Out of everything I share on Instagram, the thing I get the most questions about is my daughter's Planetbox lunchbox. Everyone wants to know what it is and where to get it. I hinted to Planetbox via cheeky Instagram comments that we should partner up for a giveaway because I was sending them so much traffic, but they didn't bite, so this will just be an unbiased review purely for fun. ;) UPDATE 5/18/15: Planetbox has since taken me up on my cheeky IG comments and has made me an affiliate. That means that I will receive a small commission if you purchase a Planetbox through the links on my blog or social media. I would really love to receive a small commission, so if my posts inspire you to purchase a Planetbox, please consider making your purchase through one of my links...it will help pay for this blog!! Thanks!!
We've been using a Planetbox for the past five years and love it. We have the original model called the Rover which has 5 small compartments. We also have a few accessories to go with it, including: a Big Dipper, Little Dipper, carrying case and rainbow unicorn magnets. The dippers are just little round containers that are good for holding yogurt, applesauce, salad dressing or other things that might leak. The magnets go on the front and can be swapped out to personalize...fun concept.
The carrying case is a lightly insulated carrying case that will also hold a water bottle, ice pack and a few extras like flatware, extra snack, etc. You can easily fit a big dipper container in the front pocket for a snack.
The lunchbox and dippers have held up extremely well. After 5 years of constant use, they still look brand new. The appeal when we got the set was the eco-factor. They are stainless steel and can be recycled at the end of their lifespan. The easy-open latch was also appealing because my daughter was in preschool when we first started using it. I like all the little compartments because I can pack a wide variety of things and don't have to commit to a whole lot of any one thing. The compartments are well sealed when the lunchbox is closed, so things stay relatively well put. We have had problems with liquid leaking through if we don't use a dipper, however. This happens most often with fruit that starts to get juicy as it bangs around in the lunchbox or if I forget to put the lid on a dipper...bad mommy!
Clean-up is easy...the whole thing goes in the dishwasher. (The magnets have accidentally gone through the wash more times than I care to admit and have held up remarkably well, with only minor fading and peeling.) If you need to wash the box by hand, it's a little fussy to have to wipe out all the compartments, but not a big deal. Drying is the bigger hassle because you have to wipe down so many surfaces and that can take a surprisingly long time.
The carrying case is nice because there is room inside for a thin ice pack, utensils and a napkin. Ours is very hard to clean, however and the fabric got grubby quickly. The case is not machine washable, so you have to wipe it down as best you can and it never really gets clean once it's stained. This is a shame because there isn't anything else wrong with it, but it's gotten too filthy to keep using and needs to be replaced. That being said, the cases have been updated since we got ours. I will probably be buying another case from Planetbox because I haven't found a better option, and aside from being hard to clean, is well made.
The biggest design flaw I have found, and I'm not even sure it's a design flaw, is that if by chance, the lunchbox gets knocked over when the lid is open, the whole lunch is lost. This happened a few times when my daughter was younger and resulted in her having nothing to eat for lunch. Sad face. :( Fortunately, she hasn't done that in a long time.
The cost for the system with accessories and carrying case is about $70, which is pretty steep for a lunchbox. (We recieved ours as a gift from grandma.) But if you break that $70 up over 5 years, it's only $14/year and honestly, that annual cost will just keep going down, because I have no plans to stop using it. Replacing the carry case will cost me $25, but it's still a good investment in my opinion...my daughter is ready for a change anyway, so I'll let her pick new magnets and a new case. I do wish they had some cute patterned fabric cases to choose from...those would hide dirt better too.
One new thing they have now that is pretty cool are customizable magnets! You can upload your own picture (or pictures) and have them printed on magnets for $9! What a fun way to change up the box for holidays, birthdays, etc.
Overall, I love our Planetbox and highly recommend it. It's fun to pack and easy to use. You can follow my Instagram account to see what I pack each day or check back here from time to time for more lunchbox inspiration. In my next post, I'll be sharing ideas for creating irresistable SCD lunches that kids will love to eat.
Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you found this useful and if not, let me know what's missing. And if you have a great lunchbox that you love, feel free to leave comments and share what you use! I'm always curious about what other people are doing for lunches. XOXO, Cindi