I love bags. I have come to realize and accept that I do have that in common with many women out there. But unlike many women, I think that what passes for a purse or handbag these days is atrocious. I can’t stand all the buckles and faux leather and strange tassels. So for the past many years, what I use as a purse could just as easily be carried by a man without any embarrassment on his part. I use purses and bags that are useful, utilitarian, waterproof, and often multi-purpose.
Though we’re way past the diaper bag stage, I recently had the opportunity to review a bag that is intended as a diaper bag, but can also be used for many different purposes including as an exercise bag, a carry-all, a computer messenger bag, or even a picnic basket.
Made by a fair trade certified manufacturer in Vietnam, the Go GaGa bags are fantastic. They currently have three models that each come in a variety of colors: The Gondola Bag, The Messenger Bag, and The Slide Tote Bag. All seem to be waterproof. I reviewed The Messenger Bag.
The first thing I noticed about the bag was the unusual shoulder strap. Anyone who has worn a baby in a sling will recognize the usefulness and purpose of Go GaGa’s strap. Carry the bag on your shoulder like a regular bag, or carry it across your body and open up the strap to cover your shoulder. Then the weight of the bag is distributed over a much wider area. This makes it great for carrying heavy things. Not so great for lifting that arm, but the restriction isn’t nearly as much as with a baby sling. The shoulder strap also has a removable piece that can hold the strap closer together wherever you like, and the piece has a small storage compartment itself. The strap is somewhat adjustable to fit as you need.
The next things I noticed about the bag were the two insulated drink compartments, one on either side. Both are large enough to easily accommodate my tall Klean Kanteen, and I’m told a bottle of wine should also fit. Of course, baby bottles will also work. If you put anything in these drink compartments, though, they do take up some of the room inside the bag. The design is unusual in that way.
Inside, there are plenty of compartments. Large, small, and convertible. There is one divided compartment that can be undivided by unfastening a loop and hook closure. This makes the bag quite versatile, depending on your needs.
There are also several external pockets, including one on the back which holds a diaper changing pad. A very nice one, indeed. It’s durable enough that I’ve thought about using it to sit on in the wet grass or on other surfaces. Or to use as a small surface on which to put food. It’s a clean surface to use for whatever you need at the time.
The bag also has two straps that can be used to either attach it to a stroller, or to carry your yoga mat.
My one complaint about the bag is the lack of zippered compartments. As it is, if you put small things in this messenger bag and then turn it upside down, some of it will fall out. There is only one zippered compartment, and it is only big enough to hold some credit cards and a bit of cash, or something of that size.
The Go GaGa Messenger Bag is quickly becoming my go-to bag for when I need to go somewhere and carry more than just my purse. I imagine that if I had either of the smaller bags, they might take over as my purse.
Additionally, Go GaGa carries the Urban Sherpa Strap available for separate purchase, to attach to other bags that you have. You can also buy a Stuff Sack to put inside any of your bags, or to clip onto anything as needed.
Note: I received a messenger bag for review purposes.