Choosing the Ultimate High-Quality Insulated Lunch Coolers: A Comprehensive Comparison and Review

There's nothing worse than opening your lunchbox to find a wilted salad or a lukewarm sandwich. That's why finding a high-quality insulated lunch cooler is essential for keeping your meals fresh and at the perfect temperature. In this article, we'll be diving into the world of lunch boxes and comparing the best options available in 2023. Whether you're looking for the best overall lunch box, a budget-friendly option, or a stylish lunch bag for the office, we've got you covered. With 22 lunch boxes tested, we'll also be exploring other products that didn't make our top picks. Get ready to discover the perfect insulated lunch cooler for your needs!


Best Overall Lunch Box



YETI Daytrip Lunch Box


Editors' Choice Award Insulated: No | Leakproof: Yes

The YETI Daytrip Lunch Box is the top choice for its durability, easy-to-clean waterproof material, excellent temperature control, and leakproof storage. It features a rigid frame that allows for easy packing and is one of the few lunch bags with a waterproof liner. In our tests, it outperformed most other options in maintaining cool and hot temperatures, only surpassed by the PackIt Freezable. The YETI Daytrip is convenient to pack and ensures that food remains protected during transport. Its lid has a magnetic closure and a sturdy, large zipper. The bag is made of durable materials and can stand on its own with the help of its three exterior handles.

While the YETI Daytrip performed exceptionally well overall, we did observe some minor leaking at the zipper, which is its weakest point. The rigid design we appreciate for its ease of packing and protection against crushing does make the bag slightly bulky compared to softer designs that can be compressed more easily. Nevertheless, the YETI Daytrip is an excellent option for individuals seeking temperature regulation and a durable cooler for their lunch.

best overall lunch boxPictured here is a packed YETI; this was our first choice in the entire fleet.

Credit: Kristin Anderson


Best Bang for the Buck



HANGO Insulated Set of 2


Best Buy Award Insulated: Yes| Leakproof: Yes

The HANGO Insulated Set of 2 is a great value for money, offering two lunch bags in one purchase. The set includes one large and one small bag. Based on our temperature control tests, the small bag performed better due to the smaller ratio of ice to space, which helps in keeping food cool. If you plan on using the large bag, we recommend adding an extra ice pack. These bags feature leakproof liners, are easy to clean, and come in an attractive color theme. The larger bag can accommodate a six-pack of cans, while the smaller bag can fit five cans. Overall, this set performed well with its simple design and is well-suited for carrying lunch with minimal spills.

Although the HANGO set did not rank in the top three for insulation and temperature control, the larger bag can maintain the desired temperature with the help of a large ice pack. The smaller bag performed adequately in the temperature test, but the ice pack occupied a significant portion of the usable space. During the leakproof test, we observed some leakage at the zipper. The HANGO set features a straightforward design with no extra pockets or compartments, making it a good choice for those seeking a large or small lunch bag or an affordable parent/child set.

lunch box - best bang for the buckThe HANGO Insulated comes in a set of two, which offers two different sized options for your lunch.

Credit: Kristin Anderson


Excellent Food Safe Option



PackIt Freezable Classic


Top Pick Award Insulated: Yes | Leakproof: No

The PackIt Freezable Classic lunch box features a built-in re-freezable gel that keeps food cold throughout the day. Simply freeze the bag overnight, and it becomes an ice pack that maintains cold temperatures. It effectively preserved the temperature of yogurt, maintaining it within two degrees of the refrigerated temperature during our six-hour testing period. The bag has a sleek design with a soft fabric construction.

While the PackIt is highly efficient in temperature control and easy to clean, the liner and zipper are not leakproof. When we tested with water, it quickly seeped through the liner and outer fabric. Additionally, the heavy reusable insulation makes the bag slouchy and challenging to pack. Nevertheless, the PackIt Freezable lunch bag is an excellent choice for those prioritizing food-safe temperatures and the need for long-lasting cold storage.

lunch box - excellent food safe optionThe PackIt Freezable lunch box excels in temperature control.

