Monday, October 21, 2013

Skip Hop "Grand Central" Diaper Bag from Pinky & Company: Review & Giveaway! (Closed)


As a mom of two kids under 3 (including one in cloth diapers), saying we have to haul around a lot of stuff is the understatement of the year! The modest-sized diaper bag I received for my baby shower got the job done for my daughter, but when our son made his entrance it not longer cut the mustard, size-wise. As such, in a moment of unsound logic I dumped its contents and a bunch of other stuff into this huge, cheap-o, single pocket tote which fit everything but left us completely disorganized! ("Oh, he needs a change? Just give me 17 minutes to locate a clean diaper and a couple wipes," I'd say.) Needless to say, it didn't take long before I was shopping around for a better solution!

Enter Pinky and Company, an online family-owned and operated boutique based in Port Moody, BC, offering brand-name, designer diaper bags and other essentials for mom & baby. I discovered the company following a Google search for Canadian diaper bag retailers, and found myself quickly drooling over all the practical, stylish options for keeping organized. Upon contacting the company, the owner herself responded, taking me up on my review proposal and recommending the Skip Hop Grand Central - a diaper bag touted as being "for the mom who needs it all and takes it all". (Yup, that's me!)

...And that, my friends, was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. :D


Product Info

 



For the mom who needs a little extra space, this is the perfect large-size, yet super-stylish, baby bag.

Skip Hop's Grand Central diaper tote magically combines a compact modern style with an uncanny ability to hold more than you can imagine, tucked away and out of sight. High on style and superb in storage, it holds as much or as little as you want it to; it's the only diaper bag you'll ever need. Take it out for the day or away for the weekend - Grand Central's three innovative sections organize everything you need, without feeling over-stuffed.

Available in Black or Cinnamon - pick the one that's right for you!


Features:

  • Baby's Section includes clear, wipe-clean zip pocket and webbing toy fob
  • Mommy's Section includes zip pocket, phone pocket, and fleece-lined sunglasses pocket + 3 large, divided sections
  • 11 pockets include 2 large exterior zip pockets
  • 2 insulated side-pockets fit extra-wide bottles
  • Main section has secure zip-top closure
  • Cushioned changing pad
  • Sturdy, lightweight material; water-resistant lining
  • Cotton tote straps; faux leather trim
  • Hangs neatly on stroller and can be worn over the shoulder
  • BPA-free, Phthalate-free
  • Size (inches): 18w x 13h x 6d

Cost: $108.00


Let's Take a Tour


Pinky and Company sent me a Skip Hop Grand Central diaper bag in Cinnamon. (I decided to "live dangerously" and veer away from my standard black.) 

Here it is in its original glory!


Just look at all those "hungry" pockets, ready to bestow sanity upon my life!


And boom, here it is now stuffed to the gills...



...yet still totally manageable and sweet lookin' over mom's shoulder!



A beautiful thing, ain't it? :)

Here's a video highlighting the bag's features and how I pack it. If you prefer a written & pictorial tour, however, just skip this and read on!



As you can see from the earlier photos, the Grand Central has three main sections. This means one for each member of our family who requires a bunch of stuff - i.e., everyone except Dad! It also has two roomy side pockets.

I obviously assigned myself the "Mommy's Section" (at the front of the bag) and lemme tell ya - I'm workin' it!

First of all, the outer top pocket holds my keys & that's it. A waste of space? Not at all, considering the time and frustration I've saved NOT scrambling around at the last minute for them. They're in the key pocket. Period. Below this is a larger zipped section where I keep my other most frequently-accessed items. Money, cards, chapstick (yes, I'm addicted), pen and a couple other things. Here you can see both uber-important sections in action!


Two other items i'm prone to misplacing (my sunglasses and phone) now have dedicated homes inside the main mommy section. As you can see, I also store larger (and/or needed less frequently) items here such as hand cream & sanitizer, my nursing cover and toys for the kiddos. Opposite from the shades & phone pockets (which you can't quite see here, but trust me - it's there!) is a zipped section in which I store receipts, coupons, invoices and other paper items.


Next up - the biggest of the big sections, located in the middle of the bag and "zippable". This one's for 10-month-old CJ's goodies. Here it's stuffed with about 5 cloth diapers, a wet bag and a change of clothes, and his wipe solution bottle and wipes mini-bag which are nestled happily into their own little open pockets. (No more rooting around for these as the little guy wails in "getting pinned on my back sucks" frustration!)


The third big section is for my daughter's goodies. The main part always has a change of clothes and I'll sometimes throw in a couple books/magazines. At the back is a zipped, clear pocket which is perfect for holding her tiny little hair accessories (clips, elastics, etc.)


This section also includes a toy loop to keep baby's favourite rattle or teether at bay. I haven't used this myself but here you can see it in action.


On to the side pockets. They're both extra-roomy and insulated, so I stuff'em with bottles (obviously) as well as snacks and other items I like to have close at hand. This one's holding my daughter's sippy with almond milk and a pouch snack for my son. (The other one currently has my own water bottle and sunscreen.)


