Transporting a hot or cold dish can be challenging. Whether you’re bringing a dish for Thanksgiving or heading to a picnic at your local park, you’ll want a durable and well-insulated bag to keep your food hot or cold. There isn’t a huge variation between these insulated thermal food bags, but you may prefer ones with certain features. For example, you can find bags with an internal carrying strap to help keep contents secure. Some bags feature separate top and bottom compartments. You can also find bags with handy zippered pockets for storing utensils and other items. If this list doesn’t have what you need, browse additional insulated thermal food bags for more options.
1. Rachael Ray Expandable Lasagna Lugger
Carry your hot dishes with confidence to any party, holiday gathering, or even a picnic with this bag. A large main compartment offers plenty of storage space, but if you need more you can use the expandable compartment. Each compartment is insulated and comes with a barrier to maintain hot and cold temperatures as necessary. A large exterior zippered pocket has enough room for storing utensils, candles, knives, and more. The lining is easy to clean. This thermal bag also features carry handles with a wrap for added convenience.
- Large main compartment with expandable compartment
- Includes large exterior zippered pocket
- Lining is easy to clean
- Doesn’t fold flat
- Handle snaps can come undone
- Some complain that the liner can melt if the dish is too hot
2. MIER Insulated Double Casserole Carrier
This insulated thermal food bag has two large compartments, each of which can fit most 9×13-inch baking dishes. You can also place a hot dish in one compartment and a cold dish in the other without worrying about disturbing the respective dish temperatures. A large exterior pocket has enough space for carrying accessories and comes with a zipper for extra security. Each layer also comes with a two zip puller. Cool bag technology keeps food cold and warm for an extended period of time.
Price: $23.99 (31 percent off MSRP)
- Compartments can fit most 9×13-inch baking dishes
- Includes two large compartments
- Large zippered exterior pocket
- Items in zippered pocket intrude on upper compartment space
- Doesn’t have a shoulder strap
- Liner can melt if dishes are too hot
3. Picnic Plus Entertainer Hot & Cold Food Carrier
A durable 600 denier polyester material construction and thermal foil-insulated lower portion makes this bag a top choice for food on the go. The bag, available in a wide range of patterns, can hold hot and cold food dishes. Two food containers are included and can fit in either section. You can fit up to a 5-quart casserole dish in the lower section of the food carrier. Simply use the hidden pocket to store utensils and other items. The top section is zippered, expandable, and comes with an insulated leak-proof liner.
- 600 denier polyester material
- Insulated leak-proof liner
- Available in several patterns
- Top compartment isn’t as deep as bottom compartment
- Rounded corners can make it difficult for some pans to fit
- Some find a hot pack necessary for longer trips/outings
Whether you're gearing up for the holidays or you just need a reliable digital probe thermometer, here are your best bets.Click here to read more
4. Hot Logic Mini-Mac Personal Portable Oven
It’s called a portable oven, but this bag can be used to reheat food, cook slow roasts, warm up meals, and more. This bag is also energy efficient and works just as well in the home as it does in the office and even when traveling. A heat reflective interior maintains heat for an even and reliable temperature. There’s also a high-quality double zipper for added convenience. You can fit metal, glass, aluminum foil, and cardboard containers inside. The seams are reinforced for added durability. Instead of pushing a button, you simply plug the portable oven in to start heating up food.
- Easy to travel with
- Heat reflective interior
- Energy efficient
- No on/off switch
- Doesn’t include a 12-volt plug for car use
- Storage capacity could be larger
5. Pwrxtreme Insulated Lunch Bag
This large insulated lunch bag is ideal for use by students and professionals. A high quality nylon material stands up to punctures, tears, and stains. The bag is also waterproof and can be wiped clean with a cloth. Spacious side mesh pockets can fit items as large as 6-inch smartphones and 20-ounce water bottles. The main compartment can fit stacked food storage containers along with bottles. Foam insulated guards against leaks yet adequately maintains optimal food temperatures.
