We know what clever bags Pacapod make: with their bespoke ‘pods’ that mean all your wipes, nappies, bottles, muslins, snack packs and that little snuggly toy your little one can’t do without this week are all easy to find and don’t spill out whilst you’re struggling to find said toy whilst balancing a stroller and pacifing a toddler on the bus…
But the Sequoia is not only the best changing bag you’ll ever own (did we mention the clever elastic strap for your keys, the cunning side pockets that keep your smartphone separate from yogurt explosions and the foldaway changing mat?) it also doubles up as a handbag!
So- we decided to put it to the test. Not on a playdate – in fact not as a changing bag at all – we decided to ditch the Bayswater for a week and see how the Sequoia performs as arm candy.
Our SM tester writes:
Day one: I shall preface this review by saying on the first day I *did* actually use the bag as a changing bag – we were invited to a BBQ hosted by a fabulous gay couple in their beautiful East London home. My children took all of 30 seconds to dive straight into their gigantic and pristine paddling pool – and the hosts gawped with horror as my eldest completely ignored the neat pile of laundered white fluffy towels and ran straight into said lovely home with muddy, grassy footprints and soggy clothes. Quick as a flash though, I was able to grab an oversized muslin from my bag to dry him off – whilst standing him on the foldout changing mat – then mopped the floor and put his wet clothes into the drawstring bag cunningly concealed in the Sequoia also. But the real ‘ta-dah’ moment was when the host came over, handed me a glass of champers and said ‘gorgeous bag!’.
Day two: off to work and I am due at a press day at the St Martin’s Lane hotel. Out come the changing pods and in go a pair of heels (so I can swap my flat shoes outside and pretend I was wearing them all along) a rolled up jacket (the weather just couldn’t make its mind up and neither could I), iPad and my make up bag (I’m a self-confessed school run slap-application junkie). The Sequoia actually has two main compartments so it’s really easy to keep your pens, lippies, purse etc away from all the children’s clobber and the zipped compartments at the sides are genius because at press days you always find yourself fumbling around for business cards – only to find your last one has a wine gum stuck to it… Impressively too, the Sequoia is also roomy enough to stash all the goodies from the press day and zip closed, plus the wide shoulder strap makes it super comfortable to carry.
Day three: I’m due to meet a friend who is shopping for a dress for a wedding. So it’s off to Westfield we go – again, I’ll confess, my youngest is in a buggy with me so I do have a changing pod in there. We’ve watched her wriggle in and out of a couple of thousand micro mini dresses and made ego boosting noises as she asks ‘,do you think this one will upstage the bride?’ before my son decides it’s snack time. Not having packed anything (I know, I know) we pop in to M&S and there’s one of those ‘buy six items from the deli for the price of five’ offers that I always fall for. Great: we now have a bag loaded up with olives and antipasti and I’m not even worrying about anything leaking into my bag because it’s wipe clean. My friend finally emerges from a store armed with a dress… ‘Now I just need a nice bag,’ she says ‘,where’s yours from..?’
Day four: I’m invited to drinks at the rooftop bar of the Courthouse Hotel. ‘Can I put my bits in your handbag?’ asks my vain other half ‘,so I don’t spoil the line of my jacket…’ Handbag – he called it a handbag! The Sequoia bag comes in a choice of colours – the one I have is a gorgeous creamy white and the pattern is a subtle jewel textured weave. ‘It’s like those vintage Mulberry shoppers,’ my glamorous fashion blogger chum coos…
Day five: Heading into the office (with a slight hangover) happy to discover that I’ve stashed some paracetamol in the clever side pocket safe in the knowledge that none of the kids have figured it out yet. And I also have my husband’s cufflinks because he took them off and popped them into one of the tiny inner pockets usually reserved for my Carmex plus two pairs of sunglasses because I’d forgotten that one pair were neatly stored in another one of those inner pockets… And somewhere along the way home last night we seemingly bought some Heston’s Salted Caramel Popcorn.
Smugly though, I have also packed my own lunch today (well, leftover pizza that last night’s babysitter didn’t feed the kids – they bullied her into giving them ice cream) and a bottle of Diet Coke which, thanks to the Sequoia’s rigid base, I can keep upright.
So – after a week of outings I’ve really grown to love the Sequoia as a handbag. It’s practical, roomy and at a moment’s notice can revert to it’s ‘day job’ of being a changing bag again. One of the inner pods also doubles up as a mini backpack so is ideal if you have a baby and an older child plus the key strap is robust enough for car keys as well as door ones and quick to release. Pacapod’s trademark clip straps mean you can attach it to a buggy, or clip other bags to the Sequoia (useful if you have one of Pacapod’s toy pods) – plus you can carry it with the shoulder strap or like a tote.
(I couldn’t resist this extraneous bag selfie…)
And would I swap it for my Bayswater? I shall probably go to fashionista hell for saying so, but I think I will. Probably. Definitely. I think so…
VOTE for the Pacapod Sequoia in the #MMHA 2015