OiOi: Resistance is futile

If you’re even a casual observer of the diaper bag market, then you know that OiOi — the Australian baby bag designer — is everywhere as of late, popping up in boutiques across the country. And if OiOi is going to be such a readily available option for all the expectant (and existing!) mamas out there, we thought it was time to give them a proper review. I’m happy to report that the verdict is in, and these bags are — in the words of OiOicustomer Cate Blanchett — "a godsend." It’s no wonder vendors are stocking their shelves with OiOi; The only question is, why don’t you have one in your diaper bag arsenal right now?

Click ‘continue reading’ for the full OiOi review.

We recently tested two styles from OiOi that are new for spring/summer 2008: The Cargo Drill Hobo Sack in Ink with Khaki ($140; shown below left), and the Giraffe Print Tote ($160; shown above). The bags are quite different from one another, yet appeal to pretty much every mom I know — regardless of their personal style or the ages of their babies.

The OiOi Cargo Drill Hobo Sack is one cool bag. It appeals to the mom who wants to show that when she said hello to baby she didn’t say goodbye to her own identity or personal tastes. OiOi’s take on the style is impressive. The Cargo Drill Hobo Sack is much roomier than I imagined; At 17"W x 18"H, you’ll have no problem fitting all your diapering supplies for an afternoon out with baby. One main internal compartment with three elasticized pockets give you ample room for storing diapers, toys, a change of clothes, etc., etc…

Two external pockets are great for sippy cups or water bottles, and note that while they are not insulated, the bag does come with a separate insulated bottle holder that will keep beverages hot or cold for up to two hours. Also included with the bag is a large (22" L x 15"W) padded microfiber change mat, a hard plastic wipes case and a a zip-top wet bag for accidents. Speaking of, the 100% cotton drill exterior is coated with a water repellent finish that’s you’d never even know was there…but trust me, it’s there! I purposefully spilled some water on the bag, and watched in amazement as it beaded up and simply rolled away. What I really liked about the appearance of the Cargo Drill Hobo Sack is how it can be worn by moms of girls and moms of boys. The main bag is a muted shade of blue/gray, while the pink floral pattern on the khaki strap and interior lining give it a feminine touch.

I confess, I didn’t expect to love the Giraffe Print Tote. I’m not much of an animal print girl … I like to get by in life attracting as little attention as possible! But I couldn’t have been more wrong about my reaction to the Giraffe Print Tote because I love, love, love this bag and take it with me everywhere. The cocoa giraffe print on the bright white background with faux leather trim definitely makes a statement, but its tastefully done, so that even a wallflower like me doesn’t feel self-conscious carrying it. The natural cotton weave double handle straps with faux leather trim feel great in my hands; They’re substantial and easy to hold on to. I also think that the use of a natural weave for the straps informalizes the bag somewhat, and keeps the animal print from overwhelming the overall aesthetic.

The Giraffe Print Tote comes with all the accessories of the Cargo Drill Hobo Sack, as well as a long adjustable nylon web shoulder strap with dog clip ends, and stroller straps. The burnt sienna lining (see photo at right) is a nice contrast to the bag’s exterior, and is bright enough that you can find whatever you’re looking for inside with ease. And, at 12"H x 15.5"W x 6"D, the Giraffe Print Tote can pull double (or triple!) duty as an overnight or carry-on bag, in addition to its baby-related uses.

OiOi has made the leap from Australia to the United States with style, and I for one am truly thankful that they did. If you’re looking for a bag that’s both pretty and pretty tough, all at the same time, then this is the designer for you. To purchase these bags, or any of OiOi’s numerous other styles, click here.

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