Just the right size
Tall enough for an upright bottle
No zippered pockets or compartments
A little flimsy
Not much insulation
We purchased BALORAY's Lunch Bag so our writer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
For anyone working outside the home, a good lunchbox is essential. The BALORAY Lunch Bag is large enough to carry a workday’s worth of food while still compact enough to fit inside the community fridge. It looks like a stylish tote bag, rather than a traditional lunch box. It has minimalistic patterns, a simple front label, a small front pocket, and two carrying handles. It’s the perfect middle ground between a simple brown paper sack and a stodgy decked-out lunchbox.
Design: Stylish and simple
When we first opened the BALORAY Lunch Bag, we thought it seemed a little flimsy. However, that’s because we’re used to packing lunches in our kids’ hard-sided lunchboxes that take a beating. Most adults don’t need a hard-sided lunch tote—and if they do, this is not the lunchbox for them. The lunch tote bag is a thin canvas material but sturdy. It has two handles that seem to be stitched firmly to the bag itself.
Aesthetically, it’s a very stylish bag. There aren’t any bells and whistles, but that’s what makes it so appealing. It doesn’t look like a lunch bag. It has a simple pocket across the front (no zipper), two small handles, and a zipper across the top of the half-moon shaped bag. Inside, there are no pockets, just some shiny silver insulation lining. While the minimalistic vibe is pleasing to the eye, we do wish the front pocket had a zipper or that there was a zippered pocket inside for utensils or condiments. Also, the bag’s handles aren’t large enough to fit over your shoulder like a typical “tote.” We didn’t have a problem with this, but if we were trying to carry a lot of stuff at once, we could see this being an issue.
In terms of size, you can pack a surprising amount of food in it. It’s tall enough that you can fit a standard water bottle upright so you don’t have to dig through everything to get your water at the bottom of the bag. It can easily hold a full workday’s worth of food (a meal and two snacks) without a problem. We were able to fit four 8-ounce formula bottles (with lids and tops) and two large baby food containers in the bag without struggling to close it, which is more than I can say about the hard-case lunchbox we typically send our daughter’s bottles in.
The lunch bag fabric is similar to that of any other carrier (it just has a more stylish pattern). It’s a thick canvas-like fabric that seems to be durable. The handles seem to be made of similar material but are thicker and stronger than the bag itself. They’re stitched on firmly with, what appears to be, a heavy-duty thread. The insulation liner inside is just a thin layer with no padding or anything between it and the tote’s exterior material. The layer of insulation is waterproof so, as long as there are no holes in the stitching between it and the bag itself, you shouldn’t have any leaks.
It’s large enough to carry a workday’s worth of food while still being compact enough to fit inside the community fridge.
We think this bag would hold up with regular daily use but can see it wearing over time. It’s not designed (or priced) like a lunch bag meant to hold up for years and years. If you were to overstuff it frequently, there’s a good chance the stitching would start to come apart. Overall, we think it’s a durable bag as long as you’re using it for its intended purpose.
Size: Perfect for a day
You can easily fit a water bottle or can of soda (or both), a plastic storage container, utensils, a banana/apple, a sandwich bag with chips or crackers for lunch, and still have space for two small snacks like a granola bar and some popcorn. My husband tested it with his daily portions of lunch, and it fits without a problem. When I used the bag to carry my daughter’s four bottles of formula (with caps) and two food containers for a day at school, there was room to spare.
Performance: You’ll need a fridge
The effectiveness of the insulation is where this lunch bag fell a little flat. Since it’s so compact, its insulation is lacking. It will not keep your food cold for an entire day since the ice pack will melt way before then. To test the bag’s insulation, we put a cold water bottle from the fridge directly into the bag. By the 4-hour point, which is lunchtime, the water was warm. We tested it again, this time with an ice pack. The water remained cool until lunch, but the ice pack melted. The ice pack did its job keeping the items cold. We are unsure if the bag helped keep things cool, but it didn’t hurt.
Cleaning: Spot clean
The manufacturer’s official word is that the lunch bag is not washing-machine safe and recommends spot cleaning only. However, the bag material looks as if it can handle machine laundering on the delicate cycle, and you can let it hang dry. We didn’t try it, but since the cost to replace the bag is negligible, we’d try it if our bag got deeply soiled.
Price: Extremely reasonable
This bag retails for around $14, which is definitely on the low end for adult lunch boxes. Honestly, it’s a steal in terms of quality but is about right when you factor in the bag’s performance.
Competition: Take your pick
MIER Adult Lunch Box: Retailing around $30, this is a bit pricier than the BALORAY Lunch Bag, but the performance is better. It’s also significantly larger, so if you have a more hearty appetite this will undoubtedly hold enough food for a day (and then some). It is decked out with pockets and compartments so you have easy access to everything, and it successfully keeps things separate. However, it is not nearly as stylish as the BALORAY Lunch Bag, and it takes up a lot more space in the community refrigerator.
Carhartt Deluxe Lunch Cooler: For around $25, you can scoop up this lunch box that is a happy medium between the MIER Adult Lunch Box and the BALORAY Lunch Bag. It’s not quite as large as the MIER but is larger than the BALORAY. It’s a standard lunch box that is designed to withstand a beating and is water-resistant. It has a shoulder strap for easy carrying and looks more like a lunch box than a cute tote bag.
Get this stylish lunch bag.
If you need something to carry a typical day’s worth of food and have a fridge to store it in, this is an excellent choice. It does its job, will hold up with general use, and look good while doing it. Not to mention, the price point is impressive. It’s definitely worth the buy.
- Product Name Lunch Bag
- Product Brand BALORAY
- MPN B016NTJK2A
- Price $21.00
- Weight 3.52 oz.
- Product Dimensions 10 x 8.5 x 6.6 in.
- Color Black and white stripe; black with flower; black with space; blue with flower; blue with goldfish; buff beige with heart; dark blue with flower; dark blue with pink flower; grey with yellow flower; light blue with flower; mint green with flower; purple with starry; red white stripe
- Material: 600D Oxford material and food-grade aluminum foil lining