Diaper bags a workhorse, letting parents get out and about with kids in tow without having to worry about hangry meltdowns and blowouts.
Do You Need a Diaper Bag?
Real talk: kids are unpredictable. Just when you think your child is full, minutes later they’ll want a snack. And it’s practically guaranteed that your super-regular baby who always poops in the morning will have an afternoon blowout if you’re anywhere inconvenient (think: on a plane, hiking, shopping, at that nice-ish restaurant).
Being able to tote around key essentials means you can deal with whatever scenario arises without having to pack up and head home. That being said, you can use a regular backpack or tote bag to cart around what your child needs. You can even slip a changing clutch—a folded changing pad you can tuck diapers and the bare essentials inside of—into your usual bag.
What Types of Diaper Bags Are There?
Diaper bags come in a variety of styles including:
- Backpacks: These let you have your hands free and can be even be worth with a baby carrier in the front.
- Tote bags: The most “purse”-like of the diaper bag bunch.
- Satchels: These often (but not always) have longer straps and can worn crossbody.
- Clutches: No nonsense, small and very portable.
Need help figuring out what kind of diaper bag to get? Check out the How to Choose a Diaper Bag guide for tips on what to consider.
How Long Will You Use a Diaper Bag?
You’ll likely use a diaper bag from birth through the toddler years, and maybe into the preschool days (hello: potty accidents). Since you’ll probably be using it for years, when you’re picking out a diaper bag, think about if the style and color/pattern will be something you’ll want to tote around three years from now.
To start your search, take a look at diaper bags that Babylist parents recommend.
How We Choose Our Best Diaper Bags Picks
We asked thousands of real Babylist families about the baby products they love the most. We took the top products they shared with us and added our own research and insight—as well as some our personal faves—to tell you about the best diaper bags.
Do you think this content is helpful? Let our editors know!
A Stroller’s Best Friend
Why We Love It
This over-the-shoulder tote easily clips onto a stroller and has 10 standard pockets, including two mesh ones on the side for bottles, to keep all your odds and ends organized. Just keep in mind that there’s no insulation to keep bottles hot or cold.
What Babylist Parents Say
“It holds a lot and has lots of pockets. The stroller clips are a really great feature.” -Liz
Babies require a lot of stuff. Even the briefest outing requires diapers, wipes, cream, back-up clothes, snacks, toys and more. After all, the last thing you want to happen while in line at the grocery store is a full meltdown because you didn’t bring one of those necessities. So it makes sense for parents to get the right bag to carry all the kiddie gear.
Along with diapers, clothing and a stroller, owning a diaper bag is likely on the top ten list for essential parenting items. And since it will get used daily, it’s important you choose one that can take a licking while making life with a little one easier. But you probably also want it to look good, too.
Here are the best diaper bags:
During my pregnancy, I spent a long time researching diaper bags, and this was the one I ended up choosing. And there were several reasons why I splurged on it. The black nylon is easy to clean, it has a flat base to stand upright (super-helpful for on-the-go-changes), a matching changing mat and, best of all, three clutches in varying sizes labeled “THIS,” “THAT” and “THE OTHER.” That made organizing a cinch and those clutches can easily be used on their own for quick trips. Best of all, it looks like a standard tote, comes with a removable shoulder strap and a multicolored monogrammed tassel.
The diaper bag is one of the most important baby essentials for a prepared parent. Once you leave the house, you will need to bring a ton of supplies like diapers, baby wipes, a changing pad, snacks, baby bottles, burping cloths, pacifiers, lotions, diaper rash creams, cloth diapers, and a change of clothes. Plus don’t forget your own stuff, like our wallet, phone and keys! The good news is that there are hundreds of baby diaper bags on the market designed to make your life much easier. The bad news is that some of them aren’t so great, and some of them are downright ugly! Here is our full diaper bag buying guide.
Here are the Best Diaper Bags of 2020!
