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Let’s face it – the 21st century people are incredibly busy. Our days are so hectic that we don’t even find sufficient time for a healthy lunch, choosing to grab a snack at a fast food restaurant nearby. Luckily, technology comes to our rescue yet again, blessing us with an incredibly helpful invention that is known as a meal prep bag. With the best meal prep bag, you can now enjoy home-made meals throughout the day, thanks to the adequate insulation the bag provides that keeps your food fresh for long hours.
However, while meal prep bags are excellent products, not every model is ideal for you. With that in mind, we have gathered a list of the top ten meal prep bags on the market, while being guided by some key factors. The first one is size, which often determines how much food you can carry. Another one is straps, which determines the carrying convenience of the bag. We also considered the insulation and the number of compartments, amongst many other factors we factored in.
With that said, it’s important to stress that this guide is a result of our research that lasted tens of hours. From customers feedback to products specifications, we’ve consulted all the important sources to create ten in-detail product descriptions. Moreover, we’ve carefully structured this guide to make it optimally helpful and easy to read. Starting from our comparison table which compares all our picks to our tips-filled buying guide, we’re confident that everything included will lead you to the right product for your needs, the meal prep bag of your dreams.
Accessories included: 2 x 1.5-cup container; 4 x 2.5-cup container; shaker cup; vitamin pill box; ice pack; shoulder strap
More features: double insulation; 100% lifetime guarantee
A good meal prep bag is not only suitable for a particular age class, it should be versatile enough to be ideal for everyone. Fortunately, the ThinkFit Insulated Lunch Box perfectly ticks this box as it’s designed to fit both adults and children. When it comes to the specifications, this bag contains six microwave and freezer-safe meal boxes. To reduce your cleaning time, the included meal boxes are also dishwasher-safe. And if you’re thinking about the carrying convenience, the bag comes with a shoulder strap that makes it more than portable.
Like we’ve already mentioned, the package contains six meal boxes, which are two 1.5-cup serving size and four 2.5-cup serving size. It also includes one shaker cup with three storage containers, an ice pack, and one push button vitamin pill box with seven compartments. The bag boasts of a double insulation system, which helps maintain the food’s optimal temperature until eating time. Moreover, the bag is very sturdy and features a double-stitched strap handle to help prevent mechanical wear and tear.
The included containers are also leak-proof, which helps prevent accidental spill and preserves the initial taste of the food as well. Not only that, but the bag also has a side zipper pouch for holding protein shakes and a water bottle. With all these features, the bag is one of the most versatile models on our list. Probably the only downside we found is the fact that the shoulder strap might seem too short for taller individuals.
More features: seamless ultrasonic welding, reinforced zipper, 15 l capacity, padded shoulder strap, 5-layer construction
Made with premium-quality material and sporting a unique design, the Maelstrom Insulated Lunch Cooler Bag is among our top picks. Apart from being beautifully designed, this bag is also durable, thanks to 5-layer construction and seamless ultrasonic welding. That apart, it also features sturdy reinforced zippers, which makes it easy for you to access the content of the bag whenever you want.
Furthermore, this portable bag is designed to accommodate up to six containers. It allows you to keep everything in an appropriate order, providing super-useful smaller pockets as well. The box is also well insulated, which ensures that your food remains fresh for many hours.
The bag also features bottle holders and mesh pockets, which provide enough room to keep your keys and cell phone. It also comes with a padded shoulder strap. For optimum convenience, the shoulder straps are detachable and adjustable, allowing you to carry the bag easily. On the downside, id doesn’t include containers.
Accessories included: 6 containers (1 x 12-oz.; 1 x 16-oz.; 1 x 28-oz.; 1 x 38-oz.); 2 ice packs; shoulder strap
More features: keeps food and drinks cold for 12-16 hours
Isolator Fitness keeps working day and night just to ensure that you eat healthy meals at all times, regardless of where you are. The Isolator Fitness 3 Meal Insulated Lunch Bag is yet another high-quality meal prep bag from the famed company and it comes with everything to always provide you with the special treatment you deserve. The bag features six leak-proof meal containers to ensure that the bag doesn’t become messy. The included containers are also dishwasher, freezer, and microwave safe, thanks to the unique construction.
It’s also important to note that the included containers arrive in four completely different sizes, which means they will always meet your needs and wants. What’s more, the lunch bag is completely insulated and made to preserve the coldness or warmth of your food for twelve to sixteen hours. Apart from that, there is also a front-loading compartment for easy access, and the compartment can fit up to four containers simultaneously.
