Yumbox Panino vs. Yumbox Original Comparison

by Wendy Copley on August 12, 2014

Yumbox Panino vs. Yumbox Original

A few weeks ago Yumbox sent us one of their new Panino style lunch boxes to try out. I was excited to get my hands on this lunch box because I’ve been using the original Yumbox for about a year now and it quickly rose up the ranks as one of my family’s favorite lunch boxes. Now that I’ve had some time to pack lunches in it and use it for a few weeks I thought it might be useful to compare this new Yumbox with the original.

Please note: Yumbox is an advertiser on this site, but I have not been compensated to write this post. This post contains affiliate links.

Yumbox Original

Let’s start by reviewing some of the features of the original Yumbox:

  • This box has six separate compartments — five that hold 1/2 cup each and a tiny little dip/treat compartment. It’s great for kids who like to graze on lots of different foods at lunch time.
  • When the box is closed the compartments are water-tight. In the year we’ve been using it, we have never had a problem with food from one compartment leaking into another compartment. (I don’t recommend packing soup in it though.)
  • The box locks tight, but it is very easy to open. Most preschoolers have no trouble with the wide, chunky latch.

Read my full review of the original Yumbox over here.

Yumbox Original packed with lots of snacky stuff

I love to use the Yumbox original on mornings where I’m feeling rushed. I can pull little bits of this and that out of the fridge and pantry with no plan and it always ends up looking good. Both of my kids — aged 5 and 9 — are fond of this box and request it often. I expected that my 5-year-old would like it because it is designed for a kid his age and he likes all our lunch boxes (much like his mom) but I was a little surprised to discover that my older son likes it even more than his brother. As the pickier eater, he enjoys having a lot of choices and he appreciates that nothing ever mixes together. The original Yumbox is priced at $28.00 and it can be purchased on the Yumbox site or at Amazon.com. It comes in four colors: green, pink, blue and purple. (It is currently out of stock in both places at the moment, but it is expected to be back in stock in a matter of days.)

Yumbox Panino

I was pleased to see that the Yumbox Panino maintains all the best features of the original Yumbox with a few changes:

  • This version of the box has four compartments — a large section that holds two cups, two smaller areas with a 1/2 cup capacity and a small area that holds about 1/4 cup of food. The different configuration of the compartments means that this Yumbox holds up to 3/4 cup more food than the original.
  • The lid is configured a little differently than the original but it is still water-tight.
  • It has the same easy to open latch and the hinge has been redesigned to be even sturdier than the original.
  • While it holds about the same amount of food that many of the other divided, tray-style lunch boxes on the market hold, the foot print of the Yumbox Panino is much smaller than most of them. This allows it to fit easily in many thermal lunch bags.

The Yumbox Panino is priced at $30.00 and it can be purchased on the Yumbox site or at Amazon.com. It comes in three colors: red, pink, and blue. (My five-year-old chose the red because “it’s the color of danger.” Heh!)

Yumbox Panino packed with a large sandwich

This new configuration of the tray is great for a couple reasons. Number one on the list has to be that the large compartment allows you to pack a full sized sandwich. (This was obviously a major consideration when they were designing the box — “Panino” means sandwich in Italian, after all.) One of the big complaints I heard about the original Yumbox was that it was a pain to pack a sandwich in it so this solves that problem handily.

Another plus is that this Yumbox holds plenty of food for an older child or an adult. We’ve been able to use the original for my older son, but I can see that in a few years it will be too small for him.

Finally, I love that the size of the smallest section has been increased. The dip/treat well on the original Yumbox was so small that I had trouble using it to it’s full advantage. For example, my younger son loves to dip his veggies in hummus and he’ll eat a great deal of it in one sitting. The original treat well didn’t hold nearly enough for him, but this one holds plenty.  Also, the diameter of this area has increased so it’s now large enough to hold a couple small cookies or another treat. And it’s just the right size for a serving of nuts, dried cranberries or even a little fruit.

Yumbox Panino vs. Yumbox Original

Another problem that’s been addressed is the way the back of the tray is set up. The trays on both versions of the Yumbox are top rack dishwasher safe (it is recommended that you hand-wash the outer box to preserve the seal). The old tray has lots of nooks and crannies on the back and when I wash it in the dishwasher, quite a bit of water pools up in it. I’ve found that I always need to dump this water out when I unload it and then turn it over on the dish drainer to completely dry for a few hours. Not a huge issue, of course, but it is an annoyance.

