The Best Alternative Bento Lunch Boxes in Canada

5 August 2015

Have you noticed that when parents have a Bento Box, like PlanetBox, making lunch for the kids seems to become a whole lot more fun? We made a list of the best alternative bento lunch boxes you can buy.

Check this out and the next thing you know, other parents will be drooling over photos of your very neatly made and cool lunches and wishing their kids had one of these too!

Why spend $200 to outfit your three kids with Planetbox's gorgeous lunch kits, when you can buy these alternatives? We did an informal poll and this is what some parents said about what they liked about Planetbox:

  • they are not plastic (made from stainless steel)
  • they are the perfect size for a school kid's lunch
  • they have the most perfect spots for everything a kid would need for a healthy lunch.
  • they love the cute lunch bags that come with them and the fact that the kid can open it all up and eat it very easily (plus no little containers to lose!).

The downside besides the price? When your kid loses their one and only Planet Box, and trust me, they lose them, you are out that $60+ in U.S. dollars. And, that's just for the tray itself and not the cute must-have magnets and the bag and the coolie packs and other accessories. Did I mention they also ship from the U.S. and shipping is $14 plus any duties?!

What are the alternatives?

As I said, I agonized over this decision last year, so I spent quite a bit of time researching alternatives for my kid's lunches. My mother-in-law did ask me what was wrong with the paper bags that she used to make lunches with and while this could be a very frugal approach (the cost of a new paper bag each day could add up), it wasn't the direction I was going to take.

With the Planet Box, you've got your bag and your tray already decided for you because no other bag fits that thing! If you are buying them separately, then you've got much more work to do!

Goodbyns

One Mom on my Facebook account told me her favourite alternative to the PlanetBox that was still in that bento style, but made from plastic are Goodbyns. While they might not be as fun or pretty or eco-friendly, they are much easier on the wallet. The most common all-in-one styles are the Bynto and the Hero. I found the widest selection on these at Well.ca, starting at $17.99.

Go Green

Go Green is another bento-style lunch box, also in plastic, but it is BPA and all other bad things free. I do see that you can buy a replacement lid, which doesn't give me much confidence in the quality, but it does come with the box, the insulated lunch bag and a stainless steel water bottle for less than $50. Fenigo has an impressive selection, with their Go Green Lunch Break Box going for about $30. If you are planning on spending $200 from this litter-less lunch store, you'll get free shipping. I do love the options for the exterior bags!

Lunchbots

If you are that mom that needs the stainless steel, Lunchbots might be your Planet Box alternative. They are bento-style, although not as well laid-out as the Planet Box. I love the selection available on Amazon right now -- you can literally get one as cheap as $20 or as much as $75. Some of them even come with lunch bags included.

Bentology (Laptop Lunches)

Formerly known as Laptop Lunches, Bentology is a bento-style box, but the containers that fit inside are all removable. These also look very easy to open for little fingers and may reduce spillage when there is two lids. I say may reduce because trust me, you'll have lots of days of wiping yogurt up that has spilled everywhere no matter what lunch kit you choose. These are available for less than $30 on Amazon.ca right now.

Bargainmoosers, what bento-style box is your favourite?

TOPICS:   Gift Ideas   Back to school   Kitchen   Grocery

7 comments

  • Kathy
    We have been using Planetbox for the last two (going on three) years with our twins and we absolutely love them. Their durability completely outweighs the Initial investment and it has paid for itself in how little we worry about missing parts or plastic cracking.
    • Cassandra
      I completely agree re: Planetbox being amazing! While the initial investment is steep, no doubt about it, we are also going on year 3 with ours, and they look brand new! So it definitely pays off, vs. having to buy a new lunch container every year. When you place your initial order, order an extra set of magnets at the same time, just in case. To save the issue of the US shipping across the border (and duties/taxes), if you're going to the US at all, have it shipped to your hotel ahead of time and it'll be waiting for you when you arrive - I do this all the time for online shopping from US sites.
  • Cassandra
    An update on Planetbox - they literally just announced a 10% off sale for 3 days only, from Aug. 6 - 8 - use code Summer10 for 10% off the Rover or Shuttle lunchboxes.
    • Eva W.
      Ladies, you are supposed to be getting the alternatives, not buying the PlanetBox hehe! But, I love it too and you are almost convincing me now... :)
  • MommaTt

    yumbox!

  • Orsi

    You can buy planetbox for life, or you can keep throwing money for lunch boxes year after year. We have planetbox over 3 yrs and not a bent on them, I can easily say it will last my kids school years. I will run into size problem at teeneger hood before they will worn out.  

    I  had one laptop lunches ( now Bentology ) , but washing 5 separate container plus Thant many lids separately plus the outer shell drove me crazy as they took over my top rack in my dischawer and keep falling due to size.

    I bought one of the lunchbots , and within few months the lid paint started to chip and the food constantly had paint chips all over. Plus within a year it started too rust. 

    From the individual plastic stuff only the systema brand worth the money, but using that only has the same zillion piece in the dishwasher problem. 

    Now we have a Launch for my husband, 2 rovers  one for me , one for my soon to be 3rd grader and a shuttle for my preschooler.   

  • Jecca13

    We got a gogreen box in JK. My kiddo is now in Gr3...its still going. The water bottle is long lost and there is wear on the lid closures but it still makes a leak-proof seal.  My only complaint the lunchbox size was hard to fit in my JKs backpack...but now theres a snack size. About to purchase another for kid #2.

    Pros: Holds enough food to feed my ravenous kid

    Really is leak proof

    Lid wont get lost

    Littles can open/close it easily

    Separate food stays separate

    Cons: large size 

    needs special insulated bag

    Impractical for soup

What do you think?

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