Let’s start with the obvious: PacaPod’s Firenze diaper bag is absolutely stunning. It’s made of sumptuous pebble leather available in either chocolate or putty and rivals that of any designer handbag, with the gold hardware to match. This bag is so chic, I’m tempted to dump out the baby’s belongings and keep it all to myself, and no one would be the wiser. (Well, if I actually went anywhere without said baby, that is.) This is a diaper bag to savor.
Okay, enough with the gushing, it’s down to business. In addition to being a knockout on the eyes, the Firenze packs quite the punch when it comes to functionality. Credit for this goes to the 3-in-one organization system. The outer bag allows parents to stow their stuff, including dividers for pens and a cell phone, as well as a key fob and stroller clips. The topmost zippered pocket on the Firenze grants access to the parent portion. The interior is a light tan color and offers enough space to store a laptop. It also includes an interior pocket that could be handy to hold a checkbook, tampons, or a secret stash of cash.
The second and third parts of the system involve “pods,” which are two separate smaller bags that can be found in the front zippered pocket of the Firenze. The feeder pod is insulated, so you can keep baby’s bottles and foodstuff secure. Meanwhile, the changer pod has four pockets inside to store everything from diapers and rash ointment to wipes and hand sanitizer. It also comes with a changing mat. The idea behind the separate pods is to make for a more hygienic experience instead of combining food and diaper goods in one shared space. All of PacaPod’s diaper bags include this system, so it’s not unique to the Firenze.
With the Firenze, you have the option to use the across-body strap or the double handles to carry the bag. I found the handles more comfortable as they also allow you to snugly put them both over your shoulder if you’re carrying baby. But when you’re also toting baby, diaper bag and groceries, for example, using the removable strap presents a practical option. Although the stroller clips are a great idea in theory, they proved to be more trouble than they’re worth to use. It was less of a hassle for me to throw the across-body strap over the stroller handles than to rig the bag to the clips.
You can rest the Firenze on the floor without worrying about it tipping over or getting dirty. (Although cleaning it is a breeze – just wipe it down with a damp cloth.) The bag has feet on the bottom that help keep the bag upright and off questionable surfaces. Prior to loading the Firenze, it’s surprisingly light. It’s a good-sized bag made of quality leather and hardware, so I expected it to weigh more. Once you fill it up, though, you start to feel the weight.
My one complaint about the bag is that it’s easy to overload which makes it bulky to carry. It’s tempting to fill up the spacious interior with everything but the kitchen sink. The Firenze is divided into two separate large pockets (parent and baby); if you put too much into one side, it will compromise the amount of space available in the other. I wish there were a more solid divide between the two pockets to combat that risk.
Overall, though, the Firenze is a wonderful diaper bag. I’d be more inclined to use it for weekends away more than as an everyday diaper bag. However, the 3-in-1 pod system makes it possible for daily use. Just grab the necessary pods and go! And I’m definitely looking forward to using it as a purse once baby’s grown.
I will admit, the price is steep for a diaper bag, but considering it holds so much and can masquerade as a handbag in its post-baby life makes the price seem much more reasonable for this purse-loving mama.
To buy: pacapod.com