An investment in a good quality stainless steel lunch box will get you more than one school years worth of value. Plus, stainless steel is recyclable at end of life if you happen to bend it out of shape so badly that it can't be used anymore (you'd probably have to jump on it, but it can happen).
One of the very first lunch boxes we added to our store way back in 2010 was from Lunchbots, and they have been copied many times over since then. The originals have had small design changes (to a more square shape and the painted lids went away and were replaced with coloured clip ons) but they are still the original quality box they always were and are still a very popular choice. The most similar option to Lunchbots in store is now a series of bento boxes from Ever Eco. At first glance they appear identical, but there are small differences, so this blog will explain what they are.
EVER ECO - in their Snack Box series that have the same rough design as the Lunchbots, each one has a 580ml capacity
LUNCHBOTS - comes in two sizes. Their Classic series is 600ml capacity, slightly larger than the Ever Eco, and their Bento series is 960ml
EVER ECO - rectangular with quite rounded corners
LUNCHBOTS - rectangular with only very slightly rounded corners.
The definition of a bento box lunch box is the inclusion of different compartments to keep food separate. In the case of both of these brands, they have one box that has no dividers, so technically NOT a bento box, but they're all grouped in the same categories so I will refer to them as 1 compartment.
EVER ECO - 1 compartment, 2 compartments, 3 compartments
LUNCHBOTS - In the Classic size - 1 compartment, 2 compartments, 3 compartments (2 ways), 4 compartments. In the Bento size, 3 compartments and 5 compartments
This is one area where there's some limitations. Both of these are quite short. Luckily for our shoppers, anyone wanting a taller box can choose the Green Essentials Sustain A Bento or the Cheeki Hungry Max.
EVER ECO - 4cm tall
LUNCHBOTS - 4.55cm tall for the Classic and 4cm tall for the Bento size
For the pure eco aspect, we prefer the all stainless steel look, but for those who also want a bit of colour, the Lunchbots series have clip on coloured lids available. The plastic doesn't touch the food, it's just decoration. This feature is not available for ever Eco.
So there you have it, two popular lunch boxes that look identical but do have some subtle differences.