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I'm a married mum who loves chocolate & music & having an opinion on just about everything! E-Mail summermama@hotmail.co.uk

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Product Review: Quinny Bag

I am not the type of woman who has an excessively large number of bags or shoes; I’m not a particular fan of shopping for things like that, I don’t actively seek out particular brand labels or desire the latest celebrity craze. I’m happy with practical and functional, and for this reason for some time I have used a £15 rucksack from Argos as the nappy bag for The Boy.

When I purchased the travel system prior to his birth, I opted to have the Maxi Cosi bag that was available at the time to ‘match’ the Mura. (This has now been replaced by the Flexi-Bag to go with all the Maxi Cosi range). Unfortunately despite it seeming quite promising – it comes with a changing mat, it has insulated pockets at either end, a pocket in the back with a tag for your keys to be attached to and a pocket inside – I never found it was quite big enough.

The bag itself is made of tough canvas fabric, and while practical this offers no ‘give’ so when trying to cram in a change of clothes, nappies and nappy changing necessities, bottle of milk and beaker of water, etc etc etc, I simply found there wasn’t enough space. When I attempted to streamline my nappy bag by removing the change of clothes, I always found I needed them and a day out was cut short by a nappy leakage drama, wet clothes, and us returning home quickly to change The Boy; Likewise if I ever dared step out the house with only one spare nappy, The Boy would require two changes within the first hour out of the house, and we’d be forced to return home or buy more nappies while out. The pockets were so tight on space that my house keys (three house keys and one keyring) wouldn’t fit in the gap and I certainly couldn’t get my purse in there along with the stuff for The Boy, which meant carrying about a handbag for myself as well as the nappy bag for The Boy, which doesn’t suit me at all! I’m by far a ‘less is more’ person!

During my pregnancy, a friend had got me a Bebe Confort changing bag – she is a huge fan after having the Loola travel system for her first born, and she’d got it with the bag and found the bag invaluable. It has a more rounded appearance, with a removable insulated bottle cover, a changing mat, handy pockets and even an additional space you can unzip to make the bag deeper in appearance, which is another little separate space ideal for storing snacks if you’re out. However, while I got along well with the removable insulated bottle cover, which I used constantly and still do even now, I found the bag itself still not quite satisfying my needs. Add to this neither bag sat particularly well on the Mura pushchair itself (especially when using with the carrycot or the seat unit in parent facing position) I looked around for alternatives.

Staring me in the face was the perfect practical solution – a rucksack. Plain black, it was designed with a net pocket on one side (perfect for holding a beaker of water or a bottle of milk in the insulated pocket from the Bebe Confort bag) a mobile phone pocket on one strap (so that it would be against your chest if you were wearing the bag, but as I hung it over the handlebar of the Mura this pocket was by my hand as I held the handlebar) The front pocket provided ample storage space for all changing necessities, including little elasticated pockets meant for pens that I used to store water free hand sanitiser and sun cream – a separate plastic front zipper section in this front pocket was perfect for storing wet wipes and Bepanthen wipes (invaluable if your small person ever suffers nappy rash, so much easier to deal with when you’re out than the cream itself) The main part of the rucksack was separated into two parts – the back section I used for a change of clothes for The Boy, sun hat, fleece, blanket and sun glasses, the front section I used for my purse, camera and his lunch bag as we never go anywhere without a selection of snacks!

For months, I have got along fine with this arrangement. However a little while ago I noticed the changing bags launched by Quinny …

L-R - Light Sand, Shadow Grey, Round Black and Square Black

Hailed as luxurious, beautiful, practical and functional, I adored them from the first time I saw them. The special added touches really appealed to me – the lining of the bag is the purple Quinny logo on silky feel fabric, the zippers are chunky trendy O shapes with the Quinny ‘Walk Your Way’ slogan printed around them and I liked that they were suitable to use as a combination handbag and nappy bag, since this is something I feel comfortable with. Here’s what Quinny themselves have to say about the bags …

After working myself into a salivating frenzy over these utterly gorgeous bags I then had to stop myself clicking ‘Buy Now’ when I realised the RRP - £80. Gulp. These bags are not for the end of the account balance that I tend to play in! I continued to covet but carried on with my rucksack, not entirely convinced my life would be complete without a Quinny bag but not able to do much about it.

Mother’s Day on March 19th this year I received a Number 1 Mum keyring from The Boy and a handmade card. I was happy, he was happy (or should that be oblivious?) I thought no more of it until I got home the other night and The Hubby was looking rather pleased. He announced my Mother’s Day present had finally arrived, and when I was flummoxed he explained that he’d ordered it before Mother’s Day but it had been out of stock til a couple of days later. It had arrived while he’d been at home, and he proudly presented it to me.

Inside the package was a gorgeous Quinny Square Bag …

It has a pocket inside each end which is insulated for storing bottles or drinks: There are plenty of spacious pockets inside, even a removable pacifier pocket has been included, and the bag feels well made and durable – it looks and feels like a proper quality product. I loaded it up with all the nappy bag items – and there is plenty of room for everything! (Including my purse, camera, keys and mobile phone!)

There are even poppers on the adjustable shoulder strap …

So that you can attach the bag to your pushchair chassis by making a loop using the poppers …

Now the official line is that Quinny don’t recommend you hang anything from the handlebar of the chassis – fear of tipping, etc etc – but they obviously know every mum does hang stuff from the handlebars and nine times out of ten it is the nappy bag. What I’ve found great is that this simple way of attaching it onto a Quinny chassis means that I can fit it nicely onto my Mura chassis and it slides into position directly behind the seat unit (Now The Boy is world facing it isn’t a problem – in parent facing mode this would mean the bag is in his lap!) The weight of the bag in this position is directly above the large back wheels, so the chassis isn’t being weighted in an unfamiliar or unstable way, and it remains perfectly stable at all times with the bag attached. The bag is at the right level for me to not hit my knees as I’m walking, to reach it without stooping down too low and reach it easily enough that I’m not scrabbling about for ages in a shop trying to get my purse out.

I love my new bag, and it’s so beautiful I will be able to take it to the wedding and it won’t look awful next to our posh wedding clothes!

I have discovered two down-sides to this bag though. The first one is that the poppers don’t seem to click together if you’re trying to do it quickly or not quite the right way – you have to be very exact and they click together – otherwise they pop undone and the nappy bag falls like it did twice to me the first day I took it out! The second down-side is that the circular shapes on the zipper to hold the funky Quinny keyring zip-tag in place doesn’t seem to have been closed very well – the one from the main part of my bag has already come off and been lost while we were out on our travels, and the one from the pocket came off when I undid the pocket the other day, so I put that one back on and have a keyring to use for the other zip but as you can imagine I am quite disappointed that I’ve already lost one of them! It’s my own fault though I noticed that it looked like it probably would come off and I didn’t do anything about it before the maiden voyage and when we got home it had gone!

These bags are definitely a luxury item and not a necessity – but if you’re going to go for a good nappy bag with plenty of space but that looks good on you as it is practical, I definitely think these bags tick the boxes. Available in four different colours/styles, the Quinny bag is a gorgeous treat for any mum!

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