By peoplestaff225
September 02, 2008 06:00 AM


Being a mom to a preschooler and a toddler, I find that my diaper bag needs are always changing. Some days and some outings require a ton of ‘stuff,’ while others require next to nothing. Perhaps in recognition of this state of diaper bag flux moms can sometimes find themselves in, Ju-Ju-Be recently introduced two new bags that are at opposite ends of the size spectrum: The WannaBe ($165) and the Be Light ($35). I recently tested both bags and, as always, am thrilled with the results. There’s a reason Ju-Ju-Be has obtained almost cult-like status with some moms (the ‘pink ladies,’ as they’re called on the Ju-Ju-Be message boards) — they make great bags, filled with thoughtful details and in distinctive styles that let you know who made them without even needing to read the label.

Let’s start with the big news, the WannaBe. Did I say big? It’s really, really big.  As in, 19″ x 17″ x 8″, big. This is not a diaper bag for someone not comfortable with the notion of diaper bags. The WannaBe is not subtle, you’ll see it coming a mile away, it’s never going to pass for a handbag. But just think about what you’re getting in return…a phenomenal bag for the pool or the beach (it has sand traps and drains, a cooler pocket and a towel holder), or even an overnight trip. No more struggles to make everything fit. No more last-minute decisions about which board book to bring, because you can bring them both.  Bring three for that matter!  They’ll all fit, I promise.

From it’s size alone, you would guess that the WannaBe offers a ton of storage space, and you’d be right. But — like all Ju-Ju-Be bags — it’s the dedication to unique storage solutions that sets the WannaBe apart. I love the electronics pocket with dividers, because I’m forever paranoid about my iPod getting scuffed up, and the magazine pocket makes me feel somewhat validated in bringing some mindless reading material along on our outings. There’s also two accessory bags, and two interior pockets which are capable of storing up to a liter of liquid, each. The WannaBe does not zipper shut, but it does feature a buckle which keeps the contents of the bag from spilling out. It can be converted to a backpack with removable padded straps, which are included, and comes available in three prints.

Sometimes big things can come in small packages, though, and that’s where the BeLight comes on the scene. I have never been able to get completely on board with the ‘diaper clutch’ concept. Although I know they’re very popular — and I completely get the appeal of using a smaller bag with an older child — even moms of potty trained toddlers need to have their hands free from time to time…so holding a clutch has never been appealing to me. Fortunately, in the aptly-named Be Light (weighing in at a mere 6.4 ounces!), I’ve found my happy medium.

The Be Light is the perfect size for toting some diapers and wipes, but because it’s a true bag and not a clutch you can also throw in some personal effects like a wallet, sunglasses and a cell phone. There is a zippered pocket as well as a divided pocket, along with a small coordinating changing pad. The padded straps can be tied at whatever length you like; leave them long to wear across your chest, down low on your hip; tie them higher for a true handbag feel. The best part of all? The Be Light is completely reversible, so it’s like getting two bags in one. It comes available in seven fun styles and colors.

— Missy