I’ve been on a weight-loss and healthy-eating journey since COVID really got going last summer, and with a loss of a fair amount of pounds to show for it, I’ve adopted some great habits that are (thankfully) getting easier to keep. One of these is eating better foods and making better portion choices. Part of this includes what I take to lunch at work (now that I am back in the office off-and-on, and I tried out one of the newest Bento boxes (released in September 2021!) to help with this goal.
Hot Bento is exactly what it sounds like – a leakproof Bento box, but with an added kicker of it being independently-heatable with an internal warmer. Though not all of us are back to work yet this product seems to have come to light with food trends made even more in-your-face due to COVID: food safety and sanitation, healthy meal options, and convenience and portability. For those of us who are back working away from home, there need for braving the grossness that many office microwaves inevitably become (or cramming into a too-small lunch area) – just press the button on the side of the box and your meal is heated within about 10 minutes at ~145-165 degrees.
As it pertains to us runners, this is especially awesome if you are in desire of a warm meal following a cool weather hike or run. Simply pack your food in the Hot Bento as you would normally do, toss it into your running bag, and then turn it on when ready for something to warm up your insides.
Hot Bento is pretty heavy duty and has some heft to it (2.4 pounds and 9.5″ x 6.25″ x 2.5″) – which is not only a requirement with the built-in warming component, but also allows for this box to be a little more mobile than others out there. My experiences with many bento-type boxes in the past have been that they don’t seem to hold up over time to even basic wear-and-tear. Hot Bento seems like it could take a beating and still survive. Here’s a little bit more about the tech to Hot Bento:
Patented heating technology developed for award winning Cauldryn bottle is adapted to heat food. With additional patents pending, Hot Bento is the first, fully portable, food warming system.
The patented power system provides energy from airplane-safe lithium ion cells, with multiple safety circuits, to proprietary heating elements which transfer heat to the thermally conductive stainless-steel food tray. The result is food ready to eat in 10-15 minutes at temperatures ranging from 145-165 degrees.
Hot Bento’s plastic housing is BPA Free, heat resistant, water resistant and impact resistant. The food-safe cover snaps on and seals tightly with a perimeter O-ring.
I have been amazingly surprised with how well this product works. My first go was a dinner consisting of meat, rice, and beans – three items that generally require different times to get up to optimum temperature. After about 12 minutes, the Hot Bento shut down and I was left with… an almost perfectly heated meal. The rice and beans were definitely hot and needed a few minutes (and typical mouth blows) to cool down, and I was shocked at how consistently perfect the meat temperature was. I really wasn’t expecting it to work as solidly on the first try with a meal of different consistencies. Well done.
Honestly one of the best parts about it, aside from hot food, is how simple it is. The outer is equipped with essentially just a charging port and button. Click it twice to turn it on and then again to turn it off. It’s that simple. Really the only “thinking” that should go into in is in regards to the layering of your food with a recommendation of dense items at bottom, light items at top. Recharging takes only about 2 hours and cleaning is done with a simple handwash. The corners are curved so it’s easily to get all the leftover food out without much effort.
The Hot Bento is a little more pricy than standard boxes, but you are getting a lot more than normal as well. It runs for $89.99 and we think this will continue to get a lot of activity going forward – both on and off the running trails.