Who should buy a diaper bag?If you are someone who will be coming into lengthy contact with infant children and assuming responsibility for their diapering needs over an extended period in the near future, then take my advice: you probably need to consider equipping yourself with the best diaper bag to conveniently carry the necessary supplies.
What is the best diaper bag to buy?Just like with any fashion accessory, diaper bags come in hundreds of different styles and shapes. Let’s take a look at some of the more common ones on the market and see which ones make the first cut. A tote is pretty much a giant handbag. By far the bulkiest of diaper bags (and that’s without even stuffing your baby gear inside), totes provide an organized and roomy solution for taking your baby’s gear with you when traveling.
ConvenienceTotes are the most popular diaper bag option on the market. Among the reasons people prefer them are their convenience and simplicity. As a result, totes are available in countless designs and are hugely popular among parents who want the functionality of a diaper bag with a strong focus on fashion.
Not So ManlyI’ll be honest: totes are well and truly the least manly of diaper bags. Even if you choose a (theoretically) gender neutral diaper bag in a plain black style, you will still hear groans if your other half has to wear it out in public. Lucky for you, we have a guide to the best diaper bags for dads!
AccessibilityWith the exception of backpack diaper bags that zip completely in half, totes have the widest opening out of all the diaper bags. That’s a good thing, since a larger opening will allow you to easily view and locate specific baby gear in a poop emergency.
CompartmentsTotes are by far the largest of the diaper bags and usually come equipped with internal segmentation, so if you are looking for a diaper bag with lots of compartments, this might do the trick. This can be both a blessing and a curse. If you have more than one child still in diapers (or twins) then you will be able to fit more than enough baby essentials to last the day. On the flip side, totes can be surprisingly bulky, even before you have filled them up with stuff. To access the contents of a tote diaper bag you will need to place it down. Best for: Moms who want an abundance of room to store enough baby essentials to last a full day out. Flat, stylish and hang off your shoulder. Messenger diaper bags are conveniently travel-size containers also known as sling or satchel diaper bags. Identified by a single long strap that hangs over the shoulder; messenger diaper bags are generally slimmer than totes.
Easy AccessOne major advantage of messenger diaper bags is that you do not have to take the bag off to retrieve your diapers or baby wipes from inside. With practice, you will be able to remove items with one hand while juggling a baby in the other. Impressive. Because messenger diaper bags hang from one shoulder they place a lot of weight on one side of your body, particularly if you like to stuff your diaper bag to the point of bursting. While this won’t be a problem for the majority of parents; if you are prone to sore backs then a messenger diaper bag probably won’t do you any favors. Important: When carrying a messenger diaper bag be sure to carry it so that the bag sits on one side of your body and the strap on the opposite side (the strap should rest diagonally across your chest). Why? Because the bag can easily slip off your shoulder if you carry it vertically.
StyleListen up fashionistas: messenger bags are stylish. While raising a baby isn’t exactly glamorous (you know… poop) at least you can look the part. Messenger diaper bags come in a huge variety of styles. From bright floral to patterns that even the most mucho of Dads will be happy to wear. Yep; if you buy a unisex messenger bag, you will have a diaper bag that both parents will be happy to wear.
SmallishWhile messenger diaper bags vary a little in size, they are in no way a large diaper bag. Generally, you will be able to fit enough baby gear inside for a full day out for a single baby. If combining, say, an infant’s potty training with a strict schedule, working parents with full-time jobs might find this the best diaper bag to service their needs. These bags are a mainstay of modern single parenting. Best For: Modern parents who share a diaper bag and want to fit enough gear inside to last all day, or just for dads. From all outward appearances, diaper bag backpacks look like a regular backpack. If you take a look inside you will realize the backpack is anything but regular. Pockets, pockets and more pockets. If you want a diaper bag with lots of pockets, this may be the best way to go. Especially if some of those pockets are water resistant, a feature to look for in your choice of the best diaper bag to fit your needs.
Organizational parents rejoice!You will have a single pocket dedicated to each item you want to take along. Some backpacks even include easy access pockets allowing you to quickly and easily access frequently used items. Popular easy access pockets include an insulated baby bottle pocket (to help keep your baby’s bottle warm or cold) and a diaper wipe pocket (because babies are always sticky). Important: Steer clear of backpack diaper bags that do not open the whole way or have very few pockets. You will find yourself using the bag like a junk drawer and just piling your baby gear inside without order making it incredibly difficult to find what you are looking for during an emergency poop cleanup. Loose things are hard to sort in any kind of emergency.
WeightDepending on how much you stuff inside them, diaper bags can quickly get heavy. While other backpack diaper bags are carried on one side of your body, diaper backpacks evenly distribute the weight across your shoulders and back. The even weight distribution helps prevent back pain that often comes with carrying a heavy bag around all day.
