When it comes to back-to-school gear, kids’ lunchboxes pack the nutrition and hydration little learners need to power through the day. We’ve rounded up the cool and the insulated, the easy to carry and the easy to clean, the glowing and the glittering, the brand new and even the empowering. Read on for 12 lunchboxes that get the job done and then some.

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Lunch Pals by Stephen Joseph

Pick a pal, any pal. Any lunch pal that is, including brand new llama and bear designs (joining a tribe of robots, airplanes, butterflies, kitties, horses, owls, ladybugs, and monkeys, oh my!). With a handle and extendable strap, this insulated lunchbag can be carried two ways and sports a bottom compartment for silverware, napkins, or an after-school snack stash. They can also be accessorized with new matching water bottles, new reusable snack containers, freezer packs, and larger backpacks. Their All Over Print and Classic lunchboxes are also available in new colors and designs. Personalization is an additional $10.00.

Available at stephenjosephgifts.com, $17.00.

Insulated Lunchbag for Kids by Funkins

Extra big? Check. Washable? Check. Insulated? Check again. Funkins neoprene lunchbags have it all. Durable yet soft with dozens of darling designs inside and out (including new Super Kids and Mermaids patterns), and sweet messages like "Sprinkle kindness" and "It's cool to be kind," this bag is eco-friendly, chemical-free, and ready to fill up again and again. There’s also plenty of room for Funkins reusable cotton napkins and placemats, while the bag folds flat for easy storage. No wonder Superhealthy Kids named it Lunchbag of the Year for 2017.

Available at myfunkins.com, $29.95.

photo: Courtesy of Boon

Cargo Lunchbox by Boon

Can we say cute as a snail? Boon’s new Cargo carrying case is perfect for all ages. It keeps different foods squared away in their own compartments (saving you on wasteful wrapping), while a clear lid makes for easy viewing of what’s for lunch. If your little tot isn’t quite off to big kid school yet, this is perfect to pack with on-the-go snacks. Boon’s new Trunk lunchbox is also available for blue elephant fans.

Available at milkandhoneybabies.com, $18.

Print Lunchbox by L.L.Bean

For older kids on the go all day, from school to lunch to after-school activities, you want a lunchbox that holds up yet won’t take up the whole backpack. Made of the same strong “packcloth” as its school packs and available in the same designs, these insulated, PVC- and PBA-free boxes have lunch covered—in brand new colors, too!

Available at llbean.com, $19.95.

Mackenzie Lunchbags by Pottery Barn Kids

Lunchbags from Pottery Barn Kids are high-quality mainstays. The Mackenzie collection comes in one of five styles and a bona fide bevy of prints and patterns—with tons that are brand new, from glow-in-the-dark moons, mariposas, or monster eyes to pink, gold, navy or aqua glitter. And all, of course, can be monogrammed.

Available at potterybarnkids.com, starting at $19.50.

Skip Hop's Zoo Collection

Skip Hop welcomes Bailey the Bat to its adorable Zoo collection for 2018. Not only is he adorable but as a lunchbox, he's got the same quality you know and love from Skip Hop. The roomy insulated interior keeps food and drinks cold, the mesh pocket will keep things organized, the easy-clean material is machine washable, and there's even a clip to attach to a backpack or diaper bag. 

Available at amazon.com, $18. 

Neoprene Blue/Grey Lunchbag

Neoprene for the win! This sturdy, stretchy, machine-washable and eco-friendly material can keep lunch cold or hot from the time it’s packed to when it’s eaten (up to four hours later). Carry by its handle or use the convertible shoulder strap. All at a steal of a price.

Available at burlington.com, $12.99.

Freezable Upright Backpack by PackIt

We know and love PackIt’s line of lunchbags with their chill factor built right into the foldable, freezable bag. You’ll never forget the ice pack again—or take up room fitting it in along with everything else. PackIt’s new freezable mini backpack is perfect for younger kiddos to carry hands-free for a preschool lunch date. It comes in this colorful cherry pattern or a blue buffalo plaid.

Available at packit.com, $19.99.

Not only does LEGO Bags offer a full rainbow of their classic Brick Lunch, but they also offer Minifigure vertical lunchbags, complete with an insulated compartment, mesh pocket and a range of adorable designs. Its LEGO brick zippers are a cute touch, too. And because it’s made from three recycled plastic bottles, it also saves landfill space!

Available at LEGObags.com, $16.00.

photo: Christine McFaul

1954 by Blended Designs

When Casey Kelley went looking for a backpack for her son that reflected faces of color, she found little available. So she added her own designs to the back-to-school lineup—and an important voice, as each bag in their new 1854 collection, an homage to Brown v Board of Education, proclaims: “I can do anything!” The empowering message and is key to Blended Designs’ goal to encourage students to do their best. We also love their commitment to partnering with local community organizations in order to give away their backpacks, lunchboxes and accessories to students in less-advantaged schools for free.

Available at blendeddesigns.com, $19.95

Classmate TechPack Lunchbox by Lands' End

This new lunchbox from Lands’ End is made from the same materials as their durable backpacks and can be clipped right onto them as well for convenient carrying (Look, Ma, no hands!). You also won’t have to worry about anything spoiling before lunchtime, as this lunch box is insulated, leak-resistant, and guaranteed to keep ice-packed food cold for five hours. All Lands’ End products actually come with a happiness guarantee! Monogramming is also available on one of six fun patterns for an additional $6.00.

Available at landsend.com, $19.95.

Lunchbag by Eco Lunchbox

From its cord handle to green-certified screen prints, this handmade lunchbag is organic, machine washable and environmentally friendly. With all the plastic already in our kids’ lives (and oceans), the intention of this eco lunchbox is not to use an ounce of it. Their coordinated Splash Box bento is made of stainless steel and silicone and also helps achieve a zero-waste lunch. Available in sweet seahorse, sea turtle, dolphin, and whale motifs.

Available at ecolunchboxes.com, $15.99.

Insulated Lunch Backpack by Marcus & Marcus

A friendly Lola the Giraffe, Ollie the Elephant, or Marcus the Lion make the perfect lunchtime companion, protecting food and keeping drinks cool. A rubber-grip zipper makes this a self-sufficient option for the littlest lunchers, who can also collect treasures found along the way in a convenient exterior pocket.

Available at amazon.com, $24.99.

— Jennifer Massoni Pardini

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Editor’s Note: At the time of publication all items were available for purchase.

All images courtesy of retailers

13 Lunchboxes That Get an A+