Help me find a practical (but nice looking!) diaper bag
March 20, 2015 1:26 PM   Subscribe

There are just so many on the market, I don't know what to choose! Tell me about your favourites! SO and I are debating between the 'look' and I'm willing to give up style for function

Must haves:

Option A:
-something big enough to carry a change of baby clothes, diapers, wipes, thin blanket, rollup change pad, bottles, items in my purse (instead of having to carry a purse as well), extra shirt for me (in case baby spits up)
-Something that doesn't scream 'diaper bag' and looks like a large purse
-No childish prints
-durable, can stand the test of time and different surfaces
-under $200
-will ship or can find in Canada
-comfortable to wear/put on shoulder

Option B:
Everything option A offers but instead of a stylish purse style, something that is gender neutral so my SO doesn't feel girly carrying it. In reality I'll be the one lugging it around most of the time so SO doesn't care that much but would just like to see different options available!

Thanks in advance all!
posted by bluehermit to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (19 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Two former colleagues of mine started a company that produces - among other things - a diaper bag insert that you can put into any other bag. It's $40 and gets fantastic reviews.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 1:45 PM on March 20, 2015

I saw someone carrying a fantastic bag a few months ago and I said to my boyfriend, "I'm going to ask her where she got it!" He said, "I think it's a diaper bag." Turned out he was right, but who cares? I don't have a baby, but I carry a big bag. Hers was from Pottery Barn Kids and I won't even tell you which specific one it was because I think they're all pretty great.
posted by janey47 at 1:53 PM on March 20, 2015

This is option B. We have a DadGear diaper bag in red retro stripe. I got it because I wanted to throw a bone to my husband, who cares more about bags than I do; and because I also would just as soon not be all HI I'M CARRYING A DIAPER BAG LOOK AT MY DIAPER BAG.

It has a suitable number of interior pockets and has survived two kids in good form. It comes in plenty of gender neutral colors, or some crazy patterns if that's your thing. And the quick access wipes pocket can be a lifesaver if you're trying to change the kid in a public bathroom. You can either use their wipes box or shove in your own travel pack (or half empty soft pack).

Highly recommend.
posted by telepanda at 2:01 PM on March 20, 2015

Awesome ones used by our family and our friends:
Petunia Pickle Bottom
Eddie Bauer
posted by erst at 2:03 PM on March 20, 2015

If you don't find something you're head over heels in LOVE with, I recommend getting a Skip Hop and calling it a day. They're workhorses, and fit on the back of your stroller, and not that expensive. Then you can see how you ACTUALLY live with the kid and how you want to carry the stuff. They make versions that look a bit more like purses, some nice prints and others that are a bit more utilitarian. They're bestsellers for a reason.

Don't spend $200 on a bag before you've had your kid -- you'll often figure out your preferences as you go.
posted by barnone at 2:04 PM on March 20, 2015 [4 favorites]

Just use a bag you like. There's no need to buy something that's specifically a "diaper bag." I used backpacks and somehow my babies survived infancy.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:06 PM on March 20, 2015 [7 favorites]

We have a skip hop in a simple stripe pattern (sort of like seersucker), and it's great. Hits all your criteria.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:10 PM on March 20, 2015

Stitch (in my hometown of Raleigh, NC) makes the holy grail of diaper bags: good looking (you can even customize patterns/colors) AND indestructible. I own a purse made by the same maker, and it looks as brand new as the day I received it despite 15 months of daily use. Waterproof, puncture-proof, pleasing interior pockets. The diaper bags even come with a matching changing pad.
posted by little mouth at 2:53 PM on March 20, 2015

I started off with a "cool" diaper bag (I forget where it came from exactly but it was black like my post-goth heart and pretty neat looking) but ended up using a backpack the majority of the time. All of the little pockets on the diaper bag were nice, but then I just ended up not being able to find anything because I didn't put it back in the "right" spot. Backpacks easier on your back especially if you're going to be carrying your child. Diaper bags are more expensive than they should be just because they are for parents, whereas you can find all kinds of cheap, durable, fashionable backpacks. North Face backpacks are fashionable if a bit expensive. Jansport has every pattern known to (wo)man and are very affordable. TimBuk2 is another more expensive, more stylish option.
posted by sacrifix at 3:09 PM on March 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

I asked a similar question a couple years ago and ended up buying a big gold Kipling tote bag that I found at TJMaxx. It's stood up really well, and I would buy another one.
posted by celtalitha at 4:00 PM on March 20, 2015

We just use a messenger bag from Mission Workshop, which is totally gender neutral and has plenty of room for diapers, wipes, snacks/a bottle, change of clothes and a changing pad (bought separately). We're now 4 years in (16 months with 2nd kid) and it's holding up well.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 4:10 PM on March 20, 2015

We have the Skip Hop Duo that barnone links above; I got it secondhand. It's gender-neutral and neither too pursey nor too outdoorsy-messengery. There's a good amount of pockets and you can fit the basics and some of your own stuff as well.