ComfortIf you are the athletic type then you will like that the backpack is the only type of diaper bag that you can effectively wear while exercising (say jogging or bike riding). Fitness freaks be warned: since a backpack does not allow much air to circulate between the bag and back there is a good chance you will get a little sweaty in this area. Backpack diaper bags strength (looking like a regular backpack) is also its weakness. It looks like a backpack. Unless you are comfortable with that back-to-school look then you are most likely going to want to stick with a more fashionable diaper bag.
LargishYou may be wondering just how you will be able to fit every single thing you want to carry inside of a backpack. Long story short; you can’t. No bag is large enough to hold everything in your life. Sacrifices must be made! Backpack diaper bags have been designed to provide optimal storage room without being too bulky (you don’t want to look and feel like a turtle, do you?) making them ideal for short to medium day trips. Sorry parents of twins; if you have more than one baby in diapers then you will very likely need a bigger diaper bag. Suitable for: Parents who are less focused on looks and just want a very functional diaper bag that frees up both hands What is this witchcraft? A diaper bag that has three different carry options? Fancy! Convertible diaper bags (also known as multifunction diaper bags) can turn into at least two of the three previously mentioned styles of bags:
ConvertibleGenerally, convertible diaper bags come as a tote but have detachable straps. Depending on what style of diaper bag you want, simply add or remove the straps (making the Transformers sounds with your mouth is optional). Important: While versatile, a multifunction diaper bag will adequately fill the space of two or three different diaper bags but it will generally not perform the task as well as a dedicated-design diaper bag. This is particularly true of cheaper convertible diaper bags that simply use the feature as a selling point with no focus on the usability of each transformation. If versatility isn’t a prime concern, this may not be the best diaper bag for you. I hate advice like this. It’s generic and does not apply to everyone. In fact, if you were to strictly follow this advice then you may just miss out on an incredibly useful diaper bag that is perfect for your situation. Guess what? Stroller diaper bags are perfectly safe when used correctly Stroller diaper bags are one of those things that require an attention to detail on your part. How safe a stroller diaper bag actually is will depend entirely on two things:
- The weight of the diaper bag – You can’t expect to carry 50 pounds of baby gear in a stroller diaper bag
- The weight of your stroller – The heavier your stroller, the more weight it will take to tip it. A professional jogging stroller will be able to support much more weight than that cheap umbrella stroller you bought from Walmart.
Less Expensive OptionsFor those of you that don’t have the budget to cover the cost of an incredibly expensive diaper bag then you will be pleased to know that you can fake it until you make it. If you keep your eyes peeled you will be able to find bags that look every bit as good as a designer diaper bag for a fraction of the cost. These diaper bags will use imitation materials like faux leather to keep the costs down while providing a similar look. Will the quality be as good? Probably not, but that is the cost of fashion.
Functionality?Unfortunately, some designer diaper bags focus so strongly on fashion that it would appear the designer forgot what the purpose of the bag was. To hold baby gear; duh. Sigh. The things you put up with to look good. Did you know? Just because you are on a budget does not mean you can’t have a good looking diaper bag. Cheaper diaper bags that focus on style are known as fashion diaper bags.
How to choose the best diaper bag for youWith diaper bags, it’s personal. What is right for one parent won’t be right for you. Let’s take a look at some factors to consider when shopping around for a diaper bag.
The amount of space you needThe ideal capacity of a diaper bag will entirely depend on your personal situation. The first thing you will want to do is put a list of all the different things that you want to be able to carry inside your diaper bag. This list should include both your baby’s gear as well as your own.
Stuck for ideas?Don’t worry. I’ll help you get you started on this list with some common examples.
Situations where you need a large space
Situations where you need a small space
How much does it cost?Whether you like it or not, the price is going to play a large role in what diaper bag you choose. Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect from different priced diaper bags.
Not too heavyAn often overlooked detail when choosing a diaper bag is how much it actually weighs when empty. Some empty diaper bags can weigh up to 3 pounds. To put it simply: The heavier the diaper bag is when empty, the heavier it will be once you have filled it with baby gear If you suffer from a medical condition that restricts you from carrying objects that are too heavy (stiff joints, sore back etc.) then you will have to pay particular attention to the area as you do not want to make your condition worse. Factors that can contribute to the weight of a diaper bag include:
Easy organizationOrganization is a touchy subject. Some of you will approach parenting by becoming organized to the point of color-coordinating clothes and alphabetizing your pantry. If you are more like me, you will take the “build-a-pile” approach to organizing, and find that more often than not what you need is on the bottom. How you choose to organize (or not) will impact greatly on the type of diaper bag you choose.
How much does the diaper bag weigh?An often overlooked detail when choosing a diaper bag is how much it actually weighs when empty. Some empty diaper bags can weigh up to 3 pounds, and that’s before you put anything inside. To put it simply: The heavier the diaper bag is when empty, the heavier it will be once you have filled it with baby gear Unless you are a weight lifter, you will more than likely grow tired carrying a heavy diaper bag around all day. If you suffer from a medical condition that restricts you from carrying objects that are too heavy (stiff joints, sore back etc.) then you will have to pay particular attention to the area as you do not want to make your condition worse.
Factors that can contribute to the weight of a diaper bag include: