Best Diaper Backpack Overall: Ruvalino’s Diaper Backpack YW168
Ruvalino’s Diaper Backpack YW168 is our pick for the top best diaper backpack overall, after hands-on reviewing and testing of a dozen diaper backpacks. Here are the pros and cons:
What We Liked:
• 16 pockets! Yes, this diaper backpack does NOT skimp on storage—from insulated bottle holders to a mommy pocket for a cell phone, we were most impressed with the overall storage. Here’s a look:
• Lightweight. Yes, this bag only weighs 1.78 pounds. Here’s a secret to diaper backpack shopping—the lighter the weight, the happier you’ll be. Some diaper backpacks weigh in at three to five pounds . . . and that’s empty! Our pick here only weighs 1.78 lbs.
• Style is on point. Our testers loved the muted neutrals that Ruvalino uses for their bags.
What could be improved
• Durability. We see a few scattered reports that questioned the durability of the Ruvalino diaper backpack. Zippers can break, fabric tears easily. In our testing, we thought this affordable diaper backpack would last at least through one child—but probably not multiple kiddos. It is true: when you spend more, you do get more durable fabric and zippers. This is a trade-off to consider.
• Quality control. One of the tester backpacks we ordered came in with a bad zipper. We also see this issue with a few other parents as well—inspect the bag carefully when you first get it to make sure all is in working order!
Best Lightweight Diaper Backpack: Mokaloo Diaper Bag Backpack
Ask any experienced parent what matters most in a diaper bag and, after pockets, they’ll tell you weight. The lighter the better! And we’d agree. We’ve been testing diaper bags for 25 years and trust us, the ones that folks love the most are usually the lightest weight models.
After trying out the current crop of lightweight diaper bag backpacks, we pick Mokaloo’s diaper bag backpack as the best of the bunch. Despite weighing just 1.65 lbs., there are 13 pockets and even a USB charging point. Here’s more:
What we liked
• Lots of pockets! 13 in total. There are two insulated pockets on the front for 4-9 oz. bottles—the pocket next to the bottle pockets holds an ice block. That’s a nice touch.
• Waterproof fabric.
• Wide opening and zipper slot for wipes.
• Lighter color interior fabric = easier to find items.
• USB charging port and cable.
• Can use as a backpack or with shorter straps as a tote.
What could be improved
Best Budget-Friendly Diaper Backpack: Mancro Diaper Bag Backpack
If you are looking for a diaper backpack that’s easier on the wallet, we think Mancro’s diaper bag backpack is a good bet. Yes, it is a touch smaller than other bags—but that is a plus if are looking for something that is also more compact. Despite the somewhat smaller size, it still has 14 compartments including two side pockets for bottles.
What we liked
• Main compartment fully opens. We like that as it is easier to see all that is inside!
• Water resistant fabric looks nice. This would make a nice shower gift.
What could be improved
Best Diaper Backpack, Splurge: Skip Hop Diaper Bag Backpack Forma
Yes, this diaper backpack is more pricey than others in this article—but the Skip Hop brand is one of our favorites for its quality and durability. These bags are incredibly well designed, with thoughtful touches and comfort features—the padded straps, for example. Here’s more:
What we liked
• Storage galore. This bag has two storage cubes: one that is insulated for bottles and a mesh cube for other essentials.
• Lightweight—it weighs just 1.4 pounds.
• Contrasting inner lining color makes finding buried items easier. FYI: The lining looks more purple than pink in reality.
What could be improved
• Boxier format may not be right for all parents. Some diaper backpacks are longer and skinny, others shorter and boxy. This one falls into the latter category. We liked it in our testing, but we realize it may not be everyone’s cup of tea!
Why Trust Us
We’ve been rating and reviewing diaper bags since 1994. In addition to hands on inspections of hundreds of backpacks, we have also met with designers and manufacturers.
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 backpacks 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.
7 Things No One Tells You About Buying A Diaper Backpack!
1. The shear numbers of diaper backpacks and bags can seem overwhelming.
So how do you know which one is best?
The best diaper backpacks 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 backpacks will cost more, but you’ll be much happier in the long run.
2. Diaper backpacks have features plain old backpacks lack.
They will have specific features for parents like wipes dispensers, changing pads and insulated bottle pockets you won’t find on a regular backpack.
3. There are at least eight items that you should have in your diaper backpack.
- 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.
- 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. Warmer caps are helpful to chase away a chill, since the head is where babies lose the most heat.
- Baby toiletries. Sunscreen is a good bet for all infants and not just in summer. 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, 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. Pro tip: 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 backpack: 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 pack: 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. To make everyone happy, consider a more toned-down look.
Vera Bradley is great–we love those crazy, loud patterns too. But you can’t go wrong with basic black.
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 backpack 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 backpack on the back of your stroller.
While you may see lots of parents hanging their diaper backpacks on the handles of their strollers, we generally don’t recommend this. Kids can get injured when they are climbing out of the stroller. Why? The stroller can flip up when a heavy diaper backpack 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 pack hanging on the handlebars.