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It’s no secret that babies require a lot of stuff for a successful outing, so a good diaper bag is one of the most important purchases a parent-to-be can make. Based on personal testing and research, the Skip Hop Duo Signature is the best diaper bag for most parents, with a reasonable price tag, loads of pockets, several stylish patterns, and easy-to-wipe fabric that can take a beating.
Diapers. Wipes. A light blanket. Extra onesies. Burp cloths. Pacifiers. Teethers. Bottles. Toys. Those are just some of the essentials you may want on hand when you’re out and about with a small baby — and then there’s your stuff, too. A fully stocked diaper bag can be the difference between a quick, successful trip to the store and one of those horror stories that involves a historic diaper blowout, no change of clothes, and lots of tears from both mom and baby in a dirty public restroom. Yep, I’ve been there, and it ain’t pretty.
Diaper bags are a pretty personal purchase, and that’s reflected in the dizzying number of options and price points. Because there are so many out there, there isn’t a lot of expert consensus on the best diaper bags, though we did find a few good sources. We also considered thousands of parent reviews on major retail sites, as well as my own experience with a few diaper bags.
Our favorite diaper bags include an easy-to-use messenger bag, a backpack with pockets galore, a high-end leather looker, a huge bag for moms who won’t leave home without the kitchen sink, and a well-loved “dad bag” for the men in your life.
Also, check out our guides to the best baby monitors, the best nursing pillows, and the best baby bouncers.
Although the Skip Hop Duo Signature Bag is the best diaper bag for most parents, for various reasons laid out in the slides below, you should also consider the Ju-Ju-Be B.F.F. Backpack, the Storksak Elizabeth Leather Bag, the Skip Hop Grand Central Bag, and the Diaper Dude Messenger Bag.
The best diaper bag overallSkip Hop
Why you'll love it: The Skip Hop Duo Signature is sturdy, reasonably priced, comes in lots of colors and patterns, and has tons of space.
I had a basic Skip Hop Duo with my first son, and I loved it so much that I bought it again with my second in a different pattern – the classic, understatedFrench Stripe. But the beauty of the Duo is that it comes in so many different colors and patterns. If stripes aren’t your thing, there’s chevron. Or basic black. Or multicolored triangles. You get the idea.
But the Skip Hop is more than a pretty bag. It’s easy to carry – I loved the long strap, which let me wear it cross-body, though there are also grab handles. It’s easy to attach to the back of a stroller, with “shuttle clips” that loop over the handles and prevent the bag from swinging awkwardly while you walk.
There are oh-so-many pockets – four interior and six exterior, notesBaby List – including 2 elasticized mesh pockets on the side for bottles, a zippered one for easy-to-lose essentials, and a pocket just the right size for a smartphone. AsAmazon reviewers note, the material is super-durable, wipeable, and basically bullet-proof.
The one major downfall of the Duo — if there is one — is that it’s on the narrow side, which means I sometimes had to dig for things at the bottom of the main compartment, and I definitely had to streamline what I brought with me more than I wanted when I had two kids. So yes, over packers, you might want to pass. Another minor qualm, asBaby Bargains notes: The bottle pockets aren’t insulated.
Pros: Easy to clean, durable, lots of pockets, lots of colors and patterns, can be easily attached to strollers, low price
Buy the Skip Hop Duo Signature on Amazon for $52.00 (originally $65.00)
The best backpack-style diaper bag
Why you'll love it: The Ju-Ju-Be B.F.F. is easy to wear as a backpack, and it has tons of pockets for all your baby gear.
Whether you’re lugging a baby in a car seat or wrangling a wiggly toddler in a parking lot, you know how important it is to keep your hands free.
I’ve always gravitated toward a messenger-style bag that allows quick access, but a lot of moms rave about how much they love throwing a bag on their backs. If hands-free is up your alley, the Ju-Ju-Be B.F.F. should be a main contender. It has memory-foam padded removable backpack straps thatAmazon reviewers rave about, but there’s also a messenger strap, plus a grab handle.
The bag comes in a staggering number of colors and patterns – there are nearly four dozen on Amazon alone – including classic stripes and solids as well as whimsical florals, polka dots, and sail boats.
But enough with how it looks and how to carry it, because what you’re carrying is pretty awesome, too.The Nightlight says that there’s “storage galore … so many pockets, slots and zippered compartments that we ran out of ideas for what to put in them.” There are at least a dozen compartments, and they include two insulated bottle pockets and a “mommy pocket” that includes a key fob and sunglasses pocket.
The polyester bag is Teflon-treated to repel stains, the inner lining is anti-bacterial, and the entire bag can be machine-washed. Other thoughtful touches include metal hardware and luggage feet that keep the bottom of the bag from getting gross when it’s sitting on a restaurant floor or playground bench.
As for downsides, this bag is definitely on the pricier side. Several Amazon reviewers also say they’ve had durability issues, reporting faded fabric, lost zipper pulls, and rips at the seams.The Wise Baby wishes for a bigger changing pad, mommy pocket, and interior pocket.
