Help Center

What are the differences between the Rover, Launch and Shuttle?

We offer three systems specially tailored for different appetites. The Rover is designed for children and adults with smaller appetites who love variety. The Rover has 5 compartments and includes 2 Dippers for wet, messy foods, the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper. The Rover holds nearly 4.5 cups of food, which happily satisfies many customers.

The Launch is our largest lunchbox and was designed with USDA MyPlate guidelines in mind. It holds 30% more than the Rover at nearly 6.5 cups of food, and was created to hold a 3 course meal. It comes with a Tall Dipper, which is perfect for dips and dressings. You can also use the glass Satellite Dish (sold separately) inside your Launch if you have foods you want to reheat in the microwave or oven.

Our Shuttle is about a third the size of the Launch and features two compartments which hold approximately 3 cups of food. It’s great for snacks and small meals on the go!

Here are the specific dimensions of our 3 lunch packing systems:


Launch Approximate Specs: Weight: 24 oz

Compartments Volume Filled (ml) Cups Filled Dimensions (inches)

Small Side 280 More than 1 cup 2.5 x 4.5 x 2

Side 450 1 ¾ Cup 3.75 x 4.5 x 2

Main 800 3 ¼ cup 6.75 x 4.5 x 2

Total 1530 Almost 6 ½ cups 10.25 x 7.75 x 2



Rover Approximate Specs: Weight: 25 oz

Compartments Volume Filled (ml) Cups Filled Dimensions (inches)

Treat 25 Almost an ounce 1.5 x 1.5 x .5

Long 200 ¾ Cup 6 x 1.5 x 1.5

Veggie 180 ¾ cup 2 x 3.5 x 1.5

Fruit 195 ¾ cup 4 x 2 x 1.5

Main 445 1 ¾ cup 4 x 4 x 1.5

Totals 1045 Almost 4 ½ cups 10 x 7.5 x 1.5



Shuttle Approximate Specs: Weight: 11.3 oz

Compartments Volume Filled (ml) Cups Filled Dimensions (inches)

Side 235 1 Cup 4.25 x 2.35 x 2

Main 470 2 cups 4.25 x 4.25 x 2

Totals 705 Almost 3 cups 7.75 x 5.2 x 2



Big Dipper

Holds 1 cup (4 x 1.5 inches)


Little Dipper

Holds 1/3 cup (2 x 1.5 inches)


Tall Dipper

Holds 1/3 cup (2 x 2 inches)


Satellite Dish

Holds 1 ¾ cups (6 x 4 x 2 inches)


Launch/Shuttle Pods

Hold 2.7 oz. or 80ml ( 2”W x 2”D x 1¾” H)


Rover Pods

Rover Small: Hold 1.7oz. or 50 ml (2”L x 1.5”D x 1.5”H)

Rover Large: Hold 2.4oz. or 70 mL (2”L x 2”D x 1.5”H)


You can see a variety of packed lunches on our website, here: https://www.planetbox.com/blogs/blog

Will the Rover hold enough food for me or my child?

The Rover fits nearly 4 ½ cups of food when fully packed. It will accommodate a wide assortment of foods that make a very healthy lunch for most kids and some adults. Many people find that they can pack more food than they originally thought. This is because the lunchbox lid is raised so you can pack the tray high with food.If needed, the Big Dipper can be used independently of the Rover to store a snack outside of the main meal time. It fits in the Carry Bag's snack pocket.

Will foods spill, drip or leak out of the lunchbox?

Will food packed inside the PlanetBox spill or drip into another compartment or out the sides when it is carried and stored on its side? What about packing fruits that might leak some juice?

PlanetBox is designed to keep foods from “touching each other.” When you close your PlanetBox, the top and the bottom meet so that foods will not co-mingle, even when carried and stored on its side.

PlanetBox is not designed to be leak proof. The lunchbox itself is not air tight and it is not designed to hold wet, messy foods like yogurt, dips, and applesauce. We created the Big, Little and Tall Dippers to use for foods such as these. For the larger Launch Box, we also created the glass Satellite Dish.

Here is some information about how to pack messy foods such as fruits:

When packing fruits, the majority work just fine packed directly in your PlanetBox. In our months of testing we have found that most cut up fruits will not create enough juice for there to be any spilling. However, some fruits can be rather juicy, especially melons and citrus. We have found that if you cut and pack these fruits the night before, they can create a lot of juice that can leak if put directly in the PlanetBox. Therefore, we recommend cutting and packing these fruits in the morning (they make a lot less juice that way) or you can blot the fruit in the morning with a towel to absorb the extra juice. You can also pack them in the Big or Little Dipper (the Rover only), Tall Dipper (Launch or Shuttle only) or the Satellite Dish (the Launch only).

