318 of 328 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2008
I wouldn't call myself a lunchbox collector, but I do have a heafty variety of lunch boxes, both American and Asian. Everything from your typical Japanese lacquered bento box wrapped in a lovely koi furishiki to a Coleman insulated lunchbox and thermos. This, by far, is my favorite. Previously, I had purchased a Mr. Bento, and while I find that it is also a very nicely constructed set, it was just way too big. Though I loved the convenience and variety the Mr. Bento offered, I rarely used it because I would invariably find myself wondering what to put into each container. I looked at the Mini and Ms. Bento boxes before, but both lacked that essential soup bowl that really makes the Mr. Bento so functional.
Then Zojirishi came out with this new design and everything just fell into place. It retains the convenient divided dish and roomy carrying case of the Ms. Bento, the smaller three bowl design of the Mini, and the lovely soup bowl of the Mr. Bento. Just right!
The only tinge of regret was that it didn't come with the chopsticks that I'm so use to, but on second thought, it's not that big of a deal as I prefer my stainless steel chopsticks anyways. The carrying case isn't very feminine, despite its name, but I suppose it's so it can appeal to a variety of consumers. It is, however, nice and roomy, so I can fit in a small thermos alongside the Ms. Bento or throw in a small apple or dessert packet if I wanted to.
108 of 114 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2008
I had originally wanted a Mr. Bento, but I'm not the type who eats a large amount, especially for lunch, so I opted to purchase the Ms. Bento. It's just the right size for me. As long as you follow the directions, the food stays nice and warm for a hefty amount of time. I usually make my lunch at 7am, and then eat it at 1pm, and it's always still toasty. I usually heat everything almost to boiling, though, so that probably helps. (I have yet to use it for cold food.)
It's fairly easy to clean by hand. I have managed to stain my bottom soup container, but that's really my own fault. I haven't met a plastic container that doesn't get stained from microwaving tomato soup.
I love that it comes with a spork. I'm not the best at eating with chopsticks.
I have been trying to convince my sister to purchase one of these, but she thinks they are too expensive.
105 of 114 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2009
My husband and I liked the idea of bento, but we didn't like some of the more frou-frou boxes. I also didn't want to have to go to great lengths to come up with fancy lunches every morning (I've got enough to do!). This box looked good and had good reviews - it was a little pricey, but we've absolutely LOVED it.
SIZE: The containers looked small when we first got them, but the portion sizes are actually perfect - they fill my husband (who is not a small guy) - and yet don't overfill him.
NO HEATING/COOLING REQUIRED: The 3 dishes have to be stacked correctly to work, but then you don't have to heat or refrigerate the food. For us, this is great because though my husband does have access to a fridge and a microwave, work fridges are a black hole (things disappear for months in them) and work microwaves are a bit of a pain. This way, my husband can just eat whenever he feels hungry, and not have to go mess with heating or cooling his food - or even leaving his desk, if a super-busy day is in the cards for him.
EASY TO FEED: It's very easy to fill this thing: main compartment is great for leftovers, even a sandwich cut into 1/4s. The top or bottom can manage fruit and/or veggies. I've tried cheese and crackers, almonds, desserts, soups, rice dishes, sliced fruit - you name it, this bento box can do it. Even a quick perusal of the pantry can turn into a very artistic, healthy meal when popped into this handy container.
ENCOURAGES HEALTHY EATING: Because you have to keep the portion sizes relatively - well, not small, just not BIG - the set-up actually encourages healthy eating. Since there's not much room, why waste space on chips, which are mostly grease and air? Instead, I find myself looking for stuff that will actually be filling and healthy. Good lunchbox real-estate = healthier portions. The smaller portions also means less waste - everything gets eaten and the box comes home clean.
FUN!: My husband also loves the fact that he gets different stuff each day and in each container. He won't come into the kitchen as I make lunches in the morning, because he doesn't want to ruin his lunch "surprise."
SUMMARY: This is a lunch box for a very particular KIND of lunch and KIND of person: namely, someone who wants to eat mindfully and of a diverse amount of healthy items. You can't just pork out on whatever's in the fridge if you're using this thing. I think that's great.
