January 14, 2013

Review/Giveaway: RunRunRun Malibu Tote and Aspen Lunch Tote

I received my first RunRunRun bag as a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law. At first, I wasn’t sure what it was – some sort of tiny makeup kit, perhaps? But when I unsnapped the clasp, it folded out into a small beach bag / carryall. Cool! And of course, receiving something with a product name of RunRunRun was the perfect gift for me 🙂

Mmm I love how I look with no makeup on…

This bag really came in handy for me last night, when I was packing for the week. Well, not just one week, but two: instead of going back to NYC next weekend, I’m actually headed to Charleston to visit a good friend and run the Charleston Marathon. From there, I’ll be heading straight back to Dallas for another week of work. Therefore, I now had to pack 10 days worth of clothes (and marathon paraphernalia) into one carryon.

I actually have two carryon suitcases in my closet – one regulation-sized one (regulation-sized meaning basically the biggest one you can take and still fit into the sizer / overhead), and one much smaller hard shell case that’s incredibly lightweight. I’ve gotten really accustomed to using the hard shell, since it’s fine for the four day trips I usually take, but when I’m away longer, I usually upgrade to the larger carryon. (I can’t remember the last time I checked a bag – that only happens once every few years or so.) This time, though, I wondered – could I take the smaller carryon even though I was going to be gone for 10 days?

I was thrilled to find out that I could – and I will give some of the credit for that to the RunRunRun bag. While the Malibu Tote that I have expands to hold just about anything you could possibly need, it folds up to a tiny size of only about 3″x5″x1″ – very easy for me to toss into my carryon without using a lot of space. The snap closure of the Malibu tote helps to keep it that folded-up shape, and also doubles as a regular closure for the bag when fully opened.

You might think that this sort of transformable bag would be tacky, but it’s actually exactly the opposite: incredibly classy-looking, and I’ve received many compliments on it from just one weekend of carrying it around! The bag’s look is perfect for bopping around town or as a beach bag – ideal for my trip next month combining beach time in the Canary Islands with racing in the Sevilla Marathon. The brown leather closure and water-resistant material remind me of an elegant Longchamp bag – but with more fun patterns/colors to choose from, and at a much more reasonable price point ($22 vs $145). I’ve never owned a real Longchamp because of that prohibitive cost, and I find the RunRunRun bags to be great value.

Image courtesy of RunRunRun

Speaking of branding, one thing that struck me about the RunRunRun products right from the beginning was the logo tag on the inside of each bag. As mentioned before, I love that the company’s title is RunRunRun – how fun! But each bag also has a second secret tag on the inside, this one featuring a motivational mantra like “Cherish each moment”, “Live true to your beliefs,” or “Be Fearless.” Its location on the inside of the bag makes me feel like it’s my secret little inspiration, which is always fun. What a great way to be reminded of a compelling mantra as you’re going about your busy day! Each fabric design is associated with one of the mantras; the only downside for me, when shopping online, was having to take both fabric and mantra into account for my decision – too many choices 🙂

As a carry all that I’ve worn while walking around rainy NYC, I also really appreciate the bag’s water-resistant fabric – keeps my books and other stuff from getting wet! While the Malibu tote doesn’t have a zipper at the top (which would impede your ability to continually toss things in and cram it full, as we women are wont to do), another style I tried, the Aspen Lunch Tote, offers just that feature. (Note: as implied by the name, the Aspen Lunch Tote is an insulated bag meant to be used to keep your food cold during the day. However, I found that if you ignored the insulation on the inside, it worked great as an adorable purse, and the size was perfect for me to carry a book and water bottle while still looking chic and minimalist.)

But back to the Malibu Tote! Since I’ll be using this as a race bag, organization is also important to me – I am the queen of throwing everything into my bag and then having to dig around forever to find what I’m looking for. The Malibu tote bag solves that by offering two outer side pockets as well as four smaller inner pockets – great for storing a cell phone, keys, or wallet securely. The Aspen Lunch Tote, in contrast, doesn’t have any pockets – though it really doesn’t need them given its small size.

Overall, I’m very grateful to my sister-in-law for introducing me to the RunRunRun brand. And, I’m quite excited because now I get to introduce several of you to the brand as well! RunRunRun has generously offered several Malibu Totes for me to give away to readers – just in time for the upcoming spring (okay, fine, late winter) travel/racing season.

To enter, leave a comment telling me how you’d like to use a Malibu Tote and/or your favorite inspiring mantra. Bonus extra entry if you tweet about the entry using this link, and then leave a separate comment letting me know that you did so. Contest will run through Friday, January 18 at 5pm ET, at which time winners will be chosen by random drawing and announced on this page and on my latest post; winners will have one week to claim their prize. Contest entry is open to all residents of the US and Canada.

Winners have been chosen! Congratulations to #23 (Gabby @ Marathons and Macarons), #32 (Runner 26 @ Running Chronicles), and #16 (Kristin @ Running with the Runner Girl)! Please email me to claim your prize 🙂

Note: RunRunRun provided me with product samples for testing, as well as bags to give away to readers, but I received no other compensation for this review, nor was I pressured to write a positive review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.


34 thoughts on “Review/Giveaway: RunRunRun Malibu Tote and Aspen Lunch Tote”

  1. This tote is absolutely adorable. ANd very classy, I would not have thought it would fold. And ahhh Charleston, I have family there and lived downtown for a year while I went to school. Best city in the world (tied with NYC). As for that tote though. To carry all of baby girl’s stuff around. Because we can’t leave the house without a million toys for an hour

  2. These are awesome! I’d definitely use these for hauling my yoga clothes around – it would encourage me to do pre or post-work Refine … 🙂 As for my mantras, I range from the banal (one foot in front of the other), to the positive (you are strong, be strong), to the negative (STFU and Run!)

  3. I absolutely want this! What would I use it for you ask? Well for school, especially since I am in Cosmetology School I need a cute bag to haul my styling books and such in of course a cute fashion 🙂
    Fingers Crossed!!
    ~Stephanie T~

  4. I would love one of those bags… I rarely spend the weekend at my own apartment, instead going to my boyfriend’s place for a few days every week. Packing/repacking is tough when all I have to choose from is a giant duffel bag (way too much for just a weekend trip) or a smallish backpack (won’t fit everything I need). Plus, those bags look super cute!

  5. Thanks for introducing us to a great new company. I’ve just started swimming pretty regularly and I’d use the tote for going to the pool. I love that it has a bunch of pockets.

  6. Gym bag, Lunch Bag, Emergency Shopping bag…I looooove foldable bags! I’ll pack it with as much stuff as possible until I’m hobbling down Broadway with an extra 40lbs of ‘necessary’ stuff and repeating to myself ‘You’re stronger than you think you are” until I get home.

  7. I’d love to use it as a way to carry all my necessities to and from work. My purse is always so messy so I’d love a bag that would force me to be more organized.

  8. Wow i would love to win. I commute into work on a train every day and am always toting a myriad of stuff with me – lunch, purse, Kindle, etc….. seems like i could just toss it all into this one bag and be ready to go!

  9. Cute bag! With a toddler, there is SO much stuff I have to bring everywhere. This is a no brainer for me. I’d fill it with: sippy cups, snacks, books, toys, diapers, etc.

  10. I too travel quite frequently for work, and I love to bring an extra bag to use during my trip: to carry groceries (I always hit up the grocery store to stock up on produce), to tote my workout clothes and shoes to the office (so that I can stop at the running trail on my way back to the hotel), or to conceal purchases that I didn’t intend to buy (clothes from the mall located next to the hotel, random Target finds that are not available at home…). So this bag would be perfect!

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