In addition to two external mesh pockets, the ISOBAG also comes with two zippered, insulated side pockets. Not only that, but it also features a small mesh pocket at the top of the bag. And for carrying convenience, comes the bag with a padded shoulder strap. However, the bag actually looks smaller than it appears, according to most buyers, and that’s its only shortcoming that may actually be an advantage for some. Be sure to check the dimensions before you make your final purchase.
What we liked:
Comes with four dishwasher and microwave safe containers
The containers are of different sizes
Comes with a padded shoulder strap for easy transportation
Why haul a bulky cooler around when it can be easily carried on your back? This was definitely the exact thought that North Coyote had when they manufactured the North Coyote Insulated Backpack. This bag allows you to enjoy the luxury and convenience of a backpack and soft cooler consolidated into a single unit, freeing up your hands to carry other essentials. From all indications, this meal prep bag is specifically made for the outdoors.
Lightweight, water-resistant, and ideal for all types of outings, the North Coyote Cooler Backpack comes with heat-sealed seams that guarantee the most enjoyable outdoor experience. Moreover, the bag is very well insulated, featuring a water-resistant cooler compartment that is lined with a foam insulation of the highest quality. With this, your beverages and food will remain fresh and cold for many hours. Also, the product is made with premium-quality and durable materials, which makes this backpack a tear-resistant model as well.
And for extra comfort and easy transportation, it comes with breathable mesh back padding, adjustable padded straps and a quick grab handle. The large backpack also features two mesh water bottle pockets and four easy-to-access zipper compartments, which include a separate compartment for your laptop and a smaller compartment for your essentials like phones, pens, and credit cards. On the downsides, the bag doesn’t have any balance – which means you can’t make it sit down without supporting it with some at all. It will fall over if you don’t do that and that can be really frustrating.
What we liked:
Made with premium-quality and durable materials
Breathable mesh back padding and adjustable padded straps
Accessories included: 4 x container; pill box; 3 x gel packs
More features: 3 external zippered pockets; 2 side pockets; 6 design options available
Who said a meal prep bag should look like you’re heading to the gym? The 6 Pack Fitness Renee Leather Tote is an awesome example of how both attractive and practical a meal prep bag can be. Despite the manufacturer describes it as a women’s model mainly, we don’t see any reason for it not to be unisex. This super-stylish lunch bag allows you to carry the meals for a complete workday (four meals/eight hours) while also allowing you to store your commuter accessories and office gear. Not only is it stylish, but also convenient as well, making it one of the best options you must consider when looking to buy a meal prep bag that will allow you to eat healthy while you’re at work.
In addition, the Renee leather lunch bag has an insulated modular core system, which is preloaded with four snap lid containers one sport nutrition compact to organize supplement pills and three gel packs to make meals fresh and organized for more than eight hours. There is also a large, zippered primary compartment which includes an inner sleeve that will contain tablets and laptops measuring up to thirteen inches, along with organizational pockets for essentials like your wallet, keys, phone, music player, and more.
As if all those weren’t enough, the manufacturer also included three external zippered pockets to keep your frequently used items. There are also two more pockets on the side for storing your favorite healthy snacks. As for the disadvantages, the bag seems to be too heavy, at four pounds. Moreover, it’s actually overpriced, considering that the materials it is made of are of average quality.
Accessories included: 12 containers (2 x 12-oz.; 6 x 16-oz.; 2 x 28-oz.; 2 x 38-oz.); 3 ice packs; shoulder strap
More features: multiple color options; 4 insulated compartments; 3 mesh pockets
Made by one of the leading manufacturers in the industry, the Isolator Fitness 6 Meal Insulated Lunch Bag is another top-notch product on this list. Featuring well-insulated compartments, this lunch bag promises to keep your food at maximum temperature for twelve to sixteen hours. Sporting a unique design which consists of individual compartments, this bag is capable of accommodating various sizes of meal boxes. And it’s also one of the best meal prep bags for family traveling, thanks to its spacious construction.
Furthermore, the lunch bag comes with two meshed exterior pockets which allows you to carry snack bars, for instance. It also features an extra insulated pocket on top of the bag. If you’re looking to store your vitamin pills or a single meal, then the top pocket could be suitable. Moving on, the package contains food containers, which are leak proof, BPA free, recyclable, dishwasher and microwave safe. That apart, it also contains six different–sized meal boxes.
