While packing your lunch might seem a little juvenile at first glance, the benefits to brown bagging it are huge. First, you’re eating healthier because you’re controlling what you eat (it also prevents you from grabbing a candy bar or a bag of chips at check out because you’re stressed).
Second, you’re saving a ton of money without even noticing it. Trust us: If you want to bulk up your savings, try bringing your lunch everyday for a month. That $10 you spend everyday on a mediocre sandwich or a limp salad adds up to a whopping $200 a month in sad desk lunches that you largely ignore while wolfing them down as you stare at your computer screen. Convinced yet? Hauling a lunch box isn’t just for elementary school kids anymore, and we believe in that statement so much that we’ve rounded up the 12 best lunch boxes for grown-ass men. Though, if you want to cart around one of those old school metal Superman lunch boxes, we’re not gonna judge.
Bentgo Lunch Box
Borrowing its structure from traditional Japanese meals, the Bentgo Lunch Box allows you to compartmentalize the food you haul to the office, ensuring that your lunch salad isn’t mingling with your afternoon snack. You’ll see a lot of lunch boxes reminiscent of bento boxes (see two more below), but the Bentgo is unique because it has two separate stackable containers, perfect for the guy who’s always extra-hungry.
Fluf Grub Bag
If you want to embrace your softer side, get one of these bags from Canadian-based Fluf. Made out of 100% organic cotton, and lined with wipeable, water-resistant fabric, all you have to do is throw in your sandwich, fruit, and whatever else you’ve scrounged in your fridge for and head to work. Bonus: if something spills—it’s fully machine washable.
Harabu House Takenaka Bento Box
We believe there’s no shame in turning last night’s Chinese food into tomorrow’s lunch, and this Takenaka Bento Box is perfect for that. Available in a rainbow of colors, it’s small enough to not add a ton of bulk to your work bag and is microwave safe, which means you can take last night’s lo mein right to the communal kitchen.
Black+Blum Box Appetit
Another take on the Japanese bento box, Black+Blum’s Box Appetit has an airtight seal to keep food fresh and prevent leaking, and has two interior pieces that can hold condiments or dressings. Top it off with a fork that snaps to the exterior and a little indentation in the lid for dipping sauces and you’ve got the perfect lunch container.
BUILT Bento Lunch Box
BUILT—the same company that makes the indestructible cases for your computers—is behind this simple yet amazing lunch box. The sturdy, compartmentalized container is microwave and dishwasher safe, but the main feature is the neoprene sleeve that zips snugly around the container, keeping food cold for up to 4 hours.
Gentlemen’s Hardware Adventure Lunch Tin
If you want to go more old school, pick up this adventure lunch box made out of aluminum. It’s the kind of lunch box your grandfather would have used, and don’t we all want to be a little bit more like our grandfathers? It’s embossed with the words “the adventure begins,” which would be perfect if you were lunching by a mountain lake instead of your desk, but hey, there’s always vacation time, right?
ECOlunchbox 3-in-1 Container Set
Invented by a mom who wanted an easier way to pack her kids’ lunches everyday, ECOlunchbox’s 3-in-1 Container Set is perfect if you’re a sandwich-for-lunch kind of guy. The stainless steel double container has a bottom compartment that fits a sandwich perfectly, while the top container is divided in half for other items. While your mom may not make your lunch anymore, carrying this thing around may make you feel like she did. Just don’t forget the PB&J.
Stanley Classic Lunch Box
You might work at an office, but this lunch box from Stanley will make you feel like you’re a construction worker eating your lunch while sitting on a beam off a skyscraper, ala that famous photograph from the 1930s (read: it’ll make you feel tough). Made out of coated steel, this is a lunch box that will stand up to whatever you throw at it.
ComplEAT Foodskin Flexible Lunch Box
If you want to impress the foodie in your office who’s always bragging about whatever homemade soup she just made, bring this flexible lunch box from ComplEAT to work. It’s made from elasticized silicone, which will bend and mold to whatever you’re packing that day. It forms a protective seal to keep your food fresh and takes up only as much room as it needs. Behold—the power of science.
Overlap Sewing Studio Waxed Canvas Lunch Bag
When you finally upgraded from your cartoon lunch box, it’s likely that you went right to a brown paper bag to carry your lunch in. It made you feel grown-up; no more super heroes, just plain brown paper. But then you realized that paper is actually the worst material to carry anything, considering it rips easily and isn’t water-resistant. Luckily for you, North Carolina-based Overlap Sewing Studio came up with an elegant replacement. Aping the shape of a traditional brown paper bagged lunch, the bag is constructed from waxed canvas, meaning that it’s fully washable. A leather strap and buckle will keep it closed, and it’s available in a variety of different colors.
Artifact Bag Co. No. 215 Lunch Tote
A similar offering to the one above, the No. 215 Lunch Tote is handmade in Nebraska out of waxed canvas with a leather strap closure. It’ll get you through thousands of lunches, guaranteed (in fact, it comes with a lifetime guarantee).
Nickel-Plated Aluminum Lunch Box
The most common pitfall of bringing your lunch to work s that you don’t have an excuse to go outside, instead going right from the office fridge back to your desk, continuing to answer emails while shoving food in your mouth. No more, says the maker of this bafflingly sturdy, nickel-plated aluminum lunch box. It’s roomy enough to fit even the most gluttonous lunches and has a beverage holder built into the lid, but the box’s real calling card is that it’s made to be used as a seat. Take out your lunch, turn the box on its side, and sit down. Pay attention to nothing but the food you’re eating and the world around you—for once.