entree in the large section.
Unlike the other options on this list, this lunch box is slim and compact enough to fit inside a gym bag, purse or briefcase. It comes with a 9” x 9” bento box and its accompanying insulated bag. It’s the perfect size for traveling with and comes with a handle.
This option is dishwasher, freezer, and microwave safe—just remove the lid. Its design makes it the easiest to clean on this list.
7. Rubbermaid LunchBlox
- Ideal for other Rubbermaid lunch products
- Wears and tears over time
For an extremely affordable price, this lunch bag is compact, lightweight, and portable. It is small enough to fit into a bigger bag, while still being big enough to pack lunch and drinks. It also is insulated to keep food cold longer with an ice pack or warm.Read more
This option features one large zippered compartment that is insulated. It has enough space for Rubbermaid LunchBlox food containers and Blue ice packs. There are two mesh side pockets that hold one large bottle, as well as a utensil and compartment inside.
Featuring a comfort-grip handle, this option is light enough to carry around. It also comes with a removable shoulder strap.
This lunch box is microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe. Because the main compartment zips down, it’s extremely easy to wipe down to clean.
8. Fit & Fresh Jaxx Fitpak
- Comes with all the accessories you need
- Great price point
- Several color options, BPA free
- Microwave safe
- Dishwasher safe
- Ample space
- No shoulder strap
- Containers may be difficult to open because they seal so tightly
This Fit & Fresh Jaxx Fitpack is a meal prepper dream lunch box. It comes with several additional accessories, so you can comfortably store your food, prevent messes, and make sure you have everything you need in one place! If you aren't looking for a well-organized lunch box that can carry everything you need then this isn't the best option for you--but if you are then this just might be your perfect lunch box!Read more
This lunch box is great for meal preppers and those of you who like to keep your food and snacks perfectly separated. It comes equipped with 6 leak-proof portion control containers, a shaker bottle, ice pack, and storage space for utensils and napkins. Overall this lunch box is well organized, easy to use, and will hold everything you need throughout the day.
This option perfectly fits everything you need and allows you to easily, and cleanly put everything back once your done eating from each container. It comes with a handle and ample storage room for everything. It easy to carry and will not be a hassle to take from place to place.
This lunch box and its accessories are BPA free, microwave safe, and dishwasher safe. Making them safe to use and easy to clean.
- Patent eco-gel that keeps foods cold
- No carrying handles
- Velcro becomes undone when too full
Put this lunch bag in the freezer, and it keeps food cold for up to 10 hours without needing ice packs thanks to its patented eco-gel liner. It’s light and compact and comes with a one-year limited warranty.Read more
The PackIt lunch box resembles a brown paper bag when it comes to design. It has only one main compartment, with the top folding over and is fastened by velcro. There is space for a container for salad and snacks, although it will only hold one meal and small goodies. What makes it stand out is that it has an exclusive eco-gel that is built into the liner that helps keep food fresh longer. It’s the perfect size to store in the freezer for even more long-lasting chill when used the next day.
This is an extremely portable option, weighing just over a pound. Plus it folds to be very slim when empty. But it’s best when put into a gym bag, purse or briefcase because it doesn’t come with any handle or shoulder straps.
This bag is not meant to get clean it the dishwater or washing machine. Instead, it’s recommended to hand wash both the interior and exterior with mild soap and a damp cloth.
10. Monbento Original
- Stylish Bento Box
- Removable divider for organization
- White container stains
- More expensive
- Not as portable
This BPA-free option has a modern design, is dishwasher and microwave safe (just take off the silicon lid), and features separating compartments. It’s for foodies who like eating in style.Read more
With its unique design, this is a trendy option for those looking to Instagram their meals. BPA-free and airtight to prevent leaks, it comes with a removable divider to keep dry and chilled foods separate. Although it looks small, it is deep enough to fit more than a dinner plate worth of food.
Lightweight and visually appealing to show off, this Bento Box-style lunch box is best carried in another bag. It doesn’t have any carrying handles and probably won’t fit in most briefcases.
Easy to clean thanks to its design, it’s best to hand wash, but can also go into the dishwasher.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Nothing else matters if it doesn't keep your food cold (or hot).
This is obviously one of the most important things to look at before buying an adult lunch box, especially if you plan on taking any cold foods with you, or want to keep something warm instead. All of the options on our list used closed cell foams of varying densities to keep their contents hot or cold.
Basically, closed cell foam is a type of foam where the individual cells of the foam are closed off to air and moisture. This makes them ideal for insulation, especially in coolers, because they won't hold on to moisture. If they did hold on to moisture they would almost immediately lose their insulating abilities because the water would act as a thermal bridge from the warm outside air to the cool inside and there goes your lunch!
