The 10 Best Lunch Bags of 2023

Our top pick is the Hydro Flask Large Insulated Lunch Box for its practical, versatile design that can withstand daily wear.

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The Best Lunch Bags

Real Simple / Alli Waataja

Gone are the days of lugging cumbersome and clunky lunch boxes—with so many options available, your lunch bag can keep your food cold and contained without sacrificing style. Whether you're headed to the office or packing a sandwich for your little ones, the right lunch bag makes taking food on the go supremely easy. 

To determine the best lunch bags and boxes, we researched dozens of options while considering factors like price point, material, size, and the number of compartments. We also spoke to Abigail Koffler and Erica Adler, authors of Meal Prep Made Simple, to get their tips on what to look for in a lunch bag or box. 

“We both prioritize containers that are leak-proof,” they say. “There’s nothing worse than your lunch leaking all over your bag (we have laptops to protect). Beyond that, it’s not a one-size-fits-all situation, as everyone’s lunch needs are a little different.”

Our top pick, the Hydro Flask Large Insulated Lunch Box, is durable and suitable for work, camping, or as a cooler on the beach. It’s also well-insulated to keep your food cool and fresh.

Best Overall Lunch Bag

Hydro Flask Large Insulated Lunch Box

Hydro Flask Large Insulated Lunch Box


Who it’s for: People looking for a sturdy, insulated lunch box with plenty of room.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a bento box.

This lunch box earned our slot as the top pick for its versatility, simple exterior for any style, and sturdy construction, which stands up to wear and tear. Hydro Flask is so confident that its products will last that they also offer a lifetime guarantee. 

The walls of this lunchbox are double-insulated, keeping food, drinks, and ice packs cold for hours on end. The interior lining makes it easy to clean up any spills or drips, while the zippered pocket on the top interior flap is great for storing utensils and napkins. This lunchbox also has a flexible handle for carrying on your commute. If you’re in the market for something that comes with compartments or storage containers though, this may not be the right choice for you. 

Price at time of publish: $55

Product Details:

  • Material: Nylon
  • Dimensions: 12.91 x 11.73 x 4.17 inches
  • Compartments: 1

Best Budget Lunch Bag

Baloray Insulated Lunch Bag

Baloray Lunch Bag


Who it’s for: People looking for a lunch bag with many pattern options.

Who it isn’t for: People looking for a hard-sided lunch box. 

This medium-sized lunch bag has the silhouette of a purse and comes in 24 patterns and colors, so there’s something for every taste, whether you want a simple white bag or would prefer multi-colored stripes. Though it may look on the smaller side, it can actually fit a surprising amount of food—the brand says it will hold a complete lunch or breakfast, plus a couple of cans and some snacks. All that food can be heavy, but this lunch bag is soft-sided and lightweight at 0.36 pounds. 

The interior lining is triple-insulated to keep food and drinks cold or warm, and you can easily wipe down the aluminum interior. The exterior is water-resistant, but if this lunch bag gets dirty, you can easily hand wash it. 

Price at time of publish: $30

Product Details:

  • Material: Tarpaulin with aluminum interior
  • Dimensions: 10 x 6.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Compartments: 1 (exterior)

Best Freezable Lunch Bag

PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag with Zip Closure

PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag


Who it’s for: People looking for a collapsible, freezable lunch bag.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a lunch bag with a shoulder strap.

Touting themselves as the makers of the original freezable lunch bag, PackIt has a full line of collapsible and easily freezable products. You can fold this bag flat to conserve storage space and pop it in the freezer so your food is chilled and ready to go. Plus, it’s very roomy and has lots of space for a full day’s worth of snacks and food. 

This bag comes in nine colors and patterns, with some prints suitable for children (like the unicorns) and others made for adults (like the stripes or solid black). The zip closure locks in cold air to keep your food and drinks fresh and is able to stay chilled for hours thanks to gel-lined walls—think of them as thin ice packs. The interior can be wiped down and has a food-safe lining that is also BPA-, PVC-, and lead-free. A handy buckled strap can clip onto a backpack or stroller, but it doesn’t have a shoulder strap, so consider that if you have a long commute and would prefer to sling it over your back.

Price at time of publish: $24

Product Details:

  • Material: Nylon
  • Dimensions: 6.25  x 8.5 x 9.75 inches
  • Compartments: N/A

Most Stylish Lunch Bag

Modern Picnic The Large Luncher

Modern Picnic The Large Luncher

Modern Picnic

Who it’s for: People who want a stylish lunch bag that looks like a purse. 

Who it isn’t for: People looking for a budget-friendly option. 

Modern Picnic has become synonymous with fashionable lunch bags, turning what used to be utilitarian into something chic. The Large Luncher’s impressive size can fit plenty of food, snacks, and drinks without bursting at the seams. Since the price coincides with the quality of this lunch bag, it’s not the most affordable option and may not be suitable for kids. 