From the moment we opened the box, we fell in love with this top-rated Skip Hop diaper bag! It perfectly demonstrates the intersection between style and functionality. For moms with style, it uses a classy New York style colors and black stripe pattern, with light brown leather accents. We loved the look of this tote diaper bag style. But we were even more impressed by the functionality. This baby diaper bag gets things done! It is big (just over 2 cubic feet of space in our measurements), well-made, and has a ton of pockets (11 to be exact). For pockets, let’s start on the outside: it has insulated side pockets that were big enough to fit even the widest baby bottles and keep stored at a nicely controlled temperature. Above those on the sides are some small pockets that were very easily accessible and perfect spot for keeping pacifiers. On the front, it has zippered pockets, which we thought were great for mom’s personal stuff: car keys, a small wallet, or cell phone. The inside is vast and well-lined for durability and easy cleaning. It has a huge center space, which is perfect for diapers, wipes, changing pads (it comes with a great one!), and toys. A clever divider is put in between the outside handles and the main inside space, which provides even more storage space. These were great for more upright things that you want to slide up & out quickly like diaper cream, sunscreen, and lotion. Overall, we absolutely loved this bag, and it performed very well in our testing for durability, and we think it is very deserving of this spot on our diaper bag list! Cons? A bit pricey, usually around $85. Highly recommended! Interested? Check out the SkipHop Grand Central diaper bag here.
Stylish, versatile, durable, high quality, and ethically-sourced materials? Sign us up! We got our hands on this awesome diaper bag in early 2020 and we’ve been super impressed with it. Out of the box, it feels super high quality with tough quilted fabric, thick padding on the shoulder straps and back, and solid zippers and clips. It has the look and feel to justify the relatively high price tag, and its features make this diaper bag really stand out. Let’s start with the diaper changing pad capability: this doesn’t simply include a changing pad that you unfold and stuff back in, the changing pad itself is fully integrated into the bag (and removable and washable too) so that it becomes a really innovative diaper changing station capability. Basically, you unzip a rear compartment and fold it down to reveal a thick and comfy changing pad with mesh pockets to store diapers, diaper rash cream, and baby wipes for easy access during changing. Maybe we’re late to the game here, but we’ve never seen something so cool in a diaper bag, and it’s one of the main reasons it holds this high spot on our list! When you’re done with the diaper change, you simply fold the pad back into the backpack and zip up the back. Easy peasy. And if you need to wash or use the changing pad separately from the bag, you can unbutton it easily. The “paperclip” moniker likely comes from the style of the clips used on the main compartment and the changing pad, with its shiny silver style and paperclip-inspired shape. These clips not only look nice, but they are so much easier to use than the typical plastic buckles that require two-handed operation. Additional features include a well-organized series of outside and inside pockets, some zippered and some not, and adjustable inside pockets to accommodate different-sized bottles, food or formula containers, etc. The inside is medium-large sized, with about 2 cubic feet of space (in our measurements), and a total of 7 inner pockets when you include the mesh diaper changing pad pocket that is accessible from inside the bag. Note that this backpack diaper bag stands on its own when full, and we found the shoulder straps very comfortable and adjustable, and appreciated the loops for attaching pacifiers or anything else you’d like to. Everything is awesome here, and we need to emphasize that this company is also very impressive in their use of Bluesign manufacturing standards, creating designer diaper bags with recycled ocean plastics and wipe-clean vegan leather, making you feel good about how they have sourced materials in an ethical and sustainable manner. Cons? Well, we wish the top opening were a big larger when spread open to help with access, and the price is a little (or a lot) steep. But if you can stomach the price, this is truly an awesome and innovative diaper bag option! We will update this review with longer-term test results in a few months. Interested? Check out the Paperclip JoJo diaper bag here.
Do you like the SkipHop Grand Central, but think it’s a bit too pricey? Then this tote diaper bag is definitely the next-best option for you. This awesome diaper bag, the SOHO Grand Central, is similarly styled with some very similar functionalities, but at about half the price. While the SkipHop has most features integrated right into the bag, this one takes a different approach and has them as separate pieces. There’s a separate zippered and insulated baby bottle bag, a separate diaper clutch (for disposable or cloth diapers, of course!), changing pad, toiletries bag, and a little wallet. It has 5 different little bags for various things, it took a while to figure out what it was all about. But once we did, we loved it. Being able to take everything out separately is a different style, but we got used to it and ended up liking it. Going to the register at Starbucks? Just bring the wallet part. Going to a bench to bottle feed? Just bring the bottle pouch. It made some sense, and also made cleaning a bit easier when you can wash each part separately. Like the SkipHop it has zippered front pockets, convenient side exterior pockets for pacifiers, and is overall about the same size as the SkipHop, though the opening did stretch a bit wider overall. It includes some stroller straps, which are a nice touch, though definitely use caution with a heavy diaper bag to prevent the stroller from tipping over backwards. The quality isn’t quite on par with the SkipHop, especially in terms of the inner liner, seams, and zippers, but we thought at about half the price it deserved a high spot on our best diaper bags list. Highly recommended! Interested? Check out the SOHO Grand Central diaper bag here.
