No Sephora Employee Appreciation haul for me this year. My younger sister recently announced her pregnancy so rather than getting something for myself I decided to get her a present.
I don’t have any kids myself and I don’t have plans to have any…ever. All I can say is some people are cat or kid people. I’m not; I’m strictly a dog person. Except for my sister, I don’t know any pregnant women or women with kids (my sis and I are both in our early-mid 30s in case you’re wondering). I’ve also never attended a baby shower so I really have no idea what an appropriate gift is but I thought it made sense to get her something really useful like a diaper bag.
Although I lack experience in the baby realm, I feel like I know a decent amount (about what to buy) from watching YouTube videos. It seems like within the past few years all of the YouTube beauty gurus that I subscribe to have been popping out babies, so along with the expected beauty product reviews I notice a lot of mommy/baby recommendations cropping up in their videos these days. Off the top of my head, emilynoel83, saaamage, itsjudytime, aprilathena7 and michele1218 come to mind. Even though the baby stuff never held any relevance for me, they still somehow stuck in the back of my mind. As a result, I kind of had a vague idea of the type of bag I did and didn’t want.
I knew from watching their “What’s in my diaper/baby bag?” videos that I didn’t want a heavy or bulky bag. Considering the crap load of baby paraphernalia (diapers, blankets, changes of clothes, pacifers, bottles, etc.) that are going to be stuffed into it, the bag needed to be spacious and lightweight above all else. I also knew an adjustable shoulder strap was one of the features I wanted.
Style was important as well. Between the two of us, my sister tends go for trendier looks while I veer towards more classic styles. Put another way, she’s Forever21 and I’m more GAP. I looked at a lot of different bags: the popular Ju-Ju-Be and Petunia Pickle Bottom for starters. No offense to people who own them but they’re too dowdy for my tastes. I didn’t care for any of the bag shapes and most of the fabric patterns were too busy for my liking. I prefer bags with simpler silhouettes in solid colors but different strokes for different folks and all that jazz. Whatever floats your boat.
I also looked at all of the Skip Hop bags and I was seriously considering their Duo Signature diaper bag in black. I really liked how it had two exterior pockets to hold baby bottles. The Skip Hop Duo in the French Stripe pattern was really cute and tempting but I didn’t like the concealed side pockets for the baby bottles because they ate up space in the bag’s interior. I definitely wanted a roomier option.
The Longchamp tote was considered but I didn’t want such a cavernous bag. I didn’t need a ton of pockets but a few would be nice. The black Vera Bradley Convertible bag was pretty but didn’t offer enough space inside. And I didn’t care for the Marc Jacobs Eliz-A-Baby; neither the hefty price tag nor the style which was a bit too dowdy and matronly for me.
In the end I settled on the LeSportsac Ryan Baby Bag which met all of my requirements. The shape is simple and timeless, just a basic rectangle, nothing fussy. When it’s empty, it weighs a scant 1 lb 4.1 oz. It has two short handles, one longer shoulder strap, stroller clips and even a matching changing pad that comes with the bag. The Ryan Baby Bag is nicely sized at 13 x 13.75 x 7 inches, so it should be able to hold the massive amount of baby items that will eventually be shoved into it.
The LeSportsac baby has two deep side pockets to hold baby bottles and two deep exterior pockets (the front pocket’s zippered, the back pocket isn’t). The interior is basically one large space with two open slip pockets along the back. I ordered a cheap diaper bag organizer from ebay ($1-$2) just in case my sister wants more pockets inside.
The price wasn’t too bad either. Ryan Baby Bags usually go for $138-$168 depending on the fabric pattern you choose. I considered getting it in basic black but then I came across the limited edition “Mirage Poof” pattern. It’s a deep navy blue that has a quilted floral design. I love the color and I love that the pattern is subtle but gives the bag some added pizzazz. I think the quilting also adds a bit of structure and sturdiness to the bag because I’ve seen some reviews on YouTube featuring non-quilted Ryans and they seem a little flimsier and slouchier in comparison. The Mirage Poof pattern hold its shape and stands up easily on its own.
I also love how it’s a baby bag that doesn’t look like a baby bag. If I didn’t know any better I’d think it was a normal large tote or travel bag. I definitely wanted something that my sister would be able to use even after her kid(s) got older, so the Ryan’s perfect.
The bag is 100% nylon and washable. The care instructions say to hand wash in cold water and line dry.
The main reason I decided to pull the trigger was because the “Mirage Poof” style was on sale at macys.com, marked down from $168 to $125.99 and then an additional 20% off with a promo code, so my total with tax came out to $109.79. I knew that if I waited for a bigger sale like Black Friday that it would be sold out by then so I bought it during Columbus Day weekend and I’m so glad I did. It sold out the very next day! I was going to try to find a link to the Mirage Poof Ryan in case anyone else was interested in buying one but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be available anywhere anymore. You can still get the Ryan in other patterns though.
I see the Ryan mentioned positively by a lot of moms on message boards, not so much on YouTube (the Skip Hop/Petunia Picklebottom/Ju-Ju-Be/Vera Bradley bags seem to be the trend there). I’ve owned other LeSportsac bags before and I can attest to their quality and durability so I’m not sure why the Ryan doesn’t get more love. Maybe this quasi-review will give it a bit more attention and it’ll catch on.
I’ve included a short video featuring the LeSportsac Ryan Baby Bag just so you can get a feel for it. No talking, just text and video because I’m still not comfortable with being on camera. You do get to see my left hand though! 😉
FYI: In case you’re wondering what’s inside the bag, I’m putting together a little “gift basket” with some baby essentials using the Ryan as the “basket”. I’ve purchased some bottles (Playtex Nursers, Tommee Tippee), a cute hooded lamb baby towel, and matching rabbit baby booties and hat. I also have some baby outfits on their way to me. There are a few other items that I’m thinking of including but they’re still on the “maybe” list.