Do you prefer home-cooked meals over fast foods? Or do you want to save money spent on buying food from outside? Do you have a strict diet plan? Then you must invest in a lunch cooler that preserves your perishable home-cooked food. A lunch cooler is ideal to take your lunch to school, to work, or even when you are planning to go on a picnic or a camping trip.
When you are on a trip, you may not always find refrigerators to keep your food cool, and it is not practical to carry hard coolers with you because they are bulky. Unlike paper or polythene bags, lunch coolers are also eco-friendly because they are reusable.
Buying the best lunch cooler helps you stay healthy. You can pack the food in the way you like and keep the temperatures consistent for several hours. It made that cold food will stay cold, whereas warm food will stay warm. The insulation layers inside allow the food to adjust to the different temperatures outside. Therefore, your food won’t be spoiled and stay fresh until you decide it’s time to eat.
As multiple lunch coolers with different specifications are available in the market today, choosing the best lunch cooler that suits your requirements is not an easy task. Hence, after doing extensive market research, we picked the top five lunch coolers and prepared this guide.
The Top Five Lunch Coolers
Coleman 9-Can Soft Cooler with Removable Liner – The Best Spacious Lunch Cooler with a Removable Plastic Liner (B006HFC5F0)
Coleman is a world-renowned brand that supplies people with accessories related to outdoor activities such as camping. This 9-Can Soft Cooler is designed by Coleman using the latest technology to keep your food and drinks cold and fresh. You can store up to 9 cans in this nicely compartmentalized cooler. If you are packing with ice, use the hard plastic liner, and it’s unnecessary to use the liner if you store food items with ice substitutes.
The plastic liner is treated with antimicrobials to disrupt the growth of mold, mildew, and bad odors. The main compartment has heat-welded seams, which prevent leaks. You don’t have to worry about melted ice seeping out of the bag. It further maintains a cold environment inside the bag.
As the cooler is made with multiple pockets, you can store dry goods and other items like water bottles and silverware in the outside pockets while leaving room inside to store items that should be kept under controlled temperatures.
When talking about the external appearance, the cooler is easily portable with its adjustable shoulder straps and large-sized handles.
|The removable plastic liner makes cleaning of the bag easy|
Can store up to 9 cans
Available in four colors
Can keep your food cool for more than six hours
|If tipped over, any liquid inside will leak out.|
Some users have complained that the zipper of the cooler broke after using it for a while
If you are looking for a spacious lunch cooler that can preserve your food for more than six hours, then your go-to option is Coleman 9-Can Soft Cooler with Removable Liner!
Stanley Adventure Cooler – The Best Lunch Cooler with a Lifetime Warranty (B00JYFGVZA)
This cooler by Stanely specially designed for those who enjoy outdoor activities like camping, fishing, and picnics can keep your food cold for around 27 hours, thus ideal in carrying your lunch if you remain outdoors for a long period. The double-wall foam insulation, which is a special feature unique to this lunch cooler, keeps food cold for a period longer than other coolers.
Designed to last a lifetime, Stanley Cooler is tough on the outside. It is unbreakable because of the hard polyethylene outer shell. The silicone gasket on the lid guarantees a higher level of insulation, and when the latches are locked, the cooler is leak-resistant.
Another key feature of this lunch cooler is the strings on the lid which can hold items like a water bottle, thermos, or cutlery. The cooler is also easy to carry because of its top handle. Even though it can hold around 21 cans, the cooler isn’t heavy.
|Produced by a trusted brand|
Ideal if you are staying outside for a long period
Can keep food cold for a long time
Can store up to 21 cans
Available in four different colors
|Some users have complained that the handle breaks off easily|
No outside pockets
Some find the design unattractive
If you are in search of a durable and effective lunch cooler, go for the Stanley Adventure Cooler!
YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler (B073XC2F9X) – The Best Leak Resistant Lunch Cooler for Outdoor Adventures
Designed for outdoor adventures, Yeti Hopper Flip Portable Cooler can keep your food fresh and cold for a long period. This is known for its ColdCell insulation, which is a closed-cell foam that keeps the interior of the Hopper Flip cool for long periods. It can store around six cans with ice.
This cooler comes with a HydroLok zipper which makes it leak resistant. It is made of highly dense fabric, which helps resist dangers coming from the external environment. You can take this to places where direct sunlight falls upon since UV rays can harm neither the cooler nor the food inside. The wide-mouth opening enables you to arrange the items inside the cooler easily and see the inside.
Another key feature is the hitch point grid to which you can attach a bottle opener.
|Keeps your food cold full day long|
Made with hard fabric that enables the cooler to survive under harsh circumstances
Made with a carrying strap and a handle
Available in a wide array of colors
|More expensive than the other lunch coolers available in the market|
Some customers have faced zipper malfunctions
Some complain that the thick insulation reduces the storage space
If you decide to go on a picnic, camping trip, or fishing and want to take your home-cooked meal with you, we recommend you to buy a YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler!
CleverMade Collapsible Cooler Bag with Shoulder Strap (B07D86NR7J) – The Best Portable Lunch Cooler with a Collapsible Design
CleverMade Cooler Bag, with its collapsible design, is ideal for lunch at school or work, travel, picnics, camping, outdoor parties, grocery shopping, beach outings, and many other outdoor activities. The collapsible design comes in handy when traveling and when you don’t have much space in your home or car to store the bag.
When collapsed to less than three inches, the bag doesn’t tip over. It stays in its place because of its superb hinge system and the rigid baseboard and plastic feet at the bottom of the bag. The steel fire frame on the top completes the structure of the bag, which helps it stay in place rigidly.
It can hold up to 30 cans with ice. Therefore, this alone would be perfect for storing all the drinks you need for an outdoor party. Because of the triple-layer leak-resistant insulation liner that completely seals the interior of the bag, you don’t have to worry about leakages and carry your drinks and food anywhere. Carrying the bag is comfortable, because of its side-grip handles and a shoulder strap, with a padded lining.
The lunch cooler is made up of some hard polyester material that will guarantee its longevity. To ensure the safety of the food you pack inside the bag, clean the bag with water and mild soap and let it dry.
|The special collapsible design makes it easy to store the bag when not in use.|
Can store up to 30 cans with ice
Easy to clean
Available in two colors; Blue and Grey
Triple-layer leak-resistant insulation
Includes a bottle opener attached to the handle
|No additional pockets outside the cooler|
Buy a CleverMade Collapsible Cooler Bag with Shoulder Strap for an amazing outdoor experience!
PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag with Zip Closure (B00HJ8DFGC) – The Best Lunch Cooler with Built-In Cooling Technology
PackIt, a California-based company, with its patented technology has won the trust of many people by producing lunch bags with the special ability to cool and preserve food without putting ice packs. This lunch cooler is unique because of its built-in cooling technology, which is absent in many other cooling bags available in the market.
A freezable gel is applied to the bag’s wall, giving it the ability to keep the food preserved inside cold for several hours. You have to fold and freeze the bag overnight, expand and pack your food inside neatly in the morning, and you will have fresh food and drinks to enjoy throughout the day. The bag is made out of non-toxic poly canvas with a water-resistant lining, and the zip closure on the top locks in cool, dry air. Because of the in-built cooling technology, you have more than enough space to store your food and drinks.
The buckle handles easily, and you need to simply attach the cooler to backpacks, sports bags, and strollers. The bag is food-safe because of the non-toxic materials with which it is made and can store milk, vegetables, fruits, sandwiches, and drinks. The bag also has an appealing outer appearance and is available in many patterns and colors.
