I hope you're having a great week. I hope you all don't mind but I'm switching gears a bit today. Although it's been nearly two years since I gave birth to my sweet Lily Evangeline (seriously, where does the time go?), I have been meaning for months to share with you my most trusted and highly recommended baby and toddler products. There are a few that I get both compliments on and questions about all the time in person as well as online, so I want to begin with one of them today. As a new mom, trying to figure out which necessities are best for your baby, budget as well as your own lifestyle can be overwhelming and involves a bit of trial and error, but if you're like me, you rely on reviews from others experienced mamas to help narrow down your search and make the process a bit easier so you're not wasting money and time on products that don't perform or stand the test of time. Today, I'm reviewing the Skip Hop Versa Diaper Bag.
I began my baby registry when I was 5 months pregnant after I had just learned that we were expecting a little girl which we were both over the moon about! A stylish, durable, practical diaper bag with organized compartments was at the top of my list. Along with an infant car seat and stroller, it's the one other thing you take with you everywhere, especially the first year. There are so many diaper bags to choose from and I knew I didn't want one that had a cutesy design, was girly or that screamed 'baby bag' in any way. I was on the hunt for something in classic black that I could use daily and my hubby wouldn't feel silly carrying. Some men grab their own backpack style for example but I just felt it was unnecessary to buy two since I was breastfeeding her and she went with me practically everywhere the first year and he was only ever alone with her about 1-2 hours at a time before the next nursing session at home where all of our belongings were anyway. Now that she's older, he uses it every time he takes her out and has learned what each compartment holds. A great bonus is that it has stroller clips, so when not worn on the shoulder (or cross-body), it clips onto either a shopping cart handle or the stroller handle bar keeping everything up front and eliminates the need for a separate caddy that stroller manufacturers often sell to hold your keys, phone, etc. I purchased the cup holder with my stroller, so that was already taken care of.
Before we begin, I just want to say that I was not compensated by anyone for this review, I just feel so strongly about this product and the great experiences I've had with it, that I wanted to share. Now, let's get to the specifics, shall we?
Anatomy of a Diaper Bag
1. Overall Design & Style: As someone who opts for a classic look whenever possible, I enjoy investing in timeless pieces that I'll have for years to come (no matter what I'm buying) and can use beyond its intended purpose as in the case of my Skip Hop Versa diaper bag. It's all black in a matted nylon fabric which gives it a nice sheen with a cotton fabric insert where it becomes zipped open or closed for expansion. The interior has an electric blue which I like for a pop of color plus it's gender neutral but most importantly, because it's not black, the bag doesn't become a bottomless pit, it makes it easy to find everything you need. It's finished with gold zipper hardware and ring clips. It's a clean, modern design that goes with anything you may be wearing. I was worried the fabric might snag or get dirty but it completely wipes clean with a damp cloth
2. Organization, Durability & Functionality:
Exterior Compartments-Because this is a bag for mom as much as it is for baby, I looked for one that allowed me to separate my own belongings from Lily's necessities. On the outside of the bag there is a front horizontal zip pocket which is perfect for smaller items keys, lip balm, hair ties, bandages, etc. On either side at the front as well there are two larger zippered pockets which were designed to hold baby bottles and large enough to add ice packs if needed for formula/expressed breast milk. Because I exclusively breastfed and never used a pump or any formula, I use that prime real estate for my belongings due to the easy access. One zippered pocket holds my wallet, the other holds a few misc. items such as my hair comb, lip gloss, gum/mints, nail file and more. On those two zippered pockets are stretchy open pockets which are also the perfect size for bottles. I use one for hand sanitizer spray and the other holds my iPhone since I use those quite a bit. Last but not least, there is a large zippered pocket that runs the length of the bag and comes with an included comfortable folded diaper changing pad that matches the bag. I love how durable the zippers are. I've stuffed the bag and pockets to the gills while flying with Lily and they've never broken or malfunctioned. I can honestly say that Skip Hop makes quality, durable products.
Interior Compartments-Equally as important as the exterior is of course how well the inside is to use. There are 4 main pouches and a large center space. For the pouches I used one for 4 diapers + hard wipe case, one for bibs and feeding items like little plastic spoons and baby food jars/pouches. one for bows, socks, a couple onesies, one for toiletries such as mini baby lotion, extra pacifier, diaper cream, etc. The large open space in the center which is made of a durable blue nylon was where I placed rolled up baby swaddle blankets, extra bulkier outfits, my own change of clothes, toys & teethers, etc. The material can be wiped clean and if necessary due to any spills, it can even be laundered. I can't personally attest to how it comes out after being laundered because I've never had a reason to put mine into the washing machine. Three times I had a sippy cup of water fall over and spill into the bag soaking it (which was my own fault because her sippy straw cup was leaking) and I just hung it up by the strap outside to dry and it was perfect after-no staining or water marks.
3. Expandability: I think it's important to invest in a diaper bag that holds everything you'll need but isn't enormous in its body design. I really love that this Skip Hop bag is expandable. When you're running a quick errand and don't need so much extra space, you can just zip it closed down the center and it's instantly made more compact. Likewise, when you're headed out to a theme park, a road trip or just those first 6 months when you need multiple outfit changes, tons of diaper and let's face it, an extra dress or outfit for yourself (it's come in handy for me more than once!), it's nice to have that space similar to when choosing a great piece of luggage.
4. Adjustable Shoulder Strap & Stroller Clips: As I mentioned above, this bag not only has a long adjustable shoulder strap that can be worn over one shoulder like a handbag, but it can also be worn cross-body OR using the attached ring clips, it can be attached to a stroller handle bar for hands-free use in a snap. Not all bags have this feature and it was a definitely selling point because it meant I didn't have to buy separate shopping clips. Since I have a large basket under my stroller, it fits nicely there too. the straps themselves are thick and very durable.
5. Bag Weight: Since this bag is nylon it's extremely lightweight which is just what I wanted. By the time you fill it with baby's everyday needs, it can get pretty heavy. While I'm all for a workout, carrying baby is enough of one for a sleep-deprived mom.
In case you're wondering, other similar styled bags I considered were this leather tote, this bag, this petunia pickle bottom bag, this Marc Jacobs Bag, this black & white tote and this Tory Burch bag. At the end of the day, they were all a lot more expensive than the versa which by the way is only $70! I'm really happy with the overall value after nearly 2 years.
Since this is a detailed diaper bag review I won't make it any longer by adding a ton of detail on some of mine and Lily's favorite items that we keep inside it just yet (a few of which are shown in my photos), instead I'll link to them via the image scroll bar below, some are part of the Nordstrom Anniversary sale running until Aug.2nd. I will say that these muslin swaddle blankets (on sale!) are everything! We never left home with our her Sophie teething toy. Her first pair of walking shoes were these moccasins in platinum which are perfect for baby's learning to walk. I've always used organic products and I make no exceptions there with my baby girl, for that reason some of our favorites are the thick honest wipes (we only used the diapers for a short while then they caused leaks) and the diaper rash cream, their baby arrival gift set (currently on sale!) includes several items and it makes an amazing shower gift or post-birth present. We also love Lena the lullabye lamb that Lily got for Easter and just adores.
Whether around town or a plane ride away, if you want to see me using my diaper bag on-the-go in action, you can find some pics here, here, here, here, here and here via Instagram where it's always with me clipped to the stroller.
What are your must-have baby items that could not live without? I'd love to know!
Thanks for Reading!