In this article, we will be discussing Blue Diaper Bags. Our team has researched and reviewed these products to help you come up with a better decision. We’ve also put up a shopping guide with the features you can consider when buying the best diaper bags
Blue Diaper Bags
Understated sophistication defines a clean-lined diaper backpack that provides plenty of space for all of baby’s essentials.
Best Diaper Bag 2020: Shopping Guide & Review
Our Selection: The Best Diaper Bags on the U.S. Market
There is a wide variety of diaper bags available on the market today. In fact, there are so many choices, it can be difficult for us to choose on and it would be easy to waste time comparing them endlessly. To facilitate your choice, we have created a list of the best diaper bags on the market:
Best Backpack-Style Diaper Bag
This bag is a real winner. An Amazon’s Choice, and no wonder–it has 4.5 stars from nearly 1300 verified purchasers and at under $40, it has plenty of style and functionality. With 18 pockets, parents will be able to stay completely organized while on the go and since it it a backpack, both hands will be free for the most important item of all–the baby!
Best Diaper Bag with USB Charging Port
This large-capacity diaper bag by Cysili comes with a USB charging port as well as hooks to attach the bag to a stroller–great for long walks to the park. At under $35, and with a 4.8 out of 5-star rating, this diaper bag would be a great choice for parents who travel on public transportation, and need a convenient phone charging alternative.
Best Diaper Bag with Built-In Changing Pad
Large Diaper Bag, Chuntianli Baby Nappy Tote Bag Maternity Diaper Shoulder Bag Organizer Multi-Function Travel Backpack with Strap, Nappy Changing Pad, Insulated Pockets for Mom Dad BabyRead user opinions$27.99Buy on Amazon
This do-it-all, innovative bag rates 4.8 out of 5 stars and is special not just because it has a handy attached changing pad. It has a very large inside capacity of 35 liters, an insulated pocket for baby’s bottles, a side pocket designed just for easy access to facial tissues and attaches to stroller for hands-free transportation.
Shopping Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Diaper Bags
There are many people who think that diaper bags are still those traditional bulky awkward, that end up giving parents sore shoulders. Today’s diaper bags have been modernized to become the best possible companions for busy parents. As you have seen, they now attach to strollers, come in backpack form and have all kinds of amazing attachments. If you are still not sure which one you need, read on and we will answer the most frequently asked questions about diaper bags.
What are the benefits of a diaper bag?
A diaper bag is a bag, purse or backpack in which you can store everything your baby needs when you spend time away from home. This includes, bottles, diapers, pacifiers, spare clothes or toys. The reason they are present in all families with babies is due to their tremendous usefulness and advantages. Check it out:Advantages
- It allows transporting the baby”s gear
- There is a great variety of models
- They have interior compartments to organize baby”s equipment
- They are strong and durable
- Ideal for both long trips and daily errands
- They can be heavy
- Some sophisticated models are expensive
As we have seen, the disadvantages of having a diaper bag are almost non-existent and depend more on our tastes or on the way we use them than the bag itself. For its part, the advantages are numerous and essential in our day-to-day activities with the baby.
What types of diaper bags are available on the market?
Earlier, we mentioned the great variety of diaper types and models that exist today. And we are not kidding, diaper bags have evolved from the most traditional all the way to today’s trendy and useful bags. Below, we list you the five main types of diaper bag models:
- Traditional Diaper Bag: Normally, these are usually smooth or have small children’s patterns on the outer material. They have several compartments and are manufactured of an easy to clean plastic material.
- Designer Diaper Bag: With modern designs, there are fashion diaper bags by Gucci, Carolina Herrera and Burberry. They are ideal for fashion lovers, since they combine the practicality of a diaper bag with the sophistication of designer product.
- Backpack-Style Diaper Bags: without a doubt, these are most convenient and beneficial bags for the back. Their backpack shape allows you to hang it on both shoulders and distribute the weight evenly leaving you hands-free. They are very spacious and have very different compartments to always have everything organized.
