Baby changing bags – a must-have when you have a baby and want to go out and about, there’s so much stuff to carry just in case baby needs a feed or a nappy change. Usually these bags aren’t the most glam of things to own. With Tyler I used the bag that came with the pushchair, black and red, quite ugly. With Lily, I didn’t even want to use one, carrying on with my little handbag, and a canvas bag stuffed with baby bits in my pushchair basket – this actually was more scruffy looking and I could never find anything easily. Soooo, when I was sent the PacaPod Colby baby changing bag, my life changed!
PacaPod was named Best Changing Bag in 2016 by Loved by Parents, NAPPA Awards and The Bump. And I can see why. Not only did it fit everything I needed to carry in one bag, it made me and my pushchair look stylish too, and I was suddenly one of those organised mums! You can see our first outing with it here.
I like the navy colour and the subtle pattern, which will match with pretty much any outfit and doesn’t clash with the buggy. The straps are made from vegan leather which is really soft yet strong at the same time. I like the option of arm straps and the across the body strap. The wide zipped opening at the top makes it really easy to access my things.
At the front of the bag is a poppered section with 3 internal elasticated pockets where I can stuff things like my iPod, lipbalm, pen, mirror, tissues, any little bits and bobs. There is also a hook where I can attach my keys if I want.
On the inside, there is a zippered pocket where I can put more of my own personal bits. Then there are the 2 Pods and changing mat.
Just as a bit of background, PacaPod is the brainchild of Jacqueline Waggett, outdoor clothing designer, world traveller and mom of two. She created the brand in 2006 to simplify travelling and leaving the house with tots in tow. Today PacaPod is widely recognised as the most practical changing bag on the market thanks to the innovative 3-in-1 ‘baby organisation system’ inside each bag.
In other words, it’s all about the Pods! There is a ‘Changer Pod’ with internal pockets and an insulated ‘Feeder Pod’, as well as a changing mat. These Pods make it so easy to organise the baby stuff, and easy to find what you need when you are out. They fold completely flat when not in use, are easy to clean and feature a secure, adjustable clip which fastens over one hand or onto any pram handle, freeing up more space in the changing bag if needed.
This is the Feeder Pod, which has that insulated fabric on the inside. This is what I usually take with me when I go out with Lily to one of her groups (bear in mind she is now 7 months) – beaker of water, bib, dummy box, baby biscuits, and, just in case I decide to have lunch out, a jar of baby food and a spoon. There is still lots of room with all this in there, and if she was younger, I could easily fit two bottles and formula pots in there as well as muslin cloths.
The Changer Pod has a polka dot design, and what I like about it is all the elasticated pockets on the inside, with images to tell you what each pocket is for.
I have a pocket for wipes, one for the vaseline pot, one for nappies, and there is another pocket for other creams if I needed. And then in the middle I can fit spare baby clothes and a carrier bag.
The changing mat folds out like this. It’s of a soft material and folds easily back with a velcro fastening. This is actually really compact and useful for changing the baby in public – those changing tables in coffee shops are hard!
Out and About
What I really like about going out and about with it, apart from it making me look like a stylish mum ;-), is the ‘pram attachment clips’. I can attach the PacaPod bag to my buggy without having to hang it by the shoulder strap. This means is doesn’t slide up and down the handle when I am walking, and it looks neat and tidy. This was the first thing I LOVED about having the Pacapod, not having to constantly readjust the bag on the pushchair handle!
It’s very strong and sturdy, and it’s simple to unclip the bag once you’ve got the hang of it.
Another option is to hang the Pods directly on to the pushchair, so the bag is free for other things, or if I wanted to take my little handbag with me.
For example when I take Lily to Rhymetime at the library, once she is crawling I will have to be on my feet running after her I imagine. So I could leave the Pods on the pushchair and just have my small bag on me with my essentials, so I can easily run after her!
My PacaPod is now a permanent attachment to my buggy, I haven’t used any other bag since I got it. I go on the school run with it, take it to baby groups, take it for overnight stays at the grandparents. I love it so much. The bag is bigger than what I’m used to, but not too huge when compared with other baby changing bags. It’s a good size that is easy to carry around. There’s room in there to stuff Tyler’s bits and bobs on top of the Pods, like his hat and gloves, his toys, papers from school. I love having the pushchair basket free now for shopping bags and his umbrella.
Obligatory photo of Lily 😉
The version I have reviewed is called ‘Colby’ which is the lightweight version of the PacaPod. I have the Navy one, new for 2017, but you can also get it in Ember (a red-orange colour) and Black. There are lots more to choose from, which you can see on www.pacapod.com.
Disclosure: I was sent a PacaPod Colby for the purpose of this review but these are my honest thoughts and opinions.