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ZWraps Reusable Beeswax Food Wraps review

REVIEW – We live on planet Earth. We are stewards of our world, and as it’s the only world that we have, we should probably take care of it.  In our culture, there’s a growing awareness that as individuals and families we should live a manner that damages the Earth as little as reasonably possible.  One way that we can do this is to reduce our usage of consumable items.  Instead of using plastic straws, we can use a stainless steel one.  Instead of cleaning with paper towels, we can clean with microfiber towels.  Instead of drinking water from disposable plastic bottles, we can drink from one that we wash and use again.

If your kitchen is like ours, you have a drawer that has several boxes in.  One box contains plastic wrap, another Ziploc bags, another sandwich bags, and so on.  Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a reusable product with which we could keep our food fresh instead of all this disposable plastic?  That’s exactly what the food wraps by ZWraps are for!

What is it?

ZWraps are all-natural, reusable food wraps designed to keep our food fresh.  They are cotton fabrics crafted with beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin.  They come in a variety of sizes from small (8×8 inches) to extra-large (16×26 inches) as well as a variety of designs, and all are handmade in the USA.

What’s in the box?

Each package contains one, two, or three wraps, depending upon which pack is purchased.  The back  and inside of the package contains instructions for use and cleaning.

Materials

The wraps are crafted with the following:

  • Beeswax – makes the wraps sticky
  • Jojoba Oil – keep the wraps soft
  • Tree Resin – helps it keep its seal

Design and features

First Impressions

Each wrap comes in a thin, cardboard package and is wrapped with plastic.  (Yes, it’s a bit ironic that a product designed to reduce disposable plastic comes in disposable plastic.)  When I first touched the wrap, I immediately noticed that it is sticky and leaves a slight, waxy residue upon my fingers.  This is, of course, by design, as they are made out of beeswax, but it is slightly disconcerting at first, as I’m used to plastic bags that are not sticky.  When I lay the wrap out on the counter, the wax gets on the counter as well.

Let me go ahead and point out the elephant in the room:  Whether or not you enjoy using a ZWrap will largely depend upon how you react to this stickiness.  You might go “ewwwww!” and choose to never touch one again.  You might, however, decide that it’s not really that big of a deal and get used to it.  Both my wife and I are in the “not a big deal” camp, and we are happy to use them. After sealing food with a wrap, I simply wash my hands and the counter with hot water, something I already should be doing when handling food.  It’s a very small price to pay for using this gadget.

The other thing I noticed is how attractive the various designs are.  They mostly come in greens and reds, a mix of patterns and stylistic artwork.  The ZWraps add some nice-looking color to our kitchen.

How to Use

The ZWraps are easy to use. If you’re wrapping food, lay the wrap flat on a counter, put the food in the middle, then wrap it up.

If you’re wrapping a container (or a bowl) that contains food, set the container on a counter, lay a wrap on top of the container, then fold down, and pressing the wrap against itself.  It helps to use a wrap that is a couple extra inches longer on all sides than the container. If the wrap isn’t sticking to itself very well, hold it for a few seconds and let the natural warmth of your hands seal it.

One note of caution: Do not use these wraps for raw meat or eggs.  They can contaminate the ZWraps, and there’s no good way to remove the contamination.

My wife and I have been testing the wraps with a variety of fresh food items, including breads, cheeses, fruit, and veggies.  Without exception, the ZWraps easily wrap around the food and seal it tight.  Here’s a canary melon from our garden that is sealed tight.

Four of our tests were especially rewarding.  One, we used the extra-large wrap on a fresh baguette that we bought at Lidl.  Typically we have to eat bread like this within one day, as it doesn’t stay fresh long.  After 2 days, however, the baguette was still perfectly fresh with no sign of getting hard.  This was a huge improvement!

Two, we used the medium wrap on an avocado.  Normally we have to eat an avocado as soon as we cut it open, as it will very quickly turn brown, become soft and squishy, and look most unappealing.  After 24 hours wrapped with a ZWrap, it was only mildly brown, still (relatively) firm, and was good enough to eat.  We were surprised and very pleased!

Three, I picked some fresh basil from our garden, rinsed it, then ZWrap’d it and put it into the fridge. I opened it back up three days later, and the leaves were fresh as could be.