Pros:Roomy, can be carried as backpack or messenger, lots of colors and patterns, washable, lots of pockets, stain- and germ-resistant
Cons: Expensive, some durability complaints, pockets and changing pad could be bigger
Buy the Ju-Ju-Be B.F.F. on Amazon for $179.95 (price varies based on pattern)
The best designer diaper bagStorsak
Why you'll love it: The Storksak Elizabeth is a diaper bag that looks like a designer leather purse, so go ahead and treat yo’ self.
Admit it – you want a diaper bag that doesn’t look like a diaper bag. You want gorgeous hardware and buttery leather. You want a bag that you’d be proud to carry even if you didn’t have a baby. Well, you're in luck, because such a bag does exist.
When my kids got a little bigger, I decided I wanted — no, darn it, I deserved — to carry something higher-quality that could still function as a diaper bag without looking like one. Enter the Storksak Elizabeth, a Mother’s Day splurge that I would carry even if I were still a carefree twenty-something who wanted a beautiful bag that could carry a laptop and other essentials to and from work.
Available in both black and tan, the soft full-grain leather Storksak makes me sigh every time I touch it. It has a removable crossbody messenger strap as well as drop handles and brushed hardware that takes it far beyond that “practical mom purse” feel.
Inside, it’s still every bit a great diaper bag, with a roomy interior, satin-like wipeable lining, and nine interior pockets, many of which are either zippered or elasticized to keep small items in their place. Aside from the standard changing pad, it also comes with an insulated bottle holder and a clip-on zippered case great for makeup or other personal items. And it also lasts – now that my kids are beyond diaper bag age, I still carry this bag, and the leather has been aging beautifully.
The main downside to the Storksak — other than the price — is that, asAmazon reviewers note, it’s not terribly big for a diaper bag. While the leather is fairly supple, it still won’t stretch too much if you try to overstuff the compartments. Also, there are only two exterior pockets, so you may have to dig through it more than you want to.
Cons: Expensive, too small for more than one child
Buy the Storksak Elizabeth on Amazon for $272.69 (black) or $345.00 (tan)
The best diaper bag for over packersSkip Hop
Why you'll love it: With the Skip Hop Grand Central, you’ve got enough room for the kitchen sink — and then some.
Your baby needs five pacifiers, two teethers, that special fluffy bunny, two changes of clothes, a canister of puffs, pureed pears, a couple of bottles, burp cloths, diapers, wipes galore, a carrier, the nursing cover … oh, and then there’s your stuff.
Maybe you need stuff for more than one child. Maybe you just want to be prepared. Maybe you’re just an over-packer and you’re not ashamed (no judgment here). Whatever the case, the Skip Hop Grand Central has ample room for everything you need, but thanks to a great design and lightweight fabric,Amazon reviewers say it still manages to look relatively sleek.
There are 11 pockets on the Grand Central, and asPregnancy and Newborn notes, that includes three main compartments that make it easy to find essentials. For instance, one compartment for the baby, one for the toddler, and one for you. And all of those compartments zip, so there’s no need to worry about all of your artfully packed items tumbling out.
Nice extras include a toy loop in the baby section, a phone pocket and fleece-lined sunglass pocket in the mom area, and two insulated bottle pockets on the side. Like the Skip Hop Duo Signature, it attaches easily to a stroller and has easy-to-wipe fabric.
Note that the Grand Central does not have a longer strap that lets it be carried as a messenger bag, just shoulder straps. Also, some Amazon reviewers complain that space-wise, it’s simply overkill, and there are a few who grouse that it hasn’t held up as well as they would have liked over time.
Buy the Skip Hop Grand Central on Amazon for $72.00
The best diaper bag for dadsDiaper Dude
Why you'll love it: The Diaper Dude Messenger Diaper Bag ticks all the boxes as a diaper bag, but it's one that any dad should be proud to carry.
I never thought of my Skip Hop Duo Signature as overly girly, but my husband disagreed. It was obviously a diaper bag, he said, and therefore, he didn’t feel comfortable carrying it. The problem is, he still needed something to carry when he was on his own with our boys. The solution? A Diaper Dude Messenger Diaper Bag all his own.
Diaper Dude is a diaper bag masquerading as a masculine messenger bag that’s available in several dad-friendly colors and patterns like black, gray, pinstripes, even skulls and camo. The polyester can be wiped easily, and my husband always raved about how comfortable the wide, padded strap was across his shoulders. There are three large exterior zippered pockets in the front, two elasticized exterior pockets in the back, and a main compartment with an additional zippered compartment and a diaper pouch.Amazon reviewers say the bag is lightweight and easy to organize.
Reviewers withBaby Gear Lab are critical of the Diaper Dude’s size, saying it’s barely big enough for baby’s essentials and lacks an insulated bottle pocket. If the latter is a deal-breaker, check out theDiaper Dude Messenger II. They also say the plastic and metal zipper closures aren’t the highest quality – though to be honest, this bag saw far lighter use than my own diaper bag, so it was never an issue for us. But parents of more than one small child who will use this as a day-to-day bag may want to think twice.
Cons:Flimsy zipper, too small for more than one child, no insulated bottle pocket
Buy the Diaper Dude Messenger Diaper Bag on Amazon for $49.99 (originally $60.00)
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