The missus spent a long time (and I mean long time) looking for a baby changing bag prior to Baby L being born. I didn’t really get the obsession with her search and often mocked the endless hours she spent Googling, researching and going into shops.
That was until I was kindly sent the awesome Babymule Original changing bag to review and realised how important it is to have a good changing bag. You end up carrying so much baby stuff around wherever you go, that it is vital to have something comfortable that fits all of the crap in. The Babymule does this and more.
Below is my review of the Babymule changing bag now that I’ve had chance to take it to a few different places and test it out:
The product is described as:
Babymule is a stylish yet superbly functional baby changing bag in a design that both Mum’s and Dad’s will adore. The Babymule classic original baby changing bag is the first ever truly interchangeable baby changing bag (rucksack and messenger in one), with hideaway buggy clips for complete freedom. Simply wear it as backpack, sling it over your shoulder as a messenger, or clip it to your buggy. All straps tuck seamlessly away and the 180 degree zips mean no more rummaging. The wipe clean luxurious fabric is water resistant and Babymule is machine washable. Features include:
- 22 litre capacity rucksack
- 2 main compartments
- Structured storage areas within the bag
- Security zippered pockets inside
- External pockets for quick access
- Handy grab handles
- Water resistant fabric
- Bright contrast lining
- Designed for use by men or women
- Changing pouch for nappies and wipes
- Padded wipe clean mat
On receiving the bag, I instantly felt overwhelmed (in a good way!) at the amount of pockets and compartments available. In total, I found seven separate zipped compartments of varying sizes, including a large front section and two huge middle sections, along with two separate side pockets (one including something to attach your keys to), one hidden inside section and a zip on the back.
Within these compartments were the accessories that came with the bag, such as the changing pouch and an insulated bottle bag. These handily attach to the inside with a press stud so that you don’t need to rummage to find them in a full bag. There is also an elasticated netted section inside the main compartment which allows you to store something, such as nappies, in a separate part.
Being fascinated with the idea of the bag being three in one – a backpack, messenger bag and one that clips to the buggy – I decided to figure out how all of this worked. This is where the bag is genius in design and is something I’ve never seen before. There is a separate strap which easily clips to two external buckles which allows you to wear the bag over one shoulder or across your chest. Messenger bag done!
You can then pull out two straps by each buckle which unveil the clips that you attach to the buggy. These then clip either side of the pushchair handlebar and allow you to use your bag handsfree whilst the buggy takes the strain. You may have realised earlier that I said seven zips but only listed six – where this is where the backpack comes from. On the back of the bag is a zip, which once opened allows you to pull out the straps for the backpack. You then pull out two other straps at the bottom of the bag, clip these to the top straps and you have created the backpack. There is even another two straps that you can pull out in order to secure the backpack around your waist. A truly amazing design which is simple to use and allows everything to be hidden back in the bag depending on the way you want to wear the bag.
The changing bag is marketed as being interchangeable and multi-functional to allow you to take it on any adventure, no matter how big or small. I wanted to test this out and was keen to use the bag on a number of different outings. We therefore used the bag on a trip into town, walking the dog in the woods and going to a friend’s house nearby. During each of these trips I wanted to test the three different ways of wearing the bag and see whether they were easy and comfortable to use. The answer is a resounding yes.
The backpack was very comfortable and allows you to have two hands free to deal with other stuff, such as holding the dog’s lead or carrying the car seat with baby inside. The messenger bag was comfortable, and with adjustable strap, meant that I could wear it either over my shoulder (my preference) or across the chest. When clipped to the buggy, I found that the bag did not get in the way of anything and was securely attached to the pushchair. In all of these configurations, I was able to access pockets easily and get to what I needed to get to. When attached to the pushchair, the clips did seem to be a bit more in the way than the changing bag the missus had bought, but this might just be because I need to reposition the straps a bit more.
The bag is a shiny black in colour, with bold red lining on the inside of the bag. Personally, I find the black a little plain from a colour perspective and it reminds me slightly of the standard laptop bags I was given with my company laptop. I’d like to see a few more splashes of red on the outside of the bag to match the inside lining, accessories and zips, but this is a personal preference rather than a design flaw. Babymule do offer different colour variations of the Original (green, charcoal, chocolate and navy), as well as the funky patterned Woodland Print bag which is the same as the Original, but is grey with a cool leaf design which matches the changing mat.
The main point of these solid colours though is to make the bag not girly, which so many bags on the market are. When the missus bought her baby changing bag, she was keen to try and get one that I could use too, but having looked around, there was little option on the market and we ended up with quite a bold design. I’d be happy to use it, but it is not what you’d call “designed with a man in mind”. That’s where the Babymule fills a niche. It is understated, has solid dark colours, has plenty of space and contains so many zips and configurations to keep the most inquisitive of Dads busy. When out with the bag, I’d often change it from one configuration to another just to keep me entertained and allow me to pretend that my bag was a Transformer!
The accessories that come with the bag are all really well made and also big in size. I was particularly impressed with the cool design on the changing mat, the large size of the wet bag which allows you to keep all sick and crap stained clothes away from the rest of your stuff, as well as the handy pouch which can be removed and used as a separate item if you don’t need to take a bag.
As with everything, the market offers a wide selection of changing bags which can range anywhere from £50 up to £120 (and above for designer names) for a decent bag, with prices fluctuating on things like quality, size and brand name. The Babymule bag is therefore well priced in relation to competitors and well worth the money.
The fact that this bag appeals to Dads too can’t be underestimated when it comes to price. The simple design, colour scheme and Transformer-inspired nature of the bag means that it appeals to the men folk of the world who aren’t often catered for with things like bags.
With the above in mind, I’d have no issue at all with parting with £85 for a bag as versatile and Dad-friendly as the Babymule.
The Babymule Original is a great changing bag to own and will become a trusty companion for my DADventures (sorry for the pun!), particularly when Hay goes back to work and I become a SAHD. The bag is comfortable in whichever way you decide to wear it and it has plenty of space to allow you to fit all the stuff you need for baby’s day out.
Being so versatile, I can see the bag being used for many years to come which make it huge value for money at £85. Whereas some bags on the market have a limited shelf life in terms of usage, the Babymule can be used for every trip you make and no matter how old your kids are.
I’m very impressed with this product and have surprised myself at how excited I’ve been about having my own, cool man bag! But it is not just for a man though. The missus really likes it too and to quote her “I’d have been happy to have used this bag if I’d not bought the other”.
DADventurer Star Rating
4.5 out of 5
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N.B. This review was written by me (Dave) and represents my honest opinion of the product. The baby change bag was sent to me by Babymule with the purpose of writing a product review in exchange for the product.