A-[diaper bag]-hunting we will go


So last week when I dug into L’s Skip Hop Dash Deluxe diaper bag to take out some of his spare clothing, I realized that I just couldn’t get to the zipper pocket. It wouldn’t open!!  Dash it all! But look! The zipper toggle was broken. D’uh. Nothing a little piece of twine or so can’t fix. But what better time to re-evaluate our diaper bag situation? The Dash Deluxe has been awesome, but it is getting to be slightly small for our cloth diapering family. I always have to carry extra stuff on the side and since the bag closes with a magnetic closure rather than zippers, it always feels like it is overspilling. Hence the need to take a look at what we are looking for in our next diaper bag:

  1. Larger size. Current bag specs are 12.2 x 4.2 x 11.5 inches ; 1.8 pounds.
  2. Lots of pockets
  3. Zipper closures (as opposed to velcro. The main closure should preferably be zippered. Side closures can be magnetic)
  4. Outside pockets for water bottles (one for mommy and one for baby)
  5. Pocket for roomy changing pad
  6. Both girl- and guy-friendly print or solid so that T won’t be embarrassed if he has to carry this bag anywhere.
  7. Durable material

I’d think that most everyone would want qualities like these in a diaper bag, but apparently “small diaper bags are in” and it is easier said than done to find a bag that meets all of these specifications.  I’m a practical kind of person and the most recent world of diaper bags delves into the ultra fashionable rather than the most façonnable.  I contacted the wonderful women at Layla Grace who helped me pinpoint a few bags that may meet our needs. While the gorgeous “Cake” models from Petunia Pickle Bottom look absolutely fantastically yummy, I openly acknowledge that they are WAAAAAY out of range and won’t even mention their pricing. Suffice to say that it won’t work out between me and PPB Cake.  Plus, realistically, I hate “tote” bags. They always fall off my shoulder. When walking around I always prefer messenger bags or backpacks: So I have added another criterion:

  • Must be a messenger bag. (This would be most amenable to both my and T’s needs)

So I’d appreciate any guidance people have to offer. I’ve heard of friends who cloth diaper (thank you N!!!) who use backpacks and love them, but I would prefer a more traditional diaper bag because I like the messenger style and because our strollers are a single bar across a regular backpack wouldn’t work well for us.  Note to everyone: most stroller companies do NOT recommend hanging a diaper bag off the edge. But for practical purposes, this does happen at times so I’d rather be prepared for the situation.

Here are some of the bags we are considering:


Ju Ju Be BFF
14 x 6 x 12 inches, 2.6 pounds shipped

This looks like a pretty nice bag with lots of pockets and so far it seems to be a race between the BFF and the Be Prepared in terms of deciding which bag us for us.

The inside of the BFF

 

Just look how snazzy it is when you open the bag! Looks pretty roomy and I like the jazzy red color which should make it a piece of cake to see what is inside. Size-wise this looks comparable to our current diaper bag, maybe slightly bigger. I am hoping that the next diaper bag we get will have lots of storage space so the Be Prepared is edging out the BFF slightly for me right now, but I like the functionality of the BFF and am suspicious whether the Be prepared will be just. plain. too. big. See below . . .


Ju Ju Be Be Prepared
18.5 x 6.5 x 14 inches, 3.3 pounds

This isy favorite bag of the pack so far.  Expensive at $180 but looks nice and huge . . may be a nice gift to ask for one day?  The biggest battle we’ve had with our diaper bag is having it be completely and totally overfilled as my contents for daily use are generally numerous and usually includes a change of clothes, some cloth and disposable diapers, a water bottle for me and for baby, 2 pacifiers, a toy, a book, my feeding cover, snacks, plastic bags, sanitizer, diaper cream, and two burp cloths. Now that it is winter we are also putting our baby’s winter coat into the bag as well as a spare blanket.

Why do I find this bag so darn cool? Check this out! Such nice wide pockets that flap open for great visibility.  Looks like a dream come true for this packing maven!

The Main Pocket: Be Prepared

What else does this mommy think she likes? Read on . . ..