- Multifunction Diaper Bags: These are larger in size, but are very practical for carrying a built-in changer. Some of them can even become a small baby gym.
- Eco-Friendly Diaper Bags: These bags are ideal for families who want to care for the environment, since they are made of biodegradable fabrics that do not contain chemicals.
All of these styles can be equally useful and practical depending on the circumstances of each family. The important thing is that we always choose a diaper bag that suits our needs and covers them. We must be aware that it is an accessory that we will use for a long time and it is essential that we find it comfortable.
There are different types of diaper bags from which you can choose the one you like and that suits your needs.
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What should I carry in a diaper bag?
It may seem an obvious question with an even more obvious answer: diapers, spare clothes, toys, pacifiers or bottles, among others. However, there are times when we put more items than necessary in the diaper bag. This causes the bag to weigh too much and then it is no longer practical and convenient.
It is normal that we want to be cautious and an endless supply of “just in case” items, but in reality, there are many things that are not entirely necessary. Next, we’ll show you a table with the items that are most often found in diaper bags and we will differentiate between those that are essential and those that are not.
|Indispensable||Important but optional|
What we carry in the diaper bag will always depend our plans and how long we will be away from home. If we organize the bag efficiently, we will only pack what is necessary and avoid bringing too much, so that it will be much more comfortable to carry.
Try to carry only necessary items in your diaper bag.
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Can the diaper bag be washed in the washing machine?
Although it will depend on the specific model of diaper bag, most can be machine washed without a problem. To avoid damaging the bag, it is essential that you read and follow the manufacturer’s washing instructions. Although it is advisable to thoroughly wash the bag once a month, you should clean it every day.
To make this easy, the bags are usually made of materials that can be cleaned with just a wet wipe. It is important to keep the diaper bag clean, since the items you carry inside will be in contact with the baby. Make sure to remove any dirt before it dries and becomes more permanent.
What accessories are available for diaper bags?
As with almost everything else today, you can add accessories to diaper bags that are sold separately. The three most popular accessories are hooks for strollers or other carts, the dividers and portable changing pads. They are the picture of practicality
The stroller hooks allow parents to hang the diaper bag on a stroller, so that it is more convenient for them to transport. They are sold depending on the thickness of the handle of the cart. On the other hand, both interior dividers (which divide the space inside the bag) and matching external bags are very useful for maintaining order.
Although a diaper bag will store your baby’s items, it is also an accessory that parents will use. Therefore, it is important that you think about certain factors when choosing the most appropriate bag for you. These are the main purchase criteria that you should keep in mind:
First, one of the fundamental factors that should be considered in the purchase of your ideal diaper bag is its size. While the bag should be practical and allow you to store everything you need while you and your baby are away from home, it is also important that it is a size that you can handle with some ease.
It is important then, to find the balance between a sufficient storage space without the bag being a bulky accessory that will hinder you rather than help. You can at the different types of diaper bags we have talked about previously to choose the one that suits you best.
It is advisable to wash the diaper bag daily, and to give it a deep cleaning once a month.
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The weight of the diaper bag, in the same respect as size, is closely related to the carrying comfort of the bag. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you will be filling this accessory with many other items that you will consider indispensable.
So, as all those items already weigh quite enough,it is a good idea to choose a diaper bag that on its own weighs very little. Most models today are designed with practicality in mind. Therefore, it will not be difficult to find one that is light and comfortable to carry.
This is, without a doubt, the most important purchase criteria of all for diaper bags. The main objective of a diaper bag is to provide enough storage space to pack the baby’s belongings when you leave the house with the baby. We must pay special attention, not so much to the quantity of space, but to the quality of it.
By quality, we refer to the way in which this space is organized. If we take into account the frequency with which we will use the diaper bag, we realize that we will need to be able to easily find everything we are looking for. For this, the ideal bag will have many different compartments to help you stay organized.Vanleestar@Vanleestar
Great Mom diaper Bag for Baby Shower Gift.
