Guys' Infant Gear presents the Flanker
, a utilitarian diaper bag with men in mind. We got a sample here at the Stroll for some manly-man diaper-dealer to try out and review. I am that man, and I am happy to report: I love this product.
First of all, why does a man need a diaper bag distinct from a unisex diaper bag or one with women in mind? I'm not sure, but I like the idea after trying out the Flanker. The diaper bags we have used in the past included our Eddie Bauer backpack and some basic, brandless totes, items that quickly became filled with clutter. In fact, they soon started doubling as my lovely wife's purse(s). This is not likely to happen with the Flanker. It's slim and functional, which keeps clutter to a minimum. As I used it I began to think this is where the "manly" concept comes into play: we dudes like things to be just what they are and nothing else. A toolbox is a toolbox. Fishing tackle goes in the tackle box. Beer is in the cooler. Toss it in the trunk and let's go.
The Flanker fulfills that creed. It has a little room for toys and other odds and ends, including a flat area for papers, PDAs or what have you (including a cell phone holder and thermal bottle holder). But for the most part it is all about the diapers.
But that's not all – the thing that really sold me on this is it's also all about the changing. The Flanker is made of a sturdy black quilted fabric and one of its sides folds out into a comfortable changing surface for baby. It's easy to use and convenient – no more spreading a towel (or your jacket) to make sure baby's bottom isn't touching your friend's carpet or bedspread! Follow the above link to see what I'm talking about. This is a diaper bag for the James Bond in us. Just unzip, unfold, wrestle baby onto it, and away you go. (No doubt Bond's Flanker is bulletproof and packs a parachute, too.)
Best of all, it's black. Ninja black. In testing out this product I wore it over my shoulder into the meanest, nastiest back road bar I could find. The burliest, hairiest, angriest, inkiest biker you ever saw approached me, spit on the floor, took his shades off, looked me in the eye and said, "Excuse me. Where did you get that ADORABLE bag?"
I have only one quibble about the Flanker. You can adjust the length of the strap but not the placement of the shoulder pad, which basically means that when slung over your shoulder it rests just under your arm instead of on my hip where I like it. The other thing is it's a bit pricey at $115. It'd make a great gift for a new dad but would probably be something you'd have to go in on with a few friends rather than spring for by yourself.
And it'd be worth it, although a new dad might not get it at first – he has not yet discovered how traveling with children resembles those Victorian expeditions with dozens of porters carrying rifles and surveying equipment. Let him go a few rounds with the Flanker, though, and I think he'll be as fond of it as I am. The link in this post takes you to a site where you can order one but also to retail locations where you can get them. I hope to see more of them out there and I sure wouldn't mind seeing more gear with guys in mind. Bravo, Guys' Infant Gear.