Meal planning is a wonderful approach to saving money, controlling cravings, and maintaining your health objectives. But a lot of containers come along with dinner preparation.
While handling them at home is simple enough, carrying several lunchboxes may be a hassle. Meal prep bags come in handy in this situation. You can transport all of your daily meals, snacks, and supplements with ease if you use a meal prep bag.
What is a meal prep bag?
You may take full control of what you eat, when, and how much food you want using meal prep bags. These bags were created to keep your meals warm or cold, enticing, secure, and safe.
Meal prep bags are a godsend for the busy person who has a busy life to juggle, whether you want to lose weight, acquire some extra muscle mass, or just eat organic.
Meal prep bags typically include several compartments, which make it simple to maintain organization. Many also include ice packs, allowing you to confidently pack salads, yogurt, and other cold items. If they don't include them in the purchase, you can always purchase them as extras. Also, most are insulated to help keep your food fresh for longer.
Some meal prep kits also come with shaker bottles, pill boxes, and airtight containers, so you don't have to buy those things individually.
How We Have Chosen The Best Options
Meal prepping can be hard, especially if you're unsure what products to buy.
It's tough enough to find the time to cook healthy meals each day, let alone meal prep for the entire week. And if you don't have the right tools, it can be even harder.
Our editors have taken the time to acquire knowledge of each product's company, study product specifics, read all consumer feedback, and then independently select the best options. This ensures that the quality of each meal prep bag is right for you and your home. We've also created a comprehensive buyer's guide to help you decide what meal prep bag you want.
First, we review our top five picks for meal prep bags, which will carry your containers, etc.
Second, we will review two top picks for meal prep bags which will store your food.
If you're interested in more meal prep containers or meal prep lunch box options, check out our article on the best meal prep containers.
Top 7 Meal Prep Bags
What We Like:
- Full package of meal prepping.
- Three compartments in the bag for organization.
- Includes pill box.
- ThinkFit will replace your bag if needed.
The ThinkFit insulated lunch box is the perfect solution for anyone who wants to enjoy fresh, healthy meals on the go. The six meal prep containers are perfect for portioning food, and the lids tightly seal to keep food fresh. The pill dispenser is great for keeping track of medication, and the shaker cup is perfect for blending up a quick shake or smoothie. The two large reusable ice packs help keep food chilled, and the small and medium sizes are perfect for children and adults. With ThinkFit lunch boxes, you can eat healthy meals anywhere, anytime.
Looking for a durable, heavy-duty lunch box that is BPA-Free? This reusable meal prep lunch bag with containers is perfect for you! They're made from microwavable, freezable, and dishwasher-safe plastic, so these containers can withstand everyday use. Plus, they're dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.
What We Like:
- Fits three large meal containers.
- 100% leakproof lunch bag.
- Removable and adjustable shoulder strap.
Many people don't realize that having a good lunch box is important. Not only does it make bringing your lunch to work or school more convenient, but it can also help to keep your food fresher for longer. This multi-function lunchbox is specially designed to keep your food cold or warm as needed. This bag has a thick food-grade PEVA liner and foam that is 6mm thick insulation, which helps keep your food fresh for more than 8 hours.
Plus, they're providing two ice packs with the lunch box, so you don't have to worry about buying them separately. With this lunch box, you can be sure your food will stay fresh and delicious all day long.
Have you ever had your lunch ruined by a leaking ice pack? If so, you'll appreciate this lunch box. It's made from strong and thick 840D polyester, so it's 100% leakproof, water-resistant, and wear-resistant. You can add ice cubes to the lunch bag without worrying about leaking. The waterproof lining also keeps your food cold longer. So you can enjoy the feeling of drinking cold beer anytime!
Plus, the lunch bag comes with a shoulder strap for easy carrying. So whether you go to work or play, you can take your lunch with you without worry.
What We Like:
- Includes everything you need to start meal prepping.
- Thick insulation to keep food cold for up to 16 hours.
- Can store hot and cold foods for hours.
- Durable reinforced bottom.
If you're looking for an insulated lunch bag that will keep your food cold or hot for hours, this is the one for you! The rugged outer shell is woven of reinforced 1680D PVC, and the PEVA insulation is padded with 6mm polyethylene foam to ensure your food stays at the perfect temperature. Plus, there's a handy mesh sleeve for stashing napkins and cutlery.