The Grand Central comes with built-in stroller clips. There's one like this on each side of the bag.


The clips are designed to work on most strollers. Here we have the bag attached to our UPPAbaby Vista. (Note - took this pic during a recent trip to Canada's Wonderland where the ability to hang it came in extra-handy, since the basket was filled with all sorts of other stuff - blankets, snacks, souvenirs, etc.! Looks like I got a little lazy here re-packing the bag after one of little man's bum changes. ;)


Finally, the bag includes a change mat. I haven't actually used this as I've replaced it with another one I own that I really like. As you can see, however, it's your standard cushioned, foldable, wipeable variant.



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My Review

 

Loving It

  • Practically stylish - As in, it looks good but Dad doesn't recoil in horror at the idea of sporting it.
  • Fits a boatload of stuff - plenty of room for mom & two kiddos under 3 (including one in cloth diapers; the bag easily fits 5-6 dipes & associated paraphernalia)
  • Extremely well designed (from an organizational standpoint) - I love that there are three main sections, each with their own special sub-sections (e.g. the sunglasses and phone pockets in the mom section). Everything is logical and I don't find anything extraneous.
  • Wipes clean - both the inner and outer are pretty much impervious to nasty kid-originated messes. It all just wipes away.
  • Stays upright - The base is wide, so you can set it on a flat surface without worrying that it's going to topple over!
  • Straps stay put - I can't express how annoying it is when a purse or bag slides off my shoulder, especially when wrestling with a squirmy baby or toddler! Happily this isn't an issue with the Grand Central as the tote-style straps stay in place, regardless of how full or heavy the bag becomes.
  • Includes stroller clips - Great built-in feature. Hanging the bag (vs. carrying or stuffing below) makes its contents more accessible and frees up the stroller basket (and your arm) for other key tasks! This is an item you need to purchase separately for many other bags.
  • Durable - Lemme tell ya, I am putting this bag through the wringer and it's taking all the abuse like a champion. The material around the stroller clips, in particular, takes a lot of strain and it's not showing any signs of wear.


Could Be Better

  • No cooler section - this is included in the similarly-roomy Bento line of Skip Hop bags, and would be a welcome addition to this one (if they could manage to find room for it!), as the one storage-related item we still often need to bring along is a separate soft cooler pack. 
  • Sunglasses pocket is on the narrow side - my own sunglasses fit just fine, but there isn't much additional room so I suspect pairs with large frames might fit very tight or possibly not at all.
  • Stroller clip mechanism could be easier to work. OK I'm getting picky here. But I don't love that you need to press down on the lever (is that the right term?) to both attach and detach them. I feel that the type of clips you find on carseats (i.e. where the two parts snap together) would be more convenient, though, on the downside, this would result in some extra bulk.

 

 Does It Last?

  • 3 Month Update - The bag continues to be in "like new" condition after 3 months of regular use; no signs of ripping, staining, etc.



*** The Bottom Line ***  The Skip Hop Grand Central is truly One Amazing Diaper Bag, and I'd go so far as to say it may be my absolute favourite baby-related item we own. Seriously. If you're in the market for a stylish, roomy bag with uber-organizational powers, give the Grand Central a serious look.

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Buy It


You can purchase your own Skip Hop Grand Central, or another diaper bag of your choice, directly from Pinky & Company. With several designer brands and dozens of styles, you're sure to find your perfect match! Use promo code M2MPINKY and receive 10% off your order! (Good until November 11th.)

Note - at this time, Pinky & Company is shipping exclusively within Canada. Free shipping is offered on orders over $125 (before taxes), otherwise there is a flat-rate fee of $9.99.

 

Win It


Pinky & Company has generously offered to give away a Skip Hop Diaper Bag (winner's choice of style & colour) to one lucky Manager to Mom reader! Open to CANADA.

To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Please follow all instructions within each entry option to ensure your entries are valid

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  The prize is being provided and shipped to the winner by Pinky & Company.  I received no financial compensation for writing my review or offering this giveaway, although I did receive the sample item free of charge.  This is my completely honest opinion above and may be different from yours.

82 comments:

  1. You've sold me on the Grand Central! I love the colour and look, and you certainly outline how practical it is. I especially adore the "mommy pocket" as I hate carrying a smaller diaper bag and my purse. Brilliant solution!

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  2. i like the Skip Hop Grand Central in black or red

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  3. Love, love, want! :)
    Looks so practical, and the diaper bag I have is currently falling apart - I'd happily take one in any colour!

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  4. Love, love, want!
    :)
    It looks so practical with so many compartments. My current bag is falling apart so I'd happily take it in ANY colour!

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  5. I like the Skip Hop Via Backpack Diaper Bag - Black

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  6. Hi Kristy, greetings from Northern Ontario. I'm just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
    http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

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  7. I like the Skip Hop Studio Tote - Black Dot

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  8. I like the Skip Hop Studio Tote - Black Dot

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  9. Very nice! I like the Grand Central in black

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  10. Very nice! I like the Grand Central in black

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  11. Skip Hop Bento Black. thanks.

