Freak-O-Bag portable reusable bagI’ve seen my neighbor’s tween struggling with a full school backpack, so I may have to play Santa and pass a Freak-O-Bag her way for those days when a few extra books threaten to topple her onto her back.

Now, even my mom knows how smart it is to keep a portable reusable bag folded up and clipped to her pocketbook, but trust me, these are no grandma shopping bags. Instead, the Freak-O-Bag normally looks like a little creature dangling from wherever it is clipped. But, when needed, the “pets” transform into a generous 16″x16″ reusable tote.

The original fair trade reusable bags were made by the Koonin family in Thaliand with colorful button eyes and teeny-tiny bodies. Now, there are silk screened styles designed by North Carolina’s Julie Armbruster and sewn at North Carolina’s Opportunity Threads. Don’t stress over which of them to choose though; all of them are cool enough that even a tween who’d never be caught dead carrying something as practical as a reusable shopping bag will be impressed that you were cool enough to find her this one. -Christina

Over 10 different Freak-O-Bags are available at

Congratulations to Amy H., lucky winner of a Koonin Family Freak-O-Bag of her choice!

Find more great holiday gifts for teens and tweens in the 2009 Cool Mom Picks Holiday Gift Guide!