This bag features a zippered main compartment that opens from both the top and the side, giving you ample space for their three containers. Plus, there are two zippered side pockets, and it has plenty of room for their included shaker, a half-liter water bottle, and more. And MDMP has only used the finest zippers available to ensure that your belongings are safe and secure.
What We Like:
- Fits multiple food containers.
- Compact yet spacious.
- Keeps food hot or cold for hours.
This meal prep lunch bag comprises four food containers, two extra large ice packs, and a shaker bottle with an agitator. The containers are easily stackable in your lunch box or kitchen. This is the perfect meal prep kit for insulated lunch bags. It's also great for packing snacks on the go. The shaker bottle is perfect for mixing up your favorite protein shake or smoothie, and the reusable ice packs will keep your food cool and fresh all day long.
The insulated lunch bag is the perfect way to keep your food hot or cold for hours. The three-layered thick insulation keeps your food fresh, while the lunchbox shoulder strap and roped handle make it easy to carry. The lunch bag also features a front pocket for extra storage, and the interior is lined with a water-resistant material. Whether you're headed to work or school, this lunch bag keeps your food fresh and delicious.
What We Like:
- Great for keeping meals hot or cold.
- Storage for three containers, two bottles, snacks (or 4th container), mesh pockets for phone or wallet.
- Two removable straps.
Rockland Guard's meal prep bag is convenient for work, gym, school, picnics, and camping. The shoulder strap and carrying handle make it easy to carry with your anywhere you need to go. It's also a great way to keep your belongings safe and close by while you're on the go.
The shoulder strap and carrying handle make it easy to take along anywhere, and the spacious interior is perfect for holding all of your essentials. Whether you're headed to the gym or the office, this bag will make sure you have everything you need.
Rockland is proud to offer a hassle-free returns policy. You can simply return the bag within 30 days for a full refund if you're not satisfied with your purchase. No questions asked. They want you to be 100% happy with your Rockland purchase. That's why they offer a no-risk, no-questions-asked money-back guarantee. Whether you're trying out a new product or simply don't need the item you ordered, they'll make it right. Their top priority is making sure you're happy with your Rockland experience from start to finish. So shop with confidence, knowing that every order is backed by their rock-solid satisfaction guarantee.
What We Like:
- Multiple uses, not just for food.
- Dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe to 400F.
- Different pack sizes are available.
- Made of pure platinum silicone with no fillers and is plastic and BPA-free.
Reusing items is an excellent way to reduce your ecological footprint and save some money. Silicone Stashers are fantastic for this purpose because they can be reused again and again. They're also freezer, microwave, oven, and dishwasher safe, so you can use them for almost anything.
Plus, they're perfect for storing low-waste items like reusable straws and utensils. That way, you can have a portable meal or refuse single-use plastic without any hassle.
Healthy oceans are essential for a healthy planet, and Stasher is committed to doing its part to help preserve them. Stasher is a member of 1% for the Planet. This means 1% of all their sales go to high-impact non-profits that protect our oceans. This allows Stasher to support the organizations working hard to keep our oceans clean and healthy.
What We Like:
- Six extra thick gallon bags.
- Freezer safe.
- Double lock zipper technology.
Some materials, such as plastic and silicone, can release harmful chemicals into food. Others, such as PVC and chloride, can be dangerous if they come into contact with the skin. FORID storage bags are made from FDA food-grade PEVA material, which is completely safe and free from harmful chemicals. Additionally, their bags are PVC-free, chloride-free, and BPA-free. You can rest assured that your food and personal items are safe when stored in FORID bags.
It's easy to clean your gallon storage bags by hand washing them in cold or room-temperature water. The brush that we prepare for you can easily reach the inner edge of the bag, making it simple to clean. Once you're finished washing the bag, simply place it on top of a mug or cup to air dry. Please note that you should never use hot water to clean your bags, as this can damage them. Additionally, these bags are freezer-safe but not microwave or dishwasher friendly.
Types of Meal Prep Bags
There are three meal prep bags: backpacks, shoulder strap bags, and lunch boxes. To assist you in choosing the best solution for your needs, we've described each type.
Meal prep bags in this category have a single shoulder strap, enabling you to carry the bag by your side. The majority are fairly roomy and can generally accommodate three to six meals, with room to spare for shakers, vitamins, water bottles, and snacks.
