Sunday, March 16, 2014

Review: PlanetBox Rover Complete

Note: I received a complimentary product for review purposes.  All opinions are my own.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I kept hearing about "PlanetBox" from my friends.  Curious, I checked out their website and liked what I saw.  Here was a company dedicated to making zero-waste lunches through their various stainless steel bento boxes.  The smallest size is the Shuttle, the next size up, which is ideal for children and adults, is the Rover, and the largest size is the Launch.  So when my son was old enough to eat solids, I purchased two Shuttles for us and two Coldkits, (PlanetBox ice packs that can keep food cold for up to 8 hours, made with purified water instead of chemicals so if they ever puncture and leak, you don't have to worry about questionable chemicals spilling into the PlanetBox).  These cute little lunchboxes work great for taking a sandwich and snack on the go, and we took ours to the zoo weekly.

The Shuttle Complete sets were such big hits in our household, I was thrilled when I had an opportunity to review the Planetbox Rover Complete system.

The Rover Lunchbox

The Interior

Holding nearly 4.5 cups of food, the Rover Complete comes with the Rover lunchbox, a big dipper and little dipper with silicone seals to lock freshness in and prevent spills, and a Rover Carry Bag in a variety of bold colors made of recycled polyester. 
The Little and Big Dippers

Like all PlanetBoxes, they can be personalized with removable, pvc-free, toxin-free magnets, included in the Complete set or available for individual purchase.  These magnets are available in several designs and help the PlanetBox lunchboxes grow with your child.  You can change their magnets every school year if you'd like, or alternate them daily for a variety.

The Carry Bag has an interior black pocket that can fit the ColdKit.  The exterior of the Carry Bag has two pockets.  

The Big Dipper can fit into the square pocket and you can put the water bottle of your choice into the pocket on the left.  Pictured below is the 12oz Klean Kanteen in the bottle pocket.

Since the PlanetBox Rover (and all their systems) is made of stainless steel, it is durable and built to last for years.  Check out their warranty information here.  This is a great, zero-waste, long lasting alternative to plastic lunchboxes that get thrown out every year and thanks to the compartmentalized boxes, there is no need for wasteful plastic sandwich bags.

Another bonus to stainless steel construction is that the PlanetBox lunchboxes can often be repaired.  I once had a latch loosen on one of our Shuttle systems.  I just had to follow this video to get it back to normal.

The Rover Complete will fit into most backpacks.  Here are the Rover Complete's Specs:

Weight1.25 lbs for a Basic, 1.6 lbs for a Plus, 2.5 lbs for a Complete
Dimensions10 × 7.5 × 1.5 in for Basic or Plus, 12 × 9 × 2.5 in for a Complete
I had a great time trying out different meal combinations in the Rover.  The PlanetBox is designed to help people pack well-balanced meals with sensible portions that are in line with the USDA's MyPlate guidelines.  This makes it great for not just kids but adults too.  It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the seemingly complex, themed Bento Box websites out there but the great thing about PlanetBox is you can make these meals as complicated or as simple as you'd like, with our without a sandwich cutter, and they all look great.

Indian Food: Khichadi, Okra, Roti, Almonds and Tangerine Slices

Butterfly made of Apples and Tangerines, Apple Cubes, Green Beans and a Chutney Sandwich

We use the organic whole wheat bread from Trader Joe's.  It is a larger bread but it does fit in the Rover sandwich compartment, although I did have to push it in on one side when I used the whole slice.  It didn't damage the sandwich though.  Since the chutney sandwich pictured above was so thick with vegetables, I only packed half a sandwich.

Quinoa and Pickles Packed in the Dippers to Prevent Spills, Homemade Granola, Tomato Slices, a Date for Dessert and Apple Slices

Clean-up is easy.  The PlanetBox lunchboxes are dishwasher safe.  Just remember to remove the magnets first.  Here is a video on how to clean them.

PlanetBox now offers a great meal planning and idea sharing option on its website.  Check out Plan-It-Box and Share-A-Box here to help you come up with ideas for meals and share your ideas with the PlanetBox community.

I loved the Rover Complete so much I ended up purchasing a couple more for other family members too.

You can purchase the PlanetBox Rover Complete, and any of the other systems and individual accessories, (like Coldkits, spoons, forks, magnets and bags) at their website.

Planetboxes come on sale a couple times a year and you're in luck because one of those times is today!  Save $17 off a Rover Complete with the Green Bag in honor of St. Patrick's Day.  Just use the code GREEN17.  The offer expires 3/17/14.  And to make today even luckier, Planetbox has made some changes so that most domestic shipping rates have gone down as well!

Connect With PlanetBox
Do you have a PlanetBox?  What do you think about it?  Are you thinking about getting one?  Post your comments below and I will be sure to pass them along to PlanetBox.


  1. Looks like a very convenient way of packing lunch for work or school. I may give it a try- P.A.

  2. sleek design that seems suitable for all types of meals - i'm going to buy

  3. Doesn't the oil from the Indian veggies pass on to rotis and other food

    1. These were leftovers so probably a little dryer than normal but I didn't have that issue. If something is really oily it should be packed in one of the dippers with the silicone seal. They recommend packing anything that would leak in one of their dippers. The large one is big enough for Indian veggies.

  4. Does food stay warm in these. Can we microwave.

    1. Hi. They aren't intended to keep food warm. You cannot microwave stainless steel. However their bigger lunch system, The Launch, comes with a glass container for reheating food. There is more info here:

    2. I also have friends who will send a Klean Kanteen insulated stainless steel thermos for hot soups or other hot food along with the PlanetBox. Those keep food hot for hrs using a double walled stainless steel for insulation.

    3. Hi - how do your friends send a food thermos with this? It's the one thing keeping me from buying Planet Box, the carry bag seems too small. On days I'd like to send my kids with a hot meal, I'd like to be able to use only ONE lunch bag and interchange it with the PlanetBox or a thermos.

    4. Hi! They send the insulated Kanteen separately in their kid's backpack but I just checked and mine fits in the bag if you were to not have the planetbox in it.

  5. love these lunchboxes! we currently do a "no disposable" lunch for both kids....i use Re-Usies instead of plastic bags and alot of little glass containers for food (plus a thermos for hot stuff). this seems like an all in one package! quick question hard are the little and big dippers to open? i keep having flashbacks to taking a "tiffin carrier" to school when i was little and could never pry the lids off of the containers. do you think little fingers can open these without adult help?

    1. Nice! The dippers are actually the only complaint I have ever heard about PlanetBox. My son is almost two and cannot open them so he would need to ask a teacher for help if he went to preschool. Some my friends whose kids are in elementary school can open them but some can't and have to ask their teachers for help.

  6. Can you please tell me if a small tub of yogurt fit inside either the rover or the shuttle in one of the compartments instead of the dipper?

    1. Hi,
      I'm not sure. You could transfer the yogurt to a dipper but if you want to use a separate yogurt cup you may want to email Planetbox at for the answer.