The materials with which our bag is manufactured are more or less ecological (as we commented on the types of diaper bag), and another important thing is that they are high quality. You should bear in mind that you will use it practically every day for a few years, so the more durable it is, the better.
Last but not least, we talk about design. Although it is a purely aesthetic factor, if we think about using the bag on a daily basis fashion begins to be a little more relevant. Luckily, we no longer have only the classic diaper bags with ducks and teddy bears on them that were not useful like today’s diaper bags.
Having a diaper bag allows you to attend activities outside the home, while carrying everything you need for the baby during that time. In them, you can store bottles, pacifiers, spare clothes, toys and of course–diapers!
In addition, you can find many different types of bags for your particular needs. It is essential to take into account factors such as the size, weight or quality of the bag, in order to choose correctly as you will be using the bag on daily basis for a long time.
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Our Favorite Diaper Bags
UPDATED JUNE 4, 2019
- We’ve updated this guide to include a wider range of styles and have added four more picks.
- Ellen Lee
We have tested 19 diaper bags over the past three years, filling them with diapers, bottles, and snacks on more than 70 outings, and found several shoulder, messenger, crossbody, and convertible bags that are great for toting baby gear.
You don’t need a designated diaper bag to leave the house with your child, but having a fully stocked bag at the ready can certainly make it easier to get out the door and change your kid on the go. While diaper bags generally come equipped with a changing pad and internal organization for holding wipes, diapers, baby bottles, and personal items, you can outfit a bag you already own (such as one of our tote bag picks, which are favorites among parents on staff) with a portable changing pad or smaller diaper clutch and/or use plastic bags or packing cubes to help you find what you need quickly.
Whatever bag you use, keep in mind that the American Academy of Pediatrics and most stroller companies advise against hanging bags on handlebars due to the tipping hazard that causes (though most diaper bag makers—and parents—ignore this warning).
Some of the bags we looked at can be converted into backpacks, but if you prefer a bag designed for back-carry that will leave both hands free, you may want to check out our guide to backpack-style diaper bags.
More ergonomic options
- Our Favorite Backpack Diaper BagsWe tested 15 backpack diaper bags in a wide range of styles to find the best bags for families with a variety of needs and tastes.
- Why you should trust us
- Hold everything: Skip Hop Duo Signature Diaper Bag
- All the bells and whistles: JuJuBe B.F.F.
- Sleek minimalism: Babymel Robyn Convertible
- Life beyond diapers: Mark & Graham Mercer Convertible Backpack
- Tough and utilitarian: Tom Bihn Parental Unit
- Convenient and compact: Colugo On the Go Organizer
- How we picked
- How we tested
- The competition
Why you should trust us
I examined nearly 100 top-selling diaper bags online, read hundreds of user reviews, clicked through nearly a dozen diaper bag slideshows, and checked out dozens more roundups on dad, gay dad, mom, parenting, and fashion sites. I stopped random parents and caregivers around the neighborhood and asked them about their diaper bags. I informally polled more than 60 moms and dads via social media and other online parenting forums, chatted with employees at four local baby stores, and interviewed parenting blogger Meg Collins of Lucie’s List. I also spoke with Diaper Dude founder Chris Pegula and representatives of other diaper bag companies.
To update this review, and for our diaper backpack guide, I interviewed Jenna McLane, a mother and manager of Tot Tank, a baby gear retail store in Alameda, California. I also consulted Janel Andersen, owner of Bird & Bean, a baby and child product retailer in Berkeley, California. They shared observations and insights into diaper bag trends, as well as parent purchasing preferences. I also conducted a new, informal survey with more than a dozen parents via social media and in person about their diaper bags.
In total, I road tested 33 bags between 2017 and 2019. As a parent of three, including a not-fully-potty-trained toddler, I have also spent the past 10 years toting around one diaper bag or another. A longtime journalist, I also wrote Wirecutter’s guide to apps to manage kids’ phones.
