Review: JuJuBe's Be Hip bag has room for your iPad and baby gear

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Be Hip

    Macworld Rating

    If your carrying needs are light and you want a bag that can do double duty, the JuJuBe Be Hip is a good choice for baby at the playground or tech in the office.

JuJuBe may be most known for their collection of diaper bags, but they also make laptop cases, purses, wallets, and other catchall gadget bags. At the end of my pregnancy, I grabbed the $80 JuJuBe Be Hip bag to take my tech stuff home and get ready for the baby to come. I still had one performance as a violist with the California Pops Orchestra and another gig with my string trio to test it out as a professional tech bag—I read all my music from an iPad with a Bluetooth foot pedal to turn the pages. Shortly after, it would be time to fill the bag with diapers and extra onesies.

The rectangular shoulder bag measures 11 by 14 by 4.75 inches, which is a nice size for an iPad, laptop, chargers, iPhone, wallet, and other miscellany, but it’s a tighter fit when it comes to all the stuff I carry for my baby. The timber brown fabric is made from recycled soda bottles and jute fibers, giving it an interesting texture that’s very easy to keep clean.

The large main compartment easily holds a 13-inch MacBook Pro, but there’s no separate laptop compartment, so you’ll want to have a slipcover for the laptop. Inside the main compartment are two mesh pockets and a small zippered pocket—great for holding chargers and cables, or diapers and wipes depending on the current use. The interior fabric is a light tan, making it easy to see what you have in the bag.

A pouch on the back holds the included changing pad, but it’s also the perfect size to slip an iPad. Two insulated pouches on the sides are designed to hold bottles. Small reusable water bottles will fit, but it’s tight. I was able to fit my Britta filter water bottle, but not a 14-ounce glass bottle.

The adjustable strap is made of seat belt material and feels very sturdy; it has a comfy memory foam pad for extra cushion. All of the bag’s hardware—the zippers, clips, and closure tabs—is made of metal and includes loops to hang from stroller hooks.

The size is good for a short trip with the baby, but I often found my bag stuffed to the gills. It’s fine with just a few diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, wallet, cell phone, and keys.  But when I add in my K’tan wrap, a blanket, and the nursing cover, space starts to run short. Adding in a laptop also would be too much. For me, it was either diaper bag or iPad bag, but not both. On the plus side, the compact bag does fit in the smaller-than-average under stroller basket of the Britax B-agile stroller.

Perhaps the bag’s best feature is the design that doesn’t scream “diaper bag.” The only thing that gives it away (aside from the included changing pad) is the JJB logo on the front, and that’s only if the person looking at it knows that JuJuBe makes diaper bags. My husband had no problem carrying the bag around full of baby gear, and even asked to borrow it before the baby came. I’ve gotten compliments carrying the bag to both classical music gigs and over my shoulder with the baby strapped to into a carrier. A fellow mom even asked if it was actually a diaper bag while I was carrying it with my baby in tow.

Bottom line

If your carrying needs are light and you want a bag that can do double duty, the JuJuBe Be Hip is a good choice for baby at the playground or tech in the office.

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At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    If your carrying needs are light and you want a bag that can do double duty, the JuJuBe Be Hip is a good choice for baby at the playground or tech in the office.

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