*review by Janelle P.
I was sent the Large Emma Bag in papercut blue to review. I squealed with delight when the box arrived in the mail (with exceedingly fast speed I might add)! I have been rather dissatisfied with my current diaper bag and was extremely excited to be able to review this one. There’s no doubt this bag is absolutely adorable, and I’ve gotten several compliments on it while out and about.
I have been looking for a bigger diaper bag for awhile now. I just can’t fit enough cloth diapers into the one I have for an entire day out without it getting top heavy and tipping over dumping everything onto the floor. Alright… I confess. I am a chronic over packer. I realized just how bad it was when I went through my old bag to transfer some things to the new one and found several things I did not even know were in there.
The Large Emma bag actually was not larger than the one I had, but I do like it much better and I’ll tell you why…
1) Style - Look at the picture and tell me this bag is not cute… It also could pass for a large purse or a messenger type bag. It’s very slim so you don’t accidentally knock people over standing next to you when you turn (or knock over store displays). It feels like you’re just carrying a purse.
2) Pockets - The bag I had, had like 12 pockets… which seems great- except you lose stuff and you have to look through 12 pockets to find something. This bag has 6 interior pockets of varying sizes you can easily see into when you open it. One side has elastic at the top of the pockets, the other does not so you can find a good pocket for whatever you’re needing to protect. The one thing I do miss on this bag is a water bottle pocket on the outside. Some of Maranda’s other bags have one though if that is important to you. It really hasn’t been a big deal now that i’ve gotten used to it. There’s also a small strap inside with a clip you can put your keys on or anything you want to find easily.
3) Carryability - (is this a word? probly not) The Emma bag stays on my shoulder and is very comfortable to carry. I wore it in the grocery store while babywearing an 11 month old and had no problem. I love that the strap is long/adjustable enough that you can also wear it slung crossbody.
4) Closure – This bag closes with a snap, but Maranda can add a zipper for you if you’d like(of course this costs extra but may be well worth it to some). She can also add zippers to the interior pockets as well. I do not use the snap a whole lot but it has worked pretty well when I didn’t have the bag overloaded (sheepish grin). My other bag has a useless magnetic closure that has never worked for me even when it was relatively empty.
5) Quality – This bag was made well and was made thoughtfully. It feels sturdy, and I think it will hold up for quite some time despite the beating a typical diaper bag takes. The interior of my other bag started fraying like 4 months after I started using it I am certain that will not be a problem with this bag.
**This bag does not have stroller clips, but it slung over the handlebar of my stroller with no problem. It could also possibly fit underneath the stroller. I have had problems accessing the stuff in my other bag when I used the stroller clips anyways.
So, you’re thinking “What about the cloth diaper space problem? You said this bag is smaller than the one you had.”
Well, I stopped over packing… yep… true story. I only put in the things I regularly use while out and about and guess what? – I haven’t missed any of the items I omitted from my bag. Seriously. All it took was finding a bag that I love and that was well designed!
For an entire day out I now pack: 7 cloth diapers (prefolds and 1 cover or pockets), wipes, wetbag, 3-4 small toys, nursing cover, sippy cup, cheerios/yogurt bites, onesie or pjs, my wallet, my keys, my cell phone, CJs butter, teething gel (don’t worry it’s the all natural kind), and a changing mat. It all fits, and the Emma bag is the right shape and doesn’t tip over very easily so no more scooping all my diapers off the floor. I’m not going to tell you what packed before- lets just say way too much.
So, in case you can’t tell, I love this bag, and I am extremely pleased I get to keep using it. I enjoy using it so much that I actually use it as my purse and my diaper bag (I used to carry both) for everyday use, and it is working great. I don’t see myself going back to using my old one anytime soon.
I was also generously sent a key fob. This has been a godsend. I have the hardest time finding my keys in my purse or diaper bag (remember chronic over packer– my purse is BIG). I am now able to find my keys in record time and bonus, you can put the strap around your wrist so you don’t drop your keys when putting little ones into the car.
I highly recommend you check out Maranda’s website and etsy and peruse her drool worthy selection of bags, pouches, skirts, and key fobs. Maranda has a wide variety of prints and several bag styles to choose from to fit anyone’s needs and tastes, and her wares are priced very reasonably. For the price of a low to mid-range department store bag you could have a custom bag made just for you, just the way you want it. A bag you wont see 10 other people carrying around at the mall. A bag you give that second glance to whenever you put it down, and you can feel good knowing you just supported a WAHM in the USA. And if you are a chronic over packer then perhaps you too can overcome your over packing tendencies… your shoulders and back will thank you-if not, then Maranda does have Extra Large size bags as well.
From Maranda Lee’s esty website:
I’ve been an etsy seller since 2009 and you can visit my other shop at www.babyeverafter.etsy.com.
After the birth of my second son, I started creating functional bags (Hot Mama Handbags) that look like a purse but could carry all your baby gear.
My boys are growing up and so is my business!
Here at Maranda Lee Designs I am excited to offer new bags (beyond the diaper bag), accessories and more!
Use coupon code “mamachocolate” at checkout in Maranda Lee’s etsy shop to get 15% off your purchases, good until December 15th!
Maranda is giving one lucky Mama Chocolate reader another Large Emma Messenger bag in their choice of available prints!