Best Backpack Diaper Bags

Updated September 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

35 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
120 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best backpack diaper bags

Last Updated September 2019

Diapers, wipes, bottles, extra clothes – the list of items you need when out and about with a baby goes on and on. Keeping it all organized is an ongoing challenge, but a backpack diaper bag keeps everything orderly and leaves your hands free to carry and take care of your baby.

Backpack diaper bags range from basic backpacks with a single compartment to couture bags for the fashion-forward family. To find the right bag, you’ll need a balance of size, style, and features.

We’ve put together this shopping guide to help you decide exactly what you need. Don’t forget to check out our favorite bags that we’d snatch in a heartbeat!

Frequent flyers might want a backpack diaper bag that meets airline carry-on specifications. However, these specifications differ, so check with the airline to make sure the diaper bag will fit in the overhead bin or under the seat.

Key considerations

Size and capacity

Size and holding capacity are really the biggest considerations when it comes to choosing a backpack diaper bag. There’s a fine line between a bag that’s big enough to hold all your baby gear and one that’s so cavernous you can’t find your car keys.

You first need to decide how much you’ll be carrying. Is it the basics – diapers, wipes, and an extra onesie? Or will you be carrying supplies for more than one child? Diaper bags can be deceptive in size, so thoroughly examine the interior organization. You might be excited about a bag that’s big enough to hold everything but be disappointed to discover it’s one large compartment where everything gets lost in the mix.

Weight

You'll already be carrying a fair amount of weight, and the backpack diaper bag shouldn't add too much to it.  Strong, lightweight materials like nylon, polyester, and microfiber cut down on weight more than leather or canvas. Also, the more accessories and pockets the bag has, the heavier it becomes. Generally speaking, any backpack diaper bag that weighs under three pounds when empty is considered lightweight.

Fit

The size of the backpack diaper bag and the placement of the shoulder straps create the bag’s unique fit. Most are designed to fit an average-size adult. If you fall outside the norm, you'll need to give more consideration to fit. For example, a backpack diaper bag with wide-set shoulder straps might not work for a woman with a small frame because the straps will slip off her shoulders. Conversely, narrow straps that are too close together won’t work for someone with broad shoulders.

Your best bet is to try on the backpack. If that's not possible, take a good look at the position of the shoulder straps. Straps that originate from the center of the pack will have a narrower fit, while those with a wide-set origin point have a broader fit.

CAUTION

We don't recommend hanging the backpack diaper bag from the handle of your stroller. While the bag might have straps for this purpose, the weight of the bag could tip the stroller backward.

Backpack diaper bag features

Pockets

You probably need to organize far more than just diapers and wipes in a diaper bag. Pacifiers, extra socks, toys, and snacks can all become a jumbled mess without enough pockets. Common pocket types include the following:

  • Zippered: You’ll find zippered pockets on the interior or exterior of a backpack diaper bag. These keep everything safe and secure with no risk of the contents falling out. It's nice to have at least one if not two or more of these pockets to secure your cell phone, wallet, and keys. They’re also handy for pacifiers and other baby items you want to keep clean.

  • Elastic closure: Pockets with an elastic closure hold items in place and provide quick access. They can be found on both the exterior and interior. When used on the interior, these pockets are usually intended to hold diapers and wipes. Exterior elastic closure pockets are often meant for water or baby bottles.

  • Flap: Flap pockets may have a snap, hook-and-loop fastener, or magnet to hold the flap closed. These are more secure than elastic-closure pockets but less so than a zippered ones. This type of pocket is usually found on the exterior of the diaper bag and often acts as a decorative feature.

  • Mesh: Mesh pockets have an elastic closure and offer ventilation for items that might be wet, such as a washcloth or bib.

  • Insulated: Insulated pockets keep breast milk, milk, formula and/or drinks cold until you’re ready to use them.

  • Waterproof: Some diaper bags have a special waterproof pocket for wet clothes or used bottles.

  • Accessory organizer: An accessory organizer pocket is a good place for your phone, wallet, and writing utensils.

Padding

Padding prevents shoulder straps from digging into your skin by spreading the weight of the backpack diaper bag across a larger area of your shoulders.

Water resistance

With a backpack diaper bag, you definitely want both a water-resistant exterior and interior. You might need to carry soiled clothing, blankets, and burp rags for several hours before you can remove them. You might also be carrying formula, breast milk, or water, all of which can spill. And, of course, a water-resistant exterior protects everything in wet weather.

