Top 5 Diaper Backpacks for New Parents
I really wanted a functional diaper bag, that allowed me to put everything I needed in it, double as my purse, and preferably keep my hands free for doing other things. For me, that means a backback, or at least one that converts into one when I want it to. I started with the pretty ones that met those qualifications, because if I could get all of those things in something that was also nice to look at, awesome! Thankfully I found quite a few that fell into the not-ugly-backpack category, and didn’t have to venture into the rest.
I took to the shelves to test out most of these, discovered some more along the way, and for those that were not available locally are based on personal recommendations from other Ottawa moms. Buy Buy Baby has a large selection of diaper bags and diaper backpacks to try on, and if you tell them I sent you (Stephanie de Montigny) they may just have a little surprise for you when you set up your baby registry (and yes, I get one too). Without further ado, here are my picks for the top 5 diaper backpacks for new parents (and then some!)
Top 5 Diaper Backpacks for New Parents
Ultimately, the one that made it onto my registry was the Itzy Ritzy Boss Diaper Backback because of 3 important factors: strap comfort, smart storage, and easy-to-clean. I had several options to choose from for the colour (black, grey, bright floral, brown/cream, NEW! blush), and I went with the brown & cream one, because neutrals! Despite that beautiful herringbone fabric being a little harder to clean than the leather (vegan), it reminds me of my husband and I really liked that. The mesh-lined straps on this one connect to the SIDE of the bag instead of the bottom, which means they don’t dig into my sides, and are much more comfortable. It also has stroller straps included, that fully match the bag, and have easy clips w While I would have preferred zippered outer pouches, the side ones on this bag are insulated, and the front ones are magnetic–so I will just need to be mindful of what goes in them (no valuables). But let’s be honest, magnetic means I can reach around without having to take the backpack off to sneak some snacks out of them. The amount of pouches and pockets on the inside far superseded my expectations, with many different size options and uses. Bonus that the “tablet” pouch actually includes a matching change-pad! I went around the store and filled it with typical diaper bag items, my purse essentials, a water bottle, and few other things just to stuff it to the brim, and as heavy as it felt lifting it, once on my back it wasn’t nearly as bad. It didn’t make me feel like I was going to topple over like my school backpack from my university days would. That is the biggest win in my books! The bottom of the bag is also a super thick rubber barrier, which is easy to clean and absolutely protects the bag itself from the floor and whatever surface you need to put it down on. Now to put it to the true test of durability once baby arrives (all of the reviews online say it holds up).
The Eloise & Lolo ‘The City Backpack’ diaper bag was a true contender for my favourites, and the only reason it didn’t make the cut is because there wasn’t anywhere locally to test it out. They do have a 100% money-back guarantee so I could send it back if I wasn’t satisfied, but that was more hassle than I was willing to put up with since it would have been really complicated as a registry gift. But the specs and the video reviews certainly made me consider it! Between the waterproof fabric, the metal-enforced zippered opening, the many dividers and pockets, the insulated bottle pouches, and the side-attached straps–it hit all the must-haves.
The Skip Hop Greenwhich Diaper Backpack was at the top of my list of bags to test out because of the amazing reviews, it’s very obvious pretty look. The only reasons it got bumped to a runner up is because the inside didn’t have as many pockets and dividers as I would like (plenty of space though!), and the straps weren’t as comfortable as I’d like (they hit my sides at a weird spot because they attach at the bottom of the bag rather than the side). It was made of a beautiful fabric that felt very easy-to-clean and the majority of the outside pockets were zippered. It also came with stroller straps, and matching change pad in the “tablet” pouch.
The Itzy Ritzy Triple Threat Convertible Diaper Bag is actually what I was intending on looking at when I went browsing because of it’s messenger bag AND backpack abilities, and hello beautiful looks-like-a-classy-purse style! Little did I know they had a very similar backpack-all-the-time version, which is ultimately the one I chose to get. The biggest reason being of those unfortunate excuses for straps. As a tote style diaper bag? Spot on! It has all of the dividers, cleanability, and space, but those straps are for a once-in-a-while use and were by no means comfortable worn as a backpack. But if I was going in the direction of a tote or messenger bag, I would be getting a camera bag (photographer, remember!) because its use would far surpass the years of needing a diaper bag, and those are designed to protect valuables from minor falls, bumps, crushes, and water–and have a ton of useful pockets and dividers. Anyway, for you non-photographers who want a tote, with the occasional backpack use, this one would be a great choice!
The diaper backpack from Emagie was another contender, that came with great reviews from other moms, but with no option to try it on locally at a store. So if you’ve got a friend who is willing to share, do go try it because it seems totally worth it! Between the reinforced and padded side-attached straps, the plethora of dividers and pockets (and insulated bottle pouches!), the theft-proof back pocket, and the easy-clean fabric, this one also hit all of the must-haves. Bonus that it has a USB charging port, dual compartments and an extra one to separate wet from dry (hello awesome!), and the stroller straps.
Here are a few others that came highly recommended by local moms (with online reviews to match the excitement–over 80% of purchasers gave 5-stars), so if you’d like to add to your research of diaper backpacks for new parents, these are a few extra options for you to dive into:
For those of you wondering which camera backpacks I had considered… These beauties are from House of Flynn and are fabulous! #GOALS! I have seen them in action with fellow colleagues, and will very likely end up with one for my studio, but decided against them as a diaper bag. Mostly because that for ME, they would be much better used for my gear than baby stuff. Also, as a business purchase it would be expenseable, but as a personal purchase, nope! <– yeah, not ashamed of that selfish decision at all! BUT if I had to pick one for dual-use it would be the rucksack (middle), because of the dual compartments–which means I could literally keep baby & camera stuff separated, and only use the top as baby bag when absolutely needed (aka, wouldn’t need two bags, ugh!). Second choice is the evermore (right) because of all the little pouches and dividers, and it has hidden (real!) backpack straps that only come out when needed, adding flexibility for which type of bag you want it to be: tote, messenger, or backpack. Third is that swoon-worthy caramel leather backpack (left), because as amazing as it is, it only has one use at a time: baby or gear. But if that is your purpose, definitely consider it a viable option!
With that last tid-bit, I leave you on your deep-dive research journey for the best diaper bag backpack as a new parent. Everyone’s needs are different so you may find that you prefer a different bag than myself, your friend, or that lady at the grocery store who thinks she knows everything. Youtube is also a great way to go if you want to see what they look like in action, without ordering 10 bags to your doorstep to check out because you don’t to drive across the city to test half of them out while you wait for the other half gets mailed to you. BUT if you DO decide that ordering them all to your house is the best option, please send me an invitation for your unboxing party!