Portable and Personal. The Best Small Cooler For Lunch

best small cooler

If you’re looking for a portable cooler for your personal use, the abundance of options can make it a little tough and overwhelming to choose the best cooler for lunch.

Portable and personal coolers only needs to keep your lunch cool and fresh for a few hours, so you don’t need to spend a fortune on some fancy cooler. However, that doesn’t mean that any old lunch box will do either.

The main things to consider when choosing a small cooler are the size, durability, and ease of cleaning. Unlike a cooler for camping, personal coolers are going to be used on a daily basis.

If you're using a product every day, you want to make sure you are purchasing an item that not only gets the job done but also looks good while you're doing it.

You also want to make sure that your cooler is also easily cleaned so that when you get home you don't have to waste valuable time scrubbing it down before the next day's use. The following portable cooler options provide you with a great review of each so that you can find your best cooler for lunch!

Small Lunch Cooler Reviews

1. eBags Crew Cooler II Lunch Cooler

eBags Crew Cooler II

If you’re looking for one of the best personal coolers that will stow really easily, then it’s not surprising that our first suggestion was initially designed for airline crew.

Air stewards generally have the good sense not to eat airline food, so they often pack their own but there’s not exactly a lot of extra space to store items on a plane.

However, this soft cooler bag has a small size and flexibility that fits perfectly in small compartments, making it one of the best.

If you are someone who has to use several bags to carry keys, wallet, and your lunch, this soft cooler will allow you the convenience of only having to carry one bag. The additional pockets on the front and sides means that you don’t need an additional bag for your keys or wallet. It also contains a top zipper for easy ice pack storage, as well as a a shoulder strap to make carrying easy.

In addition to its size and convenience, this soft-sided cooler also has a 5 year warranty if used by airline crew and a limited lifetime warranty for non-commercial use. If this lunch bag survives 5 years of being pushed in and out of airplane compartments, it will certainly survive anything your office can throw at it.

2. Picnic Time Pranzo Insulated Lunch Tote

Picnic Time Pranzo Insulated Lunch Tote

If you believe, as we do, that lunch should be more of an occasion than just grabbing a quick sandwich, then this is the best portable cooler for the job.

This soft cooler comes with a shoulder strap and two insulated sections, so you can keep food and drinks cool in one compartment and warm in the other section.

With the purchase of this cooler bag, you will also get a knife, fork, spoon and 100% cotton napkin, as well as salt and pepper shakers.

These bonus items are stored in the zippered front pocket, while the zippered mesh pockets on the side can be used to store extra items like your keys or wallet. Being able to eat last night’s leftovers with a knife and fork and then wipe your mouth with a proper napkin does lend a certain air of sophistication and even serenity to your mid-day break.

3. Stanley Heritage Cooler 7QT + Classic Vacuum Bottle

Stanley Heritage Cooler 7QT + Classic Vaccuum Bottle 1.1QT Combo

Stanley is a name that every construction worker knows all too well. It’s the brand on every piece of quality tool they have.

Stanley understands the kinds of conditions their tools get used in and have now made a lunch cooler and thermos combo. This combo is the perfect "man lunch box" that incorporates the same level of quality and durability of Stanley tools.

The cooler has a tough rigid shell that helps protect your food items during transportation. The handle also locks into place to secure the thermos so that you don’t have to worry about it rolling around.

The thermos keeps liquids either hot or cold for hours. With a small ice pack in the cooler your food will stay cool and fresh for the whole day. If you work outdoors, then this is the best cooler for lunch if you want something that will survive for a long time.

4. 6 Pack Fitness Innovator 300 Stealth

6 Pack Fitness Innovator 300 Stealth Black

This is probably the best personal cooler for the money. It has internal adjustable shelves, allowing for storage of the 3 Snap Lid containers that are included. We love how the shelves make it easy to get to any container without having to first dig past the other containers.

Not only are the 3 Snap Lid containers included, but this cooler bag also comes with 2 soft gel ice packs. The cooler section is fully insulated and will keep perishable food cool and fresh for up to 8 hours.

The mesh pockets on the sides are also perfect for a small thermos or water bottle. If you are looking for lunch cooler bag that allows you to keep your food organized and easily accessible, then this is the best cooler for you!

5. PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag

PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag

Sometimes simplicity is best. If you’re looking to keep it simple and don’t need anything fancy, then these are the best small coolers for your school or office lunches.

With only one large compartment, this soft cooler lunch bag has a special gel sealed into the lining that allows you to keep it overnight in the freezer.

When you pack your lunch in the morning, the gel ensures that the contents stay cold for up to 12 hours. If you like to keep your lunch simple, then this is the ideal cooler for you!


Choosing the best lunch cooler isn’t something that you need to agonize over. The best portable coolers are small in size, durable, and easy to clean. Each of the coolers reviewed above have their own unique features that will fit the needs of its users.

If you want a cooler that will keep your perishable food and drinks cool until the mid-afternoon, any of these coolers will get the job done. However, based on your personal preferences you might want a cooler bag that is more simple or one that has several different compartments. Choosing the best cooler for lunch is all about your own personal preferences!

The portable cooler options above range from inexpensive to on the more pricey side, and each will last you several months to several years if well taken care of. Instead of throwing your food and drinks in a non-insulated lunch box, consider purchasing a portable and personal cooler that will keep your items fresh longer!

Product Images Sourced From Amazon.com

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