Hold everything: Skip Hop Duo Signature Diaper Bag
This popular, affordable bag makes it easier to store, organize, and access baby gear than any other bag we tested.Buy from Amazon
*At the time of publishing, the price was $50.
Who it’s for: Parents who want a practical diaper bag they can rely on to hold whatever they need for the day.
Why it’s great: The Skip Hop Duo Signature is a sturdy, comfortable, well-made shoulder bag with an ideal array of pockets that make it easy to store, organize, and quickly access all your necessary baby gear. It has nearly all the features of a great diaper bag and costs less than half the price of many of them. The adjustable, padded no-slip strap and tote handles make the bag easy and comfortable to carry; we found that the adjustable strap is long enough to allow smaller and medium-size adults to carry it messenger-bag-style.
Care: Spot clean with a damp cloth. The narrow main compartment is a bit challenging to reach into for cleaning compared with those of other diaper bags, but the polyester material is slippery enough that we could still clean it easily.
Pockets and organization: One of the standout features of the Skip Hop Duo is its combination of 10 open and zippered pockets, which make it easy for storing and quickly grabbing whatever you need. The four external pockets are great for accessing things one-handed. Two are large front pockets that stay closed magnetically and can hold bottles of milk, snacks, or diapers and wipes. Competitors’ bags have similar pockets, but the Skip Hop’s stand out for their simple but clever magnetic closure. Two additional elastic mesh pockets on the sides of the bag can carry a baby bottle, a Thermos of coffee, a large adult water bottle, or a big container of sunscreen. Like most diaper bags, the Skip Hop also has an external slot on the back for its included changing pad (which is machine washable). At the top of the bag, a discreet zippered pocket securely holds your smartphone and keys. Another much larger zippered pocket that runs across the front of the bag can fit a book or tablet, large wallet, and other miscellaneous items. Inside the main zippered compartment are two elastic pockets for diapers and wipes, along with two narrow, tiny pockets that could hold pens and pencils (but not much more).
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The Skip Hop Duo Signature won’t be roomy enough for everybody. It’s big enough for everyday use if you have a single child in diapers but could feel too cramped if you have more than one young child, are using cloth diapers (which take up more room), plan to travel frequently, or want to carry personal belongings such as a laptop in your diaper bag. When I used the Skip Hop as my carry-on during a several-hour flight, adding my laptop and some basic toiletries to its usual contents, I could barely zip the main compartment. If you’re seeking more space, consider the Skip Hop Mainframe, one of our backpack diaper bag picks.
The most common complaint we’ve heard about this bag is that the main zippered compartment is deep, narrow, and simply not big enough. On the plus side, the narrow compartment means that the Skip Hop Duo Signature doesn’t become too bulky when filled, as did many other diaper bags we tested. But it also means that you may end up stacking your stuff in the main compartment, defeating any attempt for organization.
Weight: 1¾ pound
Colors: black, slate (charcoal gray), gray and white chevron, and two shades of heather gray
All the bells and whistles: JuJuBe B.F.F.
May be out of stock
*At the time of publishing, the price was $121.
Who it’s for: Parents who want versatility; thoughtful, premium details; fun, stylish prints; and machine-washable convenience.
Why it’s great: The JuJuBe B.F.F. is a durable, well-made, feature-rich bag that is in the upper range of cost but still offers good value. It can be worn as a backpack, messenger bag, handbag, or tote. The B.F.F. comes with multiple straps that are adjustable and quick and easy to unclip and remove (though we found that they can sometimes still get in the way). The bag has a high-end look and feel, with details such as gold metal hardware, and comes in a range of bright, colorful prints (including occasional collaborations with designers such as Tokidoki). It includes additional features that are nice but not essential—a set of luggage-style feet keep the bag up off a dirty surface, for instance. The exterior is coated with Teflon to resist stains, and parents have reported that their bag still looked like new after months of use. The construction feels robust, although you do see some occasional complaints of things breaking.
Care: Machine wash cold, gentle cycle. Line dry.
