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  1. #1
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    Mom bag decisions - help!

    Hi everybody! New to Tom Bihn and new to the forums. Call me Smilez.

    I'm a 30 year old mom of 2-soon-to-be-3. I've been on the hunt for the perfect EDC bag for.... forever. Since my teenager years.

    So I've spent the last two days relentlessly searching the forums for help, and finally this morning decided just to make my own thread and seek advice from you all, the experts.

    Right now, I'm in need of: an EDC bag and a diaper bag. In terms of the diaper bag, I'm sold on the Parental Unit, but hubby is NOT impressed with the price, especially because we're pretty sure #3 will be our last kid, and therefore just have to "get through" the next two-ish years with a diaper bag. Our previous one made it through our first two kiddos, but has moved on to the disintegration stage. He also would strongly prefer a backpack-style diaper bag. I'm not a huge fan of the back-pack idea (I find them to become giant black holes). So we differ there. I saw on the forums that a number of people have decided to go with the Synapse 19 or 25, which is a fine idea, but we already have perfectly fine regular backpacks that would probably do just as well if we want to go the backpack route. Not that I'd be opposed to owning a TB backpack, I'm just also super-frugal and our currently-owned backpacks would probably fit the need just as much as a new $200 TB backpack would. So any thoughts on the diaper bag situation would be most welcome.

    In terms of the EDC, I've been eyeing the Medium Cafe Bag. My biggest question is, would it fit the bill of a busy mom-of-three for the foreseeable future? I typically carry an A4 planner, a pouch with a small Bible, pens, and sticky notes, a pouch with some small snacks (2 granola bars and 2 fruit pouches), my wallet, my phone, my keys, and my 18 oz. Hydroflask water bottle. If going without the diaper bag, I would want room for another kid water bottle, and possibly an extra diaper and small package of wipes.

    I'm looking for any and all direction! Would love, love, love some advice, especially from other people with littles!

    Thanks, forums!

    I've been eyeing the medium cafe bag for my own personal purse/edc for the foreseable future.

  2. #2
    Forum Member maliora's Avatar
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    I think the Parental Unit could cover both of your use cases, honestly. If you don't mind carrying a bag on the slightly larger side as your EDC, the Parental Unit is pretty great. It definitely doesn't read as a diaper bag, and if you like organization it has a million different pockets to put things in.

  3. #3
    Forum Member RDR3's Avatar
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    Hello and welcome!
    I have both the PU and MCB and both are great bags! Are you planning on carrying the PU and MCB at the same time? Also a mom of 3 kids, I find carrying one cross body bag and one backpack and holding the toddler's hand to be plenty. I know it's not on your list but how about a Side effect with your essentials and this slips easily into the PU or MCB. Can take some pictures tomorrow of the 2 bags side by side

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RDR3 View Post
    Hello and welcome!
    I have both the PU and MCB and both are great bags! Are you planning on carrying the PU and MCB at the same time? Also a mom of 3 kids, I find carrying one cross body bag and one backpack and holding the toddler's hand to be plenty. I know it's not on your list but how about a Side effect with your essentials and this slips easily into the PU or MCB. Can take some pictures tomorrow of the 2 bags side by side
    So I've gone back and forth over this. Part of the issue is that I regularly (multiple times a week) leave the diaper bag in various places with my child/children for childcare. Church nursery, childcare in the mornings, etc. So using the PU for both purposes kind of hamstrings me a bit - although it would certainly work for our daily outings - just one bag would be necessary.

    But I'm also looking toward the future for a time when I can use the PU for something like a gym bag or some such thing - when I'm not carrying so much stuff - and even now when I have a rare moment out and about without having to think about all the crap in the diaper bag - it would be great to find the perfect EDC for just me + a short trip out when no diaper bag is needed.

    Thanks for replying! I would love to see some pics!

  5. #5
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    Regarding the cost of the bag.

    You could look on eBay for a used one. Tom Bihn bags have kind of a cult following, so they tend to hold their value. Alternatively, you could also buy it new, keep the receipt to show when you got it, and sell it on eBay once used. Or, donate it to charity and write it off on your taxes.

    Also... I'm a married man who also dated before marriage, I would be thrilled if my wife (1) only wanted to spend $150 on a bag; (2) was interested in a bag that's a functional one, not a fashion accessory.

    While shopping on her own, my wife will seldom spend more than $100 on a purse, she hints regularly at expensive bags for gifts. Our second Christmas together, I got her a nice leather purse from a boutique, handmade by a nearby leathersmith. It was about $350, as I recall. This Christmas, I dropped about $250 on a leather purse from Etsy, among other stuff. She also got me a day bag / messenger bag, which costs around $180.

    And purses wear out, go out of style, etc. She only uses them in seasons that match.

    So, you know, your husband could have it a lot worse, though I don't know the details of your finances.

  6. #6
    Forum Member habanero's Avatar
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    We use a Daylight Backpack as a diaper bag, and one accessory that has helped us enormously has been a Large Snake Charmer, that we use to corral the diapers, a waterproof changing pad, pack of wipes, extra onesie, and mini tubes of related ointments. Even my frugal DH, who wishes I would stop buying TB bags, has grudgingly admitted the snake charmer is very functional and makes it really easy for one of us to pop in a restroom with the little one without bringing the whole backpack.

    Congrats on the upcoming arrival and good luck with your choice!

  7. #7
    Forum Member RDR3's Avatar
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    @Smilez
    MCB and PU
    Mom bag decisions - help!-image-jpg

    Mom bag decisions - help!-image-jpg

    SE in MCB
    Mom bag decisions - help!-image-jpg

    SE in PU
    Mom bag decisions - help!-image-jpg

    The SE is my EDC. It is my favorite TB bag I've slipped it into various TB bags through the years with the 3 boys based on where we are going
    HTH
    Last edited by RDR3; 11-01-2017 at 01:31 PM.

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