While I was still pregnant with Izzy early last year, I was searching high and low for a perfect baby bag. I've gone through a couple with Zoey and Nathan, from moderately priced ones such as Skip Hop to more pricey Petunia Pickle Bottoms. I never found a perfect bag that is versatile enough for both my baby and non-baby needs, and I eventually gave up on diaper bags after Z and N were a bit older and switched back to my normal purses that are on the bigger side.
Before we decided to add another baby to our family, I had been passing on and donating some baby items to people who needed them more, and I gifted and resold the few diaper bags I owned. Shortly after, we found out Izzy was on the way, so naturally I had to make a new list of baby essentials that we wanted to update and re-purchase (lucky for me, sucks for gary's poor ol' wallet ;) I really wanted to find a new bag that is big enough for my daily needs with 3 kids 5 and under, but also one that can be used for years down the road when my babies aren't babies anymore.
I considered many designs and different brands, and read up on lots of user reviews. It was a rather disappointing search at first because a perfect match between price + design just doesn't come easy. Eventually I landed on this company called Moop (I learned about them from A Cup of Jo.) It is a small company that designs and hand manufactures canvas bags in their studio in Pittsburgh, PA. I really like the idea of buying handmade and I usually consider buying from independently owned shops first (within an affordable range, of course.) After communicating with Wendy (the owner) about what I'm looking for in a bag, I decided to invest in The Porter. I picked the one made with gray waxed canvas and lined in teal cordura. Both are highly durable and water resistant fabrics, which is an important quality I was looking for.
I really like the simple, clean design. Nothing too flashy and is perfectly gender neutral. It is very generously sized, and I was surprised to find out how lightweight it is and just how much it can hold. There was awhile when I was carrying so. much. stuff., with Izzy having blowouts at least once a day and Naynay getting used to being diaper-less. It really seems like I can keep throwing things in this bag and it'd never be too full. The inside pockets are big enough as well, perfect for my wallet, phone, keys (it also has a key strap inside the bag,) toys, snacks, hand sanitizer, receipts, and very often, used kleenex :)
Somehow this big bag looks pretty proportionate on my 5'6" frame. The cross body strap is very comfortable too even though I don't usually carry it that way (Gary likes to wear it cross body though, so that's important!)
While I was playing with Izzy on the living room floor the other day, I got to take pictures of some essentials I carry daily in my Porter. One way I organize everything in a big bag is by using pouches and makeup bags of various sizes, handy for baby teethers, pens, crayons, toy cars, coupons, zoey's disposable camera, bandaids, and hair ties.
One of my favorite things in my diaper bag is the striped bag on the top left. It is a Baggu 3D zip bag that I use for Izzy's extra outfit, diapers, wipes, and changing pad. It is lightweight and doesn't take up too much space in my bag (in comparison to a skip hop diaper changer I have). The bottom left is a nursing poncho by BusySpinningThread that also doubles up as a car seat blanket. I wouldn't say it's a necessity for every mama but it's definitely made my nurse-on-the-go life much much easier and comfortable.
And there! My first ever product review post. I always look for online reviews before I purchase something and very often than not I wish I could find more information. So I thought it's about time that I contribute and hopefully it will be helpful for someone out there :)