The back of the Panino tray is flat, so this almost completely eliminates this problem. Water can still pool up on the edges, but it’s a huge improvement.

Yumbox Panino vs. Yumbox Original

One other thing to note is that the Yumbox original and the Yumbox Panino have exactly the same foot print.

Yumbox Panino vs. Yumbox Original -- don't mix the trays!

You can actually fit the tray from one set into the outer box of the other. This may sound like a great way to save a little money — buy one complete set and then pick up an extra tray with the other configuration — but I do not recommend doing this! The problem is that the lid of each box is designed to match up with a specific tray and if you pair it with the wrong one, the seals will not match up and it will no longer be a leak proof box. I’m pretty sure you could also damage the seal on the lid thereby wrecking it for the tray it was meant for as well. (I haven’t tried this to verify it because I don’t want to risk damaging my Yumboxes.) If you mix the trays you will be cancelling out one of major benefits of this lunch box. Not worth it!

The original Yumbox and the Yumbox Panino are both terrific lunch boxes. I’m thrilled with the introduction of the Panino because it gives me more options for packing lunches for my boys, but I will still regularly use the original.

Want to purchase a Yumbox of your own? Find it on Amazon!

Disclosure: Yumbox sent me a Panino for review and they are an advertiser on this site. I have not been compensated to write this post and everything I’ve written here is my honest opinion. This post contains affiliate links.



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  • Amy Masterson

    I would love to get the panino box!

  • Kim Klein

    I would love the Plano! I love that you can put yogurt and applesauce in these without needing another lid.

  • Jessica

    I love that panino box. 🙂

  • Nicole Kempski

    I would choose the Panino!

  • Brittney Fusselman

    I would definetly buy the panino.

  • Amber

    I think I like the new Panino. But they both sound really good!

  • Marcela Marchesini Kapfer

    The original for my soon to be preschooler!

  • Kelsey Taylor

    I have the original would love to win this new style of yum box.

  • Katie Johnson

    I’d love to have a yum box for my son to bring his lunch in. The Panino is extra cool.

  • Jessica Kruger

    I would choose the Panino :).

  • Debbie D

    The Panino please!! Love them both actually 😉

  • Nicole Jackson Ourjanian

    This would be a great addition to our lunch box collection. I would prefer the original because my son is a picky eater and I could give him plenty of options.

  • Lisa Redella

    The red yumbox panino or the purple original yumbox would rock!!

  • Glory

    I want the new Panino so bad. Soo cool!

  • Kristy H.

    Thanks for the review and comparison. I was wondering if they are really worth all the buzz. Sounds like they are!

  • Susie

    I would choose the Yumbox Panino in purple.

  • Michelle P

    I would pick the Panino! I like the larger compartments 🙂

  • adina

    the panino for sure!

  • MelissaKane

    I would definitely love to win the blue Panino for my ine year old daughter! We got the original for my six year old niece, and it’s great for younger kids. I got a PlanetBox for my daughter because she needed something bigger, and it was stolen from school three weeks later! That’s just too much money to spend again that soon. The new Yumbox is a perfect replacement! I hope we win one, but if not, I think it will be her next box. Thanks for a bigger kid box. 🙂

  • Marisa

    The panino

  • Carrie Santabene Burnett

    I would probably chose the Panino. We love our originals and recently bought the Panino but it would be great to have a second since we use them daily!

  • NoAdditives

    I would choose the Panino. I have a PlanetBox rover for my kids and I’d like something that has fewer compartments for the times when I’m just not feeling creative. (Like tonight. After a bunch of PTA projects, a birthday party yesterday, and my baby’s first birthday today, I’m exhausted. Packing lunch for the first day of school took all my remaining energy.)

  • Julie S

    I would want the panino since i already have 2 of the originals!

  • Karina Aldana K

    That’s a bento box fit for my girls, specially since we love to put so many things inside their lunch box.

  • ThisGirlCanBoard

    I would choose the Yumbox Panino

  • Caitlyn

    Since I just bought the original for my three-year old, I would love to try the Panino!

  • A.M.F.

    Has anyone had trouble with the new hinge design? I am contemplating buying another yumbox for my 1st grader. We went through four shells because of the hinges breaking. I would like to know if the new design is holding up better. I really do love the yumbox and want to use one next school year.

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