One thing you need to know about me is that I’m always looking for the best meal prep bags for work to make meal planning for my busy week more manageable.
You may think, ‘Who cares about meal prep bags this much?’. Well, I do.
I have a husband I pack lunches for every morning before work, and as a full-time worker, I also gotta eat.
As a Type A, finding the best meal prep bags to take to work is something I take seriously because I enjoy having my meals fresh and warm when lunch break comes around.
In the past, I used a couple of meal prep bags that made packing lunches a pain.
Some of them were not properly insulated to maintain the temperature I wanted, while others had poor durability, often causing me to panic and wonder if my packed lunch was going to suddenly slip out.
Over time, I’ve had the opportunity to test out a couple of bags, and I thought I would come on here to share with you some of my affordable best meal prep bags for work in case you’re just like me, always on the hunt for the perfect blend of functionality, style, and durability.
Why Investing in a Quality Meal Prep Bag Matters
When I first started meal prepping, I didn’t care about purchasing quality bags.
I assumed buying quality meal prep bags was a waste of money since I only saw them as a means to transport food and nothing else.
However, after countless spills, inconsistent food temperatures, and the occasional wear and tear, I began to recognize the undeniable importance of investing in good meal prep bags.
Plus, given that I was meal prepping for a 9-5 job that required me to be on-site for 12 hours, I knew I would benefit from the extended insulation, better organization, and rigidity that a good bag offers.
If you are on the fence about shedding a few extra dollars to get the best meal prep bags, let me be the first to tell you that it is totally worth every penny.
A good quality bag can streamline your meal planning and reduce the temptation to eat out (especially if your food remains warm when it’s time for lunch). Plus, many of them are built to last, so you won’t have to worry about replacing them ever so often.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Meal Prep Bag For Work
If you are new to meal planning or are a seasoned meal planner looking for the best meal prep bags to take your preparation to the next level, here are some factors to keep in mind when deciding what bag to buy:
Before making a purchase, take a look at the size of your meal prep containers. The last thing you want is to buy a meal prep bag only to realize that your meal prep containers can’t fit it.
Consider not only the length and width but also the depth of your containers to ensure they fit comfortably within the bag’s compartments.
Additionally, consider any extra items you typically carry, such as cutlery, condiment containers, or even a water bottle, and ensure there are compartments for them. This way, you’ll have a bag that perfectly accommodates your entire meal prep setup.
When trying to find the best meal prep bags, a significant component you should always look for is insulation.
Trust me, as someone who has purchased several lunch bags in the past without proper insulation, I can’t even begin to describe how frustrating it is to eat lukewarm meals at lunchtime.
Therefore, I suggest getting a bag with good insulation to ensure your food stays hot (or cold) when lunch rolls around.
Drawing from my experience as an engineer who has worked in the food packaging industry, I recommend keeping an eye out for materials like high-density foam or foil lining.
These are renowned for their excellent insulating properties, and this specific feature can make a substantial difference in how effectively your meals stay at the right temperature during meal prepping.
Related Post: 7 Genius Meal Prep Hacks to Save Time in the Kitchen
Accidents happen from time to time, so having a leakproof meal prep bag is essential to prevent spills and keep your bag and surrounding items clean and dry.
The last thing you want is to pack that one sauce you were really looking forward to using only to discover it has leaked all over your carefully prepared meals, turning everything into a soggy mess.
Opting for a leakproof meal prep bag ensures your sauces and dressings stay contained, preserving the integrity of your dishes.
My Top 5 Best Meal Prep Bags For Work
Now that we’ve addressed the importance of having a quality bag and some factors to consider when making a purchase let me share with you my top five best meal prep bags for work that have truly made a difference in my food planning routine.
It’s important to note that they’re not ranked in any particular order. Each item brings something unique to the table, so it really comes down to personal preference and specific needs.
Let’s dive in!
1. Outdoorwares Cooler Lunch Bag
This outdoorwares lunch bag is honestly one of the best meal prep bags you can snag on Amazon for the price point and features you get.
I love this bag so much because of how much space it has. I can fit me and my husband’s lunch and some additional snacks and drinks without feeling cramped. It’s been a real game-changer for our on-the-go lifestyle.
- Good Insulation: The insulation can last as long as 5 hours, which is great if you work a 9 to 5 job and still need things warm by lunch break.
- Large Size: If you’re searching for the best meal prep bags with ample space for numerous containers, this larger option should be your top pick.
- Multiple Compartments: I love that the bag has many compartments for water bottles and snacks. It keeps everything nicely organized and easily accessible, which is a game-changer for busy days.
What I don’t like about it:
I don’t particularly appreciate that it’s not fully leakproof. Depending on the type of sauces you carry, if you get any spills, this can create a mess in the bag. It would be a significant improvement if they could enhance the leakproof feature.
