From a rugged Carhartt to an elegant bento
Whether you work in an office or the great outdoors, the right lunch box can make all the difference, both in terms of convenience and cost savings. While keeping a variety of professions, styles, appetites, and budgets in mind, we’ve rounded up the best lunch boxes for men below.
Consider the following criteria to help you find the perfect lunch box or bag for you:
Lunch Box Size & Extras
Be sure to pick a lunchbox size that works for the length of your workday—and don’t forget about room for snacks. If you prefer bringing a drink with you to work, you should also consider a box that comes with a quality thermos or water bottle, too.
Insulated lunch boxes are ideal for keeping meals the right temperature, but you may have to provide an ice pack for some of them. Hard-shell and stainless steel lunch boxes are great for tougher job sites (and can have a cool vintage look to them) but be prepared for the added weight of hauling them to and from work. Canvas lunch boxes, especially water-resistant waxed canvas ones, are extremely durable and resistant to tearing while still flexible enough to fit into a crowded communal work fridge. But some canvas needs to be hand-washed instead of tossed in the washing machine, so make sure it’s a fit for your needs.
Lunch boxes with removable liners or hard interiors make for easy clean-up. For options with softer interiors, a pick with anti-microbial technology weaved into the liner might be worth considering, since it helps combat mold and mildew build-up.
What fans are saying: “I was looking for a slightly larger lunch box with a rigid removable liner, and this Coleman cooler didn’t disappoint. I’ve carried my lunch in it every day for several months and it works great. Often the zippers or the stitching around the zipper is the first thing to go on lunchboxes. This is well-made, and the zippers have held up just fine. It’s nice to be able to remove the liner and rinse it out after a messy lunch. I highly recommend.”
What fans are saying: “I purchased this for my husband who works outdoors in the cold. First of all, the thermos alone is worth the money. It keeps coffee extremely hot all day. The lunch box is very roomy and holds quite a lot and keeps lunches cold. I would recommend this to anyone. Worth every penny.”
What fans are saying: “I’ll keep it short: A standard lunch bag without any cool features or compartments. Durable, good looking, no rips or tears after 3 years of daily usage. Inside wipes/cleans well if there are any accidental spills and does not leak. Not the best for temperature control for half or full day but it will hold hot/cold food for the work commute.”
What fans are saying: “I’ve been using this lunch box for almost one month. It’s seriously the best $35ish I’ve ever spent. I’ve lost weight, I eat way less junk, and it’s actually been quite entertaining deciding what to put in each container every day. I thought I’d be sick of washing containers by now, but it hasn’t really been a problem. It keeps cold things cold and hot things hot and provides excellent portion control.”
What fans are saying: “This lunch bag is the best! It’s sturdy, has plenty of room, and the water bottle/cup holder is great. There is a pouch on the front of the bag that is perfect for holding your cell phone and other small items. Best lunch bag I’ve found, plus it is made by Carhartt.”
What fans are saying: “I work in construction and this cooler stood out to me as ‘fitting’ for my job… […] The cooler has worked flawlessly for me for over a year. It has withstood being tossed in the back of a pickup truck with loose construction equipment and materials. The size is about as large as you can get for a lunchbox-type cooler without bringing in a full-size tailgate cooler. I couldn’t be more satisfied. Highly recommended!!!”
Also Nice: These Reusable Ice Packs With Over 5,000 Reviews
These reusable ice packs are slim enough to fit into all kinds of lunch boxes and bags, and they’ll keep your meals chilled for several hours—with or without the fridge. They also boast a 4.2-star rating and over 5,000 customer reviews. Simply allow them to freeze overnight, and then pop them in your lunch box before work. Just keep in mind that these aren’t dishwasher-safe.
What fans are saying: “These work great! I use two of them for my lunch every single day. They keep my lunch cold for up to four hours even though my insulated lunch bag sits at my desk instead of being put in the fridge.”