Pockets and organization: Parents have praised the B.F.F.’s thoughtful combination of pockets, particularly the “mommy pocket,” a dedicated zippered compartment on the front of the bag that includes an elastic key ring and a unique microfiber pocket for sunglasses. Two open but snug insulated pockets on the sides of the bag are nice for bottles (but were not great insulators). A changing pad (included) can be tucked into the bag’s back panel pocket. The main compartment includes an additional three zippered and four elastic pockets.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Some parents complained that the B.F.F. wasn’t roomy enough for their needs. One verified customer said, “Unfortunately it is just too small. I couldn’t fit half of the stuff we need in our diaper bag on the regular basis in this … If JuJuBe made a larger version of this bag I would buy it in a heartbeat.”
Weight: 2.8 pounds
Colors: 24 solids and patterns, including black, gray, floral, and nautical
Sleek minimalism: Babymel Robyn Convertible
Who it’s for: Parents who want the flexibility of carrying their bag in multiple ways in something that doesn’t look like a diaper bag.
Why it’s great: We appreciated how easy it was to switch the Babymel Robyn from a shoulder bag to a backpack. It has only one, long strap—rather than multiple straps, like the JuJuBe B.F.F., Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack, and Mark & Graham Mercer. Pull in one direction and the strap lengthens so it becomes a shoulder or crossbody bag. Pull both ends down in the other direction and the bag turns into a backpack. It also comes with separate tote handles.
Care: Spot clean with a damp cloth or sponge.
Pockets and organization: The Babymel Robyn has just enough pockets to get by. Two open pockets can hold a bottle on one side and diaper wipes on the other, with a Velcro flap that lifts up to dispense the wipes. (Some parents complained that the pocket didn’t fit their wipes well, but we did not have a problem with our 32-count Huggies wipes.) A large flap on the front of the bag snaps open to a pocket roomy enough for an 8-inch tablet or the included changing pad. Inside the main compartment is a small zippered pocket for valuables, two elastic pockets for diapers or additional bottles, and a flat Velcroed pocket for small, miscellaneous items.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The Robyn is not easy to clean. Though it has a wipeable polyester interior, the main compartment does not zip open completely, nor can it be flipped inside out. We had trouble reaching and removing the crumbs and crusted milk, which were frustratingly wedged under a thick seam at the bottom of the bag.
Weight: 1.5 pound (canvas version) to 2.2 pounds (vegan leather)
Colors: seven color and fabric options, including dark-gray tweed, red canvas, and tan vegan leather
Life beyond diapers: Mark & Graham Mercer Convertible Backpack
This nylon bag can be worn as a backpack or tote.$200 from Mark & Graham
Who it’s for: Parents who want an elegant diaper bag that they can use beyond the diapering years.
Why it’s great: The Mark & Graham Mercer (also called Maddie) has classic good looks, and the leather shoulder handles give it an upscale touch. The roomy, versatile bag also includes clip-on straps that transform it into a backpack. Sturdily made with durable nylon, it can convert to a work bag once your child is out of diapers. The light-colored lining and zip-open top make it easy to see everything inside. Mark & Graham is a sister company of Pottery Barn Kids, whose kids lunch boxes and backpacks we recommend.
Care: Wipe with a damp cloth. The lining can conveniently be pulled out for spot cleaning.
Pockets and organization: The Mercer comes equipped with many pockets to help organize your child’s gear and your own. Two open side pockets can hold bottles, while the large, flat front pocket snaps open and can be monogrammed with your initials for $10. Inside the main compartment are two rows of pockets lining the perimeter: The top five pockets include a zippered one for valuables. Inside the bottom of the bag, seven mesh elastic pockets can fit bottles, wipes, and diapers. There are two additional narrow and deep pockets that snap open on the back of the bag, but, with the backpack straps in the same place, are difficult to access.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The Mark & Graham Mercer is the most expensive of our picks—and is even pricier when you factor in the additional cost of a changing pad, which isn’t included. It’s also on the larger, heavier side as a shoulder bag, though it feels comfortable to carry as a backpack (the straps, however, are made of webbing and are not padded).
