When you’re a parent, diaper bags are a must (you know, for all the things you’ll have to cary around when on the go with your baby). No really… blowouts can strike at any time, and in stinky situations like this, your trusty diaper bag will be indispensable. Mastering the art of balancing a baby and handling a stroller while slugging your much needed morning cup of Joe is tricky enough without having to clutch onto a messenger bag or adjust your shoulder strap on a crossbody.
Enter the diaper backpack!
Diaper backpacks are great for multitasking — plus they’re easier on the back, and they provide you with much-needed hands-free mobility. So go ahead, mamas, give yourself a hand (or both hands) and get a diaper backpack instead. The options below are stylish, timeless and very practical.
1. Most Affordable: HaloVa Diaper Backpack ~ $32
There are plenty of cheap diaper backpack options out there, but this one is the best of the bunch. It’s sleek, has tons of storage (seriously, you can pack a day’s worth of stuff in there) with four large slip pockets, and features two insulated exterior compartments, a separate waterproof pocket and an easy-access wipe pocket on the side. We love that the main compartment has a wide opening to easily see what’s in your bag. Plus, this bag is water resistant!
2. Eco-Friendly Pick: Skip Hop Go Envi Eco-Friendly Diaper Backpack ~ $60
Skip Hop is an all-time favorite brand of ours here at Lucie’s List. Made with recycled plastic bottles, this bag is durable and lightweight, and it holds a ton. We love the minimalist look, which makes it the perfect unisex option for the whole family.
Though this backpack doesn’t have as many pockets (six) as some of the other options listed in this roundup, we love the two stretchy bottle pockets and the reusable food tower that it comes with — perfect for snacks. The shoulder straps are wide and padded, and it also has a built-in stroller strap and a top grab handle.
Parents say that the Go Envi backpack is compact yet roomy and easy to keep organized. They’ve also said it’s water resistant and easy to wipe clean. Once baby outgrows all their necessities, you can use the backpack for your laptop (it fits computers up to 15 inches).
3. Editor’s Pick: Petunia Pickle Bottom Inter-Mix Backpack ~ $128
This is the bag I am currently using to manage my 1 and 4 year-old toddler dictators. I’m completely obsessed with the pockets, both interior and exterior. I’m also using the interior “Inter-Mix System” for premium organization (perfect for my OCD’ness).
This system uses smaller zippered pouches the brand calls “pixels.” There’s a place for everything, and everything has a place. A pixel for each child’s needs and my own as well. I also slip my laptop into the back zip pocket when traveling. There’s very little this bag can’t do (or carry). The Inter-Mix Starter Kit (see below) comes with a cool pack “pixel,” which is amazing. The side pockets are great for water bottles and snacks, though I wish there were a built-in insulated pocket for cold/warm needs in the main space.
4. Parents’ Pick: “Be Right Back” Backpack Diaper Bag ~ $155 ($124 on sale)
Parents rave that this is the best backpack diaper bag on the market. The straps are comfortable, and the pack has lots of interior, exterior and side pockets and a good amount of storage – it can even fit a small laptop (13″)!
A reviewer who used a bunch of other Ju-Ju-Be bags said, “the Be Right Back fits tons! And it works wonderfully if you just put a few things in there. I’m sure I’ll be packing differently as my baby’s needs change. But for now, with an infant, this bag has got me covered for all day in cloth diapers or all day in disposables with a big packed lunch for mom and dad.”
We also love that this bag opens flat like a suitcase — so it’s easy to get in and out of, no digging for stuff. It has fewer pockets than some of the other Ju-Ju-Be bags (like the BFF and Be Prepared) — so something to keep in mind if you’re a pocket enthusiast.
5. Most Stylish: Fawn Design ~ $160
I have all the 😍 for this gorgeous bag. There are 12 — YES, 12! — pockets in all (6 interior and 6 exterior). I love how the front of the bag is rounded, which gives you some added space. The zipper top opens widely, making it easy to see and access the content of the bag. The faux leather is supple and cleans in a jiffy when spills happen – and they will.
It can be worn as a messenger style bag or backpack, and both options are super comfy. This diaper bag is so chic (hello, gold hardware), I can see myself using it long beyond diapers.
The only complain I have about this backpack is that the straps slides in the buckles and end up getting longer throughout the day, so I do have to readjust periodically (not a dealbreaker for me).
6. Best for Storage Capacity: Freshly Picked Classic Diaper Bag, $175 (on sale for $140)
This backpack is roomy and has a huge packing capacity — perfect for the parent who likes to always be prepared. It has ten pockets with a spacious central space for large things, and we love the magnetic front flap. Diaper bags tend to get dirty pretty quickly, so we appreciate that this backpack is made of a faux leather material that wipes clean so, so easily. The interior is also spill resistant! It is on the heavier side, but it’s also made to last… so it’s a pretty good option if you know you’ll be keeping it for future children — or yourself! Yes, it’s that stylish.
7. Best Convertible: Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack ~ $189
This bag comes at a hefty price, but it’s also the brand’s all-time favorite all-around. Though it doesn’t look like typical diaper bag (we don’t know about you, but we wouldn’t mind hauling it around even without baby in tow), it boasts all the features of a good diaper bag. The canvas is coated so you never have to worry about stains, it’s got magnetic closures and a main compartment that folds out for a super easy access to your diaper changing station, and it comes with a built-in changing pad and many pockets to keep things ultra organized.
This bag is stylish (and comes in some fun prints, too!), yet rugged and made to last. Yes, it is an investment, but it will be with you for years (definitely a great fit if you plan on having more than one child).
8. Luxury Pick: Mina Baie Harper Midi Backpack ~ $319
This brand took over social media recently, and for good reasons. Yes, their backpacks are expensive, but they’ll last you well beyond your baby years. The midi is the perfect size — not too big, not too small — and it’s got a lux look that you won’t mind taking to the office once baby outgrows diapers, pacifiers and blowout outfit changes (you can fit a 13″ laptop).
The Harper midi backpack is functional too, with ten internal pockets, three external compartments, an insulated pocket and a dust bag. We love the light gold hardware — so chic.
Why choose a backpack over a regular diaper bag?
First and foremost, it holds all your things while also offering more mobility and leaving your hands free. With a backpack, it’s a lot easier to hold your baby, push the stroller, chase after your toddler, pick up the pacifier that will inevitably fall onto the ground once or twice (or ten times), and so on.
Backpacks also distribute the weight more evenly across your back instead of focusing on just one side. This helps maintain your body’s natural gait and a balanced muscle tone, which can help prevent back injuries or pain in the long run.
Of course, carrying heavy loads for a long time (which you are bound to do, when on the go with a baby) can lead to back pain, so you’ll want to choose a backpack that has wider straps to distribute the weight even better (more on what to look for in a backpack later).
Can’t I use a regular backpack?
While you may be tempted to use that good old JanSport backpack you’ve been holding on to since high school “just in case,” backpack-style diaper bags offer indispensable (or dare we say “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”) features that will ensure you are always ready for any and all situations — things like insulated bottle compartments, lots of pockets, changing pads, wipeable fabrics and so much more.
That’s it, folks. Are you team diaper backpack too? Tell us which one you’ve used in the comments below.