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Smash are an Australian based company who make rather funky shaped lunchbags that are thermally insulated and look pretty cool. I first came across the range in 2011 when we were in WHSmiths browsing for school supplies for my eldest son. He loved a crocodile bag in this range, so we bought it, and he has been using it ever since to take food to school.
When my youngest son was starting school the following year, I tried to persuade him to go for a bag from this range too but he liked a different bag. I could see as soon as I picked it up that the material was not as thick and it wasn't as well insulated but I let him have his choice. However, that bag developed a large hole, so I needed to purchase a new bag for him, and this time he agreed with me that he should have a Smash bag, and I was over the moon to be making a second purchase from the range.
Out of the many bags available, my youngest son found the bumble bee design the most appealing. It is a cute looking bag, that is mainly black fabric on the sides and back of the bag, and the front features a black and yellow stripey design, and a honeycomb pattern on the drinks bottle holder on the side of the bag. There are then 4 bits of clear plastic which are meant to be the bees wings, and two googley eyes to complete the bee theme.
These bags are great. They have a main section to hold the lunch in. This is made from a thick insulated material that is grey in colour. The stitching is well done so we have not seen it come away anwhere, and if the bag gets food debris in it, you can clean it very simply with a damp cloth. This is a large bag with dimensions of 26cm length, 19cm width, and 7cm depth. You can fit a couple of plastic tubs in here I find, and sometimes in summer I also put a cool bag ice pack in here to guarantee my son's food stays cool and fresh in his warm classroom. The zip to the main section is sturdy too, and we have never had any problems with it getting stuck or it losing the metal tab that you pull. The lid has a mesh pouch that takes up about two thirds of the lid, where you can put some cutlery or a serviette.
There is then a smaller zipped pouch on the front of the bag that we don't tend to use as we find there is plenty of space inside the main compartment. This is also fully insulated so it could be used to put in something like a yoghurt or a small snack.
The bag doesn't come with any plastic tubs inside it, but I find it easy enough to fit any plastic tub I want to use in there.
The bag has a seperate fabric drinks compartment to the left of the bag. It came with a 500ml sports bottle that features a twist lid. I find that this can leak a little if the bag is laid down, but I have trained my kids to take the bottle out before they lay the bag down so we aren't too bothered by this, and I find most kids bottles are a bit leaky anyway. The bottle is BPA free, and has only stained minimally from taking dilute squash to school in it.
I find that the bee bag is better than the crocodile bag because the entire face and body of the bee is a waterproof material so it can actually be kept a lot cleaner than the fabric. The only bit of this bag that will show up dirt is the yellow honeycomb pattern on the drinks compartment. The black parts on the sides and back are fabric, but as they are black the dirt is well hidden so the bag stays looking nice for longer.
Similarly to the crocodile bag, this bee bag features a carry handle on the top of the bag. I would rather see a shoulder strap on this as it is quite heavy and my sons would find it much easier to get all their belongings to school if they had a shoulder strap. As it is, I find when we get out the house they find it really heavy and ask me if I will carry the lunch bags for them. I find the handle quite comfy as it is padded, but it is a little wide for a small childs hand.
I think these bags are excellent quality. They have a high price tag to reflect this, and I paid £15 for the bee bag and £10 for the crocodile bag. This is a lot more than other lunch bags, but the bag is much thicker insulated, and it has fully matched my expectations of keeping food fresh. I find the bags from this brand very cute and stylish, and they also last a lot longer than cheaper bags as there are no weak points likely to tear. I have no hesitation recommending this brand to other parents as it just does what it is meant to do while looking stylish.