Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Accessory review: Zuca bags

Ice Girl is the luckiest girl in Madison, Wis. Last weekend we made the 90-mile trip east to the Pettit National Ice Arena and visited Rainbo Sports, inside the Pettit. Ice Girl got new skates and, just as we were about to leave the pro shop, Grandma showed up. Bless her.

Grandma popped for this fabulous Zuca bag for Ice Girl. The frame cost $100, the bag $45. Not cheap. However, this puppy is nearly indestructible. It weighs less than nine pounds (empty), but a 300-pound person can sit on the brown top. As a seat, it's sturdy and pretty comfy.

The front opens up like a miniature locker with pockets in the locker door (one big one that's the shape of the door, two smaller ones). The top of the locker has a mesh pocket, which is ideal for keeping small bits of clothing--gloves maybe? Also inside the locker is a long lanyard with a hook. I can see this as a useful place to hang a bit of clothes or keep a key safe.

On each side of the bag are the mesh pocket that you see in the photo, a large zippered pocket, and a small zippered pocket. Zuca says that the small pocket is perfect for a cell phone.

The frame is sturdy aluminum with a telescoping handle for pulling. It has four wheels on the rear of the frame, which I thought was kind of weird. Here's how it makes sense: that extra set of wheels is for lugging the Zuca upstairs. Clever. The bottom wheels have flashing multi-colored lights. According to the Zuca FAQ page, these lights never need new batteries. Something about generating electricity as the bag rolls.

Overall rating: four out of four stars. This bag is roomy and perfect for housing ice skates. It's lightweight, so Ice Girl can lift it in and out of the car herself. The wheels roll easily and the second set of wheels really helps to move the bag upstairs. I like that the bag is replaceable. I can picture the bag wearing out way before the frame does. The whimsical lights in the wheels make other kids' eyes glow green with envy. Very cool, very useful. Expensive, though.

Update. I forgot to mention the cool flashing wheels. They do not need batteries, these smart things. Just roll the bag and the internal wizardry creates the electricity to power the flashing lights. How cool is that?

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Love your blog! Just found it. Would you believe that my daughter's school has girls who use Zuca bags as 'backpacks'? My daughter's Zuca is carefully stored in her room, while her $15 Target book bag is thrown around!

Ice Mom said...

Zuca as a backpack? Who has $150 for a backpack when gas is almost $4?

Thank you for the nice comment, Anony!

GiGi said...

I love this blog! My DD is 6 and has been skating for 2 years now. I stumbled upon your blog while researching Zuca bags. Looks like I'll have to put one on her Xmas list. Thanks for the honest review.

ShallowGal said...

I can attest to the Zuca Bag's Sturdiness: I hit my daughter's with the car and you can barely tell!

Ice Mom said...

You hit it with a car, ShallowGal? I'm impressed. I didn't go to those lengths in my review, but I'm glad someone did! You made my day! :)

FigureSkater12 said...

Hi, I have a Zuca bag and i love mine!!! its like my good luck charm! b4 i compeate i always sit on it and eat, when i eat that means im nervous!~

iloveskating

Anonymous said...

I just found your site and love it. I also ran across a product designed for competitive dancers that works great for my daughter. Check out www.dreamduffel.com. Same price but maybe more functionality.

Ice Mom said...

Holy buckets, Anony! That thing is huge. Must explore more...

Another Ice Mom said...

I suggest cutting some cardboard or high density plastic to size and putting it inside on the back wall. When you wheel them up and down the stairs the blade of the skates hit the bag wall and my daughter's skates ripped through her soakers and put holes in her zucca bag. So protect your bag and your skates!

Ice Mom said...

Hey, Another Ice Mom! Really? The blades went through the soakers and out the back? Holy cow. I'm putting cardboard cut-outs on my to-do list for this weekend. Thanks!

Justine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Justine said...

Z√úCAs were originally made as a rolling backpack and were designed so students wouldn't have to carry so much weight on their backs as they grow. It has taken off in the skating world, however, because it really is the perfect way to tote all of the gear associated with skating.