Weight: 2.6 pounds
Tough and utilitarian: Tom Bihn Parental Unit
Made of high-quality materials, this sturdy messenger bag offers plenty of well-thought-out organization and comes with a lifetime guarantee.$150 from Tom Bihn
Who it’s for: Parents who want a rugged shoulder- or messenger-style diaper bag.
Why it’s great: Recommended to us by readers, the Tom Bihn Parental Unit is made with a rugged, waterproof nylon, and heavy-duty components such as Duraflex buckles. It can be customized with your choice of materials, such as ballistic nylon, or with an adjustable neoprene shoulder strap that has an “internal control-stretch system” for comfort (not tested). Its unique touches include 10 O-rings for parents to attach pacifiers, organizer pouches, and other items. The company offers a lifetime guarantee against manufacturing defects and also makes repairs due to normal wear and tear for a small charge.
Care: Hand wash with mild detergent. Soak for half hour. Rinse, and lay on top of a bath towel to dry.
Pockets and organization: The front and back of the bag are symmetrical: Both sides have a small zippered pocket that can fit a phone or wallet, as well as a large zippered pocket that spans the length of the bag. The interior is divided into three chambers, one of which can fit diapers and wipes. The main zippered compartment includes two pockets, one on each side. The two pockets can be zipped together to divide the main compartment in half for further organization.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The 13.5-liter bag can quickly become heavy and unwieldy when packed. The front and back-panel pockets expand outward and are roomy enough to store water bottles and other bulky items. But filling the front or back-panel pockets with anything on the thicker side makes the bag lose its svelte shape. In addition, all the pockets in the Tom Bihn are zippered, and we prefer the convenience of having one or two open pockets that offer easy access. The Parental Unit does not come with a changing pad.
Weight: 1.2 pounds
Colors: eight color combinations, including blue with a light-green ripstop lining and purple with a light-gray ripstop lining
Convenient and compact: Colugo On the Go Organizer
This machine-washable fanny pack/crossbody bag holds just the essentials and can also be used as a stroller organizer.$45 from Colugo
Who it’s for: Parents who want a bag that holds only the bare essentials and are willing to rock a fanny pack.
Why it’s great: We appreciated the simple and convenient two-in-one design of the Colugo On the Go Organizer, which doubles as a fanny pack or crossbody bag and a stroller organizer. To turn it into a stroller organizer, you open and attach it to the handlebar with a pair of built-in Velcro straps. (While it is meant for the Colugo stroller and has an additional attachment that is compatible only with that model, we found that it worked with our travel stroller.) You may want to check first, however, that it doesn’t cause your stroller to tip when attached. The Colugo holds up to 2 pounds.
While we did not compare the Colugo to other stroller organizers or fanny packs, we found that it came in handy as an accessory to our diaper bag—particularly one morning when we were told we couldn’t take our diaper bag into a museum. We shoved what we needed into the Colugo, including one diaper, wipes, an extra pair of pants, wallet, phone, and keys. As your child outgrows diapers and bottles, and your load begins to lighten, the Colugo can be an effective way to carry the minimum you need. Plus, the fanny pack appears to be making a comeback.
Care: Machine wash separately cold. Air-dry.
Pockets and organization: The eight pockets on the Colugo On the Go Organizer include a small felt-lined zippered pocket on the front of the fanny pack, a wide zippered pocket on the back for flat, miscellaneous items, and a zippered mesh pocket inside the flap for small, light items like a travel pack of tissues. Padded nylon dividers separate the main compartment into three, and pop in and out so you can store one to two bottles upright with the bag in stroller organizer mode. There’s also a small clip to attach keys and an easy-to-access open elastic pocket at the back of the main compartment to slip your phone into.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: You will need to repack the bag to transition from stroller organizer to fanny pack, and vice versa. For instance, opened up as a stroller organizer, the internal pocket dividers allow you to securely store a bottle upright. But if you want to take that bottle with you and zip up the fanny pack, you will have to reposition the bottle on its side.