This bag has many functional features, including an insulated, roomy interior to keep everything cool, a removable shoulder strap, and a short handle you can adjust. The interior and exterior are easy to clean—we recommend using warm water and mild soap. This lunch bag comes in ten vegan leather colors, and if you want extra personalization, you can also select a monogrammed option. The heavy-duty magnetic closures keep your food and drinks in place when on the go. 

Price at time of publish: $189

Product Details:

  • Material: Vegan leather
  • Dimensions: 7.25 x 12 x 10.5 inches
  • Compartments: Utensil holders; 1 interior pocket

Best Canvas Lunch Bag

WAAM Industries Waxed Canvas Lunch Bag

WAAM Industries Waxed Canvas Lunch Bag

West Elm

Who it’s for: People looking for a traditional lunch bag.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a strap or handle on their lunch bag for easy carrying. 

This clever take on the traditional lunch bag is made from wax canvas that keeps foods from leaking through, unlike paper bags which get wet and easily break. If this bag gets messy, just wipe it down with a cloth or sponge. We also love how versatile this waxed bag is—it’s handy for everything from storing cut veggies in your fridge to carrying your lunch.  

These are also ideal for kids who need a handy, easy-to-clean lunch box. There are a range of color options, (including classic brown), fun, vibrant colors, and pastel shades. Take note that if you need a lunch bag or box with a handle or strap then this may not be the right choice. 

Price at time of publish: $30

Product Details:

  • Material: Waxed canvas
  • Dimensions: 4 x 7 x 12 inches
  • Compartments: 1

Best Lunch Bag With Shoulder Strap

Built Puffer Lunch Tote

BUILT Puffer Tote Lunch Bag


Who it’s for: People who want a roomy, budget-friendly lunch bag. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a small and compact option. 

Thanks to its puffy, insulated material, this bag from Built keeps your lunch and drinks cool for whenever you want to eat. The polyester material is durable, lightweight, water-resistant, and resistant to tears and pulls. If the tote gets dirty, the brand suggests cleaning it with soap and water, so it’s very easy to take care of. It also features a zip closure to securely keep all your lunch, snacks, and drinks in place.  

This bag comes in five colorways: solid black, yellow with a stripe, light blue with a stripe, geometric blue pattern, and black and white tie dye. This lunch bag also allows you to organize snacks and utensils, thanks to two side pockets and one interior mesh pocket. 

Price at time of publish: $22

Product Details:

  • Material: Polyester
  • Dimensions: 12.5 x 9 x 4.25 inches
  • Compartments: 3

Best Hard-Sided Lunch Bag

W&P Porter Lunch Box

W+P Porter Lunch Box


Who it’s for: People who want a compartmentalized lunch box.

Who it isn’t for: People looking for a soft bag option.

Although this bento box-styled lunch container is hard-sided, it’s lightweight enough to toss in a larger bag for organized and convenient snacks on the go. This lunch box is ideal for those who don’t want to use multiple containers to bring their lunch and snacks to work or school. The main container is made from BPA-free plastic and has a silicone strap that snaps securely into place to ensure your food doesn’t leak or spill while on the go.  

This lunchbox comes in three shades: blush pink, charcoal gray, and soft mint green. It has three compartments to keep your food organized, including a top tray with two smaller, shallow compartments and a large bottom compartment. We also love that this pick is microwavable and dishwasher-safe.

Price at time of publish: $25

Product Details:

  • Material: BPA-free plastic and silicone
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 7.2 x 3.2 inches
  • Compartments: 3

Best Large Lunch Bag

Miycoo Lunch Bag

Miycoo Lunch Bag


Who it’s for: People looking for a spacious lunch bag with plenty of sections.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a hard-sided lunch box. 

If you’re looking for a multi-tasking, high-performance bag at a low price point, this lunch bag is for you. It has the capacity to hold all the food and drinks you need for a day at the office or even an outing to the beach. The main compartment is roomy and leakproof, so you can toss in ice packs to keep food and drinks cold for up to seven hours. The upper compartment is suitable for non-perishables or dry snacks that don’t need to be kept cold, like chips or nuts. If you want an all-in-one bag, you can also throw your keys, wallet, and phone in the top or exterior pockets.  

The upper compartment is expandable, so you can make it larger when you’re carrying extra snacks and collapse it when you don’t have as much to store. This lunch bag also has two carrying options: a shorter strap and a detachable shoulder strap. With five exterior pockets and an interior mesh pocket, you can easily stash keys, utensils, or trash. 

Price at time of publish: $36

Product Details:

  • Material: Cotton with PEVA liner
  • Dimensions: 11 x 8 x 10.5 inches
  • Compartments: 8 (including pockets)

Best Bento Box Lunch Bag

Bentgo Classic Lunch Box

Bentgo Classic Lunch Box


Who it’s for: People who want a sturdy and stackable bento box.

Who it isn’t for: People looking for a small bento box. 

This microwave-, dishwasher-, and freezer-safe bento box offers a versatile and compact way to pack your lunch. The top container has two sections that hold up to ¾ of a cup, the middle container holds utensils, and the bottom compartment can store up to two cups of food. A strap snaps around the sections to ensure everything stays in place. 

