It s classic holiday dilemma. You've found a free lounger on the beach. The sun is shining and all you want to do is lie back and relax with your eyes shut -but what if someone snatches your beach bag?
A busy buffet restaurant. What do you do? Leave your bag under the table? Leave one person behind to guard the bags or carry it and try to awkwardly balance food and bag.
Nowadays with so many people owning small but high-value tech items the temptation for thieves to grab your bag is so much higher as they know you could well be carrying hundreds of pounds worth of saleable gadgetry in your bag. Smart phones, iPods, Kindles and other e-readers, tablet computers.
In fact a recent survey of insurance companies revealed that the average beach bag contains £500 worth of stuff -long gone are the days when you just took a paperback, towel and suncream to the beach.
Thieves often use the tactic of bending down near a bag pretending to tie their shoelace - they drop their towel over your bag then pick up the whole lot and make off.
I often end up carrying the whole family's stash of tech so grabbing my bag probably would be quite lucrative which is why I'm always the one left on the beach with the handle of my bag looped round one arm trying not to fall asleep while everyone else is splashing about in the sparkling sea.
Thankfully two women have found a stylish solution to this problem, designing a range of bags which aim to beat the thieves.
Their inspiration came after a holiday to The Canaries when they were involved in not one but two
bag-snatch incidents leaving them sitting on the beach watching how other people dealt with looking after their bags. They heard lots of people asking their companions to "watch my bag" and realised someone had to come up with a more convenient solution.
The result - the Cuff Clip bag which can be attached to any solid object such as a sun bed or parasol via a slash resistant KEVLAR® cuff that is concealed inside a small side pocket.
A sturdy 3 digit combination lock snaps the cuff in place securing your valuables with the added bonus of not having to worry about losing a key. The cuff is then protected by an adjustable sleeve that hides the lock whilst in use.
The bag can also be fastened to a table leg when in a restaurant eliminating any worries that a thief could snatch your bag there. With the added feature of a top combination lock attached to the interlocking zip it also secures your valuables during sightseeing, shopping or sangria sessions.
The Cuff Clip bag range includes different bag styles, designs and colour schemes. I was torn between the very sensible and practical Pakkman ruck-sack and the colourful canvas Rustic Boho beach bag. No prizes for guessing which one I went for.....
The Boho was bigger than I expected- a good beach bag size without being too cumbersome. Since I was hoping to use it as a handbag a I was initially worried it was too big for this purpose. My daughters however immediately put my mind at rest admiring the bag and assuring me it wasn't too big. It would make a good bag for an overnight stay too or as a gym bag. Assuming of course I would ever go to the gym!
Part of the reason I chose the Rustic Boho design (apart from loving the fabric) was because I like to carry my bags in different ways - on my arm, over my shoulder and with my hand. The Rustic Boho allows all of these options with comfortable handles and a shoulder strap which particularly impressed me with sturdy clips to attach it to the bag and a wide comfortable quality webbing strap.
It has a small front pocket and a huge interior with a chunky zip, large tags to pull the zip open and closed and of course the optional padlock to make it ultra-secure. The bag opens wide with the whole of the brown PU area opening up making to easy to stuff in towels, flip-flops or even a smaller handbag if you wanted to use it as your airline carry-on bag.
That was my only slight disappointment with the bag - the fact that the leather-look areas of it are made from PU not leather but I guess that's to make the bags affordable so quite understandable. You'd have to look closely to spot the difference.
I think a Cuff Clip bag is a must-have for beach holidays but would be a useful investment for anyone who worries about bag security in restaurants, bars, on trains (it would fix beautifully to the tubular overhead luggage racks), beaches, theme parks, playgrounds, spas.... well anywhere you can find something secure to attach it to.
Disclaimer: I was sent a Rustic Boho Cuff Clip bag free (RRP £44.99) for the purposes of this honest review. Views and opinions are my own.
You can view the range and order securely online here.