Stasher vs. Ziploc Endurables: What are the best reusable food storage bags?

I put both brands' bags through the wringer. (And the dishwasher, and the oven, and the freezer...)
By Haley Henschel  on 
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side by side illustrations of a stasher bag containing chicken, asparagus, and broccoli florets and a ziploc endurables bag filled with cookies and pretzels
In the battle of Stasher bags (left) versus Ziploc Endurables (right), SC Johnson wins by default. Credit: Bob Al-Greene / Mashable

The world is full of rivalries, each side convinced that theirs is the best. In this semi-regular series, we pit two competitors against each other to see how they stack up.

"Eco-friendly Ziploc bags" was an oxymoron until mid-2022, when the food storage bag brand introduced a new line of Endurables(opens in a new tab) containers and pouches made from silicone. 

But this isn't the first time Ziploc's parent company, SC Johnson, has dabbled in the genre: It acquired Stasher(opens in a new tab) in 2019, a Shark Tank-famous brand known for its colorful, slightly expensive bags and bowls.

Together, they're now two of the biggest names in reusable food storage. It only feels right to pit them against each other.

a top-down view of reusable silicone storage bags from stasher and ziploc endurables
Stasher's bags are available in a rainbow of colors (including limited-edition hues), while Ziploc Endurables are only available in blue. Credit: Haley Henschel / Mashable composite

Ziploc (finally) goes truly reusable

For all intents and purposes, and as much as the brand might like you to think otherwise, the regulation Ziploc bags that have been around since the 1960s are single-use plastics.

A Sustainability and Safety page(opens in a new tab) on the Ziploc website says consumers can recycle its resealable freezer, snack, and sandwich bags, which are made from soft, nondurable low-density polyethylene(opens in a new tab) (LDPE, or plastic type #4). But that claim may be misleading: Many recycling facilities won't accept LDPE because it tangles easily(opens in a new tab) in heavy machinery(opens in a new tab). A 2022 Greenpeace report(opens in a new tab) estimates that the current U.S. domestic reprocessing capacity for LDPE plastic waste clocks in at under 5 percent; the recycling facilities that do collect it usually do so as part of mixed plastic bales, which are often disposed of via landfills or incineration.

Ziploc has also gone on the record(opens in a new tab) stating that its LDPE bags are "reusable" if you thoroughly hand-wash and dry them, but I think I speak for most people when I say: No one does that. How much reuse can you really get out of thin, filmy packaging, anyway? You're just delaying the inevitable: a centuries-long interment in a hot pile of garbage, or another ingredient in the ocean's microplastic soup.

Ziploc's recent move to reusables was especially intriguing to me given its longtime association with (and defense of) LPDE products. Could the Kleenex of disposable plastic storage bags actually swing an eco-friendly redemption arc?

Stasher vs. Ziploc Endurables: Design

different views of the Stasher Half Gallon Bag and the Ziploc Endurables Large Pouch
The Stasher Half Gallon Bag (left, top) and the Ziploc Endurables Large Pouch (right, bottom) are eight-cup counterparts with some key distinctions. Credit: Haley Henschel / Mashable composite

Stasher and Endurables bags are both made out of the same durable platinum silicone, which is heat-resistant (up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit), food-safe, and free of BPA, latex, and phthalates. Their individual aesthetic differences are a little nit-picky, but noteworthy nonetheless:

  • Selection: Stasher offers six different sizes of bags, five different sizes of bowls, and three different-sized stand-up bags, which have a triangular prism shape with a flat bottom. Endurables come in the form of three different-sized pouches (bags) and two containers (bowls).

  • Finish: Stasher bags are more rigid and have at least one translucent, shiny side, whereas Endurables bags have a completely matte finish and a more flexible feel.

  • Closure: The Stashussy (sorry) is a patented "Pinch-loc" seal that you press together to close. The "Secure Seal Technology" on Endurables looks pretty much identical, except it adds two "Easy Open Tabs" on the top and two nubby "Cool Grab Tabs" on each end. Ziploc's containers also have four round feet on their bases.

