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.
Lunch Box Materials
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.
- Lunch Box Materials: This soft-shell cooler, made of waterproof nylon, doesn’t include an ice pack, but with a 4.4-star rating and over 3,000 customer reviews, you’d be hard-pressed to find a higher-rated ice box cooler than this one.
- Cleanliness: This option comes with a removable plastic liner that’s treated with antimicrobials, which help fight the growth of mold, mildew, fungus, and odor.
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.”
- Lunch Box Size: Stanley’s seven-quart heritage cooler is big enough to accommodate healthy appetites, and its compartmentalized interior is great for keeping your snacks separated. While it does feature double-wall foam insulation, it doesn’t come with an ice pack. But conveniently, this pick does come with a 1.1-quart, vacuum-insulated, stainless steel thermos that’s BPA-free, leak-proof, and promises to keep beverages hot or cold for 24 hours, and iced for 120 hours (pretty darn impressive).
- Lunch Box Materials: Like all Stanley “Classic” line products, this plastic lunch box comes in the iconic hammertone green color and is built to withstand the toughest job sites. Plus, it’s BPA-free and comes with a lifetime warranty.
- Cleanliness: Since it features smooth plastic inside and out, this pick should be a cinch to wipe clean. However, keep in mind that the thermos isn’t dishwasher-safe.
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.”
- Lunch Box Size: This canvas roll-top insulated lunch bag is on the smaller side—measuring 7.5 inches by 9.5 inches by 5.5 inches—so it’s ideal for smaller appetites, or if you simply don’t want to carry a large lunch box on your commute. Its compact size also means it can fit into some of the tightest communal fridge spaces. Inside, you’ll find an interior mesh pocket for the included nontoxic ice pack.
- Lunch Box Materials: Made of waxed canvas and featuring a faux leather trim with an adjustable buckle closure, this lunch bag definitely earns points for style.
- Cleanliness: The interior has a grey, waterproof PEVA lining that’s easy-to-clean and totally PVC-free.
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.”
- Lunch Box Size: This compact lunch tote by Upper Order comes with flexible, expandable sides and a storage capacity of 6.5 liters, so it can easily fit a meal as well as a drink or snack. It comes with an inner mesh pocket that’s great for utensils, and it has a sizeable outer pocket that’s big enough to fit a phone, pen, and wallet as well. Plus, this option boasts a 4.6-star rating and hundreds of customer reviews.
- Lunch Box Materials: The exterior of this pick is made from heavy-duty polyester oxford cloth canvas, and it comes with a break-resistant zipper and a reinforced handle. The interior features a heavy-duty, rip-resistant, food-safe, polyester aluminum liner. Though an ice pack isn’t included, thick insulation promises to keep your food hot or cold for hours.
- Cleanliness: This lunch box cleans up easily with soap and water.
- What fans are saying: “My husband uses his Upper Order Lunch Box Tote every day to take his lunch to work and loves it. Very well-insulated so he’s able to keep his lunch cold in his office without even having to put it in the office fridge! It’s also really stylish and professional looking.”
- Lunch box size: Backed by nearly 1,000 customer reviews, these bento-style lunch jars comes with three microwaveable inner bowls that fit into one stainless steel vacuum-insulated jar, and the set includes a forked spoon and an easy-to-carry tote bag as well. While nicely compartmentalized, this pick is probably best for smaller appetites since the containers are fairly small.
- Lunch Box Materials: Since this lunch jar is 100% stainless steel, it’s quite sturdy. The individual bowls are made with BPA-free plastic.
- Cleanliness: This lunch set features a nonstick interior coating for easy cleanup, but all the pieces must be washed by hand with nonabrasive cleaning pads.
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.”
- Lunch box size: Carhartt’s Vertical Insulated Lunch Cooler Bag is tall enough to fit up to six 12-ounce bottles, and features a side mesh pocket that holds the included BPA-free, 20-ounce water bottle. It also has a front zipper pocket for holding things like utensils and condiments.
- Lunch Box Materials: Exterior-wise, this pick is made of heavy-duty polyester fabric with durable water-repellent technology. On the inside, you’ll find a fully-insulated compartment. However, it is a soft-sided cooler so it’s not quite as uncrushable as some other picks on this list.
- Cleanliness: With it’s smooth interior, this lunch box is easy to wipe clean.
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.”
- Lunch Box Size: The 14.8-quart Igloo Playmate Cooler is roomy enough to satisfy the biggest of appetites.
- Lunch Box Materials: Since this pick is made entirely of impact-resistant plastic, it’s durable enough to withstand tougher job sites, like construction work. The only downside is that it doesn’t come with an ice pack.
- Cleanliness: The hard outer shell and smooth, plastic interior of this pick makes this option super easy-to-clean. Additionally, this lunch box cooler has a patented tent-shaped locking lid to help prevent spills. It also boasts a 4.1-star rating and hundreds of customer reviews.
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!!!”
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.”