As I get closer to my due date I am starting to get things ready for when the baby comes. I have the most gorgeous new changing bag from PacaPod in one of their new spring 2017 colours; it is the Richmond bag in dusky pink herringbone and it's so pretty! PacaPod changing bags are actually three bags in one and they're rather cleverly designed! I have been saving it for when the baby is actually here as it will just end up being full of the boys' toys and snacks if I start using it now, but I thought I would give you a closer look as a lot of people have been curious to know how more about it.
It never surprises me when I have an amazing baby product and then read that it was created by a parent, because we parents just know exactly what works and what doesn't. And PacaPod is no exception. These clever bags are the creation of a designer and mum of two who drew on her own parenting experiences to come up with the design. Instead of being the standard type of changing bag with zips and compartments inside, PacaPod bags actually contain two smaller pods inside, one designed to be a changer bag and the other an insulated bag for feeding, with the main area for your stuff, meaning everything is kept organised and easy to find. I'll explain more about those further on.
The Richmond bag (£89.00) is PacaPod's classic tote and the dusky pink herringbone colourway is one of their new styles for spring 2017. I'm not usually a fan of pink but when I browsed the new spring collection I was immediately drawn to this bag! The subtle dusky pink coated cotton canvas is feminine but not in-your-face girly, and combined with the tan vegan leather detailing, tan cotton handles and grey cotton shoulder strap it's a beautiful looking bag. And it's wipe-clean. Trust me, having a bag that you can wipe-clean is a massive bonus!
On the front of the bag, where the vegan leather embossed egg logo is, is a pocket with a magnetic closure, then if you flip it around to the other side, you'll find a large zip that runs around three quarters of the side of the bag. It is inside this zipped section that you'll find the two unique PacaPod pods: a feeder pod and a changer pod.
In my bag the changer pod is grey and the feeder pod is black, but I know that in other bags the colours can be different. The pods can be fully unzipped making it easy to flatten and fold them away for storing if you don't need to use them. The feeder bag is a fully insulated cooler bag which is big enough to hold up to four bottles and keep them warm for up to three hours. There is also a separate insulated bottle cover. I'm planning to breastfeed this baby as I did with both of my boys, so won't need to use this pod for bottles. Instead I'll use it for taking snacks and drinks out for the boys as I always need to have things for them. The bottle cover might come in handy for keeping my coffee warm - how hard is it for us mums to drink a whole cup before it goes cold!
The changer bag contains a coordinating fold-out changing mat and a little drawstring bag, useful for storing spare clothes. The pod has elasticated pockets with small coded labels which give suggestions for their use, for example: a packet of wipes can be slotted into the back of the pod, nappy cream and lotions can go in one pocket, nappies in another.
The pods are really spacious and look like they can fit a lot in them, then they just clip neatly into the main bag. I love the idea of everything being organised, rather than me sticking my hand in and rummaging around trying to find what I need. The pods each have a strap on the top so they can even be used on their own, or I could take them out and pop my laptop into the space instead!
The parent pocket unzips along the top of the bag and opens up to reveal an extra zipped compartment inside, plus three elasticated pockets which are about the size of a mobile phone (you know, in case you have three!) plus a key fob. I can't tell you how much time I have wasted hunting around in my bag looking for my keys in the past! This section of the bag is the perfect size for my things; once baby's bits are in the changer pod and the boys' things are in the feeder pod, I just need space for my phone, purse, keys, make-up and sunglasses.
There are a couple more little touches that PacaPod have thought of as well. The bag comes with two pram attachment straps which are really handy. I remember my first ever baby changing bag came without any attachment straps and it was a pain trying to hook the shoulder strap over the handlebar. In the end I bought some hooks. I much prefer having proper attachment straps as it means my bag is securely attached to the pram rather than just hooked, and it's convenient when they come with the bag.
The final thing on this bag is the small atlas patterned bag attached to the end of the shoulder strap. Now, I have absolutely no idea what this little bag is meant to be used for, but I am going to be designating it as my "bag for life" bag, because I am always forgetting to take one to the shops with me and have to buy a new one. If you know what the real purpose of this little bag is, do let me know! UPDATE: It's for pacifiers! The PacaMiniPod is one of three little extras in the atlas design, and it can be completely unzipped so that you can keep it nice and clean between uses.
I absolutely adore my new PacaPod changing bag and can't wait to start using it when baby girl arrives. Not long to go now!
With thanks to PacaPod for sending the bag.