It took me a loooooong time to try the new Be Sporty by Ju-Ju-Be. I’m a BRB girl for the most part, and I just didn’t think the Sporty could ever compare. So, I skipped it.
I recently caved and bought one because there is just so much hype about this bag. Rave reviews everywhere, and I’m sitting here wondering what all the fuss is about. Well, it turns out that most of the rave is completely justified. It is, to my surprise, an incredibly versatile and fun bag to use. Since I know that you sensible mamas out there like to know what you’re getting before you make a purchase, I thought I’d give an honest review. I’ll start with what I love, and then I’ll go over the things I don’t love.
Five Things I Love
1) The seatbelt straps
This was a point of concern for lots of Ju-Ju-Be lovers. Are those seatbelt straps actually comfortable? Surely they don’t compare to the plush straps of the BRB and BFF! The fact is, these straps are actually super
comfy. They are very wide, which means that the weight of the bag is nicely distributed on your shoulder
s. Because none of the weight is pressing down on any one part of your body, there really isn’t any discomfort. The satiny finish looks absolutely gorgeous, and the straps feel buttery to the touch. AAANNNDDD … the hardware on the straps has bling. I’m obsessed! An added benefit of the straps is that the messenger strap that comes with the sporty makes a wonderful strap for your Starlet or Super Star. I don’t tend to use my Sporty messenger style, so I have permanently removed the messenger strap and put it on my Super Star.
2) The light weight
I haven’t weighed it, but I am pretty sure that the sporty is lighter than the BRB and the BFF. It is certainly lighter than the Be Prepared. This bag has a lighter changing pad, a smaller mommy pocket, unpadded straps, less hardware, and less internal structure than other Ju-Ju-Be bags, which allows it to feel substantially lighter. That makes the Sporty a great choice for long days out when you plan on wearing your bag most of the day.
3) The way is shows off the print
So far, the Sporty has only been released in Tokidoki prints (but please, Ju-Ju-Be gods, can we get some Onyx prints?!?). If you are a toki fan at all, you probably care a lot about the print placement on your bags. I wouldn’t say that I’m the kind of person who gets obsessive over print placement, but with every toki release there is always at least one character that I fall in love with and would like to have it featured on the front of my bag. The large front flap of the Sporty makes it one of the BEST bags for getting good print placement. Unlike other structured bags from Ju-Ju-Be, the Sporty does not have a lot of seams or zippers that create breaks in the pattern. You get a huge swath of real estate on the bag for showcasing those beautiful prints.
4) The zippered bottle pockets
Some people disagree, but I really love the fact that the bottle pockets zip up so that you can hide your bottles. Yes, this does mean that certain sized bottles will not fit in the Sporty. However, my solution to that problem is to just not zip the bottle pockets if I have a bottle that won’t fit (and it still looks cool when you do that). I just love that I can hide my bottles and make the Sporty look like a tech bag or a work bag even when it’s packed with things for my baby.
5) The light change pad
Another reason why I was hesitant to buy the Sporty was because I heard that it came with a thin change pad with no memory foam. You guys, I am obsessed with the memory foam change pads in my other Ju-Ju-Be bags. I don’t really care for the thin change pad that comes in the Hobobe, so I did not think I would like the one that came with the Sporty either. Boy, I was wrong. The light change pad in the Sporty is actually bigger than the Hobobe change pad, which I like. My 10 month old fits very nicely on it. And because the pad is long but still quite thin, I can fold it up and put it in my diapering quick. That way, I can grab the quick out of the diaper bag when I need to perform a quick diaper change and I have my change pad right there with me.
OK, so now that I’ve gone through the love fest, let me share my honest opinion of five things that I don’t love about the Sporty.
Five Things I Don’t Love
1) The price point
I am not afraid to spend a little money on a good diaper bag, but I do feel that $165 for this bag is a little high. It actually costs more than a BRB, and the BRB comes with padded straps, memory foam change pad, a better mommy pocket, and more structure. In my opinion, a reasonable price point for this bag (at least one that I could stomach a little better) would be around $120. I’d like to note that I don’t know how much it costs to make the Be Sporty, so it’s possible that from Ju-Ju-Be’s perspective, the price point might be spot on when they consider the kinds of margins they need in order to be profitable. Still, as a passionate Ju-Ju-Be fan, I would be more comfortable with a slightly lower price.
2) The internal mesh pockets
Those things are a hot mess. They are floppy, so they kind of slouch into the main compartment of the bag. What’s the problem with this? Well, it can be really hard to get your stuff into the Sporty when they keep getting caught on the internal mesh. You keep cramming stuff in there and can’t figure out why it won’t reach the bottom, until you discover that it’s stuck in the pocket. Ju-Ju-Be, I wish you would remove those pockets. I literally never use them and, to be honest, they just get in the way.
3) The cavernous inside
The Sporty is so deep that it can sometimes be difficult to see into the bottom of the bag. This is not a deal breaker for me, by any stretch of the imagination. It just means that sometimes I have to shine my phone’s flashlight in there to find what I’m looking for if the lighting is bad. I think this could be really easily resolved, though, if Ju-Ju-Be always made the lining of the Sporty a very light color.
4) The mommy pocket
I do wish that the mommy pocket of the Sporty was a little more accommodating. I love the structured mommy pocket of the other Ju-Ju-Be bags like the Classy, BFF, BRB, and Be Prepared. The mommy pocket of the Sporty is more like the Hobobe, which I find to be a little too small for my needs. BUT! It does still hold a Be Spendy or a Be Rich (really, just about any wallet), a phone, a pair of sunglasses, and keys. So, overall, that’s not too bad!
5) The fact that you have to pack it vertically
This was actually the biggest reason why it took me so long to buy a Sporty. Because the bag is so deep and narrow, you are kind of forced to pack it vertically. Meaning, you have to stack things one on top of the other. This can be a little challenging when you need something at the bottom of the bag and you have to yank everything else out of there in order to get to it. This, at first, was a deal breaker for me. However, I recently filmed a Five Ways Wednesday video where I packed the Sporty five different ways, and I actually learned that there are MANY great ways to pack it (check out the video here). If you are creative, you can actually find a way to not pack it vertically. I have been packing my Sporty with a large Be Organized laying flat on the bottom (diapering needs), two quicks sitting side by side on top of that (one as a mini clutch for me, and the other with restaurant items), and a medium be organized on top of that (toys and entertainment for my baby). I actually love it packed this way. Although it can be challenging to pull everything out when I need my diapering stuff, it’s really not that bad. And it’s worth it when I consider all the wonderful things I love about this bag!
Overall, the things I love about the Sporty far outweigh the things I don’t love. If you are someone who has been unsure about whether to try this bag, I strongly suggest that you do. You might be surprised by just how well you like it. I sure was!
If this was helpful to you, please feel free to share it. And as always, if you are looking for Ju-Ju-Be bags and other mama and baby gear, I would love for you to shop with me at my online baby boutique, The Sensible Mama!