I’ll go broke buying diaper bags if I don’t start selling some, or stop buying some.
These beauties are what parents live out of day after day so it’s a) nice to have something a little attractive and b) it’s so important that it be functional.
Everything was perfectly fine with my go-to diaper bag until weeks before my new little man arrived (see a couple posts back for cute pics of him!) The backpack that I had been using started to come apart at the seams – literally. An interior lining had come undone and two zippers broke. I wanted to scoop up a new backpack before I gave birth but once I stepped into the world of diaper bag shopping again, it took a while to come back out with my choice in hand.
I now have a couple bags to choose from and a whole list of gorgeous other finds. I thought I would list my research in case you’ve been in the market for a new diaper bag lately, or, for even if you haven’t.
Covetable Baby-Stuff Holders
Before I launch into my list, I will say – buying a diaper bag is a good excuse to purchase a beautiful new bag. You will do fine without one! If you have a favorite backpack, that could easily become your go-to, or you’ll find if your purse is big enough – and it probably is – snag a portable change mat and a diaper-and-wipes carrying case and you’ll be set. You might find that you like some of the features below (some come with cooler packs or have adjustable straps that turn your bag from a messenger bag into a backpack) but if it isn’t in the budget, don’t even worry about it. You’ll do just fine.
That being said – Christmas is right around the corner, so it might be the right time to put one of these gems on the wish list.
Rebecca Waldron designed the Bodomint diaper bag to satisfy features she found lacking in other diaper bags. She wanted a bag that was functional and subtly stylish and she was having trouble finding the perfect fit. So, she crafted it herself. The Bodomint comes in two choices – solid black, or black and white striped, offering a gender-neutral style that works for mom and dad. The bags can be carried three ways – as a messenger, as a backpack or easily hooked onto a stroller. (You can purchase stroller hooks from the Bodomint website.) These bags are often being re-stocked – so, I would say, people are loving them.
Top features are the wipeable canvas material and the ease of converting the bag into various carrying styles. And, in general, I love the idea of backpack diaper bags. I can’t imagine picnics at the park, plane rides, and days out exploring without one. Nothing slipping off your shoulders, two hands totally free.
So sophisticated. I spied these bags – specifically the Brownstone OEMI Baby Bag – while I was out shopping at The Baby Cubby in Lindon, Utah the other day. This could easily become an office bag post diaper days. Because, actually, this bag looks nothing like a diaper bag. Yet, the interior begs to differ, boasting enough pockets to cart all your kiddo stuff around in organized style along with exterior pockets perfect for sippy cups and bottles. A long shoulder strap makes it easy to hang this across your stroller handlebars and each bag – and this is a standard for most diaper bags – comes with a deluxe change pad.
These luxurious diaper bags are chock-full of organic cotton, wool padded shoulder straps, and a foam quilted back. The entire interior lining can be removed for easy cleaning. Thermal lined pockets at the bottom of the interior keep bottles cool. And it gives off such a, “I’m hiking in the woods but I am carrying gold on my back,” vibe.
The company started out selling luxe change mats made of 100% wool, with a snap on-and-off organic cotton and bamboo blend pad. A zippered portion on the change mat holds diapers and wipes while a lengthy shoulder strap makes it so portable. The diaper bags themselves come with two straps on one side that hold the company’s change mat. While the bags come bundled with a change mat, customers can now purchase a bag sans mat – and in those side straps you could fit instead a picnic blanket!
$296 – sans mat
$375 – with mat
Penn Carry-All by Blair Ritchey
I interviewed Blair Ritchey when I was working for Cleveland Magazine a couple years back and have been following her bags ever since. Do I own one yet? No. But, it is on the wish list each year. (Even just one of her little PAK Minis – perfect for organizing a purse or diaper bag and then on its own for a night out – would fulfill that wish. Hint, hint, Z.)