It may be helpful to you to watch some short videos about how to use our system that can be found on our YouTube Channel, here.

Are the PlanetBox or Dippers oven safe?

Our stainless steel products are not designed to go in the oven or microwave. The glass Satellite Dish base is the only part of our systems that can be heated safely.

Can my child open and close the PlanetBox by themselves?

The latch on the lunchboxes is designed for 3 year-old hands and older to close and open by themselves.

What is the recommended age for using PlanetBox?

PlanetBox products contain small parts and are not intended for children under 3 years of age.

Does PlanetBox hold hot foods?

PlanetBox is not designed to retain heat. It does not keep hot foods hot. You can place warm food (not boiling hot liquid) inside your PlanetBox in the morning and it will be room temperature by lunch time.

The only container we have that can be reheated in the microwave or oven is the glass Satellite Dish. The glass dish fits inside the Launch only.

Does PlanetBox hold soup or liquids?

The Dippers and glass Satellite Dish are designed to hold wet, messy foods such as creamy, thick soups, thicker dressings such as ranch dressing, yogurt, applesauce, ketchup, etc.

How can I keep my food cold?

Our stainless steel boxes are not insulated. If you want your foods to stay cold until lunchtime, the best thing to do is to pack the refrigerated foods the night before and chill the entire lunchbox (without the magnets on it) overnight in the refrigerator.

In the morning add the dry foods and the ColdKit (sold separately). Wipe any condensation from the lid of the lunchbox and apply the magnets to the outside of the lid. Insert the lunchbox inside the Carry Bag and you are set to go.

The length of time that the lunchbox will stay cold is dependent on many factors such as what temperature it started out at, what temp it is being stored at, what type of ice pack you use, etc.

We have tested our ColdKit in combination with our lunchbox and Carry Bag on a typical school day. By pre-cooling the PlanetBox in the refrigerator overnight and then placing it inside the Carry Bag with the ColdKit in the morning, a substantial lowering of temperature can be maintained.

The exact temperature maintained throughout the day will depend on the ambient temperature the PlanetBox is stored at during the morning, exposure to direct sunlight or shade, and the number of times the lunchbox is opened throughout the morning.

In our tests, a consistent 40° F temperature was maintained inside the lunchbox while the exterior temperature was 75° F through the morning hours. 40° F is a safe temperature to store perishable foods, according to the USDA.

If a significantly higher exterior (ambient) temperature is anticipated then we would suggest using two cold packs, one placed below the lunchbox and one placed above it, to sandwich the PlanetBox in a blanket of cold throughout the morning.

The ColdKit can keep foods cool for as long as it remains frozen. To truly keep perishable foods from spoiling for long periods, store them in a refrigerator.

Is the Rover too heavy for my child to carry?

Everyone's child is different. A Rover with the Dippers inside combined with the Carry Bag weighs 2.4 pounds without any food, ice pack or utensils.

Is the back of my lunchbox okay?

It is normal for there to be a space at the back (hinge) of your PlanetBox. It is an intentional part of the design and allows the box to accommodate the Dipper(s).

The back of the PlanetBox does not need to be flush with the hinge. The space can be a little more or a little less than what is shown in the photo below. The variable amount of space will not affect the functioning of the lunchbox.

Our stainless steel items are warrantied for 5 years from date of purchase. If you have any trouble with using your PlanetBox during that time frame, please contact us so that we can help you.


Back of normal lunchbox

Is stainless steel a safe material for food?

Our high quality 18/8 (300 SS) and 18/0 (400 SS) stainless steel is food safe and will not leach toxic chemicals when in contact with food. These types of stainless steel have been used for food storage in many cultures for generations and are preferred materials for hospitals, commercial kitchens, and other environments where sanitation is a priority.

How do the magnets stick to the lunchbox?

We use 18/8 (300 SS) for the lunchbox tray / Dipper bowls and 18/0 (400 SS) for the lunchbox lid. The 400 series has slightly less nickel content which makes it better suited to holding the magnets. The 400 series is somewhat hard to work with though so it is not well suited to the lower tray of the PlanetBox assembly due to the deep pockets we form in the sheet material.

Can I recycle a PlanetBox?

Stainless steel is 100% recyclable at your local recycling facility. On a side note, most stainless steel is also made of approximately 60% recycled content.

Are spots or scratches normal?

Our stainless steel lunchboxes are formed through a complicated process of machined tooling and finishing by hand. It is normal for there to be small variations between boxes in appearance and for boxes to have minor finish variations.

We do not coat our boxes. They are pure stainless steel. Small scratches, marks, and dull spots can occur and pose no harm or concern for future use.

Each box will be unique and there will be variations between the boxes. Some will have more or different marks than others. We do not consider these to be defects. Instead, they are part of the normal manufacturing process and they will not affect the functioning of your new PlanetBox.