Weight: 9.5 oz.
Colors: black, camouflage, floral
How we picked
In our research and through our interviews with baby-gear retailers and conversations with dozens of parents, we found that a good diaper bag should be:
- Comfortable to carry: We looked for padded straps, good balance, and a low weight. We cast a skeptical eye toward bags that, when empty, weigh more than 3 pounds. Comfort is subjective, and we wanted to select options for people who find messenger bags more comfortable than shoulder bags. Bonus points for bags that could be carried in multiple ways.
- Easy to clean: Ideally, the bag would be machine washable, or at least made with material that could be easily wiped clean and not absorb stains and odors.
- Roomy enough: At minimum, a full-size diaper bag should hold several diapers, wipes, a changing pad, a change of clothes, snacks, a bottle, a small toy or book, a cell phone, keys, and a wallet. For many of our outings, we also tossed in a portable toilet seat for my potty-training toddler, a sweatshirt, a notebook, and pens. (We made an exception for the fanny pack, as it is not full-size.)
- Organized with the right pockets: We found that a variety of pocket-closure types—zippers, magnets, Velcro, snaps, elastic—go a long way toward making a bag intuitive and easy to access. We also preferred the convenience of having at least one open, exterior pocket to hold a water or milk bottle; an insulated pocket for bottles was nice but not essential. While we did not disqualify bags without changing pads, we did note the ones that did not include them.
- Durable: We wanted to find bags that would hold up well through hundreds of trips (and diaper changes) over several years and more than one child. We dismissed bags that had frequent complaints about broken zippers and other signs of poor craftsmanship. We also considered the likelihood that we would continue to use the bag after our child was out of diapers.
- Reasonably priced: You can find diaper bags for as little as $15 and as much as $1,500. We opted for a middle ground and set a maximum price of $200. A lower-priced bag may be preferable since you might use this bag for just the few years your kid is in diapers. On the other hand, bags at the higher end of the range often have more thoughtful details and better materials and construction and can last through the diaper stage for multiple kids. No matter the price, it’s important to get a bag you enjoy using and like looking at, since you’re likely to carry it any time you go out with your baby.
How we tested
For the original version of this guide, we narrowed down the initial list of 40 bags to 14 to test, including several backpacks, which are now part of our backpack diaper bag guide. We examined the overall design, features, and pocket structure carefully. My husband and I spent six weeks carrying the bags daily in everyday life, using each bag for at least two days and the best ones for far longer than that (I’m a 5-foot-3 woman; my husband is 5-foot-10). We generally packed the bags with the basics: a few diapers, a travel pack of wipes, a change of clothing for our then 18-month-old son, an insulated lunch bag with snacks (usually crackers, Cheerios, granola bars, and oranges), a 16.9-ounce disposable water bottle, sunscreen, toys (usually a toy car or two), tissue, hand sanitizer, a smartphone, wallet, and keys.
We used the diaper bags on airplanes, and at the beach, Costco, the zoo, playgrounds, restaurants, a kids soccer game, museums, and the pool. Almost all the diaper bags traveled with us during a family vacation to Hawaii, where it was humid, sandy, occasionally rainy, and about 85 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit on most days. We hung the bags on our stroller—which indeed tipped over several times, though luckily not with the baby strapped inside it!—during long walks, and we slung it over our shoulders or backs the rest of the time. In the majority of our outings, we changed the baby’s diaper to see how manageable it would be to set up the changing pad and reach the diapers and wipes.
For the 2019 update, we narrowed our choices to seven finalists. My son was potty training, so anytime we went out, we packed not only diapers, wipes, and a changing pad but also a portable toilet seat and a lot of extra clothing. We spent about three weeks taking the bags with us on daily trips, as well as on a short family vacation.
