I’ve been on the hunt for a new changing bag for a while. I needed something big enough to cart around all the things a baby, a toddler and a mum needs for a day out. It also needed to be easy to navigate so I can locate items without being able to see them.
I came across the Mia Tui Jennie Changing Bag and discovered it won the Mumsnet Best Changing Bag 2018 and Mother & Baby Magazine Best Changing Bag for 4 years! It sounded promising but I needed to make sure the internal pockets would keep me sufficiently organised and that it would accommodate my cane. When I contacted Mia Tui to ask about the dimensions of the bag and location of the internal pockets, they were very helpful and were even kind enough to send me a Jennie Changing Bag to review.
A tour of the bag
My first impression of the bag was that the colour was lovely. There were lots of colours to choose from and after some deliberation, I went for the Rose Gold. Not my usual choice but I thought it sounded pretty and summery and would contrast well with the dark floors of trains and aeroplanes where it will no doubt spend some time. I’ve also found that hanging this eye catching bag on the pushchair makes the pushchair easier to find. Pushchairs are often in dark colours which all look the same to me, so when they’re all parked in a row, it can be hard to identify mine (unless I hang a rose gold bag from the handles!).
The vegan leather exterior is wipe clean and feels soft and of a good quality. Other features such as the stud feet that protect the bottom of the bag also indicate this is a quality bag.
The bag is a classic tote shape that is widest at the top and tapers slightly towards the bottom. The two shoulder straps are a generous length so would go nicely over a winter coat. There are D-rings on either end of the bag where you can attach a long strap to wear the bag cross body. Also attached to these D-rings are the all essential buggy clips. The front of the bag is plain apart from a subtle embossed Mia Tui logo. On the back, is in my opinion, a fantastic feature, a sleeve which can be slipped over suitcase handles when travelling. I might only use this a few times a year, but it will make my life so much easier when I do! There’s also a little zipped pocket on the back, great for items that need to be accessed quickly, like travel cards. What I love about the Jennie is that it doesn’t particularly look or feel like a changing bag. In fact it is available as a travel bag, which is the same bag but comes without buggy clips or changing mat. I suspect the travel bag came first and the baby-related accessories were added later to convert it into a changing bag (which was genius!).
As well as the main bag, you also get a few useful accessories to help you make the most of the Jennie:
- A matching cross body/ clutch bag with detachable long strap and wristlet strap.
- A changing mat with pockets for wipes and nappies.
- A black zip up pouch with bright contrasting lining which is big enough for the changing mat, spare clothes, and it has pocket that fit creams and spare nappies.
- A clear plastic zip up pouch which might be handy for liquids when travelling by plane.
Inside the bag – where the magic happens!
The lining of the bag is a bright turquoise blue. That is great for me as it creates a contrast to everything I put in it, giving me the best chance of seeing what I need. There are a few internal pockets and they are generous in size so you can really get organised:
- 2 insulated bottle holders
- 2 pen holders
- A key clip on elastic
- A phone pocket
- 2 large expandable pockets
How I use the Jennie Changing Bag
I have used the bag for a while now and feel like I’ve really ‘moved in’ and figured out how it works best for me. The bag usually lives on the back of the pushchair and I keep the long cross body strap attached in case I need to carry it whilst also carrying a baby and holding a toddler’s hand!
I use the black pouch for the changing mat, all changing paraphernalia and spare clothes. This goes in the main section of the bag. I have attached the wristlet strap from the clutch so I can easily pull the bag out and hook it on my wrist if I don’t need to take the main bag with me to change the baby. It’s actually great to keep all the changing things together in one neat pouch, so if I’m going on a short outing and don’t need the big bag, I can just pop this pouch under the pushchair and carry the little cross body bag.
I keep all my own essentials in the cross body bag such as my phone, purse, keys, lip balm, tissues and other bits. It looks compact, but it is surprisingly spacious, easily accommodating a blue parking badge and a and a glasses case. This too, lives in the main bag unless I need to leave the pushchair and changing bag in an entrance somewhere (like a playgroup or doctor’s surgery). Then I can quickly pull out the clutch bag and pop it on cross body, keeping my valuables safe (and my hands free!).
