Monday 23 November 2009

Camouflage Company - Duffel Carrier

This is one of those items that is so versatile, you keep thinking up new uses for it and wonder how you ever coped without it ! It is so simple, and I love sewing, so I can't believe I didn't come up with the design myself years ago - I wish I had, it would have saved me loads of time cleaning and tidying up after the girls !

So what is it ? Well, it's basically a square of sturdy plastic sheeting, like a thicker version of the plastic used for supermarket bags-for-life, with a cord threaded through so that you can bunch it up into a handy bag. It's got carry straps so you can hoik it up on to your shoulder as a bag for transportation too.

As you can see from the photos, it folds out totally flat so I absolutely love using it as a play mat. The worst thing ever is wandering into a child's bedroom, half asleep and/or with just a tiny nightlight on, and stepping straight on to a sharp pointy piece of lego. Not to mention the hours spent chasing Hama beads with the hoover for weeks after the tub has been knocked over. And all the miniscule Playmobil pieces getting sucked up too. Well, if you put the mat on the floor as designated play area, when it's time to tidy up, you just bunch it all up and it's done in seconds. Genius ! No more whingeing about "I'm too tired to tidy up Mum" !
As it's waterproof and wipeclean, it's also absolutely perfect for water play, messy play, painting, sand, glitter, and everything else that little kids love but that makes a lot of cleaning-up afterwards. Just use it as a mat, wrap all the rubbish/mess all up, empty it straight into the bin then wipe down in the sink - no annoying globs of glue to peel off the table or messy water spills to clean up. It's big enough for Sophie and Juliette to play on together at the same time with no arguments too.

It's also great as a laundry bag. Put it flat on the floor in the hall, do a laundry raid in each bedroom and just fling all the dirty clothes out through each door, bundle it all up and you're off - no more dropping socks or knickers half way to the machines for the dog to pinch and bring into the lounge when you've got guests !! As it's waterproof, it's also brilliant for transferring wet washing, either from the washing machine to the tumble drier (just open the door and pull it all out on to the mat on the floor then slide across to the drier) or for things that need to drip dry (carry the wet clothes in the bag to avoid drips on the way, leave it flat underneath as they drip dry to prevent wet floors and then, when everything's dry, drag everything off the drier rack to the mat on the floor to take it back to the ironing pile). It's so much easier, less cumbersome and cleaner/drier than using normal laundry baskets.

The website suggests a few more possible uses : "For general clutter around the house and garden. Fill with clothes and toys, duffel up and turn into a stylish alternative to a weekend bag.
Use flat as wipe clean car boot protector, a play mat or waterproof ground and picnic sheet.
Pinch the corners closed and it's an ideal potting sheet. Carry plants home safely from the garden centre. Pop plants inside the flat sheet then pull the cord until they are securely held. No more messy earth to clear up. Keep a set of our matching shop boxes in the car boot for the ultimate in 'car boot style". The best part is, there are so many different ways to use it, you'll be able to adapt it to suit your needs - and then just keep thinking up more and more uses for it.

It folds up totally flat when not in use so it takes up very little space (if you want to keep it at hand in the car, for example) and it's very light. It's delivered flat and looks very impressive as a gift, delivered with two removable velcro straps (which have a mutitude of potential uses in themselves !).

The hardest part is choosing which of the funky natural-camouflage designs to choose from - Evergreen, Long Grass, Indie Chic or Rose & Petals. As they say on the website, "Revolutionize your life with this exclusive Multi-Purpose Duffel Carrier. Glamour up clutter, make mess look less." Love it !

UPDATE : A couple of new uses that we've discovered since I wrote this review - it is great for instant tidying up after pass-the-parcel at kids' parties and makes a fabulous sledge too !

star rating : 5/5

RRP : large (100cm x 100cm) £18, extra large (152 x 152cm) £25

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