The 10 Best Meal Prep Bags
This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in January of 2017. If you're looking to lose weight and save money, there are few methods better than eating small portions of healthy, home-cooked food every day. These meal prep bags let you take your grub on the road, as they come with multiple containers that allow you to tote several courses with you to work. Most have microwave-safe components, so you can let the entire office know you're having curry again. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
September 07, 2019:
We know that a good meal prep bag can make or break your fitness, so we’ve looked for those that can provide the support you need. We still like the ThinkFit Lunch Box, which comes with more accessories than most, including a total of six meal prep containers, a pill dispenser, and a shaker. Its styling is a nice touch, as well, since it’s sleek and rugged and doesn't scream "I'm on a diet." For those who need something larger, we decided to add the King Kong Backpack, which can support the serious gym-goer or the traveler. And at the opposite end of the spectrum, we added the 6 Pack Fitness Cube. It’s not very large, but it makes use of space well and comes in several attractive colors.
Hydro Flask Soft Cooler Tote It isn’t technically a meal prep bag, but the Hydro Flask Soft Cooler Tote can hold quite a few containers, so it might work for road warriors who want to avoid the fast food trap. You could also use it as a regular cooler on the weekends, which might help to justify the relatively high price tag. hydroflask.com
BergKoch Glass For an option that will last, these BergKoch Glass won't warp after going through the microwave or dishwasher a couple of times. Plus, you won't have to worry about any plastic chemicals seeping into your food, if that sort of thing concerns you. bergkoch.com
Choosing A Meal Prep Bag
Also, some are easier to clean than others, so if you’re prone to spills, you might select one that doesn’t have too many nooks and crannies to scrub out.
You’ve probably seen posts about Meal Prep Sunday on social media, and if you’re considering buying a meal prep bag, you’re likely already initiated into the world of food pre-preparation. Essentially, the idea is simple: take one day to prepare all your meals for the week to cut back on the amount of junk you consume and money you waste. Far from being only for health nuts, a strong meal prep plan is great for fitness enthusiasts, the health conscious, and anyone who is always on the go (which is pretty much everyone, nowadays).
As beneficial as meal prepping is, transportation is often an issue. If you work, for instance, you’ll need to bring your lunch, which means not just your main meal, but also all the snacks, shakes, and supplements you need during the day. And if you’ll be outside the home for breakfast or dinner, too, you’ll need even more space. That’s why these dedicated meal prep bags are so excellent — they give you all the space you need to safely transport the whole enchilada. For the best experience, consider the following features as you choose your bag.
First, how many containers come with the bag, and in what manner are they divided? Will they keep your fruit salad separate from your halibut? Is there room for dips? How many beverages can it hold? And what about vitamins or supplements? Some of the beefiest meal prep bags can accommodate all these demands, while other, smaller models let you focus on your specific needs.
Next, what about insulation? Most meal prep bags have got this covered, but they may or may not come with an ice pack or two. Also, some are easier to clean than others, so if you’re prone to spills, you might select one that doesn’t have too many nooks and crannies to scrub out.
Then, how do you carry it? Is a grab handle enough, or do you do a lot of walking and therefore require a padded shoulder strap? You can think about weight at this point, too. Some meal prep bags have microwave-safe glass containers, but if you cover a lot of ground during the day, then plastic might be better.
Finally, do you like the look of the bag? If you don’t, it’s likely that you won’t want to carry it, which means your prep and effort could be for nothing. Luckily, there are plenty of meal prep bags to choose from, so there’s one for all sartorial sensibilities, even if you need to blend in with a professional office environment.
Meals With Benefits
While rocking a stylish new bag could be a good reason to become a meal prepper, the advantages of this lifestyle run much deeper. The foremost of these is probably the ability to eat healthier more easily, which comes with a range of benefits: weight loss, better nutrition, greater energy, and more. Then, of course, comes financial motivation, as you’ll spend less by not eating out so often and not wasting food.
While rocking a stylish new bag could be a good reason to become a meal prepper, the advantages of this lifestyle run much deeper.
Meal prep is also a marvelous choice for those with special dietary needs because there’s no risk that a server will mess up and accidentally give you peanuts or gluten. You know what’s in your food, no matter if you’re eating at work, home, or in the car. A good meal prep bag can help picky eaters, too — no more worrying about your salad dressing dribbling into your rice (the horror).
But perhaps the biggest reason to use a meal prep bag system is to save time. Much of the meal prep lifestyle is about condensing your cooking and food prep so that you don’t have to deal with it throughout the week. This leads to obvious savings, such as the time you gain by not having to cook dinner, but it adds up in smaller ways, too, as you don’t have to drive to McDonald’s during the week or pop into the grocery store on your way home.
Meal Prep With Zest
Because saving time through meal prep can sometimes entail eating a lot of the same food during the week, you run the risk of getting bored, especially if you’re a foodie who loves exciting new tastes. But food fatigue is preventable, because there are tons of ways to liven up your meal prep. We’ve gathered just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
Best of all, many will keep for more than a week, so you can prep a larger amount at once.
One way to keep the basics from veering into tedium territory is to invest in a range of spices. So, instead of only keeping salt, pepper, and oregano around, grab some mace, juniper berries, saffron, sumac, black cumin, or fenugreek. A good cookbook will tell you how to combine these to create a flavor profile for various proteins and veggies, making your tried-and-true chicken breast more enticing.
You can also try recipes from world cuisines. Instead of making steamed fish and carrots yet again, try a Korean barbecue burrito, Greek lentils, or curried vegetable roti. Again, quality cookbooks are an excellent help here, as many walk you through making these dishes, which might contain unfamiliar foods. Generally, they’ll also offer nutritional information, which takes the guesswork out of portioning your cuisine into your meal prep bag’s containers.
When you’re prepping, don’t forget about the visual. Your sense of sight plays a role in how appetizing a meal is — just think about how much effort professional chefs put into colors and shapes when they plate. To boost your meal’s hues, grab fruits and veggies from across the rainbow.
Finally, don’t slack on the sauces. A top-notch sauce can add a flavor explosion to even the blandest piece of low-fat fish, and if you rely on herbs and spices instead of fats, you won’t be adding many calories. Best of all, many will keep for more than a week, so you can prep a larger amount at once. Try pesto, hummus, salsa, vinaigrette, chutney, harissa, or chermoula.