Are you trying to eat healthily or to stick to a budget? Preparing your meals at home and taking them with you is a great way of controlling both calories and spending!
A meal prep bag could be just what you need – and we’re going to help you find the perfect option.
Take a look at our reviews of seven of the best meal prep bags on the market. We’ll set out all the pros and cons to help you to make the right choice.
The Best Meal Prep Bags on the Market 2020
1. Prep Naturals Meal Prep Bag Meal Prep Lunch Box
If you’re looking for a mid-sized meal prep bag with carefully organized space, check out this one from Prep Naturals.
The main section has space for three separate 38-ounce food containers, stacked in their own individual compartments. If you’ve got hot and cold food for different meals, they needn’t come in to contact with each other.
The containers are included with the bag and fit perfectly. They’re safe to be put into a freezer or microwave. And when you’ve finished with them, you can pop them into the dishwasher for cleaning.
They’re made of BPA-free plastic, so you won’t have to worry about the chemical getting into your food. Each one has a tightly fitting lid that snaps into place. The body of the containers are transparent, so you can see what’s inside.
Also included in the package is a 28-ounce water bottle. Like the containers, it’s made of BPA-free plastic. The water bottle sits neatly inside its own separate side pocket.
A mesh pocket in the lid is the perfect location to store an ice pack. Two of them are included as standard. The interior is well insulated, so food will stay cool until it’s time to eat. All the surfaces are wipe clean too, so it won’t be a problem if there are any spillages.
Mesh pockets on the outside of the bag are a good place to store items like condiments or cutlery.
One thing to note with this one is that the handle, whilst padded, isn’t the most robust. If you’re regularly carrying heavy loads, you may find it comes unstitched over time.
And although the manufacturers claim it’s completely waterproof, we’re not so sure. If you put ice inside, it will leak as it melts.
- Includes three large containers with lids, a water bottle and two ice packs
- Pocket in the lid is the perfect location for an ice pack
- Separate side pocket for water container and mesh pockets for smaller items
- The handle may come unstitched over time
- Not completely leak-proof.
2. ThinkFit Meal Prep Lunch Box (Our Top Pick)
If you need more options for storing different food, ThinkFit’s meal prep bag may be for you. This is more expensive than the Prep Naturals option, but you get more containers.
The oblong shape here is similar to a sports bag. The main compartment is accessed through a zippered pocket at the front. Inside there’s space for six food containers, arranged in stacks of three with space in the middle for ice packs.
The six containers are included and come in two sizes. The four smaller ones will hold 1.5 cups and the two larger 2.5 cups. That makes them a good option if you’re controlling portion sizes. All have lids with silicone seals to keep everything fresh. And all are freezer, microwave and dishwasher safe.
Two large ice packs are included too. And there’s also a seven-day pill dispenser that’s operated by the touch of a button.
On one side of the bag is a small zippered pocket, great for secure storage of keys or wallets. On the other side there’s a mesh pocket, the perfect size to hold the shaker cup that’s also included.
Like the food containers, the cup is made of BPA-free plastic. As well as the section that holds your drink, there are three extra cups at the bottom to hold supplements. And beneath the lid, there’s a stainless steel whisk to mix everything together.
The bag is well made and durable, and there’s an adjustable strap which will extend up to 48 inches. It comes in a choice of four colors too.
It’s great at keeping food cool for several hours in average temperatures. But it’s not a refrigerator, and it won’t cope with summer heat for multiple hours. If you need something to use in your car all day, it may not be the best option.
And while the bag and container sizes are great for portion control, they won’t suit those looking for larger helpings. This is neat and well organized, but it’s not the biggest bag out there.
- Comes with six food containers in two different sizes
- Includes shake cup with metal whisk and extra compartments for supplements
- Choice of four different color ways
- Not the best for those who like larger portions
- Decent insulation, but it won’t cope with serious all-day heat.
3. TO GO Meal Prep Bag
TO GO’s meal prep bag is very similar to the one from ThinkFit, and it comes in at about the same price.
It’s the same shape and size, with room for six containers in two stacks of three in the main compartment. That’s a zippered pocket on the front, making it easy to reach everything.
There’s a further zippered pocket on one side and a mesh pocket to hold a bottle or cup on the other. Included in the package are six containers, four large and two small, with snap-on lids. There’s a 7-day pill dispenser, two large ice packs and a shaker cup, which will hold 23 ounces of liquid.
The bag has a double layer of insulation to keep everything cool. And the food containers and shaker cup are all made of plastic that’s free from BPA.
Unlike the ThinkFit bag, this is available in only one colorway. It’s classic black and white with the TO GO logo on the front. The handle is a little longer than the ThinkFit, however, extending to 53 inches. That will make it more comfortable for taller users.
Here, there’s a little more attention to detail too. The lids of all the food containers, the pill dispenser and the shaker cup are all finished in a smart, glossy black. All bear the TO GO logo, so there’s no chance of mixing them up with other people’s containers in the office kitchen.
Like the ThinkFit, this isn’t the best option for those who like larger portions. And we’ve heard of a couple of cases where the lid of the shaker cup hasn’t fitted as it should. But this is a great bag at a fair price.
- Comes with six food containers in two different sizes
- All accessories have matching branding, so you won’t get them confused with anyone else’s
- 53-inch adjustable strap makes it comfortable to carry, even for taller people
- The containers may be too small for those who like large portions
- We’ve heard of a couple of quality control issues with the shaker cup.
