Yes, Amazon gift bags have handles now

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As skeptical as I am of Amazon the company, it knows its packaging. Its paper-tape cardboard boxes are wonderfully easy to rip apart for recycling, its paper mailers are promising (though missing firm commitment), and its gift bags are far too good to toss in the trash. Especially these new blue bags with integrated shopping bag handles.

We just got three of them in the mail for my daughter’s birthday. Was this some sort of experiment? Nope! They’re legit, Amazon spokesperson Nicole Pampe confirms to The Verge. The new gift bags with handles are available in both the US and EU.

“We’re pleased to offer customers a convenient way to wrap various sizes of gifts in our store, including our new medium-sized gift bags with handles. The gift bags are made from 100% recycled material, and can be reused for future wrapping, storage or other uses,” Amazon writes.

Three gift bags, with handles.
Photo by Sean Hollister / The Verge

Pampe writes that Amazon technically began adding handles this past holiday season to the medium-sized bags, but we didn’t see them on any of the holiday gifts we gave or received, and I haven’t seen anyone writing about them yet.

They’re nice! Pretty much the same as Amazon’s classic bags, but now with some strong fabric reusable-grocery-bag-esque handles sewn onto the inside of the bag. They’ve still got the dual drawstrings, and you can just stuff the handles down inside the bag if you prefer the classic giftbag look.

Amazon’s classic bags, for comparison.
Image: Amazon

I gave the handles a good yank, and was definitely able to pull a stitch loose when I pulled in opposite directions, hard, but they seem just as durable as all the reusable recycled fabric grocery bags we have stuffed in the back of the car.

The handles are long enough we can sling them over one or both shoulders as an impromptu purse or backpack. Perhaps the best part, though, is that they don’t have quite as much of a Christmas ornament feel as the company’s previous bags. Depending on the light, the blue tinsel pattern almost blends in.

Would I pay the $4 for one myself? Nah. But when we get gifted some, we probably won’t just stick ‘em in the closet anymore. There are all kinds of jobs for a strong fabric bag with handles, particularly one we’ll be happy to give away or shred in the process. Distributing leftovers after a potluck? My daughter’s Girl Scout cookie deliveries? I’ll def be taking one along the next time I do a crawl under the house.

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