The very pretty Julie writes:
Mir, I am hoping you and your very wise readers can assist me. On a recent day trip with my 6 and 4 year olds, it occurred to me that now that we don’t use a stroller, I don’t have a place (other than my purse) to stow the various water bottles, bags of snacks, sunscreen, camera, and various other items that inevitably get handed to Mom for safekeeping. My husband suggested next time we use his backpack. That would work, but I don’t want to look like I am getting ready to scale a mountain 😉 I’ve seen some smaller backpacks on-line, but would hate to order it only to have it arrive and not be useful. Do you or your readers have any practical suggestions on what has worked?
Julie is experiencing the post-diaper-bag quandary, which is that the kids are still small enough to be toting various items and not able/willing to carry them themselves, but big enough that an entire diaper bag is silly. What to do?
This is actually a question of both function and fashion, which means it’s my favorite kind of question!
Let’s talk about function, first. Julie needs a mid-size bag that will fit a variety of items and be easy to carry. Given that there will be things like water bottles and snacks, it would also be nice if it was waterproof or easy to clean. Does this bag have to be a backpack? That’s up to Julie, of course, but I’d argue there’s a variety of totes that would fit the bill, as well.
That brings us to fashion. Unless you truly are going on a day hike, there is just no way to look like anything other than a hiker or a student with a backpack, unless you’re talking about maybe one of those cute fabric dealies which would be pretty impractical for the purpose we’re discussing. So what are your options?
1) The big purse. Oversize purses are very in style right now, and although I resisted them for a long, long time—and don’t carry one every day—when I’m going on a day trip or otherwise traveling, yeah, I grab my big purse and have room for everything. Mine happens to be leather, but there are as many fabric and price options as you could possibly want.
2) The tote bag. Whether you go for the ubiquitous canvas tote (ala LL Bean—how cute are those argyle totes??—use code 3012422 for free shipping; or Lands’ End—use code REFRESH and PIN 7805 for free shipping) or something more mod, there’s no shortage of tote bag choices.
3) Something else. What else? Well, some sort of ergonomic tote, perhaps. Maybe one of those sling packs, something like this tear drop mono sling.
As for where to shop for whatever you decide to get, I usually start with eBags if I want to do it online, but there’s lots of other places, too.
But let’s hear it, readers—what’s the best solution to this dilemma? Do you have The One Perfect Bag to share?