Despite my absolute best intentions of being completely organized, planning ahead and remembering everything, this family can get a bit crazy. We are very often traveling long distances by car (because of our geographical location) and, when you have young kids (or even old kids??) “emergencies” are a given. Food runs out, clothes get wet, accidents (yes, even the REALLY messy kind) happen and restaurants take WAY too long to deliver food.
Over the past few months, in the midst of the aforementioned craziness that keeps on getting crazier, I have been looking for ways to simplify our adventures. I knew there HAD to be someway to avoid the “bomb” going off in the minivan that literally takes days for me to get through after a busy weekend. Last winter, I wrote a post about how Transpack Ski Bags helped out winter gear (if you ski at all, check it out – those bags=ski season sanity.) This fall, I am pleased to show off a couple other systems I found that have seemed to help around here (and believe me, we could use all the help we can get!)
Psssttt…make sure to read all the way to the end for a generous coupon code from SugarSNAP and a giveaway from Overland Equipment!
1. SugarSNAP Files and Go-Car System “Hey Sugar, it’s just STUFF. Let’s organize it. Now go. Play!”
The brainchild of two moms of twins, Stacy and Tarah came to the conclusion that there just HAD to be a better way than the “bermuda triangle” of “normal” diaper bags. They came out with a fabulous system that has saved my own sanity over the past few weeks again and again and again (actually, more than I care to admit!) Their systems are not only functional, but also fashionable and multi-purpose.
Hands down, my favorite of the two for this stage of my life. I depend on the things that I need being in my car (and there is no way that ALL those things would fit in any diaper bag.) Along with a matching bin, the Car-Go comes with six different “files” (AKA zippered, mesh bags) that help organize and a great check-list to help you think of everything as you fill them.
- Toys + Trinkets: The bag that goes in with us most places, especially restaurants
- Snacks + Supplies: The bag that needs replenishing most often
- Lotions + Potions: Especially helpful in the summer when I just can’t manage to remember our sunscreen
- Dipes + Wipes: Self-explanatory, comes in SUPER handy.
- Shirts + Socks: For when the boys just happen to jump in a lake (this happens a lot…) and need dry clothes
- Blank/Parent’s Choice: Dog leash, dog-poo bags, a pen, notepad, etc.
While I wish it fit better between the back captain seats of our car, it squeezes between the dog kennel and J’s seat and is accessible when needed (and out of the way when not!) While I originally imagined the Car-Go to be my hands-off emergency stash, I have been saved numerous times from uncomfortable situations (screaming kids because I didn’t bring enough food, super wet kids thanks to major accidents or an unexpected irresistible body of water, grumpy kids who had to wait and wait and wait in doctor’s offices, etc.) In fact, I am honestly reaching into it nearly daily.
The best part? I have complete peace of mind knowing that when I am running super late or our day on the mountain ended up being MUCH later than we expected, I have things covered. Once you have everything packed (and remember to re-stock) – you are set and ready to go. Besides the filled Files, I also have room for my Patemm Pad and BobaAir.
The original idea (the Car-Go came later) – files that fit into most diaper bags (they did extensive research to be sure!) that plain and simple, keep things organized! The five files come with similar named tabs as the Car-Go (though trade out “Toys + Trinkets” for “Me + Mine” and no “blank” 6th one). They are slightly smaller than the Car-Go files and are also sized appropriately for what they will be holding. A GREAT idea for new parents, we have used these more in our bike trailer. Our “second car” the trunk easily fills up with absolutely no rhyme or reason. SugarSNAP helps. A lot.
Additionally, all the files can be clipped together (or not) so you can take or leave whatever combination of them suits you that day. Genius!
I have been a fan of Overland Equipment bags for years. I carry their bags daily and they just don’t.wear.out. They hold well (and put up with the abuse I demand of them), wash well, and adventure well. My kind of bag!
The Sierra also just happens to be the perfect bag for holding kid stuff now and my own stuff later. The Files, our water bottles, our jackets, and whatever else we need fit perfectly. While it isn’t big enough to pack for an overnight bag (at least for me), a small laptop, tablet will fit with room left over for books, clothing, etc. This is the bag I use now on a daily basis (along with my Overland Equipment purse) – I throw whatever sugarSNAP Files I need for the day in and am set to go.
The $85 is worth every penny when you are dealing with a bag that will hold up for years and years and years.
I reviewed the “Blackberry” color, which was actually much darker than I expected. However, the color is great for hiding dirt so you can go longer before throwing it in the washer! The front pocket opens up with space for keeping a cell phone, your keys (on a lanyard) and anything else you need to grab quickly. On either side are water bottle pockets (again, easy access.)
Get your own!
NEW! We are also now giving away a Car-Go System through Facebook! Check out our page and see the post pinned to the top on how to enter to win!
2. Overland Equipment has agreed to give away one of their Sierra Bags! To enter to win, just use the Rafflecopter Widget below (if you just see the words “A Rafflecopter Giveaway”, click on it to get to the widget!) Questions/issues? Feel free to email me at mountainmamatales(at)gmail(dot)com
SugarSNAP and Overland Equipment generously provided me this gear for review. However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly my own.
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