Only what you need for your baby. Really. (OK – and some fantastic things you don’t that are pretty cool.)
You heard me: Land’s End. The preppie emporium of my Boston youth – well, second-string to L.L. Bean, but still – came through for me in my seemingly endless search for the perfect diaper bag. I know: I couldn’t believe it either.
I was Googling around for “best diaper bag” and a couple of moms on the Berkeley Parent’s Network mentioned that they had and loved the Land’s End Do-It-All Diaper Bag. It sounded suspiciously utilitarian and stodgy, but I checked it out. $39.50. I’m not kidding. And huge. And, in black at least, it looks pretty normal and not like I wear Fair Isle in the winter and too-short cords with whales on them to pick up my kids at lacrosse.
So I ordered one to see what the what.
And lo and behold, this is my new diaper bag.
Here’s why I love it:
It’s big. It opens like a doctor’s bag, so you can load it full of all kinds of stuff (including a laptop and weird-shaped toys) and, if you’ve overloaded, it’s OK: the stuff just sits on top instead of falling out the sides. I can even carry my Ergo pack in – well, on – it. The straps are infinitely adjustable, so you can even wear it like a messenger bag (although you’ll want it to be zipped shut to try that). The external pockets hold, from left to right, my iPhone, my wallet, my notepad and pens, and my keys, with pacifiers in the zippered pocket over the middle two. The internal bottle pockets fit Astrid’s bottles (surprisingly inconsistent across other bags I tried). Not only does it come with a durable changing pad, but that pad has a zippered corner pocket for wipes, which I haven’t seen anywhere else.
Also included: a small waterproof pouch for soiled clothes or a wet diaper. And, genius touch, there’s a lightweight nylon zip pocket across the middle of the inside that snaps out. At first, this seemed immaterial or even annoying since the snaps aren’t that strong and it can detach unexpectedly. But here’s the thing: you don’t always have your baby with you, right? Which means you don’t always need your diaper bag. But you still need your lipstick and earbuds and breath mints…that you could now store in that pocket which snaps out to take with you in your regular bag. I love this. Really. It’s the little things, right??
No, the bag doesn’t have a padded shoulder strap, but you can buy that separately (or transfer the one you already have on your Skip Hop!) and I don’t love the color options (that sky blue interior on the black bag is a little dorky even though it does give you a good view of your stuff). And the trade-off for how light it is might be long-term durability, but a.) the Land’s End luggage I’ve had has held up pretty well over time, and b.) even if I have to replace it in a year or two, it’s only $40, so I’m still way ahead of the game vs. other pricier bags.
Here’s the thing: it’s not the hippest bag out there and it’s certainly not the one I would’ve registered for when I was pregnant and didn’t know what I’d need but definitely wanted something that didn’t look too mom-like. But now that I do know what I need, this fits the bill. And, in black at least, it still looks sleek enough not to offend my New Yorker, also-an-adult-with-style-not-just-a-mom self. Done deal.
Land’s End Do-It-All Diaper Bag, $39.50 at Land’s End