October 3, 2005

Bugaboo-Hacking: Bag Clips For The Cameleon

bugaboo_bag_clips.gifI've gotten several emails from people asking the same question about the Bugaboo Cameleon: "Is it true there aren't any bag clips? Cuz that'd be a dealbreaker for us." My short reply is "Relax, it's true, but not that bad."

My longer answer is, I've figured out a couple of unofficial, unsanctioned, and [I'm sure] un-recommended workarounds--one's staring right up at you--that solve the bag clip problem. To spare the delicate populist and/or marxist sensibilities of some DT readers who may be offended by lengthy discussion of Bugaboo minutiae, I put them after the jump. On the other hand, if you've mastered the art of piling more caviar on those little toast points, and you're looking for a new way to improve your quality of life, click on.

I first heard in the spring that the bag clips were being discontinued, probably. If I count the number of times I've overloaded the bag clips--and since 8 lbs=only 2 2-liter bottles of Diet Coke, I'm still counting--and multiply times the number of actually irresponsible parents out there, then multiply that by the ridiculous litigation quotient, sheesh, I'm surprised anyone in this country even answers the phone without a lawyer, never mind selling an actual product.

Anyway, the Cameleon (and, I assume, the Gecko) aluminum handles have a narrower radius than the Frog, so old bag clips just dangle and fall off.

I experimented around to find a foam like the ergonomic handle foam with which to line the bag clip, so that it'd stay on and not slip around. The closest I could find was closed-cell neoprene, which comes in 12x12x0.25-inch sheets at Canal Rubber. It's dense, strong, light, and non-slip. And though it tears and punctures when it's loose, it's pretty resilient once it's glued in place.

The 1/4-inch thickness turns out to be just enough to resize the inside edge of the bag clip. I tested it by wrapping the sheet around the handle and attaching the clip [It was tight, and the sharp edge of the clip poked through it a couple of times going on.]

But then I cut a strip slightly larger than the inside of the clip, and glued it inside the clip with rubber cement [be sure to apply to both surfaces. a tube was $4.50; at this pace, that'll be a lifetime supply.] When it was dry, I cut the foam down with a box cutter, trying to make an inwaredly beveled edge. I cut down the foam under the clip ends especially short, just to make sure they'd go on and off without tearing.

The clips work as good as before, and I was able to overload them just as irresponsibly as with the Frog. I'm sure Bugaboo thinks this is a terrible idea and can't endorse, recommend, or even wink at it. And they'd be right. It's a bad idea. bad bad idea.

Anyway, the other, even simpler option doesn't involve tracking down some sure-to-become-rarer Frog clips on ebay. And while it doesn't help much for a diaper bag, it's perfect for shopping bags [if by "perfect" you mean "enables you to load an unacceptable amount of groceries on the handle, thereby increasing the risk of tipping the stroller backwards significantly"]: the repositioned brake could easily double as an ad hoc bag hook. Don't try this at home.

Ready to pull the trigger? Get yer Bugaboo at babystyle while their free shipping offer still stands.


odd...i got a set of bag clips for free from bugaboo because of some problems. it fits perfectly on my cameleon.

We got 2 velcro bag clips in Tokyo at a 100 yen plaza store (100 yen = 87 US cents). Fit any handle size including our Cameleon and don't slip. Can easily carry 5 bags each, only problem is the more weight you put on the handle bar, the higher chances to tilt when you get beyond baby's weight... That' where the Cameleon 5-way belts turn out to be very effective - trust me.

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