Additionally, because closed cell foam doesn't absorb the water you don't have to worry that it will get wet and therefore very heavy. Another feature that some of these lunch boxes have is dual insulation. This means there is a layer of insulating foam, then an open space filled with air, and then another layer of foam. This increases the insulating abilities of the cooler even more.
Style is important as many working adults want to maintain and professional image, even in the break room.
As adults, no one really expects us to carry lunch boxes with our favorite superheroes on them (no offense if you’re sporting a Wolverine lunch box). In this sense, it’s important to have a sleek and mature design that really complements your style. Design in this context also means more than aesthetics. It has to do with the functionality of the lunch box as a whole.
Will it have enough compartments and pockets for all of your foods? Does it maintain foods at the right temperature? And, will it stand up to excessive wear and tear? We looked at all of this and more when choosing the lunch boxes with the best designs for this list.
If you are planning to invest in a new lunch box you are going to of course want to make sure it is durable and will hold up well.
Whether you’re packing your lunch for the office or for an extended camping trip, you want to be sure that the lunchbox can stand up to whatever you’re doing. Durability is a huge factor when purchasing things like this. The last thing you want is for the insulation to give out and spoil the lunch that you were looking forward to.
You need to look at the materials, the types of insulation used, and the way that the lunchbox is sealed. Some models prefer Velcro, while others use zippers or snaps. Velcro has a tendency to wear out quickly and can pick up things from outside. When looking at models that use this option, make sure that they’re using a higher-quality Velcro then your standard lunchboxes. The model that you choose needs to be well aligned with your personal needs. To determine how long these products last we looked at the specs, construction quality, and materials, and also considered over 2000 reviewers from users to see what their experience has been like. Then we assigned each one a score so you can easily see how it will hold up over time.
Lunchboxes are made to be portable and most of them are well designed but this is still an important feature to consider.
Depending on what it’s being used for, some lunch boxes are bigger than others. But even though they are larger, they must also be portable enough to actually be taken with the consumer. Here we looked at whether or not the lunch box is lightweight, if it includes a handle or strap, and whether or not it can fit inside a bigger bag.
In the end, all of the products on this list are quite portable, and your needs will determine which one you buy. For example, if you're only looking to carry your lunch, we definitely recommend going with a smaller sized option. Not only will this be easier to carry but it will also make it easier for your ice packs to keep the contents cold since there isn't as much volume to keep cool. If you're going to be gone all day and want to take all of your meals with you, you'll obviously need something that's larger and able to handle that kind of capacity. Or you might just want something that allows you to bring a case of cold beer to the beach. In this case, we hope you'll have some friends meeting you!
Consider the added features that can make your lunch box the best that it can be.
When packing perishable food or drink, it’s crucial to consider if the lunch box is insulated or not. Does it keep food cold/warm? Would, could, or should the consumer need to use an ice pack?
If a lunch box isn’t able to maintain a temperature, you could end up needing additional supplies like ice packs or extra insulation. You also need to see whether or not the lunch box can withstand being kept in the freezer or in high temperatures. If extreme temperatures cause the bag to break down faster or get damaged, then it may not be the lunch box for you. It’s always best to consider exactly what you’ll be doing with the lunch box before purchasing a certain model.
Even the most leak-proof options may have some spills or leftover crumbs. These messes must be cleaned. How hard is it to clean this option? Do smells linger?
Whether you are training for a big race or just want to stick to your nutrition, the type of lunch box that consumer purchases should be tailored to suit their dietary needs. That might mean only looking for insulated options to keep food fresh longer, or choosing ones with room for large water bottles when looking to drink more water or a space to hold that post-gym protein shake. Think about what kinds of food that will be packed to see which one will work best.
Size is important when it comes to picking the best lunch box. Some may be carrying it alone, while others might normally travel with more than one bag. Consider if an option is just too bulky to take.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
While having enough space is important, having too much space can mean things get lost or shuffled around in the lunch box. No one wants to be scrambling around to find their snack when at their desk. That’s why the organization is key. There should be a place or pocket for everything, so the consumer knows just where their napkins or even keys are.
It is important for your health that your lunch box is insulated if you are going to keep cold food inside for any length of time.
In order to truly work well and keep your food cold, it's essential that you don't try to use the cooler as a fridge by asking it to cool down hot or even warm food. This can lead to food safety issues which can lead to illness and not being able to train.
Other Factors to Consider
Some lunch boxes come with containers or work well with containers sold by that same brand. How many containers and what size they depend on each option. Those who typically pack a sandwich and some fruit might not care about containers, whereas those who prefer leftovers or entrees might want to consider bento box style options.
