A bulging changing bag is an essential piece of kit for mums from that first trip home from the hospital right the way through to shopping trips with preschoolers. Even those with a minimalist approach to packing will quickly get used to carrying a fair bit of parenting paraphernalia around with them. So how does the Pacapod Jura cope?
I’ve had a few changing bags over the last five years and know from experience not all bags are created equal. You always seem to have to compromise between looks, quality, practicality and size and never quite get that perfect bag you’re looking for. It was exactly this problem that prompted mum and outdoor clothing designer Jacqueline Waggett to develop the Pacapod system and I was sent one of her Pacapod Jura designs to try out.
When she developed the Pacapod system Jacqueline drew not only on her experience as a mother and clothes designer but also on her time cycling round the world with all her stuff packed into just two bicycle panniers. This has resulted in a clever three part system with the aim of keeping everything to hand and making your life easier. Each Pacapod design, of which the Jura is just one, consists of a changing pod (with room for everything you need plus a mat and a draw string bag for any soiled clothing), a feeding pod (with insulated bottle wrapper and a pocket to hold cutlery etc) and the outside bag (with all the pockets and sections you’d expect from a handbag) into which the two pods fit. The bag also comes with clips to attach it securely to your pushchair regardless of the type of handles it has.
The first big advantage is that you don’t need to take a separate handbag out with you as your purse, keys, phone etc can all go in the bag without risk of them getting mixed up with all the changing stuff. Secondly, it’s easy to find what you need quickly as everything has its place. Thirdly, you can just take the changing pod with you when its nappy time or just find room for the feeding pod on the table when the baby’s getting hungry, much more space efficient.
I also think its a great looking bag, a lovely strong tote shape with a modern pattern and the parallel zips are a fab touch. It doesn’t really look like a changing bag at all. It’s also not too girly for when Hubs takes the boys out although he will often just grab the changing pod and attach it to the pushchair by itself if they aren’t going to be out for long.
I’ve found the Jura a real joy to use. It’s saves me so much time because I don’t have to dig about searching for everything and can go straight for the right place. The system also makes it easy for you to quickly check you’ve got everything before you go out as you can see at a glance if something is missing. There’s plenty of room for everything I need for the boys as well as my own stuff, even my iPad fits happily in there. Being able to just grab the changing pod when you’re heading into a cramped mother and baby cubicle is also a big bonus.
I’ve been really impressed with the quality of the bag and all its components. At £70 the Jura is certainly more expensive than other changing bags I’ve had but the difference in quality is massive. Everything from the stitching to the tags on the zips is so clearly made to last that, in combination with the wipeable outer fabric, you know the Jura will stay looking great for years to come.
When I’m sent things to review I try hard to be as fair and thorough as possible but in this case I’ve really struggled to come up with anything negative to say. If you were to push me then maybe a plain colour option would be nice to make it a bit more unisex but to be fair the rest of the Pacapod range has several designs to suit the dads including some messenger bag styles and one that looks more like a rucksack.
Pros: Stylish, great organisation and convenience, suberb quality.
Cons: More expensive than an average bag, limited colour options.
Summary: A great bag that really helps keep you organised, definitely one for the new baby wishlist.
[Disclosure: I was sent the Pacapod Jura for the purpose or review, all thoughts are my own.]