Using a reusable snack bag instead of single use baggies or plastic wraps not only helps keep plastic waste out of the oceans but helps reduce our carbon footprint and even saves money! What is there not to like about that? It takes up to a 1000 years for a single use plastic bag to degrade in a landfill, and even then, it is not fully broken down; instead, it becomes microplastics that absorb toxins and continue to pollute the environment.Reducing the use of single use plastics is a great way to cut down environmental damage, so in this article we take a look at a range of reusable snack bags and the advantages and disadvantages of these different types. We also consider what features you should look for when choosing the best reusable snack bags for you and your family.
The Stasher silicone reusable sandwich bag made from 100% pure and food grade platinum silicone is our self-sealing and microwave safe best pick of the reusable snack bags.
The Bumkins reusable snack bags made from BPA, phthalate, PVC and vinyl free waterproof and stain resistant fabric are our budget pick reusable snack bags.
Table of Contents
- Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Reusable Snack Bags
- 1. Stasher Silicone Reusable Sandwich Bag
- 2. Bumkins Reusable Snack Bags
- 3. Itzy Ritzy Reusable Snack Bag
- 4. LunchSkins Reusable Snack Bag Set
- 5. Full Circle ZipTuck Reusable Snack Bag Set
- 6. Anlomi Reusable Snack Bag Set
- 7. QUALEAP AMBER Stand-Up Reusable Sandwich Bags
- 8. SquareOne Reusable Bag Set
- 9. Nordic By Nature Reusable Snack Bag Set
- 10. Bee’s Wrap Reusable Sandwich & Food Wrap Set
- Things to Consider Before Buying Reusable Snack Bags
Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Reusable Snack Bags
1. Stasher Silicone Reusable Sandwich Bag
Made from 100% pure, food grade and non-toxic platinum silicone, the Stasher silicone reusable sandwich bag is a self-sealing bag also safe to place in the freezer, microwave or oven up to 400°F. Available in a range of colors and sizes, this bag can be cleaned on the top rack of the dishwasher or with soap and warm water.An odd buyer has used this bag for Sous Vide and found it to not be as durable as it should be, and some buyers consider that this bag can be too small – depending on your sandwich preference! It can also be more prone to tearing on the corners near the seal.
2. Bumkins Reusable Snack Bags
The twin pack of Bumkins reusable snack bags are made from signature waterproof and stain-resistant fabric which is free from PVC, vinyl, BPA, phthalates and lead. Measuring 7" wide by 3.5" wide, these come as a twin pack in a range of designs with a single ply construction for hygiene. These bags also undergo laboratory testing to ensure they are food safe.
These bags can be wiped clean or turned inside out and washed in the machine or on the top rack of the dishwasher. They should then be allowed to air dry. These have been designed in Arizona and responsibly made in China. These bags are breathable bags which means sandwiches or snacks such as chips may not stay fresh for as long as other types of reusable snack bags.
Some buyers have been disappointed with how thin the fabric is on these and there is also a small chance of them developing mold spots.
3. Itzy Ritzy Reusable Snack Bag
The BPA-free Itzy Ritzy snack bag is also free from PVC, lead and phthalates, FDA approved and CPSIA certified. Measuring 7" wide by 7" high, it has a silent opening zipper closure and a cotton fabric outer with a waterproof inner lining. Available in a range of designs, this snack bag can be cleaned in the washing machine, although line drying is advised.This is a breathable bag so some snacks may go stale faster than in other bags and some buyers have found that their recent purchases are not the same quality as the ones they have bought some time back.
4. LunchSkins Reusable Snack Bag Set
Comprising a snack bag (6.5" by 3.5") and a sandwich bag (6.5" by 6.5"), the LunchSkins reusable snack bag set contains a moisture and grease proof lining to help keep food fresh. These breathable bags are free from PVC, vinyl and phthalates and fasten with a hook and loop closure.These can be cleaned by hand washing, or in the dishwasher or machine. There can be problems removing the sticky label from these bags when received and they are not as good for crispy snacks such as chips or dry cereals for any length of time. The lighter colored bags are also prone to staining from certain foods.