Credit: Kristin Anderson


Great Reusable Model with Extras



MAZFORCE Original Lunch Bag


Top Pick Award Insulated: Yes | Leakproof: Yes

The MAZFORCE Original Lunch Bag features a leakproof liner and offers average temperature control. Its seamless liner has no weak points that may cause leakage. The bag has an exterior zip pocket for additional items like utensils or napkins and a mesh holder for a water bottle.

Although the MAZFORCE bag has a waterproof liner without any seams, we encountered some leakage at the zipper, similar to other waterproof options. The interior liner is a little challenging to wipe down due to its shape and the absence of sewing it to the exterior frame of the bag.

lunch box - great reusable model with extrasThe MAZFORCE Original Lunch Bag features a seamless liner and is leakproof.

Credit: Kristin Anderson


Great Thermos Style



Lille Home Stackable Stainless


Top Pick Award Insulated: Yes| Leakproof: Yes

The Lille Home Stackable Stainless lunch box is leakproof and easy to clean. It features three compartments that can be stacked on top of each other and secured with threaded screws. The compartments are made of plastic lined with stainless steel. When storing hot food, the insulated container remains comfortably safe to touch and hold. We tested the bag with curried lentils, rice, and a yogurt dish stacked in the tiers, and there were no leaks. This lunch box is designed for individuals who prefer to keep their food portions separate or bring different courses. It comes with a stylish felt case and an adjustable strap for convenient carrying. Cleaning is simple; just wash and allow the box to air dry on a dish rack.

Although we appreciated the design and performance of the Lille Home Stackable set, it is best suited for warm or room temperature food. In our tests, it did not maintain hot food temperature for an extended period, with the food being just above room temperature after four hours. To improve the heat retention, we recommend pre-heating the thermos compartments using hot water before packing hot food. Additionally, the containers are not microwaveable, and when unstacking them, condensation or food residue can stick to the bottom of each dish, as they serve as the lid to the container below. It is advisable to have napkins handy.

lunch box - great thermos styleThe Lille Stackable Thermal Compartment is designed to stack all three compartments and comes with a felt carrying case.

Credit: Kristin Anderson


A Great Lunch Bag for the Office



LOKASS Insulated Lunch Tote


lokass insulated lunch tote lunch box Insulated: Yes | Leakproof: No

The LOKASS Insulated Lunch Tote is an attractive and spacious insulated tote bag. It has the largest capacity among the lunch boxes we tested, capable of holding eight cans of sparkling water. The bag also features a mesh pouch on the side that can accommodate a pint jar with a smoothie. The front zipper pouch offers ample space for additional items.

The LOKASS bag is durable and offers excellent carrying capacity. However, a larger bag requires more ice packs to maintain cool temperatures. It did not perform as well as the competition in our tests. Wiping down the bag may be a bit tricky due to its depth, and the liner is not waterproof. Secure any liquids before storing them in the bag. Overall, we believe this model is best suited for individuals who need to transport a large amount of food to the office refrigerator.

lunch box - the lokass has the largest capacity of all the lunch bags, making it...The Lokass lunch bag offers the largest capacity among all the lunch bags, making it ideal for food prepping or carrying snacks.

Credit: Kristin Anderson


Good Matching Lunch Set



Fit and Fresh Insulated Kit


fit and fresh insulated kit lunch box Insulated: Yes | Leakproof: No

The Fit and Fresh Insulated Kit is an excellent lunch kit option for those seeking a matching set. It includes a water bottle and two food containers that can be clicked together and stacked. The kit offers a large capacity for storing a substantial amount of food.

We liked the Fit and Fresh set as a complete lunch kit, but it fell short in the leakproof test, with leakage observed through the liner and canvas exterior. Additionally, it performed poorly in temperature regulation, likely due to the lack of a zip closure. The closure on this bag is a strap with a snap button. This lunch kit is a suitable choice for individuals looking for a convenient set that includes all the essentials for packing a daily lunch.

lunch box - the fit and fresh comes with two containers, a water bottle, and an...The Fit and Fresh kit includes two containers, a water bottle, and an ice pack.