76 of 85 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2008
I have had this lunch jar a few days ad i already love it ! This is an excellent way to use left overs or whatever is on hand. It saves me money and I love the bag it comes with. If you are worried about stainig lightly grease inside of jar with a couple drops of canola or olive oil. I wash the bowls in boiling water with scented dish soap and let dry overnight and ive noticed that helps with the plastic retaining certain smells. I usually dont microwave the food in the jars because it can stain them I microwave in bowls untill piping hot then transfer to lunch bowls. This jar works very well to retain heat and my soup was piping hot 6 hours later ! I had tomato soup, med size bean burrito, small muffin and grapefruit and 16 oz bottle of water. After my lunch my belly was full and I was happy. The jar kept my soup piping hot, my burrito very warm and my muffin and grapefruit at room temperature. This is a great buy because you can have a hot or cold lunch and you dont have to waste money on greasy lunches. I have not tried this jar with cold food because i enjoy warm soup but im sure it works just as well. This lunch jar is expensive but it is well worth it in the long run.
41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2010
I received a Ms. Bento lunch jar as a gift from my husband. I believe it is a good product for the money and I have recommended it to many of my coworkers who asked about it after noticing its unusual design.
When I first opened the box I was disappointed because the containers looked too small to hold enough food for dinner. I was pleasantly surprised to find it holds plenty of food. I think it looks deceiving because the containers are tall and narrow as opposed to wide and shallow.
The smallest container is a soup bowl with a lid that screws on like a Mason jar. This container fits at the bottom of the Ms. Bento jar. So far it has proved to be water tight. This bowl keeps its temperature very well. The first time I used the Ms. Bento set I filled the bowl up with chili straight from the cooking pot. I was very surprised to find that after seven hours of storage the chili stayed hot enough to scald my mouth!
The second container is a bit larger and is designed to hold the main entree and fits in the middle portion of the Ms. Bento jar above the soup bowl. I found out the hard way this container is not water tight. I packed a double portion of tomato soup and even though I kept the Ms. Bento jar upright all day some of the soup leaked out of the container and into the jar. It wasn't a big deal and cleaned up very easily. The second container has a different lid than the soup bowl. This lid is insulated and clicks into place after a partial turn. This design seems to be what keeps the container from being water tight. Also, food stored in this container does not stay as warm as in the soup container. The food is still warm enough so that it does not need reheating but not so hot it scalds your mouth.
The top container keeps food slightly above room temperature. Fresh veggies seem a little warm to the touch but they cool to room temperature quickly and they don't seem warm when you eat them. The top container has a smaller kidney-shaped container that fits inside. I like to put soup crackers in the kidney-shaped container and veggies on the other side.
The Ms. Bento set will also keep your food cool but it seems to do a better job of keeping food hot. Again, the main entree container does not keep the food as cool as the soup container, but I am satisfied with the results. If I were to guess I'd say after seven hours the food was about as cool as it would be if you pulled it out of the refrigerator and left it on the counter for half an hour. I pack cold food the night before and store it in the containers in my refrigerator overnight and put them back in the jar right before leaving for work.
The carrying case is great. It has double handles on top, closes with a zipper and likes to stay upright if you set it down. There is plenty of room to add a soda or bottle of water along with the Ms. Bento jar. There is also a spork included with a cover that snaps over the business end similar to what you'd put over your toothbrush for travel. I was doubtful about using the spork but it's not bad at all. The tines do make me wince sometimes when they grate against the bottom of a bowl like nails on a chalkboard but I'm getting used to eating with it. I don't think it would work well with spaghetti I was surprised that it worked just fine with soup. The carrying case has a little loop on the inside to keep the spork secure during travel. There is enough room in the loop to add a fork and knife if you need them.
I gave this five stars because it's perfect for my situation. I work very long hours, often without a dinner break, and I had been getting dizzy from lack of food. This is good for me because I can eat a little bit at a time throughout the day without leaving my post. Or, if I don't get dizzy I have a nice hot dinner when I have a few minutes to scarf it down, again without leaving my post.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2009
Have been using this for 2 weeks now - works great - keeps food hot or cold as needed. Color is neutral and can be used by guys. Size is perfect for me. I am 170 lbs and very hungry by noon. Also liked the "spork" and it's little cover that keeps the business end clean and hygenic.
