10 Cute (But Not Cutesy) Insulated Kids’ Lunch Bags That Might Even Last Into the Teen Years

published Aug 5, 2022
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girl holding leopard lunch bag
Credit: TwelveLittle

Whether you’re packing snacks for the park or preschool, taking lunch on a road trip, or keeping your little one fueled for practice, it helps to have an insulated bag to keep everything cool and delicious. This selection of lunch bags are functional and ready for an ice pack and your kid’s favorite snacks. While there is a time and place for character-themed bags, these are chosen to be timeless, and a few may even follow your child into the early teen years. Many of the brands highlighted below carry a range of delightful lunch bags, so if you love the look or functionality, be sure to check out what else they have to offer. With some of these fabulous brands, the challenge was picking just one. 

1 / 10
was $32.00

Known for their classy diaper bags and other chic baby accessories, it’s no surprise that TWELVElittle has the little black dress equivalent of an insulated lunch bag. I love the black design for switching easily between kids of any gender and me, and the water-resistant exterior is a win for those inevitable spills. On the convenience side, this bag is machine washable and has a longer strap that works on the shoulder or cross body (more hands anyone?)

2 / 10

There’s something about bright colors that just screams happy. This one certainly fits the bill. The inner pocket has a removable insulation for easy cleaning with a rinse or wipe, and the nylon surface wipes down easily. The front features a non-insulated pocket for whatever else you might need. The bag holds up to 10 pounds total. This might seem like a spendy option, but one benefit is LA based company Mokuyobi’s lifetime warranty on all their bags. If this color combo isn’t for you, they have other bright and beautiful options.

3 / 10

Sometimes you want something a little smaller than a lunch bag, but you still want to take something insulated on the go to a playdate or storytime. This snack pack from State is a fun-sized version of their lunch box and matches their backpacks if you’re feeling like coordinating. Some of the details I love about this little bag is that the handle features a buckle to easily clip to something else and that there is a clear pocket for notes or other treasures you want to send with your kids.

4 / 10

My daughter has already turned everything in our house into a pet, so it would make sense that a lunch bag is next. This friendly little narwhal is part of Skip Hop’s Lunchie collection (there are some other animals out there if narwals aren’t your thing). I love the idea of giving my daughter something that she’ll love and that won’t make me want to claw my eyes out. Beyond the cute exterior, it has some handy mesh pockets to keep things organized and a clipping handle. If you fall in love with this narwal, Skip Hop uses their characters in a variety of products.

5 / 10
Hydro Flask

New to the kid’s lunchbox scene, but not to keeping things at the right temperature, Hydroflask’s entry in this category is about what you’d expect: you have your pick of quite a few colors, it’s durable, uses double-layered insulation, and comes with a five year warranty. If you’re concerned about running out of room, you can size up to small or large sizes (the colors just aren’t quite as cute). Based on my experience with this brand, I’d be even more likely to put in something where spoilage is a real possibility—like yogurt.

6 / 10

This look says 1950s airline pilot to me, giving it a timeless, clean look and a vintage vibe. The bag itself is classic and streamlined in functionality. Inside, it’s made from PEVA, which is food safe and eco friendly, making this free of BPA, Phthalate, PVC and lead. The exterior pocket is roomy enough for a few energy bars, or some utensils, and there’s a slip pocket at the back for napkins. While I can totally see a child of any gender rocking this, I love that most boys would love it without it being covered in a graphic.

7 / 10
West Elm
was $34.50

Besides the adorable print (find it in a black and white half moon print as well), I love the added functionality of two interior sections to keep things organized. There’s an interior zippered mesh pocket and an exterior slip pocket, making this one of the most section-filled bags on this list. If print isn’t your thing, check out West Elm’s no frills Colby Lunchbox, in either a simple solid color or with a tasteful animal face.

8 / 10

The strap on this SoYoung washable insulated lunch bag makes it easier to carry, but add in the removable insulated liner (for easy cleaning) and the gentle-cycle safe exterior, and I’m sold. Keep in mind that this company also sells this bag in durable paper which can’t go in the washing machine, so be sure to check the details before you purchase.

9 / 10
Herschel Supply Co.

If you’re already familiar with Herschel, you won’t be surprised to learn that they make simple, sturdy insulated lunch boxes in classic solid colors and fun, sophisticated prints. I particularly like the painterly quality of this tiger illustration, perhaps a nod to our little wild ones. This classic bag features a name label on the back, flat front zippered pocket and a limited lifetime warranty.

10 / 10

There’s something about a tasteful food print, isn’t there? I dress my daughter in strawberries and lemons and I’ll most likely be sending her out into the world with a fruit-themed lunch bag. Each of the bags in Minted’s limited collection is a design challenge winner, making this art you can use. These spacious bags are made of water-repellant canvas for easy spot cleaning. Snag the coordinating backpack and pencil case while you can.