“ Brand: Argos / Type: Storage Bags „
A definition of insanity is repeating the same process and expecting different results. From this I feel I must be a little insane for I continue to put my faith in vacuum bags only to be disappointed time and time again.
I think it is because the "idea" of vacuum packs sounds wonderful, but despite the great leap forwards in technology, the people that make these refuse to make them well enough to actually last longer than a week... or a month at best!
For those who don't know, vacuum packs come in several sizes and are a clear (supposedly strong) plastic with a special one way valve and a "zip-lock" seal.
Items are put into these bags, great for clothes, bedding, pillows etc and then the "zip" which is just a plastic clip, is run back and forth a few times over the "zip lock" part to seal the bag.
The valve cap is then removed, the vacuum nozzle attached and the vac switched on. This draws all the excess air from the bag thus reducing it considerably!
Not only do you reduce the size down for easy storage, this helps to keep your goods protected from water and from dust and mould (as long as they weren't put into the bag wet or damp.)
The above sounds perfect, especially for Winter clothes, guest bedding, spare duvets etc except for 1 glaring issue. That the damn things never seem to work for very long (if at all)
I have over time (stupidly) bought a number of these, from really cheap ones to more expensive ones and each time they stop working within a short space of time.
If they work immediately, and the air is removed and they remain a hard well packed bag of tidiness I get all excited at the prospect of getting my house neat. Then a day, a week or even a month later I return to find the whole thing back to its usual massive size.
These Argos ones were the last in a sorry line of vacuum bags. I think because they were bigger I thought they could handle it so I put in a duvet and vac'd away.
I even had a plastic box to put it in (to make sure curious cats didn't find the bag and accidentally puncture it!). Without 2 hours the box's lid was almost breaking as the vac pack had released its vacuum-ness and the whole thing was back to being massive.
As with all vac packs I've bought, I repeated the process twice and even checked for leaks or holes or tears. In the end I lost my temper cursed at everything and had a good stomp in the garden.
This will be the last time I purchase these and in fact I will be taking this back to the store. Don't bother, they rarely stay vac'd and I really can't believe that every one I've ever bought has been faulty. I didn't believe I could be that unlucky!
An addiction ...
I have to confess to having a bit of a problem with clothes. The problem being: I have far too many of them. I just seem to love buying new clothes! I'm also a sucker for a bargain, so with the year-long sales that many retailers have these days things can really get out of hand....
And then four months ago our little boy was born, and he has very selfishly taken over the spare room in which many of my clothes were stored! So I found myself in a bit of a pickle - what to do with all my clothes? I managed to pack up lots of items for my local charity shops, but I found myself with a bit of a storage issue with items I wanted to keep. We have limited space under our bed, so the usual clothing storage boxes were no good to me.
And then I discovered these in the Argos catalogue. Costing £9.99 for two jumbo bags, these seemed too good to be true but I was more than happy to give them a go. The idea is that you fill the bag with clothes or blankets and so on, then use your vacuum to suck out all the excess air. This leaves you with a little flat package.
These are called jumbo bags, and jumbo they are! Measuring 100cm by 74cm you can, according to the Argos website, get 12 pillows in one! But pillows are not my problem of course, clothes are! So the first thing I did was place lots of my winter clothing into one of these massive bags. Of course, given the size, you can fit masses in, but I was pretty sure that sucking up the air wouldn't leave these small enough to squeeze under my bed. But I carried on filling, keen to see if they would actually work and prove me wrong!
Once filled, the bag has a plastic zip style closure at the top that you can simply seal. You then open the little valve on the top of the bag, get the vacuum on and use the nozzle to suck out all the air.
Suck it up
And lo and behold .... it really works! I was amazed to watch all my lovely winter woolies and coats shrivel right down so the bag ended up flat as a pancake! It seemed a bit of a miracle to me but I was delighted by just how flat these ended up.
And in fact I went back to Argos and bought two more! My little girl gets lots of hand-me-downs from her older cousins, and a lot of items are still way too big for her, leaving us with yet another clothes storage problem. But these wonderful bags solved that problem straight away - and my daughter thought it was hilarious when I "vacuumed" the bags up.
And in the past week I have returned to my winter bag to remove all the clothes from it as the weather is sadly getting colder. The clothes do look a bit sorry for themselves when you first remove them from the bags, but a quick shake and they are back to normal. So the process does them no harm at all, and I expect the vacuum packing helps to keep them fresh as they can't get musty or damp.
In summary ...
These bags are a brilliant invention and I can't really fault them. They are ideal for storing clothing away, and also solve the problem of storing seasonal items such as bulky coats and blankets. They are also ideal for kids' clothes if you want to keep them if you are planning to have another at some stage! If you are having any problems storing all your clothing, these get a big thumbs up from me.