Function vs Style: Diaper bags

Monday, May 26, 2014

Don't we all wish we could look as fab as this mom-on-the-go?  Super high wedges, an all-white outfit... but realistically how long do you think she was carrying that chunky kid before she put him into an ugly stroller or he smeared ketchup on her dress and the look suddenly changed?  That said, it does look like she has a large tote that could really fit a lot of diaper bag essentials. 
Now that Baby Lucy has arrived, I've finally decided I need to upgrade my diaper bag to something more proper.  I generally hate the look of a diaper bag - too many pockets, not well designed from an aethetic standpoint and so many of them have juvenile patterns and scream "baby!" or "diaper bag!". Even though I mock the mom in the above photo, I can't say I don't aspire to that sort of effortless stylish ease.  So, for the past two and half years, in an effort to not carry a diaper bag,  I have been surviving with various totes, purses, and carry-ons that mostly did the job but had a lot lacking as well.  Many didn't have side pockets for sippy cups and bottles which made spillage a potential issue.  A lot of them had one large central pocket so things would get lost and were impossible to find (which meant wads of receipts, toy cars, and old gold fish swimming at the bottom).

With one child in diapers and one semi-potty trained I now have multiple changes of clothes, a diaper changing station, a portable potty, toys, bottles, sippy cups, and snacks to tote.  Seems like a better system of transport and organization is in order. That said, I still hate most of the diaper bags on the market and like the idea of something that still feels purse-like and classic and that can maybe transition out of the diaper bag stage of life later on.  Here are the contenders:

Filson Twill Carry-all: A classic stylish bag from Filson, this tote has the side pockets for drinks and large interior pockets that I like for organization. I like that it feels more like a purse but it's missing stroller clips. I also worry that it's not as wipeable as the others and would get dirty over time, but it certainly is timeless and would be something to keep around for a while.

Soyoung Charlie Diaper Bag:  This bag is super functional and certainly has all the bells and whistles I need.  I like color and military-inspired look but wonder if it sort of looks more like a gym bag or carry-on and is almost too masculine in feel (in other words, I'd still end up carrying a purse around too).  

Schoolhouse Electric Canvas Utility Bag: I like that this bag because of the color blocking and that it has a cross-body shoulder strap. It seems like the D rings could be used to hook up to stroller hooks and it has the side pockets for sippy cups and a nice big utility pocket.

KF Baby Urbane Diaper Bag: This bag is the most economical of all of the options and probably the most light-weight as well. I like that it looks like a large purse/tote and that it has lots of compartments for organization.  Still missing the stroller clips and cross-body strap though. And not sure if it would look sort of like a garbage bag in person.

Filson Tin Cloth Tote Bag: I love that this tote is classic, versatile and gender neutral (dad would totally carry this without a problem) - AND I could definitely use it much later down the road as well. It has the side pockets for sippy cups and bottles that I was looking for and I like that the oiled finish makes it wipeable and fairly dirt resistant.  On the other hand it doesn't have a cross-body strap and doesn't have stroller clips either (although I wonder if that could be solved by having a cobbler add a D-ring on either side).

Skip Hop Duo French Stripe Diaper Bag: this one is the most diaper bag-ish out of all of them.  But I do love the classic french stripe and that the size isn't huge. It's nice that it has a shoulder strap so I can wear it cross body and I also love that it has stroller clips (something I've never had before on a diaper bag but think could be useful - maybe?).  It's a little pricey though and I doubt I'd use it down the road when the kids are older.

Which do you prefer? Do you have others that should be contenders as well?

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