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We tested the best adult lunch boxes for on-the-go meals in 2024

The time has come folks.

Summer is just around the corner and we’re about to be planning all of our warmer weather adventures. With more outings, road trips, hiking, and camping expeditions on the horizon, it’s time to look for some great food storage options to take our meals on the go.

Let us get this out of the way: the lunch box is not just a children’s item. Adults can and should use them too. Whether you take your lunch to work or need something to keep your beers cool for your next patio party, a lunch box is the easy solution.

The good news is that there is no shortage of options to choose from. Lunch boxes come in every size, shape, and form. You can wear them cross-body, find collapsible containers, and even trendy bento boxes. We’ve tested all the top totes for your snacking needs, including favorites from Caraway, YETI, Out of the Woods, and Bellroy.

Below, we listed the best lunch boxes of 2024. Read on to find the one that is right for you, and while you have food on your mind, be sure to take a look at our roundup of the best kitchen products from Amazon, too.

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RELATED: The 15 best storage containers and bins for your home in 2024

  • Best overall: YETI Day Trip Lunch Bag

    An orange Yeti lunch bag
    Yeti

    Pros:

    • Durable material — keeps food dry and protected
    • Stunning colorways
    • Cools for hours

    Cons:

    • No shoulder strap
    • Some condensation
    • More expensive

    Size: 8.7 x 6.9 x 11 inches

    YETI is the ultimate gear brand for outdoorsmen and women, and the Day Trip Lunch Bag does not fall short in any way. This compact, upright-standing bag is the perfect size for personal meals and keeps your food dry from rain, splashes, and drizzles. The thermal insulation keeps your food just at the right temperature. It even fits a six-pack.

    Editor’s Note: While this is certainly one of the more expensive lunch boxes, it is 100% up to par in terms of durability. You could drop this bag from the top of a highrise and I suspect there would be little evidence to show for it. The material is thick and sturdy so the bag stands upright, so you don’t have to stress about your food spilling. I was very impressed with the bag’s cooling capacity as well. Throw in an icepack and you will have chilled food and drinks for hours.

  • Best for meal-prep: Caraway Glass Food Storage Set

    A group of containers with lids
    Amazon

    Pros:

    • Non-toxic
    • See-through glass
    • Seals tight for freshness
    • Many color options

    Cons:

    • Smaller (but ideal for food preparation and storage)
    • More expensive than some other brands

    Size: ?17.7 x 16.9 x 7.9 inches

    Meet the meal prep dream set. Caraway’s Food Storage Set is made with top-of-the-line ceramic coated glass and comes with everything you need to store your food, including one large container, two medium containers, two small containers, and more organizing materials. The containers are safe for microwave, oven, refrigerator, and freezer use.

    Editor’s Note: Caraway’s containers genuinely get me excited to eat leftovers. There is a compartment to fit everything — soups, salads, and sandwiches. I love the glass lids for easy viewing, as well as the array of delightful colors to choose from (perracotta and mist are truly stunning). The brand also checks the mark for safety. All of the materials used to create these beautiful containers are free of toxic materials.

  • Best lightweight: Out of the Woofs Walrus Mini Lunch

    A brown bag with a handle
    Out of the Woods

    Pros:

    •  Extra-thick insulation and PEVA lining
    • Lightweight
    • Inner mesh pocket for your reusable utensils 
    • Vegan leather

    Cons:

    • Does not hold form as well as some other bags
    • Material on the thinner side

    Size: 9.5 x 7.8 x 7.2 inches

    If you’re looking for a responsibly produced, sustainable lunch bag, look no further. This vegan insulated cooler bag is made with unique “Supernatural” paper and is equipped with thick insulation to keep your food fresh. However, the lightweight design won’t add any extra pounds to your commute. Convenient cotton webbing handles make it easy to carry, and inner mesh pockets provide the perfect spot to store your utensils, keys, or phone.

    Editor’s Note: I adore the texture of this bag from Out of the Woods. The combination of wood pulp and plastic creates a flexible, yet durable material that is somewhat similar to canvas paper. While this doesn’t hold its form as well as some other bags, I appreciate that it can be squished down and compressed if you need to pack it away into a tight spot. The simple, charming design models the traditional lunch bags of childhood.