Credit: Kristin Anderson


The 22 lunch boxes we tested



Small insulated lunch bags


Lineup of lunch bags


Large insulated lunch bags


Lineup of large cooler bags


Bento boxes


Lineup of bento boxes

See below for a comparison of bento boxes including their respective price, style, capacity, accessories, and microwave-safe features.


1. Monbento - MB Original V


Price: $$$

Style: Stacking

Capacity: Lunch

Accessories: Small bowl

Microwave Safe: Yes


2. PackTOGO (Discontinued)


Price: $$$

Style: Flat

Capacity: Small lunch

Accessories: None

Microwave Safe: No


3. PlanetBox - Rover (Discontinued)


Price: $$$$

Style: Flat

Capacity: Petite lunch

Accessories: Two bowls, decorative magnets

Microwave Safe: No


4. kinsho


Price: $$

Style: Flat

Capacity: Small lunch

Accessories: Icepack

Microwave Safe: Yes


Other Lunch Bags We Tested


The other lunch bags we tested

(Editor’s note: For this 2023 update, we tested three additional products: TuErCao Lunch Bag, Foundry Lunch Bag, and kinsho Bento Box. Reviews of each follow.)


TuErCao Lunch Bag


TuErCao - insulated lunch bag

The TuErCao lunch bag was our top pick among the three products we tested for 2023. This stylish and well-insulated bag combines both fashion and function. With its thick insulation, it kept ice frozen and drinks and food cold for a full 12 hours. Despite its feminine design, resembling a handbag with high handles, piping, and gold zippers, the TuErCao lunch bag is available in various colors, including unisex options.

Inside the bag, there is a spacious pocket that can hold up to 16 cans, although closing the zipper may be a bit tight when the bag is fully packed. Additionally, there are two zippered pockets—one for a phone and the other for utensils. The bag also features mesh pockets on each end and comes with a shoulder strap. It stands upright without tipping over, even when fully loaded. Considering its high quality, the TuErCao lunch bag is reasonably priced.


Foundry Lunch Bag



The Foundry Lunch Bag is a stylish addition to the lunch box market. It has a sleek and compact design, making it easy to fit in the office fridge or take on a beach trip. Unfortunately, it did not perform well in our tests. The bag comes with two convenient one-cup containers that fit snugly inside, but the insulation is too thin, causing ice to melt within two hours.

Furthermore, the design of the bag makes it difficult to stand upright when sealed with a zipper. When the ice melted, water leaked through the zipper. We do not recommend the Foundry Lunch Bag.


kinsho Bento Box



As for bento boxes, the kinsho Bento Box/Lunch Bag is a durable and well-made option with plenty of containers for a satisfying lunch. The box itself features six compartments, including four half-cup compartments, one 1.5-cup compartment, and a 1/3-cup compartment specifically designed for the included child-size plastic fork and spoon. The box has a snap-on lid that ensures it is 100% waterproof, as we tested by vigorously shaking it filled with water without any leaks.

The box easily fits into a lightweight, mylar-insulated bag, which comes in various cheerful colors. The bag zips up similarly to the Foundry lunch bag, but its handle is placed horizontally, requiring a snug packing. However, avoid packing drippy contents like salads, as they may shift when lifting the bag by the handle. The bag comes with a small ice pack, but we recommend using a larger one for longer-lasting cooling. Overall, we were impressed by the kinsho Bento Box.


Jaxx – FitPak


One drawback of the Jaxx FitPack is its lack of versatility. It does not come with a shoulder strap or a removable liner, and its design requires dividing food among specific containers, including four two-cup and two one-cup containers.

While the FitPak is suitable for individuals going to the gym, it may be excessive for most users. However, it is reasonably sized for family packing, as long as everyone is comfortable using shared containers.

There are other lunch bags available that can accomplish the same job while allowing you to purchase multiple sets of reusable containers with the money saved. These alternative bags also come with shoulder straps.

If you specifically desire the specific accessories included in the Jaxx FitPack and wish to pack everything efficiently in one bag, then this product may be suitable for you. However, if that is not your exact requirement, the price may not be justified.