Four, we peeled a carrot, wrapped it, then put it in the fridge.  Four days later, I could find only the slightest signs of browning.  It’s ready to eat.

It’s clear to us that not only are ZWraps great for our environment, they are also great at keeping food fresh.

How to Clean

ZWraps are unique items, so they need to be taken care of in a special manner.  They can’t be washed with hot water, nor can they be used in an oven or a microwave; naturally the heat would melt the wax and ruin the wrap. The best way to clean them is to lay them flat and wash with cool, soapy water; to dry, spread them out over a flat surface, perhaps a cutting board, but do not wring them out.  To store them, roll them up and put in a basket or a canning jar, anywhere that is cool and dry.  ZWraps estimates that a wrap should last 100 washes, which is usually 6 to 12 month.

If you’re looking for more information about how to use or take care of a ZWrap, their website has an informative set of videos.

What I like

  • Reusable wrap instead of disposable plastic
  • Bright and cheery designs
  • Keeps bread and veggies super fresh

What I’d change

  • Nothing

Final thoughts

I’m a big fan of being good stewards of our planet, so I like what ZWraps is doing.  My wife and I really like their wraps, and we really, really like the way they keep fresh those foods that normally spoil quickly.  If you are at all interested in reducing the amount of disposable plastic that you use, I recommend purchasing one medium or large ZWraps to start out.  This will give you a chance to test it out and see for yourself.  If you like it, then you can buy as many others as you need.

Price:  From $7.50 (small) to $22.50 (for a multi-pack)

Where to buy:  ZWraps online store or Amazon.  The ZWraps website also has a store locator, if you want to purchase locally.

Source: The sample for this review was provided by ZWraps.

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ZWraps Reusable Beeswax Food Wraps review originally appeared on The Gadgeteer on August 31, 2019 at 9:30 am.

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NASA will test quiet supersonic jet using 30-mile-long microphone array

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Inateck Backpack and Laptop Sleeve review

REVIEW – I’m all about finding sneaky bargains. And let’s be real: you don’t always need a high-end bag to get the job done. Today I’m checking a pair of wallet-friendly offerings from Inateck in their backpack and laptop sleeve. You can get both for under 50 bucks. Is the bargain price worth the investment? To the review!

What is it?

It’s a basic laptop backpack with a built-in USB port, and a Laptop Sleeve for your 13″ laptop. Note that these are separate purchases, not sold in a bundle.

Hardware specs

The Backpack:

  • 16″ by 11″ by 6.3″
  • 1.94 pounds
  • Laptop pocket fits up to a 15″ MacBook Pro or 14″ laptop
  • Tablet pocket fits 11″ iPad Pro
  • 600D Polyester build

The Laptop Sleeve:

  • 12″ by 8.46″ by 0.78″
  • Fits a 13″ MacBook Pro (after 2015) or similarly sized devices
  • Polyester & cotton build

Design and features

Inateck is a brand that makes carry products and electronic accessories for those shopping on a budget. It’s inevitable that you’ll see some compromises at this price point, but the gear I’m checking out does a pretty good job of making it work. We’ll check out the backpack first, then the laptop sleeve.

The Backpack

Simple, straightforward functionality is the name of the game with the Inateck backpack. The primary material is 600D polyester with soft cotton padding to protect your goods. There’s nothing fancy in the styling… basic black is the color scheme, which works just fine for a trip to the office. Here’s a shot of the basic profile:

You’ll get an elastic pocket on each side for water bottles and such. It won’t expand for bigger hydration bottles, but my narrow beastie fits in there just fine.

There’s a nice, big “secret” stash pocket that runs the width of the back panel. It measures 6″ deep by about 7.5″ long, and has a light grey vinyl lining so you can see your stuff. A nice bonus feature, but keep in mind that lumpy items will sit right on your lower lumbar area.

A generous 10″ by 9″ front pocket, also lined with that grey vinyl, sits on the front face of the bag. There’s an organizer in there for pens and whatnots. Basic, but also very functional.

The double grab handles have a wee bit of padding, and snap together with a loop of vinyl and a button clasp. This will secure the top flap, and the 600D polyester offers water resistance to keep your electronics from taking a bath.

