When my wife gave me the new Oots Lunchbox to review, I was instantly impressed by it’s looks. It was sleek and modern, yet it also had a rugged, industrial look to it. It appears to be extremely well made and very sturdy. As someone who takes my lunch to work every day, having something that will stand up to the abuse I may give it is extremely important. I am in law enforcement and my lunch is thrown around in back seats, front seats and trunks along with other equipment that can scratch, crush or smother my lunch. This lunch box looked like it could take anything that I would throw at it. And it was stylish as well. There was a sturdy strap attached on either side by stainless steel fasteners. The strap had “lunch” written on it in industrial letters. The top of the lunch box was transparent orange (there are several different colors you can get). The top had a concave indention that appeared to be the shape of a water bottle. The strap that went over the top of the lunch box fastens snuggly to hold your water bottle in place. Pretty cool.
I was also impressed to learn that all the materials used are made from BPA-free and phthalate-free polypropylene. They are kid friendly, food safe and tested for lead. Inside the lunch box, I found several containers that were made to fit snuggly inside. They are all dishwasher safe. Needless to say, I was as excited about this lunch box as any 33 year old man could possibly be excited about a lunch box.
This is what I usually bring to lunch every day:
Hummus, pita chips, granola bar, yogurt, a banana, trail mix, diet coke and a bottle of water. I also put a cold pack in there to keep everything cold. As I said, I am on the streets a lot and don’t have access to any refrigeration.
On Monday morning, I started packing my lunch. The first thing I noticed was that I had some trouble getting the lid off of the lunch box. My wife did as well and she is a lot smarter than I am, so I know it wasn’t just me. After a week of using this, I am getting better at removing the lid. But if I had gotten this for my child, I’m not sure how small hands would do with this. The smaller containers worked well for my hummus. I usually drink the water and eat the granola bar in the morning. So I didn’t even need to pack these, they are usually consumed in the car on the way into work. The rest I save for lunch.
Unfortunately, I had some trouble packing the pita chips, the banana, trail mix, yogurt and the diet coke into the lunch box. Despite being quite a bit larger than my “soft” lunch box of before, it didn’t seem to fit as much in. The container is kind of long and skinny. It reminded me of one of those trunks in a car where it LOOKS like everything should fit in there, but because of the shape, it just DOESN’T fit everything in there. For instance; if my kid wanted to pack a soda and a turkey sandwich in there, there is room for it all, but it wouldn’t fit without the turkey sandwich being bent a little bit. This is because of the shape of the box. I hope this makes sense.. Anyways, my banana was not going to make it so that just went in my bag. I did get everything else in, including my cold pack. My food was now stacked up to the top of the container. The lid actually fits inside the container so, when I tried to put the lid back on, the food that was stacked up top was getting in the way of the lid snapping in place. I was actually sort of crushing my pita chips (they were in a zip lock baggie, the containers didn’t really work with them) with the lid. It took about 30 seconds to get the lid back on and my food was a little worse for wear. After using this lunch box for a week, I have NOT gotten any better at getting the lid back on.
I put my water bottle on top of the lid and pulled the strap tight over it. This feature works extremely well.
I put my lunch in the truck of the car at 7am and hit the streets for the day. At 11:30am, I decided to take my lunch. When I took all the food out of the lunch box, it became apparent that it was not nearly as cold as it usually is. My yogurt was not ruined, but I would have felt a little more confident while eating it if it was colder. Also, it is November and about 50 degrees outside. I am left to wonder how the yogurt would have done in the trunk of my car in the middle of July. My cold pack had lost a lot of it’s coldness. It was then that I noticed that, despite looking extremely cool and being made of safe materials, the lunch box doesn’t really insulate all that well. Again, I was able to eat my lunch just fine that day, and in the days since, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to use it in the summer.
To sum up: The bottom line is that this is the coolest looking lunch box I have ever seen. It is very well made and sturdy. I feel like I could run over this thing with my car and not scratch it. It does fit everything I need to into it. But not too well. If you used only the containers that come with it, everything would fit perfectly. But not everything we eat will fit in these containers (a sandwich, a banana, yogurt, your drink, etc….). Also, I wouldn’t want to have to wash these containers every day. The lid is a bit tough to get on and off. A lot harder to get on than off. I have doubts that a child would be successful with this. Also, this lunch box is pretty bulky. I’m not sure how kids would fare in their efforts to carry it around. It would take up about half the space of a regular backpack, if they tried to put it in there. I also have concerns about the insulation. I am looking at my lunchbox right now and it is sweating all over my desk like a cold beer on a hot day (which I wish it was). My $10 soft pack lunch box did not do this. This brings me to my last point, this lunch box cost $46. This is pretty steep for a lunchbox, no matter how trendy it looks.
When I began this website I promised myself honest reviews. What is the point of reviewing items if your going to like everything? With this said, I do love other Made by Oots products. They have great bibs that have sleeves so that there isn’t a chance of food staining your child’s clothes. They have great looking dish sets, and they will be introducing a new bib soon that is made of organic materials. Please check them out.