Prêt a Paquet lunch containers

I received product samples for review

If you read my blog, you know that I pack lunch for my kids and husband every weekday.  And you know that I pack it in reusable containers because I want to do my bit to reduce the amount of plastic waste getting thrown into landfills each year.  With all the hundreds of lunches I've packed over the years, I have a pretty good idea of what I want in a lunch container.  I want a lunch container that holds all the food my kids will eat for lunch.  I want it to be easy to clean and store.  I want it to look good.  I want it to last a decent amount of time.  And I want it to be inexpensive enough that I don't have a heart attack every time one of the kids loses their lunchbox (and that happens a lot!).

I know, I know, I'm looking for the Holy Grail of lunch containers.  So far, I haven't found it.  Over the years I've found a few that meet some of the criteria, but not all.  So when I heard about a new brand of lunch container, Prêt a Paquet, I eagerly accepted their invitation to review their lunch containers.
A few words about Prêt a Paquet:  they make stylish, functional lunch containers: sandwich boxes, salad bowls and bento boxes.  They come in a whole bunch of stylish colors and chic patterns, so even grownups won't have a problem taking these to work.  And they're launching an exclusive collection at Target this month (price points will be about $30-$37 for four units)

Prêt a Paquet sent me a couple of bento boxes and a salad bowl from the Target collection to try out.  The salad bowl is pretty cool, with a dressing cup that snaps onto the lid.  The bento boxes feature compartments to separate food, while the sandwich boxes are the perfect size to pack a sandwich.  After packing lunches in them for a week (see photos below for 3 sample lunches!), here's what I like about them:

* The Best Thing Ever:  these babies are totally leak-proof!  You can put yogurt, fruit, ranch dressing, pancake syrup hummus, even stew, without worrying that the juices will run into the other compartments, or even worse, leak out into lunch cover or lunch bag.  There's nothing more disgusting than having to clean up sticky yogurt or syrup from your child's backpack!

* The container and lids are dishwasher safe, freezer safe, and microwave safe.

* The container and lids are BPA-free.

* The insulated sleeve helps keep food hot or cold (plus, they're super cute!)

Oh, and did I mention that they're leak proof?

That being said, I do have a number of issues with the product:

* The container is divided in a way that makes it extremely inconvenient to pack a sandwich.  The two upper portions are too small, and the lower portion is too elongated.  You might be able to squeeze in a long roll or baguette (see previous photo, above), but this is the only way I was able to pack a square sandwich.  For moms whose kids love PBJ, grilled cheese, ham and cheese and other sandwiches, this is a Big Deal.

* The containers Do Not Nest into each other.  This means each container takes up a LOT of space!  I pack 4 lunches a day and I like to have spare containers, and since they don't nest, 8 containers will not fit into one kitchen drawer.  Unless your kitchen has tons of space, this is another Big Deal.

* The overall size of the container is fairly large, so it doesn't fit into many lunchbags.

Bottom line:  I love, love, love the leakproof feature -- but the inconvenient shape and the inability to nest multiple units for storage means that this is not the Holy Grail of lunch containers.  I'll be using them again, but I won't be throwing away my other  lunch containers.  However, if you have plenty of storage space and prefer to pack a different kind of lunch (i.e. pasta, rice, fruit salad, veggie bites, cheese & crackers, etc...), then Prêt a Paquet is worth a closer look.

Disclosure: I received a product sample to facilitate my review, but have not been paid to review the product or give my opinions. PrThe views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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