Sunday, 3 December 2017

Review: Fact + Fiction Cali Tote Changing Bag

Fact + Fiction might be a new name but this brand have been producing their anti-rummage arm candy for five years. Originally launched as Gym Tote, a stylish from-gym-to-work bag the founders-Helena Searcaigh and Nicola Kearney found that their bags were becoming increasingly popular with parents, it's easy to see why. I chose to put their quilted Cali Tote to the test, here's how I got on:

Size
Of the three baby bags I'm lucky enough to call my own, I can cram the most into this one. It's huge, plenty of space for a couple of changes of clothes, winter hats and gloves, her lunchbox/bag and the rest of the 'essential' baby kit that I find myself lugging around. There's usually space for my own stuff too, I have claimed the large front zip compartment for my phone and purse.

Weight
As I already have two leather options, I chose to try the quilted bag and the weight difference is really noticeable. When empty it's much lighter than my others but because of its large size I do end up filling it right up!


Ease of use
This bag is all about the handy compartments, they call it 'anti rummage' and it lives up to it's title. I feel that it's made me much more organised. The wipes are in the bottom zippy compartment, I take a quick look and re-fill if it's empty, rather than having to tip the whole bag out to search for them, or worse, throw another pack in. It was all or nothing when it came to nappies or wipes, now it's easy to put my finger on them when I need them. It's great when as a new mum, with baby strapped to boob you need to direct someone else to things too. Knowing where everything is at least makes you feel like you've got it all under control. There's also an upright bottle compartment on the outside, a laptop/changing mat panel and lots of smaller zipped sections for dummies, food pouches and bibs. 

The straps are a good length, I usually sling the short handles over my shoulder but I do keep the long strap attached for when hanging the bag onto the back of the pram. It doesn't come with pram clips, which would be a great addition although you can buy universal clips.


Quality
It feels a really good quality bag, I was apprehensive as I wouldn't usually use faux leather, this bag is a mix of quilted nylon with faux leather and light gold hardware, it wipes clean easily and still looks smart with daily use. There are plenty of zips on the outside and the pale gold metal really does make the bag look stylish. 
Anything else?
Erm, the anti-smell technology! There are mesh air-holes to allow the bag and its contents to breathe, which limits lingering odours. 

The proof with baby kit is how much use it gets, I've been using it every day. It's so easy to find things and as a naturally disorganised person, it makes me feel like I'm coping that little bit better with motherhood when I can put my hand on her baby wipes without pulling everything else out of the bag.  

I reviewed the Cali Tote which retails at £135. Find out more here.

Disclosure: I was sent the Cali tote for honest review, all views are my own.
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