Well, I’ve had a few baby change bags over the years. Some good, some not-so-good. But I have to say that the BeTween by Ju-Ju-Be is pretty much everything I’ve ever wanted in a change bag.
First off, it’s a Tardis. Honestly. There’s a small bit of fluttery magic that goes on in the hyper-second of time between you opening the bag and you looking inside. Because from the outside, this bag really isn’t all that big. Certainly small enough to tote happily on your shoulder – no Monster First-Time-Parent Baby Equipment Sack at all. Yet, inside – I have not yet filled it to the point that it will not take any more. Honestly. There is ALWAYS a spare corner for just-one-more-thing.
It’s all in the design, I’ve decided. And if there is one thing that Ju-Ju-Be are good at, it’s design. Because they care about the detail. And we all know it’s the detail that makes the bag, yes? After all, most baby bags have lots of pockets, a bottle holder, a key fob etc. So what’s so special about these? Well. Settle down comfortably, because I’m about to tell you just what I love (and there’s probably a zillion more details which I’ll forget to mention too).
The fabric is a good place to start – no more plain and drab blacks and browns. You choose your bag, then you get a fab choice of fabrics. Gorgeous, they are. Most important of all, every fabric they use is Teflon-coated (no stains) and waterproof. That’s not just the outer, not just one pocket, but every single pocket, inside and out. So no matter which pocket you throw that leaky cup into as you’re charging out the door with one shoe on whilst hunting for your car keys, it won’t ruin the rest of the bags contents. The satin liner that runs through the bag is also ‘agIONTM’ coated, an anti-microbial treatment that will deal with those nasty unseen corner-of-the-bag lurkers.
If I’m honest, at first, I thought they had gone overboard with the pockets. Quite why SO many? But then, I found I developed a kind of filing system. Which would have been way too anal if it had been a conscious decision. But you can’t help it. There is a pocket for everything. You can’t help but plop your phone into the phone pocket, your sunglasses into the self-cleaning pouch, the nappies inside the elastic strips… It’s way too satisfying to be healthy.
The elastic holder in the central compartment holds three clean nappies easily – probably at least 5 if you needed it too. The same compartment can hold a brand new big pack of wipes too. No need for extra-thin travel packs, just have a big pack come live in there. And whilst we’re on changing – the mat itself may be small, but it’s filled with memory foam. Who else does that, eh? It’s usefully thin, but solid and protective and comfortable too.
To give you an idea, this is what I had in my bag with me today (this is standard grab-the-bag-and-go kit;) folded cardigan, hat, socks, folded terry, Amadeus 360 cup, almost-new pack of wipes, 3 nappies, full size MiaMoo spritz, two small snack pots, 1 large bib, 2 Hot Wheels cars, 1 mini Automoblox, 1 bouncy ball, 4 soldiers, 1 dinosaur, house keys, car keys, wallet, phone, 3 pens, notebook, lip gloss, mascara, brush. I didn’t use the bottle pockets; and still the bag felt half empty.
The little stuff I love about my Ju-Ju-Be BeTween bag:
• The non slip underside to the wide, padded shoulder strap – finally a shoulder bag that stays put!
• The absence of Velcro – because they know it can wake the baby, snag on your clothes, collect icky bits in it, and wears out faster than your bag.
• The hard and decorative parts of the bag are metal – WAY stronger than plastic.
• The end bottle pockets are lined with Thinsulate (keep stuff hot OR cold) – so no foil liner to get cracked or wear out.
• The main compartments expand – no rummaging in the dark, just pull it wide open!
• I can throw it in the washing machine, and it air dries fast.
• My absolute favourite ‘little’ detail; The fact that I can have daughter on one hip, bag on other, and rummage one handed in the side pocket, find the house keys fast, and then just pull them out, still attached to the stretchy fob and open the door, drop them and enter. Since I’ve been using this bag, the juggle-at-the-door is a thing of the past.
And lastly, here’s the biggest reason why I love my Ju-Ju-Be bag. Above all else, it’s sturdy. Know how I know? Two weeks ago, I was putting Pink in the car and dropped the bag on the floor by my feet as I did so. A neighbour came and chatted, made me 5 minutes late, so I scooted into the drivers side quick, and hit reverse. As I did so a passer by made an odd face and leaped towards the car. I wound down the window and she yelped “You just ran over your bag!”
I peeked back round the car, expecting to see carnage – but the bag was intact (on its side, but unmarked). I collected it, waiting for the broken-things rattle from inside. Silence. Hope rose – maybe I just knocked it, didn’t actually run it over… Useful/concerned passer-by was still standing there (enjoying herself a little too much I felt) and couldn’t help but add “Ooooh, you went RIGHT over it. I tried to stop you, but you just ran right over it…”
Hope fluttered and died. Muttering polite thanks I grimly checked inside for pieces of phone. But phone was still intact. Pulling it out, it looked okay. Trying it out, it worked perfectly. As was everything else in the bag (admittedly there was no toddler cup in there).
So. The bag is so well made it even stands up to a good running over ;)
(**NB – we’re not recommending you try the running-the-bag-over part at home, it’s not actually stated as car-tyre-proof in the guarantee…)
For the latest range of fab JuJuBe bags click here