To maintain cooler temperatures, the bag comes with three ice packs which are called ISOBRICKS by the manufacturer. This model also boasts of a carrying handle and a padded shoulder strap, which allows you carry it easily. While this bag is a little costly, it is worth the price as it comes with extra perks like a 200 plus-paged meal prep encyclopedia and a cookbook for recipes.
The only drawback is that the boxes included are of low quality, which you may have to replace after only a couple of months. Also, note that the bag is quite bulky to take it along with you on a daily basis.
What we liked:
The included food containers are BPA-free and leak proof
Properly insulated to keep your food temperatures for 12 to 16 hours
Carrying handle and shoulder strap for added convenience
Accessories included: 4 x 2-cup container; 2 x 1-cup container; vitamin pocket pack; reusable ice pack
More features: quilted dobby, nylon fabric; exterior zippered pocket
If you’re looking for something that seamlessly combines style and convenience, then the Fit & Fresh JAXX Quilted Meal Prep Yoga Bag should be your top consideration. This super-versatile quilted meal prep bag is designed to help you enjoy healthy meals on-the-go. Despite having a soft texture, it is still durable, and comes in a nylon, black fabric that looks super cool, whether you are headed to the gym or the office. The interior is also lined in pink for added style.
In addition, the meal prep yoga bag comes with six containers, which have measurement marks to allow for portion control – four 2-cup containers and two 1-cup ones. Apart from that, the Yoga Bag also features a separate leak-resistant and insulated compartment, which has an easy-to-clean PEVA neutral gray lining. It doesn’t stop there – the containers are also dishwasher safe to reduce your cleaning time and microwave-friendly for simple reheating.
The bag is also designed to effortlessly house a rolled yoga mat and has an external zippered pocket for items such as keys, phones, and handles. However, while this model delivers a great performance, we think it is still a little overpriced, especially since it’s a tote bag.
More features: 2 design options available; unisex design
Are you looking to go for a camping, a short trip, or a picnic soon? Perhaps you want to carry some food and drinks along at work? Then the Outdoorwares Cooler Bag is exactly what you need. This insulated cooler bag from Outdoorwares is designed to keep your food and drinks in the ideal temperatures, whether it is warm or cold. Indeed, this meal prep bag comes with everything to make you feel at home while away from home.
Furthermore, the Outdoorwares bag comes with many pockets where you can fit a lot of bottles, tuppers, and cans. With the multiple pockets on the bag, you can easily organize your outing. It also has a very large capacity, which makes it ideal for camping, beach days, weekend trips, and picnics. When it comes to the design, it’s suitable for both men and women, thanks to its beautiful and elegant unisex design and cube shape.
The functionalities apart, the cooler bag is very comfortable and easy to carry around. First of all, it comes with a long, durable, and adjustable strap which you can use to easily carry the bag. If you don’t like that, however, the cooler bag has a comfortable handle with which it can be conveniently carried.
Disappointingly, the company is accused of false advertising, as the pictures of the bag make it seem as if it comes with some plastic containers. Sadly, it doesn’t come with any container whatsoever. Besides, it doesn’t hold a good shape, especially if there are no containers in it.
Dimensions: 10 x 6 x 6 inches (Large); 7.5 x 5 x 5 inches (Small)
Weight: 11.4 oz. (set of two)
Accessories included: cotton gift bag
More features: stainless steel zippers; made of polyester 300D
If you are looking to keep a healthy and practical lunch, the Hango Insulated Lunch Bag is made just for that, eliminating the need for a quick unhealthy snack. This product is a thermal bag that perfectly blends the convenience required to carry your meals with an elegant and modern design that allows you to use it nearly anywhere. Besides, the high-performance thermal insulation of the bag will keep your snacks and meal at the perfect temperature for long.
Furthermore, the manufacturer has made this meal prep bag in two different sizes, which makes it ideal for different people. For instance, you can use the small bag if you only want to carry your personal food on the go and you can use the larger bag if you want to carry food for yourself and other people. Of course, the two sizes come in the same package, and it isn’t overly expensive, so you don’t need to worry about making any compromise.
The bag is constructed with high-density polyester 300D, which is an incredible strong material, especially for making bags. If you are looking for a premium-quality bag that won’t cost you a lot, then you can’t look beyond this bag. However, while this bag has a quite good insulation, it preservers cold meals better than warm ones. Thanks to this, it’s not really a great option for lunch boxes.
