Space Bags...Love em or Hate em?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

We're always looking for ways to organize and save space around here...
1901 square feet gets awfully small when you factor in four family members plus a 100 pound dog and all of our *stuff* ~

With no front closet, or hall closets in this house, I know!! WHA??, I find myself looking for places to cram all of the out of season things, you know, jackets, snowpants, hats, scarves, gloves, mittens, boots...although seeing as how we did get some snow on May 1st, making that EIGHT of the last 8 months bringing us snow in some I even bother putting away the winter gear?

Who hasn't been awed by the commercials for Space Bags?

Triple my storage space?

Sign me up!!

But...the reviews online have been less than stellar...
Some of them even had me laughing right out loud...A lady so impressed with her clean, compact, organized closet...imagine her surprise when she opened the door a few days later to find overstuffed, overfluffed bags & a closet so full she couldn't even get the bags OUT! HA HA!

I polled my Facebook friends and got mixed reviews...
...Loved them
....Don't know if I would buy them again love love
...NO. I have tried several and they often re inflate and they tear easily
...Ours re inflated

There was only one thing for me to do...
Try them for myself ~

And even though I really really wanted to take advantage of the infomercial ad, and get a great collection of space bags for the low low price of, oh WAIT, double the space bags for your money, no WAIT, act now and TRIPLE the offer, blah blah blah -
I just didn't want to be on the hook for eleventy space bags that may or may not work...

So I headed to my local big box store...and grabbed these...

'Dual Use' - supposedly means you can roll them up to squeeze out the air, or vacuum out the air. The inch of dust on the top of the box should have scared me away, but it didn't...

The box contained 2 large space bags, and 2 medium space bags...boasting the contents would hold 30-34 sweaters or jackets.

Do they mean small dog sweaters or jackets?? Certainly you couldn't fit even 30-34 children's sweaters/jackets in these four bags, much less that many belonging to adults?

I decided to start with my hat/scarves/mittens box. As our family has grown, so has our collection of winter wear. I couldn't get everything in the box this year and still get the lid closed. One can never have enough warm gloves & hats in Minnesota - even it May as it turns out.

I quickly saw that this pile was not going to fit in the medium bag - um...ok?
So I switched to the large bag instead, being careful not to overfill past the fill line that the bag clearly had marked.

And while he's hard to see, my 4 year old assistant could barely hold the bag (note the hands on the bag and the pirate pants buried underneath the bag...)

And then we set it on the floor and went from this...

To this! AMAZING!

So much more compact...but someone wasn't very happy that his New York Yankees beanie was 'smooshed' inside that bag!!

I was amazed at just how smooshed the bag did get...much much smaller - and for comparison - the whole thing fit back into the rubbermaid tote, with room to spare, and the lid fitting tightly on...
Space saver indeed.

And the next morning, when we came back upstairs...the bag had, as promised in far too many reviews, leaked air and had fluffed back up.


What a bummer!
Are these really too good to be true?
I tried again and used my vacuum to suck the air back out of the bag.

If nothing else, THAT sure is a neat process!!
It's now been about 12 more hours and it IS indeed staying flat...I'll tuck it under my bed and see what happens.

I attempted to put 3 pairs of (kid sized) snowpants and 2 (kids) jackets inside a medium space bag...It was too full, and I knew it. There is a fill line for a reason right? But, I wanted to give these things a real life test...It didn't take any real work to close the bag, so it's not like it was terribly full...
But, the medium sized bag promptly ripped before I even got to try and rid it of the air inside - the reviews didn't lie - they DO rip/tear easily. I guess I thought if you could toss them in a mud puddle and drive over them with a car and still keep your items safely dry inside, that overfilling them a teeny tiny bit wouldn't rip the bag open, but I learned that lesson very quickly.
In case you were wondering, no, you cannot put clear packaging tape over the rip & expect them to work.

I have one space bag that is working...and two left to fill: one large, one medium.

We'll see what happens after a week or so with the first one before I get all excited about filling the final 2.

IF I were to purchase these again - I can't see the value in the small ones. Perhaps I'm missing something. I can see these things being a Godsend on vacation, especially camping trips.

IF they really work.

But why is the plastic so flimsy that it tears so easily with a 4 year old's down jacket in it?

I'm not sure what I will try and fit into my final two space bags - they don't seem like they'd hold too much - and space bagging 1 or 2 winter coats sort of seems pointless to me...

Have you tried space bags?
Did they work for you?

*** I purchased the space bags with my own hard earned money (or maybe my husband's if you really must know) and the review expressed here was solely for my own curiosity and amusement. Sadly, I don't think it's going to be for space saving. ***


Rachel said...

I still swear by the ones I bought...seriously. All of our winter gear (snow clothes and pea coats) is in 2 large ones. Also stored a bunch of Susie's too small stuff. The bags have been sealed for almost a month and no re-inflating. I didn't get the "to-go" kind...maybe that's what makes them cheaper? I'm not sure...but I still swear by mine and need to go buy more.

Unknown said...

Bought them once and never will again. I don't like them for multiple reasons and would consider...ugh!

correspondent said...

Hi Darcie,

Thank you for giving Space Bag vacuum-seal storage bags a try. We appreciate your feedback and want to let you know that changes have been made to improve the products. The "inch of dust" you describe most likely indicates these are not the recently improved products. We have now added a double zipper and new one-way valve to the bags, which help to secure the airtight seal. We also guarantee the bags will be free of manufacturer's defects for one year from the date of purchase and are happy to provide an exchange if you purchase a faulty bag. For more information on Space Bag, feel free to visit our online community. The Space Savers community has organizing and space-saving storage ideas and members receive exclusive discounts on Space Bag products.

We hope you will consider trying the new and improved Space Bag products in the future. Thank you again for your honest feedback.

Best wishes,
Space Savers community correspondent

darcie said...

@Correspondent - Thank you for stopping by my blog & your insight. Even though the box was dusty, (VERY dusty!) I am confident I purchased the new bags. They boasted the double zipper and the new and improved valve, AND, the box said NEW across the top corner. I'm excited to see what happens with my 1 full bag because if these work like the informercial shows that they do...then they belong in every closet & under every bed in every home in America!!

Jen Westpfahl said...

So it's been a couple of days -- is it still flat??

I never really understood people who suggest using them for camping/traveling. that would only work if your destination has a vacuum to repack when you come home, right?

darcie said...

@Jen - Nope...It did NOT keep the air in it. It didn't puff up huge, but it did let quite a bit of air out - again, under my bed. An XL bag, filled with only hats, mitten & scarves, and certainly not full. Harumpf. Can't decide what to put in my last two bags, when I don't have much faith they will work. As for the 'travel/camping' part - you CAN roll these up and air will release out - so they will get somewhat flat just doing the rolling - not as great as vacuuming out - but...still - could be a space saver on a trip...

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