Review: Boon’s Animal Bag Storage for Stuffed Animals

The Animal Bag by Boon is a bean bag chair without beans. No foam filler. It’s an innovative solution for stuffed animal storage and containment. By “innovative” I mean to say, why didn’t someone think of this sooner?

Photo of my daughter and a friend sitting on our Boon Animal Bag, with my daughter smiling wide.

Notice some of the empty storage bins in the background that used to house stuffed animals.

The bag is plush polyester with transparent mesh windows that zipper open for insertion of stuffed animals. It comes in four styles; this review covers the smallest version, Oval. It is sold in green and, soon, pink. It can be machine washed and line dried.

What struck me first upon opening the product box were the mesh windows. They are quite a bit thicker and more durable than I expected. And yet, the mesh is breathable, as it would need to be for safety reasons.

There are three windows spread on opposing sides of the bag which means when it’s time to retrieve an animal, there is a window easily accessible, rather than having to flip the bag over. The windows zip closed with T-shaped handles that are easy for my 2.8-year-old daughter to manipulate.

The official product dimensions are 26″ x 19″ x 30″, though they will vary based on your animal collection.

I was a little concerned a couple months ago when I saw before and after photos of the Animal Bag on the Spilling the Beans blog. Sheri Gurock shared photos of her daughter’s stuffed animal collection that didn’t quite fill out a larger-size Otto Animal Bag.

However, as Sheri pointed out, a bag with spare room is a bag that has room to grow. I’ve included my own before and after photos of my daughter’s meager animal collection below. My concern dissolved as I came to four conclusions.

  1. Kids collect stuffed animals for quite a while, especially girls. I haven’t see the base of the iceberg yet.
  2. With our bag a little over halfway filled, it’s already a great, usable thickness.
  3. Blankets or pillows can fill out the bag if needed, though they really aren’t needed. This is a good idea for a boy 10 years from now when he purges his animal collection, but still wants a bean bag chair.
  4. The Animal Bag is my last, best hope for curbing unrestrained stuffed animal proliferation in my home.

When it comes to stuffed animals, I think about Dr. McCoy speaking in the Star Trek episode The Trouble with Tribbles when he said, “The nearest thing that I can figure is that they’re born pregnant.”

(I also think of Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: First Contact angrily saying, “The line must be drawn here! This far, no further!”)

When parent’s aren’t buying stuffed animals for their kids, the kids are receiving them from relatives, at birthdays and on holidays. The ground rule in my home will be, “You can have as many animals as you like, but they must fit in the Animal Bag.” It will be healthy for my Little Miss to judge and decide which old animals must make way for her interest of the day.

The bag is intended for 2-years-and-up. Babies risk suffocation on any soft malleable surface (even nursing pillows). If you’re like me and cannot wait to buy cool stuff well in advance of your child’s years (you should see my Lego collection), it’s good to note that the Oval box stores well at 14.5″x10″x5x3″. It’s as thick as a couple board game boxes, but a bit shorter in length.

The Oval retails for around $60, which is spot on average price for a traditional bean bag chair that you keep around until it starts leaking foam pellets. See, when a kid plops down on a bean bag chair the air inside is forcibly pushed out one way or another. I suspect you avoid that issue entirely with the Animal Bag because it has three huge mesh windows for air flow.

Wow, I didn’t know where was this much to say about such a simple product. In short, Boon’s Animal Bag looks cool when you first see it online, and it doesn’t disappoint once you bring it home.

Animal Bags styles:

  • Oval—The smallest bag, described in this review.
  • Otto—An Oval with attached ottoman.
  • Trio—Three conjoined circles.
  • Trio Elite—(coming soon) Three conjoined circles with a shag rug exterior. Sweet!

More links:

Photo of our entire stuffed animal collection laid out neatly on the floor.

If you don’t think you have these many animals, try assembling them for a group photo.  And no, that big girl doll did not come with that dress.

Photo of the Boon bag.

The bag looks fuller before kids sit on it.

Photo of  an alarmed plush dog looking out an open mesh window in the Boon bag.

Wait a minute, what’s going on? What are you doing?

Close-up photo of  an alarmed plush dog and plush rabbit looking out an open mesh window in the Boon bag.

The kid has gone crazy. You’ve got to get me out of here!

My daughter and her friend stuffing a life-size girl doll into the Boon bag, with their hands pushing the doll's face inside.

Do not use the Boon Animal Bag for cleaning up a crime scene.

Photo of my daughter's friend zipping up the Boon bag.

So easy a toddler could do it.

A close-up photo of a toddler's hand pulling the zipper handle on the Boon bag.

Close-up of the zipper grip.

Comments

4 Responses to “Review: Boon’s Animal Bag Storage for Stuffed Animals”

  1. Asha says:

    Excellent review, as always, AJ. And grew up watching Trek (and watched all the recent series versions as well) and so appreciated the references here.

    March 5th, 2007 at 9:46 am

  2. Sandy says:

    I have one question. Does it attract and cling to dog hair? It looks like it would. I’ve avoided buying it for that reason.

    Also, you have a very small pile of stuffed animals there! We have probably 4 times as much as you. Mostly my fault… I love them and still want to buy whatever cute ones I see.

    March 6th, 2007 at 12:17 pm

  3. AJ says:

    Sandy, I have two cats. They haven’t taken an interest in the Animal Bag yet, but I’ll *guess* that it would retain as much animal hair as any other plush object. That is to say, if your dog chooses the bag as its new sleeping chair, then you’ll find hair there.

    I have a long futon ottoman in a bedroom that our cats love to sit on. We keep it covered with a blanket. When the fur deposits grow, we wash the blanket. The Animal Bag is listed as machine washable. I don’t know that the manufacturer had frequent washings in mind, but I personally wouldn’t mind washing my Animal Bag on delicate and line drying. You might also want to invest in a dog bed.

    March 6th, 2007 at 8:04 pm

  4. bethany actually says:

    AJ, I’ve been meaning to come back here and add my two cents. My mom bought the green oval Animal Bag for my daughter’s birthday in May, and it’s been fantastic! I felt like she had so many stuffed animals that we would have to get rid of some, but they all fit easily in the bag with plenty of room to spare, and my daughter loves sitting on it to read. I highly recommend this to anyone with limited space and lots of stuffed animals.

    July 23rd, 2007 at 7:58 am