Really, though, any bag will work as a diaper bag. Lots of pockets are nice, but you can always fudge that by adding smaller pouches or in-bag organizers. And, to be honest, we don't use the diaper bag that much, only for longer outings. When we're running errands or toting the little guy to and from daycare, we don't really need a full arsenal of baby stuff.

If it had been out at the time, I would have splurged on the Tom Bihn diaper bag. (Heck, I'm tempted to order it anyway and give away the Skip Hop.) It's not the best-looking bag I've seen, but Tom Bihn makes awesome, awesome bags: thoughtfully-designed, pockety, and very tough.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:58 PM on March 20, 2015 [2 favorites]

We have a plain black Timbuktu. Indestructible, water resistant, pockets, screams - if anything - "bike messenger ".
posted by jrobin276 at 5:40 PM on March 20, 2015

I used a skip hop for those first year and some months that required carrying basically EVERYTHING I owned and it worked well. Now that the baby bee is two I just throw a diaper and a baggie of goldfish crackers in my purse. I think the Skip hop was about $60 off Amazon. It was money well spent, but I'm glad I didn't spend more because I was ready to be done with it after a year and a half of carrying it everywhere. It washed well (a must!), held enough without allowing me to get too crazy with the amount of stuff I carried (a plus, trust me), and I actually got lots of compliments on it as the non-parents in the world thought it was a messenger bag.

I am probably going to have to re-visit the diaper bag now that we're starting to potty train because I will once again have to carry around a ton of stuff, and I'm glad I have the Skip Hop to come back to. It really is a workhorse of a bag.

ETA: The one linked above looks even awesomer than the one I have and I would buy it again in a heartbeat.
posted by danielle the bee at 7:01 PM on March 20, 2015

A popular bag among the moms in my life seems to be the ones made by Queen Bee. In addition to the diaper bags, her trucker bag line may fit the bill as well. The bags are stylish and super durable. Queen Bee
posted by Hopeful and Cynical at 7:05 PM on March 20, 2015

I had a baby 3 months ago, and before she was born I was obsessed with finding the perfect, cool diaper bag. My husband and I actually settled on this bag that's from South Korea - but then the one we wanted sold out before we got it. So now we have the Skip Hop bag listed above - and I'm actually really glad. Here's why - really nicely designed bags don't usually machine wash. You'll want something washable, that can hold everything you need, that can hang on your stroller. So I'd really encourage you to go with some practical and washable. When I'm going somewhere baby-oriented like the park, I just bring the Skip Hop. If I'm going out to dinner and I want to carry a purse that feels like me, I just put a diaper changing kit inside it. So I guess my vote is for a practical diaper bag you can both maybe a beautiful purse for you, just because.
posted by leitmotif at 7:42 PM on March 20, 2015

I have the Tom Bihn diaper bag mentioned above. I would heartily recommend it.

I haven't had to fit bottles in there, but I have little doubt it'd fit everything you want to squeeze in there. Its biggest "issue" is that it doesn't have the clips to connect to a stroller handle, but I find just draping the shoulder strap over the stroller handles works fine for me. I have a few Tom Bihn bags, and all of them have served me wonderfully well with minimal wear over time.
posted by that girl at 8:42 PM on March 20, 2015

We were also obsessed with finding the perfect bag, but then the awesome PhoBWanKenobi sent us her old DiaperDude messenger bag. It's great. I will say that having a bright interior is helpful because you can see what's in there.

The most important thing is to have a bag that's hands-free. We are always wrangling a baby and a laptop backpack and a grocery bag or three. If you prefer a backpack, get a backpack. If you will be wearing a backpack or an Ergo, consider a messenger bag. Think about how you'll use it.

NEVER get a bag with two shoulder-sized handles/straps. It'll fall off your shoulder and drive you insane.

We also just got back from a trip to California with our seven-month-old where we didn't take the diaper bag at all. We have one of these Skip Hop Pronto changing kits, and it was great. Fits like five diapers and all of the extraneous crap, but is still flat enough and cute enough for a larger handbag. Hangs off the stroller handle, too. (P.S. Britax B-Agile. You'll thank me later.) Then we carry four or five 4oz bottles in an insulated lunch bag.

Really, we just get a bunch of gallon-sized slider ziploc bags and section everything off (diapers, clean outfits, dirty outfits) in those.
posted by St. Hubbins at 10:20 AM on March 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

I had a SkipHop with Short Story but sold it after less than a year because believe it or not it wasn't big enough. I switched over to using the tote that came with my pump. With the impending birth of #2, I wanted something with a divider down the middle so the stuff for kid #1 wouldn't become entangled with the stuff for kid #2 and I settled for a laptop bag carrier bag that just looks like an oversized and fairly stylish purse, which I found at TJMaxx for $25.

When hubby takes the kiddo alone, he takes his regular backpack.
posted by vignettist at 11:18 AM on March 24, 2015

« Older Travel Filter: Salzburg , Prague over Easter.   |   Sciatic nerve pain: Any advice? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.