Everest – Cooler Lunch Bag


The Everest Cooler Lunch Bag is a simple yet functional product that meets the basic criteria for a lunch bag. It is leakproof and well-built. However, it lacks some additional features such as a liner or extra pockets. If you are willing to spend a few extra dollars, the Coleman 9-Can Cooler is a better option as it is easier to clean and offers more capacity.


PackIt – Freezable Lunch Bag


PackIt introduced an interesting concept with the Freezable Lunch Bag. However, the execution fell short. This bag performs its basic function of carrying lunch, but it is small and inconvenient to carry when frozen. When liquids were placed inside, they seeped through the inner liner. It may be suitable if you only carry dry lunch items, but be aware that the bag may accumulate odors over time due to liquid absorption.

While the idea of a self-contained ice pack is good, the compromises made in this product are not worth it. The High Sierra or Rubbermaid bags are superior in every way, as long as you are able to use conventional ice, freeze a water bottle, or purchase a separate freezable gel pack.


Oniva – Pranzo


Reviewing the Pranzo "Picnic Time" bag turned out to be a challenge. Oniva has carefully considered the features included in this bag, such as dual-compartment insulation for hot and cold storage, as well as a full set of silverware for a romantic picnic.

This bag would have easily received special recognition if the main compartment were slightly larger and included a removable liner. However, the eBags Crew Cooler II is capable of fulfilling all the functions of the Pranzo bag and more, as long as you are able to provide your own silverware.


Arctic Zone – Titan


The Titan, made by Arctic Zone, is quite similar to the Coleman 9-Can Cooler. However, it has a non-removable liner, a hard lid, and velcro instead of a zipper.

We appreciate the removable shelf and the capacity offered by the Titan. However, it is uncertain whether the size will be sufficient for those packing lunces for a group. Although the hard lid seems sturdier compared to the Coleman's soft lid, it still does not hold water when flipped upside down. Additionally, the durability of the velcro closure is questionable compared to a zipper.

If you desire more capacity than the Coleman bag and can find the Arctic Zone Titan at a reduced price, it may be worth considering. However, if you stick to the list price, it would be more economical to purchase two Coleman bags and have more drinks with the money saved.


Igloo – Maxcold Gripper 16


The Maxcold Gripper 16 from Igloo would have been an excellent bag if it included a liner and a better pocket. Despite this, it remains a solid choice for carrying a whole twelve-pack with ice and storing hot sandwiches in the insulated lid for an hour. However, it lacks a water bottle pouch, and the patch-style pockets can only hold flatware.

The shoulder strap is well-made and the handle is comfortable. The stitching is reinforced in the right places and the main zip is sewn with a liner tape to prevent snagging.

The antimicrobial lining proved to be fully waterproof during our testing, which is commendable. However, we would prefer a removable liner over antimicrobial materials. The Igloo Maxcold does not offer features that would make it a viable alternative to expensive coolers like the Mojecto, nor is it cheap enough to compete with our top pick. The only advantages it has over the Coleman nine-can cooler are slightly more capacity and a separate insulated compartment in the lid. However, considering that the Coleman is superior in every other aspect and costs about $10 less, the Igloo Maxcold is not the best option.


Ramaka – Large Insulated Lunch Bag


The Ramaka Large Insulated Lunch Bag is a basic yet well-performing option. It includes sturdy YKK zippers, a comfortable strap, and a spacious water bottle pocket that can accommodate a large Nalgene bottle. However, it is not significantly larger than the Coleman cooler and lacks a removable liner, making it slightly less convenient to clean.


BF Systems – Extreme Pak


We had high hopes for the Extreme Pak from BF Systems, expecting it to be a good budget-friendly option. However, there were several drawbacks. The main issue lies with the liner, which, despite being sealed with seam tape, still allowed water to leak during our tests. Although the leakage was not severe, carrying ice throughout the day would result in puddles. We do not recommend this product.