Finally, to see how easy (or not so easy) the bags were to clean, we poured a quarter cup of crushed Cheerios and 2 tablespoons of milk into each bag, leaving the mixture to settle for at least 24 hours. We then rated how manageable it was to remove the concoction.
The Diaper Dude was a former pick, but the company is currently undergoing rebranding, and it is unclear what that will spell for the future of the bag (it’s currently unavailable). We did appreciate that, despite its light weight and small size, the Diaper Dude still managed to fit all of our essentials.
The Herschel Supply Co. Sprout Diaper Bag was the perfect bag for an overnight trip but feels overwhelming for everyday use. Large and roomy, it is essentially the Strand Tote modified for parents. Both feature three big open pockets on the outside, giving quick access to items that you want to keep handy. For an additional $35, the Sprout comes with a changing pad, removable shoulder straps, and stroller attachment straps. Inside the zippered main compartment, the Sprout also has a T-shaped pocket divider to help organize your belongings. The internal dividers make the bag tougher to clean; our bag continued to smell for a few days after we removed the milk and Cheerios from our testing. We also wish the Sprout included a small zippered internal pocket for a wallet and other valuables.
The Hip Cub tote makes a nice lightweight (1.6 pound) over-the-shoulder handbag that happened to be a diaper bag—with a nautical feel. We liked its two open front pockets, similar to the Skip Hop Duo’s (though without the magnetic closures to keep it secured). But after a few weeks, we noticed that the fabric had started to bleed, so the white stripe had a faint blue tint. Our messages to Hip Cub’s customer service went unanswered.
The Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack is a common competitor to the JuJuBe B.F.F., and it offers many of the same advantages: It can be converted into a backpack, messenger, or shoulder bag, though the straps are not padded and can’t be removed like the B.F.F.’s. We especially liked the Boxy Backpack’s changing station: A cushioned changing pad folds out from the front of the backpack, revealing two elastic pockets that hold the diapers and wipes. With everything in one place, diaper changing with a squirmy, uncooperative baby was more manageable than with any of the other diaper bags we tested. Unfortunately, the Petunia Pickle Bottom has only two small open pockets, which aren’t big enough to accommodate a reusable water bottle (you can shove a disposable 16.9-ounce plastic water bottle into the pocket, but it’s a tight fit)—and these outside pockets proved extremely useful on our other picks.
Skip Hop sells a larger version of the Duo, the Duo Double Signature Diaper Bag, meant for twins and sized to hang on side-by-side double strollers. We didn’t have the opportunity to field-test it, but the Duo Double is about 4 inches wider than the Duo Signature and has 16 pockets (compared with 10).
The cute Storksak Poppy Luxe Black Scuba has the same convenient convertible straps as the Babymel Robyn, allowing us to carry it as a backpack, shoulder bag, crossbody, or tote. It has an array of internal elastic pockets but is overall too small. The included changing pad and insulated food and bottle bag fill up most of the main compartment, leaving little room for any other incidentals and making it difficult to reach anything in the internal pockets.
The Timbuk2 Stork Messenger Diaper Bag can easily double as a sleek and stylish work bag. It includes premium details such as a large external pocket with a magnetic closure for the changing pad (included), a zippered external pocket lined with felt for personal essentials, and an internal pocket with a removable neoprene bottle koozie. The bag’s main drawback is its compact size: Once we packed backup clothes and snacks in the main zippered compartment, there wasn’t room for much more. At 2.7 pounds, it is also the heaviest bag we tested for our 2019 update.
We did not consider cult-favorite brand Timi & Leslie because almost all of its bags are made with leather and weigh 2 pounds or more. The OiOi and JJ Cole diaper bags are also on the heavier side, according to their online specs. We were intrigued by the Paperclip Diaper Bag, aimed at dads, with a built-in changing station for when a changing table isn’t available in the men’s restroom. (Like the Petunia Pickle Bottom boxy backpack, the changing pad folds out from the front of the bag; the Paperclip also has a wall on both sides.) At the time of our review, the Paperclip cost more than $200.