Insulated lunch bag

It’s been such a hot, hot summer here in Australia. During our road trip to Adelaide, the temperature regularly rose above 40 degrees celsius.  It’s hot even back in Sydney, and the other day it was 48 degrees where we live – which turned out to be the hottest day in recorded history. Yikes.

So even though I had been putting off making insulated lunch bags till now -despite several requests from customers -, this heat wave has pushed me over the edge. As usual, my creations are inspired by necessity – I couldn’t have survived the four-day road trip through the sweltering heat without a constant supply of cold water in our Esky bag.

Here’s my new insulated lunch bag – tote bag style.

insulated lunch tote bag

For the insulation effect, I used a product called Insul-Bright. It’s just like a quilt wadding, but bulkier.  I used waterproof ripstop nylon for the lining, to keep the bag dry outside. 

At first I didn’t particularly enjoy working with these materials. I’m not a fan of synthetic materials, and the combination of Insul-Bright and nylon was was a bit too much. I think that’s why I chose this very natural-looking linen bird fabric to compensate for the mostly synthetic materials. But soon I got used to it.

And I love the result! The tote bag-style lunch bag is super cute, don’t you think? It’s small enough to be cute, but large enough to contain all that you need for your (or your child’s) lunchtime – a couple of containers, a small water bottle, a piece of fruit, cutlery… and a bar of reusable ice block to keep everything cool.

insulated lunch bag with lunch stuff inside

Next I put the bag through a rigorous (??) scientific scrutiny to test its effectiveness. I put an equal amount of ice cubes in two glass jars, and put each jar in the insulated lunch bag and my regular drawstring lunch bag, along with a bar of reusable ice block each.

The result? Two hours later, most ice cubes were melted in the normal canvas lunch bag, but most were still intact in the insulated bag. Moreover, the bottom half of the regular lunch bag was soaked wet from the “sweat” of melting ice, but the insulated bag, thanks to its nylon lining, was completely dry. Four  hours later, the ice cubes had just melted in the insulated bag, but the water was still icy cold. Success! Of course, I’m not claiming the homemade lunch bag works just as well as professionally made Esky bags. But it certainly is a big improvement over my other lunch bags.

ice cube test for insulated lunch bags

The larger bag below was the very first version of the bag I made – which turned out to be too big. But that’s okay, because it’s the perfect size for a mason jar I use to make yoghurt. I love homemade yoghurt, but I was feeling that wrapping the bottle in my child’s winter sleeping bag was a little unsightly, as effective as it is. Now I can make yoghurt in style.

insulated lunch bags, version 1 and 2

Here are some more lunch bags I made for my shop. I just love this linen bird fabrics. So beautiful.

three insulated lunch bags in linen bird fabrics



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