That top flap is secured with a strip of no-frills velcro, and doubles as another storage pocket that also generously sized at 5″ by 9″. The inclusion of textured zipper pulls is a nice feature for a bag in this price range.

 

You’ll get to the main compartment through a pair of zips on the top of the bag, where things are also kept simple and straightforward. A padded sleeve will take a 15″ MacBook Pro or a 14″ laptop, while a second padded sleeve houses your tablet. A bit of vinyl and velcro secures these pockets. You’ll also find a pair of no-nonsense 5″ by 7″ stash pockets on the rear of the front face for cables and whatnot.

Everything is pretty simple at this point, but there’s a neat twist in the design. You’ll find an elastic pocket on the side with a built-in USB cable. Stuff your portable charger in that pocket and connect the cable…

… and you’ll power up the USB port on the outside of the bag! That port is also hooded, so you won’t fry your cable if you get a bit of the wet stuff.

This means that you can charge your phone or other devices on the go. I have a 3 foot USB cable that I use to charge my iPhone, and it’s a nice surprise to have this feature built-in when I am on the run.

Your carry harness is basic stuff. Cotton padded straps with a bit of breathable material on the backside, a few loops and a D-ring for attachment points, and that’s that. It feels just fine to carry if you’re going light. Note that the bag doesn’t have any frame or structure, so heavy loads or unusually shaped items can become a chore. It works just fine for simple commuting duties.

Here’s the beastie on your Humble Reviewer’s 5’10” frame.

Side view to get a better look at the profile. Slim profile, conservative black look… For a work bag, it does the job nicely.

Overall it’s just fine as a daily commuter. The build quality is OK, and I don’t know that it will hold up to heavy abuse. The laptop padding is rather thin, and offers no additional impact resistance. But it will get you from point-to-point with a very functional layout that presents no drama.

The Laptop Sleeve

The laptop sleeve is a similar story with respect to materials. The polyester external fabric has a nice grey heathered pattern that dresses it up as you dash between meetings.

Your 13″ laptop or tablet is protected by a soft cotton padded lining against bumps and bruises. Those little bumpers prevent scratching as you pull your machine in and out.

Here’s my 13″ MacBook Pro. It fits like a glove!

You’ll also get a generous front pocket for stashing a small notebook, cables, or your phone.

The sleeve is straightforward and simple, which I like quite a bit. Sometimes these sleeves get too complicated with business card slots, pen holders, and little pockets for accessories that you may or may not need. For my primary use, which is running between meetings, it does a fine job of collecting the extra stuff and leaving a hand free for my coffee. And that ain’t a bad thing.

One other note on the laptop sleeve: this is not made to be integrated with the backpack, and won’t fit in the laptop slot. You’ll need to store it in the main area of the bag.

What I like

  • Simple, drama-free layout and organization.
  • Generous pocket sizes for your gear.
  • Work-friendly color schemes.
  • USB port is a surprise bonus feature at this price point.
  • Bargain pricing gets you simple, basic functionality.

What needs to be improved

  • Build quality is OK and probably won’t hold up to extended heavy abuse.
  • Bottle pockets on the backpack could be larger.
  • Protection for your laptop is OK.

Final thoughts

The Inateck Backpack and Laptop sleeve are worth your consideration if you need something cheap and simple. But know that you’re compromising a lot with respect to durability, carry comfort, and laptop protection at this price point. If these two items were designed as an integrated unit (with the laptop sleeve being removable), it would solve a lot of problems with respect to protecting your laptop. But the USB port is a nice plus, and it the backpack will be just fine for light commuting. They do the best they can at a bargain price. Just don’t expect this to be a 10-year bag.

Price: Backpack price is $29.99 on Amazon Prime. The laptop sleeve is $17.99, also on Amazon Prime.
Where to buy: Get to Amazon for the Backpack or the Laptop Sleeve.
Source: The sample of this product was provided by Inateck.

Filed in categories: Reviews

Tagged: ,

Inateck Backpack and Laptop Sleeve review originally appeared on The Gadgeteer on August 31, 2019 at 8:30 am.

Note: If you are subscribed to this feed through FeedBurner, please switch to our native feed URL http://the-gadgeteer.com/feed/ in order to ensure continuous delivery.