Lunch bags that will inspire you to take a proper midday break

Daily takeout from your favorite kitchen.

food in a container
Don’t skip the noonday meal.Ella Olsson via Unsplash

Remembering to pack a lunch on your way out the door can be challenging. If forgetting means you can justify a fancy lunch out, it’s even harder to make a commitment to preparing something ahead of time. But fancy lunches add up, don’t necessarily fit with your healthy eating plan, and can eat up your lunch break while you’re waiting for your food. These lovely lunch bags solve some of the most common objections to prepping the noonday meal ahead of time, from soggy paper bags to lukewarm food. Best of all, you can pack as many dill pickle spears as you want.

WEI CLASSIC Waxed Canvas Lunch Bag
Pretty on the inside and outside. Amazon

If you like your lunches simple and have a place to store them when you arrive at your destination for the day, this beautiful take on the plain brown paper bag is a must-have. The blue leaf pattern set against a tan background evokes a quaint pastry shop or local market, even if you’re just carrying saltines and string cheese. The bag is made from waxed canvas. At 14 inches high when rolled, 9 inches wide, and 6 inches deep, it also has room for a bento box.

PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag
No more lukewarm yogurt.Amazon

If you frequently leave yesterday’s ice pack thawing in your car and use that as an excuse to skip bringing your lunch from home, this bag is for you. You still have to unpack it at the end of the day, but instead of relying on separate ice packs to keep your food cool, fold the bag up and pop it right into your freezer. The walls of the bag are lined with non-toxic gel which gets sufficiently cold for lunch storage in about 12 hours. It’s available in a variety of designs and is 10 inches tall, 8 inches wide, and 5 inches deep when unfolded.

SoYoung Small Cooler Bag
Adorably foxy.Amazon

This linen cooler bag features a striking fox print with matching light blue accents, and also comes in other animal designs for the hungry omnivore or herbivore. It’s not particularly large at 7 inches wide, 7.5 inches tall, and 4.5 inches deep, but it will accommodate a modest meal in style. The bag is insulated with a lining that helps keep food cool with the aid of an ice pack, and can be slung over your shoulder or worn like a messenger bag. It can even be secured like a backpack with the aid of the adjustable strap, though smaller kids may find this option more comfortable than adults.

YETI Daytrip Packable Lunch Bag
For those who revere the midday meal.Amazon

If you demand your portable lunches and snacks arrive at about the same temperature as they were when you left your house, you might want to invest in this heavy-duty bag. Designed to hold in both heat or cold with durable insulation, a magnetic closure and room for a powerful ice pack, this bag keeps pickles, drinks, and the lettuce on your BLT crisp and refreshing until you’re ready to dig in. The 8.75 inch length and height coupled with a width of 5.75 inches makes it a reasonable size for one lunch, though for picnics you’d probably be better off getting a cooler.

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