Some of the most frequently asked questions are about the L.L. Bean Boat and Tote bags, including how to wash them and how to soften them.
As many people know, they were originally designed for hauling ice, and some still call them ice bags (probably the same people who call refrigerators "ice boxes", like my grandmother). Friends often call them "sail bags", and some prefer the traditional "Ratsey bags".
|The zip-top versions are good for tossing from boat to boat.|
|Good For Travel|
There are so many uses for these bags. Some uses include:
- As Luggage for Car Travel
- As an Inexpensive Pocketbook
- As Home Storage
- For the Grocery Store/ Markets
- For Hauling Firewood
- For Boat Re-Supply
- As a Baby Bag
- For Permanent Car Storage
- For Garden Tools
- For Gifts
|A thirty year old bag now used for wood.|
|A Bag for Storing Bags|
|Grocery Stores and Farmers Markets|
Most of the time I only have to spot-clean them with kitchen soap and a moderately abrasive scrubbing tool. I then rinse it under the faucet and put it in the sun to dry.
The canvas gets a bit discolored when wet (such as in the top picture), but dries clear. Eventually, when they get too dirty to appear in public I relegate them to a new position such as wood hauling.
|This could more easily be done in the bathtub, but there wouldn't be as many ducks.|
I buy them in all four of the sizes that they offer, some with open tops and some with zip tops. I have a few with long handles (necessary if you want to wear them over your shoulder), but most have the regular handles.
Twice a year L.L. Bean comes out with a handful of seasonal colors in addition to their "staple" colors, which include Blue (Navy), Dark Green, and Red. (I pretend that they don't offer Black.) They have had a run of great colors the last few springs. This is not the case this spring, with the only color I care for being Jadeite.
- Good trim colors over the years: Pink Berry, Wild Berry, Glen Green, Sky Blue, Cornflower Blue, Cirrus Blue, Cool Green, Pink Water Lily, Green Tea, Apple Green, Warm Pink, Wild Orchid and this year's Jadeite, which is good but not as good as Glen Green.
- Not my favorite trim colors: Ember, Snapdragon, Green Olive, Mulberry, Celestial Blue, Mango, True Teal and Cayenne.
|My bags in size Small - some with open tops and some with zip-tops, all with regular handles.|
A good, durable bag
L.L. Bean recently added this bag motif to their "Bootmobile" (shown here) and I can see why. This bag has many of the properties I most value. They are strong, durable, simple, flexible, a good value, and good looking. While there are plenty of alternatives, L.L. Bean's take on this classic design is my go-to choice; I believe it shows what happens when a company stays true to their heritage.
|Stretching the definition of "monogram" even further.|