(Note: I was given a Charlie G Bags product free of charge to try. This review is based on my personal experience with that product and all opinions are my own. Please see our complete affiliate disclosure here for more information! Thank you for supporting The Pumping Mommy!)
Me going to work… Carrying my laptop bag, my purse, my lunch bag, a huge tote bag with my breast pump, and a cooler bag for my breast milk… all at once. Every. Single. Day.
I used to work for one of the largest banks in the world and with that came long hours and a certain expectation to dress professionally. As I walked in and out of the office each day, dressed in a suit, I looked very out of place carrying all that “stuff.” Not to mention the tote bag I used for my pump was actually a beach tote… Not the best for a professional setting. But I was a first-time mom and I had no idea there were other options out there.
I also worked in a very male dominated industry. So pumping at work was not something that many of my co-workers could relate to.
One day, I was gently advised by another mom, that I didn’t need to lug around all those bags. She introduced me to the world of professional breast pump bags. Yes. This is a real thing and if you are a working and pumping mom, then consider how great it would be to carry only one bag. And I don’t mean a bag that looks like a breast pump belongs in it (you know what look I am talking about- like you have hazardous material in the bag). But a well-made, purse-like bag that doesn’t look like anything even related to a breast pump.
Once I took the plunge and bought one of these amazing bags, I quickly realized that being a pumping mom doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice style. I don’t have to carry a bag that screams breast pump.
I was recently given the opportunity to try The New Yorker pump bag by Charlie G Bags. Charlie G Bags is founded by Kristi Geronimo, a high school teacher and mom. She developed this bag after searching for the perfect pump bag to fit her needs as a working mom. A true mompreneur! The New Yorker and I had quite the adventures the past few weeks! Find out how this bag stacked up…
Testing Out The New Yorker
I was super excited to try out this bag. I am a breast pump hoarder (I own way too many…) and am always looking for a great bag to take on the go with me. I own a few bags and to be honest, it is hard to find a bag that has it all.
According to Charlie G Bags site, The New Yorker features:
Intuitive and Organized Design
The New Yorker utilizes four distinct and separated compartments to keep you organized.
- Upper Compartment – Perfect for baby items and personal items. Zipper pockets keep valuables safe.
- Side Slide Compartment – Accommodates laptops/tablets up to 14″, changing pads, documents, etc.
- Lower Pump and Cooler Compartments – Double Insulated (see dimensions above)
Premium Quality Construction
Seamlessly blends beautiful styling with ultra rugged construction to weather everyday usage.
- Water and Spill Resistant Nylon – Fashionable and easy-to-clean Cordura premium nylon
- Drop Handles and Oversized Cross Body Strap – Can be carried underarm, or across the body.
- Ultra Premium All Metal Hardware
- Easy Slide YKK Zippers
- Metal Feet – Keep the bottom of your bag clean
- Included Dust Bag for Storage
Created to be the ultimate all-in-one solution for the pumping mother. Classy and sophisticated design blends in seamlessly in any work or social environment.
When my new bag arrived in the mail, my first impression was that I was surprised at how big this bag is in person. The pictures really did not do it justice. But once you start stuffing things in it, you begin to appreciate the size… But it is big. The official measurements of the bag are 18″ tall and 15″ across and 8″ wide. So we aren’t talking about a dainty handbag here. This is a serious “go big or go home,” kind of bag.
As a working mom who carried 15,000 bags to work, I needed the space. I am like Mary Poppins. I would carry the kitchen sink if it fit. I like to be prepared. So in order to fit all my stuff, I need a good foot and half or more of space. But more on that later (keep reading to see what I was able to fit in this bag!)…
There are 4 main pockets in The New Yorker bag. One at the top of the bag, a large side pocket, and two lower pockets.
The top pocket (Upper compartment) is a good place to store smaller personal items like your wallet, phone, keys, makeup, snacks, pump parts, etc. The large pocket (Side Slide Compartment) fit a laptop and charger, nursing cover, notepad, and a few other items comfortably. The bottom two compartments are for your pump and an insulated pocket for your breast milk storage bags and pump parts.
I tested the bottom pocket (Cooler/Pump Compartment) with the Spectra S2, Ameda Purely Yours, and Medela Pump in Style and all of them fit with room to spare. There was plenty of room in the second bottom pocket for several bottles or bags of milk, an ice pack and a zip lock bag with my pump parts.
Realistically, I could have used this pump bag to carry all the items I need for work. The only thing I was not able to fit was a lunch bag. You could get some snacks and a sandwich and even a water bottle in the bag but I always carried more than that in my lunch bag for the day. So I would need to carry a lunch bag separately. But going from 5 bags to 2 is a HUGE improvement!
The New Yorker is a very well-made bag. It is sturdy. The shoulder strap is thick and reminds me of how a seatbelt might feel. So you can see how this bag can tote some serious weight. That is often a concern I have had with other bags of similar design. The straps always seem a little too flimsy and when you are loading a pump, laptop, personal items, milk, a cooler and more into the bag, you need some strong straps. I had no problem slinging the bag on my shoulder. It has some nice drop handles as well but I found it more comfortable to wear on my shoulder.
The bag itself is made from nylon. It gives it a nice, clean look. I am typically a leather bag kind of gal but I found myself liking the look of the nylon. One big plus is that it is water and spill resistant. I unintentionally tested this when my three-year-old spilled my cup of coffee (and broke my favorite mug in the process) all over my just opened bag. He came to see what I got and knocked the cup over in the process… A quick rub down with a damp towel did the trick. No stains. No damage. Big win in my mommy book! So take it from me that this is quite kid-proof!
