The Goal: Find a bento box that’ll satisfy both second-graders going back to school with PB&Js and grown-ups who want to bring last night’s leftovers to the office.
The Verdict: The Red Dot Design Award–winning Monbento Original bento box was created by a French physical therapist who couldn’t find a suitable model in all of Europe. So she left her job in 2009 and made her own. It comes with two stackable layers to keep dressings separate from sandwiches and holds about four cups of food (far more than most boxes, which average two cups). Internal lids are fitted with a silicone hinge to keep them extra-snug, and the whole thing is wrapped with an elastic band, making it leakproof (though we don’t recommend it for soup). It’s made of highly durable, BPA-free plastic that’s soft to the touch, and unlike others, the Monbento is dishwasher-, freezer-, and microwave-safe.
More Strat-approved bento boxes
To find the best Japanese-style lunch boxes for students, we spoke with Angelique Chmielewski, owner of Japanese home-goods store Nalata Nalata. According to Chmielewski, the best portable bento container is airtight, with a rubber gasket that is leak-resistant, and easy to wash. Below, options that’ll render Tupperware containers (let alone brown paper bags) obsolete. A tip: To avoid stealing your kid’s lunch box, we’d advise ordering two upfront.
Stylish, affordable, easy to clean (and from the same brand of high-quality bento boxes that we’ve raved about before). I can’t imagine a person not wanting to buy this bento box.
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