Reviewed by Kathryn Carr
For the past few weeks, I’ve been road testing a luxury baby changing backpack. My first case for the investment in this Skip Hop product is that whilst it can’t magic up an extra pair of hands, it does allow busy parents to keep theirs free. With an under one and a two-year-old, I quickly learnt that I need two hands at all times. A baby changing bag that slips off the shoulder is a definite no-no. With the Skip Hop backpack, once it’s loaded up, swung on your back, it’s out of the way and you don’t have to worry about it swinging down, cannonballing the kids. I can pick my children up, shoulder barge through doors and retrieve dropped toys without the fear of losing my little ones’ luggage or even one of the little ones themselves. If all baby changing bags were backpacks, parents would be off to a flying start.
The Skip Hop Greenwich Backpack doesn’t particularly look like a changing bag. It offers a chic solution for mums on the run or dads on the dash. I would say the bag has a look with lines slightly more aimed at the ladies (a lot less so than many others) but my man doesn’t get any funny looks when he’s wearing it.
The earthy, olive colour doesn’t particularly stand out but at the same time, it screams ‘style’ and will complement any outfit (as well as hold plenty of wipes for cleaning up said outfits). Keeping clean isn’t easy when there’s babies and/or toddlers about which is why this durable, wipe-clean bag made of faux leather is a winner. Mine has survived a baked bean avalanche and an apple juice tsunami. It’s subject to hurricane force children on a daily basis yet it remains perfectly intact (the zips run super smooth) and wipes up like new. It’s all about the wipes!
For organisation fanatics like myself, this changing back pack’s nine pockets means there’s a place for everything and everything has its place. With such a gorgeous piece of kit, I take great pride in restocking the bag every morning and when I’m out and about, I know exactly where I’ll find my purse, keys and phone, and the girls’ snacks, nappy paraphernalia and various other ‘necessary’ bits and bobs remain neatly packed as we travel.
The main compartment is huge but the dual opening zips and extra wide opening means it’s easy to find what you need without making a mess. The multiple other, cleverly designed storage spaces ensure everything’s at your fingertips. It’s tardis-like too. The bag actually looks neat and compact; you’d never guess from the outside how much it can actually hold. It could safely cater for a third child (but I’ll see how I get on with two for the time being!)
The Skip Hop Greenwich Changing Backpack has a changing station at the rear of the bag which has a pocket for the small, cushioned changing pad which is included (this washes well in the machine). There’s plenty of room for nappies, wipes, nappy bags and bum cream, making it a one stop zip shop for those quick changes. And once potty training’s done and dusted (or with some reorganisation before) it’s the perfect place for a laptop/tablet. This bag is both hardy and good looking and will certainly last beyond your child’s early years. It will do me when the time comes to return to work and in the meantime, when I’m kid free, it makes for the perfect overnight bag for a getaway with the girls!
One of my favourite features of this backpack is the attached ‘stroller’ straps that allow you to clip it to any pram or buggy. These straps are brilliant when you’re out shopping or on a day out; the bag can be strapped in front of you whilst offering convenient access to your purse/wallet and anything else your child may demand. At the same time, it’s actually never a chore to wear it on your back. I was worried the backpack would be uncomfortable but no, with adjustable straps, it fits like a glove as well as offering the ultimate in organisation.
Retailing at £99, it’s certainly at the more expensive end of the backpack spectrum (though pretty much in-line with specifically designed changing bags) but you get so much for your money. It’s a long lasting, beautiful looking, multi-functional, practical product – it’s a sound investment that really will make life as a parent just that little bit easier.
Skip Hop is a US-based company, for more information visit www.skiphop.com, however their products are available at retailers throughout the UK and Ireland, including Amazon, John Lewis, Mothercare and JoJo Maman Bebe.