Materials

  • Canvas: Canvas is durable and repels water, especially when treated with a water-resistant coating. It also has a look and feel that’s down to earth.
  • Microfiber, polyester, and nylon: These synthetic materials are relatively inexpensive, incredibly durable, lightweight, and water resistant. They can be found in a rainbow of colors and patterns. Of the three, nylon is the most durable, but it also costs more.

  • Leather and faux leather: Leather and faux leather add a touch of luxury and style. They're often used as an accent, but there are backpack diaper bags made entirely of either material. On the downside, leather can show wear and tear more easily and is susceptible to water damage.

Changing pad

A backpack diaper bag that includes its own changing pad offers an extra touch of convenience. You can always purchase a changing pad separately and store it in the bag, but a changing pad that’s included with the bag is probably more compact and fits inside the bag better.

Handle and cross-body strap

Models that have handles or a cross-body strap provide extra carrying options. Sometimes you can detach these features so you don't have extra straps hanging from the backpack diaper bag.

Color and pattern

Backpack diaper bags are almost considered a fashion accessory. You can find them in virtually any color and pattern. Chevrons, florals, and houndstooth are just a few that are readily available.

DID YOU KNOW?

Some diaper bags include a removable waterproof pouch for soiled clothes, diapers, or anything else that gets wet while you're away from home. This allows you to remove items that could leave odors in your diaper bag.

Backpack diaper bag prices

Inexpensive: For less than $25, you can find a bag that includes two large compartments and insulated, zippered, elastic closure, and mesh pockets. Backpack diaper bags in this price range come in fun prints and colors.  While these models have many of the same features as higher-priced bags, they often lack the quality and durability needed for diaper bags that will be used daily.

Mid-range: These backpack diaper bags offer a balance between durability and affordability and cost between $35 and $100. They offer the same pocket and compartment options as lower-priced bags. Some bags in this range have leather and faux leather accents.

Expensive: Bags that cost $100 and up usually feature designer labels and fabrics. Fabrics may be thicker, with heavier waterproofing treatments. However, they have many of the same features as the best mid-range models.

EXPERT TIP

Some backpack diaper bags have a zippered security compartment on the back. When you wear the backpack, the pocket faces your back and remains inaccessible to others.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Empty and wipe out your backpack diaper bag regularly. You'd be surprised how quickly crumbs, wrappers, and unidentified stickiness accumulate. You might even want to use the vacuum hose to clear out some of the mess.

  • Avoid bags that require dry cleaning. You’re likely to be cleaning messes out of the diaper bag weekly, if not more often.

  • Opt for a machine-washable bag. This can be a great time-saver. Just be sure to remove any valuables before you throw it the washer.

Other products we considered

We narrowed down our top picks to five, but that means we had to pass by some great backpack diaper bags. Here are two more that are worth considering. The Ju-Ju-Be B.F.F. Convertible Diaper Bag has an incredible amount of space and provides easy access to a front compartment with a flap that folds completely open. It can be used as a cross-body bag, too, and comes in several gorgeous prints. The Itzy Ritzy Diaper Bag Backpack includes a unique combination of fabrics and materials, including faux leather. There’s plenty of exterior storage space, and it comes with its own changing pad.

Some backpack diaper bags have plastic or rubber feet to keep the bag off the ground.

FAQ

Q. Are there backpack diaper bags specifically made to hold breast pumps?

A. Breast pump and baby bottle manufacturers often produce their own backpack diaper bags that are designed to hold the pump and all the accessories. However, there are plenty of other models with the space to hold a breast pump. Look for a backpack diaper bag with a large interior compartment that also has an insulated pocket and several elastic closure pockets to hold bottles.

Q. Can a backpack diaper bag also carry a laptop?

A. You'll have to check the interior dimensions because some backpacks might be too narrow to carry a laptop. Others that are horizontally oriented will likely be able to hold a laptop along with your baby supplies.

Q. Are there backpack diaper bags that are freestanding when placed on the ground?

A. Yes. Freestanding backpack diaper bags make it easier to access your supplies while keeping a hand on your baby. These models usually have feet or a hard base to stabilize the backpack.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Stacey
    Stacey
    Writer

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