Ritchey named her diaper bag after her son, Penn, and the designer seemed to already know what would make for the perfect diaper bag even before her little guy arrived – seven interior pockets to contain all of the miscellany (mom’s lotions and balms, baby’s lotions and balms, toys, diapers, wipes, snacks, sunglasses, etc. etc. etc.) and two exterior side pockets that make it easy to grab quick essentials like hand sanitizer and lip balm. (My two necessities.) And, an interior lanyard makes finding keys a cinch – which is something I need in my life. The interior is a super durable nylon and offers a great pop of Kelly Green color with the exterior being a sophisticated black in a water-resistant canvas.
To make the bag even more generous, it comes in three carrying styles – simply by the leather handles, over the shoulder with the shoulder strap or as a backpack.
A wonder woman of a diaper bag.
Oh, I want one of each. Let’s say you have just one little babe, and you’re looking for something easy, breezy – try the Day Tripper. The generously-sized bag is so stuffable – awesome for days at the park or the beach. An insulated pouch is good for snacks while a zippered pouch corrals keys and lip balms.
For more babes or for an overpacker (i.e. me) the Overnighter (pictured above) – which comes in the brand’s customary cotton exterior or a waxed canvas exterior – has four interior pockets and seven exterior pockets. Plenty enough to stay organized, right? There is a removable shoulder strap and key clip. And, just look at that color. Hmm. (So, if I had three diaper bags … But, since this is great for the gym, travel and every day excursions, I don’t have to call it a diaper bag. It’d just be another bag, right? Another very gorgeous, heavy duty, organizational queen of a bag.)
Day Tripper: $95
Overnighter: $175 – $250
This vegan line out of Montreal is who I turned to for my first diaper bag. I ordered the company’s Raylan design in Olive. When it came to my house, I was in love. And, I definitely used it quite a bit. But, then the idea of using a backpack came to mind – I was chatting with a mom at the airport who had an awesome camera bag backpack that she was using as a diaper bag – and I thought, That’s my style. But, even when Ace arrived and I hadn’t yet purchased a new backpack diaper bag, I turned back to my Raylan. And, it’s great. I can picture it being a fantastic office bag, so if you are looking for a bag that would be great for baby and great for back-to-work, this is it. And, it’s vegan. And, that’s awesome.
The zipper-closured interior is divided into two, with another snap closure pocket in back. Two front snap-closure pockets on the front make it an easy reach to quick-grab items.
Sleek and ethical? The Raylan has my vote.
I came across the MZ Wallace line at The Baby Cubby in Utah as well (this baby warehouse is seriously a gold mine of awesome parenting finds.) It’s a well-manicured bag – sort of the opposite of my splashy colors and rugged materials self – but, I’m drawn to it. I appreciate its class. I like its zippered pouches along the front. I like that there are 10 interior pockets (you read that right) and six exterior pockets. I like the silky-feeling material. I think a lot of moms might like that this look just like a purse, with nice long handles, so, you’ll keep on using it, long after diapers and wipes aren’t taking up all the space.
Twelve Little Companion Backpack
The soft nylon exterior makes this bag supremely water resistant and I am thinking that at this point in motherhood, I wouldn’t mind if everything was a water resistant soft nylon. This is the diaper bag I ended up choosing. I am completely in love with the leopard print and the material is so soft and feels so quality.
I will say that there isn’t as much room as there was in my old backpack from the Honest Co. but it can still spill over – and still zip up – with my stash. It’s just not as organized. (The Honest Co. backpack was a little more pliable and there was one more large pocket in the interior.)
But, the Twelve Little Companion Backpack has other pockets instead – there are four small pockets total on the interior and two on the front – one that magnetizes closed and one zipper. Then, what I really love are the insulated bottle pockets on the sides. I don’t need to keep any bottles cool, but the pockets hold so much that I can quickly grab – hand sanitizer, sunglasses, lip balm and Rad’s water bottle. Then, what I love is this backpack boasts a hidden zipper pouch that goes up the back . You could stuff a dirty diaper in there if you needed to.
