A new school year will be here soon enough, and if you’re like me, you’re in the market for a new lunch box. My current teacher lunch bag holds plenty of food and keeps everything cold, but it’s just kind of frumpy and lame. I’m ready for something new.
I’ve talked to my teacher friends and scoured Amazon and Target to find the best teacher lunch bags and boxes on the market.
PS – As an Amazon Associate, I may earn pennies on the dollar anytime you click one of my shopping links. I only recommend items that I want to Add to Cart myself 🙂
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15 of the Best Teacher Lunch Bags
Whether your classroom has a fridge or not, you’ll be happy with this selection of bags.
Not a fan of purple? Don’t sweat it; this bag comes in 24 different colors in both solid and patterned designs. It’s insulated, large capacity, and it’s one of my top picks for teachers for teachers on a budget. Teachers say that it keeps their lunch cool with an ice pack for over 5 hours and can handle a hot meal better than expected, too. There’s also a nice roomy side compartment for your water bottle.
This stylish little bag is popular for teachers and school leaders who need a separate compartment for warm and cold food. The bottom compartment holds 8 cans of coke (please don’t drink all that at work unless your bladder is much tougher than mine). However, another reviewer complained that her Bento boxes don’t fit on the bottom. Better to check the measurements!
The most important feature in a lunch tote bag for me is SIZE. It takes a lot of calories to fuel this teacher’s body, mind and spirit. Okay, mostly I’m eating for my spirit. I do like to pack a lunch, an apple, and usually a little dessert to perk me up around 2:30. This bag looks like it could accommodate all that. Plus, there’s something weirdly nostalgic about a rolltop bag. Is it reminding me of packing a sack lunch? Perhaps.
This is a great choice for people who need something customizable. Perhaps one day you’ll bring leftovers to put in the microwave and the next day a salad with special dressing. Either way, this Bento box can handle it, and best of all, you can remove layers if it’s not all necessary. I like the stackable food container for teachers who like some variety in their lunch time.
If you’re a teacher who is concerned about the amount of plastics in your life, consider this stainless steel lunch box. This one is the perfect size if you’re looking for a hearty lunch but still need an easy way to monitor your portion control. It can hold a sandwich or wrap with a couple of cookies and apple.
This pricey lunch box screams “We’re a two income family.” Honestly, it’s not clear to me why anyone would need a lunchbox this expensive, but if you’re a teacher who loves a brand name, this one’s for you.
Yeti is known for keeping things cold and it’s a well-engineered product. It also comes in fun, stylish colors. So if you’ve got cash to burn, this is probably the Stanley jug of lunchboxes. It could also make a thoughtful gift if you’ve got a teacher in your family.
This insulated lunch bag with an adjustable shoulder strap has a unique vintage style, so it’s my favorite choice for artsy types. Best of all, it’s got a pretty huge capacity. It can hold 2 large containers, 2 small containers, two apples (but why?), and a water bottle. It can manage 10 pounds of food! That’s too much even for my snacky self.
It looks borderline military grade – so perhaps this one is perfect for all those middle school teachers on the frontlines? Hah.
These are the best lunch bags for teachers who prefer a stylish look at a low price. There are several different color options in this insulated lunch tote. I like the fact that they’re up front about the fact that an ice pack or two is still required to keep your food cool. Honestly, most teachers I know use a classroom fridge anyway.
Honestly, this lunch box looks more like something you’d carry to a worksite, but teaching is like that sometimes. If you’re looking for something with a rugged appearance, or else just have major brand allegiance to the Stanley brand since those jugs took over the universe, this may be one of the best lunch boxes for you. It’s giving road trips and field trip vibes, I think!
Here’s a great idea for teachers who aren’t big into snacking – or else keep all their snacks in the classroom. If all you require is a hefty bowl for salads or soups, this one fits the bill. I like the clever stackable design for toppings and dressing.
If you don’t want to fool with ice packs, this is a great solution! You freeze the entire bag (assuming you’ve got space in your freezer), and then the special freezable gel liner inside the walls of the bag keep your lunch nice and cool all morning.
This brand has been around quite a while, and most people use them for kids’ lunch boxes. But I found this grown up collection and it seems like a smart solution for those who don’t keep a fridge in their classroom. I don’t love the patterns, but form follows function!
I don’t know what’s happening in your school, but in my little corner of west Texas, this pattern is in classrooms all over our building. Jump on the bandwagon and enjoy this funky little dotty pattern for your school lunches. It’s a medium-sized insulated bag that covers all the basics without any crazy frills. Most teachers will appreciate the price, too!
Reviewers loved this bag because all the patterns are so cute. I see at least 3 patterns that catch my eye, and none of them are overdone. Even the florals look unique! Better yet, this bag can hold quite a few food storage containers, so it’s bigger than it looks. It keeps warm foods toasty and cold food fairly cool.
What more could you want? It’s pricier than many of the other “made in China” options but not nearly as expensive as the Yeti. Phew.
Here’s another great option for teachers who are content to carry a pasta, soup, or salad and leave all the extras in their desk drawer. These do a great job of keeping a hot lunch nice and toasty. Plus, it’s such a slick looking bowl! You can probably just toss the whole thing in your teacher bag rather than needing a second bag to haul around.
This is a fun, nostalgic bag that’s perfect for those of us with fond memories of carrying a brown paper sack on a field trip. Of course, the best part was bringing a Coke can wrapped in aluminum foil, right? Luckily, it includes better handles, which I appreciate.
Most of the retro reusable brown paper bags require you to roll the top. I like the funkiness of a brown paper bag, but I don’t want any of the inconvenience that comes with it. This is the best of both worlds!
Why Most Teachers Pack a Lunch
If you’re about to start your first teaching job, you may be wondering why you need a lunch sack, especially if you’re a career switcher who is used to eating out or running to the house for lunch.
Most teachers pack a lunch because you only get about 25 minutes to eat, and by the time you run down the street for fast food, there’s no time left to eat. There’s also no wiggle room – you CAN’T be just a minute or two late. It’s simply not done in schools because then other people end up extremely inconvenienced taking care of your students.
There’s certainly no time to run home, unless you live a block or two away from your campus.
At our campus, most grade-level teams will get a delivery order about once a week. That can be fun, but all the surcharges add up and most teachers don’t have the extra room in the budget to pay for delivery on a daily basis.
Packing a lunch is a pain, but it’s also the most affordable and time-saving way to eat.
When you’ve only got 25 minutes to scarf down your meal before you’re back on duty, you’ll want every minute to count. Having the best teacher lunch bag isn’t exactly a game changer, but it’s a small thing that might make you smile. I hope you find one you love!