4. Rockland Guard Insulated Meal Prep Bag Cooler
Rockland Guard’s meal prep bag uses a classic square cool bag design. The main compartment is reached from a zippered pocket at the front. That makes it easy to access everything that’s inside.
There’s space for up to three food containers in the main section, but these aren’t included with the bag. In fact, there aren’t any other extras either – here, you just get the bag. If you’ve got containers already, this could be a good option. And it means it’s very inexpensive.
In addition to the main compartment, there’s another pocket on top. That will give you room for another container or snacks. There’s a mesh pocket in the lid where you can put your ice pack.
A zippered pocket on one side is big enough for a can of drink and snacks or two standard water bottles. There are two mesh pockets as well, providing useful storage for items you need to get to fast.
Watch out for the zipper on the main section, as it has a tendency to get stuck. And the insulation isn’t as effective as some other bags out there. But use plenty of ice packs and don’t expect day-long chilling, and you’ll be fine.
- Bag-only option will suit those who already have food containers
- Plenty of pockets for food, drinks and snacks
- Front access to main compartment
- The zipper on the main section has a tendency to stick
- Not the most effective insulation out there.
5. KIPBELIF Insulated lunch bags for women
Kipbelif’s stylish meal prep bag is aimed squarely at women. There’s a choice of aqua, gray, pink and purple shades, with contrasting handles and shoulder strap. If you’re looking for a meal bag that’s smart enough to double as a handbag, this could be it.
This is another bag that doesn’t include any accessories. That does give you the freedom, however, to use your own, or buy exactly what you need.
It comes in a choice of two sizes. The larger measures 12 inches by 7 inches by 9.5 inches. That makes it big enough to hold 18 cans of drink. The smaller measures just over 10 by 9 by 6.5 inches and will hold 14 cans. Both bags are tested to hold 22 pounds for 5,000 uses.
An array of neat pockets around the outside provide handy storage for cutlery, napkins, a phone, purse and so on. The bag is constructed of a nylon exterior, foam padding and aluminum lining for great insulation. Seams are hot pressed rather than stitched, making it completely leakproof.
This is a high quality and attractive bag. There are just a couple of things to bear in mind. The detachable shoulder strap doesn’t have any padding, so isn’t particularly comfortable if the bag is full.
And the main compartment can only be accessed from the top. That means you’ll have to dig all the way down to reach anything stored at the bottom.
- Stylish design in a choice of four attractive colors
- Choice of two different sizes
- Completely leakproof
- There’s no padding on the detachable shoulder strap
- The design makes it awkward to reach items stored at the bottom of the main compartment.
6. Isolator Fitness Meal Prep Lunch Box
The Isolator Fitness meal prep bag is the most expensive on our list by some way. So what do you get for your money?
Well, to start with, there’s plenty of choice when it comes to the color. This large sports bag style model comes in no fewer than 15 different colorways.
It’s also extremely effective at insulating your food. It will keep contents cold for an impressive 12 to 16 hours. If you want something for use throughout the day, this is an excellent choice.
The main compartment is accessed through the front, and there’s a separate compartment in the lid. Two of the sides have zippered insulated compartments, while the other two sides have mesh pockets.
It comes with no fewer than eight food containers in four sizes from 12 ounces to 38 ounces. You’ll get two of each size except the 16-ounce container, of which there are four. Depending on the sizes you use, you’ll be able to fit up to eight of these in your bag in one go.
But you will need to pack it carefully to get the best out of the space. The main compartment isn’t quite as large as you’d expect. And it’s fairly weighty too, weighing about 5.5 pounds when empty.
- Comes with 12 food containers in different sizes
- Plenty of pockets and compartments for drinks, snacks and ice packs
- Will keep food chilled for up to 16 hours
- The main compartment isn’t as roomy as it could be
- Weighs 5.5 pounds when completely empty.
7. Fit & Fresh Jaxx Insulated Cooler Lunch Box
If you’re looking for a more compact meal prep bag, check out the Jaxx by Fit & Fresh.
This neat design incorporates a mesh exterior pocket for a shaker cup, and an interior compartment with space for six small food containers. The shaker cup, food containers and a small case for pills and supplements are included in the package. You’ll also get an extra-large ice pack.
You’ll get four 2-cup and two 1-cup containers, perfect for portion control. The 28-ounce shaker cup features a specially designed agitator that will ensure protein powders are fully mixed into your drink. All the accessories are leakproof and can be put into the freezer, microwave or dishwasher.
There isn’t, though, space for extra water bottles. And there’s no shoulder strap, so you’ll need to carry it in your hand.
But if you need a smaller bag with great insulation and a surprising amount of storage, this could be for you.
- Compact and lightweight design
- Comes with six food containers and a shaker cup
- You’ll also get a pill case and an extra-large ice pack
- There’s no shoulder strap
- There’s no room for extra water bottles.
Ready to choose?
That brings us to the end of our review of seven of the best meal prep bags. Whether you’re looking for something roomy or compact, there are some great options out there.
When you’re comparing prices, check what’s included with the bag, Some include extra like ice packs, food containers or shaker cups.
Our top pick is the ThinkFit. We love that it comes with a range of food containers, shaker cup and ice packs. And there’s an attractive range of colors to choose from too.
Good luck with your search, and happy shopping!