Price: $24.95 (46 percent off MSRP)
- Durable nylon material
- Easy to clean
- Leak-proof foam insulation
- Some wish the interior was larger
- Can be tough to fit taller bottles
- Zippers seem flimsy
6. Pyrex Portables 4-Piece Glass Bakeware and Food Storage Set
If you’re looking for more than just a carrier, consider this Pyrex set. The bag is temperature-controlled to ensure your dish makes it to its destination at the optimal temperature. You can also use the included hot/cold pack to keep your food at the desired temperature during transportation, especially if your trip will take a bit longer. This set includes a 3-quart dish with convenient handles and a red plastic lid for safe storage and transportation. The glass is also safe for use in the oven and can be placed in the dishwasher when it’s time to clean up.
- Temperature-controlled bag
- Includes hot/cold pack
- Set comes with 3-quart dish
- Glass dish lid could be more secure
- Lacks a separate compartment for carrying utensils
- Some say the Velcro handle material can come loose
7. Crock-Pot Travel Bag for 7-Quart Slow Cookers
Transporting a large slow cooker can seem like a daunting task. This thermal insulated bag is large enough to comfortably fit most 4 to 7 quart slow cookers. Certain features help distinguish this bag from competitors, including a lid strap on the inside to secure the slow cooker’s lid during transportation and a sturdy carrying strap that can be hand washed when necessary. The bag also stands out for its ability to haul oval-shaped 7-quart slow cookers without spills. A large zippered opening secures the slow cooker for the duration of your journey.
Price: $8.09 (46 percent off MSRP)
- Fits most 4 to 7 quart slow cookers
- Interior lid strap keeps slow cookers secure
- Large zippered opening
- Straps feel a bit flimsy
- Some complain that the handles rip unless both are used at the same time
- Zippers could be sturdier
8. Hot Cold Bag
If you don’t need a larger bag for hauling around casseroles and other dishes, consider this reusable bag. There’s ample insulation to keep food hot or cold for up to three hours at a time. The bag is also fully recyclable and is made with a waterproof material for added convenience. It’s sturdy enough to hold up to 30 pounds at once and features an easily washable material. You can choose from a variety of sizes and bag types, from grocery to jumbo, lunch, pharmacy, and picnic.
- Holds up to 30 pounds
- Waterproof material
- Available in many sizes
- Top snaps shut
- Stiff top closure
- Bag can be tough to close when it’s full
9. Anchor Hocking Oven Basics 6-Piece Bake-N-Take Bakeware Set
Carry Thanksgiving essentials and more with this six-piece set. The insulated tote has ample space to carry a variety of hot and cold dishes. It also features a zip closure for added security during transportation along with a carrying handle for added convenience. While the tote is designed to maintain temperatures on its own, you can use a hot/cold pack to help keep food at the optimal temperature. The set also includes a three-quart bake dish and a two-quart bake dish, each of which comes with its own plastic lid. The lids are also dishwasher safe.
Price: $22.57 (6 percent off MSRP)
- Zip closure
- Works well with hot/cold packs
- Includes two bake dishes with lids
- Some wish the carrying case material was thicker
- Lids seem flimsy
- Bake dish lids can leak
10. Rachael Ray Universal Thermal Carrier
A combination of insulation and a radiant barrier helps keep food at the right temperature for hours. This casserole carrier maintains hot and cold food temperatures and features a lining that’s easy to clean in the event of a spill and protects against odors and stains. There’s also a convenient carry handle. Most 9 x 13-inch baking dishes can fit comfortably inside this bag. Other highlights include zippers on both sides and the fact that the bag can fold out flat for easier transportation.
- Insulation and radiant barrier keeps food hot or cold
- Lining is easy to clean
- Includes zippers on both sides
- Smaller dishes can slide around
- Can be tough to store
- Some find the carrying handle a bit awkward