Most helpful critical review
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Nice duffel - but SMELLY!
on April 10, 2013
I actually ordered two of these to take on a family trip to Florida. We were planing on putting these on the roof of our car in the luggage rack. When the package was opened I could not believe the smell - nearly a stench! It was a strong sweet sickly plastic chemical smell. Understand that I am not one who writes these reviews much, but I feel compelled to writhe this one. When I say it was a strong smell - I mean it - the whole house stunk like these bags in a matter of minutes. Put your face into the bag and it will gag you. Put your clothes in this and they will likely stink too!
I was initially prepared to return these to Amazon but they are pretty nice bags and I actually like them very much. I read a few other reviews (too late) and saw reports on what folks did to remedy this and then I set to work. First I stole some of my teenagers Axe body wash and fixed up a huge batch of hot soapy water, Then I took them into the garage and scrubbed them like they did in the olden days of laundry. Rinsed them again in warm water, and hung them up to drip dry. Now they smelled like a teenage boy in heat that was dipped in some kind of industrial chemical vat! Better, but still not good enough to put any clothes in. Two weeks outside on the porch is what finally did the trick. These things need to be aired out for a very long time!
The bags themselves are well made I believe (the wonders of modern chemistry!), and if it weren't for the stench initially, I would have given them 4-5 stars. They are HUGE - really HUGE bags and easily hold two weeks worth of clothes and supplies. Good hand holds, durable fabrics, and quality zippers. Colors are vibrant and after washing and weathering, still the colors were bold. I don't think they are as waterproof as they are advertised, maybe because of the washing I did, but they did not shed water like I had hoped.
If you buy one of these bags you will be impressed with the quality of the materials and workmanship, but plan on airing them out and scrubbing off the chemical stench. MINIMUM TWO WEEKS OUTSIDE IN THE ELEMENTS TO MAKE THESE USABLE!
My heart goes out to the poor people who work in the factory that produces these bags - I cannot imagine living with this smell all the time! The place that makes these bags likely has a hole in the ozone directly above it.
I hope this helps some of you.