  • Best cross-body: Out of the Woods Dolphin Mini

    A white bag with a strap
    Out of the Woods

    Pros:

    • Water-resistant
    • Lightweight
    • Insulated interior
    • Long strap to carry over the shoulder

    Cons:

    • Material on the thinner side

    Size: 9.4 x 8.3 x 7.1 inches

    Go hands-free. The best-selling Dolphin Cooler is the perfect solution for day outings. The sleek rectangular design offers a long adjustable strap for easy carrying. A large front pocket provides space for all the extras, and the generous size of the interior allows you to fit all your drinks and snacks. Out of the Woods signature Supernatural paper wipes clean easily, so you won’t have to worry about stains or damage.

    Editor’s Note: You won’t sacrifice any style with this sustainable bag. The adjustable cross-body shoulder strap makes all the difference — you can wear it just about anywhere. I love that the strap is on the thicker side, which helps alleviate some pressure from your shoulder. The two-way zipper provides quick, easy access to all your goodies and keeps them protected from drops, falls, or squishes.

  • Best caddy: Bellroy Cooler Caddy

    A grey bag with a strap
    Bellroy

    Pros:

    • Water-resistant zipper
    • Wide mouth opening for easy access
    • Stands upright
    • Built-in bottle opener

    Cons:

    • No shoulder strap

    Size: 220 x 260 x 150 millimeters

    Is it a handbag or a lunch box? The Bellroy could easily be both. This cooler caddy is cute as they come, and has every feature you can imagine, including a built-in bottle opener, seam-sealed waterproof lining, and a wide mouth opening for quick access. You can even attach it to the outside of a day bag with the convenient clip. The leather-free construction makes it another incredible vegan option.

    Editor’s Note: It’s not often that I look at a lunch bag and ponder if I should wear it as a purse for the day, but that is a frequent thought with this caddy. The compact build is attractive, easy to carry, and light as a feather. The best part, in my opinion, is the fact that this bag stands upright on its own. You wouldn’t expect it from this little caddy — but it’s quite stable. The aluminum slide hook (which doubles as an integrated bottle opener) is also a welcome surprise! Consider this tote your perfect bar buddy.

  • Best bundle: W&P BYO Lunch Bundle

    Food in a container
    Amazon

    Pros:

    • Comes with a compact set of stainless steel utensils
    • Removable tray
    • Lightweight portable

    Cons:

    • No handle
    • The lid is a little difficult to remove

    Size: .5 liter capacity

    This modular lunch set is perfect for separating and pre-portioning meals. A convenient, removable divider and tray that keeps all your snacks organized. The airtight straps and gasket retain freshness, plus the kit comes with a set of stainless steel utensils and a silicone carrying case to help keep things clean and prevent the metal from tearing up your bag.

    Editor’s Note: This set is as practical as they come. There is plenty of space for a large meal, and the movable divider makes all the difference for those of us who don’t like our food to touch and mix (personal preference). I’ve been using this set to store my food in the fridge, warm it up in the microwave, and throw it in the dishwasher, and the smooth BPA-free plastic still looks as good as it did when it arrived.

Best design: Vera Bradley Lunch Bunch Bag

Blue quilted lucnh bag with butterflies
Amazon

Pros:

  • Colorful, unique designs
  • ID window for name display
  • Machine washable fabric

Cons:

  • Less durable, and sturdy than some other options
  • Not waterproof

Size: 7.5 x 9 x 4.3 inches

Who doesn’t want a machine-washable lunch box from Vera Bradely? It’s made with quilted cotton, features a lined interior slip pocket for ice packs, and includes an ID window to properly display your name. Choose between several unique floral prints, bold patterns, and decorative styles.

Editor’s Note: Your picnic pack has arrived. I adore Vera Bradley’s selection of delightful prints, and this lunch bag screams summer. Vera Bradley’s classic quilted fabric has been upgraded with an insulated interior and slip pocket for ice packs, so your food stays cool. It’s not the largest bag, but for a light lunch, it will easily do the trick. And the best part? If it gets dirty, you can just throw it in the washing machine.


