A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the LeSportsac ‘Ryan’ Baby Bag that I’d purchased for my sister as a baby shower gift. I mentioned looking at several other bags before settling on the Ryan and the Skip Hop ‘Duo’ in the French Stripe pattern was one of the top contenders.
I’m a big fan of LeSportsac bags and was more than satisfied with my purchase but in the back of my mind I kept thinking about the Skip Hop Duo and wondering if I’d made the right choice. The Duo is super popular among new moms so I decided, to heck with it, and ordered one off of Nordstrom to see what the fuss was all about. The bag retails for $64. Nordstrom has a fantastic return policy so I knew if I ended up not liking it I wouldn’t have trouble getting a refund.
At first I thought the Ryan was going to be huge compared to the Skip Hop Duo but looking at their lengths and widths the two bags are pretty similar in size. The only difference is bag depth. The Duo is narrower front-to-back compared to the Ryan so you get less interior space with the Duo.
The LeSportsac Ryan measures 13 x 13.75 x 7 inches and the Skip Hop Duo is 14 x 13.5 x 4 inches.
Both bags come with handles, shoulder straps, stroller clips and changing pads. The changing pad that comes with the Ryan (23 x 14 inches) is much more cushiony compared to the one that comes with the Skip Hop Duo (23 x 12 inches).
After playing around with both bags, I’m confident I made the right choice. There’s no doubt in my mind that the LeSportsac Ryan is the superior bag. It’s more lightweight and spacious inside. The softer nylon material, which happens to be completely washable by the way, means you can cram a lot more stuff inside and the bag will adjust to fit. In contrast, the Skip Hop ‘Duo’ is made out of some sort of faux leather, wipe-clean only, plastic coated canvas material that’s a lot stiffer and less pliable.
The Ryan has a broader base so whether it’s full or empty I never have any trouble standing it upright. The Duo, however, has a narrower base and a tendency of toppling over regardless if it’s empty or full.
Sure, the Skip Hop ‘Duo’ in the special edition French Stripe pattern is really cute and it’s what attracted me to the bag initially but I have issues with the construction. Not only does the bag I received have a misprint — check out the botched printing of the stripe pattern on my bag — but I also have an issue with the placement of the magnets on the front pockets.
I tried yanking on the pockets to try to get the magnets to match up but it just didn’t work. The alignment is way off. Plus, the magnets are extremely weak, so even if I manage to get the magnets to meet up they don’t keep the pocket shut anyway. The magnets aren’t really functional.
You’re probably thinking that the Skip Hop is still a good option because it has more pockets than the Ryan (9 compartments versus the Ryan’s 7) but I don’t find that to be the case here. The Skip Hop Duo has a lot of small pockets but that ends up limiting the amount and types of stuff you can fit into the bags. The hidden side pockets seem like a good idea at first but they eat up a lot of space in the main zippered compartment. The front zippered “mommy” pocket only goes about halfway down the height of the bag so there isn’t a lot of space there either. You can fit a lot of small items into the Duo’s small pockets but there isn’t a lot of room to fit larger items except in the main zippered compartment and, as mentioned previously, a lot of that space is taken up already if you utilize those hidden side pockets.
In comparison, the pockets in the Ryan are much deeper overall and the main zippered compartment is one big space so you can stuff it to your heart’s content. You aren’t limited to small items here. You can cram in larger, bulkier, oversized items like receiving blankets, swaddling cloths, baby jackets and clothes in addition to multiple bottles, diapers etc.. Put simply, I think the Ryan offers more versatility and flexibility with the types and sheer amount of items you can carry inside of it. It holds a lot!!! And if you want more compartmentalization, you can always buy a diaper bag organizer for less than $2 on ebay. I like how the Ryan gives me more options versus the Skip Hop bag.
Overall, I think the Skip Hop ‘Duo’ is more about fashion than function whereas the LeSportsac ‘Ryan’ does a much better job at balancing the two. The quality and construction of the Ryan is simply better and I think the price tag reflects that. If you could only choose one I’d recommend picking the Ryan.
Needless to say the Skip Hop ‘Duo’ ended up being returned to Nordstrom.
If you want to learn more about the LeSportsac Ryan click here for my previous blog entry demo/review.