Here's the shenanigans - if you want to go straight to my question skip to the third paragraph. I purchased a breast pump last weekend because I had a 20% off coupon that expired the day I was in the store and I don't think I was thinking clearly when I purchased. I had the Medela Pump In Style Advanced On-the-Go Tote on my registry and planned on buying that for $279.99 ($223.99 with the discount). I spoke with a lady at the baby registry desk and she told me about the Ameda Purely Yours Ultra Breast Pump, which had a $50 mail in rebate (which would bring the cost down to $199.99 with the 20% off), and she mentioned a new technology that helped to eliminate any air from getting into the milk as you pump. I was sold but when I found out that I couldn't use my 20% off coupon on top of the $50, I changed my mind because it was going to be a little more expensive than the Medela with the 20% off coupon ($249.99).
So I went back and grabbed the Medela but then realized that the one the lady recommended was actually $339.99 (Medela Pump In Style Advanced Metro Bag) and by that point, I was tired of calculating and having people go into the storage room to get the pumps for me so I paid $271.99 for it.
So basically, here's my question: does anybody know the difference between the Metro Bag and the On-the-Go Tote? To me, it looks like the only differences are: the Metro Bag is a nicer bag (which I don't care too much about); the motor can be removed from the Metro Bag so that the bag can be used for other purposes after breastfeeding (again, kinda don't care too much if it means spending an extra $50-70 dollars); and the Metro Bag comes with mesh storage bags and a removable work surface (I don't even know what a removable work surface is used for).
I think I should return the Metro Bag and decide between the Medela On-the-Go or the Ameda. I would really appreciate any info that you have or experiences with either product. I'm also going to post this in Labor, Delivery, & Post Partum and Pregnancy Support.
I don't know about the Ameda, but I think the motor and therefore the effectiveness of the two Medela pumps would be exactly the same. With the metro bag, I'm fairly confident that the difference in price are the things you don't seem to care much about. I'd return it for the less expensive one. Keep in mind though that once you open it, you can't return it. Hope that helps!
I went through the same thought process when I bought my Medela pump. I think those are the only differences (that you listed). I got the cheaper pump and it works fine. I have never wanted to take the motor out of the bag. And I have never found a need for the mesh bag and "workspace". Definitely don't open it if you aren't sure you are going to use it. Like the pp said, they won't take it back. Hope you get it all worked out.
I'm guessing you've made yoru decision, but in case anyone else is wondering I thought I'd weigh in.
I have an Ameda Purely Yours and I used a Medela Symphony (rented from the hospital on my baby's first day home as we ended up in the ER due to her having crystals in her urine which we thought was dehydration and because my milk wasn't even in yet I panicked and felt the need to have a rental grade pump and then was too afraid to switch pumps for 6 months ) I actually like the Ameda better than the hospital grade Medela (which I'm assuming is more powerful than the Pump in Styles). I get just as much milk from the Ameda in less time because the speed and suction are little dials you can change immediately versus waiting for the Medela to finish the "let down" function (which never helped me, but maybe it works for some). The big advantage I see is that the Ameda's tubing is closed, so no condensation gets trapped in the tubing which can lead to mold (problem with Medela) and the parts have bigger openings so they are easier to clean than the Medela. I also discovered both brands of bottles seem to be interchangeable.