The Best Insulated Lunch Bag

Updated on 12 October 2022

After 12 hours of research and a thorough review of 44 models, including seven tested, we have determined that the PuTwo cooler bag currently represents the best value for money.

This comparison is certified 100% impartial and follows our selection process.

Our choice, Best mid-range

PuTwo Lunch Bag

Very practical, it is very well organised inside and has several pockets. Its performance in terms of waterproofing and insulation is worth noting.

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PuTwo Sac Isotherme

This 8 L model is ideal for a lunch for one person. It has two levels with a removable insulating divider (to separate drinks or cutlery from lunch boxes). During our tests, we found that it is perfectly airtight and that the seams are very strong. Hot food is preserved for 2 to 6 hours and fresh food for 6 to 8 hours. As for carrying, it has a removable shoulder strap and a handle, allowing it to be carried in different ways. It also has two front pockets and a rear mesh pocket, although they are a bit small. Unfortunately, its design did not seduce us as it looks like a camera bag from our point of view.

 

 

Best budget

Maped Picnik Origins

Its affordable price, easy access to the contents and verified waterproofing are the strong points of this simple model, especially for children.

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Maped Picnik Origins

The bag has a capacity of 6.4 litres, enough room for a child’s or adult’s snack, lunch and drink. Our 750ml water bottle fits perfectly in it. The carrying handle and lightweight are comfortable to carry, and the polyester outer fabric passes the waterproof test with flying colours. Thermal insulation is guaranteed for about 6 hours with an ice pack. During this time, our water bottle stayed quite cold. In terms of practicality, we liked the large zip opening. Thanks to it, we were able to organise our lunch perfectly. However, the zip sometimes gets stuck, and there are no pockets.

 

Best high-end

Lekesky Cool Bag

It is distinguished by its attractive design and practical pockets. Its insulating character is well present, but as it is not completely waterproof.

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Lekesky Sac Isotherme

This 11 L model, similar to a handbag, has a cute design, which makes it elegant to carry for a more feminine audience. The insulated front pocket is handy for cutlery or other cold items, and the wide opening allows good access to the contents. Also, the design seems quite good, but unfortunately, it is not completely weatherproof, as water leaked slightly during our test. However, it keeps warm for 6 hours and cold for 12-14 hours (with a cold pack).

 

Our selection

Our choice, Best mid-rangeBest budgetBest high-end
PuTwo Lunch Bag Maped Picnik Origins Lekesky Cool Bag
Very practical, it is very well organised inside and has several pockets. Its performance in terms of waterproofing and insulation is worth noting. Its affordable price, easy access to the contents and verified waterproofing are the strong points of this simple model, especially for children. It is distinguished by its attractive design and practical pockets. Its insulating character is well present, but as it is not completely waterproof.
£ 12.99 on Amazon £ 9.97 on Amazon See the price on Amazon

 

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How did we do the tests?

To evaluate these insulated bags, we first judged their capacity and the practicality of their compartments by placing packets, tupperwares and bottles of different sizes in them. It also enabled us to judge the practicality of the pockets and zips. We then weighed each of the lunch bags, both full and empty, and rated the carrying comfort as well as the comfort of the handles and straps.

Of course, we check the quality of the design by paying attention to the stitching. For waterproofing, we placed a generous amount of water in each model for several hours to see if the liquid passed through the structure. We then tested the insulation performance by placing food products in each insulated bag and measuring the temperatures before and after with a food thermometer. Finally, we cleaned each of the models.

 

How to choose your lunch bag?

Like the lunch box, the insulated bag has become an everyday item for many workers. Not surprisingly, the European market is full of all kinds of models.

Sac Isotherme

To help you decide which one is most likely to meet your needs, we have listed a few things to consider:

  • The dimensions: this first criterion is crucial, as the size of your insulated bag goes hand in hand with the amount of food you intend to put in it. If possible, choose models that can be folded for easy storage in the cupboard or freezer (during a possible cooling period).

Sac isotherme repas

  • The materials: this type of product usually has a nylon or vinyl coating. Although nylon is more expensive than vinyl (and is increasingly being replaced by 600D polyester), it has the advantage of retaining heat optimally, while remaining highly breathable. Note, however, that a vinyl bag will do very well for keeping warm for short periods.

Sac isotherme repas

  • The isothermal function: if you are looking for a model that is capable of keeping your food hot or cold, it must be made of polyester, appreciated for its high resistance, polyurethane (PU), which is very breathable, or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), known for its resistance to fats, oils and chemicals. However, PVC is increasingly being replaced by ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA), which is less toxic because it does not contain chlorine.

Sac isotherme repas

  • Maintenance: some cooler bags can be machine washed, but in most cases they should be hand washed. A sponge and some soap will suffice.

Sac isotherme repas

  • Accessories: in addition to numerous pockets (inside and outside), these insulated bags can also have removable straps or plastic liners. These not only keep your things upright but also prevent food from spilling out.

Sac isotherme repas

 

Other recommended cooler bags

Pierre Cardin Aruba Celeste (£15.12 upon publication): ideal for a family picnic. This bag has a nice capacity (25 L), which leaves room for a lot of stuff (including 2 L bottles). The wide access makes it easy to store and organise your lunch. There is also a front pocket. While it is slightly bulky when filled, it is light and compact when folded. The insulation performance is good (up to 12.5 hours of coolness). Nevertheless, during our test, the structure showed some weaknesses, notably in the seams and the shoulder strap which is not very comfortable. We also noticed some water loss in one of the corners of the bag.

Packit PKT-PC-BLA (£21.00 upon publication): its good insulating properties balance out its lack of waterproofing and practicality. This 4.5 L bag folds for easy storage in the freezer. The cooling gel ensures good efficiency (up to 10 hours of insulation), and the two closures guarantee better protection of the contents. The detachable strap allows it to be attached to another bag. However, in our tests, it showed flaws in terms of waterproofing. Its capacity is also more limited, and we found it heavier to carry than its competitors. The lack of pockets is also a flaw.

 

Other tested cooler bag

Moyad Lunch Bag (£25.99 upon publication): poor insulation and lack of waterproofing. This lightweight bag has a capacity of 10 L and a small front pocket for your cutlery. With the contents, it looks like a small handbag, so it is more suitable for women. We found it comfortable to hold, but water leaked through the walls several times during our test. Also, the insulation does not last as long (only 4 hours).

 

Translated by Ramsés El Hajje

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