There are lots of insulated mugs out there, and even lots of insulated food jugs. But for a kid’s lunch, I was looking for a smaller, shorter/wider container, so I could pack non-liquid things that would still benefit from being warm at lunch time, like nuggets, but that he could reach with his fingers. I also wanted the product to not be insanely expensive.
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After exhaustive review of Amazon reviews, I selected 3 products for head-to-head comparison.
- Morlike Hot Food Thermos Container for Kids Lunch Box, 8 oz Small Insulated Vacuum Stainless Steel Thermal Soup Containers with Leakproof Lid (Black, Space) ($19)
- DaCool Lunch Thermos for Kids Vacuum Stainless Steel 13.5 Ounce Kids Food Thermos for Hot/Cold Food Insulated Food Jar Lunch Container Bento for School Office Picnic Travel Outdoors, BPA Free,Black ($17)
- Yokimiya 10oz Soup Thermos Wide Mouth Vacuum Insulated Food Jar Stainless Fruit Snack Container Jar Thermos for Hot Food Rounds Leak Proof for School, Office （Green） ($12)
For my test, I standardized as best I could by adding 8 ounces of boiling water to each, checking the temp using an instant read thermometer, sealing them, and then checking the temp again in 4-5 hours (the amount of time it would need to stay warm to make it to lunch time). The ambient temperature of the room was 72.5 ˚F.
Right off the bat, it was obvious that the Yokimiya was not going to be a winner. When I added the water, it was 191.1 ˚F, but by the time I added the lid, it was already 181.9 ˚F, and the container was too hot to handle. Heat coming through the container to burn my fingers = heat not being retained inside the container!
I was actually really impressed with these results! At 4.75 hours, the DaCool and MorLike containers both had hot water at 111-112 degrees! The MorLike container is smaller and lost less heat, but both prove to be very reasonable for the purposes of lunch.
|76.1 ˚F (loss of 105.8˚F)
|111 ˚F (loss of 80.1˚F)
|112.5 ˚F (loss of 73˚F)
I sent the 8-year-old to school with heated pasta in the DaCool container (pre-heating the container by pouring boiling water in it while the pasta was reheating, then pouring it out and adding the hot food), and he said the food was still hot at lunch time! He did need help opening it. Both have pressure relief buttons, but I’m not sure I showed him how to use them.
Both the DaCool and the MorLike win a place in our lunch-packing cupboard!