Christine Koh

Hello!

I'm Christine Koh, a music and brain neuroscientist turned multimedia creative. I'm the founder + editor of Boston Mamas, co-author of Minimalist Parenting, co-host of the Edit Your Life podcast, and creative director at Women Online. Drop me a line; I'd love to chat about how we can work together!

Traveling With Amelia

ellington-amelia-tote.jpgPregnancy hasn't slowed me down at all, but when I travel, I do now feel more acutely the burden of toting luggage along with my front-riding precious cargo. So I was thrilled to learn about Ellington's Amelia in-flight tote, which I put to the test last week during our Thanksgiving travels. Read on to learn more about this handy travel (or diaper bag!) solution, as well as to learn how to win an Ellington tote of your own!
The Amelia in-flight tote is a terrific solution for those who: a) like to organize all the myriad things they tote; and/or b) travel. Constructed of lightweight nylon, structured with two strap options (shoulder or a padded, detachable cross-body strap), and available in an array of modern colors (I love the burgundy, which looks more like plum/purple; shown above), this tote has a very compact silhouette. In fact, when I first pulled the bag out of the packaging I was concerned it was too small to carry everything I typically need on a business trip. But I was quickly proven wrong (more on that in a second).

From an organizational standpoint, this bag is a dream. There are four exterior pockets (not bulky at all) for easy access items, plus a zippered interior pocket (the paranoid traveler in me always wants to stow passports and boarding passes in a zippered pocket), and two interior mesh pockets for keeping things like water bottles upright or computer cords at bay. Then there are also two magnet-closure top entry exterior pockets along the front and back sides of the bag, one with additional interior organization. All of these pockets make stowing and then actually finding your things easy, and allow you to have certain items at varying levels of access. The bag also comes with a card wallet key ring and a plastic toiletries pouch (TSA approved on size).

But the feature that really sold me on the bag is so simple yet so key. The back side of the tote includes two horizontal zippers that -- when opened -- create a sleeve so you can slide the bag securely over your rolling luggage handle. I have had countless experiences where I've tried to balance my tote on top of my rolling luggage while rushing to make connections and it never works; the tote is always flopping all over the place and all the stopping and readjusting probably slows me down more than if I just bore the weight on my shoulder and walked slower. This might seem like a small thing, but it certainly hasn't felt that way, particularly when I have traveled on my own with Laurel hauling my stuff, anything she can't carry, a booster seat, and now a pregnant belly.

Now, $84 might seem a little spendy for a nylon travel tote, but I think it's a worthy investment. Not only does the Amelia tote work for general use and business travel (I fit my mini laptop, a stack of paper files, my DSLR in its cozy, plus all the other necessities I typically carry), but all the little compartments (not to mention the easy to clean-ness) offer another stream of use as a diaper bag. I imagine I'll use the bag in all three of these permutations for many years to come.

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THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED
Congrats to winner Marita!
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Now, want to win an Ellington tote of your own? Here's how:

Rules:

  • Hop on over and check out the Ellington website, e-mail contests@bostonmamas.com with "Ellington" in the subject, and name another bag you love from their collection.

  • US entrants welcome.

  • Entry period closes at midnight EST, Monday, December 6, 2010.

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    *One lucky winner (drawn randomly via Random.org) will receive one Ellington Amelia tote in their choice of color (subject to stock availability). The winner will be notified directly via e-mail, then listed back at this post using first name only.


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