Best for outdoors: YETI Daytrip Lunch Box

Dark blue yeti lunch bag
YETI

Pros:

  • Firm structure
  • Keeps food cold
  • Stays upright

Cons:

  • No shoulder strap
  • More expensive

Size: 10.7 x 8.7 x 4.6 inches

Available in four colors, this insulated lunch box is made with a water-resistant exterior and a rock-solid form, so you don’t have to worry about your lunch getting crushed and smashed. Complete your YETI lunch lineup with the Thin Ice ice pack ($18) and Molle Zinger multitool ($30).

Editor’s Note: Keep your food fresh for hours with this high-quality pack from YETI. This bag works like a charm. The insulation power is top-notch and the cold-cell foam is also included to keep your food at just the right temperature. I only wish this bag came with a shoulder strap because if it did, I would always have it on me. Check out our review on which YETI items we think are worth it, too!


More Post Wanted Picks

Best Bentgo: Bentgo Classic All-in-One Stackable Lunch Box

Blue bento box pack
Amazon

Pros:

  • Perfect size for portion control
  • Three portioned compartments
  • Eco-friendly, sustainable material

Cons:

  • Some reviewers complain about the size being smaller than expected

Size: 7.1 x 4.7 x 2.7 inches

Choose from eight different colors, and enjoy a BPA-free and microwaveable-safe stackable lunch box. Further details include three portioned compartments, eco-friendly material, and nesting containers for space-saving goodness. For bento lunch box options for kids, click here.

Customers are saying: “These are great for kid’s lunches, adult lunches, portion control meal planning, field trips, etc. Those that complain that it’s smaller than they thought, the sizes are clearly listed and they are true to size. Anything larger and you’d either gorge yourself or waste food.”


Best for work: Carhartt Insulated Soft-Sided Lunchbox

Square brown lunch bag
Amazon

Pros:

  • Rugged design
  • Interior mesh and pockets
  • Fully insulated

Cons:

  • On the larger side
  • No color options

Size: 10 x 4 x 8.5 inches

Keep your food cold with the help of this insulated lunch box. With interior zippered mesh and pockets, you can also successfully store all of your utensils and small snacks. This is hands down one of the best lunch boxes for men as well.

Customers are saying: “I knew the brand would be sturdy, and it totally is. It is great quality and should never fall apart like the kind we get themed for little kids… It is much larger than I imagined, but it is designed in a way that can get thinner or fit in, while also being grip-able to youth’s hands inside a dark large backpack filled with the stuff the schools require them to have these days.”


Best vintage: Igloo Retro Square Lunch Bag

Blue, yellow and pink vintage lunch box
Igloo

Pros:

  • Adjustable shoulder strap
  • Fun, bold colors, and vintage style
  • Top handle for grab-and-go

Cons:

  • Some reviewers mention it looks larger in the photos

Size: 6.5 x 8.8 x 8.5 inches

Toss in your food, drinks, and snacks, and prepare to look good while doing it. Simply toss the bag over your shoulder and call it a day! The shoulder strap is also adjustable, so you can find your perfect fit. or if you prefer a grab-and-go option opt for the top handle.

Customers are saying: “Bought this for my kid for lunch…almost didn’t give it to them it’s SO CUTE! So far surviving elementary school use-very strong, well-made, durable. Great quality-worth every dollar.”


Best budget-friendly: BALORAY Lunch Tote

Black and white stripe lunch bag
Amazon

Pros:

  • Waterproof
  • Array of colorways
  • Budget-friendly

Cons:

  • No shoulder strap
  • A bit less durable, per reviews

Size: 10x 6.6 x 8.5 inches

With high-quality material and a diverse range of prints and colors, you’re guaranteed to find your perfect lunch match. Further details include a padded handle, a durable zipper, and a waterproof build. There is no shortage of marvelous colorways to choose from. Reviewers also mention that it is quite easy to clean.

Customers are saying: “I am notorious for spilling things, and I have dumped coffee and all manner of sauce all over the outside of this bag. It wipes up pretty quickly, and I’ve even tossed it in the washer, in a lingerie bag on easy cycle, and it’s come out great!