A shoulder strap meal prep bag should work well if you need something portable with room for a day's worth of food.
The smallest of the bunch normally only have room for one meal, a snack, and possibly a water bottle. Most lunch boxes have carry handles, but they may also be compactly placed into a gym bag or backpack.
A lunch bag is a terrific alternative if you're searching for a lightweight, portable option for your daily commute.
Such meal prep bags frequently have padded shoulder straps for comfort and a high capacity (most can accommodate up to six meals).
Most are superb multitaskers since they offer separate compartments for laptops and tablets.
A meal prep backpack is perfect if you need a hands-free way to transport a full day's worth of meals and snacks, your water bottle or shaker, supplements, and a few personal items.
Benefits of a Meal Prep Bag
Meal prep bags offer a variety of advantages that appeal to a variety of people—not just fitness enthusiasts.
Meal prep packets are excellent if you don't have much time throughout the day and want to ensure you're giving your body the nutrition it needs.
- Diet and Routine:
Meal prep kits are excellent for people who want to stick to a regular diet. You're less likely to order takeout or purchase a lunch from your neighborhood grocery if you prepare meals in advance for the day.
- Saves Money
Meal prep packs are a smart investment for people aiming to save money, even though you may be questioning how some items on our list can justify being so pricey.
According to a recent survey, the average budget for lunch in the US is $5 to $10. You may save a significant amount of money by making your meals over the year.
- Food Waste won't occur.
Have you needed to toss away food that is about to perish? Do you recall how miserable you were? Well, food prep bags can aid you in averting such unpleasant circumstances.
There is no possibility of your food ever becoming spoiled again because a meal prep bag will assist in maintaining the meal fresh and warm or cold until you are ready to eat it.
Buying guide for the Best Meal Prep Bags
While buying the best meal prep bags, the following things should be kept in mind:
Insulation is the first thing to consider when buying the best meal prep bags. The primary purpose of a meal preparation bag is to keep your food fresh and adequately insulated. They must maintain the proper temperatures from the time of storage through the time of consumption, whether they are warm or cold items.
A good meal prep bag should, at the very least, keep your food fresh for four hours. However, remember that the insulation method depends on containers and the type of bag you purchase.
Only use an insulation-equipped bag to store your food. Ideally, one lined with PEVA or EPA foam.
There are nylon-based meal preservation bags. However, we don't suggest using them. Although the nylon layer insulates the meal, it cannot fully support it for extended periods.
Handle and Shoulder Strap
The shoulder straps and handles of your meal prep bag can also affect how simple it is to carry and move around.
Picking a meal prep bag with a shoulder strap with a removable and adjustable design. This will let you customize the straps to your liking for the best possible comfort. Additionally, the shoulder straps should be padded so they won't irritate your shoulders.
You should choose a handle for the bag that can offer a sturdy yet comfortable grasp. The handle should be carefully stitched to the bag to guarantee that it won't rip even when the bag is extremely heavy.
The main effects of the materials utilized to make your meal prep bag on other aspects are portability and durability.
For instance, a plastic meal prep bag may be perfect for portability because it is frequently foldable, but its longevity may be questioned. You must make sure the material employed to create your meal prep bag is ideal for your requirements and preferences.
Size is important! The amount of food you can carry will directly depend on the size of your bag.
You must consider your average appetite size and how frequently you typically eat during the day. The same holds for your children when you get them ready for school.
Style and Color
Depending on where and how you intend to use your meal prep bag most of the time, choose a color and style. While bright hues and patterns are acceptable for work, road trips, or a casual day out, neutral colors like black or navy blue are typically a better choice.
Pockets and Compartments
Using meal prep bags with multiple pockets or divisions makes it much simpler to maintain organization.
Shakers and a water bottle may fit perfectly in the side mesh pockets, while utensils, napkins, vitamins, and other small items can be kept inside pockets and compartments.
Thanks to the inclusion of laptop and tablet compartments in some backpack meal prep bags, you can store work or school devices in the same bag.
When looking for the ideal meal bag for your requirements, you should consider a few more aspects.
You must first consider the design and ensure that it was created with the users' comfort and convenience. The truth is that some bags' compartments are difficult to access.
Prices of Meal Prep Bags
Meal prep bags can cost anywhere from $80 to $100 if you want the highest insulation that is extra-large in size.
In this price range, the meal prep bags usually come with all the extra features that will get you going on meal prep.
