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MY Oilcloth: Tote Bags For Monsoon Season

03/02/2009 at 10:00 AM ET

When Michele and Yvette, two moms who met at a PTO meeting in Massachusetts, set out to revive an old-school fabric with modern designs, MY Oilcloth was born. (Get it? M+Y=MY) Oilcloth is cotton fabric that was traditionally treated with linseed oil to make it tough and waterproof for fishermen and sailors. It’s tough stuff! MY Oilcloth has created an entire line of totes, satchels, messenger bags and smaller pouches in its own modern, luxurious oilcloth fabric. The colorful patterns are their own too, but you have to look closely to see that the chic herringbone pattern’s made from thousands of “MY’s”.

We all have our requirements when it comes to bags, and mine must stand up on their own, be practically bulletproof, be lined in a light color so I don’t lose my brain, and look great. While it’s not really a diaper bag (we usually stick to bags that come with a changing pad) I am really loving MY Oilcloth’s Wide Tote ($160) for hauling all my greasy kidstuff.

The Wide Tote is oilcloth inside and out so it’s totally wipeable and can even be washed out in the sink if necessary, though the designers flinched when I told them I’d done it! Hey, we really test stuff at CBB! (CBB reviewer Jamaine accidentally dropped a different MY Oilcloth bag in water and it floated until they fished it out! Everything inside was fine!) It has lots of pockets inside including two specifically designed for water bottles, baby bottles or sippy cups. Their clever marketing piece, printed on a photograph of a water bottle, says the pockets are “so your water doesn’t tip over unless you do.”

The straps don’t hang easily on a stroller but remember, this isn’t really a diaper bag. In any case it has become my go-to bag. I keep returning to it after testing other diaper bags. It’s just that terrific. When we take the kiddos to New York for the day we pack a ton of snacks, diapers, changes of clothes for both boys AND my very large camera. I shove the bag into the stroller basket without worrying about it getting marked or torn and I’ve carried it for several months and it shows no signs of wear whatsoever.

Pros: The large, tough and stylish bag is super practical and the orange lining makes it easy to find everything inside.

Cons: I’d make the zippers go all the way to the corners so nothing could slip out.

– Kristen

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fireflye on

What a GREAT review! My kids are out of the diaper stage but they still have lots of “stuff”. I am looking for a replacement for my wonderful canvas tote bag that’s now thrashed and this is beautiful enough for me use without my kids stuff…! What a concept. Thanks!

Michele & Yvette on

Thanks for the great review!

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