A very quality bag and a good look. And, I scored a great deal on albeebaby.com
My friend Molly has a SoYoung diaper bag and she loves it. It’s a Canadian company so she said, “You haven’t heard of them?!” And, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t. These canvas dynamos come in great subdued colors. The shallow depth means no reaching – and then reaching, and then digging – for something at the way-bottom. An insulated interior pocket can hold snacks but also a laptop. There are two insulated bottle pockets on the exterior and a sweet slide pocket at the back that could fit a blanket or other bulky items that you don’t have an extra hand for. The interior is completely wipeable. And this beauty can convert to go over your shoulder or on your back.
Check, check and check.
These faux-leather, waterproof bags offer a sleek, boxy design. It’s a messenger-style and backpack-style bag – and switching between the two is done with ease. Because the straps are detachable, it also means the bag can hook to your stroller. (Any bag that has detachable straps can then be hung by stroller hooks, like these. They also sell these hooks – same as the ones on Bodomint’s site – on Fawn Design’s site.)
A couple nice features to note are the wide-mouth opening – you can see everything when you unzip the lid, and the interior lining (again, faux-leather and very wipeable) is not attached at the bottom, meaning you can lift it out and shake out any crumbs!
$145.99 – $159.99
Another satchel/backpack combo, this striped beauty is from mom and designer Chelsea Hamblin. She started sewing in the early days of momhood and making diaper bags to suit her style and needs was a focus.
It offers a similar pocket count as the above diaper bags, including the two side pockets for bottles and easy to grab items. And, it’s so buttery with those dark-brown leather details, and so Parisian with those thin black and white stripes. And, you get to support a mom. So, I love that.
Leader Bag Co. Julien Backpack
This slouchy canvas backpack with soft leather detailing comes in five gentle, neutral color options such as a light grey and a sophisticated navy. It’s pricy, yes, the most pricy of all the bags in this list. But, if you love the look, the features are there – interior mesh pockets for optimum organization, side bottle pockets, a wipeable nylon interior – with two extra-luxe additions – matching leather stroller hooks and padded shoulder straps. And, as the company says, these bags can grow with the family – send your little one off to class with it once they hit middle school. And make sure they don’t spill anything on it so they can then carry it off to college.
Authentic huipils – handwoven garments worn by indigenous women in Mexico and Central America – are repurposed into a variety of bags and accessories by the Ixchel Triangle company, who works specifically – and benevolently – with artisans in Guatemala. The company’s diaper bag is an over-the-shoulder color wonder – the bold details from each previously worn blouse pops against gorgeous leather trimmings.
The details make it a practical addition to your daily travels – zippered bottle pockets, a deluxe-sized changing mat – big enough for your toddler! – and a generously-sized interior. Not to mention, each bag is one of a kind and signed by the artisan who crafted it.
Nena & Co. Convertible Day Bag
Nena & Co. also sources Guatemalan textiles for its wares, and in doing so, also gives back to its artisans’ country whether it be through scholarships or providing access to purified water. The company is also sure to educate the artisans themselves on good business practices and placing sound value on their craft.
Of Nena & Co.’s wealth of bag styles, my vote for a diaper bag is the convertible day bag. Offered in a fabric style – as pictured above – or the recently released leather version with fabric detailing, each is one of a kind.
The bag’s removable straps offer messenger and backpack carrying styles along with a set of short handles secured to the bag. Fabric or leather pockets flank the sides for bottles and have magnetic snap closures. In terms of zippered pockets, it’s kept simple – two on the exterior and one on the interior. (Remember, this isn’t designed as a diaper bag, rather a day bag, but I think that works just fine as a day-to-day diaper bag, even without the number of pockets that other diaper-bag-specific designs have.)
The Nena & Co. website boasts a lengthy choice of colors for their bags, so no doubt you’ll unearth the gem to suit you perfectly.
$288 – $328
I found a good list of favorites but I know there is plenty of glorious gear to lay eyes on. Make sure to comment below with your favorite finds and definitely add a link for easy shopping 😉