Between books, sports gear, art projects, and more, kids' backpacks get pretty loaded up. Add lunch to that, and your child's backpack is not only full, but also heavy — and that can be a real problem if they're walking a ways to school or just toting it onto the bus and into the front door. One way to lighten the load is to opt for a different lunch box. While lunch boxes are not particularly heavy (although some really are!), even the incremental weight of one with a ton of bells and whistles can load down your kids.
The key to a lightweight lunch box that still insulates your food and offers water resistance? Neoprene! This material, most famous for being used to keep surfers and divers warm in chilly ocean water, will maintain food's temperatures for hours. Plus, it's a flexible material, so it's easy to cram into a full backpack.
Here are five great neoprene lunch box options.
- Built NY Gourmet Getaway Mini Snack Tote, $15: Smaller than their classic tote, this Built NY option is sized just right for a sandwich and some carrots, with no extra bulk.
- Vaschy Insulated Lunch Tote, $17: This tote features cute, kid-friendly designs — and a detachable shoulder strap (for when the backpack's already bursting at the seams).
- Goprene Kids Neoprene Lunch Bag, $17: Robots and unicorns! Plus, there's a clear ID pocket to help kids (and their teachers!) find the correct lunch.
- Nordic by Nature 12-Inch Cotton Lunch Bag, $20: Roomy but not heavy, this bag has an extra-large outside pocket and comes in likable solid colors. There's also a medium size, if you want to go even smaller.
- Lunchfox Lunch Tote, $20: Available in eight different patterns, this tote has an outside pocket for napkins and cutlery.