The 6 Best Lunch Coolers
The first few times you buy lunch at work feels like the luxury treat you deserve. You work hard and no one can make a salad quite like they whip up at your local deli (where the avocados are always ripe). Enjoy — but keep these best lunch coolers on your radar. After the second week or so you're going to be a) sick of deli salad (really, it will eventually happen) and/or b) sick of spending money on food when you can easily throw together a satisfying, healthy lunch and snacks at home.
The one thing you will need to invest in, though, is a sweet grown-up lunch box — one with serious insulation. Because paper bags aren't going to cut it when you're packing a black bean bowl, hummus-filled sandwiches, and leftover chili or curried tuna salad.
The coolers on this list range from basic box-style bags with shoulder straps that can fit all of the Tupperware necessary to create a delish lunch at your desk to stylish Oxford cloth totes that no one will even mistake for a lunch bag until you begin pulling out all of your goodies. Each bag is insulated, of course, and one even boasts a built-in gel cooling system that is activated by freezing the bag each night.
No matter what your personal style or how much food you'd like to pack to make it from morning to Happy Hour, there's a lunch cooler on this list that will work, save you money, and make you a much happier person (because a full belly is everything).
1. A Large Lunch Cooler For A Small Price
Whether you spend way more time at the office than you should and don't want to spend money on snacks or food or have an all-day outing and want to stay fueled up, this is the roomy large lunch cooler that reviewers say holds everything. This bag, which has an adjustable shoulder strap, three exterior pockets, and a removable antibacterial liner, is (technically) a can cooler that can hold nine beverage cans. What it can also do, to the delights of thousands of happy reviewers, is store more than a few plastic food containers with your day's salads, sandwiches, snacks, and more.
2. A Stylish Lunch Cooler That Looks Like A Tote Bag
This tote bag is designed to blend in with your other purses, but its secret power is that it's an insulated, aluminum-lined lunch cooler made from easy-to-clean Oxford cloth. The bag comes in five colors and prints, has a zipper top and roomy outer pouch, and washes with a cloth, warm water, and dish detergent.
3. A Lunch Bag With Freezable Gel Built Right Into It
Forget having to pack separate gel coolers into your lunch bag — this freezable lunch bag has everything you need, including built-in gel coolers that ensure your food will always be cold and fresh. When you're finished using this bag for the day, you simply fold and store it in your freezer for 12 hours. Then you can feel free to pack it with anything — even yogurt and other dairy products will hold up at work. The bag has a zip top closure and buckle handle that can clip onto tote bags, strollers, and backpacks. And the color/design selection is beyond impressive: choose among more than 40 options like batik ombre, watermelon party and blanket stripe (shown here).
4. A Large Lunchbox That Comes With Several Containers
This lunch bag is ideal for meal preppers, with six portion-control containers included. This makes it easy to keep your foods separate from one and another and protected from bruising throughout the day, while also aiding in weekly meal prep. It comes with a dividing ice pack and a vitamin organizer, too.
5. A Sleek Lunchbox With Separate Compartments For Hot And Cold Foods
If splashy colors aren't your thing, this serious, business-like lunch cooler will fit right in alongside your Moleskin notebook. Made from Oxford cloth with non-toxic PEVA insulating foil, which contains built-in anti-microbial properties, the main compartment has three separate spaces for hot and cold foods and beverages/snacks. It has two pockets, including an inner mesh pocket for utensils and napkins, comes in nine subtle, neutral shades, and has a detachable, adjustable shoulder strap.
6. A Large Lunch Cooler With Two Separated Compartments
Basic doesn't have to mean boring. When it comes to this insulated lunch box, it actually means that it's as practical as you can get. This large cooler tote bag has a detachable shoulder strap and is divided into two sections: one for foods you want to keep cool and fresh and one for snacks and drinks. There's a front zipper pocket for utensils, napkins, change, and keys and two small side pockets that can accommodate anything else you don't want to forget (condiment packets, anyone?). This tote carries a great deal of food and is simple to clean — simply wipe the interior eco-friendly PEVA lining with a wet cloth and let the bag dry overnight. It comes in three colors: black, blue, and navy.
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