With eight colorways, there’s a Bentgo Classic for every style. We’re partial to the khaki green, but you can also choose a brighter color, like kiwi green or cobalt blue. While bento boxes are ideal for packed lunches, this pick might not work for storing large amounts of snacks or trekking to the beach. 

Price at time of publish: $30

Product Details:

  • Material: BPA-free plastic
  • Dimensions: 7.12 x 4.68 x 2.7 inches
  • Compartments: 4

Best Lunch Bag For Kids

Bentgo Kids Print Lunch Box

Bentgo Kids Print Lunch Box


Who it’s for: Kids who want a fun, printed lunch box with plenty of containers. 

Who it isn’t for: Kids who prefer a soft-sided bag.

With 23 print and color options, there’s something for every kid, whether they love unicorns or rocket ships. This Bentgo option is just the right size for children, with five perfectly portioned compartments to divide their healthy snacks, protein, and veggies. While the outer box should be hand-washed, the inner tray snaps out and is dishwasher-safe for simple clean-up. 

This interior tray is also microwave- and freezer-safe, so you can heat up leftovers or keep food ice cold. This lunch box is also leak-proof, so you don't have to deal with messy spills in your kid’s backpack. 

Price at time of publish: $30

Product Details:

  • Material: BPA-free plastic
  • Dimensions: ​​8.5 x 6.5 x 2 inches
  • Compartments: 5

Final Verdict

Our top pick overall is the Hydro Flask Large Insulated Lunch Box for its versatile design, impressive insulation, and durable construction that can withstand daily wear and tear. If you’re shopping on a budget, the Baloray Lunch Bag is another fantastic option—plus the adorable design and range of patterns add some stylish flair. 

How to Shop for Lunch Boxes and Bags Like a Pro 


When shopping for a lunch bag, first consider whether you want a traditional option with no compartments, or a bento box-styled bag where everything has a place. “I love to be able to separate different components of a meal, like the dressing or a dip for veggies,” says Koffler. “That way things don’t get soggy in transit. Containers like a bento box or tiffin work well for this, or you can use a few different Tupperware or jars. (I love using old Talenti jars to transport a soup or salad, since they close tightly).”


You’ll also want to consider how small or large you want your lunch bag to be. If you’re commuting or going to school, you’ll need a compact lunch box that can easily be thrown in a bag or backpack. On the other hand, there are some stylish lunch bags that can easily be mistaken for a tote bag, like the Modern Picnic Large Luncher

If you’re looking for a lunch bag that basically acts as a mini cooler for beach trips, hikes, or road trips, then look for something that’s larger yet still easy to transport, like the Built Puffer Lunch Tote or the Miycoo Lunch Bag.

You might also think about the size of the meal you intend to pack when looking for a lunch bag. Portions can be hard to estimate with a lunch box, but Koffler suggests packing generous portions. “You can eat some of it at meal time and some of it as a snack,” Koffler says. “If you’re trying to save money by packing food, packing a little extra might save you from buying a 3 p.m. snack.”


“I tend to favor a glass option because I frequently reheat in the microwave and trust myself to be relatively careful with it,” says Adler. “However, I do have a little one on the way, and know I’ll be in the market for some nice, BPA-free plastic containers in the very near future.” It’s good to consider how long your commute is—if you have a long walk to work you may want to stick with a lightweight, BPA-free plastic choice. 

Overall, though, be sure the bag you’re choosing is made of a water-resistant, leak-resistant, and easy-to-clean material. Nylon and polyester are good exterior materials for fabric lunch bags, and tend to come with a waterproof lining that can be wiped clean if spills happen.


“My tip on insulation is to really consider your own personal lunch set-up. If you’re in an office setting with access to a fridge and microwave, insulation will likely fall low on your priorities list,” says Adler. “But packing lunch for a kiddo or an on-the-go situation definitely warrants an option that will keep your lunch cool (or hot!) for a few hours.”

Some bags are freezer-proof (like the PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag), while others have a gel lining that offers great insulation for cold foods. 

Questions You Might Ask 

How long do insulated lunch bags keep food cold? 

The duration your lunch box will keep food cold depends on the insulation, use of ice packs, and outside temperature. If you add an ice pack to your insulated bag, your food should stay cold for three to five hours. If you don’t use ice packs, your food will likely stay cold for around two hours.  

Can you put lunch bags in the washing machine and dryer?

Always check the manufacturer's recommendation on your bag. While some bags can be machine washed, you can clean most lunch bags with a cloth, soap, and warm water. If your lunch bag is machine-washable, it’s best to skip the dryer and let it air dry. If you’re unsure, opt for hand-washing to be safe. 

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Hannah Baker, a freelance writer and editor with a decade of experience researching and writing about home products. She’s written about products for Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes & Gardens, Apartment Therapy, Brides, MyDomaine, SHOP Today, and Drew and Jonathan Reveal, to name a few. To make this list, she considered a variety of lunch bags and boxes and considered versatility, cost, material, size, and number of compartments. She also spoke with meal prep experts Abigail Koffler and Erica Adler, authors of Meal Prep Made Simple

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