I’m pretty critical of diaper bags. I’ve had dozens in my 10 years as a parent, and they’ve all fallen short in some way or another. Either I bought a trendy pattern that I grew tired of in 6 months, the bag didn’t hold up well or I realized that the “random big tote” idea wasn’t going to cut it. (Nothing is more frustrating than digging around in the bottom of a bag looking for your car keys in the rain with four kids. Sorry, cute leather tote, but I need pockets.)
Because of my breeze-through-‘em past with diaper bags, I didn’t expect to fall very hard for the STATE Bags Wellington tote. Sure, it looked fabulous online, but I’ve been tricked before. When it arrived at my house, I was surprised because I was really impressed with it right out of the box. I got the bag in pesto, and it’s so great; the green color is fabulous, and I love the bright blue accents. It manages to be a timeless design but still fun, which is basically exactly what you want in a baby bag. However, looks are great and all, but I know where it’s really at: functionality. If it doesn’t work well, it doesn’t matter how cute it is, it’s going to end up in my Goodwill pile. I immediately dug into the Wellington to see how it would do.
The accessories stood out as a highlight immediately. There are three pouches included, a small, medium and large, and they are all detachable, so you can hold them in place with the inside clip or pull them out if you don’t need them. I use the largest pouch for diaper supplies: diapers, wipes and some rash cream. The middle pouch houses a clean change of clothes (or, if I had to use the outfit, the dirty duds). The smallest pouch is great for little stuff, like teething rings and pacifiers. Also included is a washable (so important!) changing pad—it’s a little small, but it slips under baby’s bum and gets the job done.
There are pockets aplenty, and they’re all useful. There are four slip pockets on the outside. The two on the end are super large and functional. I keep my nursing cover in one, so it’s always handy, and I roll up a muslin blanket in the other. The pockets on the front and back are a little smaller, so I use those for my keys, wallet and sunglasses, with a couple of burp cloths on the opposite side. There are pockets on the inside, too! There are a couple of bottle ones on either end, and lots of little spots to store food pouches, bibs and anything else you might need. As you can see, this bag allows for ample organization, which is right up my alley. (As a mom of four, I can’t afford to be anything less!)
One area in which many bags have let me down in the past is cleanliness—as in, I can’t keep them clean. They get beaten up and dirty and it’s nearly impossible to remove stains. Thankfully, this isn’t a problem with the Wellington. It is made from sturdy 100 percent canvas, and it really is easy to wipe clean—but, honestly, I haven’t had to do so often. The tough material makes it more resistant to stains. I’ve had my bag on the sidelines of the soccer field, at the park and several other potentially dirty places, and it truly still looks good as new after 2 months. The interior lining is wipeable, too. Another bonus: It sits upright when you put it on the ground, so it doesn’t tip over and spill out your stuff.
I’ve saved the very best part of this bag for last, though. Just in case you weren’t already sold on it (and you should be! It’s awesome!), STATE Bags is a give-back company: For each bag sold, an American child in need receives a bag packed with essential tools for success. So, they’re not only making your life easier and brighter, but also doing the same for a child in need. That alone, to me, makes it worth the investment. I highly recommend the STATE Bags Wellington tote.
To buy: statebags.com