Moving onto the internal pockets, the two bottle holders are home to the girls’ water bottles, the phone pocket holds tissues and hand sanitiser, and a small torch is attached to the key clip (my phone and keys are in the cross body bag).
On one of side of the bag, the long pocket is big enough for an iPad, but as I don’t carry one with me, I keep a colouring book, crayons, stickers, and a plastic unicorn (obviously!) in that section. On the opposite wall, there is a slightly smaller (but still generous) pocket where I keep a bib, baby cutlery and a couple of boxes of raisins. On occasion, I have also managed to fit in a pot of fruit and a couple of yoghurts too. ‘How?‘ I hear you ask! On each side of the internal pockets there are press studs which you can undo to create a bigger pocket if you need to. So even if I need to pack more snacks than usual, I can still keep all food-related items in one place, so I can easily locate what I need. The expandable pockets are a super useful feature, especially when the toddler insists the plastic unicorn must be joined by a family of pocket sized figures and a talking train for our trip to the dentist! It means that a few extra, unexpected items don’t have to mess up the system.
That’s about everything I carry around for a day out with the kids. There is still plenty of room in the bag after all this is packed. My long cane, both girls’ coats and a couple of cardigans fit comfortably on top and the bag still closes easily. I’m looking forward to seeing how it performs as a carry on bag for an upcoming international trip with the kids later this month, when that extra space will no doubt prove invaluable.
Is the Jennie for you?
You can probably tell I’m really enjoying this bag. It keeps everything in its place and I haven’t had the stress of not being able to find things that have disappeared to the bottom of the bag since I started using it. Everyone is different though, so it might help if I give you my top two pros and cons to help you decide if the Jennie is for you.
- Organisation – extra bags, internal pockets and the suitcase sleeve are all design features that make the Jennie versatile and keep you organised.
- Looks stylish – take off the buggy clips and use as a travel bag for yourself.
- It’s very big – I’m around 5ft 7 and have two kids and I think the bag is a good size for me. However, I can see how it could look too big on a more petite frame. Mia Tui also offer a Mini Jen which is a scaled down version. Apart from its size, the main difference is it has one bottle holder instead of two. If you are more petite, have one child or your children are older so you carry less stuff, the Mini Jen might be worth considering.
- It can get heavy – With a bag of this size, it’s tempting to fill it up, but although the bag can take the weight, I’m pretty sure my shoulder couldn’t. So unless it will spend most of the time on the pushchair or on a suitcase, I would avoid filling it to capacity.
About Mia Tui
In 2010 Charlotte, a busy mum of two, created the brand to solve a problem – she couldn’t find a stylish, practical bag that suited her busy lifestyle. Her bags are all designed with style and organisation in mind. They’re made from high quality fabrics and they never use animal products, so they’re vegan friendly too.
Charlotte has also created a range of bags that address some of my low vision needs. The user friendly design, organisational features, and bright linings of her bags, makes finding things easier for me, even at times when I have no vision at all. Everyone is different and has their own preferences but I suspect other busy women with low vision might find these bags make their lives a bit easier too. I’d certainly encourage them to give Mia Tui a try if they’re in the market for a new bag.
Mia Tui offers an extensive range of styles for every occasion. There are professional bags, bags for special occasions and bags for every day. The ones that interest me the most are the bags that would work for me, a busy (slightly chaotic?) visually impaired mum. The Maya Backpack might be a good option for mums who carry less stuff and like to be hands free. I can see it working for me on shorter trips or days where I only have one child with me. The Isobel is also worth checking out as it’s a clutch style with a detachable cross body strap that could keep you supremely organised, with its clever compartments. This would be great for travelling, keeping passports, travel documents and multiple currencies organised. The only problem with discovering a great brand, is I don’t think I’ll be able to resist these other styles for long!
For more information or to purchase the Jennie Changing Bag, click here
Please note Mia Tui kindly sent me the Jennie Changing Bag to review, but all opinions are my own.