Make sure you keep the bag clean, making it a habit to wipe it thoroughly, or hand wash the interior with water and mild soap.
|Super cooling power because of the freezable gel lining|
Can save money spent unnecessarily on ice or gel packs
Available in different colors and patterns
Made out of non-toxic material
|Some people complain that the bag can’t maintain the temperature all-day|
Some Users find it to be too small in size.
If you are looking for a high-quality, lunch bag with built-in cooling technology, then PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag with Zip Closure is the right choice for you!
Choosing the Best Lunch Cooler to Buy
Having nutritious home-cooked food is important for a healthy lifestyle. Whether you are going to school or work daily or planning an outdoor adventure with your friends, making home-cooked meals with you is safe and healthy as well as cost-effective.
But, you have to ensure that your home-cooked meals stay fresh until you decide it’s time to eat. Preserving your perishable food will not be an issue anymore with the different types of lunch coolers available in the market. Nonetheless, before choosing the best lunch cooler to buy, you have to consider several factors.
Important Factors to Consider when Buying the Best Lunch Cooler
Size is one of the key factors that you should consider when buying a lunch cooler. If you are only buying a lunch cooler for work, or to school, you might only need a small one. On the other hand, if you intend to go on a picnic, camping, or throw an outdoor party, you might need a big one with a roomy interior.
Maintaining the temperature
Before buying a lunch cooler, you have to take into account how best the cooler can maintain the temperatures of the food you store inside it. Some coolers will allow you to put ice or gel packs with food to create a cold atmosphere.
Some are designed with inner insulation layers which help to retain the temperatures of food items and drinks for several hours. Lunch coolers like PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag that come with built-in cooling technology won’t need additional ice to keep the food cold. Some lunch coolers come with outside pockets where you can store your dry food items, cutlery, and napkins.
You should be able to carry your lunch cooler easily to the places you want without it being an additional burden on you. For this purpose, almost all the lunch coolers come with adjustable handles and shoulder straps. Some shoulder straps even have padded lining to maximize the comfort of the users. Some lunch coolers like Stanley Adventure Cooler even allow you to carry your water bottle conveniently with the help of the strings attached tocolors the lid of the box.
Before you invest in a lunch cooler, make sure that you purchase one with a long life. It should be water-resistant and unaffected by other hazards from the outside environment. Since you carry it outside, it is prone to dropping, wearing, and tearing. Therefore the material used should be resistant to water and other environmental hazards. The zipper also needs to last long, because, with a broken zipper, your lunch cooler would be useless.
Since the lunch cooler is something you take to work, school or camping with you, its external appearance is a matter of importance. It should be attractive and elegant.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are lunch coolers made of?
The materials used to make lunch vary from one cooler to another. However, the outer layer of all lunch coolers is made out of strong and durable fabric to befit them for outdoor usage. The inner lining is made out of materials that are good insulators so that they can maintain the temperature inside. All material used is food-safe and waterproof.
How do lunch coolers work?
Lunch coolers are designed to maintain the temperature of food and drinks for a long time when kept outdoors. Inner air circulation is not permitted inside the cooler making the cold food and drinks you put inside remain cold for several hours until you decide on the time to eat. Some coolers want you to place ice packs with food to lower the temperature further.
How can I clean my lunch cooler?
You have to clean the lunch cooler according to the given instructions. The most common way is to hand wash it using water and mild soap, wipe it with a damp cloth and let it dry.
How long can I keep my food cold inside a lunch cooler?
The time depends on the type of cooler you would select to buy. Most lunch coolers are designed to preserve food for one complete day. Some coolers can maintain the temperature for around 27 hours
The money you put into buying the best lunch cooler will never go to waste because lunch coolers can be used for many purposes. If you are a student or a working person or a traveler who is interested in camping, going on picnics, and other kinds of outings. However, still prefer home-cooked food over restaurant food, and you will need a lunch cooler to preserve your food until you decide on the time to eat.
This guide will help you to read carefully analyze the top five lunch coolers available in the market today and buy the best lunch container that suits your budget and personal requirements.