In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Sarah Wells Abby Review

A professional looking bag that working moms will love to use though the pumping years and beyond.
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $180 List
Pros:  Spacious, well organized, structured, professional look, great customer service
Cons:  Expensive, straps need padding
Manufacturer:   Sarah Wells
By Juliet Spurrier, MD and Lindsay Selig  ⋅  Aug 13, 2018
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The Skinny

The Sarah Well "Abby" exudes a classic style while at the same time providing virtually every feature a working mama could want, which is why we awarded it our highest honor, the Editors' Choice award. Its divided interior compartments and pockets make it a breeze to keep your pumping and work supplies separate and organized. Made with high-quality materials and a timeless design, we think moms will want to use this bag long after they stop pumping. The only setback is its high price point, but we believe this will end up paying for itself in the long run if moms choose to use it later on as a diaper bag and general tote.


Our Analysis and Test Results

In 2011, Sarah Wells was working and exclusively pumping for her daughter. She was less than thrilled with the options available for carrying her pump, accessories and work gear to and from the office every day. Because of this experience, she became an entrepreneur and designed her first breast pump bag and named it after her daughter, Maddy. The company was launched in 2013 and continues to be a top brand among breast pump bags.

Performance Comparison


The thoughtful design and high quality of this bag make the Abby a top contender, and deserving of our coveted Editors' Choice Award.

As you can see  we had more than enough room for all of the necessary items.
As you can see, we had more than enough room for all of the necessary items.

Ease of Use


This bag is a winning combination of size and organization. The two side compartments designed for holding your pump and accessories zip open and close with ease. All other snaps, clasps, and general hardware items are sturdy but not difficult to secure. It took some wiggling to fit the Spectra pump through the opening, but once inside, it had plenty of room in the pocket. The same is true for removing the pump, as it too takes some finagling. The straps, although stylish, could use a bit of padding to make carrying this heavy load less straining on your shoulders. Overall though, we were pleased with how the thoughtful design made it a joy to use this bag.

The Spectra pump is in after some wiggling to get it to fit.
The Spectra pump is in after some wiggling to get it to fit.

Quality


Sarah Wells has designed this bag well. The nylon material that makes up most of the bag is sturdy and durable, and the genuine leather straps and accents add a nice designer touch, bringing it a step above some of the competition. The gold metal clips for the messenger straps and the zipper hardware are solid and should hold up well over time. Some users have noted that the stitching has come undone over time. While we did not encounter this problem, if you do have any issues with your bag, Sarah Wells offers a lifetime warranty on their products.

Sturdy metal hardware on the zippers makes it a breeze to open and close.
Genuine leather handles add an extra touch of class to the Abby.

Weight/Bulk


All great bags have their downfalls, and for the "Abby", it was the weight. The bottom line is, this is a heavier bag. Weighing in at 2.5 lbs and only .3 pounds away from the heaviest bag we tested, the The New Yorker by Charlie G, things are going to get heavy. Once you load up this with your pump, accessories, laptop, wallet, water bottle, work documents, phone and other gear, it could lead to a sore shoulder at the end of the day. But for a bag of this size, it is somewhat expected, especially when you consider that the contents of the bag contribute the most to the over all weight. The removable messenger strap will help to distribute the load better than the tote straps, but it is something to keep in mind. Regarding bulk, it is larger than some, but the trade-off is being able to fit absolutely everything you may need throughout the day. We seriously doubt you will run out of space in this bag.

Features


The organization of this bag is enough to earn an award on its own. The interior has a convenient divider to house your 15" laptop, along with a side zippered pocket for your wallet. There are two additional mesh pockets on the opposite side and a small outer pocket large enough to fit convenience items such as a phone or keys. One thing that is cool about the Abby is that the large outer pocket unzips at the bottom and can become a luggage handle sleeve, making it more suitable for travel. The two side pockets designed to hold your pump and pumping accessories are thermally lined and will keep milk cold for up to 6 hours with a small ice pack. When not using the bag with a pump, there are snaps that can be used to condense the side pockets (for pump and accessories) against the side to create a larger inner space.

Roomy interior with a divider designed for your laptop.
Roomy interior with a divider designed for your laptop.

Style


We love the overall style and design of the "Abby". It is sleek, professional and best of all, discreet. Working moms continue to comment on how they often get compliments on the bag. This is a bag that can be used first for pumping, then through the diapering years, and would not be out of place later on as a beach tote or overnight bag. The genuine leather handles are a nice added upgrade, but will possibly need some special care to maintain the integrity of the material for longterm use.

Best Applications


We think this is a good professional looking bag that is large enough to accommodate all the gear you may need throughout the day, including normal purse contents, even for those habitual over packers out there. Its roomy interior and nice organization make it a perfect contender for extending its life as a diaper bag or even further as an overnight tote when your pumping days are over.

Plenty of room in the spacious pocket for flanges  bottles  tubing and more.
Plenty of room in the spacious pocket for flanges, bottles, tubing and more.

Value


The Abby is the most expensive bag we tested. Coming in at the top of the pack, it carries some high expectations, which we believe were met. In this case, the high cost is worth the additional level of quality and potential extended lifetime. Sarah Wells bags are made to last and even if they don't, you can then rely on the extra security of the lifetime warranty. This, along with great customer service, should give moms the confidence they need in order to know that investing in this high-quality bag is the right choice.

Conclusion


The fact that this won our Editors' Choice Award speaks to how much we love this bag. If your budget allows, the sturdy construction, great organization and exceptional ease of use features make this a great purchase. We appreciate the versatility this bag offers and think that you will continue to use it far past your days of expressing that liquid gold.

Other Versions and Accessories


Sarah Wells currently offers a total of four breast pump bags. Beside the Abby, you can choose from:
  • Sarah Wells "Lizzy" was also included in our current review and is a more casual, less expensive option.

A great wet/dry accessory to go along with your bag is the Sarah Wells Pumparoo.

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Juliet Spurrier, MD and Lindsay Selig