The one thing I didn’t love was the zippers. Perhaps with continued use, they would loosen up but I found them to be hard to zip one-handed. They are heavy duty, which is great but I don’t always have two free hands and would have loved to see an easier and more fluid zipper.
Overall, the bag is sturdy, big, and very well made.
Add The New Yorker to your Baby Registry!
On The Go
I put my new pump bag to the true test a few weeks after getting it. I took it with me on a cross-country trip and brought it on the airplane… I was traveling with my 4-month-old so I didn’t get a chance to snap any pictures but wish that I had! But any mom with a young infant knows that airplanes equal endless breastfeeding so there weren’t a lot of free hands to snap pictures. I did manage to get a rough selfie of us in the airport though!
(Related: Click here to read tips for pumping and traveling and what airlines say about breast pumps!)
I was able to compile my personal items like wallet, phone, hand sanitizer, makeup, phone charger, headphones, and my boarding pass in the top pocket. I used the side pocket for some magazines (that was wishful thinking – who has time to read with a 4-month-old in their lap…), and an extra shirt and shorts for me cause you never know, some snacks, and a water bottle I filled up inside the airport. My pump, pump parts, and extra bottles fit nicely in the side pockets with room for the lunch I bought to take on the plane (a sandwich and chips).
Once on the plane, I did have to put the bag in the overhead because it was a little too big to fit under my seat. I had an aisle seat and did notice the under seat storage is smaller on the aisle than the other seats. But it would have definitely been too tall to fit standing upright in any of the seats. Perhaps on its side, it could have fit but I needed leg room. So, up top, it went.
I did get asked where I got my “huge purse” from a passenger. She thought it might have been a diaper bag and loved the look and size of it. I told her it was actually a pump bag and she was amazed…
Overall, The New Yorker made my trip a lot easier since I was able to combine several bags into one. It helped me not have so much to carry. I could see how traveling for work would be a breeze with this bag. I didn’t take a laptop, but one would have fit fine. And the professional look of the bag would make traveling with your pump more discrete.
I loved The New Yorker even more after seeing how functional it can be.
So What Can You Carry in The New Yorker Pump Bag?
For demonstration purposes, I attempted to fill this bag with all the things I would have taken with me to work.
- Laptop Accessories – Power Cord, Mouse, etc
- Pump Parts – Flanges, Valves, Tubing
- Collection Bottles
- Freezer Bags (Kiinde Twist)
- Nursing Cover
- Hands-Free Pump Bra (Clip and Pump)
- Extra Shirt
- Nursing Pads
- Personal items- wallet, keys, chapstick, makeup, cell phone, etc
- Water Bottle
I normally would have carried one bag for my laptop and accessories, one for my pump and pump parts, one for my expressed milk, a purse for my personal items and a lunch bag for my water, snacks, and lunch. That’s 5 bags! I was able to get MOST of the listed items into the Charlie G Bags The New Yorker with ease.
Personal items, snack, spare pump parts, bra pads, sanitizing wipes, etc and tons more room!
Side Slide Compartment
Extra shirt, Clip and Pump hands-free pumping bra, cover (14″ laptop would fit here with accessories).
One side: Pump, Pump Parts. On the other side: Ice pack, milk storage bottle and freezer bags, water bottle.
The one item I was disappointed that didn’t fit, was my laptop… My laptop is 15inches. The pocket is not long enough either way (side or lengthwise) to fit a laptop that size. In fairness, the description of the bag does specifically state that it will fit up to a 14″ laptop… So I shouldn’t have been too disappointed but that didn’t stop me from trying to stuff it in there… If you have a 15″ or bigger laptop, then beware that it won’t fit. Trust me, I tried.
As mentioned before, I did not try and stuff a full lunch in the bag either. I think I would still carry a separate lunch bag. When I used to bring my lunch to work, I took all kinds of Tupperware for salads, dressings, hot food, yogurt, etc.
Unless I was carrying a smaller pump, like the Medela Freestyle or Spectra 9, I don’t think a full lunch (outside of a sandwich and chips) AND the pump AND expressed milk would all fit in the bottom pockets. A smaller pump and using only freezer bags for the expressed milk would certainly allow room for a full lunch but for me that would not have worked.
So I was able to fit 4 of my 5 regularly-carried bags into The New Yorker!
If you are a working mom and need a professional looking pump bag, this is a great choice. I love almost everything about this bag.
The size is overwhelming at first but once you put it to use, you start to appreciate it. Cutting down on the number of bags you need to carry and making use of all the space is a huge help in simplifying your life. As a working mom, mornings can be crazy. I forgot my pump a few times because I ran out of the house with 4 bags instead of 5… Target probably loved me (even more than usual) cause I had to run and get a manual pump from there a few times just to make it through the day…
If you only had one bag to carry, one bag to pack, one bag to be sure you grab, then think about how less stressful your morning would be.
It is not the cheapest bag but not the most expensive either. I think for the quality and how sturdy it is, I felt the price was on point. You will be able to use this bag long after your pump days are over. It would make a fabulous laptop bag to continue to take to work, a great traveling bag, a diaper bag, or just a “day out” bag. I am not sure I would carry it around as a purse daily or anything because of the size, but I certainly will be using mine for more than just a pump bag!
Have you tried Charlie G Bags The New Yorker? Have Questions about the bag? Drop a comment below!