Best Diaper Bag 2018
Last Updated: Best Baby Diaper Bag 2018. After researching and reviewing 23 different diaper bag manufacturers and models, we pick the . DadGear Backpack Diaper Bag ($100) as Best Diaper Bag 2018. Why not a traditional tote-style bag? Backpacks are the overwhelming favorite among new parents for their versatility and flexibility.
Scroll down for our picks for Best Lightweight Diaper Backpack, Best Budget-Friendly Diaper Bags, Best Diaper Tote Bag, Best Designer Diaper Bags and Best Breast Pump Bag.
New to diaper bag shopping? Read our 7 Things No One Tells You About Buying a Diaper Bag for advice and tips.
Can’t you just use any ol’ backpack as a diaper bag? Sure . . . but backpacks designed specifically for parents add a series of nifty parent-friendly features. Example: DadGear’s easy access front pocket for dispensing wipes. Just pull on the tab and bam! Wipes!
See below for more details on the DadGear Backpack Diaper Bag:
More details on the DadGear Backpack Diaper Bag. Then there is the clamshell opening (See video below for this feature). You can lay the main compartment out flat to get to the clothes or gear you need. We like that you can see everything so easily.
Storage pockets abound in the two front zippered sections and on the sides. You can fit large water bottles or smaller baby bottles in two insulated side zip pockets too. Diapers can be stored in the smaller top compartment for easy access.
The DadGear backpack includes a changing pad, key loop, stroller strap and light colored interior for easy viewing. At $100, DadGear certainly isn’t the least expensive diaper bag backpack on the market, but we think the features and quality make it worth the cost.
And our readers agree. Dads tell us they love the no-nonsense design and guy-friendly look (although with over 20 fabric choices, you can find the perfect color). It’s especially useful for more than one child–it holds quite a bit more than conventional diaper totes on the market.
So what’s not to like? Some folks complained that the straps aren’t wide enough for their comfort. Others noted it seemed heavy at almost three pounds (2.6 lbs. to be exact)—when you fill it with gear, it isn’t light weight. Overall, however, complaints are few and far between. We highly recommend the DadGear Backpack Diaper Bag.
Best Tote Diaper Bag. Okay, you need more than a basic bag—but you don’t want to spend the equivalent of a used car price on a diaper bag? Our readers love the Skip Hop line of bags (skiphop.com). Skip Hop offers nine different designs, but our favorite is the Skip Hop Duo ($40-$70).
The Duo is their largest bag with eleven pockets including a cell phone pocket, magnetic closures instead of zippers and their cool Shuttle Clips, which allow you to clip it to a stroller. Yes, it has a shoulder strap too and changing pad, as you’d expect plus it comes in eleven colors and patterns:
Some parents say the bag holds less than they expected and the magnetic closures don’t work as well if you stuff the bag really full. Those complaints aside, Skip Hop is a great option if you are looking for a full-size diaper bag with a bit more style. The Duo also comes in one other versions with fancier fabrics (and only nine pockets): the Special Edition.
Best Breast Pump Bag: Ju-Ju-Be If you only received the basic pump motor and collection set from your insurance company, Ju-Ju-Be makes two aftermarket breast pump bags to store and carry your pump: the Be Supplied ($125, pictured above) and the Be Pumped ($200 pictured below).
Both options have a dedicated giant pocket insulated for sound so you can keep it in the bag and muffle the sound of some of the louder pumps out there. The Be Supplied is the basic model with four pockets and a detachable messenger strap. It’s also treated with teflon and has luggage feet to protect surfaces.
In the larger Be Pumped they’ve added additional pockets like a cell phone pocket, four mesh pockets and two zippered pockets and a changing/staging pad. Also included is the Be Equipped set of wet bag, mini bottle cooler and organizer bag ($50 if you buy it separately).
We love Ju-Ju-Be’s light colored linings and special fabric treatments to inhibit bacteria, mold and mildew. The bags come in just a couple fabrics for each style, and they aren’t the cheapest options on the market, but they have great features nonetheless. We highly recommend them.
Why Trust Us
We’ve been rating and reviewing diaper bags since 1994. In addition to hands on inspections of hundreds of bags, we have also met with designers and manufacturers. We also evaluate consumer reviews posted on sites like Amazon, as well as our own message boards. Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Baby Bargains is your independent and unbiased source for expert baby gear reviews. We’ve been writing and reviewing baby gear since 1994. Yes, that long!
How we picked a winner
We evaluate diaper bags with in-depth inspections, checking models for overall quality and ease of use—for example, stressing out the zippers and checking for reinforced seams. We also gather significant reader feedback (our book, Baby Bargains has over 1 million copies in print), tracking diaper bags on quality and durability. Besides interviewing parents, we also regularly talk with retailers to see which brands are most trustworthy and other key quality metrics. Since we’ve been doing this since 1994, we have developed detailed profiles of major diaper bag brands that help guide our recommendations.
7 Things No One Tells You About Buying A Diaper Bag!
1. The shear numbers of diaper bags can seem overwhelming.
So how do you know which one is best?
The best diaper bags are made of tear-resistant fabric and have all sorts of useful pockets, features and gizmos. Contrast that with low quality brands that lack many pockets and are made of cheap, thin vinyl—after a couple of uses, they start to split and crack. Yes, high quality diaper bags will cost more ($50 to $150 versus $30 to $45), but you’ll be much happier in the long run.
High-end diaper bags (like those made by Kate Spade and other designers) can reach the $300 mark or more. Of course, many of our readers have found deals on these bags, so check out our message boards for shopping tips.