5. Full Circle ZipTuck Reusable Snack Bag Set
The BPA-free and food safe Full Circle ZipTuck reusable snack bag set has an airtight and leak-proof seal design to prevent leaks from foods or liquids. Made from EVA and free from any harmful chemicals, dyes, plastics or harmful coatings, this set includes two snack bags measuring 6.8" by 4.5" with around a 14 fl. oz capacity. These have a gusset base so they can stand upright when filling with liquids. They will also store flat after use.These bags should be washed well in warm, soapy water and be allowed to completely dry before reusing or placed on the top rack of the dishwasher on low heat, although some owners have experienced problems with washing these bags in the dishwasher. These bags may also lack the durability that other types of reusable bags can have, and they may sometimes be difficult to seal.
6. Anlomi Reusable Snack Bag Set
Made from cotton fabric with a food safe polyester lining, the Anlomi reusable snack bag set are tested as being free from PVC, BPA, phthalates and heavy metals. The set includes two large bags (7" by 7.8"), two medium (6.5" by 6.5") and one small bag (6.5" by 3.5") and is available in various colors and designs.
This dishwasher safe set also comes with a satisfaction guarantee of one year. The manufacturer advises that these are not airtight bags and so are unsuitable for longer storage of chips, crackers or similar snacks. Some buyers have commented that these bags can have an odor to them which will take time to wear off and as these are bags are printed with eco-friendly inks there can be a risk of the inks running if the water temperature is too high when washing.
7. QUALEAP AMBER Stand-Up Reusable Sandwich Bags
The Qualep reusable food bag set includes a range of different sized airtight bags. This set of seven bags are made from food grade PEVA and are free from BPA, PVC and lead. These have a gusset base and are also freezer safe. It is recommended that these bags are hand washed rather than put in the dishwasher.These have a double zipper seal, which younger kids may struggle with as some can be difficult to open and close. The shape of these bags also makes them more difficult to clean and there can be a risk of the odd bag splitting down its seam.
8. SquareOne Reusable Bag Set
Including two large (7" by 7") and two small bags (7" by 4"), the SquareOne reusable bag set has been designed in the US. These bags have zipper closures and are made from FDA certified and food grade TPU which is also free from BPA, PVC, phthalates and lead. The bag liners are waterproof and fast drying and the bags can be cleaned in the dishwasher or machine.As with a number of reusable snack bags, these are not airtight so you will not be able to pack crunchier snacks such as chips or popcorn in them enough. The lining and zipper of these bags are also prone to staining.
9. Nordic By Nature Reusable Snack Bag Set
Including a large bag (7" by 7.8"), a medium (6.5" by 6.5") bag and a small (6.5" by 3") bag, the Nordic By Nature reusable snack bag set is made from food safe fabric that is free from BPA, phthalates, PVC and lead. These bags are available in a range of colors and can be washed by hand or popped in the dishwasher. They also come with a 60 day satisfaction guarantee and you can buy an optional lifetime limited warranty.These bags have zipper closures which means they are not fully airtight and so may not be suitable for crunchier snacks. Some buyers have also experienced the zippers failing on these with minimal use.
10. Bee’s Wrap Reusable Sandwich & Food Wrap Set
Including a sandwich wrap and two medium food wraps, the Bee’s Wrap reusable snack wrap set are organic cotton impregnated with sustainably harvested beeswax, organic jojoba oil and tree resin. The sandwich wrap also comes with a button and twine fasten.
These wraps last around a year if you use one several times a week. To use, the wrap should be warmed in your hand and then wrapped around the snack. As the wrap cools, it creates a seal to store the food. Wraps need hand washing in cool water and air drying.
Made in the US by a Cert B Corp, these snack wraps are Green-America Certified, and the fabric and printing of these wraps are Global Organic Textile standard certified. The packaging is also recycled and biodegradable. There is a tree oil odor to these when first using, but you will find that it fades with use and washing. Occasionally, they can be prone to some of the wax clumping.
