Gear & Equipment
Mom Review: Sling Diaper Bag Essentials (Logic) from JJ Cole
- Category: Gear
- on Tue Feb 2, 2010
- by Brooke Stephens, Photos by Mark Stephens on Tue Feb 2, 2010 - (5) Comments
Update July 2011: the JJ Cole bag here is no longer produced. But we've found a comparable replacement from Patagonia that you can buy. Read about it here.
-- Mark Stephens, Publisher, AdventureParents.com
The Stylish Hands-Free Diaper Bag: It's Small Enough Yet Big Enough, and Of Course It Looks Great
I bought the JJ Cole Essentials Sling back diaper bag from my baby registry for myself, I'll admit. Mark couldn't believe I would spend perfectly good gift card money toward another baby bag, but I knew when I read the reviews about it that it fit our family's travel style. This is my go-to bag for quick errands to the store, walks with the stroller, and even road trips when I don't want to bring along a purse.
The Best Part: It Doesn't Just Look Great, It Works Great
The versatility of this bag is one of its biggest advantages. I can use the multiple pockets in different ways for different kinds of outings. So, sometimes when I pack less for Chloe, the large pouch at the bottom and accessory pockets down the sling can hold my pocketbook, keys, cell phone, and chapstick. Voila: it's a purse, with baby wipes, diapers, and a cup!
If you have to fill all the pouches and pockets with baby essentials (I do remember the newborn phase), at least it is more organized than most one-compartment bags. I love that the middle pouch of the bag looks perfectly designed for a can of formula, and one of the pockets on the sling looks like it was made for a pacifier. Also, it is versatile in that either men or women can wear this bag. It adjusts to fit any heights or styles of bodies. It hangs onto a stroller conveniently, as well.
A Sexy Diaper Bag?
I love the stylish, urban look of this sling back diaper bag. People (even strangers) have stopped me in stores or in the neighborhood to ask about it. And Mark says I'm a hot mom when I wear it. SOLD!
The simple, streamlined shape is appealing, and this design comes in several choices of color schemes. While it's evidently a diaper bag, it doesn't scream baby, which I think dads like just as much as moms. I got the chocolate and pink color pattern, which is so 3-years-ago, but I still love it.
When Chloe first started drawing, she found the sling back diaper bag hanging on a chair near the family room. She managed to pull it off the chair, and by the time I turned around, there was blue ink art all on the front flap of the bag. So, now it's our one-of-a-kind chocolate/pink/blue hieroglyphics color scheme. I can't be too mad about it, because we have gotten more trips out of this piece of gear than I ever thought we would. It's showing no other signs of age like deteriorating seams. It has been a durable, versatile, and valuable part baby essential since week one.
I'm Realistic, It Has Some Flaws
One drawback of this bag is that since it has only smallish compartments, it doesn't have enough storage for absolutely everything. The biggest pocket won't hold a blanket, for example.
And if you have multiple babies in your family, or even two yearlings in diapers at the same time, this bag is not adequate by itself to store what you will need. Even if you only have one child and she is going to spend the night with grandparents (YAY GRANDPARENTS!), this won't fit it all; if you're adding toys, snacks, a hair brush, rash cream, and 10 diapers along with the 4 changes of clothes, 10 more diapers, a pack of wipes, and . . . a sippy cup, you ran out of room at "hair brush." But, you're a savvy parent, you have several bags that you rotate as needed, and when the sling back fits the bill, it's nice not to slug around a bigger bag.
Another problem I found with the bag's design is that since it is sling back, it lies flat on its side in your vehicle or on the counter at home. If your bottle or cup isn't leakproof, you will have a puddle if you leave this bag lying down that way. However, the bottle holder detatches with a nice velcro strap. So remember to detatch before setting the bag down, which might seem like an extra step, but it is worth it to avoid the mess.
The Bottom Line
Where do the years go? I can't believe it's been almost 3 years since I bought the Essentials bag. Since then, the next generation of sling back diaper bags by JJ Cole has replaced it. It is called the Logic Bag, and you can find information on it here. While I can't vouch specifically for the Logic bag, never having handled or owned it, it appears JJ Cole even made some improvements to the Essentials bag in this newest line. They added a diaper changing pad, for instance. It is available for between $24.99- $29.95 at various baby suppliers or at www.jjcolecollections.com.
If you are looking for a more sophisticated looking diaper bag for your baby, or if you're trying to find that great baby shower gift, I recommend the JJ Cole Essential (or Logic, to be more current) Sling Back Diaper Bag. Its versatility allows it to grow with your baby as her needs change, and it is easier to wear around than any other diaper bag I have tried. It is a baby "Essential" I couldn't have done without.
Disclosure: I did not receive this JJ Cole Diaper Bag, nor payment of any kind (cash, credit, or other goods), from the manufacturer, distributor, or an outside firm for this review.