Accessories included: 2 x meal container; shaker bottle; 2 x ice pack; padded shoulder strap
More features: interior pocket; expandable side pockets
Whether you are in need of an organized system for your travel, an additional dosage of inspiration for your fitness goals, or only some option to eat healthy, home-made meals at work, the Fitmark Box Meal Prep Insulated Bag has you covered. This carefully engineered meal prep bag incorporates everything required to reach whatever goal you have. Complete with compartments and containers to guarantee perfect organization of your meals, supplements, water bottles, and snacks, it offers you the freedom to prepare it and just forget it.
Despite being portable and lightweight, this lunch bag from Fitmark is built with a rugged nylon material, along with a super-durable strap. Moving on, it also comes with two seal-tight meal containers, which apart from being microwave and dishwasher safe, are also BPA free. That’s not where it ends though – the bag also comes with a custom shaker bottle with protein and vitamin mix organizer. With this super easy-to-use bag, maintaining a diet filled of fresh, balanced meals has never been so easy.
On the external part of the bag, it features pockets, which are designed for storing your water bottles while in the outdoor. It also has a back-side pocket in which you could keep your diet and workout journal. Overall, it’s a great lunch bag. Although it’s not spacious enough and the zippers are not well-sealed, they shouldn’t be deal breakers.
What we liked:
Portable and lightweight
The included containers are dishwasher and microwave safe
Easy to use
Comes with lots of pockets for added convenience
What could be better:
Not spacious enough
The zippers are not well-sealed
Things to Consider
Apart from the purpose and style of your meal prep bag, it’s important to note that there are lots more that make a good meal prep bag. If you want to put yourself in a position to be able to choose the best model for your needs, then there are some things you must know.
How a meal prep bag can improve your life
Neat meal preparation
Regardless of the kind of food you want to take with you, a meal prep bag makes it easy to pack and store it. The bags typically come with some neat compartments and leak and spill-free containers, which offer a more organized and safer way of preserving your lunch.
You will save money
Eating healthy does not necessarily have to be costly, especially if you have got a meal prep bag. Take advantage of your meal prep bag and carry home-made food with you on your trip, or even to work. This means you will be spending less money on eating outside at lunchtime at work, which is usually expensive. Basically, a meal prep bag helps you to save money.
You won’t waste food
We know there are many times in the past you have had to throw away your food that got spoilt before you got some free time to eat it at work. Do you remember how bad you felt? Well, a meal prep bag can help you avoid such ugly situations. Since a meal prep bag will help preserve the freshness and warmth of your food until you are ready to eat it, there is no chance of your food ever getting spoilt again.
Helps you to avoid rush and harmful diet
When you have a meal prep bag that helps with your activities, there is no chance of you rushing onto food joints to consume unhealthy meals. Since a meal prep bag stores food at its optimal temperature without affecting its taste, you can easily plan when to eat your food without being concerned about spoilage.
It teaches you the art of portion control
Probably the most beautiful thing about having a meal prep bag is that it teaches you to stay balanced. Packing your meals in different containers keeps you from reaching for more. Essentially, it teaches you portion control, which is vital if you want to consume the appropriate amount of nutrients and lose weight. While you can still give yourself a treat from time to time, keeping a tab on the amount of food you’re consuming is important.
Features to consider before buying a meal prep bag
Meal prep bags are important for a healthy lifestyle. Apart from helping you to store your food, these bags are also essential to stay healthy as they prevent you from consuming junk food at work or wherever you go.
While choosing the right meal prep bag for your needs can be a challenging task, below is a guide about some things you need to take into consideration when looking for the best meal prep bags to buy.
Keeping your meals properly insulated is the main function of a meal prep bag. Whether it is a warm item or a cold one, they must be able to retain the right temperatures from storage time to consumption time. At least, a good meal prep bag has to keep your food fresh for four hours. However, keep in mind that insulation system doesn’t depend solely on the kind of bag you buy, but on the containers as well.
Store your food only with a bag that has proper insulation mechanisms, preferably one with EPA foam or PEVA lining. There are bags that preserve meals using nylon, but we don’t recommend such. While the nylon layer actually insulates the meal, it can’t really sustain it for long periods.
On a similar note, if the meal containers are made with durable materials and feature a great airtight mechanism, another layer of insulation is added to your food.
Before opting for a meal prep bag, it is important to understand exactly what you need, especially when it comes to the dimensions and sizes. If you intend to be taking your meal prep bag to work, it wouldn’t be ideal to be carrying a super-large meal prep bag that can even double as a traveler bag. While most meal prep bags are simple and compact, there are some exceptions which are made for a different kind of people like gym enthusiasts or travelers. Such bags will be perfect for storing multiple boxes to preserve food for a whole day.