This is an enormous and stylish black vegan leather diaper bag with every pocket, compartment, and nook and cranny you need to make for a perfect journey with your baby! In our testing, this designer baby diaper bag received the most attention from other moms – every time we used it we got comments about how nice it is and questions about where we found it. And we were not surprised given just how nice this bag is. It is designed as a large tote, coming in at about 19″ wide, 13″ high, and 7″ deep, meaning that it has nearly a full cubic foot of space inside, which is really cavernous! And it’s not just inside space that makes this diaper bag amazing, it’s also the two zippered outside pockets and the five additional outside pouches that are perfect for quick access to baby wipes, bottles, pacifiers, and the included changing pad (using the large back outside pocket). There is an amazing lined pocket on the front that can be used for anything wet – like a wet bathing suit or clothing, while keeping the rest of the bag and its contents dry. It also has two insulated pockets on the inside that are perfect for keeping a bottle or snack chilled during a trip, and a ton of additional space that is perfect for holding a nursing cover, blanket, change of clothes, and more. The changing pad comes with a little travel pouch that’s the right size for a diaper and wipes when you want something to quickly bring with you to the changing table. It also includes a shoulder strap that you can use to carry it across your chest, and it also includes stroller straps to help you attach it to your stroller (but be careful with that!). We loved nearly everything about this black faux leather diaper bag, and thought it was an amazing addition to this year’s diaper bag buying guide. The Honest Company also makes a backpack version of this bag, called the Honest Company City Backpack Diaper Bag, for about the same price, that is worth checking out if you prefer that style. Downfalls? Well if we’re being really picky, the zippers were finicky sometimes, and the tote straps were a good size for holding with your hand or forearm but not quite big enough to put on your shoulder. But those are relatively minor points that are about our subjective experience. But one big challenge with this bag is the price, coming in at around $150 or so which seems expensive for a faux leather diaper bag. If you love the styling but want to save some cash, check out the Skip Hop Chelsea Downtown Chic Diaper Bag that has a very similar look and functionality but is a little bit smaller and only about half the price. Interested? You can check out the Honest Company Everything Tote diaper bag here.
Sold at Nordstrom and other upscale retailers, the Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bags (and backpack diaper bags) are among the most popular, super-stylish, and high quality diaper bags available on the market. The styles are awesome and range from quilted black with gold trim, to flowers and abstract watercolors. The designs are subtle and give the bags a high-end look. And the price tends to reflect that, with this Boxy Backpack model coming in at just over $150, making it the most expensive diaper bag option on our list! Its price is almost justified by its high quality and functionality. The bag we tried, the Indigo model pictured to the right, was made right here in the USA of cotton canvas that has a durable glazed coating on it for stain and water resistance. For functionality, this bag is really large, coming in at about 0.90 cubic feet of capacity. For pockets, there are several inside (8 of them), including two with zippers, and 3 outside (two for baby bottles on the side, and one larger one on the front that holds the included diaper changing station and pad). So, there’s tons of space inside, and plenty of pockets for organizing baby care products, and the top opens up nice and wide for easy access. In terms of versatility, it also has several carrying options. You can carry it like a tote using the top grab handle, or use it as an over the shoulder diaper bag, backpack diaper bag, or attach to the stroller using the included stroller straps. It looks best as a shoulder diaper bag, but when you get sore it’s great to have the option to wear it as a backpack. In our testing, we found the bag to be generally high quality, stylish, versatile, functional, and really large. It stands on end on its own, which is really nice – in other words, it doesn’t tend to topple over like some other diaper bags. Maybe that’s why it’s called the Boxy model since the bottom is pretty boxy and stable. We also liked that it came with a sleek plastic baby wipe holder or diaper tote that made trips to the changing table much easier. There’s really a lot to love about this diaper bag – but is the price worth it? Well, there were some limitations to the bag we purchased for testing. First, we were surprised that there was no insulated pocket for bottles or foods, not even the bottle pockets on the sides have any insulation. Second, the fabric is available in cotton canvas, embossed stitching, and a plush chenille. We actually only tested the cotton canvas, but we made the mistake of putting it in the washing machine after a milk spill, and the bag fell apart a bit – some of the stitching came loose, and it seemed like the bag lost some of its water resistance. So that was a bummer. Finally, the backpack straps aren’t padded so they’re not the most comfortable straps in the world – same with the shoulder strap. So definitely some limitations that might make you reconsider whether the style and Petunia Pickle Bottom name recognition are worth the price?