Friday, 25 April 2014

Lara Jill Changing Bag Review

Vlinder Baby Bag
Vlinder oilcloth baby bag, £39.99
When my old-faithful, free Boots Parenting Club changing bag finally gave up and burst earlier this month, I was forced once and for all to find a replacement. I'd been talking about it for months- the bag was really too small, everyone I knew had the same one (resulting in numerous bag mix-ups) and there had been holes in the lining for ages. It had served me well (especially for free!) but with two babies in nappies on the horizon... on to bigger and better things!

Browsing in high street shops, I was horrified at the price of changing bags. Unless I wanted a very basic, small, plain-coloured model, I would have to shell out a small fortune. Quality and function at the right price are absolutely essential- this bag will be used to hold everything I need for two babies after all! 

I turned to independent designers, makers and retailers. Lara Jill bags stood out for me from the rest of the market, mainly because of the gorgeous fabrics and patterns. They are all made from oilcloth, which also attracted me to them- I take my changing bag outside a lot, and a waterproof element is certainly helpful in the Scottish rain! Lara sent me a stunning Vlinder changing bag from her range to put through its paces and review
Love the colours and pattern of the fabric
Loads of pockets and compartments!
The bag was delivered quickly and well-packaged by courier. It was bigger than I expected, measuring 43 L x 14 W x 28 H (cm). The larger size is actually perfect for me, considering I will be using it for more than one baby. I also tend to spend a lot of time out and about and on the move, hence more supplies! There are also smaller bags from the same range available too, in a very similar style. 

It has the option of using a shoulder strap or handles. The handles make it feel like a fashionable adult bag, while the shoulder strap is practically useful. I found that the design of the handles made them soft to carry. The strap is adjustable, so it is easy to hang over the handles of a pram or buggy. Sometimes I go without a pram, instead choosing to wear Heather in a sling- so the fact that the shoulder strap can be made as long as I like is really useful for babywearing. 

There are loads of pockets and sections in this bag, which is a huge bonus for me. There are zip pockets on both the front and back- easily accessible and perfect for my own essentials like my phone, keys and purse. There are also separate pockets on the inside, so no rummaging for dummies, snacks and smaller items! The main compartment is very spacious. Heather and I went out for the whole day, taking all the supplies necessary- and as you can see, there was plenty of room left to comfortably fit her dolly! The 2 elasticated bottle compartments on the sides are a great feature- they accommodate both my water bottle and her milk bottle. 
Easy to hang over the pram...
... or a buggy!
The Vlinder Baby Bag comes with a matching changing mat. It is thin, so doesn't take up much room, yet slightly padded for comfort. The oilcloth fabric really lends itself to this purpose, as it's easy to wipe down. 

This bag is truly multi-functional. We used it as a flight/ travel bag on holiday, and there was more than ample room to carry everything we needed. The shoulder strap came in really handy when our hands were full from carrying suitcases and everything else that comes with travelling with baby!
On a bus in Tunisia
I would highly recommend purchasing a changing bag from Lara Jill- I have thoroughly road-tested mine (both at home, travelling and during a holiday!) and it has ticked all the boxes for me. This bag is clearly made to last, so I look forward to using it for a long time to come. 

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