Saturday, August 6, 2011

Smartplanet Eco Lunch Box - How Does It Stack Up?

I nipped into a Ross store the other day, while Z was at Little Gym camp. It was just across the parking lot, and we're testing her separation issues little by little. Plus I had finished my book and was bored. While looking to see if they happened to have a decent book (the didn't. They actually had surprisingly few books this time,) I found a new lunch/bento box! The Smartplanet Eco Lunch box, on sale for $11.99.
It's shaped much like an EasyLunchBox, in that it has 1 large and 2 smaller compartments. They are both dishwasher and microwave safe. Plus this one has a bonus spork that snaps into the lid. The other main difference versus an ELB is that the bottom is collapsible for storage.
photo credit
So I carried one around the store for a while, while I looked for other fun kitchen gadgets. I found some sprinkle assortment bottles for $3.29 (regularly $5-6 other places!) I wanted to buy this so I could try it out and then review it for you all. But I kept looking at it... and thinking...

Reasons I didn't bother buying it:
1) Nowhere did it state it was BPA-free (or any other neurotoxic chemical-free.) I know silicone is safe, but the lid and spork are harder plastics, which are the potentially dangerous ones.
2) It's shaped so much like an EasyLunchBox, I had a hard time justifying it. Other than the pretty color, there was no major difference in how much it could hold or what foods I could put where.
3) Collapsed, it was still around half the height of an EasyLunchBox, and unless you were only going to own one of these, they would actually take up MORE space than an ELB. The ELBs stack nicely inside each other with their lids on top, and I have 12 stacked on a shelf in one of my under-counter cupboards, plus room for a Goodbyn on top. Doesn't really take up a lot of space, and 4 of these would take up around the same, if not more, space. But not so easily stacked.
4) The ONLY advantage to the collapsibility would be when taking an empty box home, since storage isn't a factor compared to the ELBs. And that same feature could be a huge disadvantage while the lunch is inside, depending on how smooshable your lunch bag is. Imagine if it got collapsed with your yummy food in there! Smooshed-sandwich-city!
5) At $12 each, I could almost buy four EasyLunchBoxes for the same price! Yikes!
6) I didn't purchase one, so I can't tell you how hard/easy the lid would be to open. And I couldn't find any unbiased product reviews online yet either. (Just the manufacturer's own blurbs. Hardly unbiased!)

So, overall, I'd recommend the EasyLunchBoxes. Unless the sexy colors (pink, turquoise, green or orange) and snap-in Spork are just too cute to pass up, despite the potentially toxic questionably-safe plastic and high price tag, I don't think this box is the way to go.

1 comment:

  1. I saw these and liked the bright colours and the collapsible factor seemed like a good storage option (I have 5 kids and little space) but wondered about the possibility of collapsing while full of food myself - hmm, don't think they would work well with our soft neoprene lunchbags. Good point about the ELBs being nestable too - glad I read this - thanks!


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