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Hands-on Gear Review
Skip Hop Forma Review
Price: $70.00 List | $58.03 at Amazon - 17% off
Pros: Priced well, quality, great organization with large capacity
Cons: Base lacks metal feet, fabric handles
Bottom line: Budget-worthy bag, highly functional, cute
The Skip Hop Forma is a cute, quality tote with a great price point and snags the Best Value Award. With two packing pods, one for clothes and diaper changing accessories and the other insulated for drinks and snacks, it carries everything necessary for a day out with baby, with room to spare. Two zippered exterior pockets are perfect for storing quick-access items. And, the interior fabric is nice and light making it easy to locate items. In fact, the bag can be turned inside-out to get at those pesky cracker crumbs that hide in the corners as well as help facilitate a deeper spot clean. While its cloth handles and plastic buckle stroller straps leave a bit to be desired, we didn't seem to mind because its fabric is so soft, the bag so lightweight, and the organization so supreme, it is a great find for those on a budget.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Diaper Bags Shoot-out Review
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Skip Hop Forma tote is a cute diaper bag that takes organization to another level with its innovative use of packing cubes. One fits changing necessities while the other is insulated for keeping drinks and snacks cold.
Storage and Ease of Use
The Forma received a score of 7 of 10 in storage and ease of use. At first glance, we thought it might not hold up to our rigorous use during travel, but it proved itself to be a great, lightweight yet durable workhorse, keeping everything packed nicely and easily accessible in an organized manner. To our surprise, we loved using this bag.
The Forma is a featherweight (1.4 pounds); in comparison, the other diaper bags we tested in this review ranged from 2 to 2.7 pounds with the exception of both the Babymel Amanda Mini and LeSportsac Ryan at 1.5 pounds. This lightness especially becomes nice on long journeys. During air travel with baby, we used the Forma as our primary diaper bag alongside the Petunia Pickle Bottom Sashay Satchel as a secondary bag. Having obsessively over-packed, the Forma still had room to spare. Organizing baby's essentials into this sturdy polyester bag is easy, and it stays upright and looking nice even when empty. The zippers perform nicely when full without sticking or falling off their tracks. And, when subjected to extreme jostling, the two exterior and nine interior pockets keep everything in place. We didn't even have any issues with objects falling out of the ends of the zippered main compartment's small gaps.
The Forma's accessories are well-executed. In fact, the best thing about this bag are the two small included packing pods that zip closed and fit inside the interior of the bag. One is even insulated for bottles and snacks. As usual, Skip Hop's utilitarian changing pad though on the smaller side is soft, easy to clean, and gets the job done. And, the Forma's only velcro is the changing pad's closure. In general, velcro can be tough to handle as it tends to be loud and stick to stuff. However, a small piece of a changing pad is really no big deal.
The Forma can be spot-cleaned only, so no tossing it into the washing machine like the Ju-Ju-Be Be Right Back. Unfortunately, it doesn't have metal feet to protect the bottom of the bag from scuffs, germs, and dirt so occasional cleaning is a must. By all means, you should not submerge the Forma's base in water as this will swell it's cardboard-like backing. As it is polyester, it will show stains but we didn't have issues with washing them out spot by spot. A very cool thing is this bag can be turned inside out completely, allowing for the banishment of every crumb. The only other bag we tested that offered such an option was the lower scoring OiOi Messenger.
This is one soft bag which translates into an 8 of 10 for comfort. We even used it as a pillow for a sleepy toddler while on the road. The padded handles are fabric and as such are easy to grip and non-irritating when slung over the shoulder. At 1.4 pounds, one can hardly notice carrying anything when it is empty.
The Forma is also one well-made bag and received a 7 of 10 in quality. Its stitching is tight and we did not experience snagging during use. No seams pulling apart, zipper pulls detaching, or zippers skipping teeth nada. Its fabric handles will transfer anything on hands like recently applied lotion or sunscreen to its absorbent fabric. This was a big issue for us. In addition, although its plastic buckle stroller clips performed well, they just don't give that feel of sturdiness. The only other diaper bag in our review featuring plastic hardware is the lower scoring LeSportsac Ryan.
Please keep in mind that BabyGearLab does NOT recommend hanging diaper bags from the back of a stroller due to the risk of stroller tip-over.
There is currently a trend toward quilted handbags and the Forma fits lock-step with it. Of the ten bags in our review, three are quilted; the Forma, the Storksak Bobby (lower center) and the Timi and Leslie Marie Antoinette (lower right). Additional stylistic pluses with the Forma are its nice deep color choices and metal zippers with faux leather pulls.
Nonetheless, we awarded the Forma a score of 7 of 10 in style because we think this bag still looks just a little too much like a diaper bag to pass as a purse for mom as well. And, we feel that there is room for improvement in the fabric handles and plastic stroller clips.
This bag suits those looking for a great find on a budget. With accessory packing cubes and organizational pockets, easy to clean fabrics, and sturdy zippers, this lightweight gem fits the bill for a cute, lightweight bag that can carry it all.
The Forma at a List price of $70 certainly gives the most bang for the buck out of all of the diaper bags testing in this round-up review. As such, it earns Best Value without a second thought. It really is a bargain that delivers on what matters most: function, quality, and cute style.
The Forma quickly became one of our favorites of the ten diaper bags tested with durable quality and easy to clean fabric. Lightweight and easy to carry with great compartmentalization, it routinely fit everything we needed for baby. Though it doesn't pass well as a purse, it more than makes up for it with added extras.
Other Versions and Accessories
The Skip Hop Forma comes in three colors: Black, Berry, and Peacock (we tested peacock).
Skip Hop has recently introduced the Skip Hop Forma Backpack $70 which is a hands-free version of the Forma Tote. It includes 2 packing cubes, 2 insulated side pockets,
A few nice accessories for either the backpack or tote are:
— Natalie Hale
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