I just got my new tweed totes from Cricut! I was so excited to get them that I drove almost an hour to my old neighborhood because this dingbat forgot to update her shipping profile on Cricut.com. 😉 Before I dive in, let's get the disclaimers out of the way: this review is in no way solicited by Cricut. I bought these myself and this is my unvarnished opinion. Also, I do use affiliate links, which you can learn more about via my disclosure link above. On to the fun stuff!
My first impression? Wow, these puppies are sturdy. Like, really sturdy. I've had so many different craft totes over the years and these are the first I've owned that make me confident that they'll protect my gear, not just haul it. The sides are rigid, so it's like you've got a pretty tweed box on wheels.
With that sturdiness comes weight, though. If you're looking for really light-weight storage, these are not for you. Once this rolling tote is loaded up, I'm a little worried about hefting it in and out of my car. But maybe I'm just a weakling. Time will tell!
You can buy the totes separately or in a bundle, which is discounted. And, if you have Cricut Access membership, you get 10% off! PLUS, check the end of my post to see if there's an additional discount or free shipping coupon.
Bottom line: I'm really glad I splurged on these! Two thumbs up. And I can't wait for my next crop so I can test them in a travel-crafting situation.
I've been lucky enough to find a group of women that I really enjoy crafting with. The only problem is that they're 45 minutes away. So on crop days, I need to schlep all my things across town. And I'm not the best about planning ahead, which means I usually end up scurrying around the same morning and tossing stuff in the back of my car. With this Machine Tote, I now have no doubt my beloved Explore will arrive safe and sound.
The machine is surrounded on all sides by thick padding. It's not going anywhere in this tote. Snug as a bug in a rug.
My only beef with the external pockets is that they aren't large enough for the power cable. I'm sure I could've crammed it in the pocket and forced the zipper shut, but I didn't want my pretty new tote all bulgy. You could separate the cable and they'd fit better, but then your cable would be in two pieces. So I stashed mine inside with the Explore.
The tote is designed to be stacked on the Rolling Tote like luggage. The strap that secures the tote to the roller handle is elastic. This is nice because I don't need two hands to unfasten and refasten a strap around it; but I worry that the elastic may lose its stretch over time. Again, time will tell.
This big guy comes with the same rigid sides as the Machine Tote, which is great for supporting the Machine Tote when you stack them together.
The second thing I noticed was the wheels. These things are big! Almost as big as my palm. Having worked in a luggage store for several years, I appreciate well-made wheels. A rolling tote that doesn't roll is just a pain-in-the-neck fancy box.
I was so excited about the wheels that I tried snapping them on the tote without really paying attention. Cue a few minutes of Three Stooge comedy and my wheels still weren't attached. Until I looked closer and noticed I was almost literally trying to cram a square peg in a round hole. Once you've got the pegs lined up, they snap on easy as pie.
This one has a lot of pockets–several on the outside and a couple of removable pockets on the inside. The removable pockets are perfect for pens, tools, scissors, and the like. The compartments are attached, so you won't be able to change up the configuration. However, the size and shape of each offer a fair bit of flexibility.
There's the padded pouch for a laptop (my 13″ Mac fits with room to spare). There's a 12″+ slot that's perfect for paper and mats. If you're a Close To My Heart fan, the small organization box fits in the smaller compartment and the medium box fits in the larger one. My ArtBin 12×12 paper box also fits in the compartment.
The side compartments are perfect for vinyl rolls. You fit about 5 in the small compartment, many more in the larger side compartment.
I noticed this little pouch on the lid and thought, “Now what the heck is this for?”
But when I realized it's to hold the tote open by hooking over the handle, I was, like, OMG! How clever!
Find pleasure in the little things, right? 🙂 Speaking of pleasure, I had to laugh when I pulled this image into the post—didn't realize I'd captured one of my favorite craft room TV shows in the background. I <3 Dean!
Do you have the totes? Let us know what you think of them! Or if you're thinking about getting them, I hoped this helped.
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