My love for handbags has evolved into a sizable collection ever since high school. In particular, I’m keen for a specific type: classic, double-handled, medium-sized purses with plenty of secret compartments and a top-zipper closure. I figured these types of purses would be in short supply once my baby came because I’d be trading them in for the over-sized, shoulder-strapped, kid-proof diaper bags I commonly see moms toting—or worse yet, a backpack. Fortunately, I was wrong. (How often do you get to be happy about that?)
Perry Mackin’s Rachel bag doesn’t look like a diaper bag, but it most definitely is. I got compliments on it before people learned its real functionality and received even more afterwards! The exterior is a beautiful plum color, which could be construed as feminine, but my husband has no problem carrying it around. The tan interior is a nice contrast. The bag also comes in black, cream and olive for a more gender-neutral look. If it wasn’t marketed as one or didn’t come with baby-centric accessories, I don’t think I’d believe it was a diaper bag.
It comes with a changing pad, which is a huge plus, along with an insulated bottle warmer. A “mommy pouch” is also included. While I’m not positive I know what that means, I think it’s code for wallet, which means I can stow my cell phone, credit cards and ID in there without them sloshing around next to the wipes and diapers. Oh where do I put my keys, you ask? Why, I clip them on the handy interior leather strap! This ensures that they don’t get lost among the pacifiers. Although I have to admit, I’m not exactly sure if that strap is intended for such use, but I’m at a loss for what else it could be for.
Of course, making room for mommy’s things is secondary to the real purpose of the Rachel: storing baby gear! But it all still fits thanks to the array of pockets lining every side. The interior has six pockets total, and most are big enough to store a change of clothes, box of wipes, a few diapers or whatever else little one needs. Additionally, there’s a zippered hideaway pouch on the inside of one side to keep track of anything you haven’t already tucked away. But the storage options don’t stop there because the outside of the bag also has four pockets, two of which are zippered. These are great for easy access to hand sanitizer or tissues (or more mommy stuff!).
You’d think that all of these storage spaces and the sheer amount of stuff inside would make the Rachel uncomfortable to carry, but it doesn’t. The bag is equipped with both double handles and a removable cross-body strap, so if you need your hands, you can carry it like a messenger bag. It also has a top-zipper closure to keep things contained while providing easy access. The nylon exterior and the interior lining are both water resistant, making it simple to wipe clean.
There are a couple of downsides, but the perks outweigh the cons. Stroller straps aren’t included, and there aren’t feet on the bottom to avoid the dirt and grime that comes with setting the bag on the floor. If I could add those two features, it would be even better.
Otherwise, I highly recommend Perry Mackin’s Rachel diaper bag. It’s a beautiful, organized daily option for stowing all the knick-knacks you need to be supermom on the go. At $168, it’s a bit steep, but it delivers for both practicality and style.