Best style: Modern Picnic The Large Luncher

Black croc embossed lunch bag
Modern Picnic

Pros:

  • Sophisticated, stylish, chic look
  • Removable shoulder strap
  • Interior slot for utensils

Cons:

  • Magnetic closure may not keep items protected
  • Larger than expected, per revies
  • More expensive

Size:  10.5 x W 12 x 7.25 inches

She made it on Shark Tank! For a classic option, opt for this Modern Picnic luncher. With a thin crossbody strap and an embossed design, you’ll dress up your lunch game with ease. The strap is also removable, so you can carry it without the extra piece in the way if that is what you prefer.

Customers are saying: “I was amazed at the packaging. It was like opening a new designer purse. The large launcher is so nice. The price was great. I can’t wait to wear it to work.”


Best insulated: Hydro Flask Small Insulated Lunch Box

Blue hydro flasl lunch bag
Hydro Flask

Pros:

  • FDA food-grade interior lining
  • Flexible handle for easy carry
  • Insulation keeps contents fresh for hours
  • Modern design

Cons:

  • No shoulder strap

Size: 10.5 inches (height)

With a sleek, modern design, this Hydro Flask lunch box is great for work, picnics, adventures, and everything in between. The fully lined interior makes for easy cleaning, and the Interior pocket is ideal for storing utensils and an ice pack. Choose from an array of colors and sizes.

Customers are saying: “Not too big but not too small. It’s the perfect size! We use it for my son’s lunch and it fits everything great, also does not squish his lunch if he decides to keep in his backpack!! Great choice!!”


Best stackable: OmieBox Connecting Bento Box

Green bento box
Amazon

Pros:

  • Stackable
  • Variety of container sizes
  • Environmentally-friendly material
  • Stain resistant to tough foods 

Cons:

  • Doesn’t retain heat or cool as well as some other brands, per reviews

Size: 7.2 x 4.2 x 4.5 inches

As the brand says, “Stack, lock and go!” With three separate compartments, you can ensure your food stays organized and put. Worried about leaks or spills? Don’t be. Four sturdy clasps make a “click” sound so you know it’s securely fastened.

Customers are saying: “I bought the OmieBox Bento Box for my son a few years ago, and I loved it so much that I had to try out these containers. They do not disappoint! They are roomy, the seal is airtight, and since I hate handwashing dishes, I appreciate that I can pop it all in the dishwasher. The stacking feature is really fun, too.”


Best eco-friendly: Lekesky Leakproof Lunch Bag

Gray lunch bag with brown handles
Amazon

Pros:

  • Eco-friendly
  • Easy carry handles
  • Generous size

Cons:

  • No shoulder strap

Size: 10 x 6.6 x 10.6 inches

With a wide-open mouth, heat-welded insulation, and an easy-to-clean inside, this lunch box can fit all of your food and more. We also can’t get enough of the outside pockets, as they make for the cutest lunch box. The eco-friendly aluminum material keeps your food warm or cold for four to six hours.

Customers are saying: “Not too big and not too small. I love the front pocket to store napkins and utensils. Great at keeping the food cold. It also fits in my bookbag for the trek from the parking garage to the office.”


Best collapsible: Stojo 36oz Collapsible Bowl

Mint green lunch bowl
Stojo

Pros:

  • Spill-proof seal
  • Collapsible
  • Multiple colors

Cons:

  • No dividers to separate food

Size: 36 ounces (capacity)

Who doesn’t want a dishwasher-safe, collapsable option that comes in an array of pastel colors? Reviewers love that these containers can be compressed to take up less room in the kitchen drawers or cabinets. In fact, we want them all! Thankfully, you can buy in sets of three or five.

Customers are saying: “I bought the OmieBox Bento Box for my son a few years ago, and I loved it so much that I had to try out these containers. They do not disappoint! They are roomy, the seal is airtight, and since I hate handwashing dishes, I appreciate that I can pop it all in the dishwasher. The stacking feature is really fun, too.”


