Which diaper bags are best?

You don’t realize how many items you need to have immediately available when traveling with a baby until you’re an hour away from home and your baby is crying, cold, hungry and has a soiled diaper all at once. If you’d just bought and packed that diaper bag…

Diaper bags are available in all manner of sizes and designs, so you can feel prepared without being overburdened. The best is the Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Diaper Bag. It has a huge amount of storage space and can be worn as a backpack or shoulder bag.

What to know before you buy a diaper bag

Diaper bag types

There are three types of diaper bag: tote, messenger and backpack.

  • Tote bags are usually the largest, meant more for transport from A to B than for taking on a stroll. They have big handles or straps for carrying on one shoulder.
  • Messenger bags are usually the smallest. They sling across the shoulder and chest and are perfect for parents who need rapid access to their bag’s contents. Some messenger bags have backpack straps as well.
  • Backpack bags are a perfect middle ground. They have medium-to-large storage space and are the least burdensome to carry. However, they often take the longest to access, and some straps are more comfortable than others.

Size

Diaper bags come in all sizes to best fit how many items you need with you. The best size is the bag that fits exactly how much you aim to carry; larger bags can let items shift in the empty space, while smaller bags can burst if pushed.

Weight

Like size, weight must be carefully considered. Even the smallest diaper bag, when full, can weigh more than you can haul, let alone comfortably. Light bags are anything under 2 pounds while heavy bags weigh more than 4 pounds.

What to look for in a quality diaper bag

Padding

The best diaper bags have padding in the straps. This lets you carry them far longer without discomfort setting in. Some have limited or no padding; examine bags carefully for padding if you wear yours for long periods.

Style

Diaper bags are available in every color and pattern. Some are designed to not look like diaper bags at all, though these may have limited function. Designer-brand bags may be both elegant and functional, but they’re costly.

Changing pad

Many diaper bags come bundled with separate changing pads, or have an attached pad that folds out. Most locations you’re likely to go with your baby have changing areas you can use, meaning that a built-in pad is just extra weight in most situations. However, it can be irreplaceable If you frequently find yourself away from changing areas.

How much you can expect to spend on a diaper bag

Most diaper bags cost $50-$100. You can find options as low as $10, but these rarely hold up for long. Designer bags for the fashion-conscious can cost a few hundred dollars.

Diaper bag FAQ

What’s the most comfortable diaper bag type?

A. That depends on you and your needs. If you’re traveling by car, it’s hard to beat the storage and easy-carry handles of large tote bags. If you’ll be doing a lot of walking with your baby, having a backpack or messenger style can save you discomfort. There’s also the fashion element: some parents don’t care what it looks like as long as it works, while others feel better if their bag looks nice.

What kind of items should I keep my diaper bag stocked with?

A. That depends on what you’re doing and where you’re going, but some necessities remain constant. Diapers, obviously, but related paraphernalia such as wet wipes, rash cream and tissues are good to have. Hand sanitizer and a sealable bag for waste are also wise additions. Snacks and drinks as well as toys, blankets and other soothing devices are common, too. Some parents also like to keep a basic first-aid kit on hand.

What’s the best diaper bag to buy?

Top diaper bag 

Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Diaper Bag

Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Diaper Bag

What you need to know: This bag is equal parts fashionable and functional.

What you’ll love: It has five interior storage sections and two exterior bottle pockets. It can be worn as a backpack or messenger back and has a magnetic front flap closure. It includes a fold-out changing station with storage for diapers and wet wipes.

What you should consider: Some of the bag’s designs cost more than double what others cost. Some felt the bag was oversized. And it uses cardboard to help hold its shape — if it gets soaked it’ll be ruined.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and BuyBuyBaby

Top diaper bag for the money

Eddie Bauer Places And Spaces Bridgeport Diaper Bag Backpack

Eddie Bauer Places And Spaces Bridgeport Diaper Bag Backpack

What you need to know: This budget diaper bag saves money with minimal sacrifices.

What you’ll love: It has seven pockets, including three insulated bottle pockets. A zipper-secured front pouch is perfect for wallets, keys, etc. It can be worn or carried with a top strap and has adjustable, padded shoulder straps. It only weighs 1.9 pounds when empty. 

What you should consider: The product and its listing image have different pocket setups. The quality of the bag and changing station isn’t as high as it could be.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Skip Hop Forma Diaper Bag

Skip Hop Forma Diaper Bag

What you need to know: This is an excellent midrange diaper bag for the average family.

What you’ll love: It’s available in blue, black and gray. The main storage area has an extra-wide opening and zipper closure. It includes two storage cubes for optimal organization. Its two side bottle pockets are insulated, and its changing-pad pocket can also fit laptops.

What you should consider: Some consumers felt the shoulder straps were thin and lacked sufficient padding. It’s difficult to open one-handed and isn’t fashionable.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, BuyBuyBaby and Macy’s

 

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Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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