Here’s our best piece of advice: buy a diaper bag that doesn’t look like a diaper bag. Sure those bags with dinosaurs and pastel animal prints look cute now, but what are you going to do with it when your baby gets older? A well-made diaper bag that doesn’t look like a diaper bag will make a great piece of carry-on luggage later in life.
2. You may not need to buy a diaper bag after all.
Many folks have a favorite bag or backpack that can double as a diaper bag. Besides the obvious (wipes and diapers), put in a large zip-lock bag as a holder for dirty/wet items. Add a couple of receiving blankets (as changing pads) plus the key items listed in tip #3, and you have a complete diaper bag. You can buy many items found in a diaper bag (such as a changing pad) a la carte at most baby stores.
3. There are at least eight items that you should have in your diaper bag.
- Extra diapers. Put a dozen in the big bag, two or three in the small one. Why so many? Babies can go through quite a few in a very short time. Of course, when baby gets older (say over a year), you can cut back on the number of diapers you need for a trip. Another wise tip: put whole packages of diapers and wipes in your car(s). We did this after we forgot our diaper bag one too many times and needed an emergency diaper. (The only bummer: here in Colorado, the wipes we keep in the car sometimes freeze in the winter! As they say, you don’t know cold . . . )
- Travel-size wipes package. A good idea: a plastic Tupperware container that holds a small stack of wipes. Some wipe makers sell travel packs that are allegedly “re-sealable” to retain moisture; we found that they aren’t. And they are expensive. For example, a Huggies travel pack of 16 wipes is $6. That works out to 38¢ per wipe compared to 2¢ per wipe if you buy a Huggies refill box of 384 from Kmart.
- Blanket and change of clothes. Despite the reams of scientists who work on diapers, they still aren’t leak-proof—plan for it. A change of clothes is most useful for babies under six months of age, when leaks are more common. After that point, this becomes less necessary
- Hat or cap. We like the foreign legion-type hats that have flaps to cover your baby’s neck and ears (about $10 to $20). Warmer caps are helpful to chase away a chill, since the head is where babies lose the most heat.
- Baby toiletries. Babies can’t take much direct exposure to sunlight—sunscreen is a good bet for all infants. Besides sunscreen, other optional accessories include bottles of lotion and diaper rash cream. The best bet: buy these in small travel or trial sizes. Don’t forget insect repellent as well. This can be applied to infants two months of age and older
- Don’t forget some toys. We like compact rattles, board books, teethers, etc.
- Snacks. When baby starts to eat solid foods, having a few snacks in the diaper bag (a bottle of water or milk, crackers, a small box of cereal) is a smart move. But don’t bring them in plastic bags. Instead bring reusable plastic containers. Plastic bags are a suffocation hazard and should be kept far away from babies and toddlers.
- Your stuff. Be careful putting your wallet or checkbook into the diaper bag—we advise against it. We left our diaper bag behind one too many times before we learned this lesson. Put your name and phone number in the bag in case it is lost.
4. Get two diaper bags.
Buy one that is a full-size, all-option big hummer for longer trips (or overnight stays) and the other that is a mini-bag for a short hop to dinner or the shopping mall. Here’s what each should have:
The full-size bag: This needs a waterproof changing pad that folds up, waterproof pouch or pocket for wet clothes, a couple compartments for diapers, blankets/clothes, etc. Super-deluxe brands have bottle compartments with Thinsulate to keep bottles warm or cold. Another plus: outside pockets for books and small toys. A zippered outside pocket is good for change or your wallet. A cell phone pocket is also a plus.
The small bag: This has enough room for a couple diapers, travel wipe package, keys, wallet and/or cell phone. Some models have a bottle pocket and room for one change of clothes.
If money is tight, just go for the small bag. To be honest, the full-size bag is often just a security blanket for first-time parents—some think they need to lug around every possible item in case of a diaper catastrophe. But, in the real world, you’ll quickly discover schlepping that big full-size bag everywhere isn’t practical. While a big bag is nice for overnight or long trips, we’ll bet you will be using the small bag much more often.
5. If you expect the men (and some of the women) in your life to carry a diaper bag without grumbling, consider a more toned down look.
Vera Bradley is great–we love those crazy, loud patterns too. But it’s possible loud pink, green and yellow flowers on a diaper bag will cause some rebellion amongst your friends and family if you expect them to carry your baby’s diaper bag occasionally. If your significant other is more comfortable with a black backpack, consider their feelings when you choose your diaper bag. Or simply transfer the contents of your crazy bright bag to a bag or pack they won’t be embarrassed to carry.
6. Fabric is important.
Look for fabric that is easy to wipe clean or throw in the wash. (Sorry, stash away those expensive leather totes from your pre-baby years for some future day). Smooshed up crackers, wet clothes, and spit up are facts of life. So stick with easy clean fabric. And consider a diaper bag with a bright colored interior lining. Black linings make it hard to see items, but bright colors like red make it much easier.
7. Be safe: don’t hang your diaper bag on the back of your stroller.
While you may see lots of parents hanging their diaper bags on the handles of their strollers, we generally don’t recommend this. Kids can get injured when they are climbing out of the stroller and it flips up because the heavy diaper bag pulls down the back of the stroller.
Some diaper bags come with special stroller clips. If you’re considering using those clips, try them without the baby in the stroller. Since every stroller is different, you’ll want to confirm that the stroller won’t tip with a bag handing on the handlebars. And some stroller makers also make a matching bag that will work with their stroller. If you’re determined to hang your bag on the stroller, buying a bag from the stroller maker may be the safer way to go.
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