You're basically comparing two different kinds of apples here, but I preferred Stasher's designs in my hands-on testing: They come in a much wider variety of shapes, sizes, and color options, and that seal snaps together cleanly and securely; it takes a few tries to get their Endurables cousins closed.

Stasher's bags being stiffer also made them much easier to keep open in a dishwasher's prongs. Neither are particularly easy to hand-wash, but scrubbing down a large Endurables pouch felt like wrestling with a floppy, slippery fish.

Winner: Stasher

Stasher vs. Ziploc Endurables: Value

You'll pay a premium for that quality: Stasher bags can be about 50 percent more expensive than Endurables, depending on the bag shape and size. Here's a price breakdown for each of their equivalent styles for comparison's sake:

Both brands' bags will technically save you money in the long run, since they break the buy-dispose-rebuy cycle of relying on regular plastic bags. But in terms of upfront cost, Ziploc is the obvious affordable choice.

Winner: Ziploc Endurables

Stasher vs. Ziploc Endurables: Functionality

a top down view of silicone bags filled with asparagus in a freezer and silicone bags filled with snacks on a backpack
Stasher and Ziploc Endurables bags both work best when they're used for simple tasks like freezing leftovers and storing snacks. Credit: Haley Henschel / Mashable composite

It's worth noting how differently SC Johnson markets its two silicone bag brands. Stasher is the one that's explicitly billed as a sustainable, difference-making swap for single-use plastic bags — its website(opens in a new tab) featured the crunchy tagline "Save Kale & Whales" at the time of publication — while the Endurables are plugged(opens in a new tab) as utilitarian, all-in-one meal prep tools that can "unloc [sic] freezing to sizzling in a snap." (Inside of you are two wolves, or something.) 

At the end of the day, though, they're effectively the exact same products in terms of functionality and versatility. Both of them can be used for storing snacks, freezing leftovers, marinating, microwaving, and baking (again, up to 425 degrees), and you can toss them on either rack in the dishwasher afterward without fear of cracking, fogging, or peeling.

My Stasher and Endurables bags performed as promised — they could do everything listed above — but I wouldn't go so far as to call them kitchen miracle-workers.

There was one night where I made baked chicken breast for dinner using both brands' eight-cup bags, as per instructions on their respective(opens in a new tab) websites(opens in a new tab). To their credit, I was impressed with how they were able to go directly from marinating in the fridge to cooking on a sheet pan in the oven. It was a minor but welcome convenience, and one that was almost instantly nullified by the ugliest, most off-puttingly beige cutlets I've ever seen in my life and a mess of crusted-on chicken juice. (I'll be honest: There was a brief, weak moment where I considered just trashing them both.) I'm still trying to think of a logical reason why you wouldn't just put the chicken directly on the pan by itself.

two side by side images of chicken cooked in an oven inside reusable silicone bags
These bags have no business being here. Credit: Haley Henschel / Mashable composite

To reiterate: Did the bags work as advertised? Yes. Is it a pleasant user experience? Not really, no. (This feels like an apt place to mention that Stasher offers directions(opens in a new tab) on how to prep and cook a whole Thanksgiving dinner using its bags, which I would interpret as a cry for help.)

On a more positive note, I thought that both bags were especially great for freezing leftovers. Nothing's really able to stick to their rubbery insides, and they seal up airtight to prevent freezer burn. Ditto for carrying around snacks, but that doesn't feel like a huge ask.

Winner: Tie

Stasher vs. Ziploc Endurables: Recyclability 

Silicone products can last for years and don't break down into harmful microplastics, but they're not the end-all, be-all solution to curbing our dependence on single-use plastics — mainly because they, too, are difficult to recycle(opens in a new tab) once they're out of commission; most facilities don't accept silicone.

The great news is that Stasher(opens in a new tab) and Ziploc(opens in a new tab) have both partnered up with TerraCycle to sponsor free recycling programs, making this a non-issue for owners of their respective products. I wasn't able to try this portion of the "Stasher versus Endurables" experience, but it sounds incredibly easy: You just create a TerraCycle account, find a box for your unserviceable bags, and ship it off using a prepaid UPS label. More companies should do this.

