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Whilst on a money saving drive I decided to buy myself a decent lunchbox to encourage me to bring my own lunch into work. I saw this one in pink priced at £5 in Tesco. It was on special offer and I wouldn't want to pay any more than that for it.
I'm a bit of a Pinterest addict and had become inspired my interesting packed lunch options as I'm not a massive fan of sandwiches so thought something like this would be ideal.
The lunch box has 4 parts all together. The bottom is quite large but not very deep so if you were packing sandwiches they'd need to be packed flat and not on top of each other. In the lid there are 3 sections. One is large enough to fit a small screw capped bottle. The bottle wouldn't be enough to see you through all day for drinks unless perhaps you used to carry squash to dilute. I tend to use it for orange juice as I only drink this in small quantities. There are then the further 2 smaller compartments. These are useful for smaller food items such as raw vegetable sticks, olives, hummus and cheese, it seals completely so the food stays fresh even if you've prepared the evening before. As I'm not a fan of sandwiches it is useful for containing various cracker toppings.
When I first purchased this lunch box I found it tricky to clean. It's dishwasher safe but it was hard to fit in but then I realised that it comes apart entirely. The top and bottom completely separate and then each lid on the 3 top compartments detach so everything can be stacked into the dishwasher without taking up too much space.
Has it made me pack my lunch more often? Not really but it's my fault because I can always think of something more interesting to do in the evening and I'm never up in time in the morning!
We decided (at the beginning of the new school term and with both children attending preschool) to buy these lunchboxes. We found them on offer in sainsburys for £4.50 each, I chose them a pink and a blue one each. Having bought their drinking bottles previously I was sure I'd be more than happy with them.
The box is made of two sections, the main "lunchbox" section then the lidded section. The lid is held together by a hinge rather than clipping it on. The lidded section is split into 3 separate hinged lidded compartments, the largest one contains a small screw top bottle. Our problems arose from the first time using it unfortunately. The bottom part of the lunchbox has barely enough room for just a sandwich (flat) there is no room for an apple, banana or yoghurt for example. You wouldn't be able to fit even a small pack of crisps into the large compartment alongside a sandwich. The top lid compartments are small, maybe enough room for a handful of grapes or segments of orange. The drinks bottle was unsuitable for our preschoolers as the neck of the bottle was large and they'd spill their drink
I feel disappointed with this item, the build quality seems ideal but little things bug me, like the lid flaps come out all the time. We stopped using these lunchboxes only a few weeks of using them, and I feel they were a waste of money. I wouldn't recommend.
Having been really impressed by another Sistema product, a drinks bottle, when I saw this lunchbox, which is a normal lunch box with more compartments, one housing a small bottle, I had to buy it. In actual fact I bought two - one in this colour and one in bright pink. It's also available in bright green. I like Sistema products as they are BPA free and my experience told me they are normally well designed, sturdy and practical to use. This particular item has proved to be a useful and popular item, but not without its downsides.
The lunchbox itself is 22cm by 15cm and 9cm deep, so a good size for containing everything. The top houses three compartments whilst the bottom is a slightly larger compartment. I find that you can easily get sandwiches and a bag of crisps into the bottom part without them getting squidged. All the compartments open separately and seem to stay firmly shut to contain the contents whilst not being too hard to open for adults and children alike. The bottle that comes in the larger compartment is 11cm high and big enough for that lunchtime drink -it's screw top and not particularly brilliant to drink from but it does the job. I like the idea of the compartments as it's fun to work out what little bits and bobs to put in them, bento-stylee, and it saves on using cling film and adds interest to a packed lunch. You can easily get some carrot sticks or grapes or even a small cake into the top compartments, and everything is kept secure and enclosed.
So far so good.
While another reviewer has said that their box was not well made, I haven't had this issue at all. I've used a box myself and the other one has been used for school lunches; both have proved durable. The issue I do have with this is how hard it is to clean. Though dishwasher safe, you can't actually clean it in the top rack of a dishwasher as advised due to its design, if you open it up to clean everything water will pool in the compartments, it just doesn't work. It's a bit of a pain to hand wash too in all honesty - there are just lots of nooks and crannies and you can't drain dry it. Obviously this being a food container hygiene is a priority and I just feel there are too many little bits to this to be absolutely sure it is squeaky clean and it's just not quick to wash or wipe dry, I would prefer it if I could bung it in the dishwasher.
That said my packed lunch loving daughter does love her pink box and so it gets a lot of use. At the price I paid, which was under £4 (sainsbury's currently have 25% off all sistema products) it's a fairly good buy as I feel it's well made and fun. It's also good to know there are no nasty BPA's in the plastic and using it, with careful washing, does save on packaging. It's a tentative thumbs up here then, I just think the designer maybe hadn't thought through the washing up part!
I bought two of these lunch boxes for my children just after the may half term, I thought at the very least they would last until they break up in July, sadly they haven't. :-(
What is it ? It is a lunchbox that is divided into four separate compartments. It has the main section at the bottom and then within the lid there is one section that holds a drinks bottle (this is included- more about this later) and two smaller sections.
Each compartment has its own lid, they are easy to open and close, so are suitable for young children to use alone.
It comes in two colours bright blue or bright pink, I bought one of each.
It is made of a hard plastic that is semi transparent, my children liked this, so they could see what was in their lunch box.
Filling the box - This is where the first signs of problems arose, the bottom largest part of the box is just not deep enough. It is fine for a sandwich or wrap but a roll struggles to squeeze in. It certainly isn't big enough for an apple, orange, pear, yoghurt or fruit pot. The top sections are also very small, one would hold three small strawberries or four grapes. I thought about bringing them back but my children liked the novelty of them and so I bought squeezy yoghurts and cut up their fruit to fit. Not ideal but it was ok.
Then there was the bottle - it is a small rectangular shaped bottle with a screw top lid, it was easy to use for my 10 year old daughter but my five year old son struggled a bit opening and closing the lid. It would be much better if they made it with a sports top lid.
They were fine to begin with but after just two weeks my daughters bottle had a split in it, meaning we couldn't use it and we couldn't find another bottle to fit in the box , so she had to bring a separate bottle to school.
Using the box - They are easy to open and close, they are a nice size to fit into school bags and they are very easy to clean they are dishwasher safe too.
But I think the boxes are just not durable enough for children to use. Within a few days both of the boxes had cracks in, within week one of the lids on my sons box had snapped off. Within three weeks my daughters bottle had split, one of her lids had snapped, there was a big crack in the bottom of her box and two of the lids were now hanging off my sons lunch box, They were no longer able to use them and we were all disappointed.
I brought them back to Lakeland where I had bought them and the lady said they were getting lots brought back - so it wasn't just my heavy handed kids.
If you still want to try a slimline quaddie then they are available from Lakeland for £5.99.
I was really disappointed with these, I had to adapt my shopping list to accommodate the lunch box, buy a new bottle for my daughter and bring them back within a few weeks.