Spills And Stains
Using containers or sealed Ziploc bags are the ideal way to avoid spills. There are lunch boxes on the market that claim to be leak-proof thanks to its interior liner. Take this into consideration when making a lunch box choice. Some options that are more like meal kits might say they will prevent spills, but when carrying in a larger bag, it’s better to be safe than sorry. And even though light spills won’t soak through the box, some lunch boxes can easily stain depending on their color and material.
It doesn’t cost that much for a high quality lunch box, but prices do vary. Surprisingly, some only cost a few bucks and still are among the best out there. Just because it costs more doesn’t mean it will perform better. How much a consumer is willing to spend is up to them, but generally, this is a worthy (and cheap) investment. Just think about all the money saved from going out to buy lunch.
A well-insulated lunchbox can keep foods fresher for a longer period of time and can maintain temperatures as well. This means that you can take healthy and perishable foods with you. Runners understand that their bodies are under a lot of stress. It never hurts to have a little extra fuel to keep you going when you’ve already burned through your last meal. Distance running is particularly difficult and requires more hydration and more frequent meals.
Many runners also really enjoy the outdoors. This means camping, hiking, and days at the beach. A good adult lunch box can make these experiences that much better. Nowadays, there are plenty of options for you to choose from. Some lunchboxes are insulated, while others are made for quick meals on the go. The type of lunchbox you purchase is really based on your needs. We reviewed a huge range of different products and listed the best of the best for our readers to check out.
It is important to consider the way you plan to use your lunchbox and what your specific wants and needs are going to be. Lunch boxes are made to serve a specific purpose. They transport food, but there are plenty of other features that can make one better than the other.
An adult lunch box needs to be considerate of an adult diet. This means it needs to have more space for larger portions of different types of foods. It also needs to be durable enough to withstand the types of activities that you plan on using it for. If it falls apart the first time it gets rained on, then it definitely isn’t the type of lunch box our runners need.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What are adult lunch boxes made of?
The materials used vary for all lunch boxes. While some are made of metal or aluminum, the ones on this list are generally made of vinyl or plastic. Not all lunch boxes are insulated, but some that are feature FDA-compliant PEVA lining that is safe and lead-free. To find out what materials are used for a specific option, read its product description.
q: Do lunch boxes “sweat” when left out or food thaws?
Plastic lunch boxes like bento boxes typically do not sweat on the exterior once cold food thaws. When using ice blocks, room temperature food will cause some sweating because of the moisture from the ice. Frozen food will also sweat once they start to thaw, which is great for having a cold water bottle by lunchtime, but could cause other foods to get soggy. It’s best to look for a lunch box that has multiple compartments for keeping dry food away from cold ones to prevent this.
This “sweat” is actually moisture caused by condensation. What happens is a cold bottle or container can cause water vapor in the air to cool down, condense and form tiny balls of liquid, which is what many call sweat. Worst case is the interior of the lunch bag could get moist, although the condensation won’t soak through the exterior of the lunch box.
q: How can you best clean a lunch bag?
Some options can go right into the dishwasher, making them very easy to clean. However, always check the instructions first because some insulated options cannot. When in doubt, hand washing the lunch box or bag is the way to go. All the consumer needs is a mild detergent, warm water, and a cloth or sponge. Moisten the cloth or sponge with soap and water and wipe both the inside and outside. Then use only water on a cloth to wipe away the soap and leave open to dry.
q: What is the difference between an adult and child lunch box?
Both lunch boxes for children and adults have the same functionalities. The main difference here is the colors, prints, and designs. Most options for children feature popular characters or more appealing designs. They might not have as many compartments and places for storage. It’s safe to say that many adults don’t want to be carrying around an option made for children. But the same isn’t always true the other way around.
Adult lunch boxes typically have more room to store more meals and drinks. Many lunch boxes made for adults can also be used for children—especially those who need to pack school lunch and then need snacks and cold sports drinks to bring to practice after school.
q: Can perishable goods still be packed in non-insulated lunch boxes?
Yes, they can. However, consider how long the food or drink will be left outside of a refrigerator. The general food safety rule is that a perishable food item shouldn't be outside of the fridge for more than 2 hours. If this means a short commute to work before being stored in a fridge, this should not be a problem when used with an ice pack. Ice packs can help increase the time foods stay cold and fresh, so either way, it’s a good idea to have one or two in the freezer ready to go.
q: What is the best size lunch box?
Size is important when it comes to picking the best adult lunch box. Think about how portable, lightweight and compact you want the lunch box to be, as well as how much room is ideal. Bigger lunch boxes are best for long work days to hold more than one meal, sporting events for extra drinks, camping, and picnics. Go for a smaller bag when just wanted to pack the essentials for lunch.
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