PackTOGO – Bento Lunchbox (Discontinued)


The PackTOGO Bento Lunchbox is the most affordable option among the bento boxes we tried. This may make it an attractive choice for some. However, its main limitation is its size. The three small compartments restrict what can be packed. If you plan on artfully arranging your food, this may be a great selection, especially considering the transparent lid. However, if you prefer to include larger items such as a celery stick or carrot, the Monbento box with its two deep rectangles would likely be a better fit. Additionally, we were concerned that the white plastic of the PackTOGO may stain more easily over time compared to the black plastic used in the Monbento.


PlanetBox – Rover (Discontinued)


PlanetBox offers a retro-cool style with its all-metal Rover lunch box. However, apart from its aesthetic appeal, it falls short in terms of functionality. Without a convenient way to carry ice, the tray inside the Rover becomes uncomfortably cold. While the compartments stamped into the Rover are practical, they are relatively small. The standout feature of this lunch box is the securely-sealing soup cup. However, chances are you already own a reusable container that can fulfill that purpose, rather than paying premium prices for the PlanetBox Rover.


Stanley – 7QT Heritage Cooler (Discontinued)


We have mixed feelings about Stanley's Heritage Cooler. On one hand, it is the most rugged cooler we tested. It is incredibly durable, with the ability to withstand significant impact. On the other hand, it is not easy to carry due to its handle design. The divided compartment also holds fewer cans compared to other coolers of similar size. While you can fit nine cans and ice into the 15.5-inch wide frame, the EvoVox cooler mentioned below can accommodate 21 cans within a smaller space of just 13 inches.

If the Heritage Cooler offered exceptional thermal performance or leak-proofing, it might have earned a special recommendation. However, it leaks when turned upside down, and its insulation capabilities are not remarkable. If you require long-term food preservation, there are cheaper and more efficient ways to carry ice than this behemoth. Nonetheless, the included vacuum-insulated 'Thermos' flask is a positive feature. We suggest purchasing it separately or considering a good travel mug if that is your primary need.


Mojecto – Cooler Bag (Discontinued)


The Mojecto Cooler Bag is essentially the same as the eBags Crew Cooler II, but slightly smaller. Its design and features are almost identical, including the expanding-wing water bottle pockets. While the zipper on the eBags cooler is sturdier, Mojecto opted for a slightly better shoulder strap.

If you do not require additional space and can find the Mojecto Cooler Bag at a lower price, it is a good choice. However, the list price of the Mojecto is higher than that of the eBags cooler. Therefore, if you prefer a larger bag, it is more practical to choose the bigger option.


EvoVox – Insulated Cooler Bag (Discontinued)


The Insulated Cooler Bag by EvoVox is an excellent bag and was a close contender for the best big-capacity cooler. Its construction is rugged, thanks to the inclusion of neoprene or a similar stiff foam for enhanced protection. The sides of the bag feel more rigid compared to the spongy foam used in other bags. However, this does not improve its insulation capabilities.

The reason this bag did not surpass the eBags Crew Cooler or Mojecto bag is because it only has one compartment. If you do not need to carry anything that cannot fit into the pockets, then this bag may be a suitable choice. However, we favored the flexibility offered by the two-compartment system in other coolers when filled with ice.


GreEco – Large Capacity Cooler Bag (Discontinued)


For those seeking maximum capacity at an affordable price, the GreEco Large Capacity Cooler Bag is a worthy option. We purchased it for $12 and were able to fit 18 cans into the super-tall compartment.

The GreEco bag did not leak during our testing. However, its construction was only average, and the shoulder strap was relatively short. This bag may be suitable for basic use and easy storage in a glovebox. However, we found the Coleman cooler to be far superior as an everyday lunch bag.

In conclusion, when it comes to high-quality insulated lunch coolers, the options are endless. Whether you're looking for the best overall lunch box, the best bang for your buck, or even a great thermos style option, there is something for everyone. Our team tested a total of 22 lunch boxes, and these top picks prove to be durable, practical, and innovative. So ditch the disposable bags and invest in a lunch cooler that will keep your food fresh, delicious, and safe. Upgrade your lunchtime experience with one of these top-rated options and enjoy hassle-free meals on the go.

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