Best kid-friendly: CCidea Lunch Bag Waterproof Lunch Bag

Brown lunch bag
Amazon

Pros:

  • Large capacity
  • Maintains foods temperature
  • Easy for kids to use and carry

Cons:

  • Velcro may not secure as well

Size: 6.7 x 9.5 x 11.4 inches

With a large capacity and a simple, yet stylish design, you’ll want to take this guy with you everywhere. There’s plenty of space to accommodate all your snacks. The easily accessible velcro closure is ideal for little ones, and the thick pearl cotton and aluminum materials retain temperature, so your food stays warm or cool.

Customers are saying: “They seal completely with velcro so nothing falls out and there are no sticky-zipper issues. When empty they fold up nicely for easy storage. I was able to label them easily too. We’ve been using them for a bit and I will update about long-term durability if I find any issues.”


Bst deep freeze: Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Hardbody Coolers

Greens quare lunch bag
Amazon

Pros:

  • Deep freeze performance insulation
  • Thick, durable strap
  • Anti-slip shoulder pad
  • Shelves to separate items

Cons:

  • A bit on the bulkier side
  • Some reviewers mention ice doesn’t stay frozen as long as advertised

Size: 7.5 x 4.75 x 7.95 inches

With a heat barrier that reflects heat instead of absorbing it, this zipperless lunchbox is both unique and effective. You can also rest assured knowing your new lunchbox is leak-proof, so you can successfully prevent spills and messes. It’s even been designed with shelves to separate items.

Customers are saying: “The Titan is very well made with great multilayer insulation performance. Keeps ice for over 24 hours and has a convenient removable tray for storing a few sandwiches. Non zipper closure works surprisingly well, makes a tight seal and very easy to use compared to zipper designs.”


Best machine washable: BUILT Soft Neoprene Lunch Tote

Black tote lunch bag
Amazon

Pros:

  • Flexible materials
  • Machine washable
  • Zipper ensures food stays safe

Cons:

  • Some reviewers mention it is smaller than expected

Size: 11.6 x 6.7 x 12 inches

Choose from florals to solids and enjoy an everyday lunch tote. It keeps food cold or warm for up to four hours, and the flexible material expands to fit various packages and food. Best of all, it’s machine washable, so there’s no need to worry if your food leaks or spills.

Customers are saying: “The BUILT LB31-BLK Gourmet Getaway Soft is a game-changer when it comes to transporting food! Its sleek design is both stylish and practical, providing insulation to keep food hot or cold for hours. The spacious interior accommodates various containers and dishes, making it perfect for picnics, beach outings, or bringing lunch to work.”

How we tested

We tried them out so you don’t have to! Finding the right lunch box to meet your eating habits and lifestyle can be tricky. To provide a detailed review of the best adult lunch boxes, we tested some of the top brands firsthand. Each product was evaluated based on a few factors — durability, style, and temperature control capacity.

A group of lunch boxes displayed on a table
Miska Salemann

Durability: When it comes to durability, we looked for lunch boxes that were designed with sturdy, thick, tear-resistant material. Did the zippers work? How easy were they to open? Do they stay standing or slump over when placed down? To put these lunch boxes to the test, I may have also drizzled some water over them — evaluated whether they were truly waterproof, and tested just how easy it was to wipe away stains. I also sent meal-prep containers through the dishwasher and the microwave just to make sure they held up.

Style: Everyone has their preference when it comes to aesthetics, but for this review, we looked for brands that offered lunch boxes in a variety of styles. Whether you prefer a simple solid colorway or enjoy brighter shades, or intricate patterns — there is something here for you. I also made note of the design elements, including whether the bag was more compact, boxy, or slim. With bags that offer straps and handles, I tested out how functional and comfortable they were to hold and carry.

Temperature control: There is nothing worse than pulling out your sandwich and realizing it’s severely soggy. Perhaps the most important part of lunch box shopping is ascertaining whether these boxes truly maintain the temperature (hot or cold) of the foot they are storing. I popped in some icepacks and tested out how long the packs kept my food cold, and also made note of whether there was any condensation left over. For the reverse test, I also heated up some items to check the heat retention quality.


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