What’s the hottest accessory for your bike these days? Children.
Well maybe not for everyone, but if you are someone who may have traded beer bottles for milk bottles and Alleycat races for playdates, you may have noticed a serious change in your biking proclivities. Of course there’s no need to completely curtail your on-the-go biker lifestyle just because kids are in the picture now. You’ve still got to maintain you street cred, after all. However this new lifestyle will have you starting to reflect on the things you’ve learned as a cyclist, especially when it comes to packing gear.
One thing cyclists and parents can easily ponder is “how to carry all your stuff around?” Cyclists are generally gear heads who through trial and error have figured out the best way to pack for the road…where to keep the extra tubes, the pump, how to keep the laptop secure. Well getting around with baby starts to create parallels like where to put the baby bottles, how to pack the wipes so they are readily accessible. Start to see similar patterns here?
If the quintessential bag for the cyclist is the messenger bag, then the most necessary bag for Mom and Dad is the diaper bag. Who to better combine the two then San Francisco’s own pioneer messenger bag company… Timbuk2.
They took their vast knowledge of bag making for couriers and created their own diaper bag. Mom and Dad, presenting the Stork.
Being an aging hipster bike nerd…I was really into trying to get my hands on one of these. The main reason was because most diaper bags look like big puffy purses and the only other option (the company will go unnamed) has limitations…mainly size.
I approached the Timbuk2 booth at this year’s Bike New York’s expo before the 5 borough bike tour.
(photo by: www.dnainfo.com )
I went right up to one of their sales reps and asked if I could try this bag out and within a few days…they sent me one in the mail. SCORE!
I’m not a new parent, our son Max is 3 and a half, and we’d been using the other guy’s diaper bag since day one…but…one amazing thing right off the bat, Timbuk2’s stork is perfect for toddlers and beyond, especially when you go through potty training. So this bag has longevity…and can easily convert into a straight up messenger bag for later down the road, which is what attracted me to this product.
Timbuk2’s tag line for the bag is: “The diaper bag for people who don’t want to carry a diaper bag.” Which although wordy, sums it up. A diaper bag that looks and feels like a stylish messenger bag…because it is.
But, in addition, this bag is loaded with innovative features for parents on the go.
First of all the bag itself is roomy. This space inside the bag can easily hold multiple milk/water bottles, snacks, spare diapers, wipes holder, toys, blanket, spare clothes, pacifier, pacifier holder, portable potty, manual on parenting (ok, I’m teasing here). It’s 20 inches wide by 10″ high, which makes it about a medium size messenger bag. But it is also very deep at almost 8 inches. It’s subtle, but the bag is slightly taller then most bags so it’s kind of narrow and stout, which means it holds a lot, but doesn’t feel too bulky. Standard messenger bags tend to be wider.
The next best feature is the changing pad,
which nicely fits into one of the two main compartments. It feels like a laptop bag, but then transforms like Optimus Prime into a gigantic cushy changing surface (easily cleanable and machine washable) and it’s covered in lots of cute pockets for stashing stuff. It can also easily be folded and unfolded with one hand so as to get placed with a screaming wet child. The pad is a big bonus, because most diaper bags have insufficient, small changing pads and are sometimes bought separately.
This has been a great feature even for toddlers…that’s right the potty experience only gets more…well…challenging, especially when you are carrying around, diapers and underwear and the portable potty and bags for it and bags for the wet clothes and…get the idea. Yes…more stuff.
The bag has two compartments for separating water/juice/milk bottles and one is made out of neoprene so it keeps drinks insolated, the other side is a ventilated mesh, great for storing a bottle, well, maybe for you…just in case you have the audacity to hydrate yourself as well. It also does well for keeping bottles upright and not spilling. The bag has tons of pockets for keeping things divided, like that favorite chew toy or all the rocks and sticks your kid has collected on a 2 block trip to the park…when not biking there of course. Another cute baby friendly feature, is two short fabric pieces that can cover the main Velcro, so as not to wake a sleeping baby with that familiar ripping sound. Timbuk2, you thought of everything.
The rest of the bag has all the great features that have made this company legendary, adjustable closing straps, an easy quick release lock for adjusting the shoulder strap, padded shoulder strap and grab handle. There is an extra strap hidden in the front pocket to attach keys and an extra removable strap to help stabilize the one-sided shoulder strap when riding or maybe you can use it as a leash for a wandering toddler just learning to walk.
The bag is made of durable ballistic nylon fabric and a cute tricycle design, waterproof TPU liner in case things get messy inside-which they will or you’re caught in the rain. Like all their bags at Timbuk2 it comes with a lifetime guarantee and they really stand behind their products.
The $139.00 price tag is a little steep, but welcome to the world of parenting. Honestly, I think this is a great product and worth the price because your are getting a bag that will grow with your kid(s). Think of this bag as one you will use from front-rider baby bike seat all the way til junior is riding their own bike to school.
Seriously, this will be the only diaper bag you will need.
a video from Timbuk2 about the Stork: