Today, I’m thrilled to welcome new contributor Kristin Chalmers, a fabulously creative mama who will contribute content on everything from her gear obsessions to useful local finds and services. Today, Kristin reports on her favorite non-diaper diaper bag, the Patagonia's Lightweight Travel Tote:
“To start, I’ll put it in the most basic terms: I am a pathetic gearhead. I love all things gear, whether it’s for babies, kids, or grownups. I have a Mac (which my 4-year-old son has mastered), am a slave to my Ipod, and would rather be trampled by elephants than give up my TiVO. And of course as a mom of two, my biggest obsession is baby gear. I love it all, and love sharing my gear research with other moms. Today, I’ll start by reporting on a great non-diaper diaper bag.
When I had Robert, my first, I was living in Los Angeles. I can’t even begin to tell you the magnitude of baggage (here I’m referring to accessory, not emotional) for mamas out there. It’s insane. I had friends with Louis Vitton bags, Kate Spade bags, and even Gucci diaper bags. I drooled over them all but couldn’t fathom spending over $1000 on a bag that was going to hold soiled diapers and clothes. I may be materialistic in ideology but I’m practical in reality.
As a new mom, I quickly learned that the bigger the diaper bag, the more you put in it. I was carrying around extra bottles, changes of clothes, too many diapers, a whole container of wipes, binkies, loveys, toys, etc… none of which I ever ended up needing. My bag was so heavy it outweighed my kid. So when I had my second son this year, I vowed to pack less and streamline. But, I also have the challenge of packing to keep things simple for the baby, while still having room for a toddler snack and sippy and my personal effects.
The answer: Patagonia's Lightweight Travel Tote. It’s really not a diaper bag, but a simple and very lightweight knapsack. It’s constructed of triple-ripstop silicone nylon (think your LeSport sack from junior high) so it’s totally tear resistant, while the bottom of the bag features a durable water repellent finish, which is great when you need to put it…well anywhere. The main zippered compartment is super roomy, and the bag has an adjustable drawstring lock, so little hands can’t rummage through your stuff. Located inside and out are large zippered pockets so you can separate your keys, wallet, and other goodies. And, there are two ample sized mesh pockets on either side for sippy cups, bottles, etc. You can hand carry or wear as a backpack. The shoulder straps - which stow away - are really comfy as well as ultra light, breathable, and quick drying. The bag comes in a variety of colors, weighs less than 12 ounces, and measures 13.5" x 12.5" x 8".
Now, keep in mind that this is not a glamorous bag, but like I say about minivans, sexy they are not, but man is it practical. And don’t get me wrong. I would never turn down a Gucci diaper bag, but I would probably come back to the Patagonia knapsack when all is said and done.
I got my bag at Wild Child in Arlington, or you can visit the downtown Patagonia, or purchase it online.”