OiOi Messenger Bag
13.5 x 15 x 6 inches ; 2 pounds

With an ultra-cute print that could potentially be both Mommy and Daddy-friendly (for some reason T doesn’t like hot pink flowers everywhere . . .and neither do I!), this bag looked like a winner. It looks a bit bigger than my Dash Deluxe according to the specs, so this was potentially a winner, but people stlll comment on the size being too small. A pro is that it has the Side Pockets I’m looking for, but it looks like it is missing  front mommy pockets, which are generally helpful for all the random stuff I carry for the baby.  The small inner zipper pocket isn’t big enough for me and as the size of the bag is again only slightly bigger than my current one, it may overall be too small.


Bumble Collection Erica Carryall
16 x 5 x 11.5 inches ; 2 pounds

The Bumble collection has beautiful bags that appear roomy and nice, with gentle appearing changing mats and lots of pockets and while recommendations call for spot cleaning, it is machine washable on a gentle cycle, which is great for stains. The only downside seems to be the interior pull and go pocket wall which most readers on Amazon complain is the only negative feature of the bag.  I am also not as sure about the colors; they may not be very husband friendly, so that may be a deal breaker with this bag.

Bumble Collection Camille Bag
13.5 x 6 x 14 inches

A new addition to the Bumble collection can be held as a tote, a messenger bag, and has a zipper pocket at the bottom. But because the bag is newly released there don’t seem to be any reviews available. The zipper top opening feature seems really nice and it apparently has a wallet-style organizer in the front, and that bottom pocket shown is apparently for wet bags and for the changing pad, to keep it away from the rest of the diaper bag.  Not bad, not bad.  But I wish that there were reviews or a place where I could view the bag in person! The reviews on the bump seem to be positive.

 J.J. Cole Myla Bag
15.5″ x 8″ x 12″

An attractive looking diaper bag, this one also boasts a decent size for being a “boutique” style bag.  It has the side pockets I’m looking for and a pretty design, which may not be too daddy friendly, though.  I like the look and size. Not sure how I feel about the turn closure for the front of the bag.  It is definitely convenient, but not the zip I’m looking for.  I wish there were more reviews, but this is another super new bag for which video overviews are not yet available.  Apparently this is a popular new bag for the holiday season.



Timi and Leslie Felicity 2-in-1 and Tag-along

These are both very pretty bags with nice pockets, but reviews on Amazon bemoan that the bags are not durable.  Not a promising prospect for me given that I give my current diaper bag quite a beating! These may not be the bag for me.

The “elephant in the room” is the general Petunia Pickle Bottom brands including the Abundance Day Pack, which is a behemoth-type bag I may be looking for with dimensions  17″ x 13.5″ x 5.5″.  It has a built in changing station and is overall a very attractive looking bag. I can’t figure out if this would be the bag for me. I’d like to see the lines of Petunia Pickle Bottom bags in stores to see what I think of them.  I”m not a fan of the velcro opening feature. Seems like a good convenience but I think I’d find the noise startling.

What to choose? What to choose?

About

A pediatrician. Now turned first-time mom. Venting and giving you all the wisdom I acquire over the days . . .

Posted in Baby, Cloth Diapering, Product Reviews Tagged with: , , , , , ,
2 comments on “A-[diaper bag]-hunting we will go
  1. Chelsea says:

    You should check out petunia pickle bottom boxy backpacks. I have one, and am also a cloth diapering DR. Mom 🙂

    • SingingDoc says:

      Thanks for the suggestion! I saw the regular PPB bags at the store and ended up deciding against them because of cost. I’m concerned the bag will get messed up since it’s a diaper bag and we will be taking it to India, so I didn’t want to take chances on a really pretty one that could get damaged en route. We got both JuJuBe Bags mailed to us but the Be Prepared was WAAAY too bog anmd the BFF was too small, plus they are pricey, so they got returned. I just placed an order for the Lands End Do-It-All Diaper bag that has a nice gender neutral coloring and isn’t too expensive and it opens – incidentally – like a doctor’s bag. Not sure how the quality will be because people say that the older version was much nicer, but I figure that for $40 it will at least work for us for awhile!