Winner: Tie

The verdict

a top-down view of reusable silicone storage bags in a kitchen drawer
This is some seriously close competition. Credit: Haley Henschel / Mashable

I personally reach for Stasher bags more because of their myriad style options, better-feeling build quality, and breezier cleanup, but Endurables are still a solid budget pick for anyone who's just starting to make the move away from single-use plastic storage bags. Both brands are sold in stores at major retailers like Target, Walmart, and Kroger, so I'm tempted to just recommend buying whatever's in stock or on sale when you're out running errands.

I'll couch that with a brief word of advice, which is that you should expect an adjustment period when you first start living with reusable silicone storage bags: They don't have the same mindless ease of single-use plastic ones, since there's maintenance involved. But I think we could all be better at learning how to sacrifice some convenience for the sake of our collective wellbeing.

Winner: Stasher (barely)

How I tested

I spent a week using Stasher(opens in a new tab) and Ziploc Endurables(opens in a new tab) bags as my primary food storage containers, and tried to work them into cooking whenever possible to see if they lived up to their multifunctional claims. This included:

  • Microwaving: I put fresh broccoli in the bags and threw them in the microwave (separately) to steam. Both cooked the florets through to crisp-tender in the same amount of time.

  • Steaming: I had water boiling on the stove for pasta another night, so I put some extra broccoli in each bag and placed them in the pot to steam. This method produced the same results as microwaving, but it took way longer (like 10 minutes instead of three).

  • Baking: As briefly mentioned up top, I marinated then immediately baked chicken breasts in both brands' bags at 400 degrees for a little over 20 minutes. The chicken was technically cooked through and juicy, but it was so pale and unpleasant to look at that I wound up searing it in a skillet before eating. (Plus, cleanup was a slog.) The bags' usefulness in this case was a little bit of a stretch: You need a baking sheet to catch anything that spills out of them anyway, so you might as well just take them out of the equation.

  • Freezing: Asparagus was on sale at my local grocery store during my testing run, so I snagged a couple bunches, chopped up the surplus I wasn't using for dinner, and put it in the freezer for later. Squeezing all of the air out of the bags took some finagling, but they ultimately did a great job at keeping tight seals and protecting their contents from freezer burn. I really liked how the asparagus pieces didn't stick to the insides of these bags, which usually happens when I put frozen food in regular plastic bags.

  • Storing leftovers: Stasher and Endurables bags admittedly weren't the best vessels for my leftover vodka pasta — it's a little hard to scoop and clean soft foods out of them — but I mostly wanted to see if the sauce tinged them orange-y red like its does Tupperware. It did indeed stain, but it disappeared after a few washes; apparently you can sun-bleach(opens in a new tab) it away, too.

  • Taking snacks on the go: I work from home and generally don't leave the house much on weekdays, so I sent bags of cookies, pretzels, and almonds to the office with my fiancé Paul. Per his on-the-ground reporting: "Tossed them in my backpack and they were at the bottom when I opened it. Everything is intact. [insert saluting face emoji here]"

  • Cleaning: I hand-washed my bags and ran them through the dishwasher, which had a little trouble getting to the floppier Ziploc one's bottom corners; you can't turn either brand's bags inside out because it compromises the seal. Making sure the bags stayed fully up and open while air-drying (to prevent mold) was also semi-tricky, and I wound up just propping them upside down on my dishwasher's prongs. Definitely invest in a drying rack.

I should note that my Ziploc Endurables sampler pack only included two Large Pouches, so while I had several different-sized Stasher bags and bowls on hand, I really only used its Half Gallon Bag for the sake of fair comparisons in testing.

Mashable Image
Haley Henschel

Haley is a Mashable shopping reporter based in Chicago. Before joining the team, she covered politics for The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, wrote about exotic pet ownership for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, and blogged for several Jersey Shore stars. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games and hanging out with her parrot (Melon) and dog (Pierogi). You can follow her on Twitter at @haleyhenschel(opens in a new tab) or reach her via email at [email protected](opens in a new tab).

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