My step-sister, aka “twin mom extraordinaire,” has paved the way for me in baby-land. She has been through the trial-and-error process in nearly every category of baby items and steers me quickly to the best products. On her last visit, she immediately spotted my newly-opened Lily Jade Caroline in Brandy bag from across the room and shouted, “You got a Lily Jade bag?! I just got one last week! It’s the best … and today I am just using it for ME!”
I knew I had something good with this designer diaper bag and couldn’t wait for my little nugget to arrive so I could put it to the test. Because it doesn’t scream, “diaper bag!” I began toting it around as my bag, treating it as a stylish handbag until my baby’s debut.
The Caroline is constructed from premium full grain leather that is almost as soft as my baby’s bottom (she arrived, by the way!). The silver hardware, zippers and small stud feet are hardly noticeable and blend into the beauty of the bag, and it features a double outside pocket for easy access to critical items (like my cellphone). Part of the pocket snaps closed with a magnetic snap, and the other closes with a zipper.
The inside of the bag is lined with their signature silky poly fabric, and the bright red interior makes spotting items much easier. There is a medium-sized pocket that zips up and a key clip that is super handy—having to fumble around for keys in any large bag is a nightmare.
When it came time to use Caroline as intended (for baby stuff), I absolutely fell in love with the bag for its functionality. Its empty weight is just over 3 pounds, and full is … who knows, but it must distribute the weight well because it’s always comfortable to carry. It can fit a good amount of stuff (for the baby and for me!) and I love that it is just deep enough for everything I need—another diaper bag I have is too tall, making it really difficult to keep things organized and accessible. The Caroline is the perfect size for quick errands or even all-day outings, but it’s probably too small for an overnight trip to grandma’s house.
The detachable (and machine washable) Baby Bag Organizer is by far my favorite feature. It has 15 open pockets, including two stretchable pockets that are great for holding bottles, and one inner pocket with a zipper. It also comes with a matching changing pad, which rolls up to fit perfectly in an outer pocket of the insert. It’s a minor challenge to figure out how to best use all the pockets, but at least the design eliminates the all-too-common black hole effect inherent in most large bags and purses. The organizer fits into the bag with little magnetic snaps, making it easy to get in and out.
I usually carry it as a shoulder bag very comfortably and without it sliding off. It also has a detachable (and adjustable) crossbody strap for the times I need to carry it completely hands free. The main part of the bag does not have any sort of closing mechanism—it remains open and easy to access.
There is very little I would change about this bag. I like the silver, but it would be nice to have the option for gold-colored hardware. Also, if the insert were more sturdy, it could keep its shape when removed from the main bag, which would be a plus. Finally, stroller straps would be a nice addition since the bag will not easily fit in my stroller’s storage compartment.
The Caroline is definitely on the higher end of the budget spectrum. However, when you consider its high-quality, multipurpose and timeless design, it is well worth the investment.
Where to buy: lily-jade.com