I would like to welcome Maura Keating as a new contributer to Kidoinfo. In the role of “parent tester,” she will scope out and review various products and services for the Kidoinfo community. Maura lives with her husband and thirteen-month-old son in Providence.
By Maura Keating
I feel a little guilty admitting this, but I only own one diaper bag. Most of my mom friends have multiples (bags, not kids), but since I waited until the baby was almost here to decide on the right bag, I was pretty happy with my final decision–the Skip Hop Duo Canvas. I had trouble choosing between all of the colors and prints and finally went with the Uptown Stripe. I was nervous since there was a small (really small) bit of pink in the pattern, and I wanted it to be a gender-neutral bag that my husband would carry–no fluffy bunnies for us. I needn’t have worried. When my husband saw it, he also loved it. Good thing, since when we are out, he’s usually the one carrying the diaper bag.
The size of the Skip Hop Duo is just right for daily use. I need a shoulder-style bag since I wear my son in a sling or carrier for most errands. The Duo has just enough room on the inside for a change of clothes, a few small toys and books, and the requisite stash of snacks or bottles. There are two inner pockets that are the perfect size to hold a few diapers in one and a travel box of wipes in the other. At the top, there are two zippered compartments for mom stuff or other items that you wouldn’t want Baby to get. On the sides, there is a closed but easily accessible pocket with Velcro for a cell phone on the right and a mesh pocket with a drawstring on the left. A SIGG bottle fits in the mesh pocket perfectly–an essential feature for relieving the intense dehydration that can hit if you are a nursing mom. A pocket in the back of the bag holds the changing pad (included) and other slim items. Finally, there are two deep pockets on the front of the Duo–adding up to a lot of storage for a bag that doesn’t look or feel overwhelming and all perfect placed and proportioned.
No bag is perfect, and there are a few things that I wish I could change: I would love an attached key hook on the inside of the bag so that my keys were easier to locate. The two zippered pockets on the top look identical so I am forever forgetting which pocket is which–a real pain when you are trying to pay the cashier with lotion. The top of the main compartment is open so that I can reach down and pull out a toy or diaper quickly. Moms need to be masters of the quick draw. On the other hand, as my son gets older, he too can reach down and pull out items. He has become an adept pick-pocket and has littered the aisle of the grocery store with the remnants of my grocery list more than once. We have also made the mistake of taking the Duo with us on longer trips when we are more likely to overfill the bag. We have lost a few choice toys which have spilled from the open top. We finally learned our lesson and hacked the bag to provide extra storage by attaching extra items with carabiner clips to the strap.
After fourteen months of daily abuse, the bag still looks brand new. Though the Duo isn’t machine washable, it wipes down nicely and has repelled all stains. One of its greatest features is that it attaches to the back of a stroller. Alas, to do so requires that you first detach the long shoulder strap from the bag and since the bag is open at the top, we’ve already lost a shoulder strap. You can reorder a replacement strap for $3–BUT the replacement that came did not match the color of the original strap.
I am still as in love with the Skip Hop Duo as I was that first day when I saw it across the crowded shop. I will admit, though… sometimes I do think about having another. Diaper bag, that is.
Local Stores that Carry Skip*Hop
(Check individual store for availability)
– Creatoyvity – Hope Street, Providence, RI
– Mod Mama – 16 S Angell Street, Providence, RI
– The Curatorium – 197 Wickenden Street, Providence, RI
– Madre Bella – 1 Waseca Ave, Barrington, RI
– Bellani Maternity – 1276 Bald Hill Road, Warwick, RI
– Little Bits – 134 Spring Street, Newport, RI