Detailed review of the LunchBots Medium Trio snack container

September 22, 2021 at 10:59 pm (Equipment reviews)

Years ago I bought a big “Laptop lunch box” with four separate compartments that Chickpea used last year in Kindergarten, but it’s a pain to clean and I think four compartments are too many for a mid-morning snack. It’s also big— 9x9x2.5 inches! I wanted something smaller and simpler to pack. I also wanted something stainless steel not plastic. I read various reviews of small stainless lunch boxes. Of the reviews compendiums I read, I found the lunchbox reviews from kidseatincolor the most helpful.

85F00F0D-9F0F-4E8B-91BB-68FF9A74053AI ended up choosing a LunchBots Medium Trio snack container, which is stainless steel and dishwasher safe. It’s relatively expensive, but I’ve read good reviews and heard they last forever. And compared to the Planetbox Rover, which many people rave about, it’s positively cheap! I thought about buying the lunchbox medium duo (with two compartments) instead, but I figured the trio’s three compartments are good for my “one fruit, one veggie, one filling thing” approach. Below I give more details on the size and organization, leakage and useful accessories, and durability and ease of cleanup.

Size and organization: The LunchBots Trio is roomy but not huge. It’s 6x5x1.75 inches and holds 2.5 cups total, with three compartments. The two small compartments hold almost 2/3 cup each and the big compartment holds about 1.25 cups. I’ve read complaints that the large compartment doesn’t fit a whole sandwich, but (a) my bread is generally small so it tends to fit (see photo 1 below), and (b) if it doesn’t fit I just cut it in half and stack the halves, which works because the lunchbox is relatively deep. The main thing I have to remember is not to fill the small compartments too full with fruit and veggies, as 1/2 cup of cucumbers or carrot sticks is actually quite a lot! I think for most raw veggies 1/4 cup is a better portion size for Alma for snacktime. But I’m still glad the containers are larger rather than smaller. You can always not fill them all the way, but if you need the space it’s nice to have it. I’m guessing that if I were to try to use this lunchbox for lunch instead of snack it might be a tad small? But I haven’t tried it yet.

Leakage and accessories: One main complaint I see online about this lunchbox is that the compartments are not leakproof. If you put something wet (or even damp, like freshly washed raspberries) in one compartment, then the liquid will leak into the other compartments (and make your crackers or bread, for example, soggy). There are little spaces under the compartment separators, so the juices from each compartment run together. Also, I have read that liquids can even leak out of the lunchbox into the backpack. This hasn’t happened to use, but just to be on the safe side, if I send a small amount of something non-solid, like hummus or nut butter, I put it in its own sealed mini container. I bought these Weesprout 2.5 oz condiment containers with silicon lids, which hold almost 1/3 of a cup. They take up most (but not all) of the small compartment. (I can fit some nuts or a date or a fit newton on the side, see photo at the left.) And if I want to include four things instead of three I can use a Weesprout container in the big compartment (see the container with the purple lid up above). Unlike the lunchbox itself, since I have several of these little containers I can just throw them in the dishwasher afterwards.  I wish I could find containers that were a tad bigger, and fully filled the small compartment. The Weesprout containers are a bit small for something like yogurt or chia pudding. But even LunchBots themselves don’t sell anything like that’s sealed and fully fills the small compartment. Weird!

I bought some silicon muffin tins that I have also used occasionally to contain dry but messy foods, like tofu crumbles (see photo on the right above). I’m not sure they are that useful though. I could probably just use the Weesprout containers instead. The muffin tins might hold a bit more volume?

I also use one of the mini plastic containers from the Laptop Lunchbox to give Alma nutritional yeast to sprinkle on her veggies. (See the red container in the photo at the left.) I wish I had a non-plastic one, but I can’t seem to find anything that small made out of metal. Finally, Derek’s sister sent me some reusable sandwich bags, and if I am worried about bread getting moist, I pack it in one of those, either in the large compartment or separately.

When this lunchbox doesn’t work well: The one situation when I haven’t been using this lunchbox is when I do a combination meal (like a chickpea salad or veggie pesto pasta). Then I’ve instead been sending it in a different round stainless tupperware (specifically, this 300ml Cuitisan Flora, which despite being stainless steel, is actually microwavable!). I think the large compartment of the LunchBots box would actually be roomy enough. (It’s actually about the same volume!) But if the salad contains dressing, it would leak between the compartments, since they are not sealed. Also, when I send a combo meal I don’t necessarily want to fill the other two compartments, and I think it would look strange to send the other two empty. So instead I have been using the Cuisitan Flora containers, which hold 1.25 cups, and sometimes sending a second small tupperware with some fruit or something in it.

Durability and ease of cleanup: Although officially it can go in the dishwasher, we don’t actually run our dishwasher all that often, and when we do it’s usually over night. And I’m afraid that the lunchbox will still be somewhat wet in the morning. So we usually just wash it out by hand and let it air dry. I find washing it by hand super easy. Occasionally on Friday I throw it in the dishwasher. So far I’ve been very happy with the LunchBots lunchbox, but I guess we’ll see how it holds up.

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