California Innovations shopping totes


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Registered Shopper
Jun 24, 2008
I bought a set of their foldaway insulated zip up bags a while back and they're absolutely brilliant. I've been umming and ahhing about the totes for a while but the price has held me back so I thought I'd wait to see if they ever went on offer. Recently they did, so I bought a set of 5 and they worked out costing about a fiver each when postage was added which was still a bit steep but I was taken by the way they folded right down, they looked really capacious, have a microban lining and came in a lovely colours and designs. Hubby does all the shopping and he has a set of Morrisons shoppers, they're not the most attractive looking things in the world, they fold flat but not right down and despite me asking him to pop them in the boot of the car when he's finished with them, this usually only happens when he's managed to park right outside, so a lot of the time they're just knocking round the house making the place look untidy!
I thought these looking amazing in the demo, something that opens up so big would fold up so small they'd fit in a drawer. As much as I liked the "coastal" design, I know hubby being a bit old fashioned would prefer something plainer, so I opted for plain (or so I thought) When I received them I was met with a set of absolutely hideously patterned purple and lime green monstrosities! I checked my order to find I'd inadvertently ordered the wrong colour.
About the bags - disappointed and then some. When you open them out they look one hell of a lot smaller than the ones in the demo. I know the dimensions are listed in the blurb but I thought they looked way big enough so didn't bother trying to see what the measurements actually were. The microban lining is as thin as anything I reckon it's only a matter of time before they get torn. The only good thing is that the handles are long enough to go over the shoulder.
I decided that I was going to return them, if the postage back wasn't too horrendous. Hubby said he was going out today to meet a mate then do a bit of shopping, about an hour ago I thought right I'll pack those bags back up and take them to the post office. I couldn't find them, so I thought Hubby must've taken them d'oh. I gave him a quick call and I said have you been shopping yet? "Not yet" he said, "don't use the bags" I've decided to return them, she said sorry but I've torn all the tags off and threw the box in the recycling this morning (complete with invoice) and yep, the recycling's gone!!!!!
I mean ok I hope he gets on with the flaming things, cause to be honest I think he's gonna have to use at least two of them to get what he'd have normally fit inside one of the Morrison's ones.
Anyhoo, they've got nice long handles and they fold flat - Whoooppeeee!
No harm done, they seem to be serviceable though he's only done a small shop. I'm very surprised that he didn't refuse point blank to use them due to the absolutely garish colour and designs. The folding down completely flat is their saving grace 'cause it does mean I haven't got a whole load of bulky shopping bags knocking around. I certainly wouldn't have lashed out nearly £25 notes for them had I been able to the see them in the flesh beforehand. If I could've seen how incredibly thin they were I'd have given them a miss. I've seen better quality bags hanging up at the supermarket checkouts for a couple of quid each. You're obviously paying for the lining, but again that's seriously thin. I was lulled into a false sense of security by the brilliant quality of their insulated totes that are made from quality fabric and have really thick linings, have a front pocket and do up with a zip, and of course fold up really small. These look like they're made out of some kind of coated paper and the stitching is just large tacks. So if anyone's tempted - I'd say give 'em a miss!

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