When I returned to work after having my baby, I needed to look professional and pulled together despite having an adorable, slobbery infant (and all that that entails). While pregnant, I searched high and low for a work-appropriate diaper bag that not only looked smart, but was smartly designed. It was a frustrating search during which I discovered many frumpy and shapeless options that promised to store all my baby and pumping essentials, but which left much to be desired in the style department. Then I was offered the opportunity to try out the Juno Blu Calistoga Breast Pump Bag. Yes, please!
Juno Blu was founded by two mothers who are devoted to bringing style to mom’s everyday essentials and to supporting breastfeeding moms as they balance the daily juggling act that is motherhood. The brand aims to create products that blend style and functionality, and the Calistoga Breast Pump Bag does just that.
I wasn’t looking forward to having to pump throughout the work day, but carrying the bag certainly made the daily demands of pumping easier. Many pumps, including the one that I received from my insurance company, come with a small black tote bag of sorts. Carrying that in addition to my diaper bag and work necessities is cumbersome and awkward. The Calistoga bag is large enough to store my pump and everything else, and its design—the bag folds down and has several smartly hidden pockets—allows you to utilize the space without it being overly bulky. It is more structured than many large (but somewhat dumpy) tote options; the chic design is clearly inspired by the elegant totes that you find in upscale boutiques rather than those commonly found at baby superstores.
The bag features a side zipper compartment for easy access to the pump pocket, where you can neatly tuck your breast pump away. The pump pocket is conveniently sized to be compatible with many pumps, including those popular with insurance carriers like the Medela Pump in Style and Ameda Purely Yours. I found that my pump fit nicely and that removing it from/replacing it in the bag each day was fairly easy, though a bit harder when the bag was fully loaded.
Inside, the bag contains many well-designed pockets including two lined cell phone pockets (which can also be used to store various beauty musts), a medium and a large interior pocket, three tufted expandable pockets and a key-ring clasp. The exterior has another set of side pockets that are thermo-insulated, allowing you to keep liquids warm/cool for up to four hours.
The clever storage appealed to the mom in me and the bag’s beautiful details appealed to my professional side, which wanted to be able to return to work with something that was both practical and classy. The bag is made of sleek nylon, which feels luxurious yet durable, and has vegan leather details. The accents were so soft and supple that I didn’t immediately know that they were vegan leather. The bag features gold hardware, double-reinforced stitching, detailed zippers, rounded shoulder straps and metal feet—all of which make the bag stand out from the many frumpier options. While the zippers look great, they are a bit difficult to engage with just one hand (which is often necessary with a baby, cup of coffee or phone in hand). Most usefully, the bag is lined with a signature “Juno blue” wipe-clean material that is resistant to (the inevitable) spills and which helps prevent pesky stains.
I loved the plum color of the bag—it is the perfect hue for fall and stood out nicely against my dark suits and coats. The bag is also available in charcoal and black.
The bag is also great for traveling. While flying, I took the Calistoga as my sole carry-on—it fit my toiletries, iPad, phone, baby goodies and pumping tools. The long straps are slightly padded and were easy to carry over my shoulder, keeping my hands free to push my stroller and tend to baby. While zipping through the airport, I received numerous compliments on the bag. My sister-in-law, a mother of two, mistook it for a fashionable purse and was amazed that it was in fact an insulated breast pump bag—it’s that chic.
Despite the inherent messiness that comes with carrying a breast pump bag from home to lunch meetings to day care (and back again), picking up the Calistoga each morning instantly makes me feel polished and put-together. I love the look and feel of the bag, but above all I like that the brand Juno Blu celebrates motherhood and creates elegant, everyday essentials to make each busy day a bit easier—and more stylish!
Where to buy: junoblu.com