There’s nothing like a home-cooked meal, and that goes for a home-made lunch, too. Preparing your meal is the best option for your health and your finances. You control your portions and your menu while also saving a big chunk of your paycheck from expensive restaurant bills.
Service contractors and construction industry workers need a lunch bag that holds up to rugged conditions on the job site. They’ll need a sturdy, insulated lunch bag to cover all their needs for a well-kept midday meal. There are many options to choose from, whether it’s a spacious soft bag, a durable hard case, or a small, compact, easy to carry insulated sandwich bag for your sandwich and soda.
Here, we will explore what to look for in an insulated work lunch bag and provide you with a list of the best insulated lunch boxes for service contractors on the market this year.
What to Look For In a Lunch Bag or Box
There are a few crucial factors to consider when shopping for the best insulated lunch bag or box for service contractors. We briefly review the essential features to give you an idea of what to look for when deciding on the best lunch box for you.
Insulation refers to both warming and cooling features that guarantees a lunch box that keeps food cold the longest or maintains heat for warm foods all day. You’ll see that the best insulated lunch boxes have special materials that maintain hot or cold food temperatures for hours. Insulation ensures that your soup is still steamy and your soda is still ice-cold when you open your insulated lunch bag after extended periods on the dash of your car in the peak summer heat. Look for a lunch box that keeps food cold for 10 hours or more.
If you would like extra insulation, you can also look for lunch boxes and bags that come with insulated sandwich bags or buy them as an extra accessory.
Contractors are always on the move and many work in precarious and rugged environments, so they need a sturdy, durable lunch box to safeguard against falls, bumps and tumbles that are indeed every-day occurrences on the job site. For especially durable lunch boxes, you may want to look for a hard-shell exterior or reinforced stitching on soft lunch bags.
Leak-proofing is particularly important for lunchboxes as many liquids tend to condensate or even accidentally spill out of their containers during a bumpy commute. Leak proofing will ensure that your clothes, car seats, and the contents of your backpack will stay dry no matter how chaotic the interior of your lunch box may look.
Some lunch boxes are one single compartment, where others may be compartmentalized with extra external pockets for utensils or condiments. Depending on your lunch’s complexity or how important it might be to separate fresh fruit baggies from hot coffee thermoses, you may want to invest in a lunchbox with numerous pockets.
Again, here you have the opportunity to invest in insulated sandwich bags that further compartmentalize and secure your sandwiches.
Size is an essential factor for insulated lunch bags. You should choose a lunchbox big enough to fit the contents of your lunch, ice packs, utensils, and water bottles just in case there’s no place to fill up on site. Size needs vary depending on what you usually pack for lunch and the number of containers you’ll bring for the day’s work.
The 8 Best Insulated Lunch Boxes For Contractors
1. Mier 2 Compartment Lunch Bag
The Mier 2 Compartment lunch bag satisfies all the required features needed for a durable, insulated lunch bag. It is spacious with two insulated compartments for separating food from hot food while maintaining the temperature of each. It also has storage pockets for utensils, napkins, keys, cards, or any other small valuables you may want to store.
The Mier uses PEVA insulation material, which is BPA-free and eco-friendly. It also uses heat-welded seams for leak-proofing. You have the option to carry it by the handle or tote it over your shoulder with an ample strap.
2. Stanley Heritage Cooler
The Stanley Heritage Cooler is a solid, hard-shelled cooler with one ample compartment with a single partition. This cooler comes with a 1.5-quart vacuum sealed bottle that maintains liquids hot or cold for up to 6 days.
The handle has a dual function, used for carrying and locking the bottle in place. The cooler is made of sleek stainless steel that looks professional, is naturally BPA free, and is easy to clean. The best part about this cooler is that it comes with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty, attesting to its durability, and excellent customer service.
3. Carhartt Deluxe
Carhartt is a long-standing, well-established lunch bag and cooler brand with a respected reputation for quality products. They certainly uphold their reputation with the Carhartt Deluxe, an insulated, leak-proof, and water-proof dual compartment, light-weight lunch bag. Both upper and lower compartments are insulated, and there are additional zippered pockets for utensils and other small valuables. The smaller upper compartment acts as an insulated sandwich bag that protects your sandwich from being squashed by heavy thermoses or water bottles.
Manufacturers guarantee the Carhartt Deluxe to be a lunch box that keeps food cold for 10 hours, so you’ll be covered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
4. Yeti Roadie 24 Cooler
The Yeti Roadie is the most expensive product on our list, but its innovative design safeguards it against any danger imaginable. They advertise it as indestructible and “bear-proof.” It’s a huge lunchbox that can also be used as a small cooler. Its patented rubber T-Rex Lid Latches effectively seal and leak-proof this cooler to maintain the temperature and integrity of anything inside.
Of all the products on our list, this is the lunch box that keeps food cold the longest and can easily supply food for a picnic or camping trip.
5. RITC Insulated Lunch Bag
The RITC insulated lunch bag is a very economical and super lightweight insulated lunch bag with insulated gel packs to ensure that your food stays cold. This bag has a zip top to keep moisture out and to protect against any internal spills.
Another handy feature this bag has is its ability to compress and fold when empty, freeing up space in your day pack. Additionally, this lunch bag uses anti-microbial materials approved by the FDA and easily cleaned.
6. Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Cooler
The Arctic Zone cooler is an affordable, spacious cooler with both hard and soft components. Its design involves a removable hard shell that you can fill with ice or cold packs followed by food and drinks before fitting it back into its softer, compartmentalized shell. The interior has a hard shelf that separates harder contents like water bottles from soft food content like sandwiches and fruit.
The outer shell is made with water-resistant, stain-resistant material that is also easy to clean. There is a zippered pocket on the front of the Titan for utensils and napkins. The lid, however, is zipperless and flips open for easy access.
7. Igloo Hard-Top Playmate Gripper
The Igloo Hard-Top Playmate Gripper has the best of both worlds as it is a pliable insulated work lunch bag with a durable hard top, keeping your food and drinks cold while also protecting them from being crushed or misshapen.
The interior uses foam-based MaxCold insulation and antimicrobial, easily cleanable lining to safeguard against harmful bacterial build-up while also making it a lunchbox that keeps food cold for 10 hours. Additionally, the Igloo Hard-Top is very affordable.
8. Igloo Playmate
We thought we’d end with a classic. The Igloo Playmate has been around for decades and is ingenious in its simplicity. It is a rock-hard shell with plenty of space for a day’s worth of food and drinks. It locks with a dependable click into place and unlocks with the push of its round side buttons. It can be a lunch box or a small cooler.
It is one of the cheapest lunchboxes on our list and one of the most durable as well.
We’ve looked at 8 different insulated lunch boxes, many of them doubling as camping or outdoor coolers. They all have excellent insulating and durable designs, with amply-sized compartments, and various special features to satisfy specific needs. Whether you want to shell out extra money for a high-end brand or stick with an affordable yet dependable model, you’ll find what you need to protect, insulate, and transport your meals through any worksite and weather conditions.