Things to Consider Before Buying Reusable Snack Bags
Using reusable snack bags reduces our carbon footprint compared with buying single use baggies or plastic wraps. Many reusable bags are also free from chemicals such as BPA and phthalates that can be found in single use plastics and even some plastic containers.
Reusable snack bags do have a limited lifespan, they last much longer than plastic baggies and although they cost more to buy than single use snack bags and wraps, long term, they should help you save money as well as preventing as much plastic from going to landfill. Reusable snack bags are great for smaller portions of chips and other snacks that you can buy in bulk at lower cost and then portion out for lunches.
Snack bags come in a range of sizes and as well as having spares, you may find it useful to have different sizes to hand as you know you have a bag for different sized sandwiches and snacks as well as those oddly shaped foods such as fresh fruits!
Reusable bags are available in a wide range of designs and colors and you may want to keep to one color or design for each family member as at least you will always know who forgot to fetch their lunch bag home!
Dry cloth reusable bags, such as those made from cotton, suit dry snacks such as crackers and these bags do not always need to be washed daily – a good shake can be all they need. Waterproof snack bags are better for wetter foods such as fruit and vegetable slices but are not as useful if you are using it for foods which will sweat. Waterproof bags will also need wiping out/cleaning after use and being left to dry out completely before they are used again for food.
Snack bags which are waterproof are often made from synthetic materials though, so it is worth checking that they are free from vinyl, PVC, BPA, phthalates and any other materials that you may wish to avoid.
Self-sealing and leakproof/airtight bags are suitable for more liquid foods and these types of bags are made from plastics or silicones. As well as being waterproof, silicone bags are also freezer, microwave and oven safe up to certain temperatures, so can be extra useful if you or other family members want to take leftovers to work that will need reheating.
Airtight bags are also better for crispier foods such as crackers as they keep them fresher for longer.
Depending on the type of snack bag you use; you may not always be able to pack lunches the night before, as they may end up stale or very soggy by the following lunch time.
Hook and loop or Velcro closures are common on reusable bags, and these are often better for younger kids, but remember that crumbs and lots of other debris attaches to these types of closures! Velcro can also be worse for wear after being washed in the machine a number of times.
Zipper closures are also common, but they can be prone to breaking and unless you are handy at replacing zippers, then it will mean buying a new snack bag. Occasionally buttons or other types of fasteners may be used.
As well as thinking about who will be using the snack bags, the type of fastener will also depend on what types of foods you want to carry. None of the above fasteners are airtight, so bags with these closures on will not be able to hold crispier snacks such as popcorn or chips for as long as airtight snack bags will.
Many reusable snack bags can be cleaned in the dishwasher or even in the machine. Whichever way you clean them, they always need to dry out properly before being re-used otherwise you may find mold starting to grow in the bag. Putting a wet bag over a cup or tumbler overnight can help them dry out or if the bag can be turned inside out then do so as this will make sure the inner is properly dry.
Although many products may be designed here in the US, they are often manufactured elsewhere, so you may want to investigate whether the products meet any green and/or ethical manufacturing standards or even standards such as CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act) which requires consumer products to comply with all children’s safety legislations and be tested for compliance.
Disposing of Reusable Snack Bags
Before you throw your worn out reusable bag in the trash can, check! Some snack bags are suitable for recycling and other types, such as those made from natural cotton or hemp can actually be composted at the end of their life once any closures or synthetic linings have been removed.
In this article we have looked at different types of reusable snack bags and some of the pros and cons of each. We have also considered what features you need to think about when choosing reusable snack bags; such as who will be using the bags, whether they are breathable or fully airtight.As well as helping reduce some of our single plastic waste and our carbon footprint, using the best reusable snack bags also helps save money from not buying single use baggies or plastic wrap and from being able to take lunch with us rather than having to buy it.