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  12. I love the Diaper Dude Brown Messenger II Diaper Bag

    Rafflecopter Name is Anne Taylor

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  13. I would choose this: http://www.pinkyandcompany.com/products/skip_hop_studio_pewter

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  14. I like the Skip Hop Grand Central - Black or in the Cinnamon. I love all the compartments. So very handy and well thought of.

    DOREEN LAMOUREUX

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  15. Tough choice! I'm thinking grand central in black, versa black or studio in black dot.

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  16. I like Skip Hop Grand Central - Black or Cinnamon

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  17. I like the Skip Hop Studio Tote - Pewter

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  18. I love the look of their Studio Tote bags. Both black dots and indigo dots are beautiful!

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  19. I would get the Studio Tote in Black Dot.
    angela mitchell

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  20. I prefer the skip hop versa diaper bag in black.

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  21. I like the oioi chocolate on dots

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  22. I would choose the Grand Central in Black. Thanks!

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  23. I would choose the Grand Central in black. Thanks!

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  24. Grand Central in Black!

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  25. The Duo Deluxe in Grey is great and my husband would use it too!

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  26. I would get the Grand Central in black :)

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  27. I would like the studio tote in black dot

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  28. I love the Skip Hop Duo Deluxe Diaper Bag - Metro Stripe!

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  29. I would choose the Skip Hop Bento Black

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  30. I would select the Skip Hop Jonathan Adler Duo Essential Diaper Bag - Wave Multi. I love the colors/pattern.

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  31. Skip Hop Studio Tote - Pewter

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  32. I would choose the exact bag you got! Your review has totally sold me on the awesomeness of it, and I like a bit more colour than black if I can get it :)

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  33. I would choose the Dash Deluxe Diaper bag in black

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  34. I live the versa or the bento best

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  35. I love the skip hop studio- black dot!

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  36. I would choose Skip Hop Studio Tote - Black Dot.

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  37. I love the Skip Hop Studio Tote - Indigo Dot. Or the Grand Central. It`s a tough choice.

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  38. Skip Hop Studio Tote - Black Dot

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  39. Skip Hop Studio Tote - Black Dot

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  40. I LOVE the OiOi Safari Medallion Slouch Tote Diaper Bag

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  41. I really love the Skip Hop Versa Diaper Bag. Fun Contest, thanks!

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  42. the grand central in cinnamon!

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  43. OMG i love this bag. And i'm pretty sure we have the same stroller!

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  44. I want this diaper bag!

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  45. I think i'd choose the grand central in black

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  46. Skip Hop Studio Tote - Black Dot. Our first diaper bag is looking pretty rough after 2.5 years of use--would be great to win a new one for the new babe--I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

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  47. I would choose the Skip Hop Bento Black
    thanks

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  48. I would choose the Skip Hop Duo Deluxe Diaper Bag - Cherry Bloom if I won.

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  49. This one screams Zoo, http://www.pinkyandcompany.com/products/skip-hop-duo-double-deluxe-diaper-bag-onyx

    Great giveaway, thanks for sharing.

    Besos, Sarah
    Blogger at Journeys of The Zoo

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  50. I would probably pick Skip Hop Studio Tote - Indigo Dot.

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  51. I would choose the black Grand Central

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  52. My wife has her eye on the Skip Hop Studio Tote - Black Dot

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  53. I would choose the Skip Hop Via Messenger Diaper Bag - Black

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  54. Twitter fan@plumerea I just had a newborn 11 days ago! Still getting my bearings and recovering from an episiotomy and additonal tearing but so so so in love with my baby. I would love to win a beautiful Lady Bento diaper bag.
    http://www.skiphop.com/product/ladybentodiaperbag.html Thanks for the chance!

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  55. Ooh! Either the black backpack or a red messenger bag! Very nice :D

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  56. I like the skip hop versa!

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  57. I like the versa in black! Love contests!

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  58. Like the versa in black, so hip! Love contests!

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  59. I want to win the Skip hop Grand Central Diaper Bag!!! I am due with my second in Feb, so I really need the extra space it will provide. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  60. I'd pick the Skip Hop Grand Central Black! Thanks for the chance to win! I like your blog very much. :-) Cheers, Julia.

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  61. Skip Hop Dash Deluxe Diaper Bag - Onyx

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  62. I love the Skip Hop Dash Deluxe Diaper Bag - Sequins: http://www.pinkyandcompany.com/products/skip_hop_dash_deluxe_diaper_bag_sequins

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  63. I really like the Skip Hop Studio Tote - Indigo Dot!

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  64. I love this bag: Skip Hop Versa Diaper Bag - Bronze! (@loucheryl)

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  65. I'd choose the Skip Hop Lady Bento...awesome bags

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  66. I keep changing my mind, but I think the Skip Hop Studio Tote - Black Dot.

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  67. Love the skip hop versa diaper bag-cream

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  68. Skip Hop Jonathan Adler Dash Messenger Diaper Bag - Nixon is gorgeous, ove the messenger style

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  69. I really like the Grand Central in Black

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  70. great review! very thorough! I am sold!

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