You also need to take the size of the containers into consideration. While some boxes feature portion control systems, some do not. If you are always conscious of your health or you are on a diet plan, we recommend you to choose a model with portion-controlled containers like the Fit & Fresh JAXX Quilted Meal Prep Yoga Bag.
Handles and straps
The handles and straps that comes with the bag are another important consideration you need to make before making an order. How exactly do you want to carry your bag? On your back? Over your shoulder? Or you want to carry it in your hand? Obviously, the straps and handles must be included and they must be sturdy enough so that they won’t tear too easily. The Secura Large Insulated Cooler Lunch Bag and the Fitmark Box Meal Prep Insulated Bag are two models with excellent straps.
It is also important for a prospective buyer to consider the weight of the meal prep bag. Since these bags are actually designed for on-the-go usage, we don’t think it makes sense to go for a model that is heavy, considering the fact that you’re likely to carry other things apart from the food.
The materials used to construct your meal prep bag can affect many other factors, the biggest of them being portability and durability. For instance, despite the fact that a plastic meal prep bag may be ideal for movability as plastic models are often foldable, it’s durability may be questionable. You have to ensure that the material used to make your meal prep bag is perfect for your needs and wants.
There are also some additional features you have to factor in when looking for the right meal prep bag for your needs. First of all, you need to consider the design, and make sure it’s produced with convenience and comfort of the users in mind. The truth is that the compartments on some bags are not easy to access, so you must avoid such bags.
You should also check if the bag comes with multiple pockets as they are often useful for storing your essentials. Also check the quality of zippers as some bags often come with low-quality ones, which may start giving you problems from the very first day.
Who and when will benefit from such a bag most
While those who often stay at home may never have any need for a meal prep bag, there are some people who need it more than anything in the world:
Fitness enthusiasts – Fitness enthusiasts are probably the biggest beneficiaries when it comes to meal prep bags. Like we’ve already mentioned earlier, these bags help users to eat healthy, and eating healthy is one of the most important elements of staying fit.
Busy businessmen – Businessmen who are often going on long road trips will also enjoy using a meal prep bag a lot. This is especially true if such a businessman doesn’t like eating outside or enjoys eating home-made meals as he can easily bring home-made food along on his trips and eat healthy wherever he is.
Schoolchildren – Meal prep bags will also significantly benefit schoolchildren, allowing them to eat healthy, home-made meals during lunch time at school. Parents are also beneficiaries as they can rest easy knowing their wards are not at any risk of eating unhealthy meals at school.
Campers – Campers, hikers, and outdoorsmen in general will also derive a lot of profit from meal prep bags. With such bags, they can easily prepare and preserve the food they will eat throughout the day.
Both. Insulated bags are designed to preserve the temperature of food put in it whether it’s cold or warm. Of course, if you put a container of cold salad together with one filled with hot lasagna, they will most likely both get warm after a while. Also, if you want your food to be warm for a long time, don’t forget to remove an ice pack from inside the bag.
While there is no specific answer to this question, we’d say 12 hours at least. However, there are models that promise to keep your food fresh for up to 16 hours, like the Isolator Fitness 6 Meal Insulated Lunch Bag and the Isolator Fitness 3 Meal Insulated Lunch Bag.
This also depends on the model. While some bags like the are washing machine-friendly, some would tear apart if washed with a mashing machine. So, we recommend you to check thoroughly and verify the kind of materials used to make your bag before going ahead to wash it with a washing machine.
For its impeccable blend of versatility, durability, and high performance, the ThinkFit Insulated Lunch Box is our number one meal prep bag. A lot of efforts have been invested in this high-quality product, that’s probably why its manufacturer backed it with a lifetime guarantee. It’s very difficult to point at anything that’s wrong with this meal bag. Without any doubt, it’s the best prep meal bag on our list.
However, while the ThinkFit model did take the first place on our list, it had a tough competition from the Secura Large Insulated Cooler Lunch Bag. Obviously, this one takes our second spot and it’s very deserving of the spot. Not only does it feature a beautiful design, it is also the most durable option on this list. Featuring most of the things you want and lacking almost everything you don’t want, this bag is worth every penny.
Our third pick is a model from Isolator Fitness, which is actually one of the leading companies in the business. That’s probably why it’s not surprising that their Isolator Fitness 3 Meal Insulated Lunch Bag offers such a strong performance. Featuring six leak-resistant containers and being completely insulated, you can’t go wrong with this excellent product.