2018.01.15 09:00 | Kurt Tomlinson
The Fitpacker Meal Management Bag is awesome! I really like this lunch box, and I'm going to jump straight to my recommendation: buy it if you need a new lunch box. There's a lot of lunch boxes out there, and a lot of them have the same flaws. Fitpacker has addressed almost all of those flaws. And, as you can see in the image above, it's huge. It's the same size a a 4 pound bottle of protein. Those are the big bottles you see at GNC that you can barely fit in a backpack.
This is the first thing that made me happy about this lunch box. Since it;s zippered on the side, it's so easy to get things in and out of it without tipping. Most lunch boxes are zippered on the top so you have to awkwardly reach in from the top to put things in or out. If you have anything that you don't want to tip too much, top zippers make getting things in and out of your lunch box a dicey proposition. With the side-zipper system, you can just slide everything in and out from the side.
Most other lunch boxes force you to put your drink in the middle with everything else. There, your water bottle is free to roll all over the place. It can crush your sandwich and knock containers open. Not so with this lunch bag. The drawstring pouch on the side holds your beverage securely.
There is a thin zippered pouch on the front of this bag, a thin mesh pouch on the side opposite the bottle holder, and a mesh pouch on the inside of the "front door". Between those three, you've got room for napkins, silverware, and maybe ever a couple condiments. My wife likes to keep a couple pain killers in the front pouch for the off chance that she gets a headache while away from home.
There's two ways to carry this bag: with the handle or with the strap. I prefer the handle because using the strap makes it look like you're wearing a purse. But I must warn you: the handle is dangerous. It's sewn into the top of the lunch box pretty well, yes, but the forces applied on it mainly attack the seems at the edges. What I mean is that the weight of the lunch box is not evenly distributed across the seam that joins the handle with the lunch box. This means that if you put a bit too much weight on the handle, you can tear the seam a little bit. And, as we all know, once you start tearing a seam, it's all downhill from there.
If you look at the attachment for the strap to the lunch box, it's a lot more sturdy. I wish Fitpacker had used the same method to attach the handle to the lunch box, but they didn't. If you want this lunch box to last a long, I recommend using the strap. It looks like it's a lot less likely to break. (I've also seen a couple reviews on Amazon where people have complained about their strap tearing loose. Luckily this hasn't happened to me yet.)
I didn't show the containers in any of the pictures, but this bag comes with four plastic food containers that are supposedly microwave and dishwasher safe. They work okay, and they fit in the bag pretty well. I wouldn't weigh their presence in your decision on whether to buy this lunch box or not though. This lunch box is great even if it didn't include these containers.
The containers are wide and flat, so they're good for putting little meals into each one. You can put a little rice here and a little potatoes there and a little meat over on the side. They don't have any separators though, so you're going to get juices all over the place. That's not a problem for one-pan meals, salads, and a lot of other things you might want to pack.
The Fitpacker Meal Bag isn't perfect, so I give it a rating of 4 out of 5. I'd like to see the handle attached to the lunch box the same way that the strap is. Besides that, it's great. It has a drawstring pouch for a bottle, plenty of thin pouches for meal accessories, a zippered side for easy access to the interior, and it's really big.