Having something in which to carry your lunch is a must. But many lunch boxes are designed with kids in mind. As an adult, you want something convenient, stylish and that does the job. Coupling your lunch box with a backpack kills two birds with one stone; somewhere insulated to keep your food and somewhere to store your other essentials.
It sounds like a win-win, right? Well, it is but that’s based on the notion that you can easily find the best lunch box backpack. There are some great products out there but also some equally terrible ones. To save you the hassle of having to trawl the market for something special, we’ve put together a list of the best lunch box backpacks for adults. We’ve also got a helpful buying guide so you know exactly what you’re looking for.
Choosing The Best Lunch Box Backpack
We know that not all lunch box backpacks are made equal. In fact, there are some pretty unique differences between products, even though they’re all designed to do the same thing. With this in mind, it pays to spend a little time mulling over the features of a lunch box backpack to make sure it’s right for you. Here’s our guide on what you should be looking for.
Type Of Lunch Box Backpack
If you thought that there was only one type of lunch box backpack, then think again. One of the first things that people come up against when choosing between products is having to decide which is the best type. Let us introduce you to your three main options.
The Backpack With A Detachable Lunch Box
A backpack with a detachable lunch box has a dedicated compartment to store your food. In this case, it can be removed. The compartment is fully insulated to keep your food chilled or warm and the rest of the backpack contains space to store other items.
If you need versatility, then this is a brilliant option. You can take the backpack as a whole when you have a lot to carry but just detach the lunch box when you don’t have any additional items. What’s more, being able to take the lunch box off means that it’s far easier to clean and potentially more hygienic as you’ll be able to get into all the nooks and crannies.
What’s great about these types of lunch box backpacks is that they’re bursting with other features. If you’re used to using a regular backpack with things like a laptop compartment or small pockets then you’ll find most of these things on a backpack with a detachable lunch box.
The Backpack With A Built In Lunch Box
For some people, it’s essential to have an all in one product and that’s where the backpack with a built in lunch box really excels. They have many of the same features as the previous type of backpack including small pockets for things like your phone, pens, keys etc as well as large main compartments and a laptop pocket. However, they also have a built-in insulated compartment for food and drinks.
These backpacks are perfect if you’re often out and about and need to carry several items including your lunch. They’re great for students and people going to work as well as a day pack for outdoor pursuits like cycling and hiking.
The Backpack Lunch Box Cooler
If you’ve ever used a regular cooler then you’ll have a good idea as to what to expect with a backpack lunch box cooler. They’re essentially the same only in different forms. Your backpack will have a main insulated compartment for food and drinks as well as space for other items.
These are incredibly versatile and are perfect for outdoor adventures like a day at the beach, hiking and even short camping trips where you need to keep some food items cool. They have a lot of great features including things like non-leak seams and several smaller compartments for your everyday essentials.
Once you know what type of lunch box backpack you need, there are a few other things to think about. One of the most important is how well insulated the backpack is. You want to look for lunch box backpacks that are made by reputable brands such as Mier; this tells you that the insulation will be of a high quality and will effectively keep your food chilled.
Check that the food compartment is fully insulated and make sure that other features like leak proofing are included.
Size Of The Lunch Box
It’s super important to find a lunch box backpack that’s going to be large enough to accommodate everything you wish to pack. However, on the flip side, you also don’t want something that’s far too big, meaning you have to haul around an oversized pack.
Normally, when you’re shopping for a lunch box backpack, the retailer will give you information on how many cans of drink can fit inside. This gives you a good idea of the size of the product.
For those who just need something small to pack their daily lunch in then a backpack with a built in lunch box is a great choice. If you need something that’s much larger, perhaps for a family outing then we’d absolutely recommend choosing a backpack cooler as these are among the biggest.
While your lunch box backpack is a practical item, there’s no shame in trying to find something that looks good as well. If you’re going to have to carry the product around, you want it to be a reflection of your personality and there’s nothing wrong with that.
There are so many options when it comes to lunch box backpacks. You’ve got choices in terms of materials, colours, branding and so much more. Just like any other accessory, your lunch box backpack can make a real fashion statement.
Finally, you’ll want to think about what other compartments are available. While the main event may be carrying your lunch, you’ve probably got a whole host of other things you’ll need to carry. But this all depends on what you’re doing.
If you’re enjoying outdoor leisure activities like hiking or spending a day at the beach then you’ll want room for a change of clothes, towels, sun cream and other personal belongings. However, if you’re using the backpack for your daily commute, you might need a laptop holder or space for notebooks, pens and other supplies.
Think about what you’ll need and make sure that the lunch box backpack you choose can accommodate all of this.
Best Lunch Box Backpacks - Our Top Picks
Now you know exactly what to look for when choosing a lunch box backpack, it’s time to decide on a product. We have reviewed several lunch box backpacks and are confident that the following selection is among the very best.
OUR TOP PICK
We had to mention the Matien backpack as our top pick since this product really does have a lot going for it. Where others have issues with comfort and durability, the Matien lunch box backpack excels.
This is a brilliant choice for people who need a lunch box backpack for work or school as it has some tech-friendly features. For example, there’s a USB port and a laptop compartment as well as plenty of space for your other work day essentials.
The insulated compartment is just the right size for a single lunch and will keep your food chilled for a good few hours. It’s also brilliantly easy to clean so there’s hardly any maintenance involved with this bag. But when you don’t need to carry your lunch, there’s even the option to fold the insulated compartment away leaving you with more room for other bits and bobs.
This is a very durable lunch box backpack made from strong materials that won’t easily tear. If we had to mention a downside, we would say that the backpack could stand to be a little larger. It’s great for everyday use but if you were heading off on an overnight work trip, for example, you’d probably need a little more space.
Made from durable materials
Slightly too small
Great for work or school
The Lekesky lunch box backpack for women has to be one of the most stylish we have seen. It’s made from leather and has a real classy and elegant appearance that is perfect for work or school. In black, this lunch box backpack will go with almost anything so it won’t cramp your style.
But it’s practicality that we’re really interested in and what’s great about this lunch box backpack is how long it’ll store food for. It’ll keep things cool for up to five hours or keep things warm for up to four hours. If you know you’ll be taking a late lunch, you can feel confident that things will still be fresh.
This is a good sized backpack that’s got a lot of additional compartments besides the insulated one so it’s great for people who have a lot to carry. There’s a standard sized laptop compartment; another reason we’d recommend this for school or work as well as internal anti-theft pockets for your phone, wallet and other valuable items.
The Lekesky backpack feels incredibly sturdy and well made and people are raving about its quality. Moreover, it’s waterproof so you won’t need to worry in the event of a downpour. However, there have been some complaints about the shoulder padding being inadequate so if you’re going to have to carry the bag for long periods of time, this might be a reason to avoid this one.
Very stylish design
Shoulder padding not great
Well made and durable
Plenty of storage compartments
Keeps food fresh for a long time
The Lifewit backpack lunch box cooler is a very stylish and sleek looking product. That’s just one of the reasons we love it. It’s also perfect if you need to carry more food and drink with a massive 24 litre capacity. OK, it’s not as big as the previous product we looked at but it’s still plenty large enough for days out, camping, hiking and much more.
What really sold this lunch box backpack to us, however, was how well made it is. If you’re looking for something sturdy that will stand up to the challenges of the outdoor lifestyle, then there aren’t many others that will do as well. With an Oxford fabric exterior, you get durability and water resistance in equal measures and with food grade internal materials, you won’t need to worry about affecting the quality of what you’re carrying.
With all that durability in mind, there is one thing that a lot of people have complained about with this backpack; it’s not the most comfortable to carry. The base panel is quite hard and can feel pressing when you’re carrying the backpack for long periods especially if it’s filled to capacity. We’d love to see the manufacturer work on this problem as in all other aspects, it’s an excellent bag.
Uncomfortable to carry
Very well constructed
Leak proof seams
Additional non insulated pockets
BEST FOR DAY HIKES AND OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
When you’re heading into the great outdoors, you need a lunch box backpack that’s durable, reliable and large enough to carry enough food and drink to see you through your adventure. With a 39 can capacity, this is a brilliant choice for family days out, hiking and other day trips.
Another reason that we would highly recommend this one for outdoor pursuits is because of how breathable the material is. It’s been perfectly designed for ample air flow so even if you’re exerting yourself and building up a sweat, you aren’t going to be left damp and uncomfortable under the pack. Moreover, this is made from high quality materials that won’t rip or tear which is essential for something that’s going to be used for adventuring.
There are a few non insulated compartments which are great for things like knives and forks, wipes and other essentials. But there isn’t masses of room for anything large so you might need to take another bag for this which is something of a pain. That said, this is a super convenient lunch box backpack that’s versatile, easy to clean and doesn’t look too bad either!
Good shoulder padding
Not great for storing other items like clothing
Great for family days out
Bottle opener included.
BEST FOR LARGE GROUPS
If you and your friends or family are heading out for the day and have a lot of food and drink to carry then the Happy Picnic insulated backpack is a must have. For leisurely picnics, there isn’t another lunch box backpack that is quite as well equipped.
As well as having a decent amount of room for food, there is an insulated wine cooler compartment as well as a detachable internal pouch that can be used for ice and liquids. Everything is 100% leak proof so you won’t need to worry about cleaning up any mess. And when it comes to cleaning, the backpack is wipeable and super easy to look after.
But what really sets this lunch box backpack apart from the competition is how many accessories it comes with. There’s a picnic blanket, glasses, napkins, cutlery, plates, salt shakers and even a cutting board. It’s like taking your kitchen on the go with you!
There isn’t much to complain about where this lunch box backpack is concerned although if we had to point out anything, it would be that the zips could stand to be a little more robust.
Comes with lots of accessories
Zippers aren’t the best quality
Easy to maintain
Great for families and groups
When you’re out and about, it isn’t always ideal to buy your food on the go. That’s why having a lunch box backpack can be a real lifesaver. But you need to choose a product that’ll do an excellent job of keeping your food cool while also being robust, reliable and stylish.
It’s certainly not impossible to get a balance between all of these things but you will need to spend a little time looking over the features of a potential bag. Our guide tells you everything you need to look for as well as showing you some of the best lunch box backpacks on the market at the moment.