Tuesday, April 6, 2010

UPR Flip & Tumble Produce Bags

And now for something on the lighter side!

What is UPR, you ask? Why that's the official Jules vs. Nuts acronym for an Unsolicited Product Review! Something that I have decided to provide on the occasion that it strikes my fancy! Because the world needs more of my opinions, am I right?

So! I'll be kicking things off with Flip & Tumble Produce bags. Oh, Flip & Tumble. I've dedicated not one but TWO posts to declaring my love for their reusable shopping bags (or "24-7 shopping bag" as they call it) so when I wrote that sad whiny post about not being able to afford Blogher, Miss Grace suggested that I actually approach Flip & Tumble (which I will hereafter be referring to as F&T because yeesh I think I'm going to say their name a lot in this post and I'm tired of typing it out) for some kind of sponsorship.

Well I emailed them and they weren't keen on the idea but instead of saying PAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HOW DARE YOU EVEN ASK they gave me the equivalent of a placating pat on the head and offered to send me a set of their produce bags.
See there they are, artfully posed with the rest of my mail. I would show you a photo of them in use but, uh, I don't have one. Oh, actually here's one yoinked from the F&T web site.
Handy, aren't they?
Uh, I guess.
Except that I've had them for a month and have yet to use them.

Here's why:
Okay, so I love their regular shopping bags because I can smoosh them into balls and throw them into my purse or car or wherever and then I'll HAVE them on me when I need one. With the produce bags I've been keeping them in a drawer in my kitchen and I tend to forget to bring them when I go to the grocery store and they don't squish nicely into a compact form for me to toss into my purse and forget about. I was thinking that I should suggest that F&T come up with a way to make them more cutely portable but then browsing around their web site I found this.
Oh. So I could just smoosh them both together. Touché F&T.

But my other inherent problem with the produce bags is that I actually do NEED a few plastic bags in my life. I have a cat. And he has a litter box. And I have to scoop it. So I tend to use the few plastic bags I collect here and there for that purpose. So until someone is able to come up with a better solution for me I'm going to grab one or two produce bags from the grocery store.

This means that I would be happy to use these produce bags for some other purpose. Something I love about the F&T shopping bags is that they are so versitile. I use them for groceries, for clothes shopping, for a beach tote, an extra bag whenever I need one. I even wrapped some of my Christmas presents in them!

So I guess what I'm saying is that while I applaud the concept behind the produce bags, they just don't boast the same level of ease and usefulness as their larger shopping bag brothers.

The F&T web site tries to convince you that the produce bags have other uses besides produce-- store your travel toiletries! your shoes! other odds and ends! But I keep coming back to the fact that these are MESH bags. Sooo why would I store my potentially leaky travel toiletries in something that would not contain the mess? I actually bought some little bags that I thought I would use for produce from Daiso at around the same time I bought my first F&T bags.
And I actually have found several many uses for them such as toting my lunches (because they contain them AND they are made of cloth so they absorb any spills pretty well) carrying fragilish things (no mesh areas to get tangled), washing more delicate items, etc.

So Flip & Tumble, you've already done it once-- you convinced me that your shopping bags were far superior to plastic or paper bags and that your cute and versatile shopping bags were the specific reusable shopping bags for me. You're going to need to work a little harder to get me on board with your produce bags.

So, to sum up my ridiculously long-winded unsolicited review of this product in one word: Meh.