Bento lunches originate from Japan and it’s a way of preparing and showing off food that wins out over packed sandwiches every time. It’s all about packing a larger variety of foods in smaller portions. The Yumbox Classic Bento Lunchbox is a 5-compartment + dip pocket container that seals with a single, leak proof lid. It is aimed as a lunchbox for younger children, as each compartment is half a cup, 125ml in size which doesn’t leave room for large portions, however I found it it a great size for adults with smaller appetites with a total capacity of 650ml.
I have been packing it for school lunches for the last three weeks and I am really impressed by its durability so far – it still looks like new. It has great visual appeal in a range of colours – I am told every child that has seen it wants one and even some of the grown-ups as well! It is the perfect size taking the work out of portion control for me. There is no risk of over packing food for a young children and no worrying whether I packed enough to fill a hungry tummy. It has also forced me to think about increasing the versatility of the lunches I prepare – which is a very good thing.
The Ergohacks Verdict
I am not a natural in the kitchen and rarely enjoy cooking a large or complicated meal. My daughter has been raised on healthy snack foods and the Bento style of little bits of everything is well suited to our lifestyle. We have been thrilled with the Yumbox. We have packed a variety of wet and delicate foods and it neither leaks nor squishes. Lunch arrives exactly as it was packed in the morning. It seals with one lid and provides a stylish packed lunch that encourages variety and creativity.
We’ve now been using the Yumbox 6-compartment box for nine months and it’s held up extremely well. Still no leaks or squished lunches. I’ve come to covet it’s flat design as it’s the lunch box that can be slipped into a bag without adding a lot of bulk and fits into a small school lunch bag as well alongside a bottle of water. It’s a great educational tool, our 6-year old with Type 1 Diabetes assist in packing lunch using the compartments for the different food groups and it’s made carb counting easy for her.
It’s not a budget choice – around £25 is at the upper end of lunch box pricing, but it’ll easily last the whole school year, if not longer and whilst other, cheaper options have fallen by the wayside due to broken clasps and leaky lids, the Yumbox is barely showing any signs of use. It’s a good investment for a high quality products. We continue to love it.
Yumbox was originally developed by Deleware Mum’s Daniela Devitt and Maia Neumann who were inspired by the mediterranean diet served at Neumann’s daughter’s school. They setup a company Boolabox LLC in 2009 and went on to win a Good Design Award for the Yumbox in 2013. They also have two iPad apps and have diversified into a snack version of the Yumbox, a four compartment version and insulated cases. They sell worldwide but their UK exclusive distributer is EatWell-Uk.
The Classic Yumbox is a bright coloured box with a removable divider insert. It’s dishwasher safe – but it’s recommended to hand wash the lid. Be aware that the inserts for different styles are not interchangeable despite being the same size.
It has a few small niggles – It is smooth and that makes it a little slippy. Not so slippy as to be problematic, but when in a rush, it’s easy to grab and drop it. After three weeks the exterior is showing some very minor scratches – but we haven’t been careful, we have deliberately put it through its paces. It is not thermally insulated. There is no square compartment making it hard to pack a mini-sandwich, crackers or anything even slightly larger in shape.
- Leakproof – we’ve tested it with yogurts, dips and thick sauces, shaking, dropping and turning it upside down. It really doesn’t leak at all. (It’s not meant to hold liquids, so it does leak when water, runny soups, juice or fruit soaked in fruit juice is placed inside).
- Target age: Marketed to under 8’s, but we think it’s great for everyone.
- All materials are food-safe, BPA-Free, Phthalates-free and are CPSIA and FDA compliant.
- Be aware that the dip pot is exactly that. It holds around 35ml/40g of yogurt, humus, guacamole etc. and is perfectly sized for dipping Crudités.
Think Green: The Yumbox makes it easy to reduce food waste and plastic wrapping waste – which are often not recyclable. No need to buy individual serving sizes of anything. It is also durable and long lasting. We’ve been using it regularly for nine months and it’s performance remains the same.
Product dimensions: 22 x 5 x 15 cm
Capacity: ± 640ml: 5 x 125ml containers + dip pot that holds ±40g yogurt
Item Weight: 490g
Colour: Red, blue, green, orange, pink
Made in U.S.A.
Materials: ABS – Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (outer box), tray insert (tritan), lid (silicone)
We based our Ergohacks Verdict on 9 months of tinkering, testing and using the Classic Yumbox (six compartments) kindly provided by Boolabox. This article was first published on 7 September 2016 and last updated on 15 May 2017.