Thanks to the excellent review on how to use the bottom container for soup, then middle for rice, then top for veggies. I've adapted the soup container for curries - works great.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2008
My 7th grade daughter uses this to bring her lunch to school. It is a wonderful size and does a great job keeping her lunch warm. My son has the larger one, they both love them and it makes it easy to send them with a healthy lunch.
39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2010
Part of me really loves the ms bento. I'm a fan of cute, compartmentalized food, so I was really excited to receive mine as a gift. However, it's not quite perfect.
Zojirushi SL-NCE09 Ms. Bento Stainless-Steel Vacuum Lunch Jar
It's the perfect size for lunch for someone of my stature, I don't really need to eat a lot.
It's compact and not too heavy
It doesn't really keep things that warm. I placed piping hot soup in the soup container at the bottom and by mid-day it was merely luke warm.
The lid doesn't seem to be very tight. When I close the catches on the outside it seems to wobble about a bit, which makes me concerned that the lid might just come off if I hold the container by the lid.
The top snack compartment becomes part of the lid. The problem with this is if you have an open sauce in one of the containers and you forget and take the lid off and place it top down, you're going to have sauce all over whatever else you put in there. Of course there are easy remedies, like putting the sauce in a separate container, or (duh), not placing the lid on it's top, but that's not always so easy to remember.
I do wish that the main dish container was just a little bigger as it is hard to put a whole sandwich in it, but I guess it's good that it limits the size... I don't end up overeating with this.
38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2012
Seriously, i wanna address the common complaints that nearly dissuaded me from purchasing a fantastic lunch box.
Size of Containers: Guys, this lunch box has more than adequate space for a filling lunch. Ok, if you wanna pack 4 pieces of fried chicken and all the fixings, or a 6" sub, it's not gonna work out. It is an obento for logic's sake. It is designed for soup, some rice, some protein, and some salad and pickles. If you don't eat these things, or similar things, do not buy this. It is not for sandwiches. Now, would i buy a Ms. Bento for my Mr.? Probably not. He'd probably be better satisfied with one of the larger models.
Size of Bag: The bag can definitely fit more than just the spork and the lunchbox. I managed to fit a full plastic container of blackberries, a finger banana, a cuban guava, and the bag zipped up just fine. I can't imagine being unable to fit a can of soda or an 8 ounce bottle of something.
Temperature of the food: Read. The. Instructions. Anyone complaining about the food not staying hot enough did not read the instructions. If you fill any container you wish to keep hot plus the aluminum sleeve with piping hot tap water and let it sit for 10 minutes as you prep your lunch, your food will stay hot. My soup was at perfect eating temperature 5 hours later, as was my rice and ginger pork.
Now, why a 4 star rating and not a 5? Cleaning this lunchbox is going to be a hassle. You can't put it in the dishwasher (what with it being plastic, and may potentially warp), and you are advised to remove and clean all the rubber rings and stoppers after each and every use. i am an extremely dexterous human being, possessing both long, narrow fingers, amazing hand strength and fingernails, yet i have serious concerns of being able to remove the rubber washers lining the inside of the lids without damaging them. I'm sure i'll figure out a system - but until then, i am very pleased with the 5 year warranty.
TL;DR: Size is good for a lady; Bag CAN fit a soda and some fruit; Food stays hot; Total pain to clean thoroughly.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2009
A friend of mine recommended looking into Bento products when I needed to start taking lunch with me to work and would not have access to a microwave during my lunch break. After going through all the Bento lunch jars, I chose the Ms. Bento because I liked the carrying case the best out of all the possible options. The bag looks nice and can carry my drink, a piece of fruit, a small snack, AND the lunch jar. My lunch has stayed warm up to 5-and-a-half hours after packing it. The lunch jar fits a surprising amount of food into it, and it allows me to eat more healthily throughout the day. I highly recommend this product to fellow pack-your-own-food diners.