Below are pictures of just a small handful of finish variations that we consider normal.

Marks

What if my lunchbox has rust on it?


We understand that you want your PlanetBox to look spot free so we’d like to explain where spots can come from, why they are harmless, and how you can remove them.

If you have staining on the lunchbox lid in the areas where the magnets are placed, it is because the magnetic material from the back side of the magnets is rubbing off onto the box. This happens if your box or magnets are not completely dry when you place the magnets on the lunchbox.

The discoloration is only cosmetic damage. The blemishes do not affect the functioning of your PlanetBox and the marks can be cleaned off. What can be done to fix this is cleaning off the rust, switching to a new set of magnets AND always making sure both the magnets and lunchbox are totally dry before putting the magnets on the box lid each time you use it.

The marks can be removed by doing the following (photos below):


1) Gently scrubbing with a fine steel wool

or

2) Making a thick paste of vinegar and baking soda, leaving it the marks for at least an hour and then scrubbing it off and rinsing.

These methods may scratch the stainless, but any scratches are purely cosmetic and harmless. There are no "coatings" on our stainless to rub off - the boxes are pure stainless steel inside and out.

Background

On rare occasion we have heard from customers that their PlanetBox is ‘rusting’. They say that what appears on the surface of the lunchbox (usually on the top lid) is rust and it does not wash off. We have replaced a number of these lunchboxes now and in all cases what is present may indeed be rust but it is not the rusting of the actual lunchbox which is to blame.

PlanetBox is made from high grade stainless steel. This type of material is highly resistant to oxidization (rusting) of the base steel by virtue of the inclusion of other metals, namely Chromium and Nickel. The alloyed metals serve to resist the degradation of the iron in the steel that can come with exposure to atmosphere and in particular, water.

Where do spots come from: If there is a spot on your PlanetBox, it is most likely due to either:

1) A mark left behind from the electropolishing process, which smooths the surface of the metal and makes it shiny.

2) Detergents that contain chlorine bleach. Bleach causes pitting and “eats away” at stainless, and should never be used to clean our products. Common detergents that can contain bleach include many “Cascade” dishwashing products, as well as other brands.

3) Hard water can leave dark spots and stains on your stainless.

4) Magnetic material left from the magnets on top of the PlanetBox, especially if the magnets are accidentally left on during washing

5) Foreign material can attach itself to the lid of the lunchbox and then can proceed to corrode in place. This likely happens when customers wash their PlanetBox with other carbon steel items in their dishwasher or sink. Sharp kitchen knives are a potential culprit, as are rusty baking pans. These little flecks of iron or other contaminants attach themselves to the lid of the lunchbox. After these bits of foreign debris attach themselves to the lid they proceed to rust. If these are left unattended for a very long time they can begin to ‘pit’ the lid of the lunchbox, making very tiny divots in the surface.

HOW TO REMOVE SPOTS

The good news is that spots can usually be removed easily.

Corrosion Spots

Corrosion spots can be easily cleaned up with either some super fine steel wool and a little elbow grease, or a paste of baking soda and vinegar.

Fine Steel Wool Method:

Start by washing your PlanetBox very well under running water. Then take some Super Fine Steel Wool (#000 is one such ranking) and start by lightly buffing the spotted area. Often times it just takes a few strokes under light pressure to remove the spots. If that doesn’t do it, then proceed to work the surface harder with the steel wool pad. This may cause very minor scratches to the surface of the lunchbox, but the tradeoff is that it will almost always remove the offending spots – with no damage to your lunchbox. Rinse with running water as you are going and within no time you’ll have a shiny new PlanetBox to use and enjoy for years more to come.

Baking Soda and Vinegar Method:

Make a thick paste of baking soda and vinegar, and leave on for at least an hour. Try scrubbing it with a sponge and/or some fine steel wool. Rinse and dry.

Hard Water Spots

Hard water has a high mineral content. If it is used to wash stainless steel, then left to set, the water will evaporate and leave behind minerals, such as limestone, which can appear as white spots.

To avoid hard water stains, always rinse your PlanetBox after washing, and immediately dry using a clean, dry cloth.

To remove hard water stains you can try placing a vinegar-soaked rag over spots for a short period of time, and rinsing and drying promptly. If you are using a dishwasher, place 3 cups of vinegar in first wash cycle and repeat for the next several washes.

Below are photos showing how to clean spots off your PlanetBox product.

Cleaning marks

Should I remove the magnets before I clean my PlanetBox?

Yes! Always take off the magnets before cleaning your PlanetBox. Try storing the magnets on the refrigerator until your PlanetBox is clean and completely dry. And no worries, the magnets are optional so use them only when you wish.


If you do choose to use the magnets, they are designed to be used on the top of your PlanetBox lid. Please do not put them on the inside of the lid, next to your food. The magnets are not designed to get wet or to come in contact with foods.