I’m also not the biggest fan of the material. I like my meal prep bags to be more rigid; these, however, feel a bit too flimsy for my liking. I prefer a sturdier material that gives me confidence in its durability, especially for daily use.
Overall, it’s still one of the best meal prep bags for the price and features you get.
2. Joyhill Lunch Box
I love this Joyhill lunch box soo much because it comes in different sizes, making it super versatile for various portion sizes and types of meals. Plus, I love how rigid it is.
If you’re packing a hearty salad or a selection of snacks, you can always find the perfect size to fit everything comfortably.
- Affordable: The price point is decent for the material quality and specifications you get.
- Excellent Insulation: This is a great choice for those wanting to keep their meals hot or cold.
- Variations: You can get it in multiple colors and sizes to suit your aesthetic.
Cons to consider:
Although this meal prep bag is impressive, I wish it had slightly bigger compartments. My husband and I use large water bottles, and these barely fit them.
3. Lokass Meal Prep Bag
For all my ladies out there who still want to look cute and fancy while carrying a lunch bag, this Lokass bag THE ONE!!
I’d be honest with you… sometimes at work, I get so uncomfortable carrying the traditional-looking meal prep bags we’re all used to seeing.
Those meal prep bags are so basic that they practically shout, “I’m about to eat!” which draws unnecessary attention.
That’s why I love this lunch box – it’s sleek, modern, and doesn’t scream “meal prep” to everyone in the office.
It allows me to carry my meals with confidence and a touch of personal flair without making them the center of attention.
If you’re looking for the best meal prep bags that won’t compromise on functionality or style, this one ticks all the boxes.
It’s a must-have for those who want a practical yet fashionable solution for their meal-planning needs.
- Affordable: You can indeed get nice things at very reasonable prices, and this bag is a perfect example of that. Despite its budget-friendly cost, it doesn’t skimp on quality or features.
- Sleek design and variations: The bag also comes with various options to choose from, which can be a plus if you’re trying to coordinate outfits.
- Durability: For the price point, the material is also very resilient and long-lasting. It can handle the wear and tear of daily use, making it an excellent investment for anyone needing a sturdy meal prep bag.
What I don’t particularly like about it:
It stains easily on the inside. Because of the white interior color, it can leave noticeable marks, which can be hard to clean thoroughly. This aspect can be a downside, especially if, like me, you frequently pack vibrant or saucy meals.
4. Rockland Guard Meal Prep Bag
I love this rockland guard bag for packing up extra containers, especially if I’m having a longer shift at work that may require me to have both lunch and dinner on hand.
I can easily stack three meal containers in the center and put a water bottle on the side, as well as some silverware.
Even with all that, there’s still some room to spare, making it incredibly convenient for days when I need to pack a little extra. This extra space comes in handy for fitting in a piece of fruit or some snacks without everything getting overcrowded.
- Size: It’s the perfect size for packing meals for one person. It’s not overly spacious nor too snug – it fits perfectly. This is particularly beneficial if you use multiple containers to organize your meals into separate categories.
- Multiple compartments: The bag has a lot of compartments to fit in a lot of essentials.
I don’t like that it is not as sturdy. It tends to tip over when empty, which can sometimes be annoying.
However, this is a personal irk of mine, but it may not be a con to you.
5. Kato Lunch Bag
I purchased this kato lunch bag recently to pack my meals for work on days when I work fewer hours. And I must say, it is pretty darn good!
I got it because I wanted a small bag that won’t take up too much space on my work desk, and this is perfect.
Although it’s smaller than the others I’ve mentioned, it has enough room to carry the basics.
I can easily fit in one meal container, a small water bottle, a small snack, and my silverware.
I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a simple meal prep bag that won’t break the bank.
- Super affordable: You can get this on Amazon for under $15. For the size and quality, that is a great deal.
- Sturdy: When empty, it doesn’t collapse or lose its form. This feature speaks to its durability and ensures that it’s easy to pack and unpack without any hassle.
- Size: It’s pretty small, making it an excellent choice for those who want a more portable meal prep bag!
What I find less appealing about it:
I’m not a fan of the limited number of compartments. The few it does have are relatively small and can hardly accommodate anything substantial.
I often have to fit all my items, including silverware and snacks, into the main compartment, which can get a bit crowded and less organized than I’d prefer.
Despite this, the bag’s other features certainly compensate for this drawback. The durability, size, and ease of use have made it a reliable choice for my meal prep routine.
Personal Preference Matters
In a nutshell, finding the perfect meal prep bag is all about what works best for you. Consider things like insulation, size, and your personal style.
At the end of the day, this is only a guide, So feel free to pick the one that speaks to you, and happy prepping!