best bento lunch boxes
I want to take a bento style lunch box to work. At work, there is no staff room, there is no where to go and sit and relax. People eat at their desks, in cars, on curbs. I'm looking for a good bento lunch box I can use that is: portable size. not to garish, has a good assortment of compartments for food and protects the food as much as possible from breakage and loss. And of course have endurance and ease of use as a product. I've been looking around, but wonder if you have any tried and true products you can recommend and where you found them and for how much? Much appreciated.
We mostly use other kinds of containers, including a stainless steel thermos for hot foods. But we have one multi-compartment container that I like, made by Ziploc. It's inexpensive (2 of them for about $3) and has held up well. The lid is designed so none of the compartments (3) leak, and the foods are never crushed. It fits easily in our insulated lunch boxes
I like the look of bento boxes, but absolutely none of the ones I've looked at have been labeled for the type of plastic, so I've not bought any.
There are stainless steel bento-style boxes available through Amazon - LunchBots. I've not seen them in stores.
OOOH this is one of my favorite topics- I collect bento boxes of all kinds and have a few that are long time buddies. I've also seen a number of containers that sounded good that didn't work for me.
For planes, or when I need to eat off my lap without a table, I have 3 I use a lot: laptop lunch box, easy lunch boxes and a 3 compartment one from Lock n Lock.
Pluses and minuses:
laptop lunch box is expensive. http://www.laptoplunches.com/ My one beef used to be that only one sub container had a lid, but their 2.0 version fixed this issue. The new 2.0 version is also more configurable, ie instead of 2 small and 2 medium containers, you could also have 1 large and 2 small containers. I have the old style one in black, with dark red inner containers so its classy enough for work and travel. I also have a multi colored one but I wouldn't bring that to work since it looks like its for kids that I'll hand off to a grand niece.
Easy lunchbox is a slightly more expensive version of the ziploc ones. http://www.easylunchboxes.com/At first I was reluctant to get them for that reason, but these are the ones I use most both for myself and my hubby. They are more durable and the lids fit better than the Ziploc version. The sizing of these work well for me for portion control. These work well if you typically make a sandwich and have 2 sides.
The other one I use is a 1000ml divided container from Lock N Lock. It seals really well, so if I'm having a lot of liquidy ingredients (like salads in dressings) I use this one to keep the contents contained within the section. Here's a picture, but you can get it anywhere if you do a search on HPL817 (the container number). http://www.foodstoragemall.com/HPL817.html The picture doesn't show it but its divided in half, and then one side is dived in half again so there are 3 compartments. Lock N Lock also has some nice sets with bags on their site. http://www.locknlockplace.com/ They basically have 2 versions: one has pretty small containers, which then means you need to take multiple container, and they have one with much larger containers which is too much food for me.
I found the Lunchbots didn't work for me at all. The welds rusted quickly, and there is no solid separation between the compartments so any liquid would migrate throughout the entire container. It would only work with completely dry food.
Tupperware also has some divided containers you can find easily on ebay, but again they are expensive but last forever. I have one I purchased in high school when my sister was selling Tupperware and I'm 51 now.
The Container Store has some containers called Keepers that are 2 sections, where the section is moveable. This is good if you just have say a sandwich and chips. http://www.containerstore.com/shop?p...N=&Ntt=keepers I use the smaller size one for fruit and veggie snacks but not typically lunch.
I find it easier to have one box with multiple sections rather than rangling several containers, particularly when I don't have a work surface to be using.
Hope this is helpful, I can go on and on about my bento box obsession.
herbgeek, for some reason your obsession with bento lunchboxes just made me smile What a fun thing to collect.
I love to eat. What can I say? I like bringing food from home because its fresher, it tastes better, its healthier, its often cheaper (probably not when you factor in how much I spend on seeds and tools in my garden), and I don't have to wait in lines. If I only have a limited time for lunch, I don't want to waste a minute I don't have to waiting to eat. I bring food to a lot of events/festivals and the like too, so that I have more options than deep fried everything.
I love bento boxes, too. I have several, the small plastic one that need an elastic band to keep closed the work well, LockLocks are great but I covet a Zojurishi Ms or Mr Bento they are thermal and keep hot things hot or cold things cold. Be careful these things can be addicting. What I love best is the portion control and that I can pack a healthy lunch. If you have a Japanese grocery near you check it out. There are online sources too.