In the very best of times, going to the grocery store can be a bit chaotic — a word that now doesn’t begin to describe the experience. Trying not to touch anything more than is absolutely necessary, while simultaneously attempting to procure as much as humanly possible, has become something of an art form. If you’re looking for a way to streamline the whole stressful process, here’s an idea: Get yourself a Hulken bag, a true marvel of Swiss design.
The Hulken is a lightweight yet sturdy, collapsible bag that comes in three sizes (small, large, and extra large). Its set of four powerful little stainless-steel wheels, which swivel 360 degrees, make it extremely easy to pull alongside or behind you on any surface, even uneven pavement. Made of an ultrastrong polypropylene material (put colloquially: It’s sort of like an Ikea bag on steroids), the largest Hulken bag measures three feet tall, weighs about four pounds when empty, and can be folded almost completely flat for storage under your bed or in a car trunk.
Every Hulken bag is safe to carry groceries in — the interior is made of nontoxic, food-grade material. The bag also has five separate (unbreakable) handles — three meant for pulling, and two meant for lifting — allowing you to move nimbly between dragging it along, slinging it over your shoulder, or lifting it over a curb or up a flight of stairs. Hulken says its extra-large bag can schlep up to 66 pounds, but I’ve loaded mine with close to 100 pounds of groceries and supplies (including 16 bottles of wine!), and, filled to the absolute brim, it still rolled along the sidewalk home as smoothly as ever. The open-top design also means you can fill it up with stuff that well exceeds its height, like paper towels.
The bag is also extremely easy to clean — all you have to do is wipe it down with a sponge or a disinfecting wipe. And, vitally, using the Hulken bag at the grocery store (or pharmacy or deli) means you don’t have to go near the germy shopping carts. It also eliminates the need for multiple trips to the store. It’s big enough that you can grab most, if not all, of your necessities at once. I used my shiny spaceship-silver one on a trip to the market last week, and there was so much pointing and commenting that I got a small taste of what it must be like to be a celebrity — and was forced to politely step back and answer from afar when people approached to ask me where it was from.
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