Today, I have a review for you that’s a year in the making. Packing my boys’ lunches for school is not easy in my house. I know it is for some people, but it’s just one thing that’s always been a hassle. I believe it’s important to pack my boys lunches most of the time (our rule is they pick two school lunches a month to buy) because the quality of the school lunches isn’t up to my standards.

But, packing lunches often stresses me out. Whether it’s because my kids don’t like the options we have in the fridge, they’re in a phase where they want the junk the other kids eat, or I just haven’t had the chance to get to the grocery store, there’s usually a struggle over lunch. Last year, I found the solution to one of our struggles though — the condition of the packed lunch once the boys get to the cafeteria.

Both of them complained about their lunches being gross by the time they got to eat them after being in their locker for several hours. If I put an ice pack in their lunchbox, everything would be soggy. If I didn’t, everything would be warm and mushy. One of my boys kept talking about a product he’d seen on TV, PackIt. He said it would solve all the problems. I looked into the PackIt, and bought two of them for my boys.

While they didn’t solve all our problems, they worked well enough for me to be using them again this school year.

The PackIt has gel icepacks between the walls of the bag, and the entire bag gets folded up when not in use and kept in the freezer. The “eco-safe built-in cooling technology,” as PackIt calls it, keeps food refrigerator cold for up to 10 hours. As the interior icepacks defrost, they never come in contact with the food, so food does not get soggy.

Are PackIts perfect? No, they’re not. And if anyone ever finds the perfect lunchbox or bag for school lunches, please let me know about it. But, its pros outweight its cons for my family.

PackIt’s pros

  • Keeps food fresh and safe for up to 10 hours. It definitely lasts all the way until midday lunch when packed right before a child leaves for school.
  • Food doesn’t get soggy.
  • The variety of foods that can be sent increases because you don’t have to worry about anything like tuna or salad dressing going bad while it sits in a warm cubby or locker.
  • The bags are durable. My boys took them to school all last year and they are still in great condition to take again this year.
  • It’s great for other things besides school lunches. This summer, instead of taking the whole cooler to the pool, I could throw a few things in the PackIt to keep cold.
  • Easy to clean with soap and water.
  • They’re PVC-, BPA- and lead-free, and nontoxic, at least according to the manufacturer.
PackIt’s cons
  • It’s heavy. It weighs almost a pound and a half right out of the freezer without anything in it.
  • If you want to send something to school that’s hot, like soup in a thermos, you need to remember to NOT put the PackIt in the freezer the night before.
  • Once a full size reusable beverage bottle is in it, it’s difficult to fit a sandwich box, a snack and a fruit in the regular size PackIt. It’s great for small juice boxes or smaller beverages, but you need a smaller-sized reusable beverage bottle if you use reusables daily.
  • It doesn’t magically make my kids like the foods I pack in it. (OK, to be fair, no lunchbox would do that.)
My boys will head back to school next week with their PackIts in their backpacks. Do you have a lunchbox that works really well for you so you can send your kids with healthy lunches each day?

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