Diaper bags are as difficult to choose as jeans. Either they're too frou frou or they're too utilitarian. They make you feel old and frumpy. Largely, they're too expensive. It's hard to find a perfect fit.
There's a new brand on the market trying to remedy the eternal diaper bag dilemma– Rowdy Products. Founded in 2007 by young parents encountering the same problems, Rowdy is a collection of well-designed bags and changing pads with lots of thoughtful details.
I got to try the Boardwalk Bowler, a very hip satchel with rope handles and brass buckles that retails for a moderate (in the world of diaper bags!) $84.99:
My husband kept trying to get me to admit it was real leather because its man-made material is impressively realistic, although it did have a vinyl smell. Unlike the cowhide it mimics, it is quite light for its size. Which is pretty huge, like what I would have considered a weekender in my pre-kid life. I imagine moms of multiples could put this bag to good use it's that roomy.
The standard Rowdy features are really great. My favorite innovation is the tiny clutch, just big enough for your wallet and lipstick and keys, that attaches to the side of the bag (under the buckle flap) via clips and snaps. You can ditch the big bag in a second– just grab the clutch and go. Another cool trick in the Rowdy arsenal: all bags have a removable inner lining that is spill-resistant and washable. They also come with an insulated bottle holder and foldable, washable changing mat. I love the faux-ostrich chic Sophisticate Bowler ($119.99), too, but I'm not sure I could pull off its snowy whiteness:
Diaper clutches are something that I don't remember seeing when I first had Roo almost four years ago but there are several cool styles on the market these days. I remember just keeping a couple of diapers and a wipes case in a quart sized Ziploc bag, but these newfangled contraptions are much more aesthetically pleasing. The Rowdy Square Pad ($31.99) is one of the best-designed I've seen. The changing pad folds up into a neatly self-contained package that stores a few diapers and wipes case with a zippered exterior pocket for diaper rash cream, lip balm, ATM card, hand sanitizer… whatever. Plus, it has a rugged, Carhartt-esque look that makes it perfect for keeping on dad's gun rack in the pickup. Just joking, it's available in girly pink and mint green, too.
If you sign up for Rowdy's email list, you could win a changing pad of your own– every 25th registrant wins! Check out the specials– you can get a Boardwalk Bowler and Square Pad for $99. And shipping is free for online orders.
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