How do I clean the lunchbox?

Be sure to remove the magnets before washing your PlanetBox. PlanetBox compartments wipe down easily with a sponge and mild soap and water. Or you can put your PlanetBox in the dishwasher. All Dippers and the Satellite Dish are also dishwasher safe.

Do not use bleach or cleaners containing chlorine to clean your lunchbox. It is best to dry off your stainless steel immediately after cleaning if you do not want water marks to appear (water marks are harmless, however).

How do I adjust the clip (latch) on my lunchbox so it stays closed?

The clip (latch) on the outside of the lunchbox that keeps it closed can loosen up over time. The good news is that it is adjustable. You can bend the latch for a tighter or a looser fit depending upon what works best for you.

To adjust the latch, place your PlanetBox on a firm surface and open the latch. Then put your thumbs on both sides at the top of the latch and give it a firm push towards the box (away from you).

Test the latch now by opening and closing it to see if it is now tight enough. If not, try again a little harder this time. It requires a small, but hard, push to move the latch wire ever so slightly. That is all that is needed to tighten it.

Here is the link to a short video showing you how: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOkdGMSnF9Q

If you are having problems bending the latch, you can wear a pair of gloves to protect your hands and use a hair dryer to warm up the metal a bit and make it easier to adjust. Also, some customers have told us they have had success using pliers to bend the clip.

How can I fix a dent in my lunchbox?

A bend in stainless steel is rather easy to fix (as opposed to plastic which just breaks). All you need is a set of pliers and a thin, soft cloth (like a thin dishtowel).

You use the dishtowel to keep the pliers from scratching the metal but really a scratch wouldn’t actually hurt the metal, it would just be cosmetic. Wrap the cloth around the edge and use the pliers to grasp the bent edge and pull out to straighten it out. It really is that simple.

Also, it may help to wear a pair of gloves and use a hair dryer to heat the metal up a bit so that it is easier to bend back into shape.

Here is a short video showing you how to adjust the box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrfN2M2-Cuk

What are the instructions for my new Rover?

Rover Instructions, page 1

Rover instructions, page 2

What are the instructions for my new Launch?

Launch instructions, page 1Launch instructions, page 2

What are the instructions for my new Shuttle?

Shuttle instructions, page 1Shuttle instructions, page 2

How do I move and tighten the metal rod at the back of my box?

Below are some directions with pictures to show you how to fix the metal rod that has moved out of the metal sheath at the rear of the lunchbox.

Please note that metal rod (hinge pin) does not extend from one rear corner to the other rear corner. It only lies in the metal sheath in the middle portion of the back of the lunchbox.

Loose hinge fix, page 1

Loose hinge fix, page 2

Will the PlanetBox keep my fruit from getting brown?

Once a fruit is cut, nothing can completely stop the oxidization process (that makes fruit brown) from happening. This has nothing to do with whether you pack it in a PlanetBox or not. But there are a few things that other customers have suggested that you can do to slow it down:

  1. Prepare your fruit as close as possible to when you're planning to serve it.
  2. Use a sharp knife. This minimizes the microscopic bruising.
  3. Toss the fruit with lemon or lime juice- the acid in citrus fruits inhibits and slows the chemical reaction causing oxidization. Blot on a towel after tossing.
  4. There are also some powders available on the market that you can sprinkle over fruit to stop from browning. Most of these are made from asorbic acid (Vitamin C) and sugar.

Will my sandwich fit inside my PlanetBox?

There are many different sizes of bread sold, including breads that will fit inside each of our lunchboxes. Here are the dimensions of the large compartments for each of our systems:

The Rover: 4"x 4" x 1.50"

The Shuttle: 4.25" x 4.25" x 2"

The Launch: 6.75" x 4.50" x 2"

What determines the cost of your lunchboxes?

Our lunchboxes includes the stainless steel lunchbox, one or two Dipper containers depending upon which lunchbox you choose (the Rover has 2 while both the Launch and Shuttle have 1) and a complimentary magnet set.

The pricing is due to us using high quality, expensive materials. Our products are intricately engineered to function well over time. Our stainless steel items are warrantied for 5 years. Our soft goods are warrantied for 1 year.

The cost will pay for itself over time. If you purchase a Rover for $55.95 and add $12 for domestic shipping and taxes and use the lunchbox for 180 lunches (the number of days in a typical school year), the average cost of it per day used would be 38 cents for one school year.

Will my food get stale?

Our lunchboxes are not air tight, however, most people find that a meal packed for lunch the night before or in the day of in the morning will not have any problem with becoming stale during the day.

If your foods are getting stale, please try packing your PlanetBox in the morning and putting wet foods inside a Dipper or the Satellite Dish (Launch only).