I thought it was about time I got around to reviewing the Yumbox Panino. I've had it for a while, and have made several lunches in it (you can see some of them here), and I have to say I couldn't be more delighted with it! Yumbox UK very kindly offered us the chance to review it, and Small Child chose to try it in the Anguria Pink colour (the Panino is also available in Pomodoro Red and Tutti Frutti Blue UPDATE: The Yumbox Panino is now available in a range of colours in the Eats Amazing Shop!). I must admit I was slightly worried about how pink it would be, but when it turned up I was pleased to see it is actually quite a reddish pink, so not too 'girly'. Small Child currently seems completely unfazed by gender stereotypes, but, much as I love his attitude, I have no idea whether he will continue to do so or not, and I didn't want him to suddenly refuse to use it based on its the colour six months down the line! That said, it was completely his choice, and the colour is lovely.
The Yumbox Panino is the same size on the outside as the Yumbox Classic, with the same basic design, but the tray inside is arranged differently, with three main compartments instead of 5. Although the trays are interchangeable between Yumboxes (in that they all fit perfectly in any box), the way they are designed means that they must be used in the correct box in order for the leakproof seal to work. It is a shame that they are not fully interchangeable, but understandable, considering how the seal works, and hey, it's a great excuse to buy a second Yumbox in a different colour!
Even though the outside case of the Yumbox is the same size across the range, the Panino has a lot more space inside. The classic holds 600ml, but the Panino holds 750ml, so it has an extra 150ml to play with. One of its compartments is an extra large one, big enough to hold a sandwich, which solves my only gripe about the original Classic Yumbox - the fact that it doesn't have space for sandwiches unless you cut them up really small. As well as the extra large compartment, it also has two smaller compartments, both of which are larger than the compartments in the Classic, and a dip/treat well, which is also larger than the one in the original Yumbox. On the bottom of the clear tray is printed a lovely design, which although still quirky, is much more grown-up than the Classic designs. There is also a version available with a completely clear tray (ie with no design printed on it at all).
Because of the lay-out of the Panino, it doesn't have the five food groups printed on the tray, leaving you feeling a little more free to pack your lunches just as you please! The tray is also slightly less chunky than the Classic, which frees up more space for food, but it is still very sturdy nonetheless. It is also slightly easier to clean and dry. As with all of the Yumboxes, the silicone seal in the lid works beautifully - I am yet to experience a single leak in either model, despite packing yoghurt very regularly, and the box usually being stored on its side in Small Child's lunch bag, swung around and dropped etc on the way to school.
As I mentioned earlier, I have already packed several lunches in the Panino (see here for details) but here's another one, just for you! As well as sandwiches, the Panino also has plenty of room to pack a decent sized tortilla wrap, rolled and cut in half, which I am really pleased about as it's a favourite lunch box food of ours.
In the lunch below, Small Child had a wholemeal tortilla wrap, filled with cream cheese, ham and lettuce, which I cut in half and decorated with circus themed food picks. The picks also help to hold the wraps together during transit and when eating. On the side he had couple of mini cooked beetroots, decorated with elephant picks from the same set, some raw sugar snap peas (both of which he picked out at the supermarket as his lunchbox vegetables of choice), a clementine, peeled and decorated with a lion pick, a few red grapes and a couple of Organix animal biscuits. This lunch was quick and easy to pack, and Small Child ate the lot!
In conclusion, though I will still be using the Yumbox Classic as much as ever, I am really pleased with the Yumbox Panino and have found myself using it just as regularly - I seem to have the two boxes on rotation at the moment! The Panino really opens up the options when it comes to choosing which foods to pack for lunch and there are now almost no limits on the types of foods I can pack. It has a lot more space than the original Yumbox, and I can see it being used for longer as Small Child's appetite grows. In an ideal world, I would definitely want to have both kinds of Yumbox for packing lunches in, as they each have their strong points, but if I had to choose just one, it would probably be the Panino. The larger compartment is so useful, and it can of course be divided up with silicone cups if you want to pack a variety of foods in it. I think that this lunch box would even be suitable for an adult.
The Yumbox Panino is made to the same high standard I have come to expect from Yumbox, and although it is expensive, you really do get what you pay for. If I'm completely honest, I initially thought that I would never pay that much for a lunchbox, but having used them extensively I can honestly say that I think they are worth the price. I have tried many, many lunchboxes, but if I had to pick just one, it would probably be a Yumbox.
The Yumbox Panino is currently available in the UK in three colours; Anguria Pink, Pomodoro Red and Tutti Frutti Blue. UPDATE: The Yumbox Panino is now available in a larger range of colours from the Eats Amazing Shop!