Sarah Wells Kelly Review
Pros: Largest laptop pocket, padded straps, metal feet, multiple carry options, wipes clean
Cons: Harder to adjust straps, only one insulated pocket
Manufacturer: Sarah Wells
Our Analysis and Test Results
Sarah Wells was a pumping, working mother in 2011 when she identified a need for a new kind of breast pump bag. She wanted something she could use to carry her pump, accessories, and work supplies. Spurred by the lack of options, in 2013 she designed her first bag, Maddy, naming it after her daughter.
Ease of Use
The Kelly is an easy to use bag with a variety of carrying styles to choose from and multiple pockets for better organization. The side pocket is large and holds almost any brand pump including hospital-grade options that end to be larger. You can use the pump in the pocket and the pocket also functions as an insulated compartment for milk.
This bag has padded shoulder straps, functional hardware, and wipes clean with a wet cloth. It is large enough for a standard laptop, pump, accessories, and other personal items so it is the only bag you need to carry.
This bag has a stylish look that disguises its true purpose and we feel most people won't have a clue on what it hides inside. The material on the Kelly feels durable, and the zippers and attention to detail are functional without a hiccup. The shoulder strap clips and metal feet are solid and look as if they will withstand the test of time. Some users remark that the shoulder straps can slip in backpack mode, but this appears to be user-dependent and potentially a product of poor adjustment or fitting. Sarah Wells offers a lifetime warranty in the event you have any problems with your bag.
The Kelly weighs 1.4 lbs when empty and is large enough to fit a 17-inch laptop. This makes it one of the largest bags but it isn't the heaviest. However, given the roomy interior, there is potential that you'll be lugging a significantly heavy bag. There are several bags in this roundup that are heavier and a few with equal weights. The padded shoulder straps in backpack mode will help you carry the Kelly should you pack it full, but the tote handle may not be enough if the bag is full or combined with your laptop. The bag is large and roomy and we like the versatility of the style and pockets, but if you want a small, easy to carry bag it may not be the one for you.
The Kelly has a large side pocket for ump and milk. The pocket is large enough for most pump accessories, or you can pin it to the side if you don't need it. The exterior also has a small front pocket perfect for keys or smartphones and is an ideal location for work badges or other quick-access items you don't want to be lost in the larger main pocket. The pocket even includes an interior key clip to prevent accidental key loss.
There is an exterior water bottle holder on the opposite side from the pump pocket and the interior has a laptop sleeve and roomy main compartment. The bottom has metal feet to prevent it from resting on the ground and there are handles for carrying the bag as a tote, backpack or over one shoulder. The backpack straps are well-padded and comfortable, though somewhat hard to adjust as the padding can get in the way. The pump pocket is insulated and can keep contents cool for up to 6 hours when paired with ice packs.
The Kelly has a professional yet casual style that doesn't give away its pumping purpose. This bag looks like a professional bag but the backpack carry style keeps it casual and fun. With the versatile carry options and organization features, we think the bag has the style and features to be used for years to come, long after your pumping days are over.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz