I think women often fall into one of two categories. They’re either a shoe girl or a bag girl. I am most definitely in the latter group, I love a nice bag! Don’t get me wrong, I love a gorgeous pair of shoes too but I’m a scuffer and they don’t normally last too long before I’ve dented the heel or managed to scrape the leather off the front. I’m much safer with a bag.
In my pre-mummy days my bag of choice was my beautiful Mulberry Roxeanne bag but then O came along and it was swapped for something more practical. As he got older and a baby friendly bag wasn’t really needed my husband treated me to a beautiful cream leather bag that was big enough for an array of toy cars and planes but was still a grown up bag.
With the arrival of baby number 2 a more practical bag was needed, and it was perfect timing when I was asked to review the toTs by smarTrike’s new range of changing bags. I know how much stuff you need with a newborn and with an older son who insists on taking half his toy collection whenever we go out I needed a big bag. For that reason I chose the Voyage Melange bag as it was a good size to fit in everything for my boys.
When the bag arrived I wasn’t disappointed, it’s huge! And it also has lots of pockets. I’m a big fan of pockets in a bag as otherwise everything ends up rattling around the bottom of the bag making it impossible to find something when you need it. The pocket on the front is ideal for keeping your phone or purse then they can be accessed easily, whilst inside there are pockets for nappies and your wipes along with a separate zipped section which I tend to keep a bit of make up in. The pockets on the sides are just the right for popping a bottle in, or there is a separate bottle bag inside the bag,
One bonus feature of this bag is that it has a smaller separate bag too. As I mentioned the Voyage Melange is a big bag and if you’re just popping out you may not need that much with you. When we’ve been doing the pre-school run I often take just the smaller bag as it is big enough for a nappy and a pack of wipes, my phone, purse and house keys. It fits well in the pram basket and contains everything we need.
What I like about this bag is that it doesn’t scream changing bag at you, meaning it can be used as a weekend bag too. I used it for my hospital bag when I went in for my planned section with G and it was ideal. I used the smaller bag to keep my iPad and magazines and packed the main bag with all the clothes and toiletries I would need for a couple of nights stay.
As it is primarily a changing bag you need to consider how easy it will be to carry and toTs by smarTrike have put some thought into this. You can carry the bag normally with the straps, and they have also provided additional straps that mean the bag can be easily attached to your pram. Alternatively the bag can also be worn as a rucksack. To be honest I didn’t think I would use it as a rucksack (that’s the 14 year old girl in me who remembers how uncool it was to wear your rucksack with BOTH straps) but it’s actually a really handy idea. I took the bag on a school trip with my eldest son and as it involved a lot of walking and holding O’s hand it was much easier to pop the back on my bag than to wear it over my shoulder.
The only slight disappointment about the bag was the changing mat. Whilst everything else about the bag was such good quality the changing mat lets it down. It is quite small and not very exciting. Maybe it’s just me, but I like a pretty changing mat and I think by adding a pattern or even an edging to it, it would have made a huge difference. Although let’s not be too picky, essentially it’s a mat that will get poop on it!
I’m a fan of a big bag and the Voyage Melange has all the elements I would look for in a bag. It’s practical, stylish and, as someone who never travels lightly, big enough to hold all my bits and bobs. We have booked a family holiday for October and there’s no question what bag will be my hand luggage, I’m definitely taking this one!
Disclosure: I was sent the toTs by smarTrike changing bag for review purposes but all thoughts and opinions are my own.