Adult lunch boxes and bags for the office, beach and beyond

Use an insulated adult lunch box or bag to avoid spoiling your food.

April 19, 2024, 4:07 AM
Top portable lunch boxes for adults
Top portable lunch boxes for adults
ABC News Photo Illustration

If you're someone who's always on the go, having a quality lunch box can make all the difference.

Lunch boxes and bags aren't just for kids -- lunch boxes for adults are a practical purchase for those who pack a lunch for work, for travel, or for a day picnicking on the beach.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, "food is unsafe to be eaten if it’s kept in an old-fashioned brown paper bag longer than two hours." They recommend an insulated lunch box to keep food at a safe temperature.

PHOTO: Top portable lunch boxes for adults
Top portable lunch boxes for adults
ABC News Photo Illustration

When it comes to cold foods, "you’ll want to use at least two cold sources in an insulated bag to keep perishable foods in your lunch safe; ice or gel packs in your insulated bag or box work best." Perishable foods can be left at room temperature for no more than two hours. So, be sure to shop for a bag that allows room for both cold sources and the food itself.

For hot lunches, the USDA again recommends an insulated container. "Before you warm up your food, fill the container with boiling water and let it stand while you heat your food. Heat your food to at least 165°F, then empty the water out of the insulated container, pack your food and seal it tight."

We're looking out for all of the top-rated best lunch boxes for men and women, from CalPak's insulated lunch bag with a drawstring closure to YETI's water-resistant lunch box, L.L.Bean's soft cooler and Zulay Kitchen's insulated tote lunch bag with a 4.9-star rating. We've also included the Hydro Flask lunch box and a stackable bento box to keep your food separated throughout the day.

We considered both function and style when shopping, eyeing qualities like interior insulation, durability, and pocket organizers as well as water-resitant bags and those you can clean without fuss. We appreciated styles that were available in multiple colors or prints to best suit your personality, too.

Check it all out below.

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Unisex lunch boxes and lunch bags

15% off

LOKASS Lunch Bag

Considering its 4.8-star rating and more than 21,000 reviews, this insulated lunch bag is a great option to shop on Amazon. It's available in various colors, textures and styles to best suit its user. For example, shop this beige style with white trim or opt for a grey bag with brown handles. Fill it with your lunch or snacks and use its side mesh pocket or front pocket for a drink and utensils. 

  • $20.39
  • $23.99
  • Amazon

Bentoheaven Premium Bento Box

Pack your lunch with ease using this stackable Bentoheavn bento box. It's microwave- and dishwasher-safe with an adjustable divider to separate food. Use it to pack food for school, the office or travel. It has a 4.5-star rating and more than 10,000 reviews on Amazon.

  • $29.99
  • Amazon

Lunch Box

This YETI lunch box is perfect for a quick lunch at work or to bring with you on an outdoor adventure. "It's packed to the gills with insulation power, engineered with a water-resistant exterior, and built with a rock-solid form factor so it holds its own when riding in backpacks and bags," YETI's website claims. Clean it with a cloth or towel when you're on the go. This particular lunch box has a 4.6-star rating and more than 1,400 reviews. 

  • $80
  • YETI

Hydro Flask Lunch Bag - Insulated Reusable Zipper Travel Lunchbox - Non-Toxic & BPA-Free

Hydro Flask's insulated lunch bag has lightweight insulation and an abrasion- and water-resistant exterior. It's available in two sizes and four colors on Amazon. 

  • $49.95
  • Amazon

Lunch boxes and lunch bags for women


Insulated Lunch Bag

CalPak's insulated lunch bag has a 4.9-star rating and more than 1,000 reviews. We love it's stylish design featuring a drawstring closure and multiple prints and colors to choose from. The bag has an insulated and water-resistant interior and multiple pockets for organization. It's easy to clean too, so pack it for the office, a park picnic, or a road trip. 

  • $48
  • CalPak

business & pleasure co. Premium Cooler Duffle Bag

This business & pleasure co. cooler duffle bag is a roomy option to take to the beach, the park and beyond. It has an insulated, waterproof interior and a top carry handle. Or, carry it with its removable, adjustable crossbody strap. This vintage yellow colorway has a summery lemon print on the interior. 

  • $79
  • Nordstrom

Petunia Pickle Bottom Tandem Water Resistant Bottle & Lunch Box

This water-resistant, faux leather lunch box for moms can hold up to three regular-sized bottles, an ice pack and snacks. 

  • $44
  • Nordstrom
33% off

Zulay Kitchen Insulated Tote Lunch Bag With Soft Padded Handles

Zulay Kitchen's insulated tote lunch bag has a 4.9-star rating at Macy's. It's made with a durable, water-resistant knitted exterior and comes in 10 colorways, including Blue Wildflower, leopard and a black daisy print. 

  • $28.13
  • $41.99
  • Macy's

Bentgo Deluxe Lunch Bag

This vibrant Bentgo lunch bag is ideal for spring and summer style. It boasts that it can keep food warm or cool (with an ice pack) for up to four hours with its leak-proof thermal insulation. This bag has a spacious interior for a full meal and snacks plus an external pocket for utensils. It also has adjustable straps and can be cleaned with a damp cloth. 

  • $42
  • Macy's

NOL Natural Organic Lifestyle Insulated Lunch Bags for Women

Shop this NOL insulated lunch bag in three sizes and multiple colors, including cream, yellow, purple and pink. It has a 4.6-star rating and more than 1,100 reviews. The bag features one main compartment with a zipper closure, an interior zip mesh pocket and an insert pocket on the outside of the bag. It is made of waterproof nylon and says it's tear-resistant. Carry it with its top handle or crossbody with an adjustable shoulder strap. 

  • $24.99
  • Amazon

Lunch boxes and lunch bags for men


Carhartt Deluxe Dual Compartment Insulated Lunch Cooler Bag, Black

This Carhartt lunch cooler bag comes in multiple colors like black, navy, grey and brown. It has an insulated main compartment for food and drink plus a separate top compartment. Users can carry it by its top handle or shoulder strap. It has a 4.8-star rating and more than 14,000 reviews on Amazon.

  • $29.50
  • Amazon

Soft Pack Cooler, Lunch

This L.L.Bean cooler has multiple interior and exterior pockets. It's available in three color combinations, including this black and shale grey option. Reviewers give it a 4.6-star rating on L.L.Bean's website.

  • $44.95
  • L.L.Bean
Mark & Graham

Waxed Canvas Lunch Cooler

This insulated lunch bag from Mark & Graham is made with waxed canvas for a rugged look that "looks and feels better the more you use it," according to the brand's website. It features a clipped top handle, a buckled roll-top closure and can be monogrammed for a personal touch. 

  • $59
  • Mark & Graham