For around $50, there are lots of options that come in various sizes. From lunch boxes to shoulder-strap bags that can carry multiple containers and all of the necessities, you're sure to find a bag that suits your needs. Many bags in this price range include ice packs, containers, shakers, and even pill boxes.
A smaller lunch box or meal prep bag generally costs around $30. These usually fit two meals, a snack, an ice pack, possibly a water bottle, and utensils. Some meal prep bags at this price range will include extra features or none at all.
Meal Prep Bag FAQs
People have a lot of questions about meal prep bags, and they need answers.
Buying or using the right meal prep bag can be confusing, so we understand if you have some questions.
We've compiled the most Frequently Asked Questions about meal prep bags to help make your decision easier.
How long can you leave food in an insulated bag?
Depending on the bag's insulation, food can be left in an insulated bag for up to 10 hours.
Consider a few things when packing food in an insulated bag. First, ensure that the food is cold or at least room temperature before packing it into the insulated bag. Second, pack foods that won't spoil quickly at the bottom of the insulated bag and place foods that will spoil quickly on top. Finally, remove as much air as possible from the insulated bag before sealing it shut. This will help to keep the food cold for longer periods.
What size container is best for meal prep?
Depending on your needs and preferences, the container size for meal prep will vary. However, here are some general tips on choosing a container size for meal prep include:
- Choose a container that is big enough to fit the food you want as a meal but not so big that it is difficult to carry or store.
- Choose a container with a tight-fitting lid so that your food stays fresh and doesn't get contaminated by other foods in the fridge.
- Consider whether you prefer to cook your meals in bulk or individual portions. If you prefer to cook in bulk, choose a larger container size; if you prefer
How long should you wait to put meal prep in the fridge?
It is best practice to put your meal prep in the fridge within 2 hours of cooking. However, if you use a cooler, you can store it for up to 24 hours.
Ideally, when you're cooking, you want to have everything prepped and ready to go so that you can pop it in the fridge once it's cooked. This will help ensure food safety and reduce the likelihood of bacteria growth. When properly stored, most cooked foods will last 3-5 days in the fridge and 1-6 months in the freezer.
Can you meal prep in plastic?
You can meal prep in plastic, but it's not ideal. Plastic is non-permeable, meaning it doesn't allow air or moisture to pass through it. This is great for food storage because it helps to maintain freshness, but it's not so great for your health.
Plastic contains chemicals that can leach into your food, which can harm your health. Some of the chemicals found in plastic are known to cause cancer and other serious health problems. So if you do choose to meal prep in plastic, be sure to use BPA-free containers.
How long can meal prep be stored?
Generally, if food is properly sealed and stored in the fridge or freezer, it can last for 3-4 days in the fridge or 1-6 months in the freezer. However, these are just general guidelines, and some foods may last longer or shorter depending on how they are stored and what type of food it is. For example, meat may only last up to 1-2 days in the fridge but can last up to 6 months or longer in the freezer. Fruits and vegetables may last for 3-5 days in the fridge but only 1-2 months in the freezer.
How do you preserve meal prep?
You can preserve meal prep by freezing or canning.
Freezing is a great way to preserve food because it doesn't require special equipment and is relatively affordable. However, not all foods can be frozen. Some fruits and vegetables, for example, will turn to mush after being frozen.
Canning is another option for preserving food. It's a bit more expensive than freezing, but it's a great way to preserve food that won't freeze well, like tomatoes or bananas. Plus, canned goods have a longer shelf life than frozen goods.
Will food be kept warm in a meal prep bag?
Meal prep bags can theoretically keep food warm because they are insulated. Due to ice packs, it's considerably simpler to keep food cold than warm, so it's doubtful that it will be searing hot when you sit down to eat.
Your best option for packing hot meals (and keeping them hot) is to use an insulated container. If you can't do this, you might want to switch to stainless-steel meal prep containers because they retain heat better than glass or plastic containers.
Which One of Our Meal Prep Bags is Best for You?
No matter which meal prep bag you choose, we are sure it will make your life a little easier. With all of the different colors and designs, there is something for everyone. If you are still undecided, think about what size would be best for you and your family. Once you have decided on a size, look at the different compartments to see if they fit your needs. Meal prepping can be hard enough